How to Watch TV on Laptop Without Internet

So you’re used to using your laptop to stream TV shows online but your internet is down and you forgot to download any media. Is there a way to watch TV on a laptop without the internet?

As it turns out, it’s easier than you think, continue reading to learn how to watch TV on a laptop even when you don’t have an internet connection.

How to Watch TV on a Laptop Without Internet:

To watch TV on a laptop without the internet you will need a USB TV tuner that is tuned to the shows you want to watch. The Geniatech T230 USB tuner is one tuner that can work with laptops as well as other USB-enabled devices like Android TV boxes and others.

Software:

What you need to know about USB TV tuners is they each require specific software, it’s not exactly plug and play. To get the tuner working properly, you’ll have to download the software from the company’s website, or at least update the firmware.

Most of these devices come with a CD that includes the installation files, but if you don’t have a CD player on your laptop, you’ll have to download the files online. Once the software is installed, you should be able to watch any Freeview and other terrestrial TV channels.

Aerial Input:

Another point to remember is some USB TV tuners allow you to connect an aerial through the aerial input port. The Genatech T230 USB TV tuner mentioned earlier includes an aerial, but if you want a more powerful one, you can buy it separately and connect it to the tuner.

There are lots of situations where you would want to buy a separate aerial. It mostly depends on how far you are from TV broadcast stations. For example, maybe you’re going on a camping trip and you need a strong aerial to find the channels you like to watch. Maybe you just need one that has a longer cable to attach to the roof of your RV, cabin, or car.

Either way, aerials are relatively inexpensive, so it’s simply a matter of finding one that has the features and range you need. The August DTA240 high gain Freeview Aerial is most commonly bought with the previously mentioned TV tuner.

On that note, if you already have an aerial, you can save some money by buying a USB TV tuner that does not include an aerial, such as this August USB Freeview TV tuner. Simply connect the tuner to your laptop, install the software, connect the aerial, and you should be able to use the software to watch TV on a laptop without the internet.

Can I Use a USB TV Tuner with an Android Box?

You can use most USB TV tuners with an android box but the box needs to have a USB port and the option to download apps. USB TV tuner manufacturers often have their own apps for Android but there are also some universal apps such as FTA Tuner Loader that will work.

How Does a USB TV Tuner Work?

In simple terms, a USB tuner converts common TV channel formats into ones that can be read and viewed by computers.

When connected to an aerial, the aerial will pick up any nearby TV broadcast channels, send the signals to the tuner, and the tuner will convert it into a readable format on your computer.

Combined with the appropriate software, you should be able to watch TV on your computer like you would on your TV at home, including changing channels, and – in some cases – even recording is enabled.

How to Download Software if I Don’t Have the Internet?

It’s frustrating when you need to download software but you don’t have an internet connection. The easiest way to download the software would be to use a Wifi network, a friend’s, or even a public one, to download the files you need.

If you can’t gain access to any internet, consider visiting a hardware store and buying a portable USB to DVD player and use the installation CD. The final solution would be to have someone order one of these for you and ship it to your location.

If you’re planning to go on a trip where there won’t be any internet, it’s important to plan ahead and make sure to install all the software you need on your laptop before heading out. You could also consider downloading movies and TV shows to watch.

What Operating System is Required?

TV USB tuners work best with Windows 10 and Android. In some cases, you can find free Windows programs that work with the device too.

Can a TV USB Tuner Work on Mac?

Most TV USB tuners do not work on Mac or any Apple (iPhone, iPad, etc).

Does a USB TV Tuner Work on Linux?

Yes, most work on Linux but you’ll need to download the specific drivers from the manufacturer. In some cases, that requires contacting them for the files. It depends on the manufacturer.

About S. Santos

Tech columnist and tech blogger, audiovisual aficionado trying to keep up with the ever-evolving world of gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology. If not fiddling with AV cables at home or in front of the computer, he can be found playing tennis or padel.

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