USB Stick Records HD/SD Off-Air

USB sticks are used for a wide array of mostly PC tasks these days ranging from a typical storage back-up resource to partnering up with a wireless mouse for laptops. Pinnacle, a division of Avid, has now introduced a USB stick which it says can record and play back digital and analog video, as well as HD (albeit it in limited quantities).

The PCTV HD Ultimate Stick plugs into a computer’s regular USB port (2.0). According to Pinnacle, the tiny USB unit acts as a “plug-and-watch” device that captures both ATSC and NTSC terrestrial signals, records them, and plays them back on the computer. Pinnacle also said the stick comes hardware-ready for unencrypted digital cable reception. No installation is required, it said (except for inserting the USB stick).

DVR software is pre-installed on the stick, which the company says can hold about two hours of SD video (which would seem to preclude recording HD programs longer than a half-hour, and no HD movies at all). The USB stick comes with a remote, and some editing software. For now, its price points are about triple the cost of most of today’s typical medium-storage USB sticks.