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  #1  
Old 04-09-2014, 07:44 PM
wildgoose wildgoose is offline
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SageTV backup plan?

My SageTV HD300 stopped working a few days ago (which turns out to be a network switch issue unrelated to the HD300). This made me realize how important SageTV is and how I don't really have a backup plan.

I have no other Sage box (ie, hd-200 or hd-300). If my hd-300 dies, that'll be it. I have other streaming boxes, roku, chromecast, wdtv, but nothing can quite replace sage and what I use it for, which is to record OTA TV shows and watch them with closed capturing and all the meta-data about the show.

What can I do to ensure that I'll continue to be able to use my SageTV setup for years to come? I am not as worried about the Server since it runs on my PC and I can always build a new/faster one if the current one craps out. but I am at loss about what to do if the HD-300 dies.

Here's what I can think of:

- export the sageTV recording directory on the PC and use a different media box (ie, WDTV), to play it back.

problem is, no closed captioning, and super slow ff/skip (to skip commercial). Also difficult to find stuff.

- setup a sagetv client

Don't have a license, and I am not too excited about building and putting a pc next to the TV. Also setting up codec seems to be troublesome (?). Will I get image quality as good as what the HD300 provided? Also there's no mac client, only PC right? (There is a 6.x mac client, but it won't work with v7 server right?)

- Use a plex client

This seems to be the most promising one. The regular clients (roku, chromecast), take a long time to ff/skip, but the plex home theater client running on my mac-mini does instantaneous skip just like the Sage box.

The only issue is no closed captioning, which is a huge deal for me. Is it possible to extract out the closed captioning from the sage tv file and put it in a .srt file like movie subtitles>

- Of course, I can always buy another HD300/200 box, but there's no guarantee how long it'll last...

I am curious what others have done. Perhaps I should also look into getting a 2nd tuner box (I have the SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDHR network tuner) since Sage may have problems with future tuner boxes if mine dies...
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  #2  
Old 04-10-2014, 07:27 AM
will will is offline
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I would go the client route.

As long as you use Windows 7 or higher you shouldn't have codec issues. I had a lot of trouble getting the client to work smoothly on XP but after I upgraded to 7 it runs fine for me (even in a virtual machine with no actual graphics card). I did buy the codec pack CoreAVC 3.0.1 because it is a great h.264 decoder when you don't have a GPU.

I run the client on an iMac in my kitchen using Parallels (tested on v7, 8, and 9). The built in IR port on Macs can be set to be used by Parllels and then you can use a free program like EventGhost to map basically any remote to work with SageTV. So I use the newest Tivo remote with my Mac and have no issues (it is my favorite remote I have in the house).

I have never used plex but don't expect as good or easy as an experience as you get with an extender or a client. From what I read it is not the best solution for SageTV.

If you do go the client route on a Mac feel free to reach out to me and I can answer any questions you might have.
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OS: Windows 7
Hardware: Intel Core i7-920 with 12GB RAM & an Adaptec 5805 with a Chenbro 36-port SAS Expander
Case: Antec 1200 with 4 iStarUSA trayless hot-swap cages (20 drives max)
Drives: 8 Toshiba/Hitachi 2TB drives in a RAID 6 & 7 Toshiba 3TB drives in a RAID 6
Capture Cards: HDHomeRun Connect Quatro 4, Hauppauge 60 HD-PVR
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  #3  
Old 04-10-2014, 08:42 AM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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I have this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856173037. It works well as a client it is in my bedroom. Is very quite. Newer versions that are actually on sale would probably work as well and as Silently but can't really say for sure. If you get right next to it you can hear the fan but it was silent otherwise. Although you can hear the fan ramp up when I switch to a BluRay but unless a WHS backup is happening at the same time it usually drops back to silent after it starts playback. Yes I am backing up this client with WHS I probably should just image once with Acronis and then any time I update and save the WHS slot for another box/VM but I haven't yet. The ramp up of the fan could also be due to the switch to external player as well as playback starting up.
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  #4  
Old 04-10-2014, 01:27 PM
wildgoose wildgoose is offline
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Thanks for the reply and links!

I do have some questions about using PC/Mac as a client (not only with SageTV but in general, with regard to black level).

If I use a PC or Mac as a client, does it sends out proper video signal (16-235) or pc signal (0-255)? (I am not sure whether this depends on the video card or the software on the PC).

With dedicated devices such as sage, roku, chromecast, etc, they send out proper video signals (16-235). This is good because the negative black level (0-15) allows very precise black level calibration on the TV and I don't need to calibrate the TV separately for the device. (ie, I can use standard blue-ray player with a pattern disc and the calibration results is also correct for sage).

I tried before a few years ago to connect a PC directly to the TV and got the wrong results. The PC sends out a PC signal (0-255), not a video signal, and as a result there was obvious shadow detail being clipped on the TV when watching a DVD (even though DVD itself only contains signal levels 16-235, meaning the software must've re-scaled it to 0-255, and the TV clipped it off before display).

I am hoping HTPC today have all this worked out, but I'd love to hear from someone using one to see what it does. Ideally, PC content (desktop, image, etc) will be scaled from 0-255 down to 16-235 (so your jpg will be displayed properly on the TV with correct levels), but video signal does not go through this scaling at all and pass through as is.
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  #5  
Old 04-11-2014, 04:15 AM
ccsmoke ccsmoke is offline
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I know with NVidia, you can change it under NVidia control panel/video/adjust video color then can adjust the dynamic range under advanced tab. Not sure about amd/intel.
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  #6  
Old 05-02-2014, 04:19 PM
traker1001 traker1001 is offline
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I have had a lot of luck with XBMC as a client to windows MCE. Running Plex to serve out my movies and videos. Running a couple Ras Pi's and Openelec as clients. Not anywhere as easy as Sage was to setup, but in my testing seems to work well.
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  #7  
Old 05-06-2014, 10:00 AM
drewg drewg is offline
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If I were you, I'd get a FireTV and sideload XBMC onto it.

I've been using LehighBri & Kicker's SageTV XBMC addon on an android streamer that is quite close in specs to the FireTV. I've got a working HD300, but I'm starting to use the XBMC / android streamer more & more.

The main advantage the android streamer has over my HD300 is that I've got a wireless connection between my server & my HD300 (rental house, cannot run cat5). The android streamer deals *MUCH* better with temporary wireless glitches than the HD300 does. I think that's because XBMC buffers more of the file in memory than the HD300 does.

Like the FireTV, it plays back almost everything in my library that my HD300 plays (including interlaced 1080i shows), and most BD rips. The only thing it does not play well is VC-1 encoded BD rips.

The disadvantages are that there is less information presented than I'd like. I don't really care for the XBMC playback interface (would really like to see the commercials on the timeline, etc). But playback is great, and comskip works. The one thing I haven't tried is to playback something while it is recording & see how it behaves.

Drew
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  #8  
Old 05-06-2014, 11:51 AM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewg View Post
The main advantage the android streamer has over my HD300 is that I've got a wireless connection between my server & my HD300 (rental house, cannot run cat5). The android streamer deals *MUCH* better with temporary wireless glitches than the HD300 does. I think that's because XBMC buffers more of the file in memory than the HD300 does.
IMHO the HD300 wireless capabilities are pretty poor. Having said that, it works great when you connect it via ethernet to a wireless bridge or range extender.

I was having all kids of issues with the HD300 wireless connection until I went out to Best Buy, bought a cheap range wireless extender with an ethernet port. The HD300 works flawlessly this way, even playing HD shows.
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2014, 05:02 PM
LWM4P LWM4P is offline
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I have some of the same issues... Most of my setup can be replaced (ie, touchscreen in the kitchen with sage client and the main server on a box in the server room), but the main media room has the HD300 and if that goes, then I will have to look for something else.

My main thought is to buy a nice windows tablet with an HDMI out, put client on it, and then just hook it to the TV. Yeah yeah, sounds like overkill.. but I can set that up in 20 minutes, whereas something else will take a while. Sometimes buying a nice $500 tablet is just worth the time, even if it is just a pass through paperweight.
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  #10  
Old 05-08-2014, 04:13 PM
drewg drewg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmiranda View Post
IMHO the HD300 wireless capabilities are pretty poor. Having said that, it works great when you connect it via ethernet to a wireless bridge or range extender.

I was having all kids of issues with the HD300 wireless connection until I went out to Best Buy, bought a cheap range wireless extender with an ethernet port. The HD300 works flawlessly this way, even playing HD shows.
I do use a wireless bridge ( a re-purposed router with DDWRT on it, running in wireless bridge mode). The streamer, the HD300, my Roku & Xbox are plugged into the bridge. The streamer just fares much better when there are glitches, where the HD300 starts stuttering and almost never recovers.

Drew
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  #11  
Old 05-09-2014, 10:29 AM
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tvmaster2 tvmaster2 is offline
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I use one of these hooked to a HD200 and bridged to a nearby wireless router - works pretty well, sometimes a little lag, but I can also take it on vacation and it works in hotel rooms (it gets it's power via the HD200's USB port, so that's one less power plug needed as well:

http://www.tp-link.us/products/detai...odel=TL-WR702N
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  #12  
Old 05-09-2014, 08:34 PM
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Naylia Naylia is offline
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I just have a spare HD200 in my closet. Should do if any of my HD300s go down.
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  #13  
Old 05-13-2014, 09:43 PM
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IVB IVB is offline
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My main problem is that 90% of the movies I buy are now Google Play. No viable mechanism to play those from within SageTV.

My secondary problem s that I've now had 2 backup extenders go south, down to just the live 2.

But I got GoogleTV (Sony NSZ-GS8). Plex picks up the SageTV recordings but I haven't tried playing them back. But alas, it doesn't stream mkv files nicely. I haven't really played too much with it, though.

If I could find a PC-based GUI that presented SageTV recordings, Google Play, Netflix, local rips, I'd be in seventh heaven. But JRMC shows absolutely zero interest in this, nothing else seems remotely decent.
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  #14  
Old 05-14-2014, 06:39 AM
will will is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post
My main problem is that 90% of the movies I buy are now Google Play. No viable mechanism to play those from within SageTV.
You should buy your movies from iTunes - there are ways to get those files to play fine with SageTV. But in my opinion you should buy blu-rays as the quality is so much better than anything downloaded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post
If I could find a PC-based GUI that presented SageTV recordings, Google Play, Netflix, local rips, I'd be in seventh heaven. But JRMC shows absolutely zero interest in this, nothing else seems remotely decent.
Have you thought about building a client and still using SageTV for TV? With a SageTV client you could still have SageTV but then access Netflix/Google Play.
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OS: Windows 7
Hardware: Intel Core i7-920 with 12GB RAM & an Adaptec 5805 with a Chenbro 36-port SAS Expander
Case: Antec 1200 with 4 iStarUSA trayless hot-swap cages (20 drives max)
Drives: 8 Toshiba/Hitachi 2TB drives in a RAID 6 & 7 Toshiba 3TB drives in a RAID 6
Capture Cards: HDHomeRun Connect Quatro 4, Hauppauge 60 HD-PVR
Players: 5 HD300s, 2 HD200s, 1 Client, 1 MiniClient
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  #15  
Old 05-14-2014, 10:54 AM
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Skybolt Skybolt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post
My main problem is that 90% of the movies I buy are now Google Play. No viable mechanism to play those from within SageTV.

My secondary problem s that I've now had 2 backup extenders go south, down to just the live 2.

But I got GoogleTV (Sony NSZ-GS8). Plex picks up the SageTV recordings but I haven't tried playing them back. But alas, it doesn't stream mkv files nicely. I haven't really played too much with it, though.

If I could find a PC-based GUI that presented SageTV recordings, Google Play, Netflix, local rips, I'd be in seventh heaven. But JRMC shows absolutely zero interest in this, nothing else seems remotely decent.
Have you tried Media Browser 3? It is a stand alone app and it will transcode a DVD Video_ts directory and MKV's just fine. It supports 7MC and any android device. Not sure if it works with GoogleTv or not though. I use it to stream remotely away from the house over WiFi and it does a decent job.
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  #16  
Old 05-14-2014, 02:02 PM
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IVB IVB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will View Post
You should buy your movies from iTunes - there are ways to get those files to play fine with SageTV. But in my opinion you should buy blu-rays as the quality is so much better than anything downloaded.
Well, I'm in the GOOG ecosystem so AAPL doesn't make sense, plus its trivial to sync on the road. I agree on BluRay for the most part, but at $20-$25/pop I reserve that for movies that make sense. IE, for "The Ref", I really don't need to see Denis Leary in HiDef, download + upscaling looks great.

Quote:
Have you thought about building a client and still using SageTV for TV? With a SageTV client you could still have SageTV but then access Netflix/Google Play.
Thats Plan C, but its a very jarring user experience as it requires you to switch apps. And no "search" across both locally & cloud stored movies. In theory Google Search should be able to do this (search Plex, Amazon, GTV) but I haven't gotten it to work.

Quote:
Have you tried Media Browser 3? It is a stand alone app and it will transcode a DVD Video_ts directory and MKV's just fine. It supports 7MC and any android device. Not sure if it works with GoogleTv or not though. I use it to stream remotely away from the house over WiFi and it does a decent job.
I'll check it out, but without a combined online/local GUI, everything else is Plan C.
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  #17  
Old 05-14-2014, 04:38 PM
nyplayer nyplayer is offline
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Media Browser 3 has a stand alone and Web Browser client GUI.
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Last edited by nyplayer; 05-14-2014 at 04:44 PM.
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  #18  
Old 05-15-2014, 07:18 AM
will will is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post
Thats Plan C, but its a very jarring user experience as it requires you to switch apps. And no "search" across both locally & cloud stored movies. In theory Google Search should be able to do this (search Plex, Amazon, GTV) but I haven't gotten it to work.
I agree but I think there are ways to launch Netflix from a SageTV Client (that might help a little).

Another idea I have been playing around with implementing but haven't yet (though someone else has) is integrating a Chromecast into SageTV. I wrote up the idea in this thread.

I know it wouldn't get you the universal search but does solution really offer true universal search (TV and all streaming services)? As online content becomes more and more popular I think this may be a way to "upgrade" SageTV.
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OS: Windows 7
Hardware: Intel Core i7-920 with 12GB RAM & an Adaptec 5805 with a Chenbro 36-port SAS Expander
Case: Antec 1200 with 4 iStarUSA trayless hot-swap cages (20 drives max)
Drives: 8 Toshiba/Hitachi 2TB drives in a RAID 6 & 7 Toshiba 3TB drives in a RAID 6
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  #19  
Old 05-15-2014, 11:32 PM
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feeling annoyed again at the current state by this thread, I tried a few different things tonight involving my movie library, to see if I could move to Tivo for DVR, Plex for all else.

I'm quite annoyed to report that I didn't like what I saw, and the Plan C of "build a client" is still the best I can find.

If only the Sony NSZ-GS8 was beefier, and could handle BluRay MKV files natively instead of plex SLAMMING my QuadCore cpu server. Heck, even the desktop Plex slams the CPU.
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  #20  
Old 05-16-2014, 07:45 AM
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Skirge01 Skirge01 is offline
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I guess I'll never understand why some people are so put off by PC clients; that's all I've ever used. It seems like many would change their entire setup and move to a whole new solution before running a PC client. Considering the technical knowledge of the majority of Sage users, I would never have expected them to be so apprehensive about using a full PC as a client. To each their own, though.
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