How to Watch Live TV on Your Laptop, Computer or Mobile Device

If you are looking for ways to watch live TV on your laptop, computer, smartphone, or tablet, there are many options. It can be very convenient to take live television with you when you’re traveling. For those looking to have an easily portable way to watch live TV, these USB devices and portable antennas are quite simple to install and small enough to fit in your pocket. There are several devices that can be plugged into a computer, tablet, or phone that allows you to see live TV stations in your area. Let’s take a look at some of these options.

Watch Live TV on a Moblie Device

Mygica Digital TV for Andriod

The Mygica mobile TV tuner allows one to watch and record live TV on a mobile device. You can catch live TV on an android device with a C- type connection. You will be limited to the local broadcast signals in your area. The device comes with an easy to install an app that allows you to scan for stations. You can also select, pause, and resume live TV. The nice part is you don’t need a data plan to use it.

Specifications

  • Miniature digital TV receiver
  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • Special airwaves reserved for TV and do not tap your data plan
  • No 3G/4G, Wi-Fi or data plan required
  • View EPG to check for TV Program Guide
  • Free App Included

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Portable
  • Convenient

Cons

  • Small antenna

Where to Buy:

eBay:

Mygica TV Tuner for Watching ATSC Digital Android Mobile or Pad

Amazon:

Mygica TV Tuner for Watching ATSC Digital Android Mobile or Pad

Android Digital ATSC TV Tuner Receiver For Tablet Smartphone (DT-120)

This Android Digital Tuner allows you to watch live over the air TV on your Android phone. Works well depending on your broadcast area. You can rewind and fast forward live TV shows using time shifting recording. This device lets you record TV shows instantly and store the recorded video files on your mobile device for convenient playback later. Has an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) function for users to view TV broadcast information for current and upcoming programming. Comes with two flexible antenna hookups, you can use the MCX type mini antenna or RF adapter for a hookup with a regular home antenna. Nice little device.

dtv120

Includes:

  • ATSC tuner module
  • Rope style antenna
  • Mini DTV antenna
  • Hanger clip
  • Suction cup for desktop stand
  • RF adapter

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Portable

Cons

  • Not chargeable

Where to Buy:

eBay:

Buy It At eBay

AliExpress:

AliExpress.com – 2015 Full HD ATSC TV Receiver HD Receiver ATSC live TV on Android Phone/Pad

Amazon:

Android Digital ATSC TV Tuner Receiver For Tablet Smartphone

USB HDTV Antenna Devices

These devices plug right into your computers USB port and give you free over the air channels. They are quite small and portable. Great way to watch or record your TV shows.

Hauppauge WinTV DualHD Dual USB 2.0 HD TV Tuner

The Hauppauge WinTV DualHD USB TV Tuner is a nice little device that is easy to install. It has dual TV tuners that allow you to watch one channel while recording another. This tuner can also do picture-in-picture or have two complete windows open simultaneously. Just plug into an available USB port and attach the included portable antenna. Then install the software and drivers and before you know it you’re watching live TV. It comes with the free Titan TV online listing service that allows you to record live TV to your computer’s hard drive and schedule recordings. Once installed, it was pretty easy to scan for channels. The quality is great and so are the controls. Make sure to go online and download the latest software and drivers to get the best performance out of this device. You may want to consider buying a larger antenna to receive more HD channels. It’s a terrific TV tuner for your PC. The Hauppauge TV tuner also works well for making a PVR recording server for Kodi.

How to Watch Live TV on Your Laptop, Computer or Mobile Device

Specifications

  • ATSC HD
  • Dual TV tuners
  • Plugs into your USB port
  • Comes with WinTV-Scheduler, so you can record your favorite TV programs daily, weekly or once.
  • Portable digital TV antenna is included
  • Record ATSC digital TV programs to your PC’s hard disk using high quality MPEG-2
  • Clear QAM digital TV tuner built-in
  • Watch, pause and record clear QAM cable TV channels
  • Credit card size remote control (with batteries)
  • USB extension cable
  • Includes activation code for download of WinTV v8 application for Windows

Pros

  • Easy to setup
  • Nice recordings
  • Good quality

Cons

  • Remote could be better

How to Watch Live TV on Your Laptop, Computer or Mobile Device

How to Watch Live TV on Your Laptop, Computer or Mobile Device

Where to Buy:

eBay:

Buy It At eBay

Amazon:

Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-955Q USB TV Tuner

AVerMedia AVerTV Volar Hybrid Q USB TV Tuner

The AVerTV Volar Hybrid USB TV Tuner is another quality way to watch live TV on your computer. It has a very sensitive tuner with an excellent signal meter. This USB tuner includes a telescoping rabbit ear antenna. The antenna has a clip that allows for mounting on a laptop screen. This device is a good alternative if you don’t have a traditional TV and can live with watching all of your local channels on your computer. The software is filled with useful features and allows for stable recording. It is easy to use and intuitive with low processor loading on a computer and the picture quality is excellent. It also works with Andriod TV.

Specifications

  • OTA channel through ATSC
  • ClearQAM
  • Listen to OTA FM Radio from your PC
  • DVR support allows you to access recordings with a click of a button
  • PC recording video formats support both iOS and Android or share with your friends on social media
  • Supports Android TV 7.0 and above with LiveTV app
  • PIP (Picture in Picture) Function
  • Smart Channel Grouping
  • Time Shift
  • Scheduled Recording
  • Closed Caption
  • Electronic Program Guide
  • Mini antenna Included

Pros

  • Easy setup
  • Good software

Cons

  • Device runs a little hot

Where to Buy:

eBay:

Buy It At eBay

Amazon:

AVerMedia AVerTV Volar Hybrid Q USB TV Tuner

TV Station Locator Tool

Xbox One

Hauppauge also makes a USB tuner stick for the Xbox One that will turn your game console into a powerful media center. To find out more see our article on how this is done.

  • Watch free over-the-air broadcast TV on your Xbox One monitor
  • Pause live TV and stream live TV around your home with the Xbox SmartGlass application.
  • One Guide integration will display local TV listings
  • Connects easily to your Xbox One via USB

Where to Buy:

eBay:

Buy It At eBay

Amazon:

Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner for Xbox One

Feature image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Conclusion

With any of these devices, taking TV on the go has become so easy. Just fire up your laptop, tablet or smartphone and plug in the antenna. These USB tuner sticks are also great for building your own home media center DVR to record your favorite shows.

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July 1, 2020 0

Using a Signal Strength Meter to Find an Over The Air Signal

Last updated: Monday, July 6, 2020One of the most frustrating things about watching TV with an over the air antenna is finding a good signal. There are several ways to go about it. You can use a compass and an app to point the antenna in the direction of the broadcast towers. The other option is to use an over the air signal strength meter. This will ensure you are getting the strongest signal from the broadcast towers. A signal strength meter is a small portable device that is plugged in line with the OTA antenna. Then position the antenna until the LED lights on the meter indicate the strongest signal. It is an easy and quick way to set your OTA antenna. OTA Signal Strength Meter An OTA signal strength meter can be [...]
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About Johan
I started this site to educate the public on alternative ways you can watch television besides subscribing to cable. I have been in the audio-visual business for over 20 years. I also have an extensive computer networking background. I am a Microsoft Certified Professional and CompTIA Network+ Certified Technician. I hope you will find my articles and reviews helpful in conscious uncabling.

1 Comment

  1. This was a fascinating piece on HDTV antennas for phone. Like you, I advocate for better broadcasting and urge everyone to disconnect from cable (full disclosure: we use cable for our internet), but I have yet to find a way to use my phone (or desktop, for that matter) as a receiver. Since we just have cable for internet, we don’t have the ability to watch even basic cable without another subscription, so I’m looking for alternatives.

    Thanks again for this excellent guide!

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