Pinnacle PCTV USB Stick review

One of the cheapest TV tuners you'll find

Spend a few extra pounds and get an analogue and digital tuner

TechRadar Verdict


  • +

    Good price


  • -

    No analogue tuner

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The PCTV USB Stick lives up to its name as it has a simple USB memory key design with a Coaxial TV antenna port on one end. You don't get a USB extension cable in the package, so if you want to distance the tuner and cable from your laptop you'll have to buy one.

Given Pinnacle's history as a video editing software company, you won't be surprised to learn the software package is Pinnacle's own MediaCenter application. This is a sizeable application that takes up 160MB of hard drive space and it looks very slick and impressive, but it's not without flaws.

You watch TV in the Pinnacle TVCenter and change the settings in a separate piece of software, though it's not possible to make changes to the settings while the TVCenter is running. If you're the type to make changes then this is annoying, but if you leave things alone then it is of no concern

Picture quality was very acceptable and, in the main, we were happy with the Pinnacle. However, we feel it makes sense to spend an extra few pounds to get both analogue and digital tuners. Anyone who is looking for a cheap and cheerful TV tuner should put the Pinnacle on their shopping list. Leo Waldock was the former name of Its staff were at the forefront of the digital publishing revolution, and spearheaded the move to bring consumer technology journalism to its natural home – online. Many of the current TechRadar staff started life a staff writer, covering everything from the emerging smartphone market to the evolving market of personal computers. Think of it as the building blocks of the TechRadar you love today.