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Old 07-06-2006, 07:40 PM
jersiq jersiq is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Some newb questions

I currently own two DirecTivo's and I was looking at terminating my DirectTv for financial reasons, and going with this program. I do however have some questions that I can't seem to find through search.

Here's the framework for my setup. I plan to only purchase the most basic cable package from the cable company as all I watch is network television. So all my input to the capture card will be SD, not HD. I had planned on purchasing the pre-made Dual-Tuner kit on the Sage online store, as well as a media extender offered on the Online Store. Due to poor house design, my PC is upstairs and my main television is downstairs, hence the purchase of the media extender. I will almost never be watching programs on my PC.

1) I have two PC's in my house. 1st is an athalon 64 3200+ with a gig of RAM. Now I am sure that this PC will be able to handle the processes used by SageTV. My question is whether my older PIII-800 system will be able to handle recording two inputs in SD. I would rather that the P-III system could as I don't use this for anything currently. The only thing the P-III would be used for is SageTV. I understand that with the particular card that is offered on the Online Store, all of the encoding is done by the card, not the processor.

2) Can someone compare the interfaces between Tivo and Sage? Please no fanboyism, I am fully aware of what site I am posting on.

3) With the Media Extender, can I watch programs that are currently being recorded after they start, say 30 minutes into an hour long program, after the program has already started?

4) I know that the recording quality predicates how much disk space is required, I have no fancy TV, just a regular old TV watching SD cable. How much disk space could I expect to use per hour?

5) With the kits I plan to purchase,do I also need to purchase the software? It seems to indicate the the software for the Media Extender (client) and the capture card (server) is included in the bundles.

I am sure I will have more questions before I make my decision, but I thank anyone in advance for their replies.
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Old 07-06-2006, 07:56 PM
ke6guj ke6guj is offline
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1. a P3-800 should be fine to use a sage server. As you mentioned, a hardware-based tuner card will not tax the cpu very much. Others on this site have mentioned using computers around the same performance level.

You could get away without using a media extender if you put your sage server near the TV and hooked it up directly. Plan on getting a good video card and your P3-800 should even be able to output SD decently.

2. I've only played with a direcTivo a couple times, and even before I had Sage, I didn't care for it if you were trying to dig down into the UI. For just tv watching it was fine, I guess. I love that the Sage UI is completely customizable.

3. Yup

4. I record SD at 2gigs/hour and am completely satisfied. Others use less and others use more, it is personal preference on how good the recording needs to be.

5. The dual-tuner kit will include 1 copy of SageTv and the capture card. If you buy an media extender from sage, they will include the media extender client license. If you already have a Hauppauge MVP, then all you need is to buy the media extender client license.

edit: even though you could use the P3-800 as a Sageserver, I think in the long run you would be more satisfied if you went with something with more horsepower. The reason is, with more CPU power, you'd be better suited to watching stuff like xvid and divx files, which will use more CPU. But the most important reason is that if you want to use the placeshifter client or watch non-mpeg2 files on the media extender, the server will have to transcode the video into a format the extender or placeshifter can use, and that takes HORSEPOWER.

Last edited by ke6guj; 07-06-2006 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 07-06-2006, 09:31 PM
blade blade is offline
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1. I use a celeron 366 with 320 mb of ram and 2 PVR500's for my Sage server and have no problems. If you plan to do any transcoding you'll want something faster than a p3-800.

4. Personal preference is the deciding factor; however, the larger the TV the higher the capture rate you'll likely need before you find it acceptable. Personally I won't go below 3gb/hr, but I'm using a 57" HDTV to view analog 480i content that has been upscaled to 720p. On my 19" monitor I could get by with a much lower rate and be perfectly happy.
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:20 PM
dblaine2 dblaine2 is offline
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Just make sure whatever machine you choose... it is dedicated to the task.
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Old 07-22-2006, 10:06 PM
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heffe2001 heffe2001 is offline
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I was using a P4-1.4 as my sage server, and it woudn't transcode to a single MVP. Changed to the dual-xeon machine, and now it works great .

I would say the more CPU you can stand to throw at it, the better off you'll be.
Server: AMD Phenom 2 920 2.8ghz Quad, 16gb Ram, 4tb Storage, 1xHVR-2250, 1 Ceton Cable Card adapter, Windows 7 SP1
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:32 PM
jersiq jersiq is offline
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Originally Posted by dblaine2
Just make sure whatever machine you choose... it is dedicated to the task.
What about if the PC I use is used for light Browsing/E-mail etc?
Are you saying that the PC I choose should ony be used for Sage?
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:01 PM
ke6guj ke6guj is offline
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Yes, the best way would be to have a "Sage-only" PC. That way, you have the least chance of something happening to the system.

Now, light browsing or email usage shouldn't be a problem, but if you have a crash due to something you do, then it could affect your Sage recordings and viewings. The less "other stuff" that any server has to do, the better.

If you do a split client/server setup with a Sage server running 24/7 in a corner, then you could do whatever you wanted to do on the client computer. Play games, surf the web, do email, whatever; a crash on that computer only affects the watching of a show, not the master recordings on the server.
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Old 07-27-2006, 09:38 PM
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Opus4 Opus4 is offline
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It all comes down to how sure you are of how well-behaved those other apps are (i.e.: how likely are they to crash). I do quite a bit on my main server, including email, browsing, some Photoshop, an FM radio app, etc., but I'll have to say that I did kick the kids' games off that PC & put them onto my retired dual cpu workstation. Only a couple games were prone to crashing, but even then, it just made the Windows desktop unusable, while SageTV continued to function on the TV. I had to reboot, but at least I could wait until a recording was done. The biggest crashing issues I ever had were when hard drives failed & luckily they've been stable now that they are in a better ventilated case.

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