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SageTV HD Theater - Media Player Discussion related to using the SageTV HD Theater as a Media Player, i.e.: in use while not connected to a SageTV server. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to using a SageTV HD Theater as a Media Player should be posted here. Use the SageTV Media Extender forum for issues related to using it while connected to a SageTV server.

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  #1  
Old 09-23-2010, 01:35 PM
SteinyD SteinyD is offline
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HD300 UI

I'm in the market for a new streaming device for a room we are just getting together. I'm using a Netgear 9150 in another room and quite happily. My primary purpose is to stream videos I've ripped and stored on my ReadyNAS NV+. As with the Netgear device, I use 'my movies' to provide the metadata and cover art. The Netgear allows me to scroll through my movie collection by cover art if I so choose.

So, the questions -

- i would like to see the UI for more than the main menu of the HD300 solution. So far, all I can find is the main menu. Does anyone have or know where I can find more screen shots of sub-menus, especially for the selection of movies?

- can I select movies by cover art using the same menu structure (one movie per folder) and see the meta data provide by 'My Movies'?

- Anyone have any issues using UPnP to a ReadyNAS?

Thank you!
David
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2010, 02:14 PM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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If you are already using mymovies as you stated why not use the SageMyMovies addin thread and forum discussions can be found here

http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=48
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2010, 02:28 PM
SteinyD SteinyD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLUCKYHD View Post
If you are already using mymovies as you stated why not use the SageMyMovies addin thread and forum discussions can be found here

http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=48
Thanks for that tip. However, I'm seeing the thread you pointed me to as being supported by SageTV v7 for Windows. I'm intending to use the HD300 standalone to stream from a NAS using UPnP. I'm not sure how the thread you pointed me to relates to what I'm looking for?

I am also looking for more details re: off the shelf functionality and GUI screen shots of the HD300.

Thanks

Last edited by SteinyD; 09-23-2010 at 02:33 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2010, 02:32 PM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Originally Posted by SteinyD View Post
Thanks for that tip. That is just a small portion of what I'm chasing before making a purchase decision. I'm still looking to see how the GUI of the Sage HD300 works and its options ...

Thanks
Why not install the beta on your pc and check it out...You will see the same interface.
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2010, 02:35 PM
SteinyD SteinyD is offline
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Originally Posted by PLUCKYHD View Post
Why not install the beta on your pc and check it out...You will see the same interface.
sorry, beta of what? I cam here asking about the hardware device? Are you suggesting SageTV v7 for Windows is the same software and interface that comes with the HD300? Sorry, I haven't been following Sage for quite a few years so not completely familiar with how these things play together or how they relate. It would help a bit to explain a few things before pointing me off to other places, though I appreciate your intent.
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2010, 02:37 PM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteinyD View Post
sorry, beta of what? I cam here asking about the hardware device? Are you suggesting SageTV v7 for Windows is the same software and interface that comes with the HD300? Sorry, I haven't been following Sage for quite a few years so not completely familiar with how these things play together or how they relate. It would help a bit to explain a few things before pointing me off to other places, though I appreciate your intent.
The stock UI is not very useful imho and I don't know that there are allot of screenshots to show it other than what is on their site.

I am talking about the sagemc software you can then run the sagetv extender as an extender to the software. To me it is worth the extra money especially if you are wanting a decent/nice interface. With all the plugins out there for it it is more than worth the money. You can download it and run it for free for 30 days and see if you like it. That is the route I would take.
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2010, 02:58 PM
SteinyD SteinyD is offline
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Originally Posted by PLUCKYHD View Post
The stock UI is not very useful imho and I don't know that there are allot of screenshots to show it other than what is on their site.

I am talking about the sagemc software you can then run the sagetv extender as an extender to the software. To me it is worth the extra money especially if you are wanting a decent/nice interface. With all the plugins out there for it it is more than worth the money. You can download it and run it for free for 30 days and see if you like it. That is the route I would take.
Thanks again , but would appreciate your giving me a couple sentence explanation why you're pointing me in this direction. My sole purpose to using the hardware device is for streaming my own content from my NAS. I'm not interested in web content or watching anything on my PC. So, why do I want to involve my PC? What does it do that I can't do with the standalone device? What then becomes of the dependency of the PC? My NAS, btw, is connected directly to my network and not via a PC. So today, I have a Netgear 9150 that presents my music and video collection directly from the NAS. I would like to keep it that way (no PC dependency). Before I close that door though, it would be good to know what I would be missing from a Sage perspective.

Thanks
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2010, 03:10 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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The stock standalone UI (unless I missed some new beta firmware or something) looks basically like SageTV 6 (other than the main menu). It will recognize and display a folder.jpg or filename.jpg cover art for your media files, but doesn't support any metadata (AFAIK).

What running SageTV Media Center on your PC gets you is access to the broad array of customizations (like Plucky's Sage MyMovies plugin) that aren't made for standalone mode.

As far as UPnP, I have no idea, I know Sage sees it, but I just use CIFS for reading media files. Does the ReadyNAS UPnP server do cool stuff with presenting metadata or something? If not, how does your Netgear get metadata (it sounds like you said it does)?
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2010, 04:47 PM
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JetreL JetreL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteinyD View Post
Thanks again , but would appreciate your giving me a couple sentence explanation why you're pointing me in this direction.
I think he is just trying to be helpful. To get the full experience and see what makes Sage pop you will need to install the server also.

The extender without sage is fine but when you use it in parallel it truly adds allot more functionality. I have had both the HD200 and HD300 and can honestly tell you I have only used the standalone mode maybe twice and like others have said, while it works the true proof of the pudding is with the server and extender combined.

Plucky is hobbyist (most of us don't get paid to help out here) and like I said we are trying to help. Use it, don't; it doesn't matter much we are just trying to suggest the best method of using the HD300.
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2010, 09:59 PM
CloudWraith CloudWraith is offline
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The standalone UI is functional but basic. It is blocky but if you don't care about aesthetics and just want to stream your content it is fine. My main issue with it was trying to key in my username and password for my shares using the remote. I believe you can plug in a USB keyboard but my HD 300 is in my basement while my TV is upstairs so that made it hard to go that route.

I don't know if it is my samba (linux sharing) setup or what but I have had problems getting it to authenticate via CIFS. I have a linux file server running samba that authenticates via my Active Directory server and works for all my machines except the HD 300 in standalone mode. As I was only testing the standalone mode briefly, I moved on to connecting it to my SageTV 7 Server and haven't had a network issue at all since.
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2010, 01:58 AM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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If you are looking for a standalone playback device, the HD300 is not a really good choice. The HD300 is foremost designed to be in extender mode to playback content from the SageTV server software installed on a computer. The HD300 standalone mode is just a bonus feature. For your needs which is playing content from your NAS, I think the WDTV box or the upcoming Boxee (whenever it is released) is probably the better choice.
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  #12  
Old 09-26-2010, 07:30 PM
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Slack Slack is offline
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Wonder if the HD300 can connect to a ReadyNAS NV+ in standalone mode?

I know my HD200s do not. At least not with the ReadyNAs NV+ setup up for 'share' access - i.e. no user accounts.

Something to think about.
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=50064
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  #13  
Old 09-30-2010, 03:43 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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My HD300 connects to my ReadyNAS just fine, but I have user security enabled.
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  #14  
Old 10-01-2010, 01:13 PM
tech1974 tech1974 is offline
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Stand Alone Playback...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayamaniac View Post
If you are looking for a standalone playback device, the HD300 is not a really good choice. The HD300 is foremost designed to be in extender mode to playback content from the SageTV server software installed on a computer. The HD300 standalone mode is just a bonus feature. For your needs which is playing content from your NAS, I think the WDTV box or the upcoming Boxee (whenever it is released) is probably the better choice.
Looking for some help. I've been researching a few products and I've found the Sagetv HD 300 to be the closest solution to meeting my needs but, after reading this post, I'm wondering if I'm wrong? I love that the Sage can play almost anything! Makes me think I could download something and go watch it right away without a bunch of formatting maintenance and tagging! Some background...I'm looking to simply replace my hacked old school Series 2 Tivo DVR. I plugged it into my network, ran a simple Java app on my desktop and presto! I could see all of my current music that's in .mp3 and video archive. I think metadata and tagging look pretty but I have to say the coolest part about the Tivo solution was that it didn't care about any metadata or tagging! I guess it just used basic CIFS? It presented the song title etc just as the PC did. I have over 200 gigs of music. I like to just download and play it from my living room. Do I have to go through and tag my entire collection to work with any of the new solutions? I like my personal life :-) I now have the new AT&T Uverse setup and tried the "Media Share" feature on it to view my media collection. First, it is way too controlling about what video it will show and even worse, it only sees the metadata! It presented all my music in duplicates and I couldn't find anything I wanted since it isn't all tagged properly. I don't even know what tagging ID standard to use? Is this WDTV or BOXEE a better solution for someone like me? Can't get much intel on those. I don't care about live tv at all. I have Uverse for that. Viewing youtube and even netflix would be nice but not a must. A must is easy usability for what I already have. A VERY large music and video collection that would be hard to go through and standardize and tag. I will do it if I have to though. Any help it appreciated!
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  #15  
Old 10-01-2010, 01:34 PM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tech1974 View Post
Looking for some help. I've been researching a few products and I've found the Sagetv HD 300 to be the closest solution to meeting my needs but, after reading this post, I'm wondering if I'm wrong?
In my opinion, the HD300 in standalone mode is not great, and by standalone mode, I mean it runs in a mode that doesn't require a computer to function. In this mode, it is quite limiting compare to the extender mode. In standalone mode, the interface is very simple and it doesn't support most of the plugins written by talented developers here. For standalone device, I would probably go with the WDTV or soon to come Boxee, and maybe an Apple TV.

Now in extender mode, the HD300 is different beast. You need to have the SageTV software (extra cost) installed on a computer for the HD300 to connect to, but it makes the HD300 a much better product, the way it was meant to be. So if you already have a computer as your storage device, then adding the SageTV software + HD300 is a good idea even if you don't use the DVR features of SageTV.

As for your MP3s, SageTV in extender mode can list your music library in directory mode like your PC and it also reads metadata for those that do tag their MP3s. I'm not sure if standalone mode can do the same.
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  #16  
Old 10-01-2010, 01:48 PM
tech1974 tech1974 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayamaniac View Post
In my opinion, the HD300 in standalone mode is not great, and by standalone mode, I mean it runs in a mode that doesn't require a computer to function. In this mode, it is quite limiting compare to the extender mode. In standalone mode, the interface is very simple and it doesn't support most of the plugins written by talented developers here. For standalone device, I would probably go with the WDTV or soon to come Boxee, and maybe an Apple TV.

Now in extender mode, the HD300 is different beast. You need to have the SageTV software (extra cost) installed on a computer for the HD300 to connect to, but it makes the HD300 a much better product, the way it was meant to be. So if you already have a computer as your storage device, then adding the SageTV software + HD300 is a good idea even if you don't use the DVR features of SageTV.

As for your MP3s, SageTV in extender mode can list your music library in directory mode like your PC and it also reads metadata for those that do tag their MP3s. I'm not sure if standalone mode can do the same.
Thanks for the input! I'm still seriously considering the Sage HD 300. I don't mind running a small app on my desktop and I'm already networked. I like that I could view my collections in directory mode and the price point isn't bad. Just wanted to get your thoughts. Thanks again!
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:09 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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There is another way to look at it. Most of us use it in extender mode because we added it to our SageTV systems. So the SageTV part was "free". So when you come at it from this perspective yes you "lose" a lot of capability.

OTOH, not having used any other media players, I'd guess if you're coming in cold, it's more a case of there being a lot more options available with Sage, rather than restrictions without it. AFAIK it plays all the same media files in standalone mode as in extender mode. Standalone UI is roughly like the V6 stock UI. Only limitations are people aren't making the plugins for standalone mode.
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  #18  
Old 10-01-2010, 02:26 PM
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Tiki Tiki is offline
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Originally Posted by tech1974 View Post
Thanks for the input! I'm still seriously considering the Sage HD 300. I don't mind running a small app on my desktop and I'm already networked. I like that I could view my collections in directory mode and the price point isn't bad. Just wanted to get your thoughts. Thanks again!
You should read the HD300 review that is linked to at this post.

It is a very detailed review of the HD300 when used in Stand Alone / Media Player mode, including screen shots of pretty much every screen with detailed comments. This reviewer gave it rave reviews even compared to other stand alone players.

Personally, I haven't used everything out there. So, it is difficult for me to give an objective comparison, but from my research and limited personal experience I would summarize the Sage Extender experience as follows:
  1. As a stand-alone media player for playing back music and video files from your network, Sage is as good or better than pretty much any other media player out there. Sage plays just about any non-DRM content currently available.
  2. The User Interface is currently Average - not as pretty as some, but easier to navigate than many.
  3. It offers the added bonus of being able to use it as an extender for the SageTV DVR software, which is in itself a best in class product.
  4. It offers searching and streaming of free internet content (e.g. YouTube, Google Videos, and many web TV shows from providers like Revision 3). The selection of this sort of content is as good or better than anything the competition offers.
  5. It's main downside relative to the competition is that it is limited when it comes to streaming premium internet content (e.g. no native support for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon).
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  #19  
Old 10-23-2010, 06:46 PM
RNRGAGNE RNRGAGNE is offline
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I missed this thread before I started a couple of other threads with exactly the same idea in mind. I want to use this device as a media streamer in my HT from my NAS NV+ and I don't care to have to have a computer running or yet another program installed on it so this device works (better).

This entire section is supposed to be dedicated to using it as a stand alone media streamer yet every response seems to be "I wouldn't use it that way" and virtually no how-to answers. This is incredibly frustrating and is making me rethink the purchase of this unit.

I'm an HT guy first, I want the A/V media to play accurately.. period. I don't need or want a crapload of programs with plug me ins & youtubies or whatever.

I've been collecting physical media my whole life and it isn't until very recently that streaming devices had much to offer for me. Most of my media isn't about quantity like trying to download 500,000 mp3's just to say you did... it's about quality. (I don't care if there isn't fancy drapes framing the movie cover on the GUI)

Blu Ray live concerts done in DTS HD MA and TrueHD are an outstanding musical medium, some of the best concert recordings I've heard, better than, or equal to SACD's in some cases. This is the main thing I want to play in my system - HD codecs for music.

I want a blu-ray Sonos, and this device is basically that judging by what I've read - certainly some of the reviews I've read and the screen shots of the built in GUI seem to be far more than adequate for my needs.

So can anyone help me, the OP, the other guy with the ReadyNAS NV+ to use it the way we want to use it????

Last edited by RNRGAGNE; 10-23-2010 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:31 PM
RNRGAGNE RNRGAGNE is offline
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Tiki, I read the review at the link (thanks for that) and I'm even more convinced the on-board GUI he showed is plenty good enough for my needs.

I'm going to be in heaven with it frankly, if I can figure out the best way to set up my NAS and rip & tag my media for it to access properly.

One thing I learned from that review is you need folder.jpg files to be in the mix for movie covers to be displayed - so I've got to figure out how to do that with ISO files which I think will be the easiest to do and work with, (if they aren't in there in the first place).

He also stated, "Chaptering only works with BD-ISO if the packager has bothered to include it, but if there it works."

By "packager" does he mean the ripping program ie DVDFab?

Last edited by RNRGAGNE; 10-23-2010 at 07:33 PM.
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