TV-recording software tools, otherwise known as PVRs (personal video recorders), enable you to record television on your Windows desktop if you have a supported tuner card.
A lot of media centers are personal video recorders, but there are also PVR programs designed more specifically for watching and recording live TV with TV tuner cards. They provide live TV-recording options and include channel guides.
Windows Media Center was once the PVR software bundled with Windows that you could utilize for recording TV programs. However, many users now need a replacement PVR as Microsoft removed the WMC from Win 10.
Thus, third-party PVR software is becoming increasingly prevalent on the Windows platform. These are a few of the personal video recorders that can replace the WMC.
Top 5 TV recording software for Windows 10
NextPVR is a freeware PVR application for Windows , more specifically designed for live TV playback and recording. This software is one of the best backend servers for recording TV that you can use with media centers. You can also utilize NextPVR without any front-end software as it has an intuitive UI that includes a TV guide.
NextPVR is compatible with a range of DVB, ATSC, QAM, analog, and DMB-T devices. The software includes a web application with which you can manage your recordings. NextPVR has a variety of recording type options to select from, such as Record Weekly, Record Weekends, Record Season and Record Once. NextPVR users can also schedule recordings via its TV guide.
You might have already heard of Kodi, which is a full-blown media center you can use to play music, videos, movie streams, and image slideshows.
You can also watch and record live TV with Kodi, thanks to its extensive repository of plugins. It’s open-source software compatible with Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS.
Kodi is front-end software that depends upon PVR plug-ins for its live television recording. Thus, you can’t watch or record any live TV with Kodi unless you add a PVR plug-in to it.
Fortunately, Kodi has plenty of those; and NextPVR, MediaPortal, and MythTV are just a few of the PVR plug-ins for the media center. Once you’ve installed one of the required plugins, you can schedule recordings via Kodi’s TV guide.
MediaPortal is another excellent media center with which you can record live TV. This open-source media center has one of the best personal video recorders, offering support for numerous tuner cards. It also comes with its server setup instructions.
With MediaPortal, you can watch more than 10,000 tuned channels. It boasts an extensive TV guide with which you can organize channel groups, search for programs , and check scheduled recordings.
You can select various recording type options, modify the bit rate for recordings, configure settings before and after recordings, and choose for how long to store the recorded files.
Furthermore, the media center has a Dedicated TV server option that enables its users to set up one PC as a TV server for other client desktops that don’t have tuner cards.
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4. Plex Media Server
Plex Media Server is a client-server media center you can use to stream multimedia to client apps. However, the Plex DVR is only available for Plex Pass subscribers. You can install Plex Media Server onWindows, macOS, and other platforms.
Plex‘s DVR (or PVR) was initially limited to just recording live TV. However, now you can also watch live TV with Plex’s client apps, which provide a front end for the DVR. You can utilize the Plex DVR with ATSC, WinTV, Freeview HD TV for Xbox One, DVB, and SiliconDust HDHR tuners.
The Plex DVR also has an intuitive TV guide and now includes Time Shifting so that its users can pause, rewind and fast forward live playback. And as Plex has loads of client apps, you can also sync your recorded TV shows to mobiles, tablets, and consoles.
WinTV represents Hauppauge’s PVR solution for Windows users. It’s a recording software program optimized for live television, which works with a limited range of TV tuners. WinTV is compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 8.
You can play recorded shows and watch live HD TV on Windows. Like other PVR software solutions, WinTV has a program guide with which you can find both channels and recorded shows.
This software enables users to record multiple shows and schedule recordings. The PVR boasts multi-tuner support so that you watch up to four TV shows at once in a single window with its picture-in-picture mode.
The WinTV CD also enables you to stream live TV to Windows, macOS, and iOS platforms with the Extend app. You can record live TV with any one of those PVRs and a compatible tuner card. They offer flexible recording options and other TV novelties that you might not get with a standard TV set.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
Frequently Asked Questions
To remove commercials from recorded TV, you can use the Plex Media Server. It has a unique feature for TV recordings made with Plex DVR, which can autodetect and remove commercials. You can also use a video editor to cut out unwanted ads.
To record streaming TV shows, use IPTV software instead of TV recording tools. You don’t need special hardware, like a TV tuner.
Yes, you can use your PC as a DVR. You just need to get a TV tuner and to follow our easy instructions.