Pinnacle has upgraded its HD Stick and HD Pro Stick USB tuners. The tuners now include the ability to receive and decode ClearQAM cable signals in addition to NTSC analog and ATSC digital broadcasts. The HD Pro Stick can also receive analog FM radio broadcasts.
The Pinnacle HD Ultimate Stick, which has on-board flash memory, already had ClearQAM capability, although users have to download beta software/firmware from the Pinnacle Web site to add ClearQAM capability.
The new HD stick and HD Pro Stick software includes what Pinnacle calls “a trial version” of support for MPEG-4 for output to a PSP or iPod.
The Pinnacle Web site does not mention what tuner and demodulator chips are used in the new USB tuners. The HD Ultimate Stick uses an Xceive tuner with an AMD (ATI) demodulator. The older HD Pro Stick used an LG demodulator.
Visiting the Best Buy Web site, I noticed the new HD Pro Stick was available in some stores.
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Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.