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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 09-14-2008, 05:04 PM
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bnh bnh is offline
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SageClient device in lieu of HD100

I've been getting a little itchy waiting for the HD100's to get back in stock. I don't have a client for my big screen TV's as yet (only my computers), so i've been wandering around looking for deals to front-end my SageTV setup. Any comments on this one? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856167032

All i want is something to run the Sage client allowing for smooth HD playback to a 1080i or better monitor. Clearly the HD100 will be optimized for SageTV, and would be my preference, but maybe this item would afford other capabilities like transcoding and internet access that the HD100 wouldn't provide.
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  #2  
Old 09-14-2008, 05:32 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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I seriously doubt that this will play any HD content as it has a 1.6GHz Atom processor. I would think that for single core CPUs you are going to need something like 3GHz or better to play HD content. I have very herky-jerky HD playback on a client that has a 2.66GHz processor although it has an obsolete video card - ATI9600.
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  #3  
Old 09-14-2008, 05:46 PM
Brent Brent is offline
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Your best bet is to wait for the HD100's to come back in stock.

Your second best option is to build a decently powerful (dual CPU core or higher) HTPC to act as your extender.
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  #4  
Old 09-14-2008, 06:52 PM
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bnh bnh is offline
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thanks for the replies. So, a thumbs down on anything less than a dual-core? That makes sense if i also want it to do transcoding chores...which i would, if it wasn't an HD100 simply front-ending my Sage server.
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  #5  
Old 09-14-2008, 07:00 PM
Brent Brent is offline
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Originally Posted by bnh View Post
thanks for the replies. So, a thumbs down on anything less than a dual-core? That makes sense if i also want it to do transcoding chores...which i would, if it wasn't an HD100 simply front-ending my Sage server.
You certainly get buy with less than a dual-core for playback of HDTV UNLESS you decide to use a HD-PVR. The HD-PVR needs a pretty high-powered CPU to power playback of h.264 files very well. I recommend you lean towards over-powered rather than be disappointed down the road. If your postive you'll never need HD-PVR or H.264 playback, then you should be fine with a high-powered singel core CPU.

I know it stinks to have to wait, but I really do recommend you wait for a HD100 - they are that good plus silent and very little setup or tinkering required. I have two HD100's, a dual-core HTPC client (used as an extender) and a Media MVP. The HD100's are far and away the best bet here.
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  #6  
Old 09-14-2008, 09:58 PM
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bnh bnh is offline
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thanks brent. i hesitate saying this, but it seems the HD100 is a great deal for what it does. It seems like i could get a barebones for $300, which would allow for additional processing like transcoding. The HD100 appears to do what it says it does very well. I think i can wait it out, but i wonder if a standalone device like the HD100, is what this crowd is really about?
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  #7  
Old 09-15-2008, 03:06 AM
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wado1971 wado1971 is offline
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With all due respect to the users who post the reply "just buy the extender", I'm a bit sick of hearing it ('sick' is a bit too strong). I've currently freed up some cash (read: hidden from wife) and would love to replicate the HD100 functionality in a diy style (again). I love sagetv's products & have been convinced by users comments that the HD100 is a superb product... but come on, I didn't get into this hobby to simply watch tv without any tweaks required. I'd miss posting this guy -> too much.

The challenge with this approach is that sagetv has presented a pricepoint ($200) and package size which is tough to beat.

If you disregard package size then I'm sure you can put a client together for ~$200. I'm doing fine playing back even the HD-PVR recordings with an older p4 client together with an AGP graphics card from ati (HD3300 or something).

I'll be giving it a try soon with a mini-itx, diy SSD, & probably a custom built case due to the <$200 challenge.

good luck if you take on the project

Edit: just on newegg.... 200 is tough to beat and the addition of brents comment-"plus silent" adds another challenge & cost. Remember, the key to HD is the video card.

Last edited by wado1971; 09-15-2008 at 04:26 AM. Reason: Second thoughts
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  #8  
Old 09-15-2008, 05:28 AM
Clift Clift is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1971 View Post
With all due respect to the users who post the reply "just buy the extender", I'm a bit sick of hearing it ('sick' is a bit too strong). I've currently freed up some cash (read: hidden from wife) and would love to replicate the HD100 functionality in a diy style (again). I love sagetv's products & have been convinced by users comments that the HD100 is a superb product... but come on, I didn't get into this hobby to simply watch tv without any tweaks required. I'd miss posting this guy -> too much.

The challenge with this approach is that sagetv has presented a pricepoint ($200) and package size which is tough to beat.

If you disregard package size then I'm sure you can put a client together for ~$200. I'm doing fine playing back even the HD-PVR recordings with an older p4 client together with an AGP graphics card from ati (HD3300 or something).

I'll be giving it a try soon with a mini-itx, diy SSD, & probably a custom built case due to the <$200 challenge.

good luck if you take on the project

Edit: just on newegg.... 200 is tough to beat and the addition of brents comment-"plus silent" adds another challenge & cost. Remember, the key to HD is the video card.
There is more to it than that. Just read the threads where people complain about playback issues. Even with a graphics card that does full hardware decode of H.264 (GeForce 8xxx GT(s) series, ATi HD2600 XT or above) there are simply too many variables (read: codec and demux) to consider that makes the HD100 the perfect solution. Tinkering is fine and all but at the end of the day, being able to weatch TV is what this is all about too.
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  #9  
Old 09-15-2008, 06:01 AM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
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Originally Posted by Clift View Post
There is more to it than that. Just read the threads where people complain about playback issues. Even with a graphics card that does full hardware decode of H.264 (GeForce 8xxx GT(s) series, ATi HD2600 XT or above) there are simply too many variables (read: codec and demux) to consider that makes the HD100 the perfect solution. Tinkering is fine and all but at the end of the day, being able to weatch TV is what this is all about too.

I have to agree. I love to ticker with computers, but "tinkering" pissess off my wife. She just wants it to work and if I spend $200+ on Sage then there had better be results. The two HD100's we bought worked so well, she let me order a third because she thought they were great. If I spent 200 on a computer to run as a client and it didn't work or I had to tinker for hours and hours and she wasn't happy with the results, good luck to me getting her convinced I needed 2 more and letting me spend the cash.

Oh and my time is worth something.....so if it takes me 10 hours to get a client to play back video content smoothly (by the time I built the computer, play with codecs, play with video card settings, try different drivers, etc.) how much did I really spend? Perfect or near perfect playback can be had for $200, and about a half hour (most of that time is actually spent updating the firmware initially).

P.S. Lets also not forget that the HD100 uses about 7 watts of power per hour in idle and a max of 20 watts under full load. Try finding a computer that uses this little power. Even my AMD e4850 paird with a 780G chipset doesn't come close to this (more like 80+ watts of power at idle).
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Source: Clear QAM and OTA for locals, 2-DishNetwork VIP211's
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  #10  
Old 09-15-2008, 09:28 AM
spvoyek spvoyek is offline
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I've been wondering about this myself. Does anyone have experiences, good/bad, trying to use either a Popcorn Hour box or the ISTAR HD with Sage? I want something now and who knows when the HD100's will be available again!
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  #11  
Old 09-15-2008, 12:00 PM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spvoyek View Post
I've been wondering about this myself. Does anyone have experiences, good/bad, trying to use either a Popcorn Hour box or the ISTAR HD with Sage? I want something now and who knows when the HD100's will be available again!
You can use most networked media extenders with Sage as long as you can point them to a network share (and you have your Sage recording directory shared of course) and as long as they aren't dependent on a certain program (aka wmce and vmc). The biggest problem will be that you can not access the Sage gui and therefore won't be able to watch live tv, schedule recordings, etc.
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Sage Server: AMD Athlon II 630, Asrock 785G motherboard, 3GB of RAM, 500GB OS HD in RAID 1 and 2 - 750GB Recording Drives, HDHomerun, Avermedia HD Duet & 2-HDPVRs, and 9.0TB storage in RAID 5 via Dell Perc 5i for DVD storage
Source: Clear QAM and OTA for locals, 2-DishNetwork VIP211's
Clients: 2 Sage HD300's, 2 Sage HD200's, 2 Sage HD100's, 1 MediaMVP, and 1 Placeshifter
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  #12  
Old 09-16-2008, 10:49 AM
MarkV MarkV is offline
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I lived without an extender for about 2 years (would have to check when I received my licenses). I have two high-end PCs already integrated into my HT video switch and 4 others (2 of which I consider high-end) on the network. I bought an extender a few months ago and I won't go back.

It's less power and heat than any PC you can run. It's mostly dependable (requires the occasional reboot for Nielm's web server to see it - believe if the server is restarted it won't always be seen). I've also been able to make it work with the file formats I watch (HD .ts from DirecTV, blu ray rips, ISOs, FLACs, etc). The license included acts as a placeshifter license as well. For $200 bucks? It's hard to beat. I'm buying 2 more when I can.
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  #13  
Old 09-16-2008, 05:12 PM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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I don't own an extender but would probably buy one if I did not already have two nice HTPCs running Sage. It does seem like a great deal. I don't think you could build a fast PC that is also quiet and add all the software for less than $400.

The only negative I can really think of is that you don't have browser support. I personally like laying on my couch surfing the web with the wireless keyboard.
I also have a BluRay drive in the PC which is not supported by the extender.(Although I rip and convert everything to a MKV by default)

There are also the new online things like Hulu and Netflix that are not necessarily supported by Sage on the extender. (Netflix Plug-in for Sage works great but a Netfix change has broken it for a few days before.) It is not realistic to think that Sage will be able to keep up with all the online content on the extender go forward.
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2008, 10:34 AM
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wado1971 wado1971 is offline
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Originally Posted by SWKerr View Post
I don't think you could build a fast PC that is also quiet and add all the software for less than $400.
IMHO - For sage client duties $400 is very realistic - $200 would be challenging when trying to match the HD100 appearance, noise and now power (see below).

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulbeers View Post
P.S. Lets also not forget that the HD100 uses about 7 watts of power per hour in idle and a max of 20 watts under full load. Try finding a computer that uses this little power. Even my AMD e4850 paird with a 780G chipset doesn't come close to this (more like 80+ watts of power at idle).
Point taken. But if it's a true client then standby use will match the idle consumption (my remotes 'Off' button puts the computer in standby) and.... ok Kill-a-watt is out. My current client (underclocked socket 939 with a 8600gt). 9 watts on standby and .. ohh .. 109 watts playback. But with a low power itx board with IG it seems like ~50watts is what to expect.

I'm thinking of trying the new Intel GMA X4500HD in an itx form - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813121353 but will probably wait to see if an atom is added to the board. Anyone with experience with the new X4500HD IG solution?
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  #15  
Old 09-21-2008, 09:05 AM
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stroths stroths is offline
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As many others stated, the HD100 is also my suggestion. I had moved from a client/server in one box to a separate server with several clients and the time I spent tinkering with the clients was more than I wanted to spend. I build PC's all the time and am very adept with various operating systems, but the fin in tinkering became tiring and agitating when it would be working fine and then starting having issues for no apparent reason. Plus add on the agitation my wife experienced and would let me know in a not so polite way

I reluctantly moved to the HD100 earlier this year and I will never go back to just a full PC as a client. It just works and it works well. It looks nice, its quiet, low power and I don't have to tinker with it. If I have a power outage, I don't have to worry about the HD100 powering up with some error or quirk like I would get a client.

Keep in mind that you can still tinker with the server if you want too. The HD100 doesn't completely take out the setup and maintenance you will need to do on the server from time to time.
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