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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 06-21-2009, 03:36 PM
SzDoc SzDoc is offline
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Yet another absurd noob setup post...

So, I've had a series 2 Tivo for years. It's a good device. It's dying. And, I'd like to be able to get saved TV to 2 TVs. I'm a serious computer geek, but I'm new to the whole PC/Video thing. My needs are relatively simple:

Record analog cable to something.
Play it back later on 2 TVs.
Headless box that I can stuff on the network someplace and manage via PC.

I have no need to watch Internet content, look at photographs, etc. I don't need to save DVDs.

I think the HP Mediaserver is a good option for me from a server standpoint.

So, it appears that I need:
2 Sage HD Theater devices
The Sage WHS package and some client licences.
The HP Media Server

What do I use for a tuner? I have no need for OTA. And, the HDHR appears to be only digital. I only need to record analog cable (until our provider makes us go digital...)

Will the HP server have the needed horsepower?

Is there some simple way to stuff a second HD into it, configure it with the required 64M blocks, and use that drive alone for recordings?

Does the HP server have the horsepower to support at least some degree of file compression?

Can I stuff a tuner card into it?

I'm pretty skilled at hacking Windows and setting up software, so I'm not so concerned about that.

I have read through these boards for 2 hours, and I'm more confused now than when I started.


Thanks in advance for any help this obviously skilled community can provide.
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  #2  
Old 06-21-2009, 03:59 PM
bcjenkins bcjenkins is offline
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Redonkulous answer to an absurd post

I would get 2 HDPVRs which will allow you to record HD when you decide to move to it. With the low processor specs on a HP media server, you won't be doing much with transcoding or commercial detection though. Otherwise, look for a good MPEG-2 USB capture device.

B
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  #3  
Old 06-21-2009, 04:10 PM
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wrems wrems is offline
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Sounds like you picked this stuff up pretty quick for only a 2 hour crash course!

Not to add any additional confusion to the matter but you may want to look into any clear QAM channels coming in on your cable feed. The HDHR can pick those up and will be better quality than the analog feed. You may want to leverage both feeds but depending you may be able to get all/most of your current analog lineup in clear QAM… Also picking up the QAM stations now will better future proof you when they do pull the analog feed.

You can’t go wrong with the HD200’s.
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  #4  
Old 06-21-2009, 04:24 PM
SzDoc SzDoc is offline
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BCJenkins: If by this you mean basic DVRs to live near the TVs, this is not a good option due to noise. Also, I don't plan on doing any transcoding, unless I am missing something. And, commercial detection is not a necessity.

wrems: How do I figure out whether the local (horrible) cable provider has any clear QAM data available without buying gear first?

I'm pretty sold on the HD200. Now I just need to figure out how to feed them...

Thanks!
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  #5  
Old 06-21-2009, 04:26 PM
SzDoc SzDoc is offline
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Another question to bcjenkins: How does one get data into the HDPVR? And, how does it interface with a MHS box? Dumb, I know...
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  #6  
Old 06-21-2009, 04:32 PM
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wrems wrems is offline
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http://www.silicondust.com/hdhomerun/channels_us
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  #7  
Old 06-21-2009, 05:53 PM
SzDoc SzDoc is offline
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OTA digital is of little value to me. I live in a relatively small town and watch virtually no network TV. The only stuff listed on the linked page appeared to be OTA network.
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  #8  
Old 06-21-2009, 05:56 PM
SzDoc SzDoc is offline
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Never mind...The local cable provider apparently only provides the local networks ("QAM256" appears to be the type.) There are about 20 stations listed as "unknown" and several "music choice" channels. No proper cable programming, though...
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  #9  
Old 06-21-2009, 06:33 PM
bcjenkins bcjenkins is offline
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you use the HDPVR to capture from a cable set top box and it connects to the WHS via usb.

B
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  #10  
Old 06-21-2009, 06:42 PM
SzDoc SzDoc is offline
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Ah. Trying hard to avoid STB. As noted, the idea is to try to record from analog cable. Although that may not be a great idea long term. The whole affair of IR blasters to reset channels of STB to allow for recording always seemed a bit kludgy to me. But then, I'm only now looking into trying to do more than basic Tivo on basic cable.
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  #11  
Old 06-21-2009, 07:40 PM
bcjenkins bcjenkins is offline
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sorry, try this: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/produc...a_hvr1950.html
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2009, 04:06 AM
dgeezer dgeezer is offline
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Recording Premium Content?

Have you considered using an older pc with XP? This way you could use the older analogue cards and easily record regular cable. No cable box is required assuming you aren't recording premium content ( HBO etc. ).

My system has 2 pvr-150 analogue cards in an older athlon 64 emachines pc. It runs headless and serves 2 extenders. 1 hd200 and 1 hd100. It's a dedicated Sage TV server with no other functions. It's stable enough to go for weeks without even a reboot.

I just looked at the Hauppauge site and sure enough they no longer list the old analogue cards. Only the newer HVR, combo digital analogue cards.


BTW, the PVR-150 cards are looking pretty cheap on ebay these days.....
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  #13  
Old 06-22-2009, 06:32 AM
SzDoc SzDoc is offline
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An old box is not a bad idea. I build all my own PCs, but it's time consuming and I'm a doc. So, I was looking for something a bit more turnkey. At present, I have no old desktop machines around, as we moved last year and I cleaned house somewhat. What I MIGHT try is one of these USB tuners (a la the 1950) plugged into an old notebook (of which, for whatever reason, I have 2 lying about), saving to a USB HD. If it's SD, maybe USB external drives will work. It's fairly clear they don't have the transfer rate for HD.

Anyway, my interest in the HP was largely related to sheer capacity, intrinsic redundancy (reducing backup requirements) and an interest in trying network gear with WHS.

Thanks all.
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  #14  
Old 06-22-2009, 07:52 AM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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You can record to external USB drives (in HD) with no problem. I have recorded three HD programs at once, on one single external USB drive, with no issues whatsoever.

You should be able to use any of the analog cards/tuners that Sage supports (see "requirements" page on this site). If you get a hybrid that has one analog and one digital (with QAM), you can get all your analog cable stations and then get the unencrypted QAMs in the other tuner (just split your cable and plug into each). And yes, QAM is typically not "cable" stations - it's typically your locals, plus some cable access channels, PPV preview channels, etc. You won't get ESPN, CNN, etc., on QAM (at least not in most US cities... or unless your cable company screwed up and left them unencrypted!).

Check my attachment in this thread (first post) for some more help.
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41428
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  #15  
Old 06-22-2009, 08:25 AM
SzDoc SzDoc is offline
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pjpjpjpj: Thanks. Will proceed forthwith.

I saw your post yesterday, but I cannot save the attachment on my machine, in either FF or Opera. Not clear why.
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  #16  
Old 06-22-2009, 12:17 PM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SzDoc View Post
Record analog cable to something.
Play it back later on 2 TVs.
Headless box that I can stuff on the network someplace and manage via PC.
Sage can do this without a sweat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SzDoc View Post
So, it appears that I need:
2 Sage HD Theater devices
That would be perfect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SzDoc View Post
The Sage WHS package and some client licences.
You wouldn't have to have any clients, but it's sometimes easier to use that than to remote login to the headless machine. either is easy on the local net, a client would let you watch TV too, where a remote login would be no cost. I do both, but had the client from long ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SzDoc View Post
The HP Media Server
Which one????????

Quote:
Originally Posted by SzDoc View Post
What do I use for a tuner? I have no need for OTA. And, the HDHR appears to be only digital. I only need to record analog cable (until our provider makes us go digital...)
Any tuner on the Sage list that will also work with the Windoze OS that is on the server ???


Quote:
Originally Posted by SzDoc View Post
Will the HP server have the needed horsepower?
Easy, the tuners do all the work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SzDoc View Post
Is there some simple way to stuff a second HD into it, configure it with the required 64M blocks, and use that drive alone for recordings?
Both of the MediaSmart systems I see say they'll handle 2 drives. There is a FAQ to do the 64K blocks in the server software.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SzDoc View Post
Does the HP server have the horsepower to support at least some degree of file compression?
It'll take a while, but I use to do it with my old Celeron!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SzDoc View Post
Can I stuff a tuner card into it?
Can't tell from the web site. If not, get one of the USB based tuners that work with SageTV.
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  #17  
Old 06-22-2009, 02:32 PM
SzDoc SzDoc is offline
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MattHelm: I can't get the quote mechanism to work on your post effectively.

In re: client Sage licenses: I'd probably do one just for scheduling recording. I do not, however, watch TV on PCs.

In re: Which HP media server: Probably the EX485, into which I would put 2 additional 750 drives for media storage. It's configured for 4 drives, and comes with 1.

In re: tuner: I'll definitely get one of the USB Hauppage devices, then.

Thanks much.

Current plan: Get one of the HD Theater devices and a USB tuner. Divert an old notebook as a Sage testbed. If that goes, get the HP and some drives, and have at it.

Thanks again.
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  #18  
Old 06-22-2009, 03:39 PM
Peter_h Peter_h is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SzDoc View Post
In re: client Sage licenses: I'd probably do one just for scheduling recording. I do not, however, watch TV on PCs.
If that is all you are going to use the client license for then save your money and just install Neilms Web Server. Then you can access a web server from any PC and manage your scheduling and much more, there.
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  #19  
Old 06-22-2009, 04:05 PM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SzDoc View Post
MattHelm: I can't get the quote mechanism to work on your post effectively.
Hmmm. Wonder why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SzDoc View Post
In re: client Sage licenses: I'd probably do one just for scheduling recording. I do not, however, watch TV on PCs.

You can do that with remote login, or as someone else said, the web interface. (I use RealVNC (free version), but others use other's.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SzDoc View Post
In re: Which HP media server: Probably the EX485, into which I would put 2 additional 750 drives for media storage. It's configured for 4 drives, and comes with 1.

Yes, on the drives, that's the one I was looking at. Can't find any info on a PCI slot. Can't believe they'd make one without, but can't find any talk about one.

You could build your own system, that way you could use PCI or PCIe tuner cards. As you can see, I've done that with all of mine.
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  #20  
Old 06-22-2009, 05:37 PM
SzDoc SzDoc is offline
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Might do the web server thing once I have the media server set up. I'm plenty used to Telnet, so it should be straightforward.

As regards building my own box: I have built my last ten or so personal and office boxes. I just don't feel like taking the time at present. Given that I'm talking about recording one channel at a time, a USB tuner ought to be plenty. Also, I like the compact form factor of the HP box. We live in a small place and space is at a premium. There's a good slot for it in my "server" rack.
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