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SageTV HD Theater - Media Player Discussion related to using the SageTV HD Theater as a Media Player, i.e.: in use while not connected to a SageTV server. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to using a SageTV HD Theater as a Media Player should be posted here. Use the SageTV Media Extender forum for issues related to using it while connected to a SageTV server.

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  #1  
Old 04-21-2009, 01:05 AM
joihan77 joihan77 is offline
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Considering buying SageTV w/ Media Center license, playback question

Hello,
I'm considering purchasing a "SageTV HD Theater with SageTV Media Center for Windows software bundle" for $249.

I'm not sure, but does this mean the operating system of the box will be WinXP Media Center?

WHat does the interface consist of? Is there a walkthrough demo video anywhere on the website?

I want to know what I'll be getting into before I go through the purchase process.

All of my saved videos are in the Divx format. I install a Divx codec for Windows XP to play them back on my WinXP computers. The videos are in a variety of sizes/ resolutions. I had a Netgear box that couldn't deal with my videos that were in wide aspect resolutions... can the Sage TV systems handle ANY size/ resoltion/ aspect ratio? Or only a select few?

My WinXP computers can play anything I have, thus my question of the operating system.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by joihan77; 04-21-2009 at 01:07 AM. Reason: oops
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:42 AM
Clift Clift is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joihan77 View Post
Hello,
I'm considering purchasing a "SageTV HD Theater with SageTV Media Center for Windows software bundle" for $249.

I'm not sure, but does this mean the operating system of the box will be WinXP Media Center?

WHat does the interface consist of? Is there a walkthrough demo video anywhere on the website?

I want to know what I'll be getting into before I go through the purchase process.

All of my saved videos are in the Divx format. I install a Divx codec for Windows XP to play them back on my WinXP computers. The videos are in a variety of sizes/ resolutions. I had a Netgear box that couldn't deal with my videos that were in wide aspect resolutions... can the Sage TV systems handle ANY size/ resoltion/ aspect ratio? Or only a select few?

My WinXP computers can play anything I have, thus my question of the operating system.

Thanks in advance!
If all you're going to be playing are DIVx files from your home computer, then you don't need the combo with SageTV Media Center. The SageTV HD Theatre can connect to your windows XP (Or Windows 2000, Vista, Linux, Mac...) through your home network and access any shared drives/folders you have. If you would like to get into SageTV Media Center, then you can use your XP machine as a TV server, but then you would need TV tuner cards, etc.
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2009, 11:01 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joihan77 View Post
Hello,
I'm considering purchasing a "SageTV HD Theater with SageTV Media Center for Windows software bundle" for $249.

I'm not sure, but does this mean the operating system of the box will be WinXP Media Center?
Unfortunately "Media Center" is getting to be one of those overused monikers, think "Kleenex". The above bundle is the HD200 extender plus the SageTV server software application "SageTV Media Center". It runs on almost anything (check the page for the system requirements).

Quote:
WHat does the interface consist of? Is there a walkthrough demo video anywhere on the website?
If you google for SageTV 6 reviews, there should be a few out there that will give you the general idea.

Quote:
I want to know what I'll be getting into before I go through the purchase process.
Probably the easiest thing to do is just download SageTV and give the trial a try. The interface is the same on the extender as it is on the PC.

There is one exception to that. If you were to run in standalone mode, the main menu is a bit different, but the "feel" is the same.

Quote:
All of my saved videos are in the Divx format. I install a Divx codec for Windows XP to play them back on my WinXP computers. The videos are in a variety of sizes/ resolutions. I had a Netgear box that couldn't deal with my videos that were in wide aspect resolutions... can the Sage TV systems handle ANY size/ resoltion/ aspect ratio? Or only a select few?
I don't think I've run into anything the HD200 won't play, but I don't have that great a range of DivX content. Like Clift mentioned though, if all you want to do is play your videos without a PC, then you really don't need the bundle. All you need is the HD200, it will play your videos directly from your shared folders.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:57 AM
joihan77 joihan77 is offline
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Thanks for your replies Clift & Stanger. (BTW, I have a Stang too... gotta love going to work with a BIG smile on my face EVERYDAY!)

So then, does the "SageTV HD Theater Media Player" have a hard drive? Or MUST it extend off another machine that is powered on?

Last edited by joihan77; 04-22-2009 at 01:02 AM.
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2009, 05:46 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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I'd say it's primarily intended to play files off a network location. However you can connect a USB drive to it and play directly from that.
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:12 AM
Clift Clift is offline
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I could never get my hard drive recognized by the HD200. But mine is a SATA drive in a USB/eSATA enclosure, using the NTFS file structure. So YMMV
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:12 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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I'd think you'd want to stick with FAT32 when working with an embedded device like the HD200.
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
I'd think you'd want to stick with FAT32 when working with an embedded device like the HD200.
I'm curious why you would say that? You would have to deal with the file size limitations of FAT32 if you copied a large movie to the drive. I have a 1 TB NTFS external drive w/a bunch of recordings copied to it that I used the last time we went away for a week.

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Old 04-22-2009, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Clift View Post
I could never get my hard drive recognized by the HD200. But mine is a SATA drive in a USB/eSATA enclosure, using the NTFS file structure. So YMMV
That should definitely work. Was the drive USB-powered? The HD200 should be able to handle most USB drives; but some require above-normal power. The solution to that usually is a USB cable that can plug into both ports at once to draw twice as much power. We've also noticed that on some HD200's, while both USB ports deliver to spec, the rear USB port can sometimes deliver a little more power than the front; so using the back USB port instead of the front may help as well.
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Old 04-22-2009, 11:51 AM
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I'm curious why you would say that? You would have to deal with the file size limitations of FAT32 if you copied a large movie to the drive.
Only because FAT32 is about the most widely supported filesystem, pretty much every OS/device can read and write to it. I think my camera supports FAT32 but I don't think it supports NTFS. And last time I messed with Linux, NTFS was sketchy.

Oh, and that I'm totally ignorant when it comes to connecting drives directly to the HD200 and the associated requirements/issues.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:37 PM
Clift Clift is offline
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That should definitely work. Was the drive USB-powered? The HD200 should be able to handle most USB drives; but some require above-normal power. The solution to that usually is a USB cable that can plug into both ports at once to draw twice as much power. We've also noticed that on some HD200's, while both USB ports deliver to spec, the rear USB port can sometimes deliver a little more power than the front; so using the back USB port instead of the front may help as well.
The drive was powered from an external power source, not through USB. It does have a boot partition on it. Would/could that cause a problem?

Also, when I plugged it in I didn't get the pop up message.
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