On the bottom end of the PVT you’ll find the DC power input and the main USB port. There’s also a second USB Type-B port which, according to the user manual, is “reserved for future use”. Presumably, then, the PVT’s functionality could be improved or upgraded in the future, but for the time being at least this secondary USB port remains superfluous. Sitting along the top end are the all-important Composite and S-video inputs, as well as the stereo audio inputs. LEDs are also positioned above each of the video/audio inputs and the USB port, which light up either blue or red depending on the PVT’s current state of operation.
A User Manual, Quick Start Guide, DC power adaptor, a usefully long 1.5m Composite Video/Audio cable (3x Phono), and a SCART adapter (in EU markets only) are all included in the box. For better quality recordings, Pinnacle advises using the S-video input rather than Composite Video, but surprisingly doesn’t include an S-video lead as part of the package. Pinnacle also doesn’t supply any video editing software but if you need to carry out any subsequent editing you can download a free copy of its VideoSpin software.
Making a recording with the PVT is extremely straightforward. After connecting it to a video source and plugging in a USB storage device, the first step is to press the MODE button to switch the device on. After a few seconds, the unit detects the connected USB device and the video input being used. Once all the main LEDs have turned blue, the desired recording quality can then be selected by pressing the MODE button repeatedly until the relevant number of smaller LEDs illuminate (one LED for ‘Good’, two for ‘Better’ and three for ‘Best’).
When you’re ready to start a recording, simply press the REC button. The main LEDs then all turn red to confirm that a recording is being made. To stop the recording press the REC button a second time. Once the recording has been finalised and safely stored on the USB device, the main LEDs then turn blue again, indicating that the PVT can then be removed.
Video recordings are saved in a directory called VIDEO, located in the root of the USB hard disk or flash key. If the directory doesn’t currently exist then one is automatically created. Recordings made on the PSP are shown in the Video area. Each video is respectively named and numbered according to the sequence in which it was recorded, eg. Vid00001.mp4. In a similar fashion, recordings made on an iPod are stored in a directory called F99 which is located in the iPod’s hidden Music folder, and are named sequentially from 0001.mp4 upwards. One thing to bear in mind is that because the PVT doesn’t have an internal clock, the video files won’t have a time and date that match up to when the file was actually recorded.