You can turn an older computer into a digital video recorder. Add a TV tuner card to record your favorite programs. While older computers use the AGP slot for graphics and tuner cards instead of the newer PCI-Express standard, solid AGP tuner cards remain available as of 2010. Install ATI’s Radeon All-in-Wonder 9600XT graphics and tuner card in only a few minutes.
1. Uninstall your old graphics card drivers. Click the “Start” button and then click “Control Panel.” Click “Add/Remove Programs.” Scroll the list until you find your old graphics card drivers and click “Remove.” This will begin the uninstall process. Once it’s completed, reboot your computer.
2. Power down your computer. Disconnect the power cord and any peripherals you may have attached to the computer. Place the computer on a table and give yourself plenty of room to work.
3. Remove the side panel from your computer. Typically this panel can be removed by loosening screws on the back edge, or pressing the panel release tabs on the back edge. Once the panel is unlocked, slide it toward the back of the computer and lift it from the tower.
4. Remove your old graphics card if you have one. Press down on the release tab on the AGP slot and slide the card straight up to remove. If you don’t have a standalone graphics card, remove the metal plate covering the slot in the back panel for your graphics card. It will be lined up directly with the AGP slot on the motherboard. Typically the plate can be slid straight out, but on certain computers you may have to remove a retaining screw first.
5. Slide your Radeon card into the AGP slot. Make sure to slide the card in straight so both sides of the interface fit snugly in the AGP slot. The retaining tab should snap down once the card is properly seated. Use the screw that came with the card to screw it into the back panel.
6. Replace your computer’s side panel. Reconnect all of your peripherals, connecting your monitor to the VGA port on your 9600XT. Reconnect the power cable and boot up your computer.
7. Insert the ATI Catalyst installation CD into your computer’s optical drive. The Windows “Add New Hardware” wizard will appear. When asked for the location of the drivers for the 9600XT, select your optical drive. The drivers and ATI’s “Catalyst Control Center” program will install. When it’s finished, reboot your computer and your card will be installed. The program will install ATI’s Multimedia Center, as well as the Launch Pad, a small task bar that allows you to access all of your ATI programs.
8. Connect a coaxial cable carrying a TV signal to the TV input on the back of the 9600XT. Open the ATI Multimedia Center by clicking the TV icon in the Launch Pad. The first time you open the program, follow the on-screen prompts to scan for available channels. Once complete, you can watch live TV on your PC, or use Multimedia Center to record live TV.