TV Tuners If you see a surprisingly low advertised price for a Media Center PC, make sure it includes a TV tuner and remote control. In the past, Microsoft required both for a certified Media Center system, but with this latest version, they're officially optional. The system software supports up to three TV tuners, two standard-definition and one high-def (over-the-air HD only), although single- and dual-tuner setups are more common (each additional tuner allows you to record another program simultaneously). The tuner card's job is to take the incoming signal and encode it into MPEG-2 video for display and storage. Less-expensive cards pawn that work off on the CPU (a process called software encoding), leading to choppy, low-quality video; a card that handles it with a dedicated onboard processor (called hardware encoding) will give you better overall system performance.