How to Use Directv With Microsoft Media Center

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Today's personal computer, known as the PC, has achieved a high profile status within nearly every home and office. Thanks to this newly achieved status, the PC is now able to serve as a powerful multimedia system, as it routes all of our music and video collections. With the advent of television tuner cards, multimedia aficionados are able to watch their favorite cable and satellite television shows on their computer screens.

Things You'll Need

  • Modern PC with at least one gigabyte of RAM and at least a 2.4 gigahertz processor
  • TV tuner card compatible with your specific operating system
  • Screwdriver
  • Anti-static wrist band complete with grounding cable and alligator clip
  • Coaxial cable

Purchase a TV tuner card

  • Check your computer to ensure you have an available PCI or PCI Extreme slot into which you may install your new TV tuner card.

  • TV tuner cards are available for all PC brands and operating systems. Double-check the specifications for all candidate tuner cards to verify if they will work with your computer and your operating system.

  • Do an Internet search for any prospective tuner card you may want to purchase and reviews about your selected card. This is an important step, as it will provide you with all of the positive and negative attributes associated with the hardware before any outlay of cash is committed to the purchase.

Install TV tuner card

  • Disconnect all cables from your computer and place it on a flat work surface.

  • Put on the anti-static wrist band and connect its grounding wire to any metallic, well-grounded surface.

  • Open your computer case to expose the PCI slot in where you want to install the TV tuner card. Carefully remove the card from its packaging and line up the slot pins with the PCI socket. Place the tips of your thumbs on each end of the card's top surface and press firmly until the card slides completely into the PCI slot. Reinstall the computer case and reconnect all cables to the system.

  • Follow all instructions which may have come with your TV tuner card, reading them before turning on your computer. Connect a proper cable from your video source to the input of the TV tuner card.

  • Turn on your computer and pay attention to any notifications which display on your screen regarding your new hardware. Once all requirements are satisfied, open up your computer's media player and configure it for use with your new hardware. Enjoy your favorite television shows on your PC.

Tips & Warnings

  • While you have your computer case removed, consider using a can of pressurized air--suitable for electronics--to spray out any dust which may have accumulated inside the case. Be sure to dust out the dust from between your processors cooling fins as well to aid your system's cooling processes. If you have a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) supplied by DirecTV, you will be required to purchase DirecTV's decryption software for your computer. Visit the official website at directv.com and locate the version of their application "DirecTV2PC" which matches your current operating system. This tutorial only works with standard satellite receiver interface boxes and not with the recent encrypted outputs by today's DVR set-top recorders.
  • Never work around the electronics inside of your computer without wearing a proper wristband-style electronics grounding strap. Static electricity flowing through your fingertips can permanently damage sensitive electronic components. Never work inside of a computer case with the power cable connected; this safety measure will prevent electric shock or damage to components via a short-circuit while using screwdrivers or other tools. Be sure that you aren't violating your PC warranty by installing components into the system. If your system is currently under warranty, it may be wise to visit your local authorized computer repair technician for installation of your new tuner component.

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