How to Install a Radio Tuner in Windows 7
By Fred Decker
Modern computers are often configured as complete home entertainment units, complete with HD video, surround-sound output and the ability to connect to your big-screen TV. Old-school technology isn't forgotten either, and your Windows 7 computer can also use a radio tuner to pull in your local stations from over the air. FM tuners are often included with TV tuner cards, or you can install one separately.
Windows Media Center
Once you've got an FM tuner physically installed or connected to your computer, you need software to tune the stations, save presets, and play the feed through your computer's audio system. On Windows 7, Microsoft's own Media Center provides that ability. Launch the program by clicking your "Start" button, then "All Programs" and finally "Windows Media Center." On the Media Center's Start screen, select "Music," and then "Radio," and finally "FM Radio." You'll be able to use the "Seek" and "Tune" controls to search for stations, or enter them manually by their frequency.
Most radio-tuner programs for Windows are geared toward streaming Internet radio, which offers a world of choice, but typically won't include your favorite local stations. VCRadio is one exception, which not only tunes local stations, but enables you to record your favorite hosts and programs for later playback, just like a VCR or PVR. Another is Tune-In Radio, which installs as a plugin for your Windows Media Center and provides a robust set of enhanced features.
Fred Decker is a trained chef and certified food-safety trainer. Decker wrote for the Saint John, New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, and has been published in Canada's Hospitality and Foodservice magazine. He's held positions selling computers, insurance and mutual funds, and was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.