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  #1  
Old 04-26-2005, 05:13 AM
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ukmgranger ukmgranger is offline
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SageV3.0 or MCE2005?

I just installed MCE2005 on a PC to check out what it looks/feels like. I am a huge fan of the SageMC.STV and so I thought that I should finally take a look at what it is trying to emulate.

I have to say that I was blown away by the UI. The look and feel is superb. I know all the bits of eye candy are just little things and don't go towards adding functionality etc. but add up all that detail and it makes for a beautiful UI.

I know some people want masses of control over their setup (look at Cayars17) but for me, all I want is to be able to watch my TV/DVD's and listen to music in the cleanest, easiest UI I can.

I'm by no means rejecting SageTV as my frontend, but man MCE2005 is so purdy!!

I really hope that SageTV v3.0 will deliver the goods in terms of UI look and feel (it's not bad now - but it could be sooo much better) and things such as CD playing and improved jukebox features. I would hate to be forced into joining the 'dark-side'.

I really, Really like the Sage community. It is superb with the ammount brainiacs that just come up with all these plugins/STV's etc. That is also something that I would miss with MCE2005.

I guess that I am praying to the Sage gods to come up with something even more outstanding than what they have already accomplished. I know this is no mean feat, but I just hope they can do it.
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  #2  
Old 04-26-2005, 07:00 AM
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Have you tried the MCE STV files that are in the customization forum? They give you much of the look of MCE.
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2005, 07:03 AM
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As the first line of my post states - I am using SageMC.STV at the moment.
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  #4  
Old 04-26-2005, 07:28 AM
jhh jhh is offline
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One thing which kept me away from MCE is this:

Quote:
Record multiple live TV shows at the same time

Media Center 2005 supports multiple-tuner configurations in a maximum of two standard tuners, and for US customers, the addition of one over-the-air DTV/HDTV tuner.
At one time I thought having three tuners was overkill but now I'm glad I have them.

I have to admit that eye candy is nice too and that's probably why I have tried most stv's already.

Jan
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2005, 09:06 AM
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Totally agree with what jhh said. I have 6 tuners, and it works flawlessly with Sage. Not even possible with MCE.

I will have to give MCE a much higher WAF than Sage, but she seems pretty happy with SageMC16x9.
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2005, 09:24 AM
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I think Sage is more attractive because of all the functionality it adds over MCE. My biggest reason for going the Sage route is that darn dvr-ms encrypted format. You can't even put your files on dvd. I have even tried the ripper to extract the mpeg but most of the time it doesn't work and only adds work to archive. And also the tuner limit (I have 5).

Maybe Frey should give chooses to download a full blown version 3 that allows all the functionality we are used to and a limited plug-n-play version?

PS the only thing I use custom STV for is the external player to play my Nero AVC files. I hope this made it into 3.0...
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2005, 10:53 AM
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Has anyone used the SDK for MCE? I wonder if it would allow you to increase the number of supported tuners per computer. The tuner limit is the main reason I wouldn't consider using MCE. The DVR-MS format doesn't really bother me. I know that there are ways to extract the MPEG files from it. I would just figure out what works and do it in the background. I don't mind the extra time it takes to extract because if you make a DVD and trim the file, you all ready have to wait for it to recopy the trimmed portion. I like MCE because it captures all the closed captioning data/XDS data in software with all tuner cards. When I make DVD's, I'd like to keep all that data.
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  #8  
Old 04-27-2005, 02:03 AM
Lucas Lucas is offline
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MCE 2005 is very good. That is if you are prepared to follow the MS limitations like DVR MS encryption and other closed practices.

I feel uncomfortable with getting locked in and not having the flexibility to change things.... if I want to.

To me the MCE STV gives the best of both worlds in my subjective world.

I guess it depends on how much value one puts on the benefits the one has over the other.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2005, 05:17 AM
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silkshadow silkshadow is offline
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I too hope Sage 3.0 brings the beauty of MCE to Sage. However, I'll take functionality over beauty any day. Like maybe a better plugin system so that anyone can add stuff to Sage (like TV on Demand a-la-meedio, please?).

Quote:
Maybe Frey should give chooses to download a full blown version 3 that allows all the functionality we are used to and a limited plug-n-play version?
Thats an interesting idea.
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  #10  
Old 04-27-2005, 06:02 AM
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I think MCE wins hands down right now - but that depends on your environment. For geeks MCE is not a great choise. For the typical household that uses a PVR though Sage does not hold a candle to what MCE offers.

Another example is me . I am pretty much a geek/power user. At first I was put off by some features missing from MCE. After a bit of time using the product though, I realized how well thought out it was and did not miss any of the Sage features. However, I still use Sage on my personal PC so it has something going for it .

If Frey can wrap all the Sage goodness into a package that uses and presents as well as MCE they will have a real winner.
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  #11  
Old 04-27-2005, 06:05 AM
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ukmgranger ukmgranger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlbdude
If Frey can wrap all the Sage goodness into a package that uses and presents as well as MCE they will have a real winner.
Spot on.

Lets just hope that they can do it
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  #12  
Old 04-27-2005, 10:03 AM
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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.
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  #13  
Old 04-27-2005, 10:18 AM
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The items that hit hard for me that MCE was lacking are support for more than two tuners, support for more than one input type (cable box and RF), does not have Intelligent Recording, and has a horrible liveTV buffer.

Once I got past those the benefits far outweighed anything else.

The SDK for MCE is really bad. You pretty much can't customize it at all. It does give you some access into its internal functions though so you can write your own app to sit on top of MCE.

What Sage has (but has not released) is a tool that allows you to actually customize the application.
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  #14  
Old 04-27-2005, 11:15 AM
GbrNole GbrNole is offline
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if mce could use 4 tuners, i hd tuner and had softsled available already then i would probably switch but to be truthful my biggest reason for switching would be because of the very good music jukebox and cd playback.

the eye candy doesn't hurt either but the frequent lockups people complain of are a concern.
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  #15  
Old 04-27-2005, 11:21 AM
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mlbdude mlbdude is offline
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BTW, lockups with nVidia cards seem to have been solved with the 71.89 drivers. Previous 71.x version drivers would cause lockups daily. Of course, the ATI drivers have never locked up .
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  #16  
Old 04-27-2005, 11:26 AM
GbrNole GbrNole is offline
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speaking of ATI cards has anyone had the liberty of comparing the most recent x700, x800 and x850's to the 6200, 6600 and 6800 from a pic quality perspective?
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  #17  
Old 04-27-2005, 11:47 AM
littlerm littlerm is offline
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I was a Sage user for months without problems then switched to MCE2005 strictly because of it's ATSC HD support. I really like everything about it except for the fact that series (season passes) always get screwed up. I had a series set to record "The Andy Griffith Show" and over time it decided to start recording "The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron." I have had this problem numerous times and it is not a reliable PVR. Several others have had this same problem also, it is believed to only happen to those using an ATSC card with a NTSC card. Also the IR blaster does not always work correctly in MCE, sometimes it would tune to the wrong channel for recordings (I have DirecTV), and the serial plugin has major problems. Now I am back to Sage since it has native serial control of DirecTV receivers and can now record HD thanks to Stealth. I'm hoping 3.0 has ATSC HD recording included to make it even easier.
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  #18  
Old 04-27-2005, 12:08 PM
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So, even in the "holiest of holies" MCE, there are problems... Screwing up season passes is a HUGE showstopper for me (along with the tuner limits already mentioned).

I know that Sage also has its problems, but other than the occasional (extremely infrequent) situations where it misses a recording, it has been rock solid with my 6 tuners.

I guess the story here is that no matter what you use, there are going to be some problems. You just have to decide if the problems are things you can live with or not.
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  #19  
Old 04-27-2005, 12:54 PM
jphhughes jphhughes is offline
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I have been using both MCE and SageTV for over a year now. The reason I am using SageTV is that after spending months getting MCE 2003/2004 to work I decided to look for a piece of software that I could reinstall without having to reinstall the entire operating system. Currently I am using SageTV as my primary PVR. MCE is installed on the same machine but it bombed and lost one of the tuners. I have tried to fix it but had no luck. I refuse to reinstall the entire operating system again in order to fix the problem.

MCE is great when it works but when it doesn't its a nightmare
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  #20  
Old 04-27-2005, 01:43 PM
Scriber Scriber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphhughes
MCE is great when it works but when it doesn't its a nightmare
Amen. Plus upgrading is at the OS level too I believe.

I use Sage just for recording on a Server in the basement so my biggest issue (post MCE 2005 that added dual tuners) is the fact a PC can't be a full client. An extra $200 - $300 for an extender w/no other use other than MCE is not too inviting to me.

This may have changed since MCE 2004 (the last I used), although in the minority I prefer the Sage interface as to sorting/grouping recordings.

Not that Sage is perfect, of course.
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