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  #1  
Old 08-23-2007, 12:49 PM
jdamore jdamore is offline
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Talking Is the STV plague speading through BTV?

Is it just me or does it seem like more and more folks are migrating from BTV these days?

Is it a lack of customizations?
Just exploring a new front-end?
Unsatisfied with support?

This isn't a thread to rag on BTV because that is not my intention. In a way, they almost help sage. Take me for example.. I was searching for a software to host all my media needs. I'll be honest, I tried Sage first but when my (short) trial ran up I want to try the next software package. "BUT WAIT, BTV has an offer on a free remote for a short time.. I need a remote" Sold! I used BTV for about 6 months and it helped to build a foundation of knowledge about pvr s/w but, I just wasn't satisfied. With knowing what I want now, I tried Sage again and setup was a breeze, I knew all the basic functions, it was a good experience, and I got what I wanted.

But my real question to the BTV migrates, for feedback, what does BTV have that Sage doesn't have (or vice-versa)?
To make it easier for converts, what would you change about Sage?
What was your first impression?
Any other contrast between Sage and BTV?

Give a chirp if you came from beyond.
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  #2  
Old 08-23-2007, 01:03 PM
Shield Shield is offline
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I went the opposite route; started with Media Center 2005 (well after years of Tivo and Cable's DVR's). I hated having to hack the registry to add more than 2 tuners, join a domain, hated the proprietary .ms files, etc. so I looked elsewhere. I tried Beyond TV and I forget what I didn't like about it.

I fired up Sage and bought it after seeing it skinned with the SageMC addon. I think I bought the app, placeshifter and extra client license after about 4 days use.

Sage isn't perfect, but it's as good as it gets in my opinion. It's very addictive though. I would suggest downloading various file types, decide on HD or not, and getting them all to playback smoothly before fooling with any add-ons.
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  #3  
Old 08-23-2007, 05:49 PM
icmoney icmoney is offline
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I'm a former BTV user who was unhappy that I could not play DVD'd thru BTV. I tried Beyond Media and was disappointed with its performance. About a year ago I tried Sage v5 and was sold on its ease to set-up and adjust settings from within Sage. After Sage v6 came out I discovered playing DVD's from my Hard Drive.

I now rip all my movies to a USB portable Firelite drive for my media files and view at my convience then delete them. I take the firelite drive to my main desktop and rip movies to the firelite then take it back and plug in to my HTPC. I'm running 3 HDTV tuners as I only want to record OTA High Def programming.
Jitter free play back.

In summary Sage has better out of the box integrated media support.
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  #4  
Old 08-23-2007, 07:30 PM
dlandrum dlandrum is offline
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I switched from BTV in December because Sage support the HDHR. After a few months of seeing more stability, the wife would not let me switch back.
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  #5  
Old 08-23-2007, 08:06 PM
Khristopher Khristopher is offline
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I switched because I'm tired of waiting for Snapstream to fulfill their promise of Integration which they made almost 2 years ago now, and promised a free upgrade to their "Integrated" product to anyone who had purchased both BTV and BM. I turned blue a long time ago from holding my breath waiting.

SS did however, find the time to develop a DVD plugin which they charge extra for. Nice!

I invested quite a chunk in BTV (BTV v3, BTV v4 Upgrade, 3 x BTV Link v4, BM v1.1, and 2 x Firefly remotes) but finally had enough. I got a refund back for BM and am now selling the rest of my SS stuff on eBay. Anyone Interested?

Here's what I like about SageTV so far:

-Complete Media Package!! (TV, Movies, Music, Pictures, etc)
-ComSkip is MUCH better than BTV's SmartSkip. More accurate and also gives you the option to automatically skip commercials without hitting the remote.
-Direct support for the MCE remote. (BTV "kinda" supports it, but not like their own Firefly Remote)
-Video Preview Window in Guide. BTV does not have this option.....it's either you watch the video in the background, or no picture and just sound. (This is a HUGE feature for me personally)
-Customizations. I almost got lost in all the customizable options in Sage, it's great!!
-STV Placeshifter. OMG I am THRILLED about this! Not to mention the fact you can run it from a USB stick. This is a MUST HAVE feature for me. BTV has nothing that can even come close with this. Their WebAdmin has been hacked to allow viewing Divx movies (which was written by users, NOT Snapstream).
-SageMVP. Once again, BTV USERS have hacked together a somewhat working version of BTV and the Hauppauge MVP. SageTV directly integrates them.

I'm sure there's a few things that have impressed me which I've forgotten about, and many more things that I'll discover.

To anyone considering switching from BTV or simply unsure about investing in Sage......DO IT! You won't regret it.

My only regret is not switching sooner!

Last edited by Khristopher; 08-23-2007 at 08:11 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-24-2007, 09:45 AM
CollinR CollinR is offline
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I have converted and converted evryone with BTV that I support.


Already listed:

Integrated solution
Highly customizable
HD Home Run

Previsouly Unlisted:

Media MVP support < this is a deal killer now, I have average 4 clients per install. Converting to MS PC systems would make costs jump bigtime. Still holding out for HD extender.
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  #7  
Old 08-24-2007, 10:11 AM
Khristopher Khristopher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CollinR View Post
Previsouly Unlisted:

Media MVP support
Pssst.....I listed that too!
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  #8  
Old 08-24-2007, 08:43 PM
InvisiblePin InvisiblePin is offline
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Lack of support for media mvp sent me to sage.

I bought one of these things and couldn't believe the picture quality compared to the crappy s-video out of my graphics card. Unfortunately for me I had ss. Not for long my friends! Switched to Sage - bought another mvp, I'm as cool as the other side of the pillow now.
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2007, 11:54 AM
eggman51 eggman51 is offline
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I use BTV and myHTPC (aka Meedio). I put it together a long time ago, so it's still BTV 3.4 and a myHTPC release prior to it becoming Meedio.

Am planning to do an overhaul to the home theater system over the next 3 to 6 months. After a lot of research and fiddling about with software and such I think I will probably go with Sage.

Main reasons are:
- mac client (I have 3 Macs inthe house)
- has just about all the Media Canter stuff I need (music, dvd, dvds from network)
- good PVR

Am a bit concerned about Canadian EPG. When I made my purchase decision a long time ago there was only XMLTV for a Canadian EPG. With Zap2It going away I'm concerned about being back to XLMTV. I don't mind tinkering to get it set up, but I need it to be reliable thereafter.

Anyways .. Beyond Media is beyond useful and looking to other 3rd party software for simple stuff like music and dvds is a rather large hassle I can avoid with Sage.

I like Media Portal, but none of the freeware PVRs can really compare to the mature professional PVRs imo.
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2007, 12:07 PM
CanadianEh CanadianEh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eggman51 View Post


Am a bit concerned about Canadian EPG. When I made my purchase decision a long time ago there was only XMLTV for a Canadian EPG. With Zap2It going away I'm concerned about being back to XLMTV. I don't mind tinkering to get it set up, but I need it to be reliable thereafter.
SageTV has integrated listings for Canada, as of about a year ago. No need for Zap2it or XMLTV...
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2007, 12:10 PM
eggman51 eggman51 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianEh View Post
SageTV has integrated listings for Canada, as of about a year ago. No need for Zap2it or XMLTV...
oh .. ty .. for some reason I thought Sage was using Zap2it as the source for the Canadian EPG.
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2007, 02:07 PM
Khristopher Khristopher is offline
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As was mentioned, Sage works find in Canada!
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2007, 02:14 PM
ke6guj ke6guj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eggman51 View Post
oh .. ty .. for some reason I thought Sage was using Zap2it as the source for the Canadian EPG.
Sage does use Zap2it for the Canadian EPG source, but Sage pays for Zap2it commercial data. the commercial data that Sage gets isn't going away, just the free zap2it data feed.
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2007, 06:00 PM
eggman51 eggman51 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ke6guj View Post
Sage does use Zap2it for the Canadian EPG source, but Sage pays for Zap2it commercial data. the commercial data that Sage gets isn't going away, just the free zap2it data feed.
Ahh ok gotcha, tyvm .. good to know.
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  #15  
Old 08-26-2007, 06:29 AM
MarcP MarcP is offline
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Switched from BTV as well after using it for two years. BTV in itself isn't bad at what it does, but it terribly lacks in plenty of other areas. Integration, media extender, and stone wall silence from Snapstream. Their lack of honesty pushed me out.

The people using BTV with their hacked community-driven MediaMVP interface have no idea how bad they really have it. I could barely use mine and ended up gathering dust. SageTV completely brought it back to life.

BTV has some features out-of-the-box that SageTV does not and that stopped me 2 years ago. I'm glad I went past that today.
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  #16  
Old 08-26-2007, 07:02 AM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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I am also a BTV convert for many of the reasons already posted. One thing to keep in mind, competition is a good thing and it's always a good idea to keep tabs on what "the other guys" are doing. Case in point, Snapstream just rolled out a new beta that allows you to automatically record the most popular shows being recorded by other BTV users. Very cool feature....
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  #17  
Old 08-26-2007, 02:30 PM
KarylFStein KarylFStein is offline
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I started with MythTV, went to SageTV, got fed up with its stability and issues playing HD streams, switched to Beyond TV, and am now back with SageTV. I really loved BTV for JUST TV playback. It was solid and I had no problems with HD playback, (on the exact same hardware Sage had given me problems with). I spent a LOT of time setting up BTV and all the extra pieces (Beyond Media, TheaterTek, et al) that made it feature-wise able to compete with Sage, but it never had that integrated feel and seemed kludgey whenever I wanted to do something besides record and watch TV. I finally upgraded my HTPC hardware because my wife wanted a box that didn't look like a computer, (which in turn forced me to buy new everything because the old stuff didn't fit in the slim case). Now, I'm back with Sage and love it. I don't know if the new hardware helped, or two versions of Sage fixed the stability, or me splitting things into clients and servers, or all of the above, but Sage is now rock solid and SageMC is a great UI that the kids can get around easily, (now if I could get them to stop putting Sponge Bob and Fairly Odd Parents in the favorites list, or at least teach them about "First Runs"). I don't see going back now. My wife was really upset that I was going back to Sage, but this time around she was happy with the experience. I just wish those HD extenders would come out so I can easily get Sage elsewhere in the house without having to set up dedicated client computers...but on the other hand, I want the product to be solid when it does come...
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  #18  
Old 08-26-2007, 06:59 PM
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Jason Jason is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcP View Post
The people using BTV with their hacked community-driven MediaMVP interface have no idea how bad they really have it.
Having been one of the originators of that 'hacked community-driven' interfaces... I suppose I should take offense...

However, it started long before anyone even thought of using it for BTV... I believe if you look on SF, you can still see some of the original work...

In any case, I drank the SageTV Kool-Aide long ago... and wouldn't dream of ever (at least until someone bests it... !) leaving it...


-Jason
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  #19  
Old 08-28-2007, 10:07 AM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
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My parents had a Tivo and my wife loved it. She wanted one, but at the time we didn't have a phone line (and you needed one to use TIVO at that time). Then I came across the whole HTPC/Homebrew PVR software and instantly new I wanted one. I had an original Radeon All-in-wonder which the BTV could use but Sage couldn't (at least not back in the 1.4? days) and so I got my wife hooked on a PVR using BTV and my main computer hooked up to the tv in my office. When I got permission to actually build a dedicated PVR for the living room, I knew that the computer I was going to use wouldn't be powerful enough to use a Software encoder (was using an old SFF with a 766mhz celeron) and so I bought a hardware encoder. At that point I could use Sage and tried it out. It was night and day. Not having to use two pieces of software to do everything was fantastic and it was soo easy to setup (and by this point SageTV 2.0 was out so of course I bought another hardware encoder).

Since I switched to Sage, I have run BTV a couple of times just to see if anything has changed and to be honest it really hasn't. The only thing that I missed when I initially made the switch was the built in commercial skip, but the plugin for Sage works great so other than having to put the work in, it isn't really a big deal.
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  #20  
Old 08-28-2007, 10:31 PM
flavius flavius is offline
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I ran BTV for several years, tested many versions and finally left about 2 1/2 years ago because I lost all confidence in that they knew what they were doing. I even programmed my own socket server and a client to ship around and consume those bloated XML files they were using to prove to myself that it was the right thing to do to abandon BTV at the time.

I wrote all of it in Java, though . And it was almost weightless.

And Sage: I found the OOB Sage user interface nothing short of appalling at first, but have since made peace with it. Leave me alone with SageMC, I know it.

The advent of HD is not easy to handle for any company: Sage still rules my SD world - and might gain even more ground with the HD extender, if it ever materializes.
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