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SageTV Software Discussion related to the SageTV application produced by SageTV. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to the SageTV software application should be posted here. (Check the descriptions of the other forums; all hardware related questions go in the Hardware Support forum, etc. And, post in the customizations forum instead if any customizations are active.)

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  #1  
Old 05-12-2008, 10:41 AM
Target Target is offline
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SageTV as a commercial solution

Howdy,

Has anyone used Sage as a commercial solution? I would really like to attempt to do so, but I'm concerned that the product isn't quite stable enough yet for the non-tech savvy individual that just wants a good DVR. At the same time, it saves them the $17/month that an HD dvr costs. Any experiences?

Target
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2008, 11:04 AM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
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Originally Posted by Target View Post
Howdy,

Has anyone used Sage as a commercial solution? I would really like to attempt to do so, but I'm concerned that the product isn't quite stable enough yet for the non-tech savvy individual that just wants a good DVR. At the same time, it saves them the $17/month that an HD dvr costs. Any experiences?

Target
I have never sold it, but I have installed it for many family and friends and it works flawlessly. It's all about picking hardware. The only issue we have had was a hardware failure (too hot in a cabinet it was in). Otherwise no real problems whatsoever. If you use extenders, that would even be the better way to go.
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  #3  
Old 05-12-2008, 11:38 AM
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How tech savvy are your family members? I am definitley going to go with the media extenders. They are what makes the thought possible. The problem is, I'm going to be doing this on a very large scale (500 units annually by year 5). Thus, the rate of failure can't be even one in 100, because I can't afford a huge influx of service calls.

Target
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  #4  
Old 05-12-2008, 04:55 PM
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sandor sandor is offline
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Originally Posted by Target View Post
How tech savvy are your family members? I am definitley going to go with the media extenders. They are what makes the thought possible. The problem is, I'm going to be doing this on a very large scale (500 units annually by year 5). Thus, the rate of failure can't be even one in 100, because I can't afford a huge influx of service calls.

Target

i would recommend spec'ing out something that would be sufficient for 1080p recording and display (but *not* cutting/leading edge) then build 5 of them, and heavily test for 3 months - record 24/7 for weeks on end, comskip, etc whatever else you will have in the system. do the maximum of what you are selling the machine to do. make sure you are testing at least one STB client along the way too - just to ensure everything works as it should.

after you are sure your spec'ed hardware proves trustworthy, build that exact hardware up and test each unit solid for a week of recording, etc prior to sale. you should also have an OS image to install from, so every machine is exactly alike. you probably want to lock down the OS as much as possible, especially if you are planning on using windows - the OS is your weakest link.

build servers as servers only, and use STB clients for all viewing.
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  #5  
Old 05-12-2008, 07:37 PM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
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Originally Posted by Target View Post
How tech savvy are your family members? I am definitley going to go with the media extenders. They are what makes the thought possible. The problem is, I'm going to be doing this on a very large scale (500 units annually by year 5). Thus, the rate of failure can't be even one in 100, because I can't afford a huge influx of service calls.

Target

My father thinks he's more savvy than he really is . Truth of the matter, their Sage box just runs. In fact they do all their tv watching thru Sage. Now they are only using it for SD. If there is a glitch, they just hold the power button down and restart and even that is pretty rare....
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2008, 07:55 AM
Target Target is offline
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i would recommend spec'ing out something that would be sufficient for 1080p recording and display (but *not* cutting/leading edge) then build 5 of them, and heavily test for 3 months - record 24/7 for weeks on end, comskip, etc whatever else you will have in the system. do the maximum of what you are selling the machine to do. make sure you are testing at least one STB client along the way too - just to ensure everything works as it should.

after you are sure your spec'ed hardware proves trustworthy, build that exact hardware up and test each unit solid for a week of recording, etc prior to sale. you should also have an OS image to install from, so every machine is exactly alike. you probably want to lock down the OS as much as possible, especially if you are planning on using windows - the OS is your weakest link.

build servers as servers only, and use STB clients for all viewing.
This is pretty much what we are in the process of doing with the home automation software. I am ready to begin the process with Sage, but I'd rather not sink in the time if someone else has already done so, and couldn't get it to work with the required consistency.

Target
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2008, 12:06 PM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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I'm wondering how you're going to handle software updates on hundreds or thousands of installed customer units. New versions of SageTV are released fairly often; are you going to roll those out to your customers? Or just lock them in to a specific version with no option for bug-fix updates?

Also, someone mentioned comskip earlier. I'm curious what your policy is going to be with regard to third-party add-ons. Most of these add-ons are volunteer efforts distributed for free by their authors. Are you planning to use any of these free add-ons in your for-profit product? Will you be seeking the permission of the add-on authors before doing so?
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:44 PM
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I'm wondering how you're going to handle software updates on hundreds or thousands of installed customer units. New versions of SageTV are released fairly often; are you going to roll those out to your customers? Or just lock them in to a specific version with no option for bug-fix updates?
I have a pretty strong "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" mentality. Once I have a stable build of the master server put together (it will house CQC and Sage), I don't plan on updating the server machines. I will leave a mechanism in place to re-image the servers in a kind of mass update perhaps once per year to incorporate necessary bug fixes, but once things are stable I'm not planning on doing it often.

Quote:
Also, someone mentioned comskip earlier. I'm curious what your policy is going to be with regard to third-party add-ons. Most of these add-ons are volunteer efforts distributed for free by their authors. Are you planning to use any of these free add-ons in your for-profit product? Will you be seeking the permission of the add-on authors before doing so?
As to this, I'd rather not include comskip, because I think its too confusing for people that aren't that tech savvy. Being able to skip 30 seconds at a time means you only have to press a button about 4 times to blow through a commercial. I think this will work. As to other add ons, I'm going to be developing an entire STV in house. If I find a given add on that has already been developed for the community that fits in nicely, I absolutely plan to provide a donation to the creator.

The nature of my project is such that it can only benefit the various communities that I will draw from (Sage, CQC, etc). I have no desire to "steal" anyone's work, and would imagine that I'll eventually post most of what I develop for free. I'm looking to open up brand new markets to home automation that have never considered it before either because of the price point, or because of the level of expertise necessary. I'd rather not get into a philosophical discussion here, but if you'd like to discuss this further or talk more specifically about what I'm doing, shoot me an email at xmkazz@gmail.com.



I'm not sure if I've adequately answered your question, but I tried. Has anyone heard of Sage being used in a commercial situation with non tech people? Do you think Sage can be provided in such a way that it works with the ease and consistency of Tivo?

Target

Last edited by Target; 05-13-2008 at 12:48 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-13-2008, 03:02 PM
taylormadearmy taylormadearmy is offline
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Has anyone heard of Sage being used in a commercial situation with non tech people? Do you think Sage can be provided in such a way that it works with the ease and consistency of Tivo?
These guys seem to think so...

http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/aca...IA_SERVER.html

T
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  #10  
Old 05-14-2008, 01:31 AM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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I will leave a mechanism in place to re-image the servers in a kind of mass update perhaps once per year to incorporate necessary bug fixes...
It will probably need to be a bit more complicated than just re-imaging the disks. Favorites, watched history, IR training, and so forth live in Wiz.bin. UI preferences, TV provider info, channel lineups, and capture device configuration live in Sage.properties. So you'll need some way of retaining the user-specific and provider-specific info while updating the version-specific stuff (some of which also lives in Sage.properties).

I think building your own STV is an excellent idea, so you have complete control over the features and configuration options your users have access to. My feeling is that it would be perfectly legitimate in that context to borrow feature ideas from existing add-ons for integration into your house-brand STV. We all borrow ideas from each other. (A somewhat cheesier approach would be to take the stock STV, import a bunch of existing STVIs, and market the result as a "value-added" product. Glad to hear that's not what you had in mind.)
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  #11  
Old 05-21-2008, 11:38 AM
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sandor sandor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Target View Post
This is pretty much what we are in the process of doing with the home automation software. I am ready to begin the process with Sage, but I'd rather not sink in the time if someone else has already done so, and couldn't get it to work with the required consistency.

Target

I, along with many others, run SageTV on a daily basis as the sole HTPC/Home entertainment system. I started with v4, and have been ATSC the whole time, and have had rock solid performance from SageTV. The only failures happen when i screw around with it or when i try out betas.


FWIW, i would try to go with Windows XP Embedded (unless you are going with Linux) over XP Pro, and try to build the systems as locked down as possible. On occasion, Windows auto-updating has screwed things up (at this point i know better than to have aut0-update turned on)
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  #12  
Old 05-21-2008, 01:36 PM
valnar valnar is offline
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I've never used the Linux version, but if the feature set is compatible with the Windows version of Sage, that would be the way to go (assuming comparable tuner support). XP will be hitting end of life soon, Vista is problematic and requires too many resources for a Sage "server" and Windows 2003 is too expensive. Linux being free would allow you to either make a better profit or sell the bundle at a lower price. From most accounts, Linux would be more reliable too.

If you made it a requirement to *only* sell your commercial setup with the extenders, you could get by with a relatively small Micro-ATX mobo with integrated video.

Per one of my previous posts buried somewhere in this forum, make sure you stick with Intel, Marvell or Realtek NIC's only.

-Robert
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