updated 06:00 pm EDT, Mon September 8, 2008
Pinnacle USB HDTV tuners
Pinnacle Systems on Monday introduced its PCTV HD mini Stick and Pinnacle TV for Mac HD mini Stick which act as HDTV tuners for PCs and Macs, respectively. Pinnacle claims its USB-powered products are the smallest on the market to offer high reception sensitivity thanks to their integrated signal booster technology. Each includes a remote control and telescopic TV antenna that picks up digital over-the-air TV (ATSC) and unencrypted digital cable TV (ClearQAM) for SDTV and HDTV signals with maximum resolutions of 1080i.
Connection to a USB 2.0 port turns on and powers the devices, while signals are received via a cable jack, via an existing TV antenna connection, or the included aerial. The included Pinnacle TVCenter Pro 5 PVR software then allows users to record programs they browse through on a supported TitanTV.com online electronic programming guide. The software gives users the option to record shows in MPEG-1, MPEG-2 or DivX formats directly to the hard drive or a DVD. A trial version of MPEG-4 supporting software allows users to send the recorded video straight to a Sony PSP or Apple's iPod. Windows Media Center is fully supported by the PCTV HD mini Stick and included VideoSpin editing software lets users customize their recordings.
The Pinnacle TV for Mac HD mini Stick is compatible with Mac OS X v10.4 or higher and is bundled with Elgato's EyeTV Lite software for playback and recording abilities in addition to the Pinnacle TVCenter Pro 5 PC software.
The PC mini Stick is priced at nearly $120, while the Mac version is dearer at $130. Both will be available starting on September 21.