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  #1  
Old 11-18-2007, 04:11 PM
davefred99 davefred99 is offline
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Tuff decision , I want more HD than Sage offers.

I have been a long time SageTv user who originally converted from BTV. For a long time now I have been pretty much happy with Sage for SD tv and gotten by with using my HDHomrun for capturing OTA HD. Now that DirecTV has finally increased there HD capacity, I have decided to go ahead and upgrade to there HD DVR service. I will still use SageTV for some things like DVD storage, Music and ripped DVD,s, but for HD stuff its just to limited for me. I don,t see SageTV moving towards Cablecard or DtvHD Capture cards anytime soon and even if they do its just to restrictive to be work it in my opinion. I am an optimist and will continue to hope that things change in the future but am not holding my breath.
So While I am not entirely abandoning SageTV, I believe I will be using it less. It has always beeen a hobby anyways and recently the WAF has diminished by trying to find a solution for HD.
I am actually going to concentrate more now on Home Automation and Home security using my Sage Server for that too.
Random Thoughts,Dave
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2007, 04:39 PM
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sainswor99 sainswor99 is offline
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Dave,

Not wanting to belittle Sage, but I think you're giving voice to some concerns that I've had for a while. Let's face it, with the 2009 conversion to digital (including HD) looming, many home-built PVR systems are waiting for a magic bullet to save us. I realize that converting from a set-top box does work, and that you can do it with multiple tuners, but it's really not a practical solution (I have 3 tuners now, and I really don't want to pay a rental fee for 3 STB's).

HD is only the tip of the iceberg ahead.

Stu
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2007, 04:52 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sainswor99 View Post
Dave,

Not wanting to belittle Sage, but I think you're giving voice to some concerns that I've had for a while. Let's face it, with the 2009 conversion to digital (including HD) looming, many home-built PVR systems are waiting for a magic bullet to save us.
2009 isn't going to change anything in regards to PC TV capture, other than anyone using an NTSC capture card to pull in OTA signals will no longer be able to.
  • OTA ATSC broadcasts will still be available and will always be clear.
  • NTSC (ie analog) cable broadcasts will still continue for the foreseeable future.
  • Digital cable will still be as hit or miss as it is today.
  • Digital cable boxes will still output SD and HD.
  • Satellite customers have been dealing with boxes for years and that's not going to change

The only people the "analog shutoff" affects are those getting analog NTSC OTA, I'd venture that's almost nobody here. People here getting OTA are probably almost exclusively getting ATSC. The FCC mandate applies only to OTA broadcasts.

Quote:
I realize that converting from a set-top box does work, and that you can do it with multiple tuners, but it's really not a practical solution (I have 3 tuners now, and I really don't want to pay a rental fee for 3 STB's).
There's nothing preventing the cable companies from going all digital today, and there's nothing forcing them to do it ever. They will probably go all digital at some point, but that point is not 2009, or at least not because of an FCC mandate.
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2007, 04:53 PM
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Well said.

I love the freedom Sage provides, (and I don't even use much of it) but I can see myself going to satalite (unless my cable company increases it's HD content soon) to get more HD content.

I'm optimistic that companies like Hauppage, Sage, Silicondust, etc. will figure something out. They have lots of money wrapped up in this area, but the cable and satalite providers treat their content too much like the music companies, which means we're lucky they let us watch the channels we pay for.
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2007, 08:57 PM
davefred99 davefred99 is offline
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A few more random thouhgts.

My decision to go with a Direct TV HD DVR has nothing to do with the 2009 digital conversion of OTA signals. I already converted to Digital OTA. It has more to do with available content and ease of use. If I could get a DTV HD cablecard type device I would probably go that route. However it would also depend on how much DRM limited my usage. I could live with just local network access but would always be trying to find a way around it. I am hoping that Direct TV will eventually have something like Tivo to Go for all content. This might even work with SageTV too. I am fighting the switch to Vista.
I will continue to use Sage TV for what it does best but feel like it is limited when it comes to HD. The only viable solution would come from either a cablecard or a DTV equivalent card. At some point it just becomes to complicated and looses its appeal. The biggest thing that pushed me over was wanting more HD content and the fact that I really do not save much regular Tv stuff anyways. I mostly just timeshifted and deleted after watching plus I still have Sage for that if I choose.
Sage is a great product but like everything else has its limitations.
Dave
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  #6  
Old 11-18-2007, 09:20 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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I'm with you on the not archiving content. But what keeps me from moving to provider DVRs is that you have to watch them on the DVR that recorded the content. I've got two places I watch TV, my HT and my living room. I just can't see having to watch something in a specific place, or worse, having to record everything twice to so I can watch it either place. Just seems like more of a hastle than the PC solution.

Of course when Dish adds SciFi HD, I'll just get get an R5000 or two
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2007, 09:56 PM
GbrNole GbrNole is offline
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the r5000 mod or a prom edited tivo really are the only ways to ensure you can pump extra hd channels into sage.

i'm strongly leaning toward the latter.
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  #8  
Old 11-18-2007, 11:12 PM
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sainswor99 sainswor99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
2009 isn't going to change anything in regards to PC TV capture, other than anyone using an NTSC capture card to pull in OTA signals will no longer be able to.
  • OTA ATSC broadcasts will still be available and will always be clear.
  • NTSC (ie analog) cable broadcasts will still continue for the foreseeable future.
  • Digital cable will still be as hit or miss as it is today.
  • Digital cable boxes will still output SD and HD.
  • Satellite customers have been dealing with boxes for years and that's not going to change

The only people the "analog shutoff" affects are those getting analog NTSC OTA, I'd venture that's almost nobody here. People here getting OTA are probably almost exclusively getting ATSC. The FCC mandate applies only to OTA broadcasts.



There's nothing preventing the cable companies from going all digital today, and there's nothing forcing them to do it ever. They will probably go all digital at some point, but that point is not 2009, or at least not because of an FCC mandate.
So, if I only capture analog signals via cable, I'll be able to continue to do so without a set-top-box? That's the clearest statement I've heard on the matter.
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  #9  
Old 11-19-2007, 12:35 AM
davefred99 davefred99 is offline
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Maybe, Maybe not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sainswor99 View Post
So, if I only capture analog signals via cable, I'll be able to continue to do so without a set-top-box? That's the clearest statement I've heard on the matter.
You will as long as your local cable company continues to offer both analog and digital cable. There is no requirement for cable to do both except that they will want to satisfy all there current customers who may not be ready to purchase a digital receiver or digital ready TV. In time I believe that they will want to use the bandwidth for more HD digital capacity but in the short run they will probably continue to offer both. Many cable companies have already started to thin out there analog offerings and require digital tiers to get many of premium channels. in other words Analog is only going to be mostly for the locals and must carry stuff and maybe a few lower tier basic cable channels. I would not count getting much more.
Dave
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  #10  
Old 11-19-2007, 04:19 AM
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sainswor99 sainswor99 is offline
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I don't want much more; I just want what I have. Most of the digital-only channels in my area are things I don't care about; I've got three analog tuners in my PC now that are perfectly happy chugging away on the lower 99.

I mean, I've seen HD, and frankly, I'm OK without it. I know a lot of people that are salivating over it, but I'm just not one of them. I just don't want to have to run 3 STB's in order to keep getting what I currently have, and my fears were that was the direction things were headed.
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  #11  
Old 11-19-2007, 10:58 AM
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lobosrul lobosrul is offline
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I hope you realize that the only thing limiting SageTV from being able to capture any HD channel (except maybe VOD) is simple greed. The cable co's are perfectly capable of sending out every channel on clear QAM which is compatible with Sage.... but they want you to be renting a box for every single TV in your house. And the TV channels (which you pay for) don't want you to be able to make a permanent copy. Thats what DVD's/HD-DVD's/Blu-ray's are for, but only for your set-top player. If you want a copy on a computer, then you need to buy a DRM riddled lesser quality copy on itunes or similar.

Stopping piracy is just not even a legitimate argument. It takes just one smart person on the entire planet to figure our how to break copy protection, and with this world wide internet thing POOF its everywhere.

I didnt really mean to go on a rant, its just the name of your topic is "I want more HD than Sage offers". Which is sort of implying the difficulties of HD content on HTPC is SageTV's fault.

Last edited by lobosrul; 11-19-2007 at 11:01 AM.
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  #12  
Old 11-19-2007, 11:35 AM
davefred99 davefred99 is offline
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We are on the same side here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post

I didn't really mean to go on a rant, its just the name of your topic is "I want more HD than Sage offers". Which is sort of implying the difficulties of HD content on HTPC is SageTV's fault.
The intent of my post was not to fault SageTv for anything. As I said in a previous post. "SageTv is a great product but it has its limitations." I just do not see how Sage will ever be able to get around them without incurring the wrath of the DRM GODS. I also said I am going to continue to use Sage, just not so much for HD or everyday TV/Time shifting.
If a solution comes along in the future that includes Direct TV (my preffered source) I will look at it and make a decision then. For now I see no simple alternative other then the R5000 mod with DISH or Cable and I think its too damned expensive and complicated. I love technology and like to tinker but at some point i just want to watch Tv and not worry about any of this.
Dave
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  #13  
Old 11-19-2007, 11:49 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
I hope you realize that the only thing limiting SageTV from being able to capture any HD channel (except maybe VOD) is simple greed.
-Puts on devil's advocate hat:

If they output everything via clear QAM, how do they:
  • Stop people who only subscribe to "basic" cable from watching the digital tier?
  • Stop people who only subscribe to the basic digital tier from watching programing from "higher" tiers?
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  #14  
Old 11-19-2007, 11:58 AM
bcjenkins bcjenkins is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
-Puts on devil's advocate hat:

If they output everything via clear QAM, how do they:
  • Stop people who only subscribe to "basic" cable from watching the digital tier?
  • Stop people who only subscribe to the basic digital tier from watching programing from "higher" tiers?
I would think there should be a way to deploy a box in the home with can strip encryption and then feed into home cable plant only the channels you are authorized for in the clear. I don't know if a box exists, but it shouldn't be too difficult to implement.

B
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:38 PM
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My issue with how COX handles HD is that they require digital to get HD versions of the channels I already have, but don't technically charge extra for it. I got their "digital music" tier for like $6/month, which only has the (mostly useless) music channels, but since I have "digital cable" I also get all the HD version of the expanded channels I already have for free (Discovery, ESPN, A&E, etc.). If they're "free" why not just send them out as clearQAM? Why do I have to get something on the digital tier?

If they can turn on/off the expanded channels to each house without a box (all analogs), why not just put the HD versions in with them?

I could see if I had to pay for the HD channels, and there is no way around it for HBO and such, but in cases like mine I'm confused as to why they lock down the channels but give them away "free" with other digital service.

Also seems like that's were the 5C encryption should come in. Forget about the DRM issues with cable card tuners, just allow the TS dump like the firewire people get through a cable card tuner and then use the 5C to prevent people from recording HD HBO movies and the like if you're worried about me "re-selling" HD movies or something.
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  #16  
Old 11-19-2007, 12:44 PM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcjenkins View Post
I would think there should be a way to deploy a box in the home with can strip encryption and then feed into home cable plant only the channels you are authorized for in the clear. I don't know if a box exists, but it shouldn't be too difficult to implement.
This has been suggested before, but it won't fly. Each channel's content is encrypted separately, so to output a feed with all channels decrypted would require a separate tuner, decrypter, and remodulator for each channel. Putting hundreds of such circuits in one box is perhaps not difficult in principle, but not exactly practical either, compared to the the existing method of decrypting just those channels you're actually watching at the point where you're watching them.
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Old 11-19-2007, 01:00 PM
bcjenkins bcjenkins is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKusnick View Post
This has been suggested before, but it won't fly. Each channel's content is encrypted separately, so to output a feed with all channels decrypted would require a separate tuner, decrypter, and remodulator for each channel. Putting hundreds of such circuits in one box is perhaps not difficult in principle, but not exactly practical either, compared to the the existing method of decrypting just those channels you're actually watching at the point where you're watching them.
Okay, bad choice of words on my part. I don't mean encryption. I mean programming signal filters. Each programming block of content can be sectioned into bands of channels. Just use a plain old filter and remove them as needed. Make sure to leave room for bleed over too. I would pay a trip charge for the tech to get in the lock box just to have the freedom in the house.

B
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  #18  
Old 11-19-2007, 01:07 PM
samgreco samgreco is offline
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Frankly, this is the killer issue for me. It's probably the only thing that will pry SageTV out of my hands.

I've had my 65" Mits HDTV for over 6 years now, and probably only seen HDTV programming 5% of the time. It's getting old.

And I just don't see SageTV ever getting CableCar or DTV compatibilty. I could be wrong.
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  #19  
Old 11-19-2007, 01:18 PM
derringer derringer is offline
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My personal opinion is that it is only a matter of time before there are tuner cards capable of digitally laying down what is currently displayed on HDTVs through the composite or other digital port (i.e. non-analog PCI capture cards.) Assuming HDCP doesn't take hold, this is an easy piece of electronics to make for a chip maker, and would result in immediate incremental income.

I don't think we'll exit 2008 without an available consumer card that can capture digital video, personally. And with there being enough HDTVs out there that won't properly handle HDCP, we will then be able to capture feeds off of our Cable, Satellite, etc. STBs without having to do an R5000 mod.

As far as not having to deal with STBs, I don't think that is necessarily in the cards...

And as far as this being Sage's fault, as was already stated, it isn't. I would bet *ALOT* of money that as soon as a consumer card is available, Sage would have support for it extremely fast. It just doesn't really exist yet.
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  #20  
Old 11-19-2007, 01:36 PM
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morikaweb morikaweb is offline
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I find peoples reaction to this whole issue interesting. Many people cave in to the TV/Cable/Sat industry and abandon their HTPC's thus doing exactly what the industry wants. Personally my reaction is to dump the industry and keep my HTPC.

What with OTA, Bit Torrent, IPTV, Sling sharing, DVD Movies and TV shows (Imports from the UK at half the cost of US disks) I spend mabey 10% of my time actually watching my TV from my satellite subscription. As these alternative methods of access to TV become more reliable I will simply pull the plug on traditional methods and the industry can go screw itself.

Simply put it will be a cold day in he** when I allow a company to dictate my rights to me. More and more people are going this route, and if the industry does not change more people will follow us and the industry will simply collapse under its own greed.
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