Pinnacle USB PCTV 150 in Linux

I got myself an used USB Analog TV Grabber PCTV150e from Pinnacle :

This thingy comes with Windows only Drivers (of course, what did you expect?)

However, with a very little fine tuning, this nice little Device works great (and even better according to Image Quality) in Linux then in Windows.


This is me playing Super Mario Bros 3 on a NES hooked up to my Linux Box via the Pinnacle USB PCTV 150e, I like the quote on the title bar, it fits me so much 😉


    1. Install TVTime

TVTime is a very great software for watching Television on a Linux Desktop. Furthermore it grabs Video and Sound from nearly any source of an Analog Tuner (Composite Video, SVHS, you get the trick..)

Install it with

On Ubuntu  :

sudo apt-get install tvtime sox libsox-fmt-all

On Fedora (as root) :

yum install tvtime sox

I’ll come to the sox and libsox stuff a bit later…

A shortcut will be placed in you apps Menu, or you can simply launch it with “tvtime”.

You’ll notice that the image quality is great, but there is no sound…

    1. Determine the Audio Device of the Pinnacle USB

In a Terminal, simply launch

cat /proc/asound/cards

Output will be something like :

0 [M5455 ]: ICH - ALi M5455 ALi M5455 with ALC655 at irq 20
1 [UART ]: MPU-401 UART - MPU-401 UART MPU-401 UART at 0x330, irq 5
2 [PAL ]: USB-Audio - PCTV USB2 PAL Pinnacle Systems GmbH PCTV USB2 PAL at usb-0000:00:1c.3-5, high speed
    1. Create a new launcher for TVTime

Create a new file , and paste the following command (which I found on a user friendly German Friendly, but forgot to bookmark )

sox -r 48000 -w -c 2 -t ossdsp /dev/dspX -t ossdsp /dev/dsp & tvtime --mixer=/dev/mixer:pcm

Notice the first /dev/dspX ? Substitute it with the number of your USB PCTV Audio Device (in this case , 2)

Save the new file, and give it a meaningful name, i.e. or something like this

Now launch this file (you may want to do an chmod +x on it first), and voilà, now there’s sound being played.

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