TV revisited: Pinnacle HDTV stick (USB, for Mac) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-29-2008, 09:00 PM   #1
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I found this on Amazon Pinnacle HDTV for Mac
but actually bought it on WOOT when it was offered for $70.

I am running OS10.4 on a MacBookPro. I installed the software, plugged in the USB stick and attached the included rabbit ear antenna (single ear) and was immediately able to pick up every local digital station, more clearly than the television connected to an outdoor antenna was getting them. (I was in a room full of windows.)

I'm very pleased with the ease of use of this product. It quickly turns my Mac into a TV, and besides using it for camping, I anticipate it will be useful when the power goes out (at least until the Mac power is gone!)

Bobbie
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:10 PM   #2
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Hey Bobbie! That gadget sounds really cool and a heck of a lot cheaper than the other system you were considering before. Plus, you can still watch your DVDs on the Mac. I'll be curious to learn what kind of reception it gets when you're out in the sticks. Please keep us posted! Also, what is WOOT?
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:18 PM   #3
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Hey Bobbie! That gadget sounds really cool and a heck of a lot cheaper than the other system you were considering before. Plus, you can still watch your DVDs on the Mac. I'll be curious to learn what kind of reception it gets when you're out in the sticks. Please keep us posted! Also, what is WOOT?
I'm rarely very far out when I'm camping but it may do worse when I'm not surrounded by TV towers. The antenna has a magnetic base so if there is anything to connect it to it could sit outside. The stick also has an adapter for a regular coax cable if you had a real antenna (or cable TV) so you aren't stuck with the mini-antenna it comes with. The included software will also record TV but I don't think I have the HD space for that.

http://www.woot.com

Woot has a one-deal per day (normally) thing which changes over at 10 PM Pacific time. Mostly electronics but some other things, too. About once a month there is a "Woot-off" where a new deal replaces the old as soon as the item is sold out. These go on for 1-2 days usually. Shipping on anything is $5, whether the item is $500 or $.01.

Bobbie
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:49 PM   #4
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Son of a gun Bobbie, I would have never thought of that? Amazing what can be done now days...Thanks for the bit, I put it in my favorites for later use.

Harry
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:06 PM   #5
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Bobbie,

Do you only need internet connection for the first-time set-up or does the system require an internet aircard for running it away from your home or public access wi-fi? I saw a PC version by the same manufacturer on Amazon for $79.99. Thanks!
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:05 PM   #6
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I have one for my PC and you don't need the internet to set it up. One note don't store the antenna too close to your computer. The strong magnetic base could cause problems with your data. Since most of my camping is done in the RF Quiet Zone in Va and WV, I haven't used mine very much, but is does add more time for your start up sequence for your computer even when not connected. The computer is looking for the USB device and can't find it and it sends you a message at start up.
NRFQZ http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.02/quiet_pr.html
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:12 PM   #7
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The package comes with with the USB plugin, software and antenna that turned my Dell laptop into a TV.

I only needed an internet connection to register the Pinnacle program. You can also use the internet to download the local programming guide. The guide is location specific. So, I never downloaded it as I was moving around too often for it to do much good. Once I got home I found out there is no guide for my area.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:19 PM   #8
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It just looks better and better with each post! Thanks for the input!
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:30 PM   #9
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If the locals need a big antenna, then you will too. If you are in a weak reception area you won't get much.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:26 PM   #10
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Bobbie,

Do you only need internet connection for the first-time set-up or does the system require an internet aircard for running it away from your home or public access wi-fi? I saw a PC version by the same manufacturer on Amazon for $79.99. Thanks!
No Wi-fi access needed, I doubt even for set-up although they connect up to Titan TV for program guides and I did register it online.

Bobbie
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:26 PM   #11
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I have one for my PC and you don't need the internet to set it up. One note don't store the antenna too close to your computer. The strong magnetic base could cause problems with your data. Since most of my camping is done in the RF Quiet Zone in Va and WV, I haven't used mine very much, but is does add more time for your start up sequence for your computer even when not connected. The computer is looking for the USB device and can't find it and it sends you a message at start up.
NRFQZ http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.02/quiet_pr.html
You should be able to fix that by taking the device's program out of your startup file.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:29 PM   #12
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If the locals need a big antenna, then you will too. If you are in a weak reception area you won't get much.
Well, really not true for me here. Rabbit ears do not do very well here, but the antenna provided with this did just fine, perhaps because I was more in the center of the room. But you can connect it to a big antenna if you need one.

Where I want one has plenty of TV reception so that is not an issue. But clearly if there is no reception there is nothing magic about having the receiver on your computer, you still won't get a signal.

Bobbie
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:07 PM   #13
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I've had a ElGato eyeTV hybrid for 2 years and works great . Perfect for on the road.It has a HD as well as a analog tuner.Its also has a DVR.Only works on macs
I think macsales sells them for under $70
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:10 PM   #14
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People take TV's when they go camping? OMG, what will they think of next?

- running for the exit -
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