HDTV on a laptop... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-16-2008, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I purchased a Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro Stick today from Best Buy... When I travel I tend to find myself languishing more than I would like to say in airports (delays, weather, ect, ect). I was sceptical of this product, but being on sale for considerably less than its original price I decided to bite.

I must say this little puppy does a great job. It found 14 hd channels and numerious analog channels on scan. The device consists of a quality antenna with a powerful magnet base. The tuner is a USB device not much larger than a USB thumbnail drive. It as well comes with a remote control, ect.

The PQ being produced on my Dell Latitude is fantastic. This is a neat device that works well and delivers portable OTA HDTV.

Anyone else have one of these or have you been considering the purchase of such a device?

http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSit...+Pro+Stick.htm

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post #2 of 17 Old 02-16-2008, 11:12 PM
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I have the Mac version of it. The receiver works well, but the El Gato software blows. I have no inclination to buy a 'full' version of something when the crippled version doesn't do the limited subset well.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-17-2008, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I agree, I would never purchase what is touted as the more advanced version of the software. But from a basics perspective the thing does a nice job for hdtv.

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post #4 of 17 Old 02-17-2008, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vman41 View Post

I have the Mac version of it. The receiver works well, but the El Gato software blows. I have no inclination to buy a 'full' version of something when the crippled version doesn't do the limited subset well.

Elgato just released a new version of its software, eyetv 3, and reviewers are raving about it. Definitely worth the upgrade price. Also, the latest version of the Elgato EyeTV Hybrid USB tuner now supports Clear QAM.
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-17-2008, 01:39 PM
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Don't know how well it's going to work though, once you start moving around and are inside airports.

Digital and analog reception are two different beasts.
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-17-2008, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trendscape View Post

Elgato just released a new version of its software, eyetv 3, and reviewers are raving about it. Definitely worth the upgrade price. Also, the latest version of the Elgato EyeTV Hybrid USB tuner now supports Clear QAM.

The OP was asking about the Pinnacle hardware, not hardware that Elgato sells.
Elgato would naturally concentrate on their own hardware than secondary vendors. The software for the PC (windows) version seems to be branded by Pinnacle and they are motivated to make it work well with their devices.

As for the hardware, I am impressed what it can pick up with the little dipole antenna.
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-19-2008, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Yea, I was refering to the Pinnacle SW not Elgato. I am flying to LA from NY next week. So when I layover at OHare (errrr), I will test this thing out in the airport and see how it works. Should work fairly well in large metro areas like NYC, Chicago, LA....

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post #8 of 17 Old 02-20-2008, 06:30 PM
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There isn't anything said about closed captions for this device on the web site. Is it not supported at all?
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-21-2008, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Don't know how well it's going to work though, once you start moving around and are inside airports.

Digital and analog reception are two different beasts.

Even with a laptop, I don't see moving around as an issue. In most all cases, the laptop would be relatively stationary when in use.

As for the airport reception issue, it would depend on the same issues as any other DTV reception. Sometimes airports can be a big issue, sometimes not.

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post #10 of 17 Old 02-22-2008, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by dmulvany View Post

There isn't anything said about closed captions for this device on the web site. Is it not supported at all?

The Mac version supports it. I don't think the FCC would permit them to sell a device that doesn't support closed captioning, so it's not an issue that really needs to be brought out.
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post #11 of 17 Old 02-22-2008, 04:55 AM
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One thing to clarify. Elgato sell both their own hardware and software combos - but have also, of late, opened up their software to work with other third party hardware.

Some of the Elgato-branded devices are the same hardware as Hauppauge, and so if you are a Bootcamp user, you can buy an Elgato tuner and run EyeTV3 in OSX (and EyeTV 3 is a decent bit of software - though with less than ideal support for the UK EPG - as it only updates daily not dynamically) but also download the Hauppauge drives from their site and run it in Vista or XP as a Hauppauge device (say using Media Center)

I've got an Elgato Diversity system (using the non-ATSC DVB-T system) for my Macbook - which is a dual tuner device that can "merge" the two tuners and if fed with two aerials (antennae) can run in Diversity mode and can deliver decent results in patchy signal areas with two tiny whip antennae. It effectively tunes to the same service on both tuners, fed from the two separate aerials/antennae, and if it detects errors in either received stream it can use the error-free data from the other - assuming both aren't suffering the same errors (hence the requirement for separate aerials in different positions). I used it in my hotel room in Sweden in diversity mode and got the Swedish HD broadcasts (SVT HD in MPEG4 H264 720/50p at around 20Mbs) with no problems at all. The Macbook wasn't entirely without dropped frames in Live TV - but entirely watchable.

Not sure if there are ATSC Dual tuner/diversity devices around - and for mobile reception (say in an airport lounge) two antennae 30cm apart isn't that practical - but for ad hoc hotel room installs etc. it works well.

I will also add that EyeTV3 is a better bit of software than EyeTV2 - and apart from so-so DVB EPG support - it is pretty good for me. The support for both World Systems and DVB subtitles is a good sign - not many other software solutions support the DVB subs used in the UK OTA. (They use a bitmap system a bit like DVD rather than character graphics)
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post #12 of 17 Old 02-28-2008, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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The Pinnacle Pro Stick did a great job in the Chicago O'Hare airport. Picked up numerous channels. Reception was very good to great with the occasional drop but not bad at all. The coolest part was the incredible interest the device drew... People were dumbfounded.

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post #13 of 17 Old 02-29-2008, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PWH1 View Post

The Pinnacle Pro Stick did a great job in the Chicago O'Hare airport. Picked up numerous channels. Reception was very good to great with the occasional drop but not bad at all. The coolest part was the incredible interest the device drew... People were dumbfounded.

I'm interested in this. At O'hare, were you receiving analog or digital stations?

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post #14 of 17 Old 02-29-2008, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Both SD and HD.... 14 channels to be exact. Some were to weak on the signal. However, the primary stations NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX were all excellent in HD.

Now if I could only figure out how to get ESPN to provide OTA programming!

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post #15 of 17 Old 02-29-2008, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PWH1 View Post

Now if I could only figure out how to get ESPN to provide OTA programming!

Buy Disney corporation and tell them to put it up. Otherwise, I'm afraid you're out of luck...

Of course, they seem to be putting more and more content on ESPN360, so there's at least that if you have WiFi access.
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-03-2008, 03:07 AM
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I just added the same Pinnacle stick to my laptop and it works great. I have an antenna position near my recliner that gives me 88-99 on the signal meter. It is great to record HD right to the laptop...edit it and then burn an HD DVD folder set to a D9 disk.

Cheap and it does the job.

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post #17 of 17 Old 03-03-2008, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PWH1 View Post

Both SD and HD.... 14 channels to be exact. Some were to weak on the signal. However, the primary stations NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX were all excellent in HD.

CBS? WBBM came in? I haven't heard of any success stories getting WBBM on VHF 3 with an indoor antenna or in a "noisy" area, so I am curious to know more in this case.

I was looking at the Pinnacle over the weekend and was wondering how it compared with the On-Air GT I have. I'm hopeful that we will see 6th generation USB tuners eventually.
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