View Full Version : DVD playback an important feature?
07-17-2003, 07:46 AM
I was wondering if, in the community of Sage users, DVD playback is really such an important feature.
It seems to me that this capability is already covered by a ton of other programs - so why re-invent the wheel? Personally, my PVR isn't even on the same floor as my TV, so I'd never watch a DVD on it. ("Honey, run down to the basment and put in the DVD")
From Frey's viewpoint, if they want to license Sage for set-top boxes, I would think other issues would take priority. On a personal note, I'd vote for the 350's output ;)
I just keep thinking of Ben Franklin's famous quote: I don't know the recipe for success, but I do know the one for failure - trying to please everybody.
Curious as to other opinions... Am I in the silent majority or minority here?
07-17-2003, 08:16 AM
I don't know about percentages of people's preferences, but I can tell you my own. I sold my DVD player to help buy an Xbox that I then modded to be a media center. You know MP3, DIVX, CD, DVD. Right now my wife really doesn't use the Xbox since she feels it's a little to complicated. She does however use and love SageTV, especially since I setup the Tivo remote to control Sage.
When the DVD feature is fully implemented in SageTV my Xbox will likely be unhooked from my main TV setup. I'll use the room and TV inputs to better accomodate SageTV. Heck I'm even considering selling my modded Xbox to help pay for some of the parts to build a totally dedicated HTPC based on SageTV. The only thing lacking now is CD but I usually rip on my main box then put the file in my shared network dir. So even CD is no big deal. The only thing keeping me from selling the Xbox now is the possibility of a SafeTV client for linux. This would mean my Xbox would become a full fledged HTPC.
I don't really watch many DVDs myself. But whatever I use has to be wife friendly, and so far SageTV is the only app that has(or soon will have) all the desired parts in a logical easy to use setup.
Sorry for the long ramble for a simple question, but for me it's not that simple. ;)
PS:My wife is actually very tech/computer savvy. It's just that she's had some bad luck with crashes on some older OSs. I've tried to tell her that it happens to everyone, but she seems to consider all the electronics to be mine. This makes her worry about quote "messing them up". Thanks to SageTV and WinXP she is finally starting to realize she isn't causing any trouble. If I added a DVD app that had a different look/UI from SageTV she would probably not use it. So for my wife DVD support is even more important.
07-17-2003, 08:20 AM
Sure its important because many people want a complete solution for their home entertainment system. Like many others, I have a small pc hooked up to a bigscreen tv and use it for everything (i.e. tv, mp3s, divx movies, and DVD).
Of course there are tons of programs out there that can do it.....but having it integrated with SageTv makes for a complete solution. Plus its easier setup for the user especially if your using a remote like most are.....and in my case a remote wonder with girder.
Just my 2 cents :)
P.S. Keep up the kick ass work guys!
07-17-2003, 08:26 AM
mogrinz, yes dvd matters. Well it does to me anyway. Once I get the client running the way I want, the big loud sagetv box will be located far away from the theater. However, many of my DVDs are online ( I do not want to get into an argument about this) and the ability to access them remotely from any of the clients in the house thru a single appliction is desireable. If I rented dvds, it might not be as important to me, but since the local BB only has full screen dvds, I buy all the discs I watch. Perhaps in some regard I am unique in this but you asked.
From a marketing / product design standpoint DVD playback also seems important. If your goal is to make a single box that joe-neckbone-consumer can hook up to his/her tv and it does everything, then DVD playback is a must. In fact, after seeing my htpc, many friends have asked me to build them one. I would think a 3 tuner, couple hundred gb server with 2 or 3 clients all connected via 801.11.a should be marketable to an average upper middleclass household.
07-18-2003, 09:24 AM
And it's also not that big of a deal to do since I'm already handling MPEG2 playback. DVD is really just a special kind of source that has a few other options you need to deal with.
I also saw a bunch of people who were only running SageTV & ZoomPlayer on their HTPC. And I figured I'd make their lives easier by integrating the DVD playback into SageTV so they had one app to use.
07-18-2003, 10:17 AM
I haven't played with any of the 1.4.x betas, so perhaps this is a pointless comment, but the only way I could see myself using the DVD playback functionality in SageTV was if it allowed me to use a completely different set of options from what I use for TV playback.
Television broadcasts are very different from DVDs and they require different settings. I certainly grant that many people don't care about this, but I'd bet that many of the folks using SageTV are HTPC entusiasts. They'll watch TV at one resolution and with one decoder, but DVDs at a different resolution and with a completely different decoder. I may be watching TV using the Hauppauge Intervideo decoder at AAAxBBB resolution, but when I watch a DVD, I'll use the Elecard or NVDVD decoder at CCCxDDD resolution (all output to my television, of course). If SageTV can offer this kind of dual settings configuration, than I'm all for integrating DVD playback into the product. If not, then it's kind of a no starter for me.
Just my 2 cents...
07-18-2003, 12:03 PM
My view is that if the programming resources were there, then by all means use some of it on the DVD player section, and improving the music library and photo album.
However, if the programming resources are limited (which I believe to be the case), then I think it would be best to concentrate first on making Sage a world-leading TV recording and viewing system, and come to the other things later.
The huge list of feature and useability requests shows that there is still lots to do with the TV part of Sage. I would say that Sage isn't yet at the level which it can be installed and used by a non-technical person (who are probably the people with the most interest in an all-in-one media solution). So get bulk of the important TV stuff done first, and the bells and whistles can be added/improved later.
I should point out that I have been very impressed with Sage TV so far. So much so that I'm using it as the basis of a whole-house networked media system, even though I feel it does need more work - particularly in the area of making the user interface more logical and efficient.
07-18-2003, 12:10 PM
I asked Jeff about the seperate filters a while back and he said that's already under way. I need it because I like to use Elecard and Dscaler, but Elacard is nonCSS so it's a no go for DVDs.
I personally don't change resolutions for DVD viewing but that's a very good point about HTPC enthusiasts. Would the addition of seperate filters for TV and DVD fix this as well? Or do you actually change the windows resolution?
I'm slowly putting together the pieces for my own HTPC built mainly on SageTV, so I find this very interesting.
07-18-2003, 12:15 PM
I believe DVD is important. Currently I use Sage, Zoom Player WMP,etc. For a new user I think it would be beneficial that after installing Sage they can watch/record TV, play a DVD or play an audio CD. This is one of the concepts and arguments we use (especially with wives) on why it is a good idea to have a PC in the front room. With the Studio version being planned, allowing us to "pretty up" or customize the user interface I think you're heading in the right direction.
07-18-2003, 04:28 PM
While I agree that, technically, it wouldn't be too difficult to get SageTV to play DVDs, they do require somewhat different UI. My concern is that by adding too many functions, you end up with a bloated, difficult-to-use program that doesn't to anything well. Just think of the ATI MMC software.
For DVD playback I use Theatertek. I consider it the "SageTV" of DVD players because it was designed specifically for HTPC use. It has a wonderfully slick UI that is designed to be used with a remote control, just like a regular STB DVD player. It is wonderfully configurable, including excellent control of the aspect ratio.
07-27-2003, 04:33 PM
I just started using the DVD playback and love it. If it would show buttons for chapter skip (forward and backward), DVD menu, subtitles, angles, etc, it would be even better. A button on the main menu would be great too.... :)
07-27-2003, 05:12 PM
I agree that I would prefer the development team to maintain their efforts on thr TV part of Sage. There are plenty of good DVD players available. Once all the main requests and maintanence issues are solved then maybe look at DVD.
I would prefer Internet access first, greater customization of interface. Better management of recorded shows, ability to export shows for easier writing to DVD, fix the full screen on startup issue. Remove the initial storage place from inside the Program Files\Frey\ directory.
Aftera couple of weeks of working out kinks (touch wood) I have the system running smooth and love it. One reason I don't care about DVD playback is I find the best PQ is with the Hauppanage non CSS filters so they would not play DVD's anyway.
> One reason I don't care about DVD playback is I find the best PQ is with the Hauppanage non CSS filters so they would not play DVD's anyway.
Fine - use the nonCSS Hauppauge filters then - for watching NTSC recordings...
Nothing says Sage can't use different filter combinations for different source...
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