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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 06-28-2011, 10:07 AM
jm9843 jm9843 is offline
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Reference Hardware for an HD300-like Client Solution

I thought that a thread like this might be interesting given that many long-time SageTV users probably migrated from Client setups to the HD line of extenders when they became available. Now that there is seemingly no way to purchase additional extenders, those long dormant client licenses could play a pivotal role in SageTV remaining a viable solution for those users.

The parameters, as I see them, are relatively simple:
  • Low cost. As close to the original cost of the HD300 ($150) as possible - not including software licensing
  • HDMI with bitsreaming of HD audio support
  • Low Power.
  • Small form factor.
  • Meets or exceeds HD300 performance

Additional specs that would be nice to have but weren't included in the above because it would too limit hardware choices or exceeded the ability of the HD300. If included, these should not add significant cost.
  • Integrated IR for out of the box remote support
  • Graphic chipset capable of HDMI 1.4 for 3d Blu-ray/TV support

Please reply if you think I've missed anything and I can edit the original post to include it.

So if you've been down this path recently or have some insight into the current SFF PC offerings, let us know!
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  #2  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:22 AM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Price is going to be the biggest barrier ($150 is hard to hit). You can do one for around $350 wihtout a windows license. As I wouldn't do an atom only a i3 sandy bridge build myself.

You will gain hdmi 1.4 (with 3d support)
speed speed and speed.
Better options for online stuff (like netflix and hulu through third party apps)
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  #3  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:24 AM
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ThePaladinTech ThePaladinTech is offline
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Great Idea!

Only one thing I see right away - There is next to nothing with a built in IR I have found - odd to me as many of these mini boxes proudly proclaim they are great htpc solutions
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  #4  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:24 AM
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How do you license them?
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  #5  
Old 06-28-2011, 11:57 AM
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joematt joematt is offline
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Just do a search for Mini ITX you will find plenty of solutions.

You also need:

Win OS
Case
Power Supply
SageTV Client Lic
Memory
Hard Drive
etc.
Can't see this as a $150 project. If you migrated to extenders you should have some of this stuff.
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  #6  
Old 06-28-2011, 02:34 PM
Bagal Bagal is offline
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I've just recently upgraded my main HTPC to an i3 2100T + an Intel DH67CF, I basically went for the same spec as in Andy's review on missing remote: http://www.missingremote.com/review/...tx-motherboard

I already had case, SSD, blu-ray drive and PSU, so all I bought was the CPU, Motherboard, ram and CPU cooler, total cost was 264 GBP ($422), so I doubt you're ever going to get close to $150 unless it's an Atom system and an Atom can't do what the HD300 can do.

As for integrated IR, the Intel DH67CF motherboard has a CIR header for an IR receiver, the only place I could find a CIR receiver was on eBay, which adds another $20 to the cost but it does mean I no longer have an external IR receiver to worry about...
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  #7  
Old 06-28-2011, 03:24 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Here is a thread I started on mini ITX cases a little while ago. I really like the HD-Plex case but it is over $200 for the case alone. But it is totally silent which is a characteristic that you left out of your specs.

I agree with Plucky that an Atom CPU doesn't make sense when you can get an i3 Sandy Bridge for a little over $100.
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  #8  
Old 06-28-2011, 04:05 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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the hec compucase mini-itx cases are brilliant for the price.
hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC ITX ITX200A Mini
MSI H61I-E35 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz 2 x 256KB L2 Cache 3MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor
Seagate Momentus 5400.6 ST9160314AS 160GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Team Elite 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Desktop Memory

Total price: $323.95 - processor being the most expensive part. Still cheaper than an HD300 though. ;-)
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Last edited by Fuzzy; 06-28-2011 at 05:18 PM. Reason: forgot memory
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  #9  
Old 06-28-2011, 04:15 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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It will add $50-60 to the price but I would definitely go with a SSD.

What is the stock CPU fan like on the i2100 - is it noisy? What about the case fan and PS fan (if there is one)?
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  #10  
Old 06-28-2011, 04:20 PM
david1234 david1234 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
What is the stock CPU fan like on the i2100 - is it noisy? What about the case fan and PS fan (if there is one)?
That thing's so fast, I'd underclock it and run fanless with just a heatsink.

This is my current favorite case...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-068-_-Product
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  #11  
Old 06-28-2011, 04:23 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Yeah but the mini-ITX cases are small and don't fit many heatsinks.

To answer my own question - SPCR has a very recent review of the Scythe Kozuti Low Profile heatsink. They think it performs very well.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1209-page1.html
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Last edited by wayner; 06-28-2011 at 04:25 PM.
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  #12  
Old 06-28-2011, 05:16 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
It will add $50-60 to the price but I would definitely go with a SSD.
The benefits of an SSD is pretty debatable in a sagetv client. Using S3 sleep, with an old laptop drive, it wakes up MUCH faster than my tv does. With 4GB ram, harddrive hits during use are pretty limited.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
What is the stock CPU fan like on the i2100 - is it noisy? What about the case fan and PS fan (if there is one)?
I'm running the stock cooler from my i3-530 in that hec case for my living room, and I can't tell if the system is running or not unless I put my ear to it.
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Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room

Last edited by Fuzzy; 06-28-2011 at 05:20 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-28-2011, 07:13 PM
jchiso jchiso is offline
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What really kills or takes the fun out of builds like this is having to buy a copy of Windows. I guess if you have a spare copy or a system you're willing to dedicate, then it's no big deal. The other thing is the list of decoders or software that you have to buy to get good, appliance-like performance ...
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  #14  
Old 06-28-2011, 07:18 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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the nice thing these days is, that is one in the same. Win 7 will give you pretty much everything you need for video playback. the only other thing I add for smooth sagetv playback is ffdshow (free), simply for better control of the audio chain. I also use ArcSoft TMT3 for BluRay/BDMV playback, but that is for things sage can't do (3DBD, BDLive!, Menus).
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Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
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  #15  
Old 06-28-2011, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagal View Post
I've just recently upgraded my main HTPC to an i3 2100T + an Intel DH67CF, I basically went for the same spec as in Andy's review on missing remote: http://www.missingremote.com/review/...tx-motherboard
Thats 35W for just the CPU, unfortunately. IIRC, the HD300 is ~10W. My marginal energy costs are a little over $0.30/KWh, so that's $6/month to keep it running. (assuming everything else is at 0 watts).
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  #16  
Old 06-28-2011, 08:21 PM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post
Thats 35W for just the CPU, unfortunately. IIRC, the HD300 is ~10W. My marginal energy costs are a little over $0.30/KWh, so that's $6/month to keep it running. (assuming everything else is at 0 watts).
35W is maximum, it idles at less than that. Could probably shave a little more wattage off by running undervoltage. But face the facts, a general purpose CPU is bound to use more wattage than a dedicated solution, specifically designed for a single purpose.
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  #17  
Old 06-28-2011, 09:37 PM
david1234 david1234 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchiso View Post
What really kills or takes the fun out of builds like this is having to buy a copy of Windows. I guess if you have a spare copy or a system you're willing to dedicate, then it's no big deal. The other thing is the list of decoders or software that you have to buy to get good, appliance-like performance ...
<sarcasm>But at least you get another shiny copy of the disk for your 110 bucks!</sarcasm>
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  #18  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:36 PM
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heatvent heatvent is offline
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Are you guys sure you need that much horsepower. I have SageTV client running in my kitchen on an EEETop touchscreen. I thas the old atom N270 single core 1.6ghz processor and GMA 950 graphics on board. It runs win 7 w/ 2gb of RAM. SageTV client works fine, plays HD content well. Now I think the resolution is 1366 x 768 so not really 1080 but it's not that powerful of a setup. I would think a newer dual core setup with ION graphics could handle it better.

Not sure why, but placeshifter doesn't perform as well as the client version.

Any thoughts?
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  #19  
Old 06-29-2011, 01:41 AM
Bagal Bagal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post
Thats 35W for just the CPU, unfortunately. IIRC, the HD300 is ~10W. My marginal energy costs are a little over $0.30/KWh, so that's $6/month to keep it running. (assuming everything else is at 0 watts).
I put a Kill-a-Watt on it after I built it and it's idling at 40W, I'm guessing I could get that figure lower if I swapped the 300W PSU for something smaller and if I didn't have an additional HD connected...

Quote:
Originally Posted by heatvent View Post
Are you guys sure you need that much horsepower. I have SageTV client running in my kitchen on an EEETop touchscreen. I thas the old atom N270 single core 1.6ghz processor and GMA 950 graphics on board. It runs win 7 w/ 2gb of RAM. SageTV client works fine, plays HD content well. Now I think the resolution is 1366 x 768 so not really 1080 but it's not that powerful of a setup. I would think a newer dual core setup with ION graphics could handle it better.
I've got an ION box, I bought it at the same time I purchased my HD300 last September so that I could compare the 2, generally speaking it runs very well and plays most content without any problems once you get it configured correctly of course. The one thing I couldn't get to play without stuttering horribly was 1080i content, which is what UK HD broadcasts are transmitted in. I've had people comment on posts in other forums saying their's work fine but of course they never say what codecs etc they're using. It also doesn't support bitstreaming of HD audio.

I ended up putting the Atom box in the kids bedroom as a client but I don't think I'll be buying any more of them.
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  #20  
Old 06-29-2011, 04:58 AM
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ThePaladinTech ThePaladinTech is offline
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I'm thinking of this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856176025

Or maybe this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856176024

or maybe this one: (although it doesn't include a remote)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856173020

I beleive the AMD one listed first is the newest of the two, and uses the AMD/ATI fusion chipset which is pretty good.

One of the reasons I am looking at Giada is it is one of the few out there that include the IR!

Any thoughts on these?

I am also curious on the thoughts regarding running it as placeshifter client vs a true client
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Retired - Hava, MediaMVP, HD-100, HD-PVR, HVR-2250, Ceton InfiniTV4, Original (white) HDHomeRun Died - HD-100, HD-300

Last edited by ThePaladinTech; 06-30-2011 at 06:03 AM. Reason: Added one more to consider
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