Oct 222008
Authors: Glen Pfeiffer, Ryan Gibbons

Those of us living on campus without a TV have very few options for watching our favorite TV shows. The first option is to wait for almost a full day for the episode to be posted online, and the second is to use CSU’s TV over IP to stream shows to our computers.

While those are two very manageable solutions, where does that leave/us when we want to watch a channel that’s not on TV over IP, or maybe/we/can’t/be at the/TV at 7 p.m. sharp to watch/”Gossip Girl” — and/don’t want/to wait 24/hours to see the next episode?

Well the Binary Boys are coming to the rescue with this month’s How-To — turning your computer into a TV, complete with TiVo functionality and the ability to burn your favorite shows to DVD.

In order to run TV cable to your computer you will need a TV tuner card for your computer. This piece of hardware will convert the coax cable coming out of your wall into a format that your computer will understand. Our suggestion would be the Pinnacle Systems PCTV stick,/which will convert/your coax cable/to a USB connection — all outside of your computer.

The best part of this is that nothing needs to be installed inside your computer, which, in turn, saves you cash./These little guys run about $70 each on www.newegg.com, or for those of you who like to see your product before buying, $90 each at Best Buy./

If that’s a little expensive,/you can always look into internal TV tuner cards. These start at around $25 but require you to install them manually inside your computer and will not work with laptops.

Once you’ve purchased your TV Tuner, you should install all of the included software. At this point, using the included software, you should be able to watch TV on your computer, record shows to your/hard drive TiVo style and even/burn them to a DVD afterward.

/Say goodbye to countless hours wondering about the cast of Gossip Girl and their silly high school/escapades.

But wait! For those of you running Windows Vista/or Windows/XP Media Center, there’s a better solution. That’s right — we said “Vista” and “better solution” in the same sentence./

We’ve found that the Windows Media Center program included in/the aforementioned operating/systems out-performs the software included with the TV Tuner./

Using Windows Media Center, you can now download a TV guide that’s accurate all the way down to being CSU campus specific./The guide also includes show descriptions and/movie reviews.

For you Mac users, sorry, but the Pinnacle tuner we mentioned is only for Windows. Luckily for you, however, newegg.com also has Mac compatible tuners for around $90 each.

Staff writers Glen Pfeiffer and Ryan Gibbons can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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