How to Watch Live TV Channels on Your PC

by Stephen Lilley

If you want to watch live television channels on your PC, you will need a device known as a TV tuner card. This card is nearly identical to the TV tuner found in a regular television set, with the obvious exception that it is designed to interface with a computer. Installing a TV tuner card enables you to watch TV channels using the Windows Media Center application.


Check to see if your computer already has a TV tuner card installed. You will find this information in your computer's manual. If no TV tuner card is present, you will have to purchase one. External models are available that plug directly into a USB port on your computer's case. Internal models are inserted in an available PCI card slot on the computer's motherboard.


Choose an image source. This is the method you will use to transfer live television channels to your PC TV tuner card. If you have cable television installed in your home, you can connect a coaxial cable to a cable TV jack in your wall and then connect the other end to the coaxial input on your TV tuner card. If you wish to receive over-the-air programming, connect a regular TV antenna to your TV tuner card the same way you would connect it to a television set.


Click the start menu in in the Windows operating system.


Choose the option marked, "All Programs."


Click the option to activate Windows Media Center.


Scroll down to the TV category in Windows Media Center. Select "Live TV Setup." Windows Media Center will detect your TV tuner card and the image source attached to it. After Windows Media Center runs a few seconds of automated tests, you will be able to watch television channels on your computer monitor.

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About the Author

Stephen Lilley is a freelance writer who hopes to one day make a career writing for film and television. His articles have appeared on a variety of websites. Lilley holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and video production from the University of Toledo in Ohio.

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