Watching TV On Your PC
Are the days of the television numbered? Hey, let’s face it, we’ve all got at least a couple of them around the house, but these days watching television on your television is getting to be a bit “old hat”, because the people in the know are just using their PC’s. We’re not talking just the odd video download, we’re talking every kind of television programming imaginable via the Internet.
So how do you go about it? Can anybody do it? What do you need?
Watching TV On Your PC
Internet connection – to be quite frank, the faster the better. Although the average broadband speed in the United States is somewhere in the region of 3.9 Mbps (which incidentally will work) if you have a faster connection it will be even better, especially for such services as Netflix. If you’re seriously interested in watching the television on your computer, this is the first thing to check out – the speed of your broadband, and upgrade if necessary.
Computer - OK, now that you’ve sorted out the broadband speed, you’d better make sure that your PC is up to the job. It’s a bit like the internet connection really, the bigger the better. You will be able to get some TV on a lower powered netbook but for improved picture quality you need to have at least a Core2 Duo with 4 GB of memory. If you have a larger memory coupled with a faster processor you’ll have a much more enjoyable viewing experience, with better picture quality and smoother playback.
Dongle - what on earth is a dongle? OK, to give it a full title you need a USB tuner dongle, which will connect your PC to your regular over-the-air antenna or cable box and magically transform your computer into a TV, Computer and DVR. Just one dongle can do all that? Amazing. You’ll soon be able to not only watch live TV programs but also record shows and port stuff via iTunes and sync it with your iPhone or iPad.
Aggregator - next you need an aggregator. I know it all sounds complicated but it really isn’t, the aggregator is something like Boxee, Plex or XBMC. You should take the plug-ins which have the sort of stuff you particularly like to watch.
All you have to do next is to put your old TV in the local “for sale” ads and off you go.