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Pinnacle ATSC/NTSC USB TV Tuner and Capture w/ Mini Remote PCTV HD Pro Stick USB 2.0 Interface

  • TV antenna input (F-connector)
  • S-Video (via included adapter)
  • Composite Video (RCA, via included adapter)
  • Stereo audio (3.5 mm headphone plug, via included adapter)TV antenna input (F-connector)
  • S
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Learn more about the Pinnacle System PCTV HD Pro Stick

Model

Brand
Pinnacle
Model
PCTV HD Pro Stick

General

Type
USB TV Tuner Stick
TV Tuner
Digital Tuner
TV Standards
ATSC / NTSC
FM Tuner
No
Remote Control
Remote Included
Interface
USB 2.0

Features

Features
Watch live high quality digital HD and SD TV without service fees from anywhere on your laptop
Break free and PlaceShift with the sleek USB 2.0 powered portable PCTV device
Sit back and relax from afar with full remote control access
The options are unlimited with full support for both analog (NTSC) and digital (ATSC) reception
Instantly transform your PC into a personal digital video recorder (DVR)
Never miss a critical part of your favorite show again with pause, rewind and replay
Full support for Microsoft Media Center Edition environment (MCE upgrade kit including a Microsoft compatible MCE remote, IR receiver and IR blaster is available separately)
Eliminate the guess work by automatically recording shows direct-to-DVD and/or in the destination file format of choice (i.e. iPod, PSP, DivX, etc.)
Capture from most consumer devices with analog outputs (e.g. VCRs, camcorders, DVD players, etc.) and then edit and enhance with the included Pinnacle Studio QuickStart software

Specifications

Video System
NTSC (cable, over the air)
Ports In
TV antenna input (F-connector)
S-Video (via included adapter)
Composite Video (RCA, via included adapter)
Stereo audio (3.5 mm headphone plug, via included adapter)TV antenna input (F-connector)
S-Video (via included adapter)
Composite Video (RCA, via included adapter)
Stereo audio (3.5 mm headphone plug, via included adapter)
Specifications
ATSC digital TV reception brings the following benefits:
Digital SD, EDTV and HDTV
Expanded choice of over-the-air channels
CD-like digital audio quality
Better quality picture for SD and HD alike

System Requirements

Processor
Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, Pentium M 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 processor (for HDTV reception, a Pentium D or Pentium Dual Core processor or equivalent AMD Athlon 64 processor is recommended)
Graphics Card
Graphics controller with support for DirectX 9 or higher
Memory
Windows XP–256MB RAM (512MB recommended) for Windows Vista–512 MB (1GB recommended)
Available Slot
Free USB 2.0 port
Operating Systems Supported
Windows XP with SP2 or Windows Vista (32 bit)
Others
Sound card
Hard drive with minimum 1 GB free space (20 GB recommended for TV recording)
DVD-ROM drive

Packaging

Package Contents
PCTV HD Pro Stick
User's Manual
Driver Disk
Remote Control
External Antenna
Multi Cable
USB Cable

Manufacturer Warranty

Parts
1 year limited
Labor
1 year limited

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year


Customer Reviews of the Pinnacle System PCTV HD Pro Stick

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  • Andrew W.
  • 7/10/2008 11:11:25 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

3 out of 5 eggsMediocre

Pros: Small and Portable, easy enough for the average user to set up. better video than expected out of usb device. Works well with Beyond TV or MCE

Cons: included software is garbage, neither functions well or looks appealing. Included remote is even worse but that was expected. programming guide is finicky and works when it wants to. Doesn't work with Linux.

Other Thoughts: For the money you could get a Hauppauge PCIe card and be a little happier, and you could get it to work with linux MythTV
All said and done if you have media center or are willing to spend $69 for Beyond TV this is a decent TV solution but for heavy use get a hauppauge and use it with MCE, NERO, or free apps like Yahoo GO Tv which works surprisingly well for a MCE alternate

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 6/17/2008 7:39:49 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsGreat Product

Pros: Inexpensive
Actually outputs HD
Easy to use (I didn't really use the provided software)
Compatible with Windows Media Center (Vista Edition)

Cons: Runs a bit warm
Antenna has something to be desired

Other Thoughts: Great product. I have this connected to my computer, connected over a network to my 360, connected to my 42" plasma. Since I don't pay for cable or dish I just go for OTA. I bought a nicer antenna for use with this product (you can use any antenna for this (you are not forced to use the one they provide)) and have been able to pick up about 25 digital channels.
I have had it plugged into the back of the computer for 3 months now and have never had to worry about it. Windows Media Center recognized it right away and I have a TV Guide for the next 2 weeks with it. It works just as well with the computer as it does through the Xbox.
I originally installed the software, and while it does work if you do everything in the correct order, the remote is slow responding and the software can be a bit buggy (recording feature works pretty well).
So, if you have media center just plug it in and enjoy. If you don't use Media Center, it is a great piece of software to get used to.

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  • Anonymous
  • 5/1/2008 6:54:20 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggsgood hardware

Pros: hardware - small and reliable.

Cons: software - the worst I've seen.

Other Thoughts: I agree with others: the software is unusable. However, I did a little bit of research, and there are tons of HDTV software out there, and since this thing is on the market for a while, it works with most of the software packages. I tested most of them (some are free, others provide free trial), and found out the best solution for this unit: Blaze HDTV player. What a difference! To buy it's $35(you might be able to find some kind of promo), but it's definitely worth it! With that software, it's like day and night. I really enjoy this now, the quality is great. By the way, I am not associated with Blaze in any way. Because the hardware is good, and there are software solutions out there, I'm giving it a 4.

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  • Shawn C.
  • 4/28/2008 10:19:40 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

2 out of 5 eggsAvoid like the plague

Pros: The hardware works, to an extent, so long as you don't want to use the inculded software. Neato magnet antenna thing.
Comes with a remote.

Cons: The software is an crime against humanity, and perhaps other species. Having tried it on multiple systems, I can say it is not really woth the effort unless you are going to use it with third party TV software. Does not play nice with vista media center. Or with vista itself. Or with anything on my XP desktop.

The TV center app is a crash magnet, assuming you can get it to run.

It did work ok with Orb, a bit of a resource hog compared to other tuners.

The remote only works with thier software.

Vists to the Pinnacle forums show that numerous people have attempted to browbeat some decent software out of them to no avail.

Other Thoughts: I thought nobody could out crapulence ATI and thier HDTV Wonder software; I was so wrong. I'd sooner give ATI another shot than ever touch another Pinnacle/Avid product.

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  • Anonymous
  • 4/27/2008 1:04:08 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsJUNK

Pros: Made me realize that I should get a WinTV HVR-950 :D

Cons: Just like the title: JUNK
It has very, very slow channel surfing speed, the software that it comes with is horrible, video isn't all that great, it's expensive.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • john s.
  • 4/24/2008 3:57:14 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggsI'm Impressed by this Little Tuner

Pros: Installed easily just as shown in the quick start guide. The download/install of .NET took most the time.. Once installed, the included Media Center worked flawlessly, but required the detailed scan to pick up all my Analog Cable channels. The included tiny remote has to be close and have a line of sight to work, but this device does allow me to watch TV while working on the PC.

Cons: The tiny remote works very erratically and this device does require you to have a high-end PC with Dual-Core, 2gb ram, 250gb+ HD and a Video card with at least 256mb..I Wish they would have MAC version to use with my MACBook Pro...

Other Thoughts: It did take some time for the install/downloads even on my beefed up system, but has worked flawlessly since

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  • mackenzie a.
  • 4/7/2008 7:40:22 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggsHappy customer

Pros: Very mobile, I can unhook it from my media center pc and use it on road trips on my laptop. Picture quality is great. Being usb allows me to have almost unlimited tuners. Digital TV quality is nice. Lots of bang for the buck. looks great on my 100 inch screen.

Cons: Remote is not compatable with MCE. ATSC signals weak(might just be location). Not good for hooking up guitar hero (major lag). Software that comes with it works but does not suit my needs. Lots of MCE software is not compatable (sagetv,linux mce,etc...)

Other Thoughts: This tuner is Cheap, easy to install, and requires little effort to use. I run a very complex Media Server with multiple tuners and graphic cards with multiple frontends in the house and the quality looks good on things ranging from my 100 inch projected screen to my Little laptop.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Sean H.
  • 3/31/2008 7:08:45 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

2 out of 5 eggsIncredibly buggy software

Pros: Good picture quality; picks up a decent number of stations OTA using only the included magnetic mount indoor antenna; accepts s-video and composite inputs; smooth HD playback on my relatively low-spec machine with ~60-70% CPU usage.

Cons: The software has a nasty habit of crashing when I change channels, then refusing to start unless I reboot ("Cannot find the loader window error", anyone?); enabling hardware acceleration with my X1950 causes an annoying constant tone and renders the entire box unresponsive (reset button time!); before upgrading to TVCPro 4.98, using the composite input would also necessitate a reset via hardware button.

Other Thoughts: I'm running a fully patched XP Pro box with an Athlon 64 3700+ CPU, 1.5GB RAM, and a HIS X1950 AGP with Catalyst 8.3. Pinnacle software is TVCenter Pro 4.98. Note that this version is a beta for this hardware; but Pinnacle recommended it as a fix for a video noise problem I was experiencing (which it partially fixed).

I'm not impressed. At all.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Deborah S.
  • 2/26/2008 1:08:48 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat Low
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsWorked for me

Pros: Did what it was supposed to. Got a good, to great HD picture on both my laptop running XP, and my desktop running Vista. Easy as pie setup. Read the enclosed pamphlet that comes with and just follow the directions. Pretty straight forward to me.

Cons: the antenna that comes with kinds sucks. Cord could be way longer.

Other Thoughts: I hooked it up to a really lamo outside antenna nd I got lots of analog, and digital channels. All watchable except 1.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Steven D.
  • 2/19/2008 4:26:46 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat Low
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggs

Pros: The HD tuner works great on XP and Vista.

Cons: Pinnacle Studio works fine on WinXP but needs version upgrade for Vista. Pinnacle seems to use a proprietary format that only Studio can understand. Tried burning recorded TV with Nero but format not supported.

Other Thoughts: I bought this as a belated Christmas gift for my parents. My Mom wanted something that could transfer an aging VHS collection to DVD. Works fine with home-brewed tapes as long as you stay in the Pinnacle Studio program. Haven't worked with it enough to figure out transfer of retail tapes.

My brother has used this on his Vista laptop. The HD tuner works fine and can record tv programming. The USB works fine on a recent computer faster than a 3GHz Pent 4. Any dual core should be just fine.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

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