Daily Giz Wiz 777: Pinnacle TV For Mac HD Mini Stick

Episode 777 of the podcast

Pinnacle TV For Mac HD Mini Stick
Subject: Review of Pinnacle TV For Mac HD Mini Stick
Released:Tuesday 3 March 2009
Length:about 16 minutes
Download file:dgw0777.mp3 (7.5 MB)

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Short info

Get over-the-air HDTV on your Mac with the ATSC, Clear QAM, DVR Pinnacle TV for Mac HD mini Stick.

Detailed information

This is the latest offering by Pinnacle Systems of a USB HDTV Tuner, for the Mac platform, from Andy Marken, an old friend of the Daily Giz Wiz .  Dick reviewed the PCTV HD Ultimate Stick for Windows back in Episode 419.  A listener wrote in about a Mac version in Episode 457, which was an old Mac version that did not support ClearQAM and could only record in MPEG-2 (and hence the recorded videos were not compatible with iPods).  Leo was told then that a new Mac version was being developed, and here it is, the Pinnacle TV for Mac HD mini Stick.

It supports ATSC (over the air digital TV signal) HDTV and ClearQAM (unencrypted cable TV signal) up to 1080i.  It comes with a remote control and a telescopic antenna (with a magnetic base).  The bundled software is Elgato's EyeTV Lite for viewing and recording TV, which also supports the Electronic Programme Guide for scheduled recording.  However, EyeTV Lite records in MPEG-2, and contains no options for exporting to other formats.  You can upgrade from the Lite version to the full EyeTV 3 version for $50 to get more functions including exporting to your iPod, iPhone, Apple TV or to other formats.  See the comparison of the features of the two versions.

Mac users might want to check out the Elgato EyeTV 250 Plus (covered on a previous TTTT in Episode 582) which has a hardware encoder (especially if you use it as a video converter), or the 2009 version of the EyeTV Hybrid (without the hardware encoding).  Both are bundled with the full version of EyeTV 3 software.

The Pinnacle TV for Mac HD mini Stick can also be used on Windows, using the bundled PC software Pinnacle TVCenter Pro and Pinnacle VideoSpin.

Skype Issue Resolved

Dick and Leo were having problems with the quality of the Skype connection while recording yesterday's episode.  Dick resolved it by switching to his HP computer from the old Atari and stopping his internet-connected blender which was madly downloading movies using bit torrent.  Rebooting his router also helped.

Feeling At Home

When Dick travels, he uses his Slingbox (Episode 11) to watch his local channel, including his Channel 7.  It makes him feel at home.
A Love Letter
Tom Stidham asks Leo not to sing the jingles, which is painful.  On the subject of jingles, Tom thinks that the Wednesday Jingle can be replaced at any time.  It is actually pulling down the quality of the show, as if that were possible.  Other than that, excellent.

The Authorised Dick and Leo Not Singing Album

Dick and Leo think they should release an album of them not singing.  Get the authorised version.  Don't accept substitutes.

Coming Soon: The Amazon Kindle 2

Leo was hoping he could review the Amazon Kindle 2 for today.  It is arriving soon, and he should be able to cover it next week.

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