How to Record DirecTV to PC


As time marches on and technology moves forward, TV, movies, Internet and communication technologies are all becoming more integrated. We can now video chat on our TVs, watch movies on our computers and surf the web from our phones. And if you have DirecTV, you now have the ability to watch and record your favorite shows on your computer. All you need is a small--but important--piece of equipment, a little know-how and about an hour of free time.

Things You'll Need

  • TV tuner card
  • Audio/visual cable
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Debut or Windows Media Recorder software
  • Multimedia player (such as Windows Media Player)

Installing Your TV Tuner Card

  • Unplug your computer tower's power source (the thick black plug in back) to avoid getting shocked while installing your tuner card.

  • Unscrew the fasteners that hold your tower's side panel on. These screws will be larger in relation to other screws on the tower and they should be located closer to the side of the tower, rather than in the middle.

  • Remove the entire side panel to expose your tower's insides. It should all come off in one piece. Lay your tower on its side with the opened part facing up.

  • Find the PCI slots, which are several thin slots located about an inch apart from each other. Once you choose a PCI slot, you'll want to remove a thin metal panel located at the end of the slot you've chosen. This should create an opening at the end of your tower, which will allow you to install your TV tuner card.

  • Place the TV tuner card into the PCI slot with tuner card's cable ports facing towards the panel that you removed in the previous step. Make sure the TV tuner card's prongs match up with the PCI slot's prongs.

  • Position the TV tuner card to have the cable ports sticking out of the end of your tower. Press the tuner card into the PCI slot until you feel it click into place. Screw the cable port end of the tuner card into place.

  • Turn your PC tower right-side up again and put the side panel back into place. Screw in the fasteners to secure the panel. Plug your tower back in and start up your computer.

Connect to DirecTV

  • Plan out where you want the cable to run from your computer to your TV. You're going to want to avoid running the cable along the floor, so you may want to consider having your PC close to your television or running the cable along the corner of the floor and wall. Also, be sure to tape the cable to the wall to prevent it from getting stepped on.

  • Connect the cable that came with your tuner card to your PC and TV. Use the route that you planned in the previous step. One end of the cable should connect to your newly installed TV tuner card cable input (located on the back of your PC tower), while the other end should connect your DirecTV receiver's output port.

  • Install the appropriate TV tuner card software (it should have come with your tuner card) onto your computer so that your PC can recognize signals being sent to it from the DirecTV receiver.

  • Download and install a program such as Debut or Windows Media Recorder.

  • Open a program that can stream videos from your TV (Windows Media Player will probably work best). Open the streaming recorder program that you downloaded in the previous step and begin recording whatever show is playing on your TV onto your computer.

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  • Photo Credit Satellite TV image by Bryan Crowe from port pci image by Neolabs from
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