This USB tuner plugs into your PC via a USB 2.0 port and lets you watch or record NTSC or ATSC broadcasts. That means you can plug in an analog or digital antenna, or connect an analog cable, vcr, dvd player, or other device. The tuner comes with a remote control, a portable antenna, and a USB extender cable.
It also comes with the Pinnacle MediaCenter software for PC. But by all reports this software stinks and you should probably find your own PVR software like Windows Media Center, BeyondTV, SageTV, Media Portal, or GB-PVR.
What sets the PCTV HD Pro apart from the stick is an FM tuner and a dongle that lets you capture video from other sources with the nifty, but awkward looking dongle you can see in the image above. Oh yeah, and the Pro version costs $100, while you can pick up a stick for $70. Both versions should be available early next week.
The PCTV HD can pick up ATSC/NTSC signals. In other words, you can use it to record high-def digital TV from an over-the-air antenna, or you can use it as a standard definition tuner for analog cable. The PCTV HD also supports FM Radio and ClearQAM, which means you should be able to pick up unencrypted HD signals from your cable provider.
The card comes with a remote controll, FM antenna, and an A/V input adapter.
So what's the Ultimate stick got that the Pro doesn't?
- Clear QAM support for recording unencrypted digital cable television
- No software installation necessary, just plug it in and fire up your TV viewing application of choice
- Includes enough built-in flash memory for storing 2 hours of video
The PCTV Ultimate stick will set you back $130 when they launch in October. A desktop version will also be available for $80. We're guessing there won't be any flash storage in that version.
Don Rickles, the premiere insult comic, will be honored with the first Pinnacle Award at the Comedy and Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado next month. The ceremony will include a screening of John Landis' documentary about the comedian, The Rickles Project. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Landis and Rickles.
Rickles got his start playing night clubs, later moving on to film and television. He appeared on several of Dean Martin's "Roasts" and was also the star of his own television series in the '70s, C.P.O. Sharkey, one of a few short-lived shows featuring Rickles (others included Daddy Dearest and The Don Rickles Show). Rickles also guest starred on several other television series, such as The Twilight Zone, The Addams Family, and Newhart.
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