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  #1  
Old 03-17-2007, 06:45 PM
gpark gpark is offline
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Why NOT BeyondTV?

Hello all,

Long time SageTV user with about 400GB in currently unwatched but archived Sage recordings, have a few PS licenses and a DLink extender, wife and kids watching TV and recording like crazy.

There are some Sage interface things that are a minor annoyance and paying for upgrades makes it a $9+ a month investment but other than that I'm pretty happy.

I've been in a few dust ups between people using BeyondTV and have an opportunity to start using it myself for a very low price.

Can anyone list - point for point - why SageTV is better than BeyondTV.

Much appreciated,
gp
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2007, 07:31 PM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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One word: Customizability. In a quick look through the BeyondTV web site, I didn't see anything remotely equivalent to SageTV Studio or the Downloads section of this forum. If I can't design my own look-and-feel, reorganize existing UI functions, or write plugins that add new functions, I'm not interested, no matter how good the core feature set is.
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  #3  
Old 03-17-2007, 07:37 PM
GbrNole GbrNole is offline
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that and sagetv has had ONE upgrade fee in its existance - same can't be said for btv.

also sage is one install to handle all your needs as a media center - btv is 2 separate pieces of sotware.
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2007, 08:04 PM
AngelofDeth AngelofDeth is offline
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There is actually a "Beyond TV Downloads" section on their message board, and there appear to be at least a few worthwhile addons. It may also be that Beyond TV supports more in the core feature set, such as a web server, and commercial skip(and automated compression before sagetv 6), so there is less customizing that needs done. There isn't an endorsement, but it does appear the BTV (I know next to nothing about it) is at least somewhat extensible. If the MVP performace was as good (I dont know that it isn't) and customizations work, Id be tempted to give it a look, although I doubt I would switch at this point.
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2007, 08:18 PM
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sainswor99 sainswor99 is offline
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I migrated from BeyondTV about a year ago; it was a tough move for me because the interface for BeyondTV is very nice compared to SageTV. However, what sold me on SageTV was:

1. An integrated media center, and
2. Full support for the MediaMVP (there is a user project to add a BTV skin to the MediaMVP, but it's nowhere near as nice as Sage's)

I've also enjoyed Placeshifter; I used Orb before, and was constantly having to use BeyondTV's client to mark shows watched and delete them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GKusnick
One word: Customizability. In a quick look through the BeyondTV web site, I didn't see anything remotely equivalent to SageTV Studio or the Downloads section of this forum. If I can't design my own look-and-feel, reorganize existing UI functions, or write plugins that add new functions, I'm not interested, no matter how good the core feature set is.
Actually, BTV is very customizable; in fact, the skins are managed much more efficiently than SageTV. For skinning, there was no equivalent to Studio; you simply modified a set of images, and you suddenly had a whole new look. Addons were also available, and could be written using Visual Studio. To be honest, I didn't do much work with addons as a BTV user (and I haven't even cracked open SageTV Studio); I just wanted to be clear that BTV is customizable. That's not as much of an edge to SageTV as people would like it to be.

Stu
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2007, 11:40 PM
stevech stevech is offline
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So BTV also supports PC software clients? And the Hauppauge MVP?
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2007, 12:43 AM
AngelofDeth AngelofDeth is offline
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It has been ages since I tried BTV, but yes. It works similarly to SageTV in that you can have networked clients, with a "server" that controls scheduling and recording, or you can do it all in one system. BTV Link would be the equivelent of SageTVClient, while "Beyond TV" would be the counterpart to SageTV MC, although the "media center" part is sold as a separate addon with BTV.
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  #8  
Old 03-18-2007, 03:14 AM
ozfiles ozfiles is offline
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Beyond TV lost me, when they didn't combine the media center part of their software, into the one application.
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  #9  
Old 03-18-2007, 06:17 AM
ybrew ybrew is offline
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There was no media mvp support or any extender support beyond client PCs when I looked.

I preferred the beyond interface (I think - it's been awhile since I looked) but I also preferred sage's bundle of media features into its core product.

I think many of us evaluated both and eventually chose sage.
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  #10  
Old 03-18-2007, 06:33 AM
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sainswor99 sainswor99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevech View Post
So BTV also supports PC software clients? And the Hauppauge MVP?
As mentioned before, BTVLink is the PC Application, and it's an official product of SnapStream. The support for the MediaMVP was unofficial; it's a grass-roots project to port the BTV interface to a web application that is actually built over the Hauppauge drivers.

Here's a link to how the project got started:
http://blogs.snapstream.com/2006/09/...ied-beyond-tv/

It was OK, but not nearly as nice as the Sage extender package. It tended to be sluggish, and there were other quirks with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozfiles
Beyond TV lost me, when they didn't combine the media center part of their software, into the one application.
Amen.

I don't want to sound like a BTV evangelist; obviously, I'm a Sage User now. I think Sage is the better product, but I think that the edge for SageTV is very slight, and I also think that the idiosyncrasies of the SageTV interface (which is showing elements of feature creep) is the only area which inhibits the growth of Sage. To be fair, many of the features provided by Sage (particularly the integration of the media center) are not included in BeyondTV, whcih allows BTV to have a cleaner interface.

I just don't want SageTV to be lulled into a false sense of product advantage; BTV is there, and if they ever integrate their media center product into the BTV product AND find a media extender partnership, there will be trouble afoot.

My .02

Last edited by sainswor99; 03-18-2007 at 06:50 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-18-2007, 12:07 PM
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SHS SHS is offline
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That rigth MediaMVP port is not part of snapstream it is unofficial skin port; it's a grass-roots project BTV interface which I started with baics BTV skin know as Beyond MVP3jr and has growed in to more useful app and has gone to open source project.

Both SageTV and BeyondTV there advantage and disadvantage.

Quote:
Actually, BTV is very customizable; in fact, the skins are managed much more efficiently than SageTV. For skinning, there was no equivalent to Studio; you simply modified a set of images, and you suddenly had a whole new look. Addons were also available, and could be written using Visual Studio. To be honest, I didn't do much work with addons as a BTV user (and I haven't even cracked open SageTV Studio); I just wanted to be clear that BTV is customizable. That's not as much of an edge to SageTV as people would like it to be.
BTV dosen't even come close to being turely customizable like SageTV there is a big diff in interface skinning vs ture customizable interface skinning but like you said you simply modified a set of images in BTV you can't change the layout or move thing arounds which is pettey much boring same look.

Personal I don't preferred the beyond nor sagetv interface all that well to but how ever what is Important I do preferred useable more integrate all in one media center product like sagetv and is far more customization enhancements even knowing the graphical user interface is not all that hot nor bad.

BTV has one major downside you stuck with windows unlike sagetv which also support other category operating systems, like linux and mac (apple pc).
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  #12  
Old 03-18-2007, 03:39 PM
gpark gpark is offline
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Thanks,

IMHO I made a good decision to go with Sage, as I suggest it to others (in competition with MCE and Beyond) I want to make sure I'm not missing anything.

I just set up an HP MCE PC in a customer's house and it was a nightmare goofing around with the odd card set up, lack of clearly ID'd inputs and outputs and multiple software apps crashing into each other, re.

As for "one upgrade fee" for each of the major releases my exisiting licenses have timed out when downloading and installing the next major version.

That means I've shelled out about $240+ in licensing fees not including PlaceShifter licenses which works out to around $8 a month not including the cost of the PC, tuner cards, hard drives, my time, etc. which probably makes it cheaper to get the Tivo but certainly not as much fun. :-)

For me the reasons to go with Sage:

1. Windows & Linux support
2. Multiple 3rd party Tuner (HD & non-HD support)
3. Java PlaceShifter Client
4. Support for 3rd party remote players (DLink, MediaMPV, etc.)
5. Ability to play/compress a DVD
6. Uses standard formats (can share using WMP, DLink Server, etc.)
7. Has a number of 3rd party add-ons & useful mods that are well supported
8. Has a reasonable price
9. Is generally low on bugs, quality interface
10. My 10 year old AND my wife can both use it without calling me
11. Has media features (I'm still trying to figure out how to leave my music library in one place and not have Sage try and copy it...)
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  #13  
Old 03-18-2007, 04:07 PM
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Opus4 Opus4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpark View Post
As for "one upgrade fee" for each of the major releases my exisiting licenses have timed out when downloading and installing the next major version.

That means I've shelled out about $240+ in licensing fees not including PlaceShifter licenses which works out to around $8 a month not including the cost of the PC, tuner cards, hard drives, my time, etc. which probably makes it cheaper to get the Tivo but certainly not as much fun. :-)
I'm not sure what was happening, but there were no license time outs or any other upgrade restrictions for any version prior to v6. And, v6 needs an upgraded license only for SageTV Server, if the old server license was from v4 or earlier. All the old client licenses still work when used with v6.

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  #14  
Old 03-18-2007, 04:33 PM
AngelofDeth AngelofDeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpark View Post
As for "one upgrade fee" for each of the major releases my exisiting licenses have timed out when downloading and installing the next major version.

That means I've shelled out about $240+ in licensing fees not including PlaceShifter licenses which works out to around $8 a month not including the cost of the PC, tuner cards, hard drives, my time, etc. which probably makes it cheaper to get the Tivo but certainly not as much fun. :-)

Well, as Opus just said, I think you wasted a lot of money on "upgrades" that were not necceary, Sage never charged for any upgrades until V6, and only then it was for the server. As for Tivo, I don't really think that is the reason most are using Sage (or beyond tv, or whatever) is cost. The flexibility of a system like Sagetv could only be dreamed of by Tivo...
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  #15  
Old 03-18-2007, 07:47 PM
canuckle canuckle is offline
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I'm confused. Is there upgrade fees? I'm wondering which pvr programs require these.
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  #16  
Old 03-18-2007, 08:11 PM
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jbarr jbarr is offline
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My quick list of why I was sold on SageTV in no particular order:

1. Customizability
2. Place Shifter
3. Media MVP
4. DVD Burning Mod
5. Video Edito mod
6. ComSkip mod
7. Integration of Video, Music, Photos
8. Comprehensive remote Web interface
9. No DRM - files saved as standard .mpg files
10. HD capable (with HDHomeRun)

These features swayed me way from standalone DVRs and PC-based competitory. BeyondTV was a runner up, but SageTV's depth of add-on features won out.
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  #17  
Old 03-18-2007, 10:15 PM
stevech stevech is offline
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BTV seems to be more heavily marketed / gets shelf space, e.g. at Fry's. Not that this means anything in terms of market share or revenue.

I just wish SageTV themselves would improve the UI
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  #18  
Old 03-18-2007, 10:22 PM
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Goodspike Goodspike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbarr View Post
10. HD capable (with HDHomeRun)

.

Well, I assume Beyond is HD cabable with BDA cards, like the Fusion, just as Sage is. I wonder why SiliconDust hasn't developed anything for Beyond?
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  #19  
Old 03-19-2007, 05:23 AM
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sainswor99 sainswor99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHS View Post
BTV dosen't even come close to being turely customizable like SageTV there is a big diff in interface skinning vs ture customizable interface skinning but like you said you simply modified a set of images in BTV you can't change the layout or move thing arounds which is pettey much boring same look.
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.
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  #20  
Old 03-19-2007, 07:24 AM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpark View Post
That means I've shelled out about $240+ in licensing fees not including PlaceShifter licenses which works out to around $8 a month ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Opus4 View Post
I'm not sure what was happening, but there were no license time outs or any other upgrade restrictions for any version prior to v6. And, v6 needs an upgraded license only for SageTV Server, if the old server license was from v4 or earlier. All the old client licenses still work when used with v6.
I was confused on that "$8+ a month" cost also, what is gpark talking about??? I paid for SageTV v2 (server) and then a $30 for the v6 upgrade fee, and that was it. There hasn't been any client or extender license upgrade fees.

As for the BTV vs SageTV comparison, I think SageTV is better overall. But I have used BTV for a year, so I'll list its advantages over SageTV:

1. Built in Commercial Detection and Skipping. SageTV has an add-on, although works as well but requires extra setup.
2. Built in Web server for scheduling and other settings. SageTV has an add-on, and in my opinion is 10 times better than the BTV version.
3. Built in Auto compression on Recorded shows. Again, SageTV has an add-on but requires extra setup. I have no idea how well it works since I haven't tried it.
4. Official add-on for DVD burner, extra cost though. SageTV has an add-on also, but its not officially supported by SageTV.
5. FM tuner listenning support, although no recording support. SageTV has an add-on, but I haven't tried it so have no idea how well it works.

Thats is all, I can't think of anything else.

As for the advantages of SageTV over BeyondTV? I think it's gonna be a very long list and it's considered spamming the forum if I list them all. But I'll list the main features: Full MVP Extender support, Placeshifter client (Windows, Linux, MacOS X), Google/YouTube Videos, DVD support, and tons of other features from customizations.

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.
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Last edited by mayamaniac; 03-19-2007 at 07:27 AM.
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