The Active Network

Product: Pinnacle Studio PCTV USB
Company: Pinnacle Systems
Estimated Street Price: $99.00
Review By: Julien Jay


Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Compatibility
3: Advanced Options
4: Conclusion

Watching TV 

Double click on your PCTV Vision desktop icon. Then select your country and your video norm: PAL or SECAM (also known in the states as SCART). The software will quickly scan, detect, and stored all the available channels. Please note that a meticulous scan will better detect channels for a better image quality. Make sure your brand new PCTV supports cable channels but not digital as they need to be decoded. However we have noticed a big glitch: if you live in France and if you select France as the PCTV country you’ll receive 3 or 4 channels, but if you say that you live in Germany or in Belgium you’ll receive all the French channels!!! It’s a big bug and we are still waiting for a Pinnacle tech support answer… 

Once the channels are detected you can named them and stored them in your favorite order to quickly access your most used channels. The default size of the TV window is 320 x 240: it’s the best resolution for a good image quality. But you can also resize the window yourself, or used different resolutions (240*180; 640*480) or even 1024*768 if you used this video resolution. More you increase the PCTV Vision window worst the image quality will be. The software offers a preview feature that will list and refresh in one window all the received channels. A double click on one channel will display it in big! Sure you can adjust the sound volume and even set it to mute. To switch between channels simply used the channels list or the zap buttons. The software allows you to disable its title-bar, status bar, by double clicking on it. You can also set it to be always on top.
Finally you change the layout of the PCTV Vision window.

Listening to Radio

  Well yes the PCTV USB device should allow user to hear radio. However on our European French dedicated device the radio feature is not in the box due to video norms. Too bad…


With the latest drivers 1.04, Pinnacle gave to all users a brand new tool to read teletext news. Through a Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 window you can browse teletext pages, store them, print them and much more. It’s really a great enhancement that every existing PCTV USB users will have for free by downloading the new 1.04 drivers set. The only weak point we’ve noticed is that you can’t watch TV while you’re browsing teletext pages.


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