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SageTV HD Theater - Media Player Discussion related to using the SageTV HD Theater as a Media Player, i.e.: in use while not connected to a SageTV server. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to using a SageTV HD Theater as a Media Player should be posted here. Use the SageTV Media Extender forum for issues related to using it while connected to a SageTV server.

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  #1  
Old 04-16-2009, 02:06 PM
PredatorVI PredatorVI is offline
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DVD/Movie functionality HD Theater vs. SageTV

I just got my SageTV MC and one client license primarily to do DVR stuff.

I'm now pondering a couple of SageTV HD Theater units or a couple of slim/HTPC Windows systems running SageTV Client to replace my old XBOX systems running XBMC (which I LOVE!!!!)

I have a bit of frustration on my end coming from XBMC because of the lack of DVD ISO support or built-in meta data/cover art for movies (these seem to be a theme of features people want). I use the cover art all the time, especially since my 4 year old can't read yet and my other kids love seeing which actors are in which movies. It's also nice to have the synopsis of movies and I'd sure like to not have to do it manually for over 250 movies.

I know there are some add-ons to SageTV MC to help overcome these two concerns, but I still have some general questions:
  • In the default SageTV MC configuration, how does browsing/selecting the VOB files work? All my DVD's are currently in ISO format and it won't see them. Do I have to manually drill down/browse to the specfic VOB file or does it collapse the DVD folder structure into a single entry in a list?
  • On the HDTheater, am I essentially browsing a file/folder structure for the ISO's or does it natively support a media library with cover art and such by default?
    • If not supported by default, can any of the plug-ins be installed on the HD Theater (stand-alone mode) to add additional functionality (like metadata scrapers) or is it fixed to the functionality built into the system?
  • What would it take to get these features supported natively in SageTV or on the HD Theater?
Regarding the ISO support, I find it perplexing that it isn't more widely supported. Keeping the original content and quality in it's native format and managed from a single file seems like a no brainer. If some open source folks can do it remotely using an ancient platform like the original XBOX, why don't more projects do it?

And regarding the scrapers and cover art, media distribution and the promise of centrally housing and distributing media to it's various locations and formats is really about the experience and added value that digital formats bring, expecially as HD becomes the standard. In my mind, look and feel should have as high of a priority as the core functionality.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:14 AM
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Slack Slack is offline
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SageTV as a media center is not ready to replace XBMC just yet. YMMV. I still use XBMC for all the kid movies, my concert videos, and music. With a wireless controller in hand I can whip up a playlist in no time flat.

Obviosly anything HD will require Sage. So it gets used in that regard, but I don;t nee to tell you...the GUI even SageMC is no match for XBMC.

That being said. Cover art works fine in SageTV, at least it does for those XBMC folks who have a folder.jpg for all their dvd, and album cover art. An added benefit is this approach seems to be widely supported - My wife's samsung mp3 player gets album art this way, and my sandisk sansa player gets album art this way. SageTV also will find and use folder.jpg images.

Sorry but I never used a scraper or the library functions in XBMC, as I just organised everthing into folders on a NAS share, way back in the days of XBMP, before scrapers got so easy to use.


As for ISO support in SageTV I believe I read that you merely need to add the .iso as a supported file type in the Sagetv properties file, and ISO support will be enabled. I read that just recently but doubt I could find the thread with a search. Try the user manual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PredatorVI View Post
running XBMC (which I LOVE!!!!)

I have a bit of frustration on my end coming from XBMC because of the lack of DVD ISO support or built-in meta data/cover art for movies (these seem to be a theme of features people want). I use the cover art all the time, especially since my 4 year old can't read yet and my other kids love seeing which actors are in which movies. It's also nice to have the synopsis of movies and I'd sure like to not have to do it manually for over 250 movies.
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2009, 09:42 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PredatorVI View Post
I know there are some add-ons to SageTV MC to help overcome these two concerns, but I still have some general questions:
  • In the default SageTV MC configuration, how does browsing/selecting the VOB files work? All my DVD's are currently in ISO format and it won't see them. Do I have to manually drill down/browse to the specfic VOB file or does it collapse the DVD folder structure into a single entry in a list?
SageTV supports DVDs (folders) as units, it shows up as a single unit and all DVD functionality is retained.

Also SageTV natively supports coverart and metadata, just not the automatic retrieval of it. Something like Stuckless' batch media tools can do that.

Quote:
  • On the HDTheater, am I essentially browsing a file/folder structure for the ISO's or does it natively support a media library with cover art and such by default?
    • If not supported by default, can any of the plug-ins be installed on the HD Theater (stand-alone mode) to add additional functionality (like metadata scrapers) or is it fixed to the functionality built into the system?
You can do that, but you can import them and it will display coverart (not entirely sure if it will display the metadata. Customizations are possible but there aren't many yet.

Quote:
Regarding the ISO support, I find it perplexing that it isn't more widely supported. Keeping the original content and quality in it's native format and managed from a single file seems like a no brainer.
ISOs are a royal PITA. A folder (with DVD contents) is the same logical idea, an ISO is just a folder that you can't access the contents of. ISOs require mounting/unmounting. Almost everything supports playing DVD folder structures directly. And there's no quality difference.

Quote:
If some open source folks can do it remotely using an ancient platform like the original XBOX, why don't more projects do it?
Because ISOs are an antiquated idea. They used to be necessary because of limitations of playback software, but as those limitations were eliminated there became no compelling reason to use ISOs as folders are just simpler on the whole.

Oh, but the HD100/HD200 do support playing ISOs. I believe in either extender or standalone mode.
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2009, 09:11 AM
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metapath metapath is offline
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> Oh, but the HD100/HD200 do support playing ISOs.
> I believe in either extender or standalone mode.

ISO support on the HD200 is much much better in standalone mode than it is in extender mode. Dunno why (and it's aggravating at times) but ISO's work well as long as you remember not to connect to your Sage server, but run the HD200 standalone.
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