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  #1  
Old 05-19-2020, 10:03 AM
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timg11 timg11 is offline
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What is the next generation of client - can we create the HD-400?

I'm not sure if this should be posted in Clients Development or Hardware, but it's mostly a client question so I'll start here.

What platform can the SageTV community rally around to create the next generation client/extender device that can support higher resolution and new video formats - the "HD-400" in spirit...

I've asked about the Raspberry Pi 4 - at first glance, it seems to have suitable hardware, but there are significant obstacles.

The Android MiniClient's future doesn't look good.

So I guess that leaves us with x86 platforms for Windows and Linux?
Is there hardware platform that small, low power, and relatively inexpensive that could play the role of a next generation client/extender?
The Intel NUC has been around a while, and it has spawned some imitators. Although these are not small, low power, or inexpensive when compared to a Raspberry Pi class platform. Furthermore, despite their size, these are still normal computers with an operating system that must be updated, a relatively slow bootup process, and the requisite needs for backup and maintenance.

The HD-300 is effectively an embedded system, which seems easier to use. Can the SageTV community (what's left of us) create something similar?
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2020, 11:54 AM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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Although I would love a HD-400 that would handle all of the new video formats, but I do not think it will ever happen.

The market for a dedicated SageTV extender is very limited. I still use them because they are better than anything else and the mini-client stopped working on my FireTV stick. (Also 80% of what we watch is recorded by SageTV.)

Right now every TV in our house has multiple tuning sources:

Family Room: Roku, HD-300
Bedroom: Xfinity Box, HD-300, FireTV
Kitchen: Samsung Smart TV, HD-300 (Samsung runs most streaming services)
Office: Samsung Smart TV, ShieldTV

I would love to have a single device that supports the full SageTV client and streaming services. Unfortunately, such a platform does not exist.

Here is a great example: my wife got a new iPhone, so we have AppleTV+ free for a year. But you can NOT use it on Android TV! Luckily it works on the FireTV and the Roku.

Darby https://www.heydabby.com/ was trying to build a streaming platform, but they are still in preorder.

I am more than willing to support the development of a platform that runs the full SageTV client and other streaming services. Where do I sign up?
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  #3  
Old 05-19-2020, 12:51 PM
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Telecore Telecore is offline
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I've mentioned this before, but I believe the FireTV 4K is the all in one solution that works best with SageTV - and I am not convinced that the miniclient is going to go away anytime soon.

My experience is that the FireTV 4K works better than the Nvidia Shield with the miniclient due to 2 problem areas: A/V syncing and forward and backward skipping. These 2 areas are a problem on the more expensive Nvidia Shield with the miniclient using exoplayer, but not with the much cheaper FireTV 4K device. The FireTV 4K is so inexpensive (as low as $25 on sale), that it doesn't make sense to develop the HD400. I can watch HEVC (H.265) encoded content on the FireTV already with the current versions of SageTV and the miniclient and it appears that the new version of the SageTV server may support 4K as well.

One other thing, the WiFi is so good on the FireTV 4K that I no longer have to have wired ethernet to each TV location.

Also, although I don't have the background for developing android apps, I was able to download Android Studio and download the miniclient code from github and compile and run it on a Windows 10 PC - so it should be not too difficult for someone who is more knowledgeable to maintain it.
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  #4  
Old 05-19-2020, 12:58 PM
trk2 trk2 is offline
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There is no Dolby TrueHD support on 4k FireTV. Here is the link for the HD400 thread last time this was seriously discussed.
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  #5  
Old 05-19-2020, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trk2 View Post
There is no Dolby TrueHD support on 4k FireTV. Here is the link for the HD400 thread last time this was seriously discussed.
For myself, (and probably others), that is not a large concern - it has been my experience that only blu-ray rips would contain TrueHD content. Although I have equipment to playback HD/non-lossy soundtracks, my preference is to rip the DTS or DD version and not transcode it.
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  #6  
Old 05-19-2020, 07:08 PM
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SteveW SteveW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trk2 View Post
There is no Dolby TrueHD support on 4k FireTV. Here is the link for the HD400 thread last time this was seriously discussed.

This would be a concern for me as well. All of my movies are ripped Blurays, and most are either TrueHD or DTS-HD. That's what I love about the extenders, they take and output almost anything you throw at them, and my Onkyo Receiver handles the audio in whichever format handled by the extender. IIRC the android client doesn't support ripped Blurays and DVDs - just MKVs, which was one of the reasons I didn't switch. The extenders are also not at the mercy of Google or Amazon deciding how they want to change how their OS works, or the limits they put on the developers, which can create issues for the app developers.



In the thread quoted I was in favour of a new extender for all of these and other reasons.
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  #7  
Old 05-19-2020, 08:57 PM
wnjj wnjj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveW View Post
The extenders are also not at the mercy of Google or Amazon deciding how they want to change how their OS works, or the limits they put on the developers, which can create issues for the app developers.
This right here is exactly why I dislike the idea of a "generic" box that depends upon forces outside our control. There's enough already enough effort to make sure Windows or Linux updates don't break the server. I love how the HDxxx boxes just do the same thing day in and day out, years on end.

When I read the complaints of device X works, device Y used to until "something changed", try this player and that plus Stuckless' own frustration with the ever changing demands placed on Android devs I'm happy to have no part of that.

I suppose it helps that I have no need for 4k and have yet to try streaming. So for this old video Luddite, extenders will work for quite some time.

The bet best for anything "standard" and supported is a mini-PC running Windows or Linux, IMO. Can those boxes stream the various services or do they need to be Android or Apple?
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  #8  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:17 AM
Wayneb Wayneb is offline
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I have used Odroid N2 boards for Kodi, plays everything has IR built in, is relatively cheap, and has a sensible layout of connectors unlike a Raspberry Pi, based on an Amlogic S922X.

I hate all in one Android boxes like FireTV with their crappy, way too few button remotes.
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  #9  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:46 AM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayneb View Post
I have used Odroid N2 boards for Kodi, plays everything has IR built in, is relatively cheap, and has a sensible layout of connectors unlike a Raspberry Pi, based on an Amlogic S922X.
Any idea if the MiniClient will run on this board? It looks like Android is available for it.
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  #10  
Old 05-20-2020, 11:07 AM
Wayneb Wayneb is offline
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I have only run CoreELEC on my Odroid N2 boards.
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  #11  
Old 05-26-2020, 07:35 AM
valnar valnar is offline
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I'm another happy user of the HD300 and have three. I also don't have anything higher rez than a 1080p TV so with the exception of HEVC content, I'm not hurting for anything more.

I also use Plex in my house, remotely, and for friends. If I do hit the HEVC movie or something the HD300 won't handle, Plex on my Roku will.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, how hard would it be to either create a Plex plugin or Roku app? I would love a dedicated Sigma based HD400 device but without the official Sage staff, I don't see that happening.
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  #12  
Old 05-26-2020, 09:43 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valnar View Post
Instead of reinventing the wheel, how hard would it be to either create a Plex plugin or Roku app?
That's essentially what happened but the platform chosen was AndroidTV. I am not an expert on this but I think you need Java to be able to have a SageTV client unless you want to start over from scratch. I am not sure that Java is available on the Roku. But I believe the SageTV Android client does work on a FireTV.
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  #13  
Old 05-26-2020, 10:55 AM
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RonBoyd RonBoyd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
I am not sure that Java is available on the Roku. But I believe the SageTV Android client does work on a FireTV.
There is no SageTV for ROKU that I am aware of.

The Android Client works with both nVidia Shield and the Fire Cube. However, it is very basic. I could not, for example, find a way to open the right side menu so navigating is quite time-consuming -- and not very intuitive. The playback quality is comparable to the HD300. I, also, was unable to get Closed Captioning to work on either device. I am unsure if the commercial skip works since I didn't stick around long enough to find out.
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2020, 12:32 PM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
The Android Client works with both nVidia Shield and the Fire Cube. However, it is very basic. I could not, for example, find a way to open the right side menu so navigating is quite time-consuming -- and not very intuitive. The playback quality is comparable to the HD300. I, also, was unable to get Closed Captioning to work on either device. I am unsure if the commercial skip works since I didn't stick around long enough to find out.
The Sage MiniCient works as described above as an app on the FireTV sticks (at least the newer 1080p ones and all 4K ones) but they struggle with OTA MPG. I considered moving to Fire Sticks and ditching the extenders when the Miniclient came out, but not being able to reliably watch live TV is a nonstarter for my OTA-only household.

Plex can now handle OTA (both live viewing and as a DVR) and it works on Fire Sticks; I considered dropping Sage completely and using Plex on Fire Sticks, but the DVR doesn't have the capabilities of Sage and the interface would be too much of a learning curve for my whole family. So we'll stick with our HD300s.
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  #15  
Old 05-26-2020, 12:59 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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I agree that for now using SageTV extenders for TV and FireTV, Roku or whatever for other content is the way to go. The only downside to the extenders is the limitation to 1080p which isn't that big a deal yet but will become more of a drawback in the future as we get more used to 4k content.

There is also the issue of having to switch inputs which isn't a big deal for me, but might be for some people. I have bought a couple of 4K Roku TVs and I am quite happy with them - they also have the advantage of having a very good IP based API so that it is easy to control them from my home automation system - Control4.
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  #16  
Old 05-26-2020, 01:14 PM
Wayneb Wayneb is offline
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Originally Posted by wayner View Post
I agree that for now using SageTV extenders for TV and FireTV, Roku or whatever for other content is the way to go. The only downside to the extenders is the limitation to 1080p which isn't that big a deal yet but will become more of a drawback in the future as we get more used to 4k content.

There is also the issue of having to switch inputs which isn't a big deal for me, but might be for some people. I have bought a couple of 4K Roku TVs and I am quite happy with them - they also have the advantage of having a very good IP based API so that it is easy to control them from my home automation system - Control4.
SageTV extenders are fine for now but ATSC 3.0 will obsolete them eventually, the time to try and come up with a replacement is now if SageTV has a future, if not there are other options available and cheap boxes can play high bitrate H.265 content just fine. Kodi with a PVR add-on will work.

Nothing beats the SageTV extenders for people who watch sports and like to do slow motion frame by frame advance to see if a runner in baseball beats the tag or a receiver in football was hit while the ball was still in the air.
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  #17  
Old 05-26-2020, 01:23 PM
Wayneb Wayneb is offline
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Originally Posted by valnar View Post

Instead of reinventing the wheel, how hard would it be to either create a Plex plugin or Roku app? I would love a dedicated Sigma based HD400 device but without the official Sage staff, I don't see that happening.
Making an HD400 out of readily available hardware is not reinventing the wheel, it is just a progression like the HD300 was over the HD200.

I don't expect there to ever be a HD400 developed but would donate to a crowd funded project just like I did for the Mini client, I don't think there are enough interested people left for it ever to become a reality.
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  #18  
Old 05-26-2020, 02:07 PM
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I would donate to a project to port the full client to Android TV.
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  #19  
Old 05-26-2020, 04:24 PM
nyplayer nyplayer is offline
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Originally Posted by NetworkGuy View Post
I would donate to a project to port the full client to Android TV.
Have you tried installing the miniclient ? ... is a full client.
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Last edited by nyplayer; 05-26-2020 at 04:26 PM.
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  #20  
Old 05-26-2020, 05:03 PM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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Have you tried installing the miniclient ? ... is a full client.
I use the mini-client on my Shield TV. What I do not like is the limited controls without bringing up the overlay menu. (I use Harmony remotes.)

I did plan on installing a FLIRC so I could use the full functionality of my Harmony, but never got around to it.
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