How Can I Watch TV on My Dell Laptop?

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Turn a Dell laptop into a television by connecting an external TV tuner to the computer with a few fast connections. Dell laptops are equipped with USB sockets to receive the video signal from a tuner. External tuners typically come with a remote control and all necessary software for installation on the laptop, so changing channels is a breeze. No programming skills or complex re-configurations are necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • External TV tuner with USB connection
  • Dell laptop with CD-ROM drive for installing the software
  • Load the software CD that comes with the TV tuner in the Dell laptop's media tray on the right edge and close the tray. The CD will begin playback automatically.

  • Click the buttons on the laptop screen when prompted by the software to install the TV tuner program.

  • Restart the laptop when prompted.

  • Connect the USB cable from the port on the side of the TV tuner to any available USB port on the Dell laptop. Most Dell laptops come with four USB ports, with two on the back edge and two on the right edge.

  • Connect the external TV tuner to a signal source, such as an antenna or cable box with a coaxial cable. The coupler on the end of the cable connects to the RF IN jack on the tuner by twisting clockwise and tightening by hand.

  • Turn on the laptop and the TV tuner, then press the "Auto-Tune" button on the tuner to program the channels.

  • Use the laptop's built-in speakers for audio or connect a pair of external speakers to the headphone jack on the left edge of the Dell.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some network stations offer recorded shows for viewing online from the networks' website. Watching previously recorded programs online does not require an external tuner, which is useful mainly for viewing live events or content that is not available online.
  • Shut down the laptop while connecting it to the tuner.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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