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- When you need to watch your favorite shows, you can look for internet streaming services, but what if the episodes are only available on free-to-air television?
- That's where a personal video recorder (PVR) comes in, allowing you to watch what and when you want, and with no additional subscription fees.
- Consider if you want to record TV shows or whether you want an all-in-one streaming app that can also download and play other content while shopping for a PVR.
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.
What are the best record TV software for Windows 10/11?
PlayOn Home, originally named PlayOn Desktop, is a powerful TV recording software that lets you record streaming video. You can record from your favorite streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Disney+, and HBO Max.
Once a TV or movie has been recorded, you can watch it whenever and anywhere you choose, even when you’re not connected to the internet. Cast it to your TV or use your mobile device to take it with you using the PlayOn Cloud.
When you watch, PlayOn will even skip the advertisements for you. PlayOn Home transforms your PC into a full-featured DVR for video streaming.
PlayOn’s recording feature works as a DVR for streaming videos, generating a MPEG-4 file that can be uploaded to supported media devices.
You may then watch these movies without needing to connect to the Internet. The recording feature inserts chapter markings at the positions of ads. This function allows you to instantly skip commercials whether watching through the PlayOn Desktop player on a PC or any other standalone media player.
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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 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.
⇒ Get Kodi
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.
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.
We’ve shown you various methods for using your computer to record live television, each of which will appeal to a different type of user.
Some solutions will make an offline version of the show that you can watch from anywhere, but others will not supply you with portable copies of your recordings. As always, the key is to choose an app that suits your usage needs and of course your favorite streaming platforms.
Are you a streamer, or prefer saving movies for later? Let us know in the comment area below.