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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2007
I reviewed three different products before buying Pinnacle PCTV:

1. Slingbox
2. Sony Location Free
3. Pinnacle PCTV

My requirements were:
1. wireless connectivity (Slingbox can't)
2. ease of installation (Sony is difficult)
3. accept HDTV (Sony can't)

PCTV fulfilled my needs and it works great with DVD like quality. We don't have a TV or a cablebox in our living room but now my wife uses her laptop to watch cable TV while nursing....
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2007
This device implements a nice concept and mostly delivers what it promises. Once set up properly, a non-geek could easily use this. Setup is ok but not that simple, but since this device requires that you also administer a router, that is not a very big deal. The display and recording interfaces are clean and simple. The picture quality is great, but don't expect 720p because it is not 720p. I would strongly suspect that recording in 720p would get this into some legal issue. But still, quality is equal or slightly better than dvd quality. Some cons: cpu intensive, some laptop cards don't work, can't record at predefined times using the software provided, and there is no keyboard control.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2009
I purchased this item and at first thought I had wasted my money. I needed something that was wireless, and I didn't want to spend a lot of money. I got a good deal on this item and despite the dreadful reviews I've read about what a headache it is to setup, I still went ahead and pulled the trigger.

I started to set the item up and I went to Pinnacle's website and downloaded the latest software. The setup was going smoothly and everything worked other than the remote viewing setup (i.e. watching your TV over the internet from anywhere in the world), which was the main reason I bought the item. For some reason this would not set up at all. So the product seemed like a complete waste to me.

After some research on Google, I found out that this product is just a rebadged Hava Wireless HD. So I uninstalled all the pinnacle software from my computer, reset the product (by putting an straightened out paper clip into the reset button on the back), and then downloaded the Hava Media player. The only other problem I ran into during set up was that the Hava software wouldn't automatically detect the product. I had to manually connect my laptop to it (under wireless network connections, the device shows up the same way a wireless router would).

After doing that, Hava updated the firmware of the product and this time set up went flawlessly. I'm now able to use the product with all the advertised features, including watching TV and changing channel half way across the world. After downloading the software from Hava's website, I have absolutely no regrets about buying the product.
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on June 26, 2009
Overall, I am quite pleased with this product. It is nice to be able to watch all of the channels from my main TV on my laptop out on the porch. The video is near DVD quality when viewed on a laptop screen.

Initially, I had problems setting it up. That was because my main PC has a wired Ethernet connection to my router but the Pinnacle did not. On the other hand, I had no problems getting it to work with my wireless laptop (both running Vista).

Fast-forward 2 weeks later and now I have a NetGear wireless printer server. I bought this device to allow my new TV to get on the Internet since I don't have an Ethernet cable by the TV. Yeah, it was designed to allow you to plug a USB cable from a printer and wirelessly connect to my wireless router but it also has 4 Ethernet ports so you can use it as a wireless bridge.

So, configured in that manner, the TV can now get out on the Internet. I then figured I would try installing the PCTV To Go software again on my main PC. This time, the PC found the Pinnacle device and was able to display the TV signal from it. Great!

I then figured I would be equally successful at getting the remote viewing feature working. No such luck. While my PC can communicate with it through an Ethernet cable to the router, then wirelessly from the router to my NetGear "bridge"; and my TV can get out on the Internet through the NetGear bridge and the wireless router, the Pinnacle device cannot. Bummer. Although the main reason I bought this device was to receive TV broadcasts from my cable box to any wired or wireless PC in the house (which now works well), it would have been cool to be able to watch my TV channels from any PC in the world. I suppose this would work if I had a wired connection from the Pinnacle device to my router but since I don't want to drill holes in the walls and floor to run an Ethernet cable over to it, I will have to live without that feature.

Overall a really cool product, but I have to knock a star off because of this limitation.
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If you have Vista Home, forget it don't buy this product. It's impossible to set up this product with Vista Home. My HP laptop has Vista and with the software update for the PCTV, HAVA, I get the "NO HAVA Device Detected". Even hard wired into the router the device can't be located. I rolled back to the previous software version, and Vista locate the device, but when you make a network connection with the PCTV, the Setup wizard says "Connection with PCTV lost" even though you have an active connection with the device. Support is awful. There is no phone support, and I still haven't got a response from support to the email I sent them a week ago.

The setup was easy with XP on my wife's laptop. The player displays a good quality picture. The only thing is that full screen display had buffering problems.

If the company had better support for this product, I would have no problem recommending to anyone. If you only have a Vista machine, wait to get this.
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on April 8, 2008
This is a good product if you can get it for less than [...].

The good:

Network connection and setup is easy. I used the latest setup software and updated the firmware before starting. The latest sw does support WPA but I have not tried it yet. I setup the unit using direct network connection then after I've confirmed that everything work, I used the "advanced" mode to configure the wireless portion then disconnected the network cable.

The time shifting feature is great for watching sport since you can do your own "instant replay" by just sliding the pointer back a few click.

The bad:

Picture quality is a little better than YouTube. It ok for general viewing but not for recording. I don't expect much from this kind of device anyway so it's ok for me.

Overall, I'm happy with this unit. I bought it at [...] and I think this is the right price for the given performance and features.

BTW [...] means that text has been edited out by Amazon.
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Intalled fine. Using with a Linksys wireless router. Installed in 15 minutes. Most the time took downloading a more recent PCTV to go application then the one they sent with the product on CD.

I am sharing the cable signal with my neighbor and we use a dlink range extender to boost the signal between houses. The distance between the linksys and the dlink extender is about 350 ft and everything is working GREAT.

I am getting a 555 MBS connection. Quality of video is great at 1X and ok at 2x. I actually use 2 video to hook it up to my 50 inch TV and it looks OK - not DVD/HD quality but pretty good.

When streaming over web I get 400 kbs and the video is fair at 1x.

Receommend this product.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2008
Generally, this is a good product. Overall, I'm pleased with it.

Setup isn't that easy nor that difficult. Local multicast video quality is good (appears as DVD quality to me) while remote unicast viewing video quality is acceptable.

My only grouse - The wireless feature can't be switched off (even though I just want to operate on wired connection because of concern with radiation).
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7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2007
I purchased the Pinncle To Go HD Wireless last month, and had it back in the box within a day. Here is the lowdown: The resolution is NOT as advertised. True, the box will allow your PC to record your programming and stores in in either MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 format. Viewing content via the internet, LAN or on my primary PC-- it looked very nice. When burning recorded HD content onto a DVD, and then watching it on a 57" screen, the quality was laughable. I'm no whiz, but I believe the compression and downcoversion causes the loss-- and ultimatley, I want to be able to record content and archive it for viewing on my TV later-- not just my PC. The IR blaster on my unit did not control my HR 10-250-- and it was one of the default controls. I highly suggest waiting a generation or two before buying a product like this.
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