Top Video Capture Devices by Consumer Reviewers

Watching TV on your computer is great. But to do so, you're going to need a top-notch TV Tuner. In addition to real-time viewing, some TV Tuners have the ability to record TV programs so you can watch them when you get home from work or school. The good news is that you don't necessarily have to spend a lot of money to get the best. Here at IntelliReview, we have created a list of the top models that you should be considering. We do this by searching the Internet for reviews on TV tuners and using these positive and negative reviews to determine which product comes first. From internal TV tuner cards to external boxes or USB devices, there are many different ways to have the capability to watch television on your computer. By using our list, you can make sure that you are only dealing with the best of the best. Our proprietary algorithm can save you time and money as well as the hassles of buying an inferior product. If you want to watch TV on your computer, start browsing below for the best PC TV tuners available for sale on the Internet. At IntelliReview, we care about helping you find exactly what you want and need.

Ranking Updated: August 2016
TIPS
  1. PC TV Tuners can come in an internal format with a PCI interface or a USB-based external one. The former will require you to install it into your computer's case, but costs less than the external model.
  2. Some TV tuners will allow you to record video directly into the computer (personal video recorder functionality) from the source using a hardware accelerator chip, but these models are, of course, more expensive than a basic TV tuner without PVR features.
  3. Certain models with PVR functionality can even link up with a TV listings website, so you won't miss your favorite programs.
  4. A few TV tuners also have additional media conversion software that you can use not only for your recorded programs but for files that come from your camcorder or digital cameras as well.
  • Game Capture HD (Functions: Video Game Capturing, Video Editing, Video Game Recording - USB 2.0 - 1920 x 1080 - External)
  • Video Capture, Transfer Analog Video To Mac / Sync Results (Functions: Video Capturing - USB - 640 x 480 - NTSC, SECAM, PAL, PAL60 - H.264 - 1 Pack - Mac, PC - External)
  • Hdhomerun Connect HDHR4-2US HDHR42US

    Hdhomerun Connect HDHR4-2US HDHR42US

    1077 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Very popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $129.00  See It
  • HDHomeRun PLUS HDTC-2US External TV Tuner

    HDHomeRun PLUS HDTC-2US External TV Tuner

    1076 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Very popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $179.99  See It
  • WinTV-HVR-955Q Hybrid TV Stick (USB - ATSC, NTSC - Retail)

    WinTV-HVR-955Q Hybrid TV Stick (USB - ATSC, NTSC - Retail)

    644 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Most popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $94.27  See It
  • WinTV-HVR-2255 Media Center Kit (PCI Express x1 - ATSC)

    WinTV-HVR-2255 Media Center Kit (PCI Express x1 - ATSC)

    338 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Moderately popular
    Amazon.com  Price: See Site  See It

    Pros: Compact. Dual hybrid tuners. Dual MPEG encoders. Great image quality
    Cons: Installation software issues.

    Review: Like many other Hauppauge products, users rave about the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Media Center Kit's great design, great features, picture quality and overall convenience. But that software… The WinTV-HVR-225 lets you chuck your cable box (and the additional fees) by allowing you to plug your cable connector directly into your computer and lets you view high definition programs on your computer screen. The WinTV-HVR-225 does this with two hybrid digital tuners that decode NTSC, ATSC and QAM (Quadature Amplitude Modulation) signals. In the event your PC does not support QAM, the WinTV-HVR-225 comes with a special plug-in that can decode the signal. But, as stated previously, the included software can be balky and difficult to work with. If contacting Hauppauge support doesn't solve the problem, try using Microsoft Media Center, with which many users have reported success. Be forewarned that some have reported that the WinTV-HVR-225 may conflict with previously install TV recording/viewing hardware and software so you may have to remove those to use the WinTV-HVR-225.

  • Live Gamer Portable C875 External USB Video Capture Device (HDTV)

    Live Gamer Portable C875 External USB Video Capture Device (HDTV)

    426 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Moderately popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $147.99  See It

    Pros: 1080p Full HD Video capture and recording, Can work with or without a computer, Easy to set up and configure
    Cons: Does not work with Mac OS, PC-free operation can only record up to 720p and record as .TS files, No software included in the package

    Review: If you're an avid gamer looking to put up some demo gameplay videos on YouTube, whether to help out others struggling with a particular game or simply for bragging rights, the AverMedia Live Gamer Portable HD Capture Device is your new best friend. As the name implies, the AverMedia Live Gamer Portable is a relatively pocket-sized video capture device for PCs and consoles. Although only slightly bigger in length and depth than a smartphone, this capture card is able to record up to 1080p/30 FPS video at a butter-smooth bit rate of 60Mbps direct from the source. The Live Gamer Portable also supports media streaming through different video streaming services online. The highly flexible software for the Live Gamer Portable offers three different configurations – Amateur, Pro, and the amusingly-named Newbie - that not only affect the settings you can freely change, but also the ease of use of the interface. The Live Gamer Portable actually has two operating modes available: the first one, PC Mode, records clips directly to your hard drive, while the other, called PC-Free Mode, records media onto a class 10 SDHC card that you insert into the side of the device – even without a computer to handle the transfer. This hardware-based encoding of video is a huge improvement over the bulky video capture kits or even the internal capture cards used before, since it doesn't eat into CPU processes, you're able to get the best video possible. Another great thing that's going for the AverMedia Live Gamer Portable is that it's really easy to prepare for use; as an added bonus, the package comes with a selection of different cables that you will use to connect the Live Gamer Portable to your console or computer. Simply connect your source and your display to the Live Gamer Portable, power on the capture card, and hit the big button at the middle. The AverMedia Live Gamer Portable capture card can record video output from the Sony PS3 even if the console has copy protection thanks to a dedicated PS3 cable. Although there are quite a lot of video capture products available, the AverMedia Live Gamer Portable capture device seems to be a top pick, both in terms of functionality and output. However, it still falls short in some areas. For example, the Live Gamer Portable only works on Windows and does not offer support for Mac OS. Furthermore, the PC Free mode of the Live Gamer Portable can only record video up to 720p with visible compression artifacts, and save them as .TS files, which will take up a bigger space. Finally, the software for the Live Gamer Portable is only available via download, and do not provide an installation disc in the package.

  • TV-PC85 PC to TV Converter Box (1024 x 768 - PAL, NTSC - VGARetail - External)

    TV-PC85 PC to TV Converter Box (1024 x 768 - PAL, NTSC - VGARetail - External)

    237 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Most popular
    Amazon.com  Price: See Site  See It
  • Live Gamer HD PCIe Capture

    Live Gamer HD PCIe Capture

    209 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Very popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $164.90  See It
  • ImpactVCB Video Capture Card (PCI - NTSC, PAL)

    ImpactVCB Video Capture Card (PCI - NTSC, PAL)

    196 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Moderately popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $49.78  See It