Digital video recorder (DVR) cards allow you to capture a video source, such as a VCR player or video camera, and save a copy of the video to your computer. If your computer has a free Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) card slot, you can connect a DVR card directly to the slot. There are many different brands and models of DVR cards available, so you will need to consider all of your options before making a final decision.
1 Check your computer’s manual to make sure that you have an open PCI slot available on your motherboard. Go with an external video capture card, such as the ,Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1950, if you don’t have any remaining PCI slots available.
2 Consider what type of input plug you will be using, such as an S-video cable from a video camera or an RCA jack from a VCR. Check to make sure that the DVR card includes that type of input jack.
3 Choose a DVR PCI card that has both type of jacks, such as the KWorld VS-ATSC120, if you will be using both type of input plugs.
4 Find out if the DVR PCI Card includes TV tuning capabilities for receiving a television signal directly on your computer. Pick a card, such as the Asus Falcon2,if you want to stream television programming to your computer and record shows for viewing later.
6 Take into account the type of software that is bundled with the DVR PCI card. Choose a card, if you want a card that includes password protection software for your recorded video and the ability to directly burn video to a DVD.