It wasn’t that long ago I applied to be a Microsoft TV Ambassador as part of ‘I Love TV on my PC‘, which is basically an information gathering process Microsoft used to glean thoughts and feedback on Windows Media Center, specifically for watching and recording live TV. They also handed out free digital TV Freeview USB tuners which was a nice touch. Happily I was accepted and received my television viewing equipped piece of hardware not long after confirmation and with the power of Windows Media Center providing the required software, my testing began.
Viewing TV on a computer is certainly not a recent invention, in fact TV cards and even TV viewing add on cards that slotted onto certain graphics cards such as the Matrox Mystique have been around for many years. What really has changed though is that we have digital Freeview in the UK providing a much more pleasurable video quality than the fuzzy analogue signal of the past and rather than an additional internal card requiring you to open your computer as part of the installation process, the far simpler route of using a USB port is now the favourable option.