Pinnacle TV for Mac HD Stick

Pinnacle TV for Mac HD Stick

Access programs in EyeTV Lite by hitting the Menu button on the remote and looking under Recordings.

 

The Pinnacle TV for Mac HD Stick is a high-definition TV tuner that allows digital video recording on your Mac. You're still relegated to the Mac for your TV viewing, however, unless you connect the computer to your HDTV.

 

To receive programming, plug a cable line or antenna into the USB dongle. Conveniently, Pinnacle includes a compact antenna that can receive analog and digital programming. You get the additional benefit of time-shifting features (rewind, fast-forward) when you're tuned in to digital channels. You can resize the video screen to your liking, or use one of four presets, including a full-screen option. HD programs look as amazing as you'd expect.

 

The included remote control is nice and small, so it won't occupy much desk space, but that also makes using it more confusing, as certain buttons serve dual functions. For example, some of the number keys do double duty as Up, Down, and Enter - your only hint is their subtly different shape.

 

The HD Stick comes with Elgato's EyeTV software, but unfortunately, it's the Lite version, which has a severely reduced set of features and fussier navigation. For example, to schedule a one-time recording, you can use the TitanTV online programming guide to locate the show you want. But to create a repeat recording, you have to visit the Manual Schedule window and program it VCR-style, entering start and end times and other info. Ugh.

 

We also had difficulty figuring out how to access recordings. We finally found them by pressing the remote's tiny Menu button (you can also use the onscreen controls), scrolling to Recordings, clicking on a recorded show, clicking through the detail page of the show, and clicking Play. That's a lot of clicking. Also missing from EyeTV Lite: editing capabilities, iPod export, text search, and Internet programming, among other things. You can upgrade to the full version of EyeTV for $50, which pretty much negates the price difference between this product and the similar EyeTV Hybrid, which costs $150 but doesn't include an antenna.

 

The bottom line. If you want to receive digital and analog TV on your Mac, and you can live with the no-frills software, the HD Stick offers a quick way to get tuned in.

 

COMPANY: Pinnacle Systems
CONTACT: www.pinnaclesys.com
PRICE: $129.99
REQUIREMENTS: G4, G5, or Intel Core processor (dual G5 or Intel Core Duo processor for HDTV), Mac OS 10.4 or later, 256MB RAM (512MB for HDTV), 1GB disk space, USB
Brings in both digital and analog channels. Includes antenna.
Takes time to get used to the remote. Time-shifting features are available only with digital channels. EyeTV Lite software is kind of a pain.

 

 

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MacBear

Appreciate the insights and 'gotchas'. It's nice to have choice and competition in the Mac TV Tuner market. At least with the FULL version of EyeTV, ElGato continues to provide the best Macintosh television software hardware and solution -- but for BootCamp, VMWare and Parallells users, perhaps 3rd party units bundled with both PC AND Mac TV software might be a better choice for dual-boot/OS environments.

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Jimminicrickettt

What kind of person would make such a non user friendly software package like the EyeTV Lite!? I got a good deal on the Pinncle HD MAC stick, got it home, installed it, and was immediately mad at it! I cannot use both analog, and digital without reinitializing the setup between switching antenae imputs. I installed an A/B switch for the HD antenae, and analog cable TV. What a pain in the ***! I am returning it today! The device itself is fantastic! the software is a JOKE! DO NOT BUY THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE AN EXTRA $50 to spend on the upgraded software bringing the cost to almost $180.!

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ReneB

Love the product but upgraded to the full EyeTV software after a few very frustrating couple of hours of trying to make anything substantial happen with the Lite version. The image quality on my 23" Apple flat panel is simply stunning; watching CSI:Miami in HD was a real treat and well worth the investment! Can't wait to watch "taped" episodes of Hell's Kitchen for when I'm back from my next trip to Europe.

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eleanor

i just bought this and pinnacle customer service was terrible. were you able to download the eye tv lite software or did you upgrade it to the regular eye tv?

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