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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.

View Poll Results: Should Placeshifter / Client software just be one unit / license
Yes, this would make things nice & easy 24 61.54%
No, (if you don't think so reply to this post with why if you don't mind) 15 38.46%
Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 10-26-2010, 04:44 PM
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Any chance of rolling Placeshifter and Client into one product?

This has been talked about a bit before, but I wanted to bring it up again. . .

I find it strange that Placeshifter and Client behave so differently.
The basic difference from what I can tell, is the client is made for internal "intranet" use on your home network, and placeshifter is for slingbox style
out over the internet.

Yes i get that each works very differently. . .e.g. Placeshifter is doing
telling the server to transcode the video and send it at some rate across the net, whereas client usually does no transcoding. . .

What's interesting is that either the HD-200 and/or HD-300 do both
depending on the situation.

I feel like the Placeshifter / Client software versions for the PC/Mac should just be rolled up into one product, with one license, and then just work. . .

thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2010, 05:07 PM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Sage charges a very reasonable fee as it is and they are 2 separate products and do 2 separate things. I see no reason to roll it into one license.
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2010, 05:33 PM
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Oh i'm not arguing about the pricing. . . I just don't understand why not just have it all in one, especially since (again correct me if I'm wrong here), the extenders have all the features of both.
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2010, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsean View Post
...especially since (again correct me if I'm wrong here), the extenders have all the features of both.
You're wrong; the extenders do not have all the features of both. The extenders are basically hardware Placeshifters (or if you prefer, Placeshifter is a software extender). On a LAN they behave like Placeshifter on a LAN. Away from home they behave like a remote Placeshifter. In all cases (local or remote) the Placeshifter or extender UI executes on the server using the server's file system; only the screen updates and media playback happen on the client.

SageTV Client is a completely different architecture in which everything executes on the client, using the client's file system. Media files are read directly by the client over the network where possible. Only the database interactions are forwarded to the server. So Client is much more scalable to large systems, since almost everything is offloaded from the server to the client.

Client and Placeshifter can coexist perfectly well on one machine, so if price isn't the issue, just install them both and use whichever one suits your needs.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:53 PM
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OK that makes sense (sorry for being a dunce, I always get confused about their respective functionalities).

But even so. . . it seems to me, you're best chance for success at home with multiple "clients" (placeshifters, extenders, whatever), is to be using a LAN at home. Wi-fi can work. . .but you are subject to a lot of potential problems. . . and same goes if you try to do the whole ethernet over power line thing. . .

So. . .wouldn't it make more sense to bundle the software client/placeshifter together, and have them be one product? It could then detect then environment, and go into full "client" mode or placeshifter mode depending on if you are going out over the internet/connection speed and the like?

It feels really weird to me. . .to have 2 different pieces of software and force the user to choose which one. . .
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2010, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsean View Post
It feels really weird to me. . .to have 2 different pieces of software and force the user to choose which one. . .
How many flavors of Windows Vista were there?
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2010, 07:40 PM
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If that's what you want, just use Placeshifter, it works just fine on a LAN, and like extenders it skips transcoding if you're on the lan.

Client is completely different, relying almost entirely on Directshow and allowing tweaking of decoders/filters.

Another thing to consider. SageClient and SageTV Media Center are basically identical except for recording backend. Placeshifter is an entirely different playback architecture. They're different apps/products you can't really combine them any more than you could say Windows and Mac.
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2010, 09:47 PM
Spectrum Spectrum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKusnick View Post
You're wrong; the extenders do not have all the features of both. The extenders are basically hardware Placeshifters (or if you prefer, Placeshifter is a software extender). On a LAN they behave like Placeshifter on a LAN.
They may be close but they aren't exact. Case in point: HDPVR playback with placeshifter on a Gb network looks great, until you try to FF or RW. The timecode jumps all over the place making comskip useless. Force it to transcode and it works fine, albeit at a reduced quality. I reported this as a bug for for V7 and the response was basically we know, it's got to do with the backend, don't hold your breath but we may look at it in the future. I don't have any extenders, but something tells me they don't exhibit this behavior.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
If that's what you want, just use Placeshifter, it works just fine on a LAN, and like extenders it skips transcoding if you're on the lan.
Except for h264 from an HDPVR See above.
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2010, 10:10 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Personally, I'd just prefer them to roll placeshifing (variable data rate server based compression) as an option to the sage client. You would then have the advantages of the client (a full media app - hardware acelleration, local UI generation, SendMessage based control, etc), but have the ability to use of over slower connections.
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2010, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
Personally, I'd just prefer them to roll placeshifing (variable data rate server based compression) as an option to the sage client. You would then have the advantages of the client (a full media app - hardware acelleration, local UI generation, SendMessage based control, etc), but have the ability to use of over slower connections.
No you wouldn't. Because the Client UI executes locally, it's constantly making remote method calls to the server for database access, typically many such calls per screen update. This causes unacceptably slow UI performance over slow connections. (Try it using a VPN.) The whole point of Placeshifter is to get around this limitation by running the UI on the server, so the DB accesses are local and only the screen updates are remoted. It's a completely different architecture and you can't just roll features of one into the other in either direction.

As for bundling them both into one installer, the current Placeshifter installer is 25MB and the Client installer is 65MB. At a guess the combined installer would be at least three times the size of the Placeshifter installer alone. So why would a Placeshifter user want to pay more for all that extra baggage they're never going to use?
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  #11  
Old 10-27-2010, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKusnick View Post
So why would a Placeshifter user want to pay more for all that extra baggage they're never going to use?
Precisely what I was struggling with as I read this thread. My family doesn't Placeshift much. We have a single license which came with the WHS install of SageTV and it's very rarely used. Rolling it into the client would then give us two licenses for Placeshifter we rarely use, yet had to pay for.
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  #12  
Old 10-27-2010, 07:23 AM
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And I think it goes back to understanding there design and techical reasons for there being 2 seperate applications. And the Placeshifter software client precludes playing DVDs. Any of my PC's (including laptops) have a PC client. The laptop also has a Placeshifter client for going on the road. But with extenders working even better I'm down to 2 PC's running Sage client.

Gerry
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  #13  
Old 10-27-2010, 03:13 PM
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Well i'm better understaning the design / technical reasons. . .

But the thing is if you buy a license for Placeshifter. . . are there not times you are going to use it at home? And if so. . .wouldn't you prefer it to work like "client" rather than "placeshifter client"? (Assuming of course that you had the hardware that could handle it?)

Then you don't have as much load on your server. . . and don't really have to choose which one, which for a lot of folks (including me) is not always an easy choice to understand / make.

I do also get the price argument. . . i mean if you know what you are doing, i suppose its fine to have them seperate. . .but that doesn't mean you couldn't bundle / sell them together as well. . .

Quote:
As for bundling them both into one installer, the current Placeshifter installer is 25MB and the Client installer is 65MB. At a guess the combined installer would be at least three times the size of the Placeshifter installer alone. So why would a Placeshifter user want to pay more for all that extra baggage they're never going to use?
The issue here is WAF. . . she says "can i watch our recordings on my laptop?", And I say yes from anywhere within reason. I could install just Placeshifter. . . but then she can't play any dvd rips. . .

I could install client. . .and then she could play dvd's (i guess only at home in another room though). . .but then she can't take her laptop on the road and do the same thing. . . (or at least it will be too slow to use)

And if I install both. . . then I have to try and explain the difference. . .which obviously I've been struggling with. . .

Like I said, it seems to me you could at least offer them / bundle them together as one package. . . and write some code to choose modes based on environmental situation. . .
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  #14  
Old 10-27-2010, 03:21 PM
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Everyone wishes Clent and Placeshifter could share licenses, but the architecture just doesn't allow it.
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  #15  
Old 10-27-2010, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsean View Post
Like I said, it seems to me you could at least offer them / bundle them together as one package. . . and write some code to choose modes based on environmental situation. . .
I agree with this concept. If on a laptop I have installed both the placeshifter and client, couldn't there be "some glue" that would automatically (based on some reasonable, and configurable criteria) determine which one to run. The WAF would definitely increase.
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  #16  
Old 10-27-2010, 04:35 PM
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I run client PCs exclusively for extenders, and use Sage Client on all of them. They are exclusive HTPCs, with only apps/decoders installed that I want to launch from Sage.

My wifes laptop runs Client wirelessly for TV and media playback, although it is not used exclusively as a Sage box.

My laptop runs Client when I am at home, and Placeshifter anywhere else I can hook up.

I keep the interface on the server simple to aid in my Placeshifting over slower hotel or wifi connections. The clients have customized interfaces with fanart which is handled easily over a local Gb network.

Grant
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  #17  
Old 10-27-2010, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MTisza View Post
If on a laptop I have installed both the placeshifter and client, couldn't there be "some glue" that would automatically (based on some reasonable, and configurable criteria) determine which one to run.
Sure, anybody fluent in VBScript, PowerShell, or similar scripting tools should be able to whip up something that tests to see if you're on your home LAN and launches Client or Placeshifter as appropriate.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:02 PM
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I would kind of liken it to the way the HD200/HD300 Extenders can work as Full clients or Placeshifters. Just add the same logic to the software...
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  #19  
Old 10-28-2010, 01:37 AM
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I would kind of liken it to the way the HD200/HD300 Extenders can work as Full clients or Placeshifters. Just add the same logic to the software...
See post #4. The extenders never work as full clients; they run either in extender mode (which is like a Placeshifter client) or in standalone mode (which is not a client at all). In extender mode they can connect either locally or remotely (like the software Placeshifter). But in no case do they do what SageTV Client does, running the UI on the client hardware while connected to a SageTV server for media database access.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by sdsean View Post
But the thing is if you buy a license for Placeshifter. . . are there not times you are going to use it at home? And if so. . .wouldn't you prefer it to work like "client" rather than "placeshifter client"? (Assuming of course that you had the hardware that could handle it?)
In my house, the answer is no. First, I never bought a license for it. One just happened to come bundled with the WHS SageTV (which I initially never realized). That said, Placeshifter is never used in the home, only during travel. If we're at home, we have a full HTPC wherever we want to watch something. Personally, I don't see a benefit to using Placeshifter at home. If I'm home, why not use the full client?

Quote:
Then you don't have as much load on your server. . . and don't really have to choose which one, which for a lot of folks (including me) is not always an easy choice to understand / make.
Ahhh... here's where the issue seems to be. My server's beefy enough to handle just about anything I throw at it, so this situation would never even cross my mind. I do understand where you're coming from now, though. Allow me to play devil's advocate here for a moment. Would it make more sense for you to upgrade your server for your own (newly discovered?) requirements or for SageTV to put money and resources meeting the needs of an insufficient server? It seems like the server has outgrown it's original purpose and may need to be revisited. (Increased WAF is certainly grounds for upgrading! )

I work in IT, so this sounds like a user coming to me and saying, "I created an Excel spreadsheet which is 500MB in size and it takes forever to open. Can we increase the speed of the network so it opens faster?" In this scenario, the first course of action would be to figure out if the spreadsheet could be shrunk or moved to something better designed to handle the amount of data, such as Access. In both cases, the destination (user) is not where we'd try to fix the issue. We won't increase bandwidth for this one spreadsheet because it's going to keep growing, causing the same issue again later.

Quote:
I do also get the price argument. . . i mean if you know what you are doing, i suppose its fine to have them seperate. . .but that doesn't mean you couldn't bundle / sell them together as well. . .
The way it is, each person can buy what they find necessary. Your issue seems to be with integration. But, once that happens, I can't buy what I find necessary. I'll be subsidizing other people.

Quote:
The issue here is WAF. . . she says "can i watch our recordings on my laptop?", And I say yes from anywhere within reason. I could install just Placeshifter. . . but then she can't play any dvd rips. . .
Not trying to tell you what to do here, but rather trying to find alternatives (within your power) for your situation. Couldn't she take a physical DVD with her when she wants to watch one? You mentioned doing this at home, so carrying 1 or 2 discs shouldn't be an issue. If this is away from home, then I'm sure the laptop has a carrying case more discs could be put in. Since you obviously have them ripped, you don't need them at home.

I'm also inferring that wireless is partly to blame for the DVD issue at home. In that case, you might want to install some LAN jacks wherever she might want to watch a DVD. Another temporary solution would be to create lesser quality DVD rips. This will obviously cause issues with storage requirements, which is why I said it's temporary.
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