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  #1  
Old 07-09-2011, 09:53 AM
Bacon2002 Bacon2002 is offline
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WMC - More questions

Hi,

Like everyone else I am running around trying out alternatives to SageTV, not because I am desparate to leave SageTV behind but because I have been so reliant upon it and now I do not feel that I cannot continue to depend on it being around for my future needs.

With regards WMC I don't understand why people appear to be negative about it, from what I have seen so far it looks quite good, especially for UK customers:-

1) It seems to have a reasonable interface
2) It has hardware extenders:-
XBOX360 and non-XBOX360 hardware extenders
I have an XBOX 360 S (the newer ones), if you use a media centre remote instead of an XBOX controller then it works well. It turns on and off quickly with one button and goes straight into WMC without even showing you the XBOX menu. OK it has a fan and thats bad but mine is really very quiet.
There are other non-XBOX hardware extenders as well. OK none appear to be in production but some are HD with HDMI connectors, run silently and they are freely available at affordable prices. I've ordered one so I'll let everyone know how it goes.
3) It supports lots of different tuners
4) You can use up to 12 tuners if you use TunerSalad
5) If you use DVB-S2 then something like the Anysee E7 works great with full CAM and MDAPI support without the need to rely on DVBLink
6) It's cheap as it comes with some versions of Windows

I've not done it yet but I'm expecting that getting the TV Guide data into it will be fairly straight forward, at worst I'll have to use DVBLink.

So far I'm pretty impressed.

On the downside it does not have a Windows client, this a bit poor but I can live without this as I am more interested in hardware extenders anyway.

So that I can look out for them what do people see as the other potential downsides that I am not seeing?

Thanks,

David
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2011, 10:16 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacon2002 View Post
With regards WMC I don't understand why people appear to be negative about it, from what I have seen so far it looks quite good, especially for UK customers:-
Well it basically comes down to this, WMC has some considerable limitations, if you can live within them it's a great solution. A lot of us are using SageTV because we "couldn't" live within those limitations.

Quote:
On the downside it does not have a Windows client, this a bit poor but I can live without this as I am more interested in hardware extenders anyway.

So that I can look out for them what do people see as the other potential downsides that I am not seeing?
Really IMO, the biggest potential issue for a SageTV user are the "client" limitations. If you want the multiroom DVR functionality, the lack of a software client means you have to use extenders. And for those your choices are the Xbox or discontinued (like the Sage extenders ) dedicated models.

Now that doesn't seem bad until you look into their media support, there's no DVD or Blu-ray rip support, and while it does support the MKV container (at least the 360), it doesn't support Blu-ray "profile" audio or video, so you'd have to transcode/convert your BDs to lower bitrates/quality.

The other option is to go with PCs for clients, and you'll get all the media features you get on the "server" but you lose the TV integration.

I don't know, I've got a couple Xboxen, so WMC is on my list, but if I were to go WMC, I'd either have to go back to an HTPC in the HT (which I'm not big on, I was happy to be rid of it last time), or get a separate streamer for the HT because for me, the WMC extender limitations are unacceptable.
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2011, 11:22 AM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Stranger I think your bring way to hard on computers in your main theater room. I was there trust me I was so happy to get rid of mine for the hd200's. But it has really really come far in the last couple of years especially. As well ad with the computer as I stated before the picture quality is better than what I was getting from the hd300. Even enough difference my wife noticed it was a better picture all around.

Also client are doable with wmc if you don't recorded protected content you can share the recordings and such. Not as good as full blown client and hack at best but I have seen it done.
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2011, 01:17 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Originally Posted by PLUCKYHD View Post
Stranger I think your bring way to hard on computers in your main theater room. I was there trust me I was so happy to get rid of mine for the hd200's. But it has really really come far in the last couple of years especially. As well ad with the computer as I stated before the picture quality is better than what I was getting from the hd300. Even enough difference my wife noticed it was a better picture all around.
I may well find out before long. I haven't had an experiment in a while and I'm sorta "iching" for one (and I've got a post about half typed up to start a thread about that).

I just remember two things very clearly in my home theater history, getting my first HD100 and my Pioneer Blu-ray player. Both were a "revelation", for lack of a better term. Without getting too verbose about it, basically they showed me there were a lot of little issues that I had I guess trained myself to ignore, little judders, seamless/automatic refresh rate changes, etc.

Quote:
Also client are doable with wmc if you don't recorded protected content you can share the recordings and such. Not as good as full blown client and hack at best but I have seen it done.
IMO, if you don't have LiveTV, it's not a client.
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2011, 02:10 PM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
I may well find out before long. I haven't had an experiment in a while and I'm sorta "iching" for one (and I've got a post about half typed up to start a thread about that).

I just remember two things very clearly in my home theater history, getting my first HD100 and my Pioneer Blu-ray player. Both were a "revelation", for lack of a better term. Without getting too verbose about it, basically they showed me there were a lot of little issues that I had I guess trained myself to ignore, little judders, seamless/automatic refresh rate changes, etc.



IMO, if you don't have LiveTV, it's not a client.
But you do have livetv with right tuning software to make it network.

What I am looking at is making a seamless client interface with ceton networking of the tuners. Basically split the 4 tuner 2 tuners to each pc. Then I have 2 hdhomerun units so that gives 2 pcs 4 tuners each.

What I want to automate and I think is possible from the little playing I have done.

1. Hit record on one pc it sets it to record across all clients wether it be single or series recording is replicated.
2. When a show is deleted delete it across all clients.
3. When a show is partially watched mark the watch spot across all clients.

I want this to be hidden from user interaction so it appears seamless to the user. This would give a very acceptable solution. Granted you are doubling up tuners and recording everything twice but still not bad. Right now this is just in my head but I think it is doable.

As for stuttering and such I agree my old pc was the same way constant issues that I just accepted and lived with. I noticed these allot when I got my hd200's, but I only have one issue left and that is 24hz and I think I have that solved now and as I stated the picture quality is superior to hd300 IMHO.

Cheers
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  #6  
Old 07-09-2011, 02:38 PM
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toricred toricred is offline
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Interesting, but I have four viewing locations.
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  #7  
Old 07-09-2011, 02:41 PM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Originally Posted by toricred View Post
Interesting, but I have four viewing locations.
Well I have 5 will use xbox in the other 3 locations. Just want native bluray in 2 rooms.
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  #8  
Old 07-09-2011, 03:22 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLUCKYHD View Post
But you do have livetv with right tuning software to make it network.
But you have to dedicate tuners to each location right? That's not sharing, that's not a client.

Quote:
What I am looking at is making a seamless client interface with ceton networking of the tuners. Basically split the 4 tuner 2 tuners to each pc. Then I have 2 hdhomerun units so that gives 2 pcs 4 tuners each.
That's just retarded IMO, no offense. But then you have to manually manage recordings across multiple WMC systems so you don't run in to conflicts. It's like having two DVRs from your provider, and that's something most here use as an example to advocate for using PCs.

Of course regardless of that, that just wouldn't work with one HDHR and a couple Dish boxes. I'd have to dedicate on OTA and one Dish box to each of my main viewing locations, and then effectively only be able to record one thing at a time (I very rarely record network shows).

Quote:
1. Hit record on one pc it sets it to record across all clients wether it be single or series recording is replicated.
2. When a show is deleted delete it across all clients.
3. When a show is partially watched mark the watch spot across all clients.

I want this to be hidden from user interaction so it appears seamless to the user. This would give a very acceptable solution.
Sure, if you've got 12 Ceton tuners that might be practical, not so much for those of us with crappy cable providers.

Quote:
Granted you are doubling up tuners and recording everything twice but still not bad. Right now this is just in my head but I think it is doable.
It's pretty bad, I'd need another HDHR, and two more Dish boxes and two more HD PVR/Colossus...

Sorry, this is all just incredibly frustrating, trying to do the "simple" thing of replacing a DVR system that no longer exists. With all the Sage bashing I've heard over the years, you wouldn't have thought it would be this hard, or that we'd have to make so many compromises to go to another solution.

Last edited by stanger89; 07-09-2011 at 03:25 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2011, 05:02 PM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
But you have to dedicate tuners to each location right? That's not sharing, that's not a client.
No and especially not in your situation your won't have drm using sattelite and hdpvr/collusus. So really of letting all the network tuners be available and letting something like recoding broker handle conflicts between the two pcs so you always have both tuners and recordings are available on both pcs as there is no drm in your situation at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

That's just retarded IMO, no offense. But then you have to manually manage recordings across multiple WMC systems so you don't run in to conflicts. It's like having two DVRs from your provider, and that's something most here use as an example to advocate for using PCs.
You don't have to manage anything....It is perfect for ceton users eveything is replicated you handle conflicts the same you are over thinking this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
Of course regardless of that, that just wouldn't work with one HDHR and a couple Dish boxes. I'd have to dedicate on OTA and one Dish box to each of my main viewing locations, and then effectively only be able to record one thing at a time (I very rarely record network shows).
see above your situation is much more doable than man. I don't think if you looked hard enough at dvb tuning and what you can do with it allot of your assumptions are wrong sorry.



Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
Sure, if you've got 12 Ceton tuners that might be practical, not so much for those of us with crappy cable providers.
This example was for cable users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Sorry, this is all just incredibly frustrating, trying to do the "simple" thing of replacing a DVR system that no longer exists. With all the Sage bashing I've heard over the years, you wouldn't have thought it would be this hard, or that we'd have to make so many compromises to go to another solution.
I think you are making it more than it has to be It is to each their own but I am gave up some things to come to sage. Am I losing some stuff by going back sure but all in all not unhappy with the replacement in fact the reliability of the ceton tuner has the wife much more happy then she was before.
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2011, 09:33 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLUCKYHD View Post
No and especially not in your situation your won't have drm using sattelite and hdpvr/collusus. So really of letting all the network tuners be available and letting something like recoding broker handle conflicts between the two pcs so you always have both tuners and recordings are available on both pcs as there is no drm in your situation at all.
OK, so I see what you're thinking: DVBLogic "serving" all your tuners to every WMC machine "and?" Recording Broker running to "spread" recordings across WMC machines.

That said, I don't quite get how that would work, wouldn't that end up looking like you have twice the tuners you actually do? For Recording Broker to work, wouldn't you have to dedicate tuners to specific machines?

I have two situations that I don't see this solution handling elegantly:

First, let's assume I've got one of each tuner type, ATSC and Dish, dedicated to each of two machines, Home Theater and Living Room. Further let's assume I've got Recording Broker running to spread my recording conflicts around.

If I do most of my recording on my Home Theater machine, what happens if I want to watch live TV in on the Home Theater machine while it's recording something. Can Recording Broker boot live TV or the recording to the unused Living Room machine?

The second situation is where you've got DVBLogic serving all tuners to all machines. It seems to me in this case, you'd have to make sure to schedule recordings on just one machine. Well I guess the question is how does DVBLogic handle conflicting requests for tuners? Looking at the manual looks like you can pick one machine to always "win" such contentions.
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2011, 01:56 AM
Bacon2002 Bacon2002 is offline
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Hi,

I have completed a little more testing.

In respect of the XBOX360S this seems to work OK, better than I expected although they are slower and the picture quality is no where near as good as an HD300. Quality is OK but still visably poorer than the HD300 which is a real shame although I have not tried any of the XBOX360 picture settings to see if it can be improved.

I am beginning to think that setting up the channels correctly is going to be a real pain, in my case this is propably because I am using a DVB-S2 cards pretending to be a DVB-T. I am still hopeful but it's not as easy as I had hoped. I can't find a .frq type file to edit which would make life much easier.

The XBOX360 can play M2TS files in HD reasonably well but this would mean recoding BluRays etc which takes a long time and the quality is not as good.

On the plus side there are lot of plugins for WMC so I still looking for solutions.

At this stage I'll probably try running SageTV and WMC side by side for a while and see how much I can learn along the way.

David

Last edited by Bacon2002; 07-10-2011 at 06:44 AM.
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2011, 06:04 AM
Biggen Biggen is offline
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I awaiting the return of my xbox from Microsoft. Bad ethernet port from a surge forced me to send it off for a $100 repair.

But as I have been reading and thinking I'm leaning towards using the 360 for TV viewing/recording only and then purchasing a WD TV to access all my movies and online content. I am not going to transcode all my BD rips just so that they can play on the 360. I rather buy the WD TV as it can play them fine.

Yeah, its not a one box solution but there doesn't seem to be one either. I don't mind changing inputs on the TV though if it gets me the best expierence possible.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:10 AM
karhill karhill is offline
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The lack of a software client kills the WMC solution for me. I think the WMC UI is very good, but I've got 12 TVs, each hooked up to a small PC, and one server in the utility closet that's attached to the cable boxes. All recording and storage takes place on the server, and the client PCs are just for serving up content to each of the TVs. They also allow for hulu/netflix/browsing/etc from each of the TVs.

There does not seem to be a good WMC solution for this environment. I'm not going to buy 12 xboxes.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karhill View Post
The lack of a software client kills the WMC solution for me. I think the WMC UI is very good, but I've got 12 TVs, each hooked up to a small PC, and one server in the utility closet that's attached to the cable boxes. All recording and storage takes place on the server, and the client PCs are just for serving up content to each of the TVs. They also allow for hulu/netflix/browsing/etc from each of the TVs.

There does not seem to be a good WMC solution for this environment. I'm not going to buy 12 xboxes.
Use the small PC's as WMC clients to the recording folder on the server. Use recording broker to transfer all the recordings to the server.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:37 AM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Originally Posted by Bacon2002 View Post
Hi,
In respect of the XBOX360S this seems to work OK, better than I expected although they are slower and the picture quality is no where near as good as an HD300. Quality is OK but still visably poorer than the HD300 which is a real shame although I have not tried any of the XBOX360 picture settings to see if it can be improved.
That's like saying this car is not as fast as my old car but yet I haven't pushed the gas pedal hard yet...

The xbox 360 to be looks better on tv signals (of course cablecard is a better capture anyhow so hard to judge fully). Now it won't produce the quality of the hd300 on bluray rips and such since it's bitrate is limited that is a given. You also have to take into consideration the graphics chip in the xbox 360 is over 5 years old now and is geared towards gaming and not media playback.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:00 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Use the small PC's as WMC clients to the recording folder on the server. Use recording broker to transfer all the recordings to the server.
So it can move all recordings? Not just conflicts?
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  #17  
Old 07-10-2011, 11:45 AM
jerryt jerryt is offline
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
So it can move all recordings? Not just conflicts?
I am not using recording broker, but my understanding is that it moves a saved scheduled recording to the server. It does not move the phyiscal recording.

Also WMC can be set to use a shared folder (server ?) for all recordings
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  #18  
Old 07-10-2011, 12:18 PM
Bacon2002 Bacon2002 is offline
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Hi,

What do you mean by
Quote:
That's like saying this car is not as fast as my old car but yet I haven't pushed the gas pedal hard yet...
I am confused, how exactly do I press the accelerator/gas pedal.

Whilst I intend to run both SageTV and WMC side by side for a few week, from what I have seen so far WMC is very much a poor relative compared to SageTV and the more I use it the more I think saving up and buying more HD300 is a much better idea.

For watching normal SD TV such as the news or similar then WMC & XBOX is fine but for watching a HD movie or to enjoy the experience then it's not great.

Ta,

David

Last edited by Bacon2002; 07-10-2011 at 12:25 PM.
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  #19  
Old 07-10-2011, 02:06 PM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacon2002 View Post
Hi,

What do you mean by

I am confused, how exactly do I press the accelerator/gas pedal.

Whilst I intend to run both SageTV and WMC side by side for a few week, from what I have seen so far WMC is very much a poor relative compared to SageTV and the more I use it the more I think saving up and buying more HD300 is a much better idea.

For watching normal SD TV such as the news or similar then WMC & XBOX is fine but for watching a HD movie or to enjoy the experience then it's not great.

Ta,

David
Sounds like you have other issues. If you didn't even calibrate the xbox 360 you can't judge it is what I was saying. I have 5 tv locations and the xbox 360 looks just as good as the hd300 watching hdtv. The computer itself looks much much better than the hd300 was on blurays.
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  #20  
Old 07-10-2011, 02:49 PM
Bacon2002 Bacon2002 is offline
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What do you mean
Quote:
calibrate the xbox
.

Can you been more specific, are you talking about video settings, if so what settings and what calibration.

I have an XBOX360S plugged into a UE55C8000 TV via an HDMI lead, its running in the correct resolution, the network has been tuned, what else are you referring to.
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