Pinnacle PCTV HD Mini Review


Stick it!

Ever taken that road trip with the family to that little no-name town to visit that strange smelling relative you barely remember?  Ten years ago, it would have been barely tolerable even with your Discman.  Five years ago it would have been a little more tolerable because you can fit more music on an iPod than you can on a CD.. takes up a lot less space too.  And now with the extreme portability of laptops and all the spicy new gadgets that come out for them seemingly every day, boredom is a thing of the past.  Tuning out Uncle Joe-Bob’s stories about what really happened at Area 51 is about to get a whole lot easier.

Ladies and Gents, feast your eyes on the Pinnacle PCTV HD Mini.  Ultra compact, brilliant HDTV in 100% digital signal interface.  You hook this bad boy up to your laptop and you can receive wireless HDTV to your desktop for free.  Or you can plug it into your cable and watch from there.  Do you realize what I would have given for something like this when I was a teenager?  My left nut, that’s what…


  • Ultra-compact HDTV tuner stick with super-strong reception
  • Watch free HDTV on your PC – no service fees
  • Supports both digital over-the-air TV (ATSC1) and unencrypted digital cable TV (ClearQAM2)
  • Includes mini-remote control and high-gain telescopic antenna
  • Turns your PC into a PVR with TimeShifting: pause, rewind TV
  • Stereo sound
  • Electronic Program Guide (EPG3)
  • Automatically record shows to your hard drive in MPEG-1/2 or DivX4 formats, or direct-to-DVD
  • Compatible with Windows® Media Center5 (Windows Vista™ Home Premium or Ultimate; remote kit sold separately)
  • New: built-in slide-cap to protect the USB connector
  • New: integrated signal booster improves sensitivity for over-the-air HDTV reception


TV Standards • ATSC (HDTV up to 1080i, SDTV)
• ClearQAM (HDTV up to 1080i, SDTV)
Inputs • TV antenna input (F- connector/Coaxial)
Recording Formats • MPEG-1/2
• DivX®
• MPEG-4: compatible with Sony PSP or Apple iPod (Trial Version)
System Requirements • Windows® XP or Windows Vista™ (32 bit) with latest service pack
• Intel® Pentium® 4 2.8GHz, Pentium M 1.7 GHz, equivalent AMD Athlon 64 processor or higher (e.g. dual core processor)
• RAM: Windows XP – 512 MB; Windows Vista – 1 GB
• Free USB 2.0 port
• Sound/graphics controller with support for DirectX® 9 or higher
• Hard drive with minimum 1 GB free space (20 GB recommended for TV recording)
• CD drive (DVD burner required for DVD recording)
• Internet connection for registration/activation