Repurposing an old Pinnacle TV capture card

As an analogue video-capturing device. In this post, I explain how to make an old tv Pinnacle capture card (chipset Bt848) work in a modern Windows 10 x64 pro. Using a modded version of DScaler, we can use either the composite or S-video entrance to capture analogue video signals such as the PSone.

Ricardo Montero Rubert

I have a drawer full of cables, cards, memory sticks, etcetera. Basically old junk that sits there peacefully until someone disturbs it when looking for an unusual cable. And a few days ago, I was indeed looking for a weird cable for one of the projects on my (Spanish) Youtube channel when I stumbled upon this thing here.

My old tv capture card, Pinnacle miroVideo PCTV pro. Long time used to watch analogue tv on my previous computer and decode Nagravision TV channels like the extinct Canal+, but today being completely useless given the fact that there is no analogue TV anymore. However, the capture card has an S-video and a composite video entrance in addition to the already mentioned now useless analogue TV decoder1.

Pinnacle miroVideo PCTV pro with bt848 decoder chip

Figure 1: Pinnacle miroVideo PCTV pro with bt848 decoder chip

As I have been recently fiddling around with my old PSone which outputs everything via RGB. Would I be able to make it work, so that I can record myself playing the PSone? I started looking around and I found that it is fairly easy to make them work if you are using Linux. But I am using Windows 10 x64, and this card was made more than 18 years ago, with Windows XP 32-bit drivers.

Below this paragraph, you will find a (Spanish) video showing how the PSone image is being transferred into my computer and the instructions on how to achieve it. Additionally, I have added several other drivers that I found whilst I was testing my setup. Those drivers did not work for me on my computer, but they might work on yours.

My solution

You need:

Don't forget to select your model, otherwise it won't work.

Figure 2: Don’t forget to select your model, otherwise it won’t work.


Note 1: Virus total gives some positive malware in the unofficial DScaler

DScaler 4.2.3 and 4.2.3a are not official developments of DScaler. The latest stable version of DScaler is 4.1.15, and the latest alpha version is 4.2.2. I have analysed the files through VirusTotal (4.2.3 and 4.2.3a), and some antivirus detects some malware in them.

Given the fact that my Fortran game, which I am pretty sure is clean because I compiled myself, also has some false positives2. I am pretty sure that false positives are a thing and are likely to be the case here. However, proceed with caution.

Note 2: Not installing drivers

The beauty of this system is that you do not need to install any driver. DScaler own drivers can make it work on the fly.

Note 3: Only works within DScaler

Because you are not installing any driver, the capture card, and thus whatever signals it arrives through is only visible via DScaler. This means that you can’t use more modern software like OBS to get the signal. But you can set OBS to record the windows of DScaler.

Other drivers

In this quest, I encountered several drivers that people claimed worked for them, but they didn’t for me. Finding drivers for old stuff ain’t easy, so I have added them here just in case they can be used by you, my fellow reader.

Then as a bonus, you can still access the FTP of Pinnacle (as in at the date of writing) with plenty of old drivers and stuff. Install FileZilla and set it up like this:

User (Empty)
Pass (Empty)
Port (Empty)

Click on “fast connection”, and you can find a lot of drivers (TV/driver), manuals (TV/documentation), and software (TV/application). I have a local copy of this FTP in case it disappears, no idea how can I save a copy online. So if it disappears and you need something, you will need to find me and ask for it politely.

  1. I am not completely sure it is useless. Some old equipment had video output through channel 21 of the TV, and technically, it could be used to get this video. However, I have not found a way to tune in to a specific channel on DScaler, and neither I own such equipment to test it.↩︎

  2. At least Kapersky removed the false positive when I complained but the other antivirus software still lab it as a Trojan.↩︎