Me and my new Pinnacle PCTV Pro card.
Yesterday I bought a new Pinnacle PCTV Pro card for my computer from Ritchie street. I came around Rs.2700 with one year warranty. Pinnacle PCTV Pro has BT878 chipset with FM tuner which is Rs.500 more than the PCTV Stereo model which has no FM tuner (that is the only difference). Both the cards include an infrared remote control.
I installed the card in a free PCI slot of my PC and started my Windows 2000 Professional and installed the driver and software from Pinnacle. After configuring the video standard (PAL) and frequency table region (India), the TV vision software started scannning for the stations and it numbered them. I tried capturing and time shift operations and working more or less promised by the manufacturer. For MPG2 enconding, it seems that I have to pay online and activate this feature. Well! who wants this? I will try using mplayer's mencoder for doing this. (Is it possible) After some struggle, I got my favourite 98.3 (Radio Mirchi) up and running. I had to connect an external antenna to the FM tuner's input apart from the normal TV cable input. The hardware was fine and I thought that then it is time to configure it and getting it worked on Linux.
I restarted the PC and booted into my Fedora Core 2. Kudzu detected the card as "Brooktree corporation Bt878 video capture device". I opened tvtime and chose the video standard as PAL. It wanted me to restart the application. In the frequency table there was no entry for India. I had to run 'tvtime-scan' and chose "Custom" in the frequency table. I got the channels correctly. But still I didn't see the quality that I saw on Windows's TV vision software. I think I have to play with the frequency table. (Anyone has an idea what frequency table is India's based on?) I wanted to get my remote working on Linux. But I didn't had LIRC. I have to download and install one. Similar case about the FM tuner. I didn't had any Radio tuner softwares. I plan to use gnomeradio and try it today.
Pinnacle PCTV Pro is definetly a value for it's money. Just my 2 cents ;-)