Pinnacle Systems Pinnacle PCTV USB2 : Excellent value for the money

Though this product doesn’t deliver the video quality of a tv, it is perfectly adequate for watching and recording cable. The drivers and software have no conflicting issues with my windows xp pro os. Setting up times and recording shows are self-explanatory. Works very nice, stays out of the way, and best of all, is usb 2. For an inexpensive way to watch tv on your laptop on the side, this product will work well for you.

After reading a couple of negative reviews, i tempered my enthusiasm for buying one of these but did so anyway since the price was right (i received a $20 rebate). In short, the device has far exceeded my expectations. My intended use for it is on the road with my dell 700m laptop (with xp sp2), which has a 1280×800 display resolution. Given some of the reported driver problems, i was a bit concerned that the laptop’s rather unique screen size might pose a problem with the pctv, but was wrong. On system reboot after the install, the software runs a comprehensive diagnostic to make sure everything is in order. For me, everything worked as advertised. I also installed the software on my desktop just to see the comparison, especially since my desktop is a two monitor system. If anything, it works even better there, although i can’t drag the tv window over to the 2nd monitor. The image is far superior to the 7″ lcd tv i have for use during power outages we may get in florida courtesy of hurricanes, and at about 1/3rd the cost, not to mention at a tiny fraction of both the weight and the size. In fact, at full screen it is at least as good as any tv set at a comparable distance. This was a pleasant surprise, although i personally would consider it a waste to use my desktop as a full size tv. The fact that you can record using it is gravy. The (measured) power draw on my laptop’s battery is nominal, almost no worse than running without it. I would have rated this product a 5, except for the following annoyances, none of which is fatal:a) as i’m sure pinnacle is aware, the driver needs more work.

As a tv tuner it functions ok. It isn’t anything spectacular, but when one considers the comparatively high resolutions that computer monitors produce (as opposed to traditional pal/ntsc televisions) the quality is rather good. A previous reviewer claimed that the a/v inputs were not functional. I currently have my xbox plugged into it and am playing it windowed on my pc. My complaints are that 1) there is a video lag with the inputs, 2) the provided software is sketchy at best, and 3) pinncale demands extra money to ‘unlock’ different encoding methods, (i. ) in short, it does what it says, but that is about it.

After sitting around in a drawer for years i finally got mine working in xp. You need to download the driver and make sure you have a real usb 2. 0 port and that it actually works. I couldn’t get the stupid thing to work for years because pinnacle wouldn’t provide drivers and the usb ports on my intel motherboard didn’t work properly. Now i’ve got a new computer with good usb 2. 0 ports that work ok and the driver is installed but the ironic thing is there are no more analog tv channels to watch nowa good way to test the usb ports is to get an internet radio thumb drive like the one from muzee and plug it in and try it. It is just a flash drive that’s formatted like a cd-rom with the internet radio player program on it and when you plug it into the usb port the pc thinks it’s a new cd-rom drive and uses autorun to automatically start the program and run it so you don’t have to load any software. It will only work if your usb 2. You also need a fast computer such as a 2.

  • It finally works!
  • Excellent value for the money
  • Does what it says, but

Pinnacle PCTV USB2 ( 210100387 ) TV Tuner and Video Capture Device

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  • Turn your PC into a personal video recorder (PVR); burn recording to disc
  • Plugs into the USB 2.0 port of your computer
  • Video can be recorded using MPEG or DV real-time compression
  • Watch, record and pause live TV; import video footage from other sources like a VCR, camcorder or DVD-player
  • Small and compact, and draws power from the USB port

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Pinnacle PCTV USB2 ( 210100387 ) TV Tuner and Video Capture Device
Rating
4 of 5 stars, based on 8 reviews