How to Build a PC Satellite Receiver

Written by greyson ferguson
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How to Build a PC Satellite Receiver
It is possible to use your PC as a satellite TV receiver. (business computer desktop office image by scalesy from

Typically, when using satellite equipment television programming is viewed on a TV. However, it is possible to view the satellite programming on just about any device with a screen, including a computer monitor. You do need additional hardware in order to turn your computer into a satellite receiver, but all of the parts are available from your local computer store. You can even perform the installation process yourself.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Satellite TV tuner card
  • Software installation CD
  • Phillips screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Connect the satellite television tuner card to your computer system. There are two types of cards that you can use to install a tuner. The first are internal cards that install into the computer. With these cards you are required to open up the computer and insert the card into an available PCI card slot. If you want a simpler solution, there are external cards that simply plug into a USB port on the exterior of your computer. When purchasing a tuner card make sure it states it is a "Satellite Tuner Card." This is because only satellite tuner cards are designed to receive satellite broadcast signals. This information should be easily found on any satellite TV tuner's packaging.

  2. 2

    Plug the external satellite TV tuner card into one of the USB ports on the computer system. This is all the installation required when using an external card. If using an internal card power down the system, disconnect all the cables running into the computer and remove the Phillips screws on the back of the computer case. Slide the case open to expose the interior of the computer. In the middle is the long circuit board, also known as the mother board. Along the rear of the board are horizontal PCI card slots. These slots allow you to install additional hardware onto the computer. Slide the internal satellite TV tuner card into one of the available slots, then press down the small levers found on each side of the slot. This locks the card into place. Once locked down, close up the computer case, tighten the Phillips screws and insert the cables back into the computer. Power on the computer and wait for the operating system to load.

  3. 3

    Insert the software installation CD that came with the TV tuner. Wait a moment and the software installation wizard loads onto the screen. Accept the end-user agreement, then leave the installation name and location as-is (changing this information may result in the computer being unable to detect the installed software). Click "Install" and the program installs onto the computer. This program comes provided with the satellite TV tuner card.

  4. 4

    Connect the coaxial cable running from the satellite equipment into the connection point on the TV tuner card. Tighten the cable to secure the connection, then power on the satellite hardware and load the installed software (double-click the installed software's desktop icon or select it from the "Start" menu). Select the channel you wish to watch.

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