Watch and record streaming TV, free of charge, using your PC. It's perfectly legal, and a free Windows program called NextPVR makes the process (relatively) simple.
Broadcast TV stations would like you to pay them for their free services. They successfully demanded the closure of Aereo, and regularly shake down cable and satellite TV companies for broadcast rights. It's one of many forces driving up the cost of pay TV right now.
But here's the craziness:Despite basically forcing pay TV providers to pay for rebroadcasting rights, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC are giving away their product over the airwaves . The same goes for broadcast networks in other countries.
All you need to pick them up is an antenna, and with a little geek know-how you can record shows and even remove the commercials. Combine this with Kodi, the best media center How to set up your XBMC Media Center How to set up your XBMC Media Center XBMC may have evolved into Kodi, but if you have an old version installed, this guide will help you set it up and get started. Read More accessories. Whether you're into TV, sports, or gaming, these add-ons will help you get the most out of your TV. Last time, I regretted the end of... Read More .
We briefly mention this as we explore the true cost of cutting the cord. Considering canceling the cord? The true cost of cutting the cord considering canceling the cord? The True Cost of Cutting Cord When you add everything up, do you really save money by cutting cord? We do the necessary calculations to cancel the cable in favor of Internet services. Read More However, we didn't get into a lot of the details.
For a long time, we thought that Windows Media Center was the best PVR program. The best PVR:Windows Media Center! The best PVR:Windows Media Center! Despite the perceived image of Microsoft as a lumbering beast with bloated software that ships full of bugs, they have actually produced some excellent software over the years. Today I'd like to highlight Windows Media... Read More So here is an alternative guide, which uses a Windows software called NextPVR. There are several alternative tools out there, which we might explore in future articles (and I hope some of you will mention them in the comments).
By going to Antennaweb.org, you can quickly find out which stations are near you and where they are located.
It's exciting, right? But in order for your computer to pick up TV broadcasts, you'll need a TV tuner card. The NextPVR documentation specifically recommends the use of Hauppauge tuner cards. I'm using the Hauppauge 2250 ($100) for this article (Lifehacker also recommends this model, if you need a second opinion).
USB options are available if you don't want to install a dedicated card. NextPVR is compatible with a wide variety of devices. I recommend searching Google for any specific card, along with the word “NextPVR”, before making a purchase.
In addition to a TV tuner you will need an antenna. I am using Mohu Leaf, a flat antenna that works very well Enjoy free HD TV shows with Mohu Leaf [Giveaway] Enjoy free HD TV shows with Mohu Leaf [Giveaway] The Mohu Leaf is a slim TV antenna like a paper that you can hang on the wall to get an HD quality TV, for free. We're giving away a Mohu Leaf Plus and two regular Mohu Leaf antennas valued at ... Read More (snag one from Amazon).
Any antenna capable of receiving digital signals should work just fine, you could even make your own Ditch Cable antenna with a DIY HDTV antenna. Ditch Cable with a DIY HDTV Antenna. Read More
So, get a TV card, get an antenna, and get ready. If this sounds expensive, remember:Cable companies charge $10 a month just to rent a DVR, let alone whatever you pay in rebroadcasting fees, so you'll save money in no time if you actually cut the cable..
Once you've installed your TV card, follow the instructions that came with it to install the drivers. Then go to NextPVR.com and download the latest version.
Installation is simple:it's the standard. “Click Next” Dance that Windows users are used to. Once you have it installed, go ahead and open it. You will see the NextPVR interface - right click anywhere and you will find the settings.
Assuming you've successfully installed your TV tuner, you should see it listed under Devices . If this is the case, select it and click Device settings . From here you can search for TV channels.
This is the hard part, depending on how good reception is in your area. Compare the channels that appear with the list you see on Antennaweb, by moving the antenna to see if you can get more channels.
When you are satisfied with your list of channels, go to The channels section. Rename any channel, if you wish, then click Update EPG - This will download the current TV schedule for you. Next head to the Encoders Section and choose an encoder for all cases. Then go to the Recording tab.
By default, your recordings end up on your C:\ drive, so be sure to change this if you prefer to use another drive. You can also choose where your live TV buffer is stored in the Miscellaneous tab.
There are a few other settings you can check, so explore this screen later. However, doing the above should be enough to allow you to start watching TV right now. You can do this in the NextPVR interface itself, as shown above, if you want to try things out, or you can configure NextPVR to work with Kodi.
Kodi is a cross-platform media player that can organize your collection of movies and TV shows, give you access to online videos, and provide an interface for watching live TV. Even better, it's easily controlled with a remote.
Setting up Kodi to work with NextPVR is not complicated. First you must go to the television Kodi section Settings screen, then click, “Enable Live TV”. At this point you will be prompted to enable a plugin.
Go to the NextPVR plugin, then configure that.
You can probably leave the default values. - Hostname is only relevant if you are using Kodi on a computer other than the one in NextPVR, and the NextPVR Port It only changes if you intentionally change it. However, I would recommend going to Advanced and enabling live TV buffering.
Once done, go back to the TV section in Settings. There are more settings you can tweak, and you can even add network logos if you really want to geek out, but basically you should be good to go.
From the Live TV section of the Kodi main screen, you can now access your TV channels, your recordings, and even set up your DVR to record something. And you don't need to limit it to just one computer - any machine on your network can access NextPVR, which means you can watch TV on any of them if you just repeat the steps above (adding the IP of the computer running NextPVR as the Name). host).
I've said it before and I'll say it again:Cord cutters should ignore set-top boxes and use desktop PCs Cord cutters:Ignore set-top boxes and use a PC Instead of cord cutters:Ignore set-top boxes and use a PC On your place Scrapping cable? Stay away from dedicated media center devices. Your spare PC is a great alternative because it's cheap to install, more powerful, and always flexible. Read more . They are simply the most versatile tool for the job, as I hope this tutorial will demonstrate.
And really, this article is just skimming the surface of what a home PVR setup can do. There are plenty of other things you could do here:set up a remote with Kodi, use Comskip to skip ads, and even use NextPVR's web interface to schedule recordings from any computer on your home network. Estoy dispuesto a hablar de todo esto y más en los comentarios, y lo abordaré en futuros artículos si hay suficiente gente interesada..
¡Hablemos! Estoy aquí para ayudar y veo todo esto como un proceso continuo. Dejemos de pagar por la TV, una configuración de PVR en casa a la vez.