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Pinnacle bows HDTV tuner card for PCs

Pinnacle Systems has introduced the PC-HDTV tuner card, which combines technology from Pinnacle Systems, TeraLogic and Philips Semiconductor. It can receive all 18 ATSC standards as well as standard-definition television.

"The HDTV market is a strategic one to get involved with," says Product Manager William Chien. "This year and next year will still be an early-adopter market, and we're certainly not forecasting that it will be a high-volume product. It's really for enthusiasts and people who want to experience HDTV cost effectively."

The card, designed for PCs with a Pentium II 300-MHz processor running Windows 98, allows viewers to watch, record and play back an HDTV program at full HD resolution on a PC monitor. It also outputs a standard NTSC signal so that conventional TV sets can display HDTV. "There's a set of S-video composite outputs as well as stereo audio," Chien says. "We have a monitor output so it can be connected to a DTV-capable set that has RGB connectors."

Pinnacle Systems, which has an established business in the PC/analog-TV-tuner market, incorporated Philips'second-generation ATSC demodulation chipset into the card, as well as TeraLogic's Janus HD decoder.

It also will support future datacasting applications. "We'll be able to provide software for those applications from our Web site as an upgrade," says Chien.

The card is scheduled to ship in the second quarter at a suggested retail price of $399.