Can You Record Over the Air TV?

Techwalla may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
VHS tapes may be obsolete, but they are still convenient for recording TV broadcasts.

Recording cable television shows is easy if you have cable service with a digital video recorder). However, if you receive your television signals from a digital antenna, you can still record your favorite television programs. This is convenient for when you want to watch a show again or have a copy of a program you have to miss due to a prior engagement. You have several different options at your disposal.



The most "old-fashioned" of the solutions is to buy a blank VHS tape and record your television show with a VCR. The quality might not be as high as more modern solutions, but it will still be adequate for private viewing, as long as you are not too picky. Most units also have timers, so you can easily record shows when you are not at home.

Video of the Day

DVD Recorders

If you want a more modern way to record over-the-air television programs, you can also invest in a DVD recorder. These are standalone units that can record a video stream directly to a recordable DVD disk. As this technology has also began to show its age, DVD recorders can usually be purchased for less than $200 new.


Standalone DVR

Though DVR service is included with cable and satellite packages, you can also buy a standalone unit. This way, you can conveniently type in the time and channel for the unit to record. It will function like a VCR or DVD recorder, but you will not have to purchase any blank media to record.

TV Tuner for Computer

Another digital option is to purchase a TV tuner card for your computer. These units also come in USB connections. All you have to do is connect the coaxial cable from your digital antenna and connect it to the port on the TV. After this, you can use an included video capture program to save digital recordings of over-the-air television broadcasts directly to your computer's hard drive.