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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 03-19-2012, 09:20 PM
yacht_boy yacht_boy is offline
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Can someone point me to a summary of the HD options?

I've been running an XP system with an HD-PVR successfully for the last 3 1/2 years. Specs should be in my signature. Well, successful is a bit of a stretch - constant HD PVR reboots, frequent computer reboots, garbled display at times...but it generally worked, and the WAF was OK (she puts up with this kind of stuff, that's why I married her!).

Today the HDPVR finally just gave up the ghost. A couple of hours of uninstalling USB ports and changing cords and rebooting and trying it on different computers and I'm convinced there's no fixing this.

I haven't been around here much the last couple of years since the thing has been fairly stable. Searching the forums has me confused, and my darling bride is patient, but not THAT patient, so I need some quick answers.

#1: There appear to be a handful of products out there that will accept an HD signal. HD PVR, HD Home Run Prime, Colossus, a few others. I'm not interested in anything that won't record every single one of my HD channels, including HBO. I'm on Comcast in Boston, zip 02119. Is there a setup that will allow me to do this besides the HD PVR with USB UIRT? I'm not excited about the experience I've had with this combination of products so far...

#2: I've been running Windows XP and Sage 6.x. Is it worth it for me to upgrade to Windows 7 and do the hack I've seen mentioned to Sage 7? I tried and failed a couple of years ago to get Windows 7 working with my setup.

#3: Is there ANY news about the future of Sage under Google? I don't want to drop another $200+ on this and then find out in 3 months that the whole system is now obsolete.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2012, 10:58 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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really, the only other option is the HD-PVR colossus (a PCIe version of the HD-PVR). Those are really the only devices that capture component and compress it well, in a way that works well with Sage.

As for your HD-PVR - the most common failure of any electronic device is the power supply. You may find that just replacing that will bring your HD-PVR back to life.

For #2, I am a firm believer in windows 7. It has front and back-end improvements across the board. The IO handling is quite a bit improved over XP, which means you may actually have better results with the HD-PVR under 7. SageTV7 also has some great improvements in the front and the back that will help you.

And about sage/google - there is no news. But just about any direction you move away from sage is going to need some form of hardware investment, so that alone doesn't make a good reason not to stay. The fact remains that there is really only 4 ways to record all your channels.
- Analog hole, via the HD-PVR.
- CableCard via 7MC
- Provider DVR
- Hacked STB (R-5000HD)

The HD-PVR is the most futureproof, as it is the only one that isn't succeptible to the provider's at-whim changes, and it will work with programs that aren't sagetv. Spending money in that way is not really that risky.
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2012, 07:34 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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I can say that the Colossus has been 98% solid for me. Bad recordings don't happen very often (one every 6 months) so I'm very happy with it.
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  #4  
Old 03-20-2012, 08:01 AM
Dargason Dargason is offline
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Is the colossus any better than the HD-PVR? I seem to remember reading that you can't have more than one colossus on a system, but if it's much more stable than an HD-PVR then I might consider getting one.

For me, an HD-PVR is ideal, but the damn thing just won't work properly -- just well enough to keep me using it.
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  #5  
Old 03-20-2012, 08:04 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Everyone has different experiences with the colossus (as well as with the HD-PVR), but it has been solid since day one using HDMI with DirecTV. There are quite a few people with multiple colossus in their system. I'm about to grab another one so I'll be able to tell you soon.
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  #6  
Old 03-20-2012, 08:18 AM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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For me I like the HD-PVR a little better. Since I put in a NEC USB 2.0 card in Win7 x64/SageTV7 I have no problems with 2 HD-PVRs. With the Colossus I must stop and restart the SageTVService daily to get 1 bad recording weekly. Colossus is HDMI to DirectTV. Using HTTP tuning so better than USB-UIRT or serial for me.

Last edited by BobPhoenix; 03-20-2012 at 04:27 PM. Reason: corrected wording
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  #7  
Old 03-20-2012, 08:32 AM
Dargason Dargason is offline
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One option that hasn't been mentioned is: http://www.avermedia-usa.com//AVerTV...d=488&device=4

There's a review here: http://www.missingremote.com/review/...rtv-usb-hd-dvr

I haven't used it, but I came across it when I was looking for an alternative to the HD-PVR. The main drawback is that it doesn't do AC3, but you might not care about that.

Not sure if it's supported by Sage, though. Anyone know?
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  #8  
Old 03-20-2012, 10:22 AM
yacht_boy yacht_boy is offline
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Thanks everyone.

Is there some sort of hack to use the HD Homerun Prime on WMC with Sage as a sort of frontend? I've seen a couple of posts that seem to suggest that. I ask because-
*all the reviews of the HD Homerun seem very positive and I really don't want to give Hauppauge any more money...the HD PVR never worked well and I'm not excited about replacing it with another Hauppauge product.
*the HD Homerun seems to change channels faster, lets me cut out the USB-UIRT (another source of frequent frustration), and allows me to record multiple channels with only 1 device from only 1 feed.
*I can cut out my STB rental fee with this device and save a few bucks a month, plus get rid of some of the clutter in my cabinet.

I don't really want to give up Sage entirely for WMC, but I really like the idea of a much simpler, cheaper system.

I'm not convinced that Comcast wants to take on M$oft by blocking premium channels from their cable cards after making a special exemption for Windows 7, but I do understand that it's a possibility, however remote.
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  #9  
Old 03-20-2012, 11:19 AM
Dargason Dargason is offline
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The HDHR Prime is a cablecard tuner, and you can use it with SageTV by installing SageDCT.

However, it will only work with stuff that is marked as "Copy freely", which means you almost certainly won't be able to watch premium channels. At least that's how I understand it. You might even have trouble watching regular stuff, depending on your cable provider.

That's if you use SageTV. If you switch to WindowsMC you should be able to watch anything.
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  #10  
Old 03-20-2012, 01:26 PM
yacht_boy yacht_boy is offline
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Quote:
The HDHR Prime is a cablecard tuner, and you can use it with SageTV by installing SageDCT.

However, it will only work with stuff that is marked as "Copy freely", which means you almost certainly won't be able to watch premium channels. At least that's how I understand it. You might even have trouble watching regular stuff, depending on your cable provider.

That's if you use SageTV. If you switch to WindowsMC you should be able to watch anything.
OK, I get that. How about this SageMCTuner, then? Am I understanding correctly that Windows 7MC will do the actual recording, thus bypassing all the DRM, and I can then use MCTuner to control everything using my familiar and loved Sage interface? If so, will that work with the HDHR Prime?
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  #11  
Old 03-20-2012, 01:37 PM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yacht_boy View Post
Am I understanding correctly that Windows 7MC will do the actual recording, thus bypassing all the DRM, and I can then use MCTuner to control everything using my familiar and loved Sage interface?
Actually, I believe Windows 7MC will enforce the DRM, not bypass it. The recording will still contain whatever CCI flag information the provider sent. With DRM, there is no free lunch, unless the content is flagged as "copy freely".
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  #12  
Old 03-20-2012, 02:09 PM
yacht_boy yacht_boy is offline
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OK, so what you're saying is that there is no workaround for me to use Sage and watch all HD channels other than a Hauppauge product?

So my choices are crummy hardware with good software (Hauppauge/Sage) or good hardware with crummy software (Ceton or HDHR Prime/WMC). Yup, this digital rights management thing sure does make me love Hollywood!

Well, it appears that after 6+ years I might finally be done with Sage. I can't really stomach the thought of giving more money to Hauppauge - the HD PVR never really worked right, and it requires me to use a USB-UIRT which never reliably changed channels (about 10-15% of the time it missed a digit), and it requires me to keep paying monthly rent on a STB. Sage is great, but since its future is uncertain, I think the HDHR Prime solution makes more sense.

Hopefully Google/Motorola/Sage will come out with some amazing new device that actually works in the near future, where you just plug your coax into one end and your TV into the other and have the full Sage experience without all the hardware headaches.
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2012, 03:01 PM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is offline
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If you can believe it, I am actually jealous of your situation. My only choice for cable has all channels (except OTA channels) flagged as copy once. So I am unable to use a cablecard tuner with Sage at all. Even AT&T does not offer FIOS to my address, so that is not an option either.

If I was in your situation, since Comcast flags many of it's channels copy freely, I would get a cablecard tuner and set it up (via SageDCT) to tune all of the copy freely channels. I would keep your HD-PVR (after spending $15 or so on a replacement power supply) and a single STB for the channels not flagged copy freely (HBO, etc.)

That's about as close as you can get to your goal, at least using a Sage front-end. It's up to you whether it's worth spending the time and money on a "less than perfect" solution, especially considering Sage is no longer being developed and official support could end in the next 3-4 months.
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  #14  
Old 03-20-2012, 03:12 PM
yacht_boy yacht_boy is offline
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That just seems overly complex, all so that I can keep using Sage, a product that is no longer in development.

But then again, once I try WMC, I might find that it's so awful that I'm willing to do anything to get back to Sage. That was certainly my experience when I went to TiVo after my first round of hardware issues. Within a year I'd spent $1000 on hardware and hundreds of hours of twiddling to rid myself of TiVo.

I'm not sure it's just a $15 power supply, but I suppose I should check before I spend any more money. The unit powers on and off just fine (blue light, on/off switch), but I suppose that doesn't mean the power supply isn't the issue.
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  #15  
Old 03-20-2012, 03:16 PM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yacht_boy View Post
I'm not sure it's just a $15 power supply, but I suppose I should check before I spend any more money. The unit powers on and off just fine (blue light, on/off switch), but I suppose that doesn't mean the power supply isn't the issue.
There's a few different threads in this forum describing problems that various people had with their HD-PVR power supplies. Here's one of the threads: http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57507
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  #16  
Old 03-20-2012, 03:28 PM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is offline
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Originally Posted by yacht_boy View Post
But then again, once I try WMC, I might find that it's so awful that I'm willing to do anything to get back to Sage.
For a single television solution, you might find WMC completely satisfactory. For a whole-house solution, SageTV has a large advantage.
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  #17  
Old 03-20-2012, 03:35 PM
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darcilicious darcilicious is offline
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Originally Posted by KeithAbbott View Post
Even AT&T does not offer FIOS to my address, so that is not an option either.
AT&T doesn't offer FiOS to anyone -- it's a Verizon product ;-)

AT&T's product is U-verse (IPTV) and it's slightly different than FiOS (which is fiber to the home).
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  #18  
Old 03-20-2012, 03:39 PM
Dargason Dargason is offline
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Check around your house for a compatible power supply before buying one... I found one from a wireless router that I no longer use.

What Keith describes is exactly what I do... I have a dual cablecard tuner that I run using SageDCT and I use my HD-PVR for the one channel that is flagged Copy Once.

After you install Windows 7, you may find that the HD-PVR is much more stable. Mine doesn't run perfectly, but it's not as bad as some have described. As long as I don't try to use SPDIF, it's pretty stable. It just has occasional video glitches (about once per hour). I use the built-in IR blaster and it works fine for me.
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  #19  
Old 03-20-2012, 03:44 PM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is offline
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Originally Posted by darcilicious View Post
AT&T doesn't offer FiOS to anyone -- it's a Verizon product ;-)

AT&T's product is U-verse (IPTV) and it's slightly different than FiOS (which is fiber to the home).
Thanks for that clarification, although unfortunately, Verizon doesn't offer FIOS in my area either. So I'm still SOL.

Maybe I need to move...
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  #20  
Old 03-20-2012, 04:57 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yacht_boy View Post
Today the HDPVR finally just gave up the ghost. A couple of hours of uninstalling USB ports and changing cords and rebooting and trying it on different computers and I'm convinced there's no fixing this.
Every couple of weeks someone posts about their HD-PVR dying and it is almost always the power supply.

I have two HD-PVRs that I bought within six months of the release of the product and the PSs on both of them has died. When the first one died I bought a replacement so now I have a spare - then someone said to try a new PS and that solved it.

Check out this blog in which the author found this when he ripped the old PS apart CAPACITOR PLAGUE:
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