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  #21  
Old 03-19-2007, 07:38 AM
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jbarr jbarr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayamaniac View Post
BTV lost me as a customer when they started charging for tuner licenses, which was utterly ridiculous. They later made it free but I was long gone and switched over to SageTV and no regrets whatsoever.
When I was comparing options last year, that was a key consideration for me. BTV at the time was licensing on a per-tuner basis and SageTV was not. That was a big factor in my decision. I only have two tuners and an HDHomeRun box (so really 3 tuners) but SageTV cost me no more other than the equipment itself.

In the end, I believe that it's really all about personal opinion. There were a couple "deal breakers" for me with BTV that made me opt for SageTV, but either were very worthy options.

Just don't forget that the cool thing is that most of these solutions are pretty compatible with the same hardware, and most provide decent trial versions. So by all means, try them out and see which ones you like the best. And even if you have to switch later, we're typically not talking about hundreds of wasted dollars. Yes, the $70 that SageTV costs is not chump change, but it also shouldn't break the bank should you decide later to move to a competing product.
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  #22  
Old 03-19-2007, 08:42 AM
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nick_l nick_l is offline
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Agree!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sainswor99 View Post
True, but you don't have to proficient in a proprietary editor in order to skin. I think many people (I am not one of them) are happy with the layout; they just want better eye candy. If SageTV could separate the concept of skins from their Studio development efforts, I think a lot of people would get excited about making the interface "pretty". which may lead to further forays into development.
Just want to voice my agreement with this statement. I know Ive said it in other posts, but I just want to add support to the skinning vs. studio (really, in addtion to) concept wherever I see it come up.

Nick
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  #23  
Old 03-19-2007, 01:31 PM
jlmdxtv jlmdxtv is offline
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Why SageTV? In ADDITION to everything that has already been discussed in this thread:

1) SageTV does an excellent job of finding shows using keyword favorites and recording them. Last I tried BTV (about 18 months ago), I needed to manually use their site (setup email alerts) to find shows based on keywords, not a local automatically searched EPG like SageTV. In fact, I'm still getting email alerts from BTV for shows that SageTV automatically finds and records for me. Nice!

2) BTV had a severe problem in that some (1 in 10) shows only recorded for a few seconds and died when simultaneously recording more than one show. This problem went on for months for me and others on their boards using rather standard equipment, so I bailed BTV and came to SageTV. (Update: I've read later that they "corrected" the problem by restarting the recordings, so you'd end up with one program spanning across multiple files.)

3) The way I saw it, the folks running the BTV support board were deleting threads that weren't to their liking; some of which I was tracking. SageTV doesn't seem to be concerned with censorship, so I feel better informed here.

john
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  #24  
Old 03-19-2007, 01:37 PM
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sainswor99 sainswor99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlmdxtv View Post
Why SageTV? In ADDITION to everything that has already been discussed in this thread:

1) SageTV does an excellent job of finding shows using keyword favorites and recording them. Last I tried BTV (about 18 months ago), I needed to manually use their site (setup email alerts) to find shows based on keywords, not a local automatically searched EPG like SageTV. In fact, I'm still getting email alerts from BTV for shows that SageTV automatically finds and records for me. Nice!
You know, I totally forgot about Intelligent Recording; I agree, it's a GREAT feature that pushes SageTV over the top.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlmdxtv View Post
2) BTV had a severe problem in that some (1 in 10) shows only recorded for a few seconds and died when simultaneously recording more than one show. This problem went on for months for me and others on their boards using rather standard equipment, so I bailed BTV and came to SageTV. (Update: I've read later that they "corrected" the problem by restarting the recordings, so you'd end up with one program spanning across multiple files.)
I never experienced this as a BTV user, but in a way, it's comforting to hear that the competitor also has bugs. Reading the forums can be depressing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlmdxtv View Post
3) The way I saw it, the folks running the BTV support board were deleting threads that weren't to their liking; some of which I was tracking. SageTV doesn't seem to be concerned with censorship, so I feel better informed here.

john
Very true; bit of a stretch to make it a selling point, but I do agree that the general atmosphere of open communication is appreciated here.

Stu
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  #25  
Old 03-19-2007, 02:54 PM
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mlbdude mlbdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlmdxtv View Post
1) SageTV does an excellent job of finding shows using keyword favorites and recording them. Last I tried BTV (about 18 months ago), I needed to manually use their site (setup email alerts) to find shows based on keywords, not a local automatically searched EPG like SageTV. In fact, I'm still getting email alerts from BTV for shows that SageTV automatically finds and records for me. Nice!
This sounds more like keyword favorites. Does anyone know if BTV still does not do this in the full screen TV UI?
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  #26  
Old 03-19-2007, 03:08 PM
SprDtyF350 SprDtyF350 is offline
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The most important reason for me using Sage instead of BTV is the ability to use as many different recording directories as I want. Even networked. And then have it show up as only one in Sage. Sage just picks the one with the most space.

BTV lost me totally when they failed to live up to the merging of Beyond Media, and BTV. Sage does most everything in one program, BTV does TV.
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  #27  
Old 03-19-2007, 03:50 PM
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mike_15 mike_15 is offline
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I haven't looked at BTV since I purchased sage 2.0 some time back.

The think I have liked about sage is since studio has been released, sage's capabilities are pretty much only limited by the creativity of the users of the software. Nielm is proof of that. He and others like him have been making my TV experience better long before any companies had thought about it. Then sage has implemented many of the improvements directly into the core software. ie cayers efforts.

I expect that that will continue into the future.
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  #28  
Old 03-20-2007, 06:16 AM
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JUC JUC is offline
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I too, haven't looked at BTV in many years. I was just checking out their site and it appears that commercial skip "Smartskip" comes standard with their software. Why doesn't sage support commskip as a standard feature set again?
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  #29  
Old 03-20-2007, 06:56 AM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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Deleted since the feature was already mentioned....
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Last edited by tmiranda; 03-21-2007 at 05:26 PM.
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  #30  
Old 03-20-2007, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JUC View Post
I too, haven't looked at BTV in many years. I was just checking out their site and it appears that commercial skip "Smartskip" comes standard with their software. Why doesn't sage support commskip as a standard feature set again?
The theory is that they want to avoid any of the legal mess with it. To avoid that issue (which seems to be working so far) BTV still makes you press a button to skip commercials where in Sage you can configure it to auto-skip commercials for you.
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  #31  
Old 03-20-2007, 10:18 AM
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dbfresh23 dbfresh23 is offline
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Why not go to the BTV forum and post something saying "Why not SageTV?" - See how many seconds it's there before their mods delete it.

I've only tried their software a few times, but when i had it going it was very unstable.
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  #32  
Old 03-20-2007, 10:58 AM
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SHS SHS is offline
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Quote:
Why not go to the BTV forum and post something saying "Why not SageTV?" - See how many seconds it's there before their mods delete it.
Yup that ture
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  #33  
Old 03-20-2007, 03:05 PM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbfresh23 View Post
Why not go to the BTV forum and post something saying "Why not SageTV?" - See how many seconds it's there before their mods delete it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHS View Post
Yup that ture
I did something like that once on their forum, talking about switcing to SageTV . And they don't actually delete your posts, they just make all your posts invisible to everyone else. I can see my own posts, but when I log out as guests, the posts disappear. I created another account and log into it, but still can't see my posts from the original account.

I feel sorry for the users there unaware of SageTV.
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  #34  
Old 03-20-2007, 05:12 PM
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I've just read about media portal and their new Tv Engine, which is basically like a media portal server that media portal clients connect to.

Of course, SageTV can already do this since the beginning. And I think this is where they got it right from the start, developing a server/client model. BTV did it as an after thought, so did MCE. Also making the hardware encoder requirement for the tuner was another good decision on SageTV's part. And over the years, they extended to many clients including MVP extenders and Placeshifters on three platforms. And an HD extender on the way. The only thing left that hasn't been touch is the portable media players/smart phones/pocketpc area. Someone get Jeff one of those devices so we don't have to use Orb and use Placeshifter instead.
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  #35  
Old 03-20-2007, 08:11 PM
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Media Portal is anorther one of thoses XP only things.
Got All Media, TVedia 3 would make a better chose but there no client software which is real bummer, So leave only GB-PVR and CTpvr as main option.
MCE there is no client software only extenders.
portable media players/smart phones/pocketpc will must likely be a lot hard to do.

Last edited by SHS; 03-21-2007 at 09:32 AM.
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  #36  
Old 03-21-2007, 07:52 AM
TBrieaddy TBrieaddy is offline
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BTV vs Sage

I have the latest versions of both Sage TV and Beyond TV. Sage is my primary PVR. I have Beyond TV on another computer. I enjoy Sage because of its ease in using the MVP - which I have connected to 2 TV's.

To me, the advantage of Beyond TV is it's commercial skip and DVD recording which is included in the program (extra cost for DVD recording). I wish the commercial skip and DVD recording in Sage was not a customizable option and directly included in Sage TV. Currently I have one of my MVP's going thru a DVD recorder and then into the TV. This way I can easily put any Sage recording onto a DVD.
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  #37  
Old 03-21-2007, 03:13 PM
AngelofDeth AngelofDeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBrieaddy View Post
I have the latest versions of both Sage TV and Beyond TV. Sage is my primary PVR. I have Beyond TV on another computer. I enjoy Sage because of its ease in using the MVP - which I have connected to 2 TV's.

To me, the advantage of Beyond TV is it's commercial skip and DVD recording which is included in the program (extra cost for DVD recording). I wish the commercial skip and DVD recording in Sage was not a customizable option and directly included in Sage TV. Currently I have one of my MVP's going thru a DVD recorder and then into the TV. This way I can easily put any Sage recording onto a DVD.
You can easily put Sage shows on DVD using only Sage.(and the addon of coarse) Also, the DVD burning in BTV is a paid addon, while in Sage its free... Comskip with with comskip monitor takes about 5 minutes to setup, and it also supports automatic skipping, which seems to not be supported in btv.
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  #38  
Old 03-23-2007, 08:49 AM
pratt733 pratt733 is offline
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Like many users here, I've tried them all. I'm very much a DIY person and although I liked the theory behind TiVo, I didn't appreciate the lack of control the end-user has over the interface, functionality, scalability, etc..... I looked into all the "majors" (before MCE) and the only other app I gave serious consideration to was BTV (because I needed client/server functionality). I hadn't built a PVR at the time and was testing on my existing home PCs. It seemed to work okay, but the client/server connectivity wasn't nearly as rock-solid as Sage. That was a deal-breaker. The lack of media center capabilities in the core app was also an issue, as well as the lack of customizability (as compared to Sage). I ended up buying Sage because I wanted to use an X-Card (this was in 2004, I think) and I was very happy, since I didn't have a very fast client PC and there was a plug-in to display the Sage UI over the X-Card. I was also very happy with how easy it was to set up and how reliable it is. I think I was also turned off by BTV's user forum and the general vibe that's there.

I'm not saying I couldn't have gotten everything I wanted from BTV, it's just that I found it in Sage and every question of "I wonder if I can do this" is always answered with a "Yes" after a quick forum search. I've since stopped using the X-Card, since I have a faster client PC and an NVIDIA video card. I checked out BTV recently (4.6) and still didn't like the user interface and, to be honest, my issues are so minor and I don't want to switch apps and introduce a possible whole new set of issues. Also checked out MCE when it came out and wasn't impressed and felt it was way too restrictive. I love that Sage is so customizable and maybe one day I'll learn Studio.

I have to say, though, that Sage has been GREAT to me and without the absolutely WONDERFUL user community, I would have stopped using it when I couldn't solve an issue I was having and bought a TiVo. Not to mention, the user add-ons. I would rather have something that's third-party since it's a little easier to make feature requests and report bugs to someone who's actively working on that module than a large company who has already shifted their development focus to new projects, ya know?? Look how quickly the STVi/plugin developers respond to issues on the forum!!

Bottom line, Sage has completely revolutionized the way I watch TV and I wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING.

That's "Why NOT BeyondTV".

Last edited by pratt733; 03-23-2007 at 09:04 AM.
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  #39  
Old 03-23-2007, 01:56 PM
CollinR CollinR is offline
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Being recently converted to Sage I'll give some input and backup alot of whats already been said.

Sage is highly customizable, I don't even know how they keep people from bypassing licensing... Very customizable, multiples of BTV.

BTV is p0wned by Microsoft... When/if MS desides they don't want competition it wouldn't be hard for them to kill BeyondMedia with a single update. It's totally dependent on windows media player to function, you can't uninstall it and have your media index. If media player doesn't like your tags you are hosed, if media player is allowed to modify the tags... Well you can imagine...

Sage supports the MVP natively and it does a damn fine job of it too.

BTV has no inexpensive client offering, all must be PC clients.

Sage has an OEM product and a customization product.

Out of the box BTV has a better looking interface it seems. About 5 minutes with Sage fixed that... The way I wanted it fixed.

BeyondMedia is NOT a part of BTV, they are not integrated AT ALL.

BTV has good commercial skipping, I don't know about you guys but I have messed with commskip for hours and it's nowhere near as accurate as what comes with BTV.


Sage stores your recording info in a single file, BTV stores each recording's data in a seperate file with the recording. THIS IS SAGE'S MAJOR FLAW... With Beyond if you have a problem with the system all you need is the recordings and their data files. I don't properly understand why SageTV did it this way, it makes backups alot more complicated. I have seen no way to recover from a lost wiz.bin, so if you didn't back it up your recordings are hosed EVEN if you actually have them. There should be some way to scan a directory and reimport the recordings, the epsiodeID is present in the filename that data is somewhere and if it's not it eaily could be. I know that means keeping a copy of the program guide forever but geeze make it possible to get the recordings back. The plugin to help doesn't properly work either as it doesn't get used in scheduling logic so you wind up with duplicates. I'm not saying Sage's wiz.bin craps out alot but there should be able way to recover this data.
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  #40  
Old 03-23-2007, 11:27 PM
stevech stevech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CollinR View Post
Sage stores your recording info in a single file, BTV stores each recording's data in a seperate file with the recording. THIS IS SAGE'S MAJOR FLAW... With Beyond if you have a problem with the system all you need is the recordings and their data files. I don't properly understand why SageTV did it this way, it makes backups alot more complicated. I have seen no way to recover from a lost wiz.bin, so if you didn't back it up your recordings are hosed EVEN if you actually have them.
It seems to me that wiz.bin may be a relational database such as via MySQL, where the preferences and viewing history/status for each show is stored, likely with the EPG ID as the primary key. Nice design, but as CollinR says, SageTV disk reconfiguation or fall-back is frustrating and fragile to a fault because of this. I suppose it gets messy for shows with episode IDs and the like.

I dread the next time I have to change driver letters (thanks, Microsoft) and folders and try to again avoid losing SageTV recordings, given there's no user help at all on this from Sage (with recognition to well intended users here).

Last edited by stevech; 03-23-2007 at 11:30 PM.
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