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Pinnacle PCTV DVB-T PCI review

It seems this neat little card has a lot to offer

Our Verdict

Low price, high performance


  • Easy to use

    Straightforward interface

    Good PCI option

    Great price


  • No analogue TV support

    UK teletext doesn't work

In a market where set-up procedures are usually less than straightforward and software usually disappoints, it's good to see that Pinnacle understand what users expect.

For example, most competing apps don't make it possible to configure your choice of remote control and where they do you'll usually have to pick the model name from a text list. Pinnacle displays pictures of each option - you click the one you've found in the box.

You're not then left to figure out how to scan for channels, because the appropriate dialog opens automatically. It doesn't expect you to choose which frequencies to scan or provide any other technical details, and you'll probably be able to run with the default settings.

Once finished, you're able to easily rename or reorder files, or create Favourite channels for easy access later. None of this ought to be too surprising, but after the very poor software we've found elsewhere, it proved a great relief.


The main Pinnacle MediaCenter application features a clean and straightforward interface that's easier to use than most media players. The main console is just Channel up, Channel down, Volume, Pause and Record, which work as expected.

The EPG enables you to view programmes by channel or by time, which is a big step forward. Scheduling a recording is as easy as clicking a programme and clicking Record; you can manually set up a recording, or view any recordings you've got scheduled via tabs on the same dialog.

There are problems. There's no analogue TV support, the remote is a little small and UK teletext doesn't work. However, these aren't serious issues, especially considering the price of this tuner.