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Old 04-12-2005, 04:09 PM
Methius's Avatar
Methius Methius is offline
Sage Advanced User
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 124
Gop Size & a little help guide for beginners

Well, it seems my htpc is almost finished. Everything works so far except for these two things...

On Amontillado's website ( it is said that Gop Size 12 is supposed to be the recommended GS for PAL. My problem: I can't get SageTV to record in GS 12...

And second:
Every time I change the sharpness settings in Tweaker Tool (and in the Capture & Encoder settings of my 150MCE & 250 card.), SageTV records at the set sharpness level for some time, but then resets to the default. Any help on this?

Ps. After typing the little help guide, I stumbled upon the Smoothnes factor setting in the Custom Bitrate. Will changing this permantly change my sharpness level? (dnrsmoothfactor)

Now a little help guide for someone who might stumble into this thread, and who is just starting to use SageTV:

My Setup
Win XP Pro
Sage 2.2.8 w/ Cayars STV Version 17
Athlon XP 2600+
512MB Ram 400Mhz
160gb HD
Zalman Cooler /w Papst Fans (For quiet fans: Papst or SilenX)
Ati Radeon 9600 256mb Retail (Fanless version, Keep you case cooled or it'll crash..)

PVR 150 MCE & 250 (Yes, the MCE works just fine with SageTV)

Hope these help, some general tips:

Better TV Image quality:
(THIS IS A MUST....It improved my Tv quality to that above of original TV screen.)
Download TweakTool & visit this page. Then in Tweak tool, turn the sharpness up and the spatial filter off/low. Also do this in the settings of the Capture and Encoder parts of you PVR Card. Save settings every time. If it doesn't seem to have much effect, try changing the settings while SageTV is recording something.

After some serious testing, NVDVD and PowerDVD6's codec (Cyberlink sp) are the best codecs IMHO. I use the PowerDVD6's codec with:
Overlay, DXVA mode C, Bob.
In PowerDVD6's, goto video settings, Select Always use deinterlacing, Force Bob & Original mode. Owh, and enable Hardware Acceleration if your card supports it.

Recently I installed the MCE Remote. The receiver of this remote has 2 IR-Blasters, which (with the help of some alternate drivers) can be turned into a universal receiver. Use Girder ( to help.
Here is the GML file I made (nothing fancy). But:
- It has all the keys of the MCE remote mapped (saves you some time.)
- Unloads the MCE Plugin for Girder when going into suspend, and loads it when coming out of suspend. If you remove this, the MCE plugin will lock up when suspend is resumed. (also sends an IR blast before and after suspend, I use it to put my tv into standby.)
This Remote also lets you wake your pc from suspend by just pressing the power button.

FreqCopy: For European users. Enter all the exact frequencies of the channels into WinTV2000, and this App will let you use them in SageTV. link
EPG Data Grabber for The Netherlands: Link
Channel Logo Package for the Netherlands. Just extract in your SageTV folder (all the files should go into the ChannelLogo folder). link

Additional STV addons I used:
Webserver (by Nielm)
Smartie Plugin, For LCD/VFD info display. Download Smartie here

Pretty decent, Pal -> 6,5 Mbit
For more info on this: link

Resolution of 720*576 -> Use Powerstrip for this. Download here.
Also turn on Video or Theater mode, in 80/100 cases, this will make your display look better. You can find this in the settings/options of you Graphics card. With Radeon, under Display settings.

If requested, I'll post my Dutch Menu.XML for the Cayars STV. Dutch translation of SageTV can be found on the forum. I'm not so crazy as to think this will help anyone, but at least I can give something back to the community while waiting for Studio

Last edited by Methius; 04-12-2005 at 04:22 PM.
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