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  #1  
Old 01-06-2009, 07:36 AM
jimwhite jimwhite is offline
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SageTV: PVR vs. Media Center

Back to the topic... a question was raised above which started my fertile mind (?) on a new tact. What is SAGE TV? A PVR app with some added media capabilities or a Media Center? Well, I submit that Sage TV is a PVR app. It's, in many humble opinions, the best PVR app around. Oh yes, it can play media files. And show pictures. But it's first and foremost a PVR app. I think that the main UI should be configurable to be able to be used primarily as a PVR app CALLED BY a media center. IOW, optimised to be called from JRiver Media Center or XBMC and return there when finished. Concentrate on the primary function.... PVR.

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  #2  
Old 01-06-2009, 07:52 AM
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Except it's kind of hard to run JRMC, XBMC on an HD200...
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2009, 08:17 AM
S_M_E S_M_E is offline
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Originally Posted by jimwhite View Post
Back to the topic... a question was raised above which started my fertile mind (?) on a new tact. What is SAGE TV? A PVR app with some added media capabilities or a Media Center? Well, I submit that Sage TV is a PVR app. It's, in many humble opinions, the best PVR app around. Oh yes, it can play media files. And show pictures. But it's first and foremost a PVR app.
I have to agree that Sage is primarily a PVR app, that's why the PVR functions are in the forefront and the media is called from the, coincidentally enough, Media Center link on the main menu rather than having music and pictures, on the main menu. However that doesn't mean that other people don't use Sage as a media center and that doesn't mean that Sage isn't evolving to become a better media center. In fact it's both a PVR app and a media center but it's strength, so far, is the PVR side.
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:47 AM
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TallMomof2 TallMomof2 is offline
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Sage is definintely a powerful PVR *however* I would like to see more weight given to other media maybe even make the PVR function transparent.

For example say I want to watch a movie. Currently, if I don't know the exact movie I have to browse through recordings, imported video, and maybe online video. Why not consolidate all the movies located locally under one heading and have an option under that heading to search or browse online?

Same for TV shows. It would be nice to able to do the same. If I want to watch "The Office" I shouldn't have to browse through Recordings and imported video. If support for watching online (Hulu) could be incorporated that would be a third place to browse. IMO, it should be transparent to the user where the video is located. It shouldn't matter whether it's a recording or ripped DVD or online video. It should simply be video.

The look of the UI is very subjective and I'm okay with the look of the stock STV, it's the function aspect (how files are labeled and accessed) that I don't like. I haven't seen a skin yet that will give me what I desire out of the UI.
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2009, 12:20 PM
gveres gveres is offline
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Originally Posted by TallMomof2 View Post
Sage is definintely a powerful PVR *however* I would like to see more weight given to other media maybe even make the PVR function transparent.

For example say I want to watch a movie. Currently, if I don't know the exact movie I have to browse through recordings, imported video, and maybe online video. Why not consolidate all the movies located locally under one heading and have an option under that heading to search or browse online?

Same for TV shows. It would be nice to able to do the same. If I want to watch "The Office" I shouldn't have to browse through Recordings and imported video. If support for watching online (Hulu) could be incorporated that would be a third place to browse. IMO, it should be transparent to the user where the video is located. It shouldn't matter whether it's a recording or ripped DVD or online video. It should simply be video.
This is starting to touch on the media organization problem with Sage. I am eagerly awaiting us to get past the main menu so we can start talking about the media organization challenges that Sage has. One big flat directory for recordings and separating videos from recordings are two aspects of the organization problem.

Greg
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2009, 08:05 PM
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sainswor99 sainswor99 is offline
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Originally Posted by gveres View Post
This is starting to touch on the media organization problem with Sage. I am eagerly awaiting us to get past the main menu so we can start talking about the media organization challenges that Sage has. One big flat directory for recordings and separating videos from recordings are two aspects of the organization problem.

Greg
I agree, which is why I originally asked the questions; if you think Sage is a PVR with some media center functionality, that's going to definitely direct your navigational structure (Music, imported videos, photos will be seperated from the main function, and may have some very different interface structures). I think that's where SageTV is today, but I personally would like to see more of a MediaCenter app (where PVR functionality is used simply to get content).

In a way, I'm sad because this discussion got split out of the main thread because I think it helps identify where each of us is coming from (which may explain why some menu choices have more appeal than others).
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  #7  
Old 01-06-2009, 10:01 PM
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Having come from BTV, I can say that Sage is more than a PVR. BTV is a PVR, only does TV. I wanted more which is why I switched.

IMHO, the reason the TV is the forefront application is because its the most important part of the package. I want to record tv shows/movies/etc. However, I want to do more than just that.

If I wanted just a PVR, most likely, I would still be using BTV.
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  #8  
Old 01-07-2009, 07:36 AM
jimwhite jimwhite is offline
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
Except it's kind of hard to run JRMC, XBMC on an HD200...
Good point... being extender-less, I hadn't thought about that...
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  #9  
Old 01-07-2009, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jimwhite View Post
Good point... being extender-less
You should join the cult, it's good for the mental health
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  #10  
Old 01-07-2009, 08:31 AM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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I have to vote for PVR because I came to Sage from Tivo because it's a PVR.

We had DirecTV with Tivo (old school!) and decided to cut the cord and go OTA, but my wife said "only if we can keep Tivo/DVR functionality". A little online research and I found Sage.

The media center aspects - having MP3s, videos, pictures, and ripped DVDs, as well as some online content and such - was all gravy. The best gravy I ever had... really, really good gravy... but gravy nonetheless.

However, I do not deny that, now that I have had the gravy, I want it to get better and better.
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2009, 09:18 AM
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loomdog32 loomdog32 is offline
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I defiently think its a PVR, but the media center functionally is REQUIRED..

to explain this, do you think the program that comes with Hauppauge tuners as a PVR?? It can tune TV, pause/ff/rw live tv and can record at set points.. Isnt that a PVR??
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  #12  
Old 01-07-2009, 10:23 AM
jimwhite jimwhite is offline
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Quote:
I defiently think its a PVR
no need to be defient

Quote:
do you think the program that comes with Hauppauge tuners as a PVR?? It can tune TV, pause/ff/rw live tv and can record at set points.. Isnt that a PVR??
A very limited one, but yes, it's a pvr...
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2009, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by loomdog32 View Post
to explain this, do you think the program that comes with Hauppauge tuners as a PVR?? It can tune TV, pause/ff/rw live tv and can record at set points.. Isnt that a PVR??
That would be what I call a DVR, It Records Video, Digitally. IMO a PVR (Personal Video Recorder) is the sort of device/program that does things like record shows. Favorites/Season Pass, conflict resolution, auto scheduling, etc.
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2009, 11:27 AM
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ThePaladinTech ThePaladinTech is offline
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Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj View Post
I have to vote for PVR because I came to Sage from Tivo because it's a PVR.

We had DirecTV with Tivo (old school!) and decided to cut the cord and go OTA, but my wife said "only if we can keep Tivo/DVR functionality". A little online research and I found Sage.

The media center aspects - having MP3s, videos, pictures, and ripped DVDs, as well as some online content and such - was all gravy. The best gravy I ever had... really, really good gravy... but gravy nonetheless.

However, I do not deny that, now that I have had the gravy, I want it to get better and better.
Yep dead on - the rest is gravy. Gravy that I wouldn't do without, and gravy I hope they make the best gravy you can get. but without the PVR functionality why not just get a popcorn hour???
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  #15  
Old 01-07-2009, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by enzominator View Post
Yep dead on - the rest is gravy. Gravy that I wouldn't do without, and gravy I hope they make the best gravy you can get. but without the PVR functionality why not just get a popcorn hour???
I don't think anybody's suggesting that they do without the PVR functionality; to me, its a matter of emphasis. I'd love to see a Media Center that uses PVR capabilty to add to the content that I can see and share; I don't think anybody's doing that at this time.

I'ts like SageTV has a GREAT PVR service, and a mediocre set of services for other media. I wouldn't want to sacrifice the PVR capbility for the ability to stream other forms of media, but I would like to bring them all up to par.
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:07 PM
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I agree with most all, that SageTV is a PVR, and probably one of the best out there. But I'd like to add this.

Sage pretty much has the PVR side of things nailed. There may be a few refinements that would be welcome (like cleaning up the show-change-"glitch"), but Sage really leaves nothing to be desired in recording, scheduling and networking options.

That's frankly been enough for them so far, nobody else was close. But MCE has extenders, and more "traditional" providers are beginning to add whole-house-networked-DVR functionality. ATT U-Verse has whole-house DVRs, there have been rumours of networking Dish DVRs and STBs. Provider DVRs are improving (Moxi, Dish, etc). As this happens the benefit of Sage in the PVR area diminishes.

So going forward, I think Sage really needs to focus on getting their media functionality up to the same level as the PVR functionality. And at the moment I'm not sure how to do that....
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  #17  
Old 01-07-2009, 03:17 PM
bastafidli bastafidli is offline
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I must agree with you and thats SageTV is PVR/DVR app which is bummer for me, because I have never used this part of its functionality. It might be the best out there, but I will never know, because I am using it only as media center for all my media thanks to the wonderful HD100. And unfortunately as it was said, the media center side of it really lacks...
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
Sage pretty much has the PVR side of things nailed.
Agreed, aside from continuing to support new hardware as it comes out, there really isn't a lot of major work for them to do on the PVR side anymore (Atleast for US, I don't know what the state of things is outside of the US).

Actually, when you think about it that's about all the last few 6.x releases have been: hardware support bumps. One for the HD100, one for ClearQAM, one for HD-PVR, and most recently one for the HD200.

Last edited by evilpenguin; 01-07-2009 at 03:24 PM.
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  #19  
Old 01-07-2009, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
Sage pretty much has the PVR side of things nailed. There may be a few refinements that would be welcome (like cleaning up the show-change-"glitch"), but Sage really leaves nothing to be desired in recording, scheduling and networking options.
Also agreed, this was pretty much my point in one of the other threads. In order for Sage to remain competitive they need to shift focus to the media centre side of things, and despite what some say, pretty up the UI a little, or at least make it skinable.
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  #20  
Old 01-08-2009, 12:51 PM
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Also agreed, this was pretty much my point in one of the other threads. In order for Sage to remain competitive they need to shift focus to the media centre side of things, and despite what some say, pretty up the UI a little, or at least make it skinable.
Agreed. Dish network just upped the ante with the 922:

Built-in Slingbox capability = Placeshifter
External hard disk support = expandable platform
Archos support = portable media player conversion
Mp3 and photo support (upcoming) = Media center beginnings


Between Direct, Dish, and the Tivo HD there is some serious competition out there now. With Direct reviving their relationship with Tivo they could have a much stronger offering soon as well (Unbox, Netflix, Room2Room, Home Media, Tivo2Go, etc...). Sage needs to be very aggressive to compete - you can't rely on them continuing to screw things up with bugs, crap GUIs, and oppressive DRM. They will figure it out eventually, and Joe Sixpack isn't that picky in the first place.
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