The 10 Best USB TV Tuners

The best USB TV tuners let you watch television channels on your computer! Ditch your old TV, and watch your favorite media on your computer or laptop using a TV tuner. You can watch shows on the go with ease, moving from room to room without missing your favorite programs.

When buying your new USB TV tuner, you should know that they only stream free TV and not premium content. But that doesn’t mean you have limited options. In this buying guide, we’ll review the best TV tuners!

The Best USB TV TUNERS

ProductsRatingTop Picks
1. Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner 4.2Best Overall
2. Diamond Multimedia Free Over-The-Air Digital HDTV Tuner for Windows PC 3.7Runner Up
3. Hauppauge WinTV-DualHD Dual USB 2.0 HD TV Tuner 4.1Premium Pick
4. AVerMedia Volar Hybrid Q USB TV Tuner 3.6Best Value
5. Hauppauge 1191 WinTV-HVR-955Q 4.3Budget Pick

1. Best Overall: Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner

While most USB TV tuners focus solely on connecting directly to a compatible Windows machine, this model is for gamers with Xbox One. The Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner easily allows free over-the-air broadcasting on the Xbox platform, including live streaming and even pausing live TV.

Moreover, it features One Guide integration that provides immediate access to upcoming channels, including local listings. Once connected to the Xbox, you’re ready to set up the 10-mile range antenna near a window. That will quickly pick up ATSC digital TV signals and bring you more than 1,500 TV channels broadcasting in more than 200 cities across the USA. Lastly, the worth ATSC programming is free of cost and doesn’t require a TV subscription.


2. Runner Up: Diamond Multimedia Free Over-The-Air Digital HDTV Tuner for Windows PC

Consider buying the Diamond Multimedia HDTV Tuner if you want to watch free on-air digital TV on your home computer. It has all the features you’d want in an external tuner, and it comes with a reasonable price-tag.

Moreover, it supports an electronic programming guide (EPG) and also has a closed caption option. You can create your favorite channel lineup in no time! Another standout feature is the built-in editor, which lets you edit, save, and burn all the recorded material to DVD. Lastly, most users reported that the product delivers what it promises.


3. Premium Pick: Hauppauge WinTV-DualHD Dual USB 2.0 HD TV Tuner

Plugging directly into your USB port on the Windows computer, the Hauppauge WinTV-DualHD USB TV tuner is an ideal choice for viewers. If you want to enjoy multiple channels, consider buying this USB tuner. This Dual TV USB lets users select a channel to watch and record another at the same time. Alternatively, you can have simultaneous streams open at once.

It also features a portable TV antenna for enhanced signal reception. You also find the remote control, a USB extension cable for the WinTV Windows application. Once installed, you can enjoy over-the-air ATSC HDTV and ClearQAM digital cable TV in full HD quality. You can also schedule and record digital programming. ​It’s compatible with the Plex Media Server software, which means you can also upload shows to Linux and other Android devices, including the NVIDIA Shield.


4. Best Value: AVerMedia Volar Hybrid Q USB TV Tuner

The AVerMedia AVerTV Hybrid Q USB TV tuner is a standout product that supports computers and Android TV. Compatible with ClearQAM, OTA FM Radio and ATSC, and analog, the AVerTV is a feature-rich option that doesn’t cost a fortune.

With intelligent features like picture-in-picture, time shift, smart channel grouping, closed captioning, and an available electronic program guide, IT’S everything you need to replicate traditional cable. Moreover, the extendable High Gain antenna is powerful and allows for the smooth streaming of digital TV programs. You can also get a strong FM radio reception. Connecting all the analog devices through a composite cable or the S-Video input allows for more videos with alternative digital formatting. It also hooks up to the PC via USB and directly adds the DVR software to your Android and iOS devices with the app (no file conversion required). Lastly, the interactive user interface makes navigating channels, selecting live TV, and adjusting volume.


5. Budget Pick: Hauppauge 1191 WinTV-HVR-955Q

The Hauppauge WinTV is one of the most popular tuners on the market and offers many features. It makes both watching and recording live TV a breeze. Windows laptop or desktop, installation is simple, and Hauppauge’s tuning software is easy to navigate. You don’t require a learning curve when it comes to finding and recording programs.  

It can record a program with the single click of a button and allows you to watch other programs while the first one record. With HDTV, QAM cable TV, and analog and capabilities onboard, channel discovery is super-easy! Once the setup is complete, you can watch different channels, either in a multitasking or full-screen window. Moreover, the included WinTV software allows playback of recorded programs. Meanwhile, ATSC HDTV offers free over-the-air digital TV at 1080p resolution on any PC screen. Access any of its 1,500 available TV channels from 200 cities nationwide.


6. AllAboutAdapters USB Digital ATSC Clear QAM TV Tuner

AllAboutAdapters USB Digital ATSC TV tuner is a budget-friendly option for users looking for a quick and easy setup running with free TV programming. This USB-based ATSC SD/HD TV tuner provides connectivity for both Windows laptop and desktop computers with free on-air digital programming across North America.

Moreover, the ClearQAM tuner can decode unencrypted channels, offer local broadcast stations, private QAM channels, and public-access channels.

The price is pocket-friendly. The TV tuner features closed captions, electronic programming, pause, rewind options, fast forward, and commercials skipping. It has a burn to disc function, and the TV tuner adds the option to instantly record programs or schedule recordings with an output of 1080p Full HD.


7. ATSC Android Digital TV Tuner

The ATSC Android Digital TV tuner is a rare found. It works with different Android devices, turning them into portable TVs. It can work with smartphones and tablets as long as they have Android 5.1 and newer. The tuner connects to the antenna so you can broadcast TV shows on your device without needing to pay for a streaming service.

Moreover, the antenna offers sold reception and doesn’t require an additional battery or power supply to work.

With the entire UK now switched over to Digital TV, there is a better time to upgrade your old analog TV. Several options range from Freeview set-top boxes to FreeSat. You can still stream live TV from your laptop using a simple TV tuner, which means you can watch all your favorite soap dramas or catch up on the latest seasons while simultaneously tweeting about it.


8. MyGica Dual Tuner Digital ATSC QAM USB 2.0 TV Tuner Stick

Dual USB Tuner’s like the one by MyGica allow you to watch one program while recording another. You can watch picture-in-picture or two digital channels (ATM/QAM) simultaneously. You can pause, replay, fast, and forward by using the remote control.

Moreover, you can create favorite stations through digital terrestrial TV on PC. It also features an electronic programming guide that helps schedule recording programs per day, week, and month. Lastly, it’s supported by Windows, Linux, Android TV 7.0 with the LiveTV app. Having all these functions makes this TV tuner an excellent choice!


9. TBS 5927 DVB-S2 Professional Tuner USB Satellite TV Box

Our next pick is this professional-grade USB satellite TV Box that supports normal receivers and ACM, CCM, VCM and multiple input streams. Using dedicated TBS tools, it captures special streams.

Moreover, this smart device features a USB 2.0 connection for convenient use. It also allows for a blind scan, meaning you can scan satellite transporters with symbol rates as low as 200ksps. In comparison, most satellite devices receive no less than 1Msps symbol rate. This gadget is highly reliable when it comes to speedy performance.


10. H-come Mini USB2.O DVB-T USB 2.0

Another great USB TV Tuner is this mini device by H-come. It focuses on providing a convenient experience with a one-touch channel. Apart from that, it also features multi-language installation protocols and program application support. It’s an excellent device for home use and travel.

Moreover, it offers real-time digital video recording. Some users report that it works better with radio stations than with TV.


Buyer’s Guide – Best USB TV Tuners

What is a TV Tuner?

TV-tuners are peripherals that connect via USB or internally via PCI to your home computer. They give you the ability to view free, on-air, digital TV. Once installed, you have to connect an aerial or antenna and download the software to get going.

Why choose a USB TV tuner?

Imagine this scenario; you have purchased a TV with built-in Free-view, and you are probably wondering why you need a TV tuner. The answer is simple: It allows you to watch TV on your home computer easily. Not only can you stream live TV while finishing that PowerPoint presentation, but also play and pause live streaming and schedule programs to record to your hard drive.

Types of Tuners

When it comes to buying TV tuners, you have to consider the type that suits your requirements.

External TV Tuners

External TV tuners such as the Hauppauge PCTV DVB-S223050 and Compro VideoMate are great exterior options. They plug into USB 2.0 and are portable. You can unplug them and carry them anywhere! They are great solutions for laptops as you can’t install one internally. Therefore, allowing you to listen to the radio and watch Live TV on the move. Provided you carry an antenna with you.

If you’ve decided to use a TV tuner with your laptop, one of the best solutions is the Hauppauge WinTV-Aero. This tiny USB tuner features a built-in telescopic, making it ideal for long journeys or simply for convenience around the house. Most USB tuners don’t need an external power supply because they draw power straight from the interface. Another advantage of using USB is that they don’t need CPU cycles for processing. That means they never affect system performance. Some cards also come with remote control, so you don’t have to get up to change channels. 

USB Tuners are ideal for:

• Portability

• Limited internal expansion options

• Plugin and play set up

Internal TV Tuners

The alternative to external tuners is buying internal tuners. These are expansion cards that slotted into the spare PCI or PCI Express slot inside your computer. Moreover, they come with plenty of features and are perfect for regular PCs or gaming PCs in your bedroom. These models aren’t portable, and if you’re a frequent traveler, consider choosing the USB Tuners. However, you gain better features, such as improved image quality. Some cards similar to the Hauppauge PCTV 4000i Pro include dual inputs. Dual inputs let you watch two programs at once. Alternatively, you can watch one channel and record the other for later viewing.

Some cards also allow you to directly plug devices such as a PS3 or Xbox 360 and record gameplay videos. It’s the perfect feature for console gamers. Internal cards are a permanent feature, whereas USB devices are portable. For this reason, we recommend running an aerial or satellite outside.  

Internal Tuners are ideal for:

• Desktop and media systems

• Additional features

• Permanent fixtures

What should I consider when deciding which Tuner to buy?

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There are several things you should consider before purchasing a TV tuner. Firstly, do you receive a quality TV signal in your area? Some places like deep valleys, may not receive good TV signals from the traditional antenna.  

Satellite Dish

Do you want a TV tuner that requires a satellite dish or one that requires the traditional TV antenna? There are many options available for both. If you live in a signal dead spot, you may want to choose a satellite card. We recommend the Hauppauge WinTV-Nova HD S2. However, if you don’t already have a satellite dish installed, you may want to opt for a traditional TV antenna input card.

High or standard definition tuner

You may need to spend a little more for a high definition tuner. But that means you can watch high-definition channels like BBC HD, which make a huge difference if you’re watching on a large screen.

Expansion slots

Before going out to buy your new internal TV tuner, you should check if you have spare expansion slots on your motherboard. Remember to check for the correct slots. If you are planning to buy a PCI-Express card, look into the available PCI-Express slots. If you’re buying a standard PCI card, check for the spare PCI slots. If there are no slots available, you may want to go for an external tuner.


Frequently Asked Questions

How does a USB 2.0 TV tuner work?

USB TV tuners allow consumers to apprehend free TV channels by employing an inside and outside TV antenna. The USB 2.0 device is connected from the antenna using a USB tuner linked to an open USB slot on your home computer. You can use the tuner to give your PC the control of a personal video editor and recorder.

What are the uses of a TV tuner card?

A TV tuner card is a television tuner that lets a home computer receive television signals. Most TV tuners can also function as video capture cards, recording television programs onto a DVD like the digital video recorder (DVR).

What is tuner free TV?

The ATSC TV Tuner is a feature built into conventional TV sets to receive over‑the‑air broadcast TV without using a cable or satellite box. Most households stream or watch live TV from satellite boxes.

Can you watch TV without a converter box?

Not at all. If your television comes with a digital tuner — the component that helps tune into TV stations — already built-in, you wouldn’t need a new TV. However, if you’re using an older TV with an analog tuner, the switch won’t make your TV obsolete like millions of people.

Are indoor TV aerials good?

With innovative designs and materials, indoor aerials can be quite effective. Not just that, but they’re also elegant stylish. You can attain a good range of Free-view digital channels. Besides that, you can find challenging HD channels. Lastly, there’s no need to climb the ladder as you can pay a professional to do it for you

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