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SageTV Media Extender Discussion related to any SageTV Media Extender used directly by SageTV. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to a SageTV supported media extender should be posted here. Use the SageTV HD Theater - Media Player forum for issues related to using an HD Theater while not connected to a SageTV server.

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  #1  
Old 02-10-2008, 01:55 PM
mikesm mikesm is offline
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Another HD100 first install report

Well, I finally got enough time to install my new HD100 that's been sitting around for a month already.

I used it to replace my ultrasmall form factor dell optiplex 725 that had been feeding our Vizio 37" 720p set in the bedroom. I plugged it in via HDMI, and let it update firmware (which took a long time), and configured it to only use 720p to the display, since I wanted to see how ell the scaler in the HD100 worked.

All I can say is that I am VERY pleased. Compared to the hassles I had to get to get a good picture from the X3000 graphics in the optiplex, or my ATI 2600pro in my main client, this was easy. I told my wife it would take 10 minutes to set up, but she never believes me anymore because of all the tweaking needed to get windows to do the right thing. But this took all of 5 mins, and that was including loading SageMC and getting it configured appropriately.

A few data points:

1) Video quality is excellent. Great de-interlacing and 3:2 pulldown works fine. My test is "flags of other fathers" that I recorded from HBO in 1080i. The opening scene has a soldier doing a 360 degree pan around a an war torn island landscape, and seems to stress de-interlacing and cause studder my other clients without a lot of work. This played it back fine with no issues at all. SD performance seems better too, at least when compared to my optiplex client on this set.

2) Startup time improvement. When waking up my PC clients from S3 standby, on both xp and vista, I have about a 10-15 sec delay while the client realizes that it's old TCP connect to the server doesn't work, times out, and then starts a new one. Even if I am pushing the start button on the remote to push it, it takes at least 10 secs. The extender connects and is ready for action in about secs. Nice WAF points here.

3) No issues with the sage app going into the tray and exposing the OS. I have tweaked the windows config a lot, but sometimes, maybe in 1 in 50 startups from standby, I'll get a windows display instead of the Sage app. This is bad for WAF, since even though I have trained her to either use a mouse or just hit the power button to start a restart sequence that is automatic, it's a pain. No issue here.

3) No music button in the harmony config. I have a harmony remote that controls everything in the bedroom, and it had the HD100 profile in the database, but with no music button. I learned it and added a music softkey that worked fine.

4) No learning ability on the included remote. It can't control my tv, which is a drag. I have a harmony, but I could have used it elsewhere if the included remote could learn the TV volume and mute keys like my MCE remote does. I do notice the HD100 can control the volume fed to the TV, at least with HDMI audio, and if I leave my TV on, the display will power up/down when the HD100 turns on/off. So I guess I could use the HD100 to do mute and volume, and leave the TV on all the time, but something feels wrong about this.

5) SageMC FF/REW issues. Even though I have the multi-speed FF/REW disabled in the SageMC control panel for the extender, it still calls this instead of using the native FF/REW in the HD100, which is supposed to give me true FF/REW. I don't know if this is a bug or a misconfiguration, but if someone knows how to fix this, I'd be obliged for a tip.

6) Excellent format support. It plays back archived avis in divx format, and other programs downloaded from the internet just fine. Music in flac and unprotected wma also plays back fine. The quality seems better going through HDMI to the set than via the analog cables from my old optiplex.

All in all, I am very pleased with it. I'll be getting another one soon for the HD set that's going in the kitchen, but with the Nvidia 8200 chipset coming out that does HD audio (something the HD100 can't do), I'm going to try rebuilding the client that feeds my SXRD with that, and see if I can't get the new nvidia codecs that are supposed to do full offload in VMR9 to give me the same flawless playback I see from the HD100. I'd also like to be able to play flightsim and such on that display, as well as native BR and HD-DVD playback, all of which should work in a client that has a real drive etc...

I don't miss a DVD drive at all in the extender, not just because I have all my DVD's ripped and stored on a NAS, but also because I got a couple very nice philips upconverting DVD players for $30, so if my wife and kids need to play a real DVD, they can do it in that environment, and it gives me a backup in case something has take sage offline, or that I am doing maintenance on it.

Overall, the HD100 is a great product, and works very well. I feel it's very inexpensive at $199, but esp when you consider how much time is saved by not having fiddle with drivers and codecs. It is the right thing to use in 90% of cases.
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Server: Sage 6.5.9 - X2 3800+, DFI NF4 MB, 1 GB, 300 GB HD (system disk), NV 7600GS, - Windows XP SP2
Client 1: Sage 6.5.9 - E7200, Abit IP35 Pro, ATI 4850 with HDMI connect to Denon 3808CI and Sony A3000 SXRD TV
Client 2: HD200 connected to Denon 3808CI and A3000 SXRD TV
Client 3: Media MVP to 15" Toshiba LCD
Client 4: HD100 connected to Samsung 23" 720P LCD
Client 5: HD100 connected to Vizio VX37L
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2008, 02:43 PM
clayginn clayginn is offline
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I installed mine 2 weeks ago and it is a good unit. I am still not happy with the video quality through HDMI. the picture through Sage is over bright and washed out. I have calibrated my TV with a calibration disk and it look great through my S Video DVD player. I took a show that Sage recorded and burned it and it looks better on the DVD (S Video) than What does Sage use when playing moves or recorded things back. through the HDMI.

A Question i have is there a way to adjust Sage picture? I have tried the tuning of the Tuner cards (Invidia DualTV and Hauppauge 500) and that helped a little on Live TV. I am going to Calibrate the tuner cards but have to have the time to connect a DVD Player to each tuner. and I don't thing that is going to help the play back.

Anyone have any Idea's
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2008, 03:02 PM
Mitch G Mitch G is offline
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A few suggestions:

- Rip your calibration disk to your Sage server and run it through the extender and calibrate.

- Do you have access to a DVD player with HDMI output? If so, run the calibration disk that way to set the HDMI for the TV. It won't be perfect, but it should help.

- Find a thread about your TV or a TV in the same family on someplace like avsforum.com and see if anyone has posted HDMI calibration values. Or, if you find such a thread, ask someone for their calibrated values. Again, it won't be perfect, but it should get you closer.


Mitch
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  #4  
Old 03-21-2008, 11:21 AM
clayginn clayginn is offline
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Thanks for the replay
I don't have a DVD with HDMI input at least not yet. I did get component cable and that made a world of difference. (I did try three different HDMI cables). I tuned through sage and much better. I still would like to improve live Tv picture.
I looked for a tread on AVG and know had my TV (Element 50"). I did post but no respoces yet, but I think I have the TV set and Sage Set. Now just need to Calibrate the tuner Cards

Does anyone know an easy way to calibrate the tuner cards with out hooking up a DVD to each of them (I have 4)?
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Server: Sage 6.3.5 - AMD 5000+, MSI NEO II Digital, 2GB 6400 Ram, 80 GB HD (system disk), 3-Samsung 750 GB HD, - Windows XP SP2 Running:
1- Nividia Dualtv 1 Hauppauge 1600 1 ATI 650 Pro
Input SIgnals are: 3 SD Directv Recievers, 1 HD Directv Reciever, and 2 HD OVA Antenna
Clients: 1-STX-HD100, 2-Media MVP, and 1-PC w/SageTV Client
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2008, 12:18 PM
Mitch G Mitch G is offline
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I'll be honest, I don't understand this idea of calibrating the tuner card.
Maybe I'm being naive, but a tuner card should just take the signal, possibly digitize it, and slap it on the hard drive.
What sort of calibration can you do on your tuner cards?
What tuner cards do you have?


Mitch
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2008, 07:39 PM
clayginn clayginn is offline
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I have 1- Nividia Dualtv and 1 Hauppauge 500 so both are dual tuner cards.
What I mean that with in Sage where you add the tuners there is a Color Calibration on each tuner. The settings in there are the same that are on my TV.

I don't understand where Sage itself plays back from. I know Live TV plays through the tuner or tuners but where does it play recorder or importated videos through?

The only example I have is: I have it tune through Sage by Ripping my Calibration disk and playing through Sage (Thanks for that Suggestion). So Videos look real good. Live TV on the other hand looks Grainy and dull.
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Server: Sage 6.3.5 - AMD 5000+, MSI NEO II Digital, 2GB 6400 Ram, 80 GB HD (system disk), 3-Samsung 750 GB HD, - Windows XP SP2 Running:
1- Nividia Dualtv 1 Hauppauge 1600 1 ATI 650 Pro
Input SIgnals are: 3 SD Directv Recievers, 1 HD Directv Reciever, and 2 HD OVA Antenna
Clients: 1-STX-HD100, 2-Media MVP, and 1-PC w/SageTV Client
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2008, 10:21 PM
Mitch G Mitch G is offline
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Actually, Sage doesn't play "through" the tuner cards.
Even live TV is a recording. It goes tuner to disk to sage to video card to TV.
(If using an extender, it goes tuner to disk to sage to extender to TV.)

As far as grainy and dullness, well if you are watching SD TV (e.g. basic cable), then, yeah, it'll look rather crappy. If you are watching HD TV (e.g. over the air HD or clear QAM HD), then it should look sharp. It might be grainy still since some directors like that look. For example Law & Order is quite grainy these days for some reason.


Mitch
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