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Knowhow - IT and Technology Help

Knowhow is the award-winning end-to-end services brand supporting Currys PC World. Knowhow strives to better serve customers throughout the lifetime of their products and to help them get the best from their technology. Services include delivery and installation, set-up, repairs and protect.

This article series will be introducing new technologies as well as helping us enjoy and make the most of new products for years to come.

Knowhow No. 4

Computers are now able to offer us so much, with increased storage space, new communication channels but also different ways to enjoy leisure time that you have.

Knowhow looks at just one of the leisure options available with computers and explains how to watch TV on your computer.

How to watch TV on your computer

Computers used to be all work, work, work; now, they're all about entertainment. You can now watch films and TV online from sites such as iTunes, LoveFilm and BBC iPlayer to name but a few. This article explains how to watch TV on your PC, what options are available.

What you'll need:

Internet connection

How do I watch TV on my PC?

How you watch TV on your PC depends on the type of streaming option that you choose to invest in (see the section below for more details). You will need at least 1GB memory with a fast internet connection (wired or wireless). You'll also need an agreement with your cable provider which permits streaming through your PC as well as via your television; this is usually agreed as standard in any digital/cable/Sky agreement, but check with your supplier to find out the limits to your channel subscription agreement.

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What options are available?

There are several ways to stream TV through your computer. You can:

1. Invest in a PC tuner for your laptop

PC Tuner's tap into the channels available through your television, and broadcast them through your computer. Tuners are either connected via cable or antenna to your TV, and they basically allow the user to convert the PC to stream televisual content in much the same way as a spare television would.

A PC Tuner is a device which must be paid for, however there is usually a fairly low initial outlay and then no subscription fee to pay thereafter, making the Tuner an inexpensive way to add an extra TV monitor to your home. The price difference between Tuners will usually dictate the quality of the broadcast, the reliability of the PC receiving data, and the life-line of the Tuner itself.

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2. Watch TV online

This is a free service available to anybody with a television license in the UK; television channels such as:

BBC 1 &2: BBC IPlayer
ITV: ITV Player
Channel 4: 4oD
Channel 5: Demand5
all run a free TV catch-up service which allows license-fee payers to catch up on television that they have missed.

Programmes are usually stored for one week to one month (occasionally longer) and users can install parental controls on the websites if they prefer to do so. You will need a good internet connection to be able to play these programmes; the connection run from a plug-in internet dongle is usually insufficient; overseas viewers will also not be able to access domestic catch-up channels online.

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Hook your TV up to a Slingbox

A Slingbox reads the channels which are available on your television at home, and streams them directly to your computer; this is especially useful for people who regularly travel abroad and want to take a few home comforts with them. For more information on the Slingbox, read this Knowhow™ article.

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Pimp up your Digibox

Your Digibox is a device which reads and interprets digital television channels. Digital receivers are usually free to run (with only a very low initial outlay), and all you need is a FireWire cable to stream content from your Digibox to your PC or laptop.



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