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SageTV Mac Edition Discussion related to the SageTV Media Center for Mac edition. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to the SageTV Mac edition should be posted here.

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Old 07-14-2010, 09:54 AM
kbates kbates is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 8
Switching from XP to Mac?

I'm looking to change/upgrade SageTV from a Windows PC (XP) to a MacMini, but could use some advice before spending the money on a new Mac Mini. Some background:

I'm currently running SageTV 6 on a homebuilt Windows XP system that seems to run fairly well, but runs hot in the summer and shuts down from time to time due to overheating. It's also a bit big, so getting something smaller (and presumably more tolerant to heat) like a Mac Mini seems like a good idea. At present I'm running an HDHomerun with two OTA connections, as well as a Motorola DSR-922 4DTV with the R5000. I know that the R5000 probably won't work with the Mac Mini (no Sage software for the Mac that I'm aware of), but since Motorola appears to be abandoning 4DTV renewals, I'll probably lose that anyway. So, on to my questions.

First, is there any way to use a remote on the Mac Mini with SageTV? On the XP system I have an MCE remote control and IR receiver, but that probably won't work with Sage/Mac. Any other options? I don't want to use a keyboard (more accurately, my wife doesn't), so is there another option that works "seamlessly" without a ton of effort? I've also got a Harmony 880, so if there's a way to make both that and the MCE remote work with Sage/Mac, that would be ideal.

Next, does anyone have experience with Parallels/VMWare/Bootcamp and SageTV on the Mac? That would seem to be a good solution to the remote control as well as the DSR-922, although it does seem like somewhat of a waste to dedicate a Mac to running Windows. If any of these three work, then I could possibly run one of them now and wait for full Sage/Mac functionality at some future time.

I currently have a lot of recorded shows, and part of the conversion would be to transfer these over to the Mac. I'm assuming that the recordings are compatible between the PC and Mac versions (standard MPEG?), but wanted to make sure, as I would be in deep trouble if I lost all my wife's recorded shows.

Finally, how much memory/CPU is needed? The standard Mac Mini has 2 GB, which seems a little low to me (I'm running 4 GB in the Sage/XP system). The Mini CPU is 2.4 GHz with 2.66 GHz as an option, but if the extra speed isn't necessary, saving that $150 would be nice. At present, I can record 2 OTA channels and 4DTV while watching a previous recording, all at the same time. Similar performance would be nice.

I've tried Sage on a MacBook Pro and it seems to run nicely, but before buying a Mac Mini and switching over everything, I wanted to make sure that things such as data files, remote control, and multiple recording streams would work as well (and preferably better) than the older XP system.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts, and apologies for all the questions if they've been answered elsewhere.

- Ken
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:17 AM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,550
While I can't speak to everything (I have only run the Mac Placeshifter on my MBP and 27" iMac), but here are a couple of notes I can give you:

1. The Mac Mini's actually run quite warm (at least my Mac Mini Server seems to) because there isn't a lot of air flow. How warm is the ambient temperature where you have your server? I worry that if it is that warm effecting a full tower, that it won't be any better with a device that is nothing more than a laptop (without screen) crammed into a tiny case.

2. I have run both Fusion and Parallels on my Macs and I can be honest, if you are going to use the Mac Mini as a server and for playback, that is not the route you will want to go. Video playback and/or gaming is very poor through Fusion and Parallels. Now bootcamp on the other hand, shouldn't be an issue at all. Now if you are just going to use it just as a server, then it shouldn't matter.

3. As for memory: Again the question is this going to be a standalone server/playback device or just a server serving clients/extenders? If it is stand alone, you could probably get away with 2. However, I would really recommend 4GB. It made a huge difference on my MBP going from 2GB to 4GB and if your Mac Mini is ever used a server, you will really need the memory.

That's as far as I can help.
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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Old 07-21-2010, 06:08 PM
kbates kbates is offline
Sage User
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 8
Thanks for the reply. Based on what you've said, I'll go ahead and use Bootcamp instead of Parallels/Fusion. Since the Mac doesn't seem to be fully supported by Sage when it comes to peripherals, running Bootcamp looks like an decent intermediate solution. This way I can use the existing MCE remote (and even the DSR-922), and take my time looking for a new Mac compatible remote solution (or EyeTV, if that's the only alternative).

I think the temperature should be OK - the current server is fairly large, and the Mini is quite bit smaller, so I can place it in a different location where there's more air flow.

I ordered it with the minimum 2 GB of memory since I didn't want to pay Apple's prices, so I'll probably start with that and monitor memory utilization. Kingston and Crucial have decent prices for upgrades, so it's easy enough to bring it up to 4/8 GB.

Thanks again for the response. The Mini arrives on Friday, so I'll have something to play with over the weekend.

- Ken
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