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  #1  
Old 04-27-2012, 08:07 PM
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robk robk is offline
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What to do?

I thought I'd post a question here because I can't really make up my mind. Here's the background....
I like SageTV, using it since 2004 I think. Dedicated Server, client and placeshifter. All the years of fiddling, tweaking, eagerly waiting for release candidates, through Dish, DTV, then cable and OTA. Then HDPVR in 2010, more tweaks, drivers, fixes, codecs, enhancements, FW tuning, USBUIRT, etc. - you know how it is.
For the past few years I would back up (image) the 50Gig OS partition of one of my 500G drives to protect my years of getting Sage perfect for my use in my office only - the family has cable company issue DVRs, so I could tweak whenever I wanted, no interrupting anybody's TV. Perfect. Well, STUPID me was backing up weekly to drive D which was a partition on the same drive as C - instead of E or F. Pretty smart for a guy who installs POS and Medical systems for a living...
So, the physical drive containing C and D died 2 days ago, I had a 2TB drive overnighted thinking that unless I get Sage back running in a day or two the world would end. Upon arrival of the drive, I quickly installed Win7, drivers, all my little converter and editing programs, all my regular stuff - you understand. I even did a few image backups during the install of my favorite programs so I wouldn't lose anything - paranoia is a horrible thing. Well, the computer is running perfectly, quick like a fresh install always is, ArcSoft TME and HDPVR show a beautiful picture, so I know Sage will work like before.
BUT, I started thinking about installing a program that will never be updated or improved, one which may not run when a new OS comes out, one that has a shrinking user base and a . My idea of "perfect" started to look like not such a good move. I started thinking about alternatives - I haven't watched TV in 2 days, I'm still alive. Maybe WMC or something newer? I was so happy but now I'm sitting here holding the Sage install disks trying to decide if it's the way to go. Do I say goodbye to an old friend or do I let him back into my house? I am a bit concerned about guide data (I know about fixes) and the future of this great support forum. Sounds crazy, but if the hard drive didn't die, I'd be using Sage for many more years.
What would you do? Sage is great, but is it time for a change? I have no Sage-specific hardware like extenders - all PCs - so I'm flexible.

Rob
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  #2  
Old 04-27-2012, 08:46 PM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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My $0.02. In about 5 to 7 years, Micro$oft will come out with something about 90% as good a SageTV is now. Keep running SageTV until then.

Just read all the post of people TRYING to get something close to SageTV, and you'll understand!
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  #3  
Old 04-27-2012, 09:05 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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No MS is giving up on Media Center PCs.

@Rob - go ahead and reinstall Sage. It works fine on Win7. It is not clear that Win8 will be a success on the desktop as it is (arguably) an OS designed for tablets.

Install Sage and enjoy it and hopefully you get another 8-10 years. It is not clear that there will be anything better than 1080i/720p when it comes to broadcast TV by then and your HD-PVRcan handle that fine. If the world moves totally to streaming then you can repurpose your PC to do that. Until then Sage is still the best there is.
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  #4  
Old 04-27-2012, 11:15 PM
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Olias Olias is offline
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Well, you do realize that you're asking this question on a Sage forum so most of the replies will favor SageTV. If you asked the same question over on the green button, you'd probably get very different responses.

That being said, sounds like you were happy with SageTV before so go ahead and reinstall it. There are a lot of other solutions that will be available later this year, Win 8, Ceton, Whiteman, maybe even the product that Jeff is working on at Google. No need to jump ship yet, use Sage now, wait and see what the future holds.

Oh, and after it's installed, backup to a different physical drive
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  #5  
Old 04-27-2012, 11:33 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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The prevailing winds seem to be changing around here. There's been a lot more interest in alternatives over the past few weeks.

But, there's not much of an alternative available now. You might as well reinstall Sage and hope that the Ceton Echo is as good as an HD300.
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  #6  
Old 04-28-2012, 06:34 AM
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davephan davephan is offline
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If you haven't altered the hard drive that failed, you could try using Spinrite http://www.grc.com/default.htm. There are many stories about this utility recovering hard drives. It isn't cheap, and I don't think it always works. They have a money back offer. You could buy it, use it, and if it does not work, get your money back. It might take a week or more of 'run time' for the utility to fix a large hard drive.

It's very painful and time consuming,, but you could use this as an opportunity to rebuild the system, using Windows 7 64-bit if possible. You could also refresh your computer hardware if you have the budget for it. Make sure your imaging product can recover onto different hardware, such as Acronis True Image with the Plus Pack. You can also take an image with a second image product for redundancy. Partition Image is Not Ghost is a free imaging product. Although it would be best to use imaging software that offers hardware independent recoveries, unless you have identical or similar spare hardware.

The image files need to be stored on two or three hard drives. Hard drives are not reliable for long term storage (decades). Spin up the image storage drives at least every couple months. Don't let them sit without powering them up for years. Burned DVDs should only be used for short term storage, up to 1 - 3 years. The most reliable storage for images is tape. But tape drives are expensive. You have to own two tape drives, for the same tape format, in case tape drive one fails, unless your tape format drive can still be purchased. You have to keep refreshing your tape drives long term over time as the formats change. I used to use tape drives at home a couple decades ago. I do use tape library systems at work.

I have my images copied on three different drives, plus one cloud storage site. I am in the process of uploading to a second cloud storage site. It takes weeks to transfer the image files. I usually divide the images into smaller chunk sizes (100 megs) for the cloud storage to make the transfers easier.

Dave
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  #7  
Old 04-28-2012, 10:50 AM
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BobbyDing BobbyDing is offline
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There are a number of good things coming out over the next year, but that doesn't mean any of them will meet your needs. Since you have all you need to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, go ahead and re install, tweak, image to a physically different drive(s) and enjoy your investment. No sense looking into an alternative until there is one that surpasses all that Sage does for you now.
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  #8  
Old 04-28-2012, 11:17 AM
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Well, I reinstalled this morning. Now for the tweaking... Luckily I have an old printed copy of Sage.properties that gives me an idea of how I set up the FWChannelProxy/USB-UIRT and a few other things. It is up and running, but as you all know, you just MUST tweak with your favorite codec, remote buttons, disable the Oprah Channel, etc.
Actually, it works well "right out of the box" with all defaults! But, Nooooo, we can't leave it that way!
Thanks for the inspiration - Sage is the best - in the past I tried several other software packages, Sage beats them all in flexibility and picture quality.

Rob
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  #9  
Old 04-29-2012, 09:58 AM
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You should be taking periodic images on your path to getting everything configured again. If you take a wrong turn and things get screwed up again, then you won't have to go back to a scratch install again.

Dave
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  #10  
Old 04-29-2012, 10:39 AM
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robk robk is offline
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I did. Using Acronis TrueImage, I created a full image backup about 8 times during the reinstallation of the OS, Sage, codecs, etc. I was concerned of losing hours of work - at one point I did a complete restore from an image made a few hours previous, after screwing up the registry settings getting FW tuning to work on a Cisco 4640HDC STB.
I always backup everything. I made a very stupid mistake a few years back by choosing the destination of the backup images - on the same physical hard drive (different partition) as the source. It was not intentional, I just wasn't thinking and then continued to make weekly backups to that TrueImage "backup location" chosen long ago. I also had backups on external hard drives, but when I have a large job to do for a client, I grab one of my external drives and reformat it, and use it on-site. Last week when I went looking for my Sage + OS backup, there were none. It's the first time in over 20 years I lost data due to a hardware failure.
Actually, the new install is faster and better than the old one. Windows and Sage tend to get "cluttered", especially with so many versions of Sage over the past few years - installed on top of old versions. So, it was a bit of work but the outcome was good!
Rob
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2012, 06:48 PM
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robk robk is offline
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I'm glad I stuck with Sage. Now I've got 2 Placeshifter licenses and 3 tuners (1 HD PVR, 1 HVR-1600 cable and antenna), so I use older computers in the garage and kitchen (or bathroom on a tablet) to catch the news. Just wish I could access my NetFlix subscription without paying for PlayOn.
I must admit Sage is remarkable in it's ease of use and flexibility - it's served me well since 2004. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, can replace Sage using PCs and the HD PVR.

Rob
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2012, 07:49 PM
Dargason Dargason is offline
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I bought a playon license years ago for about $15... is it a subscription service now?
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  #13  
Old 05-08-2012, 08:02 PM
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robk robk is offline
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Apparently it's $4.99/month or $39.95/year. Combine that with the cable bill, STB rental, remote rental (to access "on demand" only), NetFlix sub, PC maintenance, etc., it gets ridiculous.
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  #14  
Old 05-08-2012, 11:22 PM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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I dropped SageTV because it won't work with any tuners (except most of the ones on the market) and it won't run any OS (except maybe Windows, Linux and MacOS).

Oh wait, since it still does everything better than anything else on the market, still uses all the hardware that is out there, and runs any OS you can buy, and even a free OS, why the heck would I drop it? Ever heard of cutting your nose off to spite your face???

I even have a friend thinking of buying a license that has free versions of WMC as he is a Microsoft TectNet member!!! (I am trying to discourage him, but he's run WMC before, and then hears me say what I can do with SageTV)

I would not build a new system, but the ones I maintain, will be shut down when the person using them doesn't record anymore, or someone comes out with something a LOT better. (I figure 2 to 3 years before something matches SageTV, and it's worth switching, minimum)
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  #15  
Old 05-09-2012, 02:13 AM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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I've just upgraded my server hardware and installed. I had to reinstalled Windows 7 64bit, but this time I changed how SageTV is installed. First, I installed Vmware Workstation, and installed Windows 7 32bit guest OS for SageTV. Since all my tuners are network tuners, this works quite well. I configure SageTV in the virtual OS and made regular backup snapshots of it.

In the future, it doesn't matter what version of Windows or what hardware upgrades I have, as long as Vmware Workstation works on it, then my SageTV system will always work without reconfiguring or workarounds.
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  #16  
Old 05-09-2012, 06:00 AM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dargason View Post
I bought a playon license years ago for about $15... is it a subscription service now?
Typically, but lately they have been throwing around one-time, lifetime subscriptions for $79.99 and you get a free Roku box (the $50 version) with it.

I got in on a lifetime offer a few years ago and we use PlayOn a lot (along with a certain plugin here that is meant for podcasts but works for other things ).

Just noticed last night that they recently added iHeartRadio as a packaged channel plugin - it works really nicely in Sage and I think I may find myself listening to that more than the other music options I've used in the past.
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  #17  
Old 05-09-2012, 06:18 AM
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wrems wrems is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj View Post
Typically, but lately they have been throwing around one-time, lifetime subscriptions for $79.99 and you get a free Roku box (the $50 version) with it.

I got in on a lifetime offer a few years ago and we use PlayOn a lot (along with a certain plugin here that is meant for podcasts but works for other things ).
Yeah, I've seen those offers and it makes me cringe. PlayOn has hosed me twice in the past few years. I bought one of their "life-time" subscriptions that they reneged on... I also bought a gift subscription that they reneged on. They quite honestly piss me off.

I'm glad your life-time offer is valid.
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  #18  
Old 05-09-2012, 02:17 PM
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bjkiller bjkiller is offline
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Cool

currently i do not see anything that can replace my SageTV system (5 tuners, 20 virtual tuners) and 6 extenders + 3 clients.

currently i upgrading SageTV to Windows 7 64bits...to hope to able handle more 2-3 tunners...

i use Windows 7 embedded so i do not afraid about disk corruptions with EWF. (enchanced write filter)
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  #19  
Old 05-09-2012, 02:23 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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If I remember how things went, early PlayOn customers were able to buy into a lifetime license for something like $30. A couple years they decided new channels would only come to PlayOn Premium, which had a subscription fee structure. But, existing customers with a lifetime license could "upgrade" to a lifetime PlayOn Premium membership for $40.

I think at first the lifetime license was only available to original customers, although they've since made a more expensive version to anyone.

If you bought into PlayOn back in 2009 or so then you probably still have a PlayOn Basic license. That's enough to get you Hulu, Netflix and Amazon VOD, which is all most people want anyway.
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  #20  
Old 05-10-2012, 07:17 AM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Just a note, if you were one of those people, like me, that had a lifetime license and then upgraded to a premium license and then let it expire you will need to contact them to get your lifetime license restored. You can't use both at the same time even if the premium license expired. The expired premium license won't automatically revert your old lifetime license back to active status. Kind of stupid but that's they way they have their system setup. Just tell them you want to restore your lifetime basic license and they will do it for you.
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