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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-03-2003, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Cool personal recorder

Thought this was pretty interesting. Might be something I look into whenever I get around to building a new box.

Quote:
PCTV records television shows on your hard disk

Ease of installation gives this package the edge over its rivals

02/27/2003

By DOUG BEDELL / The Dallas Morning News


Pinnacle Systems

Buyers of Pinnacle Systems' PCTV Deluxe will need a high-end Windows machine for the package to work.


Pinnacle's PCTV Deluxe demands a high-end Windows computer, but what it returns in value at $200 is impressive.

Like the similarly priced WinTV-PVR from Hauppauge and Creative Lab's VideoBlaster MovieMaker, PCTV Deluxe turns your computer into a TiVo-like personal video recorder. You can schedule, record and watch as much television programming as your hard drive will hold.

Unlike its competitors, this software and hardware package includes a well-designed remote control and an ease of installation that puts the others to shame.

Pinnacle has created a multifunction, attractive stand-alone unit that can sit anywhere in the room within reach of its USB cable. There's no need to rip into the computer case to install anything.

On a modern computer equipped with USB 2.0, video can be transferred to the screen or hard drive at an impressive 480 megabits per second. Although PCTV Deluxe will function on older USB 1.1 systems, performance glitches arise. The video stream simply can't keep pace with the processor as it compresses images for PVR features such as instant replay and pausing live shows.

Therefore, despite the minimum system requirements printed in the manual, it's best to use this product on a Windows machine with at least 1 gigahertz in processor speed and USB 2.0.

None of the competitors offers the fast data rate transfer found in Pinnacle's PCTV Deluxe. And the design makes it easy to hook up a digital video camera to transfer home movies to your hard drive for editing and storage.

The software package is designed to help you burn CDs and DVDs with any video content, whether home movies or television programming. A full archive of all the Sopranos episodes, for example, can be scheduled and burned to a DVD-writable disk without a lot of clicking and fidgeting.

Most Windows XP Media Center computers being sold for $2,000 don't have similar capabilities. In fact, many, including the HP Media Center line, require third-party software packages to copy video to DVD.

Buying a ReplayTV or Tivo unit costs about the same as the Pinnacle PCTV package, so if you're looking for an entertainment center box, they are still the best option. But for college kids in a dorm room or a PC in a home office, the Pinnacle system makes a lot of sense.

As long as your computer has the horsepower, you won't be disappointed.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-04-2003, 12:47 AM
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Yeah, I was looking at that too. And IStangU has a D-Link one similar.

I dunno ... I'm still partial to internal cards. The USB just doesn't seem like it'd cut it, to me. Even USB 2.0, 480mbps would work well for 320x240 ... but try to go bigger, and watch that puppy choke

If it were FireWire, it'd be worth it

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-06-2003, 12:17 PM
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yeah it works great at low res.... hell it will not even run full screen come to think of it :-(


I do need to get one that supports linux so I can back back feed my satalite into my office
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-06-2003, 03:26 PM
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Ironically ... I ended up getting the Pinnacle PCTV Pro (internal card), which has a remote included.

Though I'm not real happy with the remote, because it only works for the PCTV Vision program ... where as the ATI Remote Wonder would also act as a mouse, so I could operate the computer from anywhere in the room. With this setup, I still have to use the regular mouse to access anything other than my TV.

The picture needed a lot of tweaking to get it to look right. But it actually has a pretty good output once adjusted. It'll capture to VCD, SVCD, DVD Extened, DVD Standard, and also allow you to customize the video capture size. Time/Scale mode (allows you to pause TV) works great on the lower res captures (so far, I've tried VCD, and SVCD) ... but chokes on high res captures (tried DVD Standard (720x480).

Haven't tried a straight capture yet at the higher resolutions, but I don't imagine it'll have a problem.

Will eventually pick up an ATI Remote Wonder ... unless I can find some drivers / software that will make the included remote work in the same fashion.

And I may end up dropping my Radeon 7500 in favor of a GeForce4 440SE (can get one through New Egg for $43!) ... the TV out on the Radeon doesn't work like I'm needing for this setup to be complete ... where as the GeForce4 440 Go in my laptop does ... so I'm just assuming that since the GeForce4 440SE is using the same TV out, it will thus work in the same fashion.

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Last edited by DarkWolf; 03-06-2003 at 03:28 PM.
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