How to Record TV Shows Without a DVR Easily [4 Solutions]

Recording TV shows without DVR is easy if you find this post. Here, 4 methods are provided to you about how to record TV shows, including using the best screen recorder, a USB, Windows Media Center, and MediaPortal.

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Updated on Feb 20, 2024

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Digital video recorders help capture video in a digital format to a disk drive, but the recording process is complex. To capture TV shows without a DVR, you can choose the best free screen recorder for live TV shows or a USB stick for capturing. In this article, you learn several effective ways about how to record TV shows without a DVR.

You can quickly get comparative information about the four methods in the table below.

Methods Effectiveness Difficulty
EaseUS RecExperts  High - Record TV shows on any sites (Netflix, Amazon, etc.) up to 8K quality Super easy
USB Stick Medium - Requires USB preparation and has many restrictions Medium
Windows Media Center Medium - Requires TV tuner card Medium
MediaPortal High - Open-source software to capture TV shows efficiently Easy

Also read:

Record Live TV Shows using Professional Video Recorder (Efficient)

Compatibility: Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7, macOS 10.13 or later

Best for: Novices and professionals who want to record TV shows on the computer screen automatically without a time limit.

Many people want to find a way to record TV shows for later viewing, especially for those streaming TV shows. A Reddit user tells his/her situation and demands below.

I want to watch shows that are on local channels, but I am not home when they are on. The shows aren't available to watch on Netflix or any other streaming device. Is there a way where I can get my TV to record the show when I am not home so I can watch it when I get home? Would I need to leave the TV on?

___Flyaway_5 from Reddit

The best way to record TV shows, even from Netflix, without doing it manually is to use the automatic recording function on EaseUS RecExperts. This software supports capturing any live TV shows/dramas on any available site. You can screen record on YouTube TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, etc.

Unlike other video capture software, it will record and save the shows in the original quality, ensuring a good offline viewing experience. It's also worth mentioning that you can use the schedule recording feature to record some further episodes at a specific time.

Now, get this excellent TV show video recorder to start recording.

Here's how to use EaseUS RecExperts to capture TV shows directly:

Step 1. Launch the EaseUS RecExperts, and click the downward triangle to find the "Enhanced mode" button that looks like a small TV on the left panel.

Find and Click Enhanced Mode

Step 2. Select to record the webcam, system sound, or the microphone. You can see popular streaming sites in this interface, including YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo, Amazon Prime, Disney, Hulu, etc. Then, click a site, and you will be lead to its official website.

Choose a Site

Step 3. Go back to EaseUS RecExperts and click the "REC" to proceed. The recording will start after a 3-second countdown. You can see a task bar on your screen. Choose the corresponding button on it to pause or stop the recording.

Start Recording

Step 4. When the recording is over, you will be lead to the preview interface where you can view and edit the recorded videos. Here you can eidt, take screenshots from the recording, or, adjust the volume and playback speed as you like.

View and Edit the Recording

📺Check a YouTube video tutorial to get more information!

Don't forget to share this post with others who are suffering from the same problem!


Capture TV Programs Without a DVR via USB Stick

Compatibility: TVs come with a PVR function

Best for: Users who don't want to record through extra software or programs.

For how to record TV shows without a DVR, you can apply the USB storage device. As most TV devices have the default PVR software, you can connect the TV to DVR to capture TV programs easily. USB recording can help capture TV shows to the external device which is connected to the TV.

However, this method has limitations as it only requires you to deal with the TV's Freeview. Therefore, it's hard to capture video from some platforms like Amazon Fire TV stick.

cable usb method to record tv shows

Before referring to the guide below, please make sure you have completed the following preparations. Then, follow the guide below. 

📝What to prepare
A USB Stick
TV with USB slot
Ensure your TV comes with a PVR function

Step 1. Find the USB slot on the back of the TV to know whether you can connect it via a USB. If it has, then you can move to the next step. 

Step 2. Connect your USB HDD to the TV. Then, check the TV to see if the PVR function is accessible.

Step 3. Based on your TV settings, you ensure the format HDD and other options for PVR. 

Step 4. Now, with the built-in PVR function, you can start the TV recording mission. 

👀You may be interested in: what is a DVR?

Record TV Shows Without a DVR through Windows Media Center

Compatibility: Windows XP

Best for: People using a Windows XP computer and have a TV tuner card installed on their computer.

To record TV shows without a DVR, Windows Media Center is a good choice for Windows 7. This tool allows you to watch and capture live TV. Also, it helps view slide shows of photos and plays songs or CDs in its library. 

Before watching the TV shows in Windows Media Center, the PC should be equipped with a TV tuner card. You can look for detailed information on the Windows 7 live TV setting process for Windows Media Center.

windows media player to record live tv

📝What to prepare
A PC equipped with a TV tuner card
Download and install Windows Media Center
The TV show you want to record

Here is a list of steps to record online TV with Windows Media Center:

Step 1. Find Windows Media Center on your PC. In the main interface, choose "TV". 

Step 2. Then, click "Guide" and then you can see the TV menu. There are TV names, categories, and times.  

Step 3. Once you have selected the TV show, click "Enter". Then, hit "Record" to start the mission. To stop it, you can click the "Do Not Record" button. Then, choose "Record Series" to save your TV programs. 

Capture TV Programs Without a DVR via MediaPortal

Compatibility: Windows 7/Vista

Best for: People who are using a Windows 7/Vista computer and want to record TV shows on the computer.

MediaPortal is a free and open-source screen recorder that aims to make your PC a media solution. It can connect the PC to the TV and displays movies easily. Most importantly, it's one of the best ways to watch and record live TV. Also, you are allowed to apply the remote function to control the HTPC using this tool.

media portal tv recording

To enjoy video and audio in the TV shows, follow this simple guide, using MediaPortal. 

Step 1. Download this tool on PC. In the main interface, go to "TV".

Step 2. To capture the TV shows, click the Record button. Also, it allows capturing while watching the TV show. 

Step 3. If you want to save time, find the schedule recording feature to start the mission automatically. 


This article presents you with four effective ways to record TV shows without a DVR. Each method is suitable for different groups, and you can use the information shared in this article to determine exactly which method to use to record your favorite TV shows.

If you can't decide at the moment, it's a good idea to try EaseUS RecExperts, which is the easiest to use and has no limitations.

FAQs About How to Record TV Shows Without a DVR

To help you better capture TV programs, follow this part to find more useful solutions.

1. How do I record TV shows on my smart TV?

Here is a guide for capturing TV shows on the smart TV.

1. Make sure your TV has the built-in PVR option. Also, check if there is a USB slot at the back of your TV.

2. Prepare a USB and connect the USB HDD to your TV.

3. Adjust the format in your TV and click the Record button.

4. To stop the recording, you click the Stop button. The video is saved.

2. How can I record directly from my TV?

Prepare the USB storage device and plug it into the USB slot. To capture the TV show, you should tap the Record button with the remote control. This is the PVR feature, which is a default option on most TV devices.

EaseUS RecExperts

One-click to capture anything on screen!

No Time Limit, No watermark

Start Recording

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