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SageTV Placeshifter Discussion related to the SageTV Placeshifter application produced by SageTV. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to the SageTV Placeshifter software application should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 10-22-2006, 09:52 PM
zubblwump zubblwump is offline
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Improve Placeshifter PQ over LAN?

I'm having a little trouble understanding how (and where) Placeshifter decodes video. I'm noticing that Placeshifter video quality does not appear to be at the same level as it was on my regular client. I've also noticed that it looks a bit better on my laptop than my current interim desktop. This is all over wired LAN with no transcoding. I'm trying to use Placeshifter because I just can't justify paying for several regular client licenses for each computer in my house, when a single Placeshifter license does the trick. The laptop is a Core Duo T2300, 1 GB RAM, and Nvidia 7900GS video. The desktop is a P4 2.4GHz, 512 MB RAM, and Nvidia MX440 video. They've also got different codecs installed, most likely.

This leads me to believe that the decoding is done at the client, but since Placeshifter does not allow you to change your decoder settings, I'm not sure what I can do to improve the desktop's picture quality. I have a lot of questions:
  • Is the difference I'm seeing due to the video card, or decoder? Or does the server have anything to do with it?
  • Would upgrading the desktop to a 6200 help? (It's got to be AGP and low profile, so I'm not sure if something better than the 6200 is available)
  • Is it even possible to get the same picture quality from Placeshifter as from a regular Sage client?
  • If multiple decoders are installed on the Placeshifter client machine, which one is used? Is there something I can do at the system level to assure it used the best decoder for the job?

Answers to as many of the above questions as possible would greatly help me understand what, if anything, I can do.
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2006, 05:45 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zubblwump
  • Is the difference I'm seeing due to the video card, or decoder?
Decoder I believe, the placeshifter is pure software as far as I know, video card has very little impact.
Quote:
Or does the server have anything to do with it?
No server has nothing to do with it.
Quote:
  • Would upgrading the desktop to a 6200 help? (It's got to be AGP and low profile, so I'm not sure if something better than the 6200 is available)
Not likely, like I said above I believe the placeshifter is pure software decoding.
Quote:
  • Is it even possible to get the same picture quality from Placeshifter as from a regular Sage client?
Personally, I don't think so. The Placeshifter doesn't allow tweaking of playback, ie choosing decoders/renderers, that's one of the benefits of the Client.

Quote:
  • If multiple decoders are installed on the Placeshifter client machine, which one is used? Is there something I can do at the system level to assure it used the best decoder for the job?
I believe SageTVPlayer is always used for playback on the Placeshifter and I don't think it can be changed.
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2006, 01:13 PM
Sam Sam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zubblwump
This is all over wired LAN with no transcoding.
For the sake of the thread and others who skim it, I think the above statement is crucial to the answers. Most people would use PS in an environment where transcoding is required, and then that does take place on the server. Thus, as I understand it, the server video card would have nothing to do with the PS speed or image quality but the CPU requirements of the server do include the transcoding overhead.

In the case of PS without transcoding, I don't know the definitive answers. I just wanted to jump in and make sure people realize this thread does not pertain to how PS is more commonly used.

I'm interested in the answers for both with transcoding and no transcoding, but think the answers will vary based on which applies.

Doug
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  #4  
Old 10-23-2006, 02:17 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Server video card never has an impact on client (be it Placeshifter, Extender, or Client) quality.
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2006, 10:25 AM
zubblwump zubblwump is offline
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Sorry, it took me so long to respond back. Personal matters have pulled me away from any HTPC playing the past couple weeks.

I appreciate the answers, although I was hoping they'd be different. Or at least the one about getting placeshifter video up to normal client quality.

I guess my next best option then is to live with placeshifter's relative marginal quality over wired LAN, and hope the boys at Sage switch the client licenses to the same structure as the MVP and Placeshifter clients.

I don't have a problem purchases a couple regular client licenses for PCs/TV in the house, but can't afford to buy one for every room. Since Placeshifter's "floating" license structure allows me to do this with only a couple licenses, I was hoping it was the solution. But if the quality can never reach regular client levels, that really puts a damper on things.

Anyone know if commonizing the licensing structure is being considered? This method has always seemed the most fair to me. Install it any place you may need it, but only allow the number of licenses that were purchased to be run at the same time.
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2006, 11:50 AM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zubblwump
Anyone know if commonizing the licensing structure is being considered?
Apparently there are technical reasons why that's not feasible:

http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/show...8&postcount=16
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2006, 04:08 PM
zubblwump zubblwump is offline
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Unfortuntely, that post doesn't explain much to me. What security issues are preventing Sage Client from getting it's license from the server? Can anyone explain why it's not possible?

I'm not saying I want to be able to use the same licence for Placeshifter, MVP, and Client. (Although that would offer even more flexability) All I was hoping for was the ability to install a full Sage client in my living room, bedroom, and basement theater room without needing a client licence for all three. Since I'll never be in more than one of the above locations at any given time, I really only need one license. I'd buy two, on the off chance my wife is actually using Sage in another location. This license model would also allow me to easily build a new client machines, or experiment with functionality using older parts I have lying around from time to time without needing a seperate licence.

Please keep in mind, I truely do appreciate all that Sage/Frey gives us in terms of upgrades and affordable pricing. That is more than fair, IMO. I'd just prefer the flexability that a floating licence model would provide.

Last edited by zubblwump; 11-06-2006 at 09:43 PM.
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  #8  
Old 11-06-2006, 04:21 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zubblwump
Unfortuntely, that post doesn't explain much to me. What security issues are preventing Sage Client from getting it's client from the server? Can anyone explain why it's not possible?
I assume a more detailed explantion would require proprietary information they don't want to give away.
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