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SageTV Software Discussion related to the SageTV application produced by SageTV. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to the SageTV software application should be posted here. (Check the descriptions of the other forums; all hardware related questions go in the Hardware Support forum, etc. And, post in the customizations forum instead if any customizations are active.)

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  #1  
Old 10-13-2005, 02:59 PM
Shopko Shopko is offline
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Many thanks to the SageTV developers and community!

I have tried just about every PVR software package available over the past 6 months. I think SageTV is the best of them all. Thank you to the developers and community for making this a great product!

I would like to share my thoughts on each (in the order that I installed and tested them). This is not intended to start a flame-war, but rather give some reasons why SageTV was such a nice thing to end with.

MCE 2005 - Looks nice, fairly reliable, not as customizable as I would like. Active community, lots of commercial add-ons and support. I ran into some video stuttering problems that I could not solve. I would give it 8 out of 10.

BeyondTV - Looks okay, default sound scheme is annoying. Can't do anything other than watch TV; Beyond Media is not as well-integrated as the product's web site claims. Can't watch TV while using the guide. Plug-in community doesn't seem as active as it is in other projects. I would give it 6 out of 10.

Media Portal and GB-PVR - Look nice, work pretty well, both use XMLTV. Have to fill out a quick survey about TV viewing habits every couple of weeks to continue receiving guide info from Zap2It, which isn't a huge deal but feels somewhat intrusive. GB-PVR seemed to consume more CPU time than the other packages I tried. Both are free, and Media Portal is open-source, which is a plus. I would give both packages a 7 out of 10.

Meedio - Looks very nice on a computer monitor. Fonts in many of the skins need to be larger for the "10-foot experience". Installation was flawless, the product has a very active plug-in community, it seems to be reliable, but I had some issues with video / sound synchronization. The sync thing was a show-stopper for me; people in the forums blamed it on the Hauppage card I use (PVR-150). I would give it a 6 out of 10.

MythTV - Yeah. My motherboard (MSI RS480) has serious problems with Linux, so this wasn't even an option. Also, as far as I understand it, you can't watch DVDs with Myth legally in the U.S., since the DVD players rely on DeCSS. I can't comment on this one for everyone else, but for me it was a 0 out of 10.

SageTV - Looks nice, worked correctly "out of the box". Has an active community, consumes little resources. Had to download a 40MB JRE to run it, and I'm a little concerned about the "EPG may not always be free" disclaimer on the main site. Ability to customize stuff is just enough to be nice but not so much that it's annoying to tinker with. My wife likes the Sage guide more than any of the others. I would give it 9 out of 10.

I'm amazed that Sage comes with its own MPEG-2 decoder, when MCE 2005 forces you to go out and buy one. I own licenses to PowerDVD and NVidia's PureVideo. It's a shame, because the MPEG-2 decoder that comes with the Hauppage card seems to work best for me in Sage.
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2005, 03:42 PM
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aperry aperry is offline
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Yeah, even though I've checked out alternatives, I find myself always wandering back to SageTV...
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2005, 04:29 PM
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Kanati Kanati is offline
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I'm ALWAYS checking out the alternatives and coming back to sage. I'm such a glutton for punishment.
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  #4  
Old 10-14-2005, 02:01 AM
Mahoney Mahoney is offline
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Media Portal's probably the one I'm most interested in; it has DVB support out of the box, which will hopefully shortly be very useful for me, and I'm more comfortable with open source stuff where I can change things if I really don't like them, and there's a higher likelihood of new modules coming out rapidly. For instance Sky & the BBC are both about to release a means of dowloading their content over the net; they are both making apps that function in MCE, but unsurprisingly not bothering for other PVR setups. There's at least a hope someone might integrate them with Media Portal.

Equally I'd really like a basic web browser & IMAP email client that are operable by remote; and Skype integration, preferably including the new video conferencing bit available. And a calendar app. I don't see any of those things happening in SageTV very quickly, but if I really wanted them I could roll up my sleeves and do it myself in Media Portal.

BUT, Media Portal isn't a client/server architecture; which is a killer for my plans.
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  #5  
Old 10-14-2005, 06:25 AM
JasonJoel JasonJoel is offline
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Yup. Without them going client/server, I will never consider them as usable. Period.

Jason


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahoney
BUT, Media Portal isn't a client/server architecture; which is a killer for my plans.
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  #6  
Old 10-14-2005, 06:27 AM
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cmaffia cmaffia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shopko
I'm a little concerned about the "EPG may not always be free" disclaimer on the main site.
**Currently, Frey provides electronic programming guide service (the "EPG Service") to End Users at no charge. Frey reserves the right to discontinue provision of the EPG Service or to separately charge End Users for provision of the EPG Service.

Geez... Is this a new disclaimer? Regretably, the day I have to pay for the SageTV EPG guide is the day I re-subscribe to Tivo. That was THE main reason why I looked into a "build your own" PVR solution... to save money in the long run. Also, I could have sworn I downloaded an MP3 on the SageTV site of an interview Jeff gave stating that the cost of the EPG service was incorporated into the price of the software. That was the answer he gave to the interviewer (and to consumers since the MP3 was posted on their site) so I guess I am debating the "provides electronic programming guide service (the "EPG Service") to End Users at no charge" statement. In the interview he did state that ZAPIT was expensive and to be honest the software+lifetime guide for 80 bux is an amazing deal.... I guess time will tell.

SageTV, if you are listening....seriously, you need to accelerate your development of this product. Please listen to the users and address the things that need improvements. Get this product boxed in stores like Comp-USA and Circuit City and shoot for an Editors Choice in PC Magazine. Knowing your collective intelligence ranks high, it wouldn't surprise me if a similar strategy was already in the works.... just do it quickly! Time is of the essence!!
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Last edited by cmaffia; 10-14-2005 at 06:59 AM. Reason: My spelling sucks!
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  #7  
Old 10-14-2005, 07:42 AM
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malore malore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanati
I'm ALWAYS checking out the alternatives and coming back to sage. I'm such a glutton for punishment.
A glutton for punishment by checking out the alternatives or for returning to SageTV?
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmaffia
"Frey reserves the right to discontinue provision of the EPG Service or to separately charge End Users for provision of the EPG Service." Geez... Is this a new disclaimer? Regretably, the day I have to pay for the SageTV EPG guide is the day I re-subscribe to Tivo.
That disclaimer seems pretty reasonable, since the cost SageTV pays for guide data may increase in the future. I also would expect that if a source of free guide data exists, then a plug-in could still provide free guide service. I definitely would be very surprised and angry if SageTV would start charging anything close to Tivo's ridiculous $12.95 per month for guide data.
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2005, 08:46 AM
Fluffdaddy Fluffdaddy is offline
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A monthly fee for guide data would kill the HTPC software market.........IMO
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2005, 10:19 AM
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Opus4 Opus4 is offline
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Just so people know... that disclaimer has been there for quite a while & has been debated on the forum previously. It boils down to this: SageTV doesn't have any current plans to charge a monthly fee for EPG data, but they also can't promise that it will be free forever, since you never know what the future will bring -- possible cost increases for their access to EPG data being one such unknown.

- Andy
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