SageTV Community

SageTV Community (http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/index.php)
-   General Discussion (http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=3)
-   -   Newbie needs guidance (simplified) (http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39761)

malbec 02-19-2009 10:12 PM

You guys took pity on me once. Let's give ralfeez a chance. Quite honestly, it was the helpfulness and friendliness of this board that sold me on Sage TV over Beyond TV a few years back. Plus, I'll guarantee you right now that we will be getting to some questions where you will be much more capable than I in being able to address.

ralfeez 02-19-2009 10:13 PM

I did not ever ask for a complete list. I want ONE example of a working system. One, uno, singular....someone has built a system. As soon as I build mine and work out the bugs, I will offer ever ounce of info to anyone who cares..........
sorry...spouting offf...........long night.

Let me add to the above. After reading it, I must apologize. My fingers were outrunning my good sense.
Sorry,
Ralph

malbec 02-19-2009 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ralfeez (Post 339738)
Again, I am only asking if someone has put together a simple tutorial on how to get started. This is not all for my benefit. I already have many of my parts in hand and the remainder are on order. The issues that I have questions about are so many that I could not list them all in one thread. I have never used SageTV before. It looks good to me, has good reviews, nice features and a very active online community. That is why I am here.

For those who would like to know,
- Samsung 52inch 120hz
- Vista Home Premium
- AMD CPU 2.3 Ghz
- 4 Gb Ram
- ASUS M3N78 mobo
- 2x 1.5 Tb hard drives
- Hauppauge HD-PVR
- DirecTv HD
- Radeon HD 4350 vidcard
- Logitech Harmony Remote
These all came from the help received after several weeks on forums. I have no idea if they will all be compatible with SageTV. There must be a shortcut for the next guy.
Thanks,
Ralph


Sorry Ralph, no shortcut, but lots of people willing to answre any question you throw at them. Also, I think you will find this will become more of a hobby than a "set it and forget it experience." For that, you might want to reconsider Tivo if that is what you are seeking. However, if you are game...

I, personally, don't see any compatability issues. Vista has been known to be a bugger, but it should work. If it were me, the only concern I might have is if you have a powerful enough system there. I think it will be okay, but if you add some extenders, and do a lot of commerical scanning, transcoding to different file formats, well, you will need a healthy dose of patience.

S_M_E 02-19-2009 10:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ralfeez (Post 339738)
Again, I am only asking if someone has put together a simple tutorial on how to get started. This is not all for my benefit.

There's no such thing, too many possibilities.

Quote:

The issues that I have questions about are so many that I could not list them all in one thread.
Yet you expected people to list a bunch of solutions and tell you what to buy.



Quote:

For those who would like to know,
- Samsung 52inch 120hz
- Vista Home Premium
- AMD CPU 2.3 Ghz
- 4 Gb Ram
- ASUS M3N78 mobo
- 2x 1.5 Tb hard drives
- Hauppauge HD-PVR
- DirecTv HD
- Radeon HD 4350 vidcard
- Logitech Harmony Remote
These all came from the help received after several weeks on forums. I have no idea if they will all be compatible with SageTV. There must be a shortcut for the next guy.
That's part of what pjpjpjpj and malbec asked for, was that so hard?

Now...how about one or more of those questions you have?

ralfeez 02-19-2009 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by malbec (Post 339744)
Sorry Ralph, no shortcut, but lots of people willing to answre any question you throw at them. Also, I think you will find this will become more of a hobby than a "set it and forget it experience." For that, you might want to reconsider Tivo if that is what you are seeking. However, if you are game...

I, personally, don't see any compatability issues. Vista has been known to be a bugger, but it should work. If it were me, the only concern I might have is if you have a powerful enough system there. I think it will be okay, but if you add some extenders, and do a lot of commerical scanning, transcoding to different file formats, well, you will need a healthy dose of patience.

REally Malbec? There is no such thing as a simple system? Wow, that is really scary. Hmmm, maybe technology hasn't come as far as I thought it had. But you started off so well with telling me of a simple XP system. If given the chance, could you build one in a couple of days that was reliable? Just making conversation, I don't want someone to think that I am asking for a system to be built for me. I don't understand where the complexity of an SD bone simple system lies. Is it the software? The hardware incompatibilities? What is it?
Thanks,
Ralph

sainswor99 02-19-2009 10:35 PM

ralfeez,

Ignore S_M_E; he's become quite infamous for spouting off an opinion and sticking to it despite the contrary. If he's decided your question is unanswerable, then it's unanswerable, and no matter how hard you try to have a conversation with him, he's gonna continue to spout the same old reply over and over again.

As for the rest of us, most of us are accustomed to answering specific questions like "I'm having a problem with X" and not "tell me how to do XYZ". I'm not saying your question is a bad one; it's just difficult to answer, and not familiar to the tone of many of the other questions on the board.

You asked for a simple answer, and I'll try. The most simple Sage system requires the following:
  1. A PC (or Mac) running a supported OS (Windows XP, Linux, or OS/X). You also need sound capabilities, lots of hard drive space, and Internet connectivity for the EPG (and hopefully you live in the US; other countries have additional tuning requirements, with which I am unfamiliar).
  2. A video capture card/device (most have a tuner), and a matching video source (i.e. for standard-def TV, you can use analog cable or an antenna feed with an analog tuner; for hi-def, you need a digital tuner/capture device and the appropriate signal). If you're using a set-top box (STB), you need some method of changing channels (like an IR blaster or Firewire).
  3. You need a video card which allows you to display video on TV (s-video out, etc).
  4. A copy of SageTV Media Center 6.

That's a simple, one-box HTPC solution using SageTV; note that even the simplest configuration requires lots of decisions (what OS, what video card, what video source?), but that's the basic issues. Once you get past that, you can start dealing with other issues like software or hardware clients and the complexities of recordng/playing HD (which, from your list, it looks like you're planning on dealing with).

HTH,
Stu

S_M_E 02-19-2009 10:35 PM

He didn't say there weren't simple systems he said "no shorcuts." Are you cranky because you didn't get your lists of what to buy? :D

sainswor99 02-19-2009 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by S_M_E (Post 339749)
He didn't say there weren't simple systems he said "no shorcuts." Are you cranky because you didn't get your lists of what to buy? :D

Now who's trolling?

ralfeez 02-19-2009 10:44 PM

Stu & Malbec,
You are saints! Thank you for taking pity. It's just my ignorance. Once you get to know me, you will realize that I make a much better friend than a foe.
- Seriously, I will help in any way possible to create a tutorial if anyone ever decides to write one. It is not just desired...it is badly needed.
- I will be doing HD record and playback. Specific questions are not there yet, because the system is not here yet. You will be the first to know my pains and sorrows.
Thank you,
Ralph

shadeblue.com 02-20-2009 02:29 AM

Hi ralfeez,

Here was my illustrated attempt to help a previous newbie:
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/down...do=file&id=278

This diagram depicts a few different options, but hopefully it will help you understand the overall required components and some potential options. It closely resembles the setup in my home.

Also, for simplicity I would suggest to go with the SageTV extender at the TV for viewing the media content rather than building a HTPC. You will save $$$ and headaches.

Cheers!
SB

shadeblue.com 02-20-2009 02:38 AM

Also, if you say what content sources your are interested in, I'm sure you will get suggestions on the "best" tuner device.

For example,

If you want HD quality and you want to record from a Satellite or CableTV, then the Hauppauge HD-PVR is the only way to go. (there are other options, but they are more complex setups.)

If you just want over the air local stations, then there are a number of options, but I prefer the HD-Homerun device. Not the cheapest, but darn simple and elegant.

If you don't care about HD quality, then there are many options to choose from.

-SB

GKusnick 02-20-2009 03:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sainswor99 (Post 339748)
note that even the simplest configuration requires lots of decisions (what OS, what video card, what video source?)

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadeblue.com (Post 339771)
Also, if you say what content sources your are interested in, I'm sure you will get suggestions on the "best" tuner device.

Exactly. If you ask an architect to design a house for you, you should be prepared to answer questions about how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need, what styles of architecture you like or don't like, what your budget is, whether the property is urban, suburban, or rural, and so on. You can't really get started without that information. There is no one-size-fits-all starter house that works for everyone.

Similarly, if you want advice on building a Sage system, expect to be asked about your TV source (OTA, cable, or satellite), your display devices (HD, SD, or a mix), your viewing habits, your budget, etc. It's not that people don't want to help or are trying to make it more complicated for you. It's that the answers to those questions will constrain your design choices. That's what malbec meant by "no shortcuts". You have to define your particular requirements before you can spec a system that meets them.

ralfeez 02-20-2009 06:02 AM

Greg,
That is true, but using your analogy, I was simply asking for someone to show me one house (any color, size, shape, or other) that keeps the rain off and the wind out. I did not care how many bedrooms or baths. If I could have walked in and been warm and dry, I would have been happy.

My experience with technology tells me to keep it as simple as possible. You can easily complicate the problem by adding bells and whistles, and what-ifs.

Shade Blue's pictorial is the closest thing that I have seen that accomplishes that.
Thank you,
Ralph

ralfeez 02-20-2009 06:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadeblue.com (Post 339770)
Hi ralfeez,

Here was my illustrated attempt to help a previous newbie:
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/down...do=file&id=278

This diagram depicts a few different options, but hopefully it will help you understand the overall required components and some potential options. It closely resembles the setup in my home.

Also, for simplicity I would suggest to go with the SageTV extender at the TV for viewing the media content rather than building a HTPC. You will save $$$ and headaches.

Cheers!
SB

Thank you this is excellent,
Ralph

S_M_E 02-20-2009 09:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GKusnick (Post 339773)
Exactly. If you ask an architect to design a house for you, you should be prepared to answer questions about how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need, what styles of architecture you like or don't like, what your budget is, whether the property is urban, suburban, or rural, and so on. You can't really get started without that information. There is no one-size-fits-all starter house that works for everyone.

Similarly, if you want advice on building a Sage system, expect to be asked about your TV source (OTA, cable, or satellite), your display devices (HD, SD, or a mix), your viewing habits, your budget, etc. It's not that people don't want to help or are trying to make it more complicated for you. It's that the answers to those questions will constrain your design choices. That's what malbec meant by "no shortcuts". You have to define your particular requirements before you can spec a system that meets them.

Exactly...



Quote:

Originally Posted by ralfeez (Post 339781)
Greg,
That is true, but using your analogy, I was simply asking for someone to show me one house (any color, size, shape, or other) that keeps the rain off and the wind out. I did not care how many bedrooms or baths. If I could have walked in and been warm and dry, I would have been happy.

A tent can keep a person warm and dry but few people would be happy with it.

Quote:

My experience with technology tells me to keep it as simple as possible. You can easily complicate the problem by adding bells and whistles, and what-ifs.
My professional IT experience is completely the opposite, if you don't get the details of what the customers needs/wants are then any solution you offer will likely not be a fit and will be a waste of time. Like offering a tent to somebody that wants a mansion, or vice-versa.

Quote:

Shade Blue's pictorial is the closest thing that I have seen that accomplishes that.
Well there you go then but it doesn't go into many specifics... ;)

71_Cuda 02-20-2009 01:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ralfeez (Post 339781)
Greg,
That is true, but using your analogy, I was simply asking for someone to show me one house (any color, size, shape, or other) that keeps the rain off and the wind out. I did not care how many bedrooms or baths. If I could have walked in and been warm and dry, I would have been happy.

My experience with technology tells me to keep it as simple as possible. You can easily complicate the problem by adding bells and whistles, and what-ifs.

Shade Blue's pictorial is the closest thing that I have seen that accomplishes that.
Thank you,
Ralph


If you want to keep it as simple as possible, then you go with a Tivo or a cable/sattelite provided DVR. SageTV is directed toward more advanced users with lots of flexibility and options. I think spec-ing out the most basic simple system (which in itself has lots of options) doesn't make sense to many people here. Spec-ing out the simplest, most basic, system to achieve what you want, does. But you have to be clear about what that is.

GKusnick 02-20-2009 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ralfeez (Post 339781)
Greg,
That is true, but using your analogy, I was simply asking for someone to show me one house (any color, size, shape, or other) that keeps the rain off and the wind out. I did not care how many bedrooms or baths. If I could have walked in and been warm and dry, I would have been happy.

Not to beat this to death, but try asking any real-life realtor to show you one house, any house, doesn't matter how big or what kind, and see how far it gets you. To be taken seriously as a buyer, you have to be willing to engage in some sort of dialog about your budget and needs. Refusing to answer such questions will get you brushed off as a nutcase who's simply out to waste their time.

SWKerr 02-20-2009 03:47 PM

Everyone here has good points. There is a matter of truth to everything that has been said. To me this gets a little into the Mac vs PC argument. The Mac people claim that there systems are much more stable and easier to use. Well this is probably true but mostly because the infinite number of possible combinations of hardware and software are not available like on a PC. Considering the number of different vendors and products that go into a typical HTPC build it is amazing to me it works as well as it does.

It is probably impossible to develop an idiot’s guide to how do design and setup a SageTV system precisely because there are so many different possible setups. That said I do think there really is not a basic guide around that really simplifies the most common basic setups. A lot of people have done a lot of good work trying to create guides but they are often lost in the clutter of the forum. There is a lot of good information out there that is just too difficult to find. Shadeblue’s diagram is a great resource but I doubt most new users would stumble across it before they had already done a lot of research.

What is really required is a Wiki for all this information controlled by a benevolent dictator. Such a thing would require a significant amount of support form users just to keep current. To me I think Sage would sell a lot more software if they had a link directly from their site to something like this. The main site is amazing uninformative to anyone who does not already have a good idea about what they want to do. It is probably fine for dissatisfied MCE customers but it is not user friendly and informative to the raw beginner.

Ralfeez, Just and example of why this is so difficult.

How to hook a system up to my HDTV? Seems simple but…
Well I know from previous posts you have a 5.1 surround sound receiver which I am sure you want to use. Well the best way to hook it up would probably depend on the connections available on your TV and on your receiver. I have two major setups and each is completely different.
* System 1 uses the HDMI connection from the PC, (Assuming you have one) and connects the HDMI input on the Receiver which then passes the signal on to the TV via HDMI. My remote then changes the inputs on the AV Receiver and nothing ever changes on the TV.
* System 2 uses the HDMI connection from the PC directly to the TV. The TV then has an optical output that goes to the surround sound system. The reason they are different is because the older receiver does not have HDMI capabilities. In this case the TV toggles the sources and the receiver never changes.
* Other hookup issues: There are other things to consider when I hook up my PC to the TV. I need to make sure I set the default sound output in my PC to use the HDMI out. When I originally setup a PC I do it at my desk and the default sound is always set to the analog speaker port at the back. I will have to change it when I relocate the PC to the big TV. If I set it up with the HDMI attached it would not be necessary to have such a step. When you combine VGA\DVI, SVHS, composite and Component options you can see where it would be difficult to give the correct answer for everyone’s possible setup.

Also: Something like best or necessary codec is not very straight forward as well. Some codecs seem to work better with specific video drivers and hardware. I use Overlay in my sage setups because I seem to get some tearing with EVR on Vista with my ATI hardware. Others do not seem to have the same issues. Could be a driver could be something else. You really have to experiment with what works best for your setup. It is probably not really that bad right out of the box but we strive for better.

For the most part most people seem to have very little problems setting up Sage right out of the box. It is after they have had it for awhile when you are trying to make it better\perfect that is starts to get more complicated. Sage generally includes what you need right out of the box. It is just that most users want to improve on the basic experience and that is when it starts to get harder to follow. For instance I have found that with the HD-PVR if I install the TME software that came with it before I install Sage, it will work just great with no changes to Sage at all but if I add the CoreAVC codec it will start to use that one and I then have to update the Sage properties file manually if I would prefer to use the TME codec instead. People will argue for hours about which one looks best and they may all be right for their particular situation.

So I think we could do a better job at coming up with some beginner basics and setups. We could definitely make it easier to find this information as well but in the end with the number of possible setups and combinations you really need to put it out there and get advice based on the reality of your environment.

71_Cuda 02-20-2009 04:35 PM

Of course there's always the "System Requirements" section of the SageTV website. For all the bashing their site gets for being uninformative (and I don't disagree), this is actually a useful page.

http://www.sagetv.com/requirements.html

I'd say start with any of those compatible tuners/capture devices. Add your source (OTA, Cable, Satellite), a TV, a compatible computer, and SageTV Media Center - and you're in business.

webwalker 02-22-2009 01:14 PM

Being a recent convert from Mythtv, and having explored most of the options that it is possible to explore on the subject (while wasting a lot of money in the process)

In my experience, SageTV works best as a framework where the backend does the recording, storage, processing and database work and the front end does ONLY display. Decoding in hardware is quiet and cheap. Decoding in software, or in hardware w/ software assist is fraught with headaches, varying incompatibilities and a lot of futzing that can be avoided by buying a dedicated playback engine.

So here's my rig:

Processing: 2.4Ghz Core2Duo with 4Gb RAM running WinXP32. (I'm a Linux Engineer by trade, but having XP deal with this was fine.)
Software: SageTV 6.5.9
Storage: 1Tb program / 200Gb for OS drive.
Capture Devices: 1HD HomeRun networked dual tuner for ATSC Over-The-Air. 1 PVR-150 Standard Def capture card connected by Svideo to DirecTV tuner. DirecTV tuner has channel change commands sent via a PattersonTech Serial to USB connector.
Playback: SageTV HD200 networked 'extender'. Connects via Component video to a 48" 1080i Mitsubishi display. Audio connects via optical SPDIF to a Pioneer VSX810 for Dolby 5.1, DTS, or AC3 playback.

That's all of my hardware. As you can see, I've split it in to dedicated devices that perform different jobs, and that were purpose built to do them: The HDHomeRun tuner ONLY tunes High Def streams, and packetizes them. The HD200 ONLY receives remote control commands and displays the menus or the recorded media (broadcasts, music, streams (youtube,etc) ). The sage software on the WinXP box that sits in the middle between the 'receiving' components and the 'playback' component is just the glue that holds it all together, managing the storage, the database, and the menu structures. That it why people find it difficult to describe the framework.

I understand that what you were looking for was a worked example. Above is my worked example, that has taken a LONG time to get to. But in the end, I think that the componentized architecture let's ever piece of gear in the chain be an expert in its own field. After more thrashing around and wasted money than you can imagine, it is fantastic how well the current system works.

It also means that the system is extensible if circumstances require. If I wanted to add another playback extender in another room, I just connect it to the network and tell it to get acquainted with the sage server. Same thing with another HD HomeRun ATSC tuner. Plug in to network, plug in to antenna. Tell the sage box to go find it on the network. Done. I've just doubled my number of ATSC tuners. Storage is equally flexible.

If you have any more specific reference questions, as one K.I.S.S. systems engineer to another, I'll be glad to try to answer them. If you'd like to do it off-forum, feel free to PM me and I'll reply.

M


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:27 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright 2003-2005 SageTV, LLC. All rights reserved.