How to Get TV on Your Computer

There are numerous ways to watch network and cable network television shows on your computer for free. Start with an overview.


  • Step 1: Connect your TV directly to your computer and install the cable's software. The cable must match your computer's output port and your TV's input port.
  • Step 2: Connect your computer to your TV wirelessly through a wireless network adapter on an Xbox 360 game console or through D-Link's PC-on-TV. Now you have one more way to watch TV.
  • FACT: In 2009, the pilot for the NBC series _Southland_ made an early debut online one week before its network premiere.
  • Step 3: Contact your cable/satellite provider for information on connecting your computer to a TV signal. Some tuners allow reception via a wall cable jack or a set-top box.
  • TIP: Certain new computer models, particularly those running Windows Vista and Windows Media Center, come with built-in TV signal tuners.
  • Step 4: Watch legal and free TV episodes through online channels such as Hulu, Joost, and Fancast. TV network sites also offer free episodes.
  • TIP: Online channels often require downloading media players like Windows Media Player (WMV), RealPlayer, or their own proprietary players.
  • Step 5: Add a TV tuner to your computer. It allows your computer to directly receive TV signals. An external tuner can easily plug into your computer's USB port.
  • Step 6: Check that your computer can handle video playback. This includes processor speed, memory, and video card capacity.

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