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Old 09-03-2009, 07:26 AM
bcloud bcloud is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Posts: 7
Need Hardware Advice - New Server for transcoding vs. more HD200s

I have been using SageTV for five+ years. I dabbled in some of the customizations, etc, back in version 2 until I figured out my WAF was more dependent on time spent fiddling with electronics than on features of said electronics.

As a result, I am currently running a vanilla Sage 6.6 install on my "server" in our workout room. We watch there when we exercise, and I have an HD200 at our big screen and a media mvp in the master bedroom.

That is where things stood prior to Comcast turning my world on ear by stopping analog transmission. For the moment we are using clear QAM on our big screen and I have purchased one HDHR. I am at peace with the idea the HDHR may limited to OTA tuning if/when Comcast starts encrypting extended basic channels.

My question is this -- now that Comcast's change has gently pushed me into the HD recording world, would my three analog TVs be better served by

a) a new server that can handle transcoding, comskip, etc, and two more media mvps

b) three more HD200s

As far as I can tell, the cost of the HD200s might be slightly higher but not by much.

The networking won't be an issue (wired cat6) and so far my "server" is doing an acceptable job of recording HD, and also I do have more storage I can add.

Comskip is not a big deal to us; it would be great to have but if it is difficult to install/tune, my wife is going to run out of patience with me.

Thanks for any feedback.

Sorry, thought my system details would show up because I added them to my profile:
Athlon XP 2500, 512 MB RAM, WinXP, PVR-250, eHome Wonder (x2), HDHR, 800 MB storage, HD200, Media MVP

Last edited by bcloud; 09-03-2009 at 07:28 AM. Reason: Adding my system details
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:50 AM
doc's Avatar
doc doc is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Leicester, England
Posts: 918
Originally Posted by expatex2 View Post
a) a new server that can handle transcoding, comskip, etc, and two more media mvps

b) three more HD200s
I'm not sure about the spec of your server for recording HD, but as far as playback is concerned, the price of the HD200 has come down by $20 to $179.99

I have an HD100 and use the composite out into an old CRT TV and the picture quality is great. I think you'd be better served going the HD200 route rather than MVP's as the HD200 will do all the hard work and when you upgrade your other TV's you wont have any extra expense.
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:55 AM
Beefcake550 Beefcake550 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 706
It might be a little more expensive now, but I'd suggest the HD200 route for future costs. Buying new MVPs doesn't make much sense to me because they have no future. You'd have to think in time (years) your analog TVs will die/leave and you'll have flat panels to replace them. At that point, you'll be all set.

Plus,, you'll probably need a new server soon anyhow (or at least more hard drive space with all the HD content).

Good luck
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:04 PM
bcloud bcloud is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Posts: 7
Thanks for taking the time to respond and for the advice, it all makes sense. I suspect I knew the answer already but its always helpful to hear it from someone else as well.

Take care
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:49 AM
freedml freedml is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 549
Absolutely more HD200s. Transcoding is much more of a PITA than the technical shortcomings and expense of the HD200s.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:05 AM
Clift Clift is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 555
If you're going to be recording and serving up HD to more than, say, 2 tv's you're better off going gibabit networking on your current server as well. Oh and +1 for more HD200's.
Server:W7 Ultimate, SageTV 7.1.9
Capture Devices: HVR-2250, 2x HD PVR 1212
1x STX-HD100
3x STP-HD200
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