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  #61  
Old 04-19-2006, 02:01 PM
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motobarsteward motobarsteward is offline
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I've now tried both....
I played around with Sage, spent quite a bit of time sorting out geting the schedules (I live in the UK) and then mapping the Skay channel numbers to the schedule channel numbers. It all worked quite nicley. I got the software clients working on a couple of other machines in my house and even 'wired' my house with 100baseT ethernet.

The WAF was never high. The PC I was running the server on in the Living room was too noisy. My wife didn't use it and contantly asked me to connect the Sky boxes back to the TV so she could drive it.

So I went to PC world and had an accident with £400! I bought an Avdent DHE1000. This has 1Gig of ram, an nVidia 6600 Graphics card and a 3 Gig HT pentium 4. All in a sexy case that didn't look like a PC and made no noise. I got it out of the box, plugged it in, turned it on and went through thhe setup wizard. The whole process took me 20 minutes max. The Sage setup took at least five evenings, a weekend and two all-nighters to get working (mostly down too XMLTV).

Sage is good, I'd evenn go as faar as saying that it nocks th spots off of MCE. However, After three weeks with MCE I have yet to re-install Sage and my wife knows how to drive MCE beter than me!
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  #62  
Old 04-19-2006, 02:28 PM
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DFranch DFranch is offline
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I have used Sage for about 2 years now. I recently tried MCE, and while I think Sage has the edge in several areas (customizations, conflict resolution, more informative menus) there is one thing MCE definately does better (play Videos). Sage was not bad, but not as smooth as MCE has been the past couple of weeks. Also, Sage would crash about once every 2 weeks. That is what had me looking at alternatives. It's still too soon to tell if MCE will last longet without crashing. I still really like sage, and I'm using it right now to experiment with an OTA HD Tuner (Vbox cat's eye USB) on my test box.
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  #63  
Old 04-19-2006, 10:54 PM
stevech stevech is offline
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I wonder about the box price of the software RTU/license for MCE... I read that it was like $300.
This or somewhat less is buried in the price of an off the shelf PC with MCE.

RIght?

I've not ever seen SageTV crash or lockup on my AMD2400 dedicated to sage-only.
Pretty vanilla Sage and I don't muck with it.
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  #64  
Old 04-20-2006, 06:12 AM
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DFranch DFranch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevech
I wonder about the box price of the software RTU/license for MCE... I read that it was like $300.
This or somewhat less is buried in the price of an off the shelf PC with MCE.
I got an OEM version of MCE for $115. I'm still just tinkering with it. I don't know if I will keep using MCE or not. I have 3 tuners, and you have to use a hack to get MCE to see more than 2 tuners. It works, but the fact that you have to hack it is troubling. Sage just works with however many tuners you have.
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  #65  
Old 04-20-2006, 07:32 AM
jphhughes jphhughes is offline
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I had MCE before I had Sage. The reason I bough SageTV was, I was not happy with MCE limited capabilities and customization. I have kept both packages current and run them on a Dual boot system. I continue to favor SageTV because it provides a better picture quality and allow me to multi-task such as browse the Internet and do email. MCE will allow this but to me it is an annoyance. You have to hit the Windows button to get focus then there is a bunch of screen flickering and then you finally get control of the cursor. Again to me it’s just an annoyance that I don’t like very much. Sage’s customer service provides a means to get problems solved which is non existent with MCE because of its OEM nature. As the SageTV motto says “your in control” and to me that the major difference.
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  #66  
Old 04-20-2006, 07:47 AM
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I have been with Sage since the beginning. However, I am big into the HTPC hobby so I purchase and try everything in the market even if it is just to support the industry. About a year ago I tried MCE. I made the mistake of putting it on the main HTPC in the living room. About a week later the wife refused to go back to Sage. A year later I would probably feel the same. I still like the "tinker" aspect of Sage and use it on my personal HTPC, but for my appliance HTPC that gets seen and used constantly, MCE has won me over.
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  #67  
Old 04-20-2006, 09:46 AM
Alfiegerner Alfiegerner is offline
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For me the flexibility of server / client setup won me over to sage, particularly now that you can get a cheap and silent media extender that works really well in the latest betas. A big thing for me was also the reliability of Sage - it scored very highly on this for me compared to other PVR's.

The big restriction with MCE for me was trying to combine DVB-T cards and normal analogue inputs. I don't know if this has been fixed yet but that really put me off. Also, I use linux satellite STBs that I can change channels on using some command line apps I've written that telnet and / or grab http pages. I've heard that ir blasters can be flakey and would rather use the multi_exetunerplugin or something similar - MCE doesn't have this feature (AFAIK).

As others have said, the main advantage of MCE over Sage is not in the TV or PVR side but in slickness and quality of its mediacenter abilities. This is also the main drawback I see with Sage. For anything apart from TV use we turn the xbox on and fire up XBMC. My wife pretty much refuses to use anything else now - she's happy enough with Sage for PVR use but its XBMC all the way for anything else. IMHO its the best and slickest media center out there, bar none.

Which brings us (slightly OT) on to Mediaportal. Last time I tried it (about a year ago) it was way too buggy for day to day use. However, like XBMC its got a great GUI. When it's sufficiently stable and develops a server / client architecture i would be interested in trying it out again. If i was Mediaportal I'd be focusing massively on how to use XBMC as a front-end to its PVR facilities.

I see now I've descended into general ramblings - suffice it to say that between Sage and MCE I'm sticking with Sage for its flexibility and PVR goodness. Watch out for Mediaportal though ...
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  #68  
Old 08-22-2006, 03:12 PM
timnelsonic timnelsonic is offline
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I like SageTV better than MCE...I think

I very recently bought a new MCE box (HP z558) as a dedicated DVR and media server. My plan was to use Windows Media Extenders throughout the house. I quickly ran into a wall, though: the Windows extenders support only MPEG1, MPEG2, and WMV video files. I have an extensive MPEG4/AVI video collection so, as far as I can tell, that rules out an MCE-only solution. (I can play the files locally but not through the extenders.) Perhaps there is a work-around, but I haven't gone looking for it yet.

I installed SageTV and found that the UI isn't as pretty as Microsoft's, but the functionality is terrific. I ordered a Sage extender that should be in my hands tomorrow. From this forum it sounds like the MPEG4/AVI files should work, although I expect I'll have to monkey around a bit to get things working correctly. If this works, I'm firmly in the SageTV camp.

I'm a pretty high-tech guy, but the MCE-only solution sounded elegant and the WAF is probably better. But MP1/MP2/WMV doesn't cut it for me. It would have been OK if I didn't have hundreds of MP4 files already.
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  #69  
Old 08-22-2006, 03:58 PM
blade blade is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timnelsonic
I installed SageTV and found that the UI isn't as pretty as Microsoft's, but the functionality is terrific. I ordered a Sage extender that should be in my hands tomorrow. From this forum it sounds like the MPEG4/AVI files should work, although I expect I'll have to monkey around a bit to get things working correctly. If this works, I'm firmly in the SageTV camp.
There is a SageMC stv that looks much more like MCE.
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  #70  
Old 08-22-2006, 07:14 PM
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dbfresh23 dbfresh23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timnelsonic
Perhaps there is a work-around, but I haven't gone looking for it yet.
FYI - Yes a solution does exist, but for purposes of TV watching SageTV's better functionality is worth the trade off of MCE having a nicer looking GUI.
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  #71  
Old 08-30-2006, 03:31 AM
AngelofDeth AngelofDeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zz5
Sage has a few problems that are fundamental flaws for a DVR to have. For example, you can't name timed recordings, and you can't tell whether or not a given recording will complete (because of lack of space, etc.).

The gist of what several people are saying here is that Sage gives you more options? What exactly are those? Besides the normal DVR functions - recording and playing things - you can also play music. What else is there that really matters? Are you guys just talking about changing fonts or something? The thing is, MCE is the one that actually has an SDK. Sage doesn't. I would think that MCE would be the one that would be more customizable.

I don't have a problem with the encryption in MCE because it's not actually used. It's just set up to do encryption as an option. Sage could do the same thing if they wanted to at any time.

The only thing that I know of that would really stop me from using MCE is that you can't use more that 2 tuners per machine. But, as a I suggested above, you might be able to get around it with the SDK.
Does MCE have extenders? I think I remember the Xbox360 could do that, but that is rather costly. Definetly a deal breaker, not to mention a 2 tuner limit is unacceptable.
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  #72  
Old 08-30-2006, 03:49 AM
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mlbdude mlbdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelofDeth
Does MCE have extenders? I think I remember the Xbox360 could do that, but that is rather costly. Definetly a deal breaker, not to mention a 2 tuner limit is unacceptable.
MCE has an HDTV extender in the 360 or an SDTV extender in the XBOX (around $99 now). It has support out of the box for 2 SD and 2 HD (4 total tuners) but you can extend that with some registry edits.
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  #73  
Old 08-30-2006, 04:53 AM
AngelofDeth AngelofDeth is offline
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Cool. I'm sure not going to switch a month after buying SageTV, but it seems MCE extender support is quite a bit better than when I first looked a year+ ago. The only thing I wish with SageTV is an extender with better file support (Divx/Xvid/whatever).
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  #74  
Old 08-30-2006, 05:29 AM
GbrNole GbrNole is offline
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there's a script which will encode xvid/divx to an xbox 360 ready format on the fly so those codec's are 3rd party supported much like they are in sage with the mvp - well not really like in sage since it's integrated.

i know you are limited with how many extenders an mce system can carry though and they can be a resource hog and a bit flakey with connection stability.

if sage would just announce an hd capable extender then i would be one happy camper
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  #75  
Old 09-15-2006, 05:49 AM
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motobarsteward motobarsteward is offline
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I posted on this thread a while ago. Thought I'd give an update. I've 're-wired' my system. I now have a SageTV Media Server in the loft over my home cinema with two Sky boxes attached. I can watch/record TV from the living room using the HTPC there as well as from any other PC in the house. I can also watch TV from any broadband connected PC in the world using PlaceShifter. I can use the Web Interface from nielm to remotely schedule stuff. I use the 16x9 interface and the WAF is now very good. It's also really stable.
MCE is a very good lowest common denominator solution. There's not such thing as a free lunch. If you are willing to invest the time, far better results can be obtained with SageTV. I think, as a community, we need to work harder to provide install packages on a country by country basis like Microsoft have done. Expecting people who've just bought a PC fro PC world or Dell to set it up to control the varied sources is too much.
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