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  #1  
Old 11-04-2010, 04:35 PM
Dontstaylong Dontstaylong is offline
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SageTV Official Blog - Accepting Submissions

Hi everyone,

To get ready for the public launch of SageTV v.7, we're creating an official SageTV blog to serve as a go-to source for news, updates, and how-to's on everything SageTV. We'll also be working to showcase the awesome customizations you guys have created and answering common user-submitted questions.

That said, what types of content do you want to see in the blog? We're thinking stuff along the lines of topics, past threads, specific UI tweaks that any first-time SageTV user will be looking for after getting their home theater set up.

Ideally, we want this to also serve as a soapbox for the SageTV community.
What do you guys want out of a SageTV blog? Tell us what you think - we're open to submissions and guest-blog pieces to showcase why SageTV is such a fantastic HTPC solution and more.

We're confident SageTV V.7 is a fantastic step up for the software, and we're excited to get this rolled out to the public.

(By the way, great meeting everyone. My name is Davis and I'm helping out with the new site launch.)
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  #2  
Old 11-04-2010, 04:47 PM
Brent Brent is offline
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Hi Davis,
Great idea if it's done right.

For starters, check out the earlier posts on the Snapstream Blog. It's pretty much dead now, but they did a decent (not great) job of keeping it up. Another good HTPC company blog is the Plex Blog

My suggestions:
  1. Info about the SageTV team. I know Jeff & the other folks are shy and all but most of us would love to more about who's behind the curtain
  2. Short snippits of "How-To" in SageTV. Take a tiny bits out of the user manual for a how-top post and make it simple and visual.
  3. Highlight a 3rd party plugin or two
  4. Guest posts from users - how (and why) they use SageTV. Why they moved to SageTV from _______
  5. Hardware highlights - Pick a tuner or two like the HD-PVR, show off a cool (tons of tuners) server.
  6. Show off placeshifter
  7. Show off a couple of online content providers you can get through SageTV
  8. How to get started with HTPCs
  9. SageTV Software/Firmware Updates. I know it's obvious to us geeks who spend entirely too much time on the forums, but some just want to follow the RSS feed of a blog for these things.

I'll have to think on it some more. There are TONS of things I'd like to spend time on at GeekTonic doing those things and I probably will do some of it as I get the time. But I wholeheartedly agree that SageTV needs to market itself a little more and this could be a great first step.
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Last edited by Brent; 11-04-2010 at 04:52 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-04-2010, 04:56 PM
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stuckless stuckless is offline
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Something that might be interesting, for developers, is a "Developers's Corner" where there could be guest posts on writings plugins, using java, code optimizations, coding best practices, extending plugins, using different apis, etc. This is more aimed at the development community and not the general users.
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  #4  
Old 11-04-2010, 06:09 PM
hugenbdd hugenbdd is offline
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+1 for the snippets of the manual.
Maybe take some of the more interesting features and show how they are applied to a real system.


Dave
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  #5  
Old 11-04-2010, 06:17 PM
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jreichen jreichen is offline
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Davis, welcome aboard. I see you're wasting no time getting involved!

This is going to be great for the community. One idea I have would be along the lines of stuckless' Development Corner. Have "Corners" for several aspects of SageTV: TV recordings, DVDs, music, online content, how to access remotely when away from home, etc. Include information on standard Sage features as well as enhancements from the plugin developers.
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  #6  
Old 11-04-2010, 06:51 PM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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Personally I dislike the term "HTPC". To me it smacks of the overpriced and overhyped convergence products of 10-15 years ago.

Nowadays any PC, even laptops, can run media management and DVR software. I have a number of different PCs, with SageTV and other media-oriented apps installed on most of them, and I don't feel obliged to label any of them "HTPC". So for me, a blog that talks excessively about "HTPCs" is a real turnoff. Just skip the meaningless buzzwords and tell me about the actual product features.
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  #7  
Old 11-04-2010, 07:32 PM
Brent Brent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKusnick View Post
Personally I dislike the term "HTPC". To me it smacks of the overpriced and overhyped convergence products of 10-15 years ago.

Nowadays any PC, even laptops, can run media management and DVR software. I have a number of different PCs, with SageTV and other media-oriented apps installed on most of them, and I don't feel obliged to label any of them "HTPC". So for me, a blog that talks excessively about "HTPCs" is a real turnoff. Just skip the meaningless buzzwords and tell me about the actual product features.
Don't take this the wrong way, but that was sort of a strange place to announce your dislike for the HTPC acronym Greg . What would you call this newfangled SageTV thing?
Media Center?
DVR that also does Movies, music and photos?
AwesomeGadgetTvMovieMediaThing?

I guess I understand the sentiment, but I'm not sure I understand where your going with the change in subject? It would be a blog about SageTV and what it does - whether that's called "HTPC" or something else doesn't really matter. Matter of fact, why don't we just call it... SageTV!
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Last edited by Brent; 11-04-2010 at 07:36 PM.
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  #8  
Old 11-04-2010, 10:50 PM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent View Post
Matter of fact, why don't we just call it... SageTV!
Sound like a good plan to me. But since Davis mentioned "home theater" and "HTPC" a couple of times, it seemed to me like he plans to put an HTPC spin on the SageTV blog. I'm just saying that doing so could make some people (like me) less interested in reading or contributing to it. Didn't seem like a change of subject to me.
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  #9  
Old 11-04-2010, 11:27 PM
Dontstaylong Dontstaylong is offline
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Brent - those suggestions are awesome. Gonna keep me busy, haha. I was thinking that piecing through the manual bit by bit would be a good start, too.

As for the HTPC term - I realize Sage does a lot more than your stock DVR or laptop with management software... it's shorter to type than AwesomeGadgetTvMovieMediaThing though, hah. It's a good point though, and I'm not aiming to pigeonhole SageTV at all with the blog. If anything, the aim will be to show a lot of the different configurations you can use with SageTV and how versatile the software can be.

jreichen & stuckless - I like the idea of a Dev's corner weekly feature. Either a short written piece or video (if possible) on some nitty-gritty details.

Also, like I mentioned we're absolutely into posting user-submitted content, so if you've got some specific ideas, feel free to throw them out for everybody to work on or DM me.

Last edited by Dontstaylong; 11-04-2010 at 11:30 PM.
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  #10  
Old 11-05-2010, 01:23 AM
bastafidli bastafidli is offline
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I would also include comparisons to other systems which are often mentioned in the same areas as Sage: AppleTV, MythTV, Roku, Windows Media Center, etc.
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  #11  
Old 11-05-2010, 06:58 AM
madpoet madpoet is offline
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Maybe take some of the most common problems and walk through correcting them? I think that would be beneficial.
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2010, 09:31 AM
keefb keefb is offline
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I think it would be useful to highlight that SageTV is NOT just another HTPC solution, but couple it with a central server & either clients or HD100/200/300 media extenders & you've got a complete home media distribution & display setup.

Also, I think it would be valuable to the noobs & not so Noobs to explain what the various products like Placeshifter etc do & how they integrate.

I also think that an up to date & easy to follow step by step guide should be provided showing users how to set up Digiguide with SageTV as an EPG source for Europe.
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2010, 10:39 AM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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One thing that is usually overlooked - because most people using Sage are fairly PC-savvy and also willing and able to spend $$$ on tech gear - is the fact that it's possible to set up a SageTV installation that is SIMPLE and NOT TERRIBLY EXPENSIVE, depending on what you already own.

Obviously, this would fall under the topic of "Getting Started".

I was looking for a DVR solution that would work with OTA, so I could drop cable/sat. The true options out there for doing this are slim. I was directed to SageTV by a recommendation on AVS. When a newbie starts sniffing around HTPC-world, the first thing you assume (or are led to believe) is that you will need a beast of a computer, that will be located next to your TV. But what I discovered - and what really sold me on SageTV - was that here's what you really need:

1) Any halfway-decent PC from the past decade or so (i.e., one you might have sitting in your basement, headed for recycling). The SageTV minimum requirements if you only watch via extender are NOT hard to meet.
2) A basic 10/100 router (seems like most people have a laptop and a basic wireless router these days - the empty jacks on the back of that router are just fine).
3) Adequate HDD space (super cheap these days, and even external USB drives work fine)

If you have that, all you need (assuming you are in a location where you can get OTA signals) to get free HD network TV, plus all the other things that Sage TV offers (your music, videos, photos, plus online content, etc.), is to buy the HD300/software bundle, and a tuner. If you buy something like an HDHR, there's virtually no setup required (no drivers/codec issues and such), and you're good to go. Out the door for probably less than $400, and getting all the benefits of SageTV on your HDTV.

Well, okay, you need cables and an antenna. The cost of that varies greatly on where all your pieces are located, and where your house it located (for antenna reception). And there are plenty of online sites that will show you how to build a homemade antenna from stuff laying around your house (I did), so you might not even need to pay for an antenna.
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  #14  
Old 11-05-2010, 11:22 AM
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darcilicious darcilicious is offline
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Quote:
I was looking for a DVR solution that would work with OTA, so I could drop cable/sat. The true options out there for doing this are slim. I was directed to SageTV by a recommendation on AVS.
Looks like there's the basis of a blog entry right here (I mean the whole post above, not just the quoted bit)
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  #15  
Old 11-05-2010, 11:47 AM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dontstaylong View Post
jreichen & stuckless - I like the idea of a Dev's corner weekly feature. Either a short written piece or video (if possible) on some nitty-gritty details.
I'd help put together something to help total newbies get going on Studio and Java. Having been there I know how frustrating it can be to not know how to do something simple. I received so much help from Sean, Greg, jreichen, Slugger, razrsharpe, Plucky and others I am forgetting that I'd welcome the opportunity to help others get started on Studio and Java.
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  #16  
Old 11-05-2010, 12:43 PM
mayhewda mayhewda is offline
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Love the idea of the blog. I have been using sagetv for awhile now but only for DVD's, blurays, pictures and music. Would love to see an entry level post for setting up DVR'ng for a whole house. Currently have sagetv / whs server in basement and have both hd200/300's at the tv's but also have the cable HD boxes (SA4250's from Rogers, and 1 8300 PVR) at each tv. Would love to understand better how to centralize tuners and still watch some live TV, OTA and save some money (instead of giving to cable company every month) .

The other topic I would love to have better explained is all the various options for fanart (phoenix Ortiz, Mymoves, SMM etc etc etc). I find that totally confusing. I currently just use the default UI and IMBD tool to get the movie description and dvd cover and am afraid of messing that up by using any of the others.

Starting to ramble, but love the idea.
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  #17  
Old 11-05-2010, 03:21 PM
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I've noticed that people new to Sage are often confused by how all the pieces of a system integrate together, and what each does. For example, often people think that they can use an HD200 or HD300 to record TV (not understanding that they need a Sage Server and a capture device). An article for beginners that clearly spelled this all out with lots of pictures, would probably be useful.

Another topic that can be a real challenge, even for more experienced users, is how to set-up a client for proper video playback. Some tutorials explaining Renderers, Codecs, and Splitters, as well as things like Container formats, DirectShow, DXVA... would be really useful.

One last thought - whatever content you decide to post, please make sure the articles display the date they were posted or last updated and that they reference specific version numbers that they apply to. Information evolves quickly, so it's nice to know how "fresh" an article is when you read it.
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  #18  
Old 11-05-2010, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmiranda View Post
I'd help put together something to help total newbies get going on Studio and Java. Having been there I know how frustrating it can be to not know how to do something simple. I received so much help from Sean, Greg, jreichen, Slugger, razrsharpe, Plucky and others I am forgetting that I'd welcome the opportunity to help others get started on Studio and Java.
I'd LOVE to see something like a weekly/monthly class on Studio/Java. Pehaps take suggestions for simple plug-ins or themes, etc. then show a step-by-step video of the creation of the plug-in. It'd be great for something simple like a channel logo pack, and show how to set it up for submission to the plugin manager.

-PGPfan
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Last edited by PGPfan; 11-06-2010 at 12:43 AM. Reason: spelling correction
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  #19  
Old 11-05-2010, 04:27 PM
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Another thing that could be nice is a "User Showcase" that has various user submitted diagrams showing his/her system layout - all the hardware, software, network maps, etc. Kind of like what some have made to help show how all the Sage ecosystem pieces fit together, only something submitted by us users as 'real world examples' of how Sage fits into our lives.

-PGPfan
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  #20  
Old 11-06-2010, 03:03 AM
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I really like Tiki & PGPs ideas on friendly system diagrams. It never really dawned on me that newcomers would have component naming confusion, but it is probably very common.

My idea: A Brief History of SageTV
A walk through how SageTV started, what major features came with each version, SageMC, impact of new hardware, etc.
Now I know that SageTV is protective of its user base, especially revealing number of users, but what could be said is the growth of number of US cities using the EPG data, and number/names of countries where SageTV has users.
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