How to Record TV Shows Onto a Laptop

By Luther Blissett

While TiVo and other devices allow users to record and play back their favorite TV shows and movies whenever they want, those who watch television on their laptops have been forced to rely upon a number of different Internet websites that host movies and television shows. Fortunately, hardware and software now exists that allows laptop users to record TV shows directly onto their laptops and replay them whenever they like. All they need is an open USB port.

Things You'll Need

  • Hauppauge USB TV tuner
  • Tuner specific television recording software
  • Cable television

Step 1

Connect the USB TV tuner to the laptop using a free USB port.

Step 2

Connect the cable wire to the USB tuner's cable input.

Step 3

Insert the TV tuner's installation disk into the laptop and follow the on screen directions to install the appropriate drivers and software. When prompted by Windows, select "install software automatically" to install the device drives. When prompted by the WinTV software to choose which programs to install, ensure that the option for the WinTV scheduler is checked.

Step 4

Launch the WinTV 2000 software now installed on the laptop.

Step 5

Press the "scan" button to load all of the available television channels. The channels that the tuner is able to locate will be displayed in the bottom half of the screen. Press "close" when the scan is complete. The amount of time to complete this step will vary depending on the number of channels being added.

Step 6

Choose a channel to record using the channel selection buttons on the left hand side of the on screen menu now displayed.

Step 7

Press the "record" button located on the bottom of the screen to record the program current displayed on the screen. Alternatively, recording can be scheduled using the WinTV Scheduler software included in the WinTV installation package. From the WinTV Scheduler main window, press "add program". Next, enter the time and date in addition to the channel to be recorded. Finally, click "save program". While recording TV on the laptop is not nearly as straightforward as it is with Tivo and other similar devices, the above methods are both reliable and relatively intuitive.