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  #1  
Old 03-10-2007, 08:08 AM
sakker sakker is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 99
Soon to be user, few questions

I've finally decided to take the plunge and do away with my stb dvr's and move to pc based.

I've toyed with the idea for about a year, researched and researched until I confused myself enough, then gave up on it. After a couple of times doing that I've just decided to do it and see how it goes. I've decided to go with Sage over MythTV and MediaPortal, which both had my serious consideration for about a week each.

I'm new to all this, so I hope over the next couple of years my questions and problems don't get annoying.

First some of my intentions and impressions and then some questions, I appreciate any help and answers you have.

I will be building a dedicated computer for sage, initially I'm not going to run it headless over vnc until I can get everything figured out and get it all stable. Actually I am not going to lose the dish network dvr's until I get it figured out and stable(Wife factor comes into play) So I am going to set it up in my office, to my computer monitor, and possibly cabled with dvi/hdmi to the living room once I know what I'm doing, for now.

I have the system on the way, I have an HDHomerun on the way. I have DishNetwork 510 dvr's now. I am assuming that I am going to split my lines that come from my dish itself before they hit the dvr's(everything is in a seperate room in the basement, so not individual stb's in other rooms). So split, the n1 line to HDHR, 1 line to DVR's, then the HDHR goes to the network. Is that only going to get me 3 or 5 or 7 HD channels, or will that give me any of the channels I pay for through dish? Do I need a second capture card to record the line after it hits the dvr or another stb to get the normal programming channels?

Once I get things working, I will lose the dvr's and just go with either a basic stb that will get the functionality to the pc, or nothing and straight to the pc if that is possible.

I guess really what I need to do is get everything, build the system, and mess with it and see where I end up. I guess I'm just nervous being the first time.

Also, regarding SageTV. I know I am going to need the program itself, I am assuming that's the server? Along with a license for that server. What about beyond that, if I can run a cable from my pc to the tv(dvi/hdmi) what is the purpose of the mvp extender(wired or wireless)? Do I need one to get the functionality, or is it fine without it. Originally I was planning on waiting until the wired HD one is released since wireless is flaky anyway, and piping HD wireless would be even more flaky unless they put out a crazy product. So the media extender does what? The placeshifter as I understand it is needed if I wanted to say manage or watch my recording from places outside of my home, so I do not believe I need that. But I see all these posts with problems with licenses and just want to make sure I have what I need.

Then as far as remote controls, I hate IR remotes since I've had RF ones for so long, having to have los to something to change the channel isn't for me, and I know that would really kill the wife factor. So can I purchase a higher end remote, or hell a lower end RF one for that matter and get it working. Remotes I'm really not clear on.

Anyway, sorry if this comes as not clear, I'm sure I will be overwhelmed a bit for awhile.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2007, 08:24 PM
korben_dallas's Avatar
korben_dallas korben_dallas is offline
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Hello Sakker,

I have not see anything regarding QAM being used on satellite broadcast, and the HDHomerun instructions only mention Cable and OTA Digital. So the HDHomerun may not accomplish what you are wanting. You could use it to capture dual OTA Digital, assuming you can work out the antenna/reception issues.

Some forum members here are successfully capturing via a firewire cable to their satellite stb's. The typical analog method would be to use S-video from the satellite stb to a capture device (like a 150 or 500 or 1600 or PVR-USB2 etc), and then use an IR Blaster or UIRT to send the channel change commands back to the satellite stb.

SageTV Media Center Version 6.0 is a complete server and client package, so you can capture and watch on the same PC. SageTV comes with an MPEG-2/DVD decoder, but I would recommend getting the Nvidia Purevideo decoder (even if you have an ATI card or integrated graphics).
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  #3  
Old 03-10-2007, 08:43 PM
sainswor99's Avatar
sainswor99 sainswor99 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by sakker View Post
I've finally decided to take the plunge and do away with my stb dvr's and move to pc based.
Be wary; although I love SageTV, it's not for the faint of heart. One of the downsides of a PC-based DVR solution is that it's built on a PC; there's lot of room for tweaking the system and adding additional functionality, but that also opens the door for maintenance issues. Welcome to the loony bin

Quote:
Also, regarding SageTV. I know I am going to need the program itself, I am assuming that's the server? Along with a license for that server. What about beyond that, if I can run a cable from my pc to the tv(dvi/hdmi) what is the purpose of the mvp extender(wired or wireless)? Do I need one to get the functionality, or is it fine without it. Originally I was planning on waiting until the wired HD one is released since wireless is flaky anyway, and piping HD wireless would be even more flaky unless they put out a crazy product. So the media extender does what? The placeshifter as I understand it is needed if I wanted to say manage or watch my recording from places outside of my home, so I do not believe I need that. But I see all these posts with problems with licenses and just want to make sure I have what I need.
One of the major benefits of Sage is the ability to share recorded media from a central server to many different clients; if your server is connected directly to a TV, you don't need to "extend" your media to that TV, so you don't need a media extender. However, you may want to play your Sage recordings on another TV; rather than building a separate Sage Server for the second TV, you could buy a media extender, connect it via ethernet, and control your primary server from that room. Does that clarify the issue a bit?

Also a note about placeshifter: a single placeshifter license can be used for the media MVP extender as well. I currently have a media server that strictly records my shows; I run Placeshifter on my LAN PC so I can watch TV while I work, and I use that same licence for my MediaMVP. I can use also use Placeshifter on my laptop while I'm out of town.

HTH,

Stu

Last edited by sainswor99; 03-10-2007 at 08:46 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2007, 12:00 AM
sakker sakker is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by korben_dallas View Post
Hello Sakker,

I have not see anything regarding QAM being used on satellite broadcast, and the HDHomerun instructions only mention Cable and OTA Digital. So the HDHomerun may not accomplish what you are wanting. You could use it to capture dual OTA Digital, assuming you can work out the antenna/reception issues.

Some forum members here are successfully capturing via a firewire cable to their satellite stb's. The typical analog method would be to use S-video from the satellite stb to a capture device (like a 150 or 500 or 1600 or PVR-USB2 etc), and then use an IR Blaster or UIRT to send the channel change commands back to the satellite stb.

SageTV Media Center Version 6.0 is a complete server and client package, so you can capture and watch on the same PC. SageTV comes with an MPEG-2/DVD decoder, but I would recommend getting the Nvidia Purevideo decoder (even if you have an ATI card or integrated graphics).
I understand, and I think I figured that out in my head today planning it all out. Worst case I lose the satellite and go with basic cable, I am already running cable internet so the line is active. Once I get it working drop the satellite altogether.

I don't think the firewire capture is an option for me, I believe the 510's port is not hooked up.

So my setup is going to be , dedicated server, and 1 location until the bugs are worked out, then 2 locations when the boss is comfortable with it, possibly 3 way down the line. I am assuming that I will need 1 server overall, and then 1 client for each location to be served? I say client meaning software, or is that something that is with the media extender/hd extender?
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2007, 12:08 AM
sakker sakker is offline
Sage Advanced User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by sainswor99 View Post
Be wary; although I love SageTV, it's not for the faint of heart.
I keep trying to tell myself I am game for it, hopefully I don't end up

Quote:
Originally Posted by sainswor99 View Post
One of the major benefits of Sage is the ability to share recorded media from a central server to many different clients; if your server is connected directly to a TV, you don't need to "extend" your media to that TV, so you don't need a media extender. However, you may want to play your Sage recordings on another TV; rather than building a separate Sage Server for the second TV, you could buy a media extender, connect it via ethernet, and control your primary server from that room. Does that clarify the issue a bit?
That is actually the plan. 1 server, 2 locations serving dvd's ripped to a hd, music, photos, mainly recorded shows, and some live tv.

So the HDHR is only going to give me HD content, OTA or unencrypted channels correct, so as of now I still need to get a capture card , 1 for each stream I want to record + 1 for live correct?

So if I want basically 2 streams, a recording and live, or 2 recordings on each tv at any time, I need 2 dual tuner/capture cards in addition to the hdhr, since the hdhr will only capture it's content correct?

Last edited by sakker; 03-11-2007 at 12:10 AM. Reason: typos
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2007, 01:32 AM
korben_dallas's Avatar
korben_dallas korben_dallas is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,250
The HDHR is a full-fledged dual tuner, and it can be configured 2 x OTA, 2 x QAM, or 1 OTA & 1 QAM. SageTV can record from both simultaneously, and you can watch both streams as LiveTV assuming you have two PC's or two extenders or one PC & one extender.

I don't own an HDHR, so I can't comment on the "in practice" aspects of that device. I recall reading a post on avsforum about making sure your coax splitter is high quality and has a range in the gigahertz.

My limited experience with OTA Digital so far has been unsuccessful in getting an in-door antenna to work. 80% signal strength is the best I've achieved, and the video is way to stuttery to watch.
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