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  #1  
Old 01-26-2009, 03:37 PM
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webwalker webwalker is offline
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What is your WAF?

So for all of you who run STV as your main rig, what's your WAF?

Any good stories to tell? What's the longest you've run Sage without a crash, a tinker, or an upgrade?
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2009, 04:11 PM
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For years my WAF was extremely high. SageTV was reliable and worked well. Over the past year it's dropped considerably. This drop in WAF has more to do with the R5000 + Dish Network + SageTV combo then with SageTV itself. It misses a lot of recordings these days because things like the Dish receiver getting stuck on an unauthorized channel and Zap2it channel line up data being wrong. I have issues with fast forwarding and rewinding in H264 encoded R5000 shows. I'm starting to miss my old firewire + Comcast setup that only got the local HD stations.
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2009, 04:16 PM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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My WAF is very high. I run standard default STV, and my wife would probably have a fit if I changed it much (we came from Tivo... the look is more similar than any other). I have even made the suggestion that we could simply change the background picture, and she gave me one of those "please don't mess with it, it's fine!" comments.

In fact, I would say that my WAF is "surprisingly" high... because she tolerates - much more so that me - the occasional glitchiness of the Extenders. Because of that, I have never really pursued finding reasons why certain behaviors happen, or bothered to file bug reports.... and anyway, I expect that the root cause of my problems is that my server is a dinosaur. I think if I had a new, fast, more-powerful server PC, a lot of my little issues would go away. But it will probably take a complete crash of the old thing before she would "okay" me purchasing a new machine.

I would say we have to manually reboot the Extender (switch on/off on the back) probably once every two to three weeks. We do power off the Extenders with the remote every time we turn off the TV... and sometimes the wait from the "Extender is starting up" screen, until the main menu appears, can be several minutes (this is the main issue I would report, but I feel is probably due to my server). Other times, if we get too rambunctious with the skip forward/back buttons, we get some glitchiness and end up having to shut off the Extender (power down button) and then turn it back on... this almost always solves that problem. Sometimes we simply have to stop the playback and then restart it. Amazingly, she doesn't complain - I guess she understands that we are on somewhat of a "new" technology and it is not perfect. Again, more so than me.

Still, we manage to have Sage (the actual software on the server) run for weeks at a time... if the glitches start to become a little too frequent, I will reboot the server, but this only occurs probably every 4-6 weeks, maybe even for several months.

I admit that I walk a fine line every time I update the software version, or add a new plug-in. If either instance causes serious issues, I run the risk of losing that WAF. There are only a few plug-ins that honestly impressed her (obviously dynamic menus because we were able to put the things we wanted on the main menu; IMDB, which she uses frequently; and the caller ID popup). The problem is that, since I am the only one of my friends who left cable/sat (OTA only), I am on a constant quest to justify "not having ESPN" by adding more and more features (plug-ins) that make my system far better than their standard-issue cable DVR which all my friends have. The more I can add, the better. But she just wants to watch TV. So anything new has to be something that, for lack of a better term, allows her to be a "better couch potato", in order for her to find it worth the risk of messing up an already-working system.

/ramble
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  #4  
Old 01-26-2009, 05:56 PM
bastafidli bastafidli is offline
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Generally it is OK, the only thing she really really hates is that there is no way to create slideshow to play as screensaver or prevent certain photographs ;-) to be displayed, which lead to absolute, no discussion allowed, ban of using sage slideshow screensaver when guests are over

But what about HAF in the moments when I say, look honey, they fixed that crashing problem when you play your new CD (which I have tested extensively the night before) and in the next moment I end up with the greed screen of death :-)?
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  #5  
Old 01-26-2009, 06:46 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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My WAF is quite high - I recently converted from XP MCE and Sage has been relatively stable. The big advantage is reliable playback of all video files (i.e. .avi) for the kids' shows and HD movies that my wife watches.

In terms of how long without tinkering - while I am home it is hard to go more than a few days without some kind of tinkering.
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2009, 06:53 PM
Diginerd Diginerd is offline
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Thumbs up

Mine was mixed for a while. On the one hand, very very high due to the cool stuff I had setup with Sage, and then plummeting every couple of days when it barfed after I tinkered with it. At one point it was so bad I was asked if we could get a Cable Company DVR so her favorite shows would always be there.

Ooops.

I stopped tinkering, and scripted a restart of the Sage Server at 3am every day, and since then WAF has not even been a consideration. Sage is now as woven into the way our household runs as the phone and lights.

"It just works" and does everything we want and it's not until someone comes around and their jaw hits the floor that we even consider how cool and fully featured it is.

Can't say more than that!
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  #7  
Old 01-26-2009, 08:33 PM
thomaszoo thomaszoo is offline
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It seems she is always looking for something that has gone wrong. The first year or so it seemed there was always something. I gradually improved things and when I started using the extenders exclusively to display content and ran SageTV service, virtually all the problems disappeared.

I did have a problem last Thursday where 2 programs recorded with very low quality (unwatchable). I realized the first one had recording problems before the second one started. There was a half hour between programs so I "checked" the channel to make sure it was ok. No problems. Shortly after the second one started (The Office), we tried to watch it. Same problem! I have 2 HDHRs and it turns out one of the cable's connector had split apart.

Other than that the biggest complaint right now is that there is only one HD PVR, although even that hasn't been much of an issue since it is rare that there are 2 premium cable channels we want to watch simultaneously.

Wayne
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2009, 09:06 PM
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Slipshod Slipshod is offline
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Very good. She considers it "Better than Tivo". I think the biggest plus for her is the "unification" of all the media in one interface at either TV. We have lots of kids DVDs and she loves that they're all instantly available, and the music interface in SageMC works well enough for her. She also likes that we can easily take the kid's favorite shows with us when we travel, just in case.

At this point the only problems left (beyond me tinkering too much) are occasional playback or recording glitches. Most are very minor (brief skip) and appear to be related to the sat stream (HDHR doesn't have it), but it's annoying. Recently the R5000 started having an issue not recording the first 5 minutes as well, so i had to pad out all the important shows. Again, not a problem with the HDHR.

For a while she was going to throw it out because of constant recording skips, but i figured out what was happening and it's mostly OK now.
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2009, 07:21 AM
rsteele rsteele is offline
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I would say fair to good in my house. It would be much, much better except I'm having hardware issues--the server constantly reboots without warning. I'm pretty sure it's a flaky power supply and I'm in negotiations with the vendor (a local shop) to get a new one.

This brings up a couple of points:

1. SageTV is part of a system. If you have a flaky server, or underpowered client PCs, or a marginal network, or driver issues, then you're going to go bald pulling out your hair trying to figure it out and making things right. Buying into any media system like this means you're a systems integrator; make sure you have a staff of clever resources on hand to help you through the inevitable all-nighters.

2. Once your system goes into production and you have customers using it (a.k.a., spouse, kids), you're going to have to figure out how work around their schedules to do maintenance, upgrades, and tweaks.

Consider getting two. :-)
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2009, 07:44 AM
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kevine kevine is offline
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My WAF is whatever I tell her it is.

Seriously, it is very high. She complains from time to time when I tinker but she knows this is my thing. I guess I might be in a different boat if I did not also giver her a way to watch TV straight from cable.
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2009, 08:05 AM
Beefcake550 Beefcake550 is offline
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I had a medium to low WAF when I tried a client/server with both beign PCs. It was also the same with a single machine setup.

Now, I've switched to a SageTV server + 3 HD200 extenders and the WAF couldn't be higher (or so she says). She really loves to go from the downstairs TV, stops a playback, and then goes upstairs to continue waatching it. She loves that.....

The WAF went up mainly because I've stopped needing to tinker with anything. The extenders just work. I've added a few things like comskip running with Sage Job Queue and adding the SageMC interface, but both have been huge WAF improvements.

-B
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2009, 08:34 AM
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vexhold vexhold is offline
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Consider getting two. :-)
Wives? No thanks, one is plenty.
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2009, 08:44 AM
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webwalker webwalker is offline
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I heard somewhere that the Chinese ideogram for 'headache' is the symbol representing 'two wives under one roof.' This may be a canard, but there has got to be some truth to it.

M
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  #14  
Old 01-27-2009, 09:24 AM
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Razillian Razillian is offline
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Pretty high here. For the first year after the GF moved in she was not happy with all the tinkering I did on the Sage box. She eventually came to realize that "No Tinkering"="Grumpy Me", so she now accepts it and is happier as a result.

The only low GAF with Sage has been my testing out the beta demuxers for the past few months. While most of the demuxers have worked relatively well, there were a few doozies. And now it is a joke for her, whenever *anything* doesn't work right with the TV in general she just starts saying "demux demux demux demux".

The really cool thing about Sage is when you get the chance to realize all that you have available to you with the system. When my brother visited this past November we had a conversation along the following lines (he is a Tivo user):
Bro: "Why do you need that whole computer, why not just get a Tivo?"
Me: "Can you watch all the DVDs from your Tivo at the push of a button without ever having to get up from the couch?"
Bro: "No"
Me: "Can you record 5 channels at once while watching a movie or TV show and having your friend watch recordings from across town? Can you watch your TV shows from your laptop where ever there is Internet and schedule new shows and listen to your music? Can you do this, and this, and this......?"
Bro(frowning): "No. <long contemplative pause> How do I get one of those?"

The look of pride on the GF's face was priceless.
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  #15  
Old 01-27-2009, 09:24 AM
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TallMomof2 TallMomof2 is offline
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My HAF is zero, he has his HD DVR from FIOS on his home office TV and could care less about the rest of the house. The kids, pre-teen and teenager, love it especially because of the extender's ability to show internet video on the TV.

Maybe one day my DH will be willing to switch but this is a man who's never used an ATM even though he's a highly skilled network engineer.
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  #16  
Old 01-27-2009, 10:19 AM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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WAF and KAF (kids) are extremely high. I rarely have problems, but just in case I tought the 9 year old how to reboot the server and power cycle the extender. I haven't received a tech support call at work for over a year.
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  #17  
Old 01-27-2009, 02:13 PM
Polypro Polypro is offline
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WAF is at about 99%...I keep trying all the beta mpegdemux that come out, so I lose a percentage point.

Uptime is based on when Windows Update needs a reboot.

P
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  #18  
Old 01-27-2009, 02:41 PM
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Skirge01 Skirge01 is offline
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Overall, WAF is quite good. But, the problems between SageTV and the HD-PVR are definitely a decent impact to that.
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  #19  
Old 01-27-2009, 02:42 PM
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High to Very High. My wife has maybe called me twice in the past six months to remotely fix SageTV. Part of that is due to luck of me being home, when a glitch happens, or an extender locks up. Otherwise it would probably be about once a month. I would have to say the ultimate WAF is when the wife doesn't even think of it more than as an exercise of watching TV, Movies, Pictures etc.....
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  #20  
Old 01-27-2009, 02:47 PM
jm987 jm987 is offline
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The WAF is mixed.. sometimes good sometimes bad. Lately bad due to having some issues with the HDPVR's. I went exclusive with 2 HD PVR's and for the last month or so I've been getting random error messages and most of the time I'm having to unplug the USB connection and replug them back in then restart the sage service or reboot the server.

While the wife is at home off work for the year with the kid, I've been getting some calls at work about stuff not working properly and getting annoying. Prior to the HD PVR switch, standard digital was great with very little issues after I migrated to HD 100's.

If the TV isn't just for yourself, you don't want something else to break down so keep it simple, dedicated or almost dedicated server and use extenders for the front end. Without the extenders I would have switched back to my cable companies DVR's even though those were a pain.

JM
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