I know that you can download TV shows from the Internet, but I’d like to record them from my TV. My laptop has an S-Video port, is that something I can plug my computer into?
Thanks for your question. I’ve seen S-Video on a couple of laptops, but it’s always used as an output mechanism to display your computer’s video onto a TV, not to the other way round. If you want to record a TV show, the first thing you need to do is to add a TV received to your PC. There are a number of them around, but one particularly interesting one is the AVerMedia AverTV Combo G2 PCI Express TV Tuner.
It’s a device that plugs right into your computer and takes over-the-air or a cable signal. The great thing about it is that it has a dual-tuner; you can watch one channel while recording a different one; literally all the TV you can eat. The dual-tuner also lets you watch Picture-In-Picture so you can literally watch two channels at the same time. The software that comes with the card plugs straight into Windows Media Centre and lets you pause, rewind and record live TV, which should fit your bill.
It’s currently on sale from Buy.com for under $100 and will let you watch and record any program you want. Just keep in mind that there may be copyright restrictions on what you can and cannot record.