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Turn your computer into a TV

by Gayle Picken

Web TVYou'll never have to give up Frasier, 60 Minutes, or Oprah again. With WebTV for Windows, you can watch TV and work on your computer at the same time.

That's right. Now you can keep an eye on BayWatch while you surf the Web for real-life California beaches. And, it gets even better because WebTV for Windows is no ordinary TV. You get a customizable Program Guide, interactive content that lets you participate in your favorite shows, and more.

Say good-bye to rabbit ears and risky climbs to the roof. Adding TV to your computer is simple when you have Windows 98, cable TV, and a TV tuner card.

Step 1: Add a cable connector to your computer
The first step is to get a TV tuner card. Make sure you buy one that is compatible with WebTV for Windows, for example, the ATI ALL-IN-WONDER PRO.

It's not hard to install the card yourself; I managed to install mine in under 30 minutes. However, if you are not comfortable with the thought of opening your computer and adding and removing electronic components, find a friend to help you or have your computer dealer install the card for you.

Step 2: Connect your PC to cable TV
Now that your computer has a connector for you to plug into, you need to run a cable from your cable TV outlet to your computer. Depending on where your computer is located, you may need to buy an extra long cable.

To get the TV sound to come through your PC speakers, use an adapter to connect your TV tuner card output to your speaker's input line. The manual that came with your TV tuner card should show you how to do this.

Step 3: Install WebTV for Windows
Before you hit the On button, you need to set up WebTV for Windows and then scan for the channels that you get in your area. Follow these steps:

  1. On the Start menu, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click the Add/Remove Programs icon.
  3. Click the Windows Setup tab.
  4. Select WebTV for Windows and then click OK.

Now it's time to scan for channels. To start WebTV for Windows, click the Start menu, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to Entertainment, and then click WebTV for Windows.

A tutorial guides you through the process of scanning for channels and updating your program listing. This takes a while, but think about all the time you'll save being able to read e-mail, catch up on your surfing, or finish up a report while you watch TV.

Step 4: Pull up a couch
No more running from your computer to your TV to catch your favorite rerun or the latest news update. With the click of a mouse, you can watch TV on your PC and continue working, surfing, and playing at the same time.

Gayle Picken loves watching TV on her computer because her husband can't steal the remote.


It's all in the name

What's the difference between WebTV and WebTV for Windows? WebTV adds the Internet, e-mail, and interactive shows to your television set. WebTV for Windows, on the other hand, adds TV to your computer.