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  #1  
Old 12-19-2005, 04:02 PM
reebokman reebokman is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 10
STV or BTV, you tell me.....

Hey everyone,

I just started getting in creating a PVR out of my PC since my Tivo broke a few feeks back. I looked into several different solutions and I'm down BTV4 and STV4. After trying both of them, I've realized that both have them have pros and cons. Right now, I'm looking more towards STV because of features I used to have in Tivo. Here are some of the pros for each system that I found:

BTV:
- Show Squeeze - being able to convert MPEGs to Divx or WMV during off peak hours.
- Smart Skip - which allows me to know where in a video timeline the commercials are so I may skip them.
- Stability - I can user BTV without ever getting any errors or having to restart the PC.
- Web based recording

STV:
- Season Pass - allowing me to record every single episode of a show without recording an episode twice. This feature alone makes it hard for me to use BTV because BTV will record the same episode again and again.
- Intelligent recording - records shows during off time that I "might" like. Of course, it's not very intelligent at the moment. I'm assuming that's because it doesn't really know my dislikes yet.
- Access to my other media all through the same application.

I haven't found many features in STV that BTV doesn't have. However, the biggest feature that makes me stop in my tracks is the Season Pass feature. Compared to all the pros of BTV, I would rather have the Season Pass.

My biggest issue with STV is that sometimes when switching through full screen, a lot of the times, the video will go away but the sound of the video will still be there. The application will then freeze and won't let me exit. I have to end it through the task manager. If STV ran smoothly, I would purchase it, but it isn't running smoothly. It also uses 90%+ CPU usuage.

Anyway, if there were a way to fix this and add any of the options that are in the BTV list, I would become part of the STV community. Please help if you can and sorry for the long e-mail. Thank you.

PC Specs (Gateway PC, got a while back):
- P4 2.3 Ghz
- XP Home
- 1GB RAM PC2100
- nVidia 6200 128MB
- WinTV PVR-150
- 60 GB and 140 GB HDs
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2005, 04:35 PM
ke6guj ke6guj is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,355
this post would probably get more exposure in the Sage Software forum, not the Recorder forum. The Recorder software is sorta obsolete. Perhaps a mod could move it there.

Anyways, You can add in many of the BTV features you like. Things like commercial skip and a webserver to manage recordings.

Now, for stability, it just takes a bit of tweaking usually if you have problems. One thing I'd suggest first off is to make sure you are using a good MPEG2 decoder. The nVidia decoder works good and only runs $10. If you do that, it will offload a lot of the cpu work onto your video card. My system went from 50-60% CPU down to 10-15% once I went to the nVIdia decoder.

Another thing is you can split the Sage applications into 2 parts. 1st part is running as a service (does all the recording inthe background), and the 2nd part is just the UI. If you have a problem with the UI crashing, you can restart that without affecting the service.

edit: looks like they already moved it

Last edited by ke6guj; 12-19-2005 at 04:38 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2005, 04:50 PM
blade blade is offline
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Yep, Sage can do everything you listed BTV doing.
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2005, 04:58 PM
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dvd_maniac dvd_maniac is offline
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Just my 2cents:

I started off a BTV user and tried SageTV because I did not like the stability of BTV. SageTV after a little forum work has become INCREDIBLY stable for me.
I keep trying BTV everytime they come out with a new version but stay with SageTV for three main reasons.
1. STABILITY!!!
2. scalability.. No Tuner limit without "buying" more tuner liscenses.
3. Ability to expand features through a GREAT online community like this forum.
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2005, 05:36 PM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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STV4 vs BTV4

There are many threads covering SageTV vs. BeyondTV, but those threads are not valid anymore since both softwares have been updated. Version of 4 of each are major releases, lots of new features, particularly HD tuner support.

I'm waiting for a complete review or comparison of both SageTV4 and BeyondTV4, and how they compare with MCE 2005 now that they all support HD. I'm currently using SageTV for standard analog tuners only, but once I get an HDTV, I will re-evaluate which of the 3 softwares to choose from.

I still use BTV 3.5 for its Live TV streaming web server, still works very well. And I use SageTV for everything else.

I think SageTV is hands down better than BTV for analog tuners, but as for HD tuners, I'm not sure. It seems that snapstream's pricing scheme has changed for the better, they no longer charge license fees for extra tuners after much gripes from users. I think their next step is to merge BTV and Beyond Media together or have them more closely integrated.

If someone who have tried both SageTV4 and BeyondTV4, especially with the HD features, please write a review about it. I know SHS wrote a reveiw but he left out the HD features.
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  #6  
Old 12-19-2005, 10:40 PM
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Opus4 Opus4 is offline
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I don't know a lot about other apps, since I'm just a tad bit biased towards SageTV... but a few things to check out around here:
If you need explanations of any of the features or more info on what they mean, let us know.

In terms of your full screen problems -- if you are using FSE mode, try turning that off. If you need to use it, make sure all the video drivers & DirectX instalaltions are up to date. There are some other discussions dealing with FSE & I'll leave that to others, since I'm still using an Xcard instead of a video card for my main viewing anyway.

- Andy
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2005, 01:27 AM
reebokman reebokman is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 10
Thanks for all your help guys! I'm still reading through a lot of posts and hopefully I can get everything up to par by this weekend so that I have a good idea on whether to make the purchase.

After changing some setting, the system has gotten faster and now uses down to 55% CPU. However, whenever I load SageTV now, there is no video on my TV (it's there on the PC). There is audio, but no video. Then, I just go into Setup and click "Reload Media Player" and the video comes back. This didn't happen before. I went back and tried to reset to default settings, but still no luck :-/. Any idea on what the problem may be?

Thanks again, STV is looking better and better.
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