|All recent TV tuner cards or adapters are capable of making a high quality recording of TV programs on XP and above , but if it has only one tuner, when you're recording you can only watch the channel you're recording on the computer. |
If you want to be able to view a different channel on the computer while you're recording, the card or adapter must have two tuners.
If that doesn't concern you, you have lots of tuner cards or adapters to choose from.
If this is for a desktop computer, a PCI, or a PCI-E TV tuner card is a better choice rather than a USB TV tuner adapter (they're adapters, NOT CARDS, in my opinion).
If this is for a laptop or netbook, get a USB TV tuner adapter, or if your model has the slot, an ExpressCard TV tuner card.
If you don't care whether the TV tuner device is internal or easily portable when you're watching TV on the computer, then you also have the choice of external USB connected TV tuner boxes.
I recommend ones that have an ATI or AMD chipset - it doesn't matter who made it if it has that - they have much better support on the AMD web site for the chipset and tuner than other brands of chipsets do - the card or adapter uses AMD supplied software, no matter who made the card or adapter.
The newer the tuner card or adapter's chipset is (regarding when it was first released), the more the card costs, the less load it will place on your cpu.
(If you have a slower computer, get a tuner card or adapter with a newer chipset.)
TV tuner cards or adapters cannot amplify a video signal if it's too weak, like regular TVs automatically do.
If you have problems picking up one or more channels, you often need to use a video amplifier such as one used to amplify a cable TV signal between the source and the TV tuner card. e.g. Walmart has them.
If you have an (XP) MCE 200x version, or a Vista or Windows 7 version that has Media Center (most do except Basic) , you can use Media Center in Windows rather than the TV player program that comes with the card with the TV tuner card or adapter - it can record TV programs too, but it wants where you record them to, to be on a NTFS partition.
You may be able to download the manual for the TV tuner card or adapter on the website of the maker of it.