Pinnacle PCTV Hybrid Tuner (330e) for Vista x64

Update 22/12/2010: My recent post on using AVerTV Volar GO in Windows 7 may be of interest too

In the past I have done two posts on how to use Pinnacle PCTV 330e TV Tuner USB stick to view TV (set-top box) signals from Windows x64 operating systems (Windows Vista x64 or Windows 7 x64). Yesterday while trying to update the driver from Pinnacle site I realized that with the two earlier posts I haven’t documented all the pieces, so I am writing this updated post. My instructions are for using Tata Sky DTH service (set-top box) that’s available in India and my machine running Windows Vista x64 & Nero 8.0 – the same steps should work for most other DTH services (set-top boxes).

Step 0:
Windows Vista x64 SP2 should find the driver for Pinnacle PCTV Hybrid Tuner (330e) automatically, if it doesn’t you can download the latest driver from Pinnacle support site hereDirect link to download here. Look for “PCTV Hybrid Pro Stick (330e)”.

Step 1:
Buy from market a composite video cable (RCA) and a Stereo audio cable (RCA). You get this in various brand names “Belkin Composite Video and Audio Cable Kit” or “Mediabridge – RCA Component Video Cable with Audio”. This cable is not included with Pinnacle PCTuner USB product.

Step 2:

Connect the Audio & Video output (RCA component connectors) of your set-top box to the audio/video adapter cable (the small black colour pin with wires coming out that is connected on the side of the USB stick on the photo below) using the RCA cable kit purchased in Step 1. The small black colour Pinnacle adapter cable is specific to Pinnacle PCTV and is included in the box, you will not get this outside.

Tata Sky and Pinnacle Hybrid USB 330e Stick

Step 3:
Connect your Pinnacle USB stick (with the small black pin and cable connected) to a free USB port in your machine. I will recommend using the USB extension cable (found in the box) and connecting to a free port in the rear of your desktop (also for the fact that most rear USB ports are USB 2.0 for better speed) so that the wires are hidden away from the view.

Step 4:
Now it is time to configure your software to receive the signal and view. I am using my favourite Nero 8.0 (Nero 9.0 should work as well and provide scheduling capability) software. The trick here (which I forgot yesterday while configuring and wasted two hours) is to use the Nero MediaHome software (accessed from Start search menu or from “C:\Program Files (x86)\Nero\Nero8\Nero MediaHome\NeroMediaHome.exe”) and not the Nero Home (whose Easy Setup option doesn’t allow us to set the TV input as composite).

After running Nero MediaHome, select the TV->Launch Nero TV Wizard. In the dialog box that comes, select the video device as “PCTV 330e/8x0e Device”, video input as “Composite”, Audio device as “Use audio from video device”. You are good to go, complete rest of the steps and close the dialog box and MediaHome.

nero mediahome

Step 5:
Now run Nero Home from desktop or start menu, select “Video” option from “Video and TV” menu – don’t select “Live TV” (that works only with TV Antenna/Cable as input). Then in the next screen (shown below) select “Composite” (ignore the numbers 1, 2 or 3 that may appear in brackets). You will now be able to see the live TV in the “Watch TV” screen that will appear now. You can double click on the playing video to maximize or double-click again to get controls (to play, pause/time-shift, record, stop & volume control). Enjoy!

Nero Home video composite watch tv

Don’t waste your time trying to get Windows Media Center in Windows Vista x64 to work with this Pinnacle product (PCTV 330e TV Tuner USB stick), it doesn’t work. Windows Vista insists on input coming via TV Antenna/Cable, where as in our setup above we are using a set-top box and the TV input comes as composite audio/video signal. As I have written in my Windows 7 beta post the above setup (even with a composite audio/video signal) seems to be working for India in Windows 7 Media Center.