Found either integrated or as a small USB stick (not unlike **USB wireless cards**, for instance), tv tuner products turn your computer into a television set. They allow you to look at any channels you would normally have access to, only through your laptop or desktop computer screen. This combination of two separate products is only one of many similar situations going on with technology recently. You've probably also noticed it with your phone, as it becomes more capable of computer-like activities.

The vast majority of tv tuners that aren't built straight in to a computer are USB-based. That means that they can be plugged in very easily and quickly. It also means that you'll probably have room for one, unless you simply have a vast array of USB peripherals already.

One of the things that leads people to try out tv tuners is their low space requirements. A tv tuner can fit in your pocket! Most television sets are, obviously, vastly beyond that in both size and weight. You can get a very slender television, but it will be expensive, and still take up a great deal of space in other dimensions. And you certainly can't move them around much. But a tuner will happily go wherever you take your laptop.

Wary of giving up your high-def? That's perfectly natural, but good tv tuners can handle it. More tv tuners for computers than not are able to enjoy transmissions from higher-end formats as well as low-end ones like analog. The ultimate limiting factor is more likely to be your computer, since a tuner can't overcome the limitations inherent to a particular monitor display or speaker setup.

It's getting more common for people to be unable to justify a stand-alone radio. But tv tuners can also help in that aspect of life. Many models can access radio content as well as television channels. How would you like your computer to be your tv AND your radio, for less than the cost of any one of those products?

Playback and content control functions tend to be more wide-ranging with tuners than with television sets. Being ability to pause what you're watching, or rewind it back to a certain point to watch again, are very standard features. Because they're not technically challenging to include, they can be found on even average-priced models.

Hard drive space issues are not, for the most part, an issue with tuners. **Laptop tv tuners** include most of what they need to function on the stick itself. Beyond that, they only need minimal software. Most of the time, you'll find that it only expects a standard program like Windows Media Player, if even that much. But remember to investigate potential incompatibility issues with any model, just in case.

Twenty-five dollars is enough to get a cheap tv tuner, although you may want to be open to spending as much as forty. Even the most expensive ones are still well under a hundred dollars, making them less of a financial strain than any television set. And there's also those that come built in to computers to start with, which is always worth looking for if you find yourself shopping for a new laptop or desktop.