updated 03:50 pm EDT, Thu October 11, 2007
Pinnacle PCTV HD Ultimate
Pinnacle today upgraded its PCTV video tuners with both its most advanced USB tuner and one of its rare internal models. Building on past models, the PCTV HD Ultimate Stick (shown) completely eliminates the need for software on the PC: integrated flash memory holds DVR software that runs directly from the drive and can record as much as two hours of TV programming on the device itself as well as to a hard disk. Pinnacle's offering is also one of the few that can pick up unencrypted digital cable signals with a ClearQAM receiver as well as the ATSC tuner need for over-the-air HD broadcasts. The HD Ultimate Stick needs a Windows XP or Vista PC and should be in stores within the next few days at a price of $130.
Home theater PCs and other desktops are served by the PCTV HD Card, says Pinnacle. The PCI expansion also picks up ATSC and ClearQAM signals but is equally ready for FM radio. Windows Media Center recognizes the card as a TV tuner and integrates all its TV-related features with the peripheral. It ships in the same timeframe as the HD Ultimate Stick but at a lower price of $80. An optional IR remote, the PCTV Remote Kit, adds common TV and media navigation controls for the PCTV HD Card and any other Pinnacle tuner without its own remote. It should be available for $30.
PCTV HD Ultimate Stick