TV tuner cards for PCs and Macs are becoming quite popular now, and the latest trend seems to be to pack extra tuners onto the cards yet keep the price the same. Here I am feeling jealous – with my single-tuner card – that Hauppage have just released a triple-tuner TV card for the PC for just £99.99.
Simply plug the HVR-3000 it into a spare PCI slot on a desktop PC and you get three TV tuners, so you can receive and watch analogue, Freeview and satellite TV all at the same time. It also boasts an FM radio tuner, so you can get that piped onto your PC too.
It does everything else that single- and dual-tuner cards do, via software, turning your PC into a PVR that lets you record, play, and pause live TV, and use your hard disc to store recorded programmes. A one-hour show takes up approximately 1GB of space, and you can burn content to DVD.
The new card is compatible with Windows XP (SP2) and the forthcoming Windows Vista. Drivers for Windows XP Media Center Edition are available, and the product includes a remote control. A PC with 1.5 GHz processor or faster is required (3.0 GHz processor for analogue TV recording with MPEG-2).
Cards like this on a Media Centre PC in your living room, connected to a large widescreen monitor or TV, could really make easy, comfortable access to digital entertainment a reality.