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How to Record TV Shows

How to Record TV Shows

How to record your favorite TV shows...

Recording TV shows onto videotapes was super simple, but with the days of VCR gone, it may seem as though things are not as easy as they once were. However, in this digital age, there are actually several ways to record your favorite TV shows, all of which are just as simple, as long as you have the right tools.

Aside from the popular Tivo DVR – an internet ready DVR box for existing cable and digital TV subscriptions featuring monthly subscriptions for access to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Youtube, Pandora and Rhapsody, which is best utilized by avid TV watchers looking to record and catch up with multiple TV shows weekly – there are several other ways to record your favorite TV shows.

how to record tv shows

How to Record Your Favorite TV Shows

4 Ways to Record Your Favorite TV Shows

Buy a HDTV with Recording

(EU only)
European consumers will be pleased to hear that many new HDTVs sold over the pond come with built-in recording features, unfortunately legal issues state side see the featured disabled in all HDTVs sold in America.

But if you’re lucky enough to own a 2010-2012 European HDTV, it’s likely that you already have the tools to record your favorite TV shows.

hdtv with usb recording

HDTV With USB Video Recording

To find out if your HDTV can record broadcast TV, look for logos or stickers such as USB Recording, PVR (Personal Video Recording) or DVR (Digital Video Recording). If you’re HDTV comes with this feature, all you’ll need then is a USB hard drive (to store your recorded video files) and a digital TV subscription (HDTV can not record analog broadcasts).

Once you’re hard drive is connected in, the built-in software allows you to record TV at the touch of button, some models also feature scheduled recording, which still captures the video even if the TV is off.

Power voltages in American and Europe are not the same. European electrics run on 220-240 volts, in the U.S. it’s 120 volts. This means electronics bought in Europe and used the Sates will not receive enough power, and electronics bought in States and used in Europe will receive too much power. For this reason you must use step-up or step-down transformers to correctly match the power specs.

HDTV Financing

Use Your Playstation with TV Tuner Adapter

(Europe and Japan)
Those who already own a Playstation3 can record TV by using a TV tuner with built-in DVR features such as the PlayTV (Europe and Australia) or the Torne Digital TV Tuner (Japan). Of course, these devices come at a price and aren’t available in the States, but for those who already own a PS3, it’s a great way to watch, pause and record TV.

ps3 playtv

Playstation PlayTV

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TV Tuner for Computers

TV tuners for computers are basically video cards with a built-in TV receiver. They feature the connections, which allow to link up to your analog or digital TV source so you can watch and record TV on your computer.

Computer TV tuners come in two types, internal PCI video cards for desktop PCs, and external USB devices for laptops and desktops.

pci tv tuner recording

PCI TV Tuner For Desktop PCs

PCI TV tuners are great for saving space since they are installed directly in your PC tower. They are also generally cheaper than the external USB models. USB TV tuners however are often easier to set up, and of course, will work on any computer with a spare USB port.

usb tv tuner

External USB TV Tuner

Not all TV tuners come with video capturing software, however once the TV signal is playing through your computer or laptop, there are a number of free applications you can use to capture the video; CamStudio, Windows Media Encoder, Jing, uTipu and ScreenToaster to name a few.

Update: Mac users can check out the easiest way to record any video playing on your screen, using QuickTime.

Video Card Financing

Setup Your camera in Front of Your TV to Record

Whilst this method is far from professional, it’s likely that you already own the equipment to do so since most modern digital cameras can capture video. Video cameras, DSLR’s and high-end compact digital camera can all capture high-quality video, and should be sufficient to capture short clips from the TV.

video camera recording

Digital Video Camera Recording

Of course, you won’t be winning any accolades for producing cutting edge home videos, but if you’re looking to capture a quick clip of news or yours or a loved ones 15 minutes of fame then setting up a camera, preferably on a tripod for stability, is a simple straightforward way of recording TV.

Video Camera Financing

Related Posts:


  1. Rasmus Larsen: Guide: How to record TV shows on your HDTV. Flat Panel SHD, 06/28/2011.
  2. Watch, Pause and Record TV, Sony PS3, undated.
  3. Enru Townsend: TV Tuners for Your PC. PC World, 01/04/2005.
  4. Richard Lawler: PS3's Torne digital TV tuner / DVR adapter gets 2.00 software update next month. Engadget, 05/20/2012.
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