Reviewer Says Pinnacle HD Stick Needs Work

Following the launch of Pinnacle's PCTV HD Pro Stick, a gadget the size of a typical USB memory stick for PCs (HD Notebook, Oct. 11, 2006), USA Today has given the new product 2 of a possible 4 stars in a Oct. 12 review.

The Pro Stick plugs into a laptop, and with the aid of an antenna, pulls in HD signals for live viewing on the computer. It can also turn a PC's hard drive into a DVR, per se, for capturing HD content for playback. The "tuner stick" can manage both analog and digital signals, and while such capabilities are not new, the Pinnacle unit brings far more portability to the table (or away from it) for viewing HD content.

Yet as usual with first-gen products, there are some flaws, according to USA Today (opens in new tab) Reviewer Edward C. Baig. He said a lot of users will have a difficult time pulling in many HD signals, depending on their locations, and that a powerful laptop also is required. From a basement office in the NYC metro area (he didn't say specifically where), most DTV and analog stations had spotty reception, he said.

Baig said he cannot recommend the product at this stage, until some software kinks are worked out and the remote control is made more reliable. He said Pinnacle also told him because of another bug, rebooting the laptop twice may be necessary before the software recognizes the remote.