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  #81  
Old 12-02-2007, 11:25 AM
flavius flavius is offline
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You know, after all RTFM translates to *Read The Fine Manual*.
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  #82  
Old 12-02-2007, 12:55 PM
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nielm nielm is offline
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Originally Posted by flavius View Post
You know, after all RTFM translates to *Read The Fine Manual*
That depends on how good the manual is
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  #83  
Old 12-02-2007, 01:11 PM
Brent Brent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flavius View Post
You know, after all RTFM translates to *Read The Fine Manual*.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nielm View Post
That depends on how good the manual is
It's 263 pages long so I would call it Read the Freaking (long) manual...
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  #84  
Old 12-02-2007, 10:40 PM
Khristopher Khristopher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mskitty666 View Post
I feel there is a steep learning curve, but in the end Sage is well worth it.
And this is what throws a lot of people off. Sage can seem so overwhelming to learn because there are so many things it can do.

BTV does one thing. Record/Playback TV. It has no choice but to be simple by comparison.
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  #85  
Old 12-03-2007, 07:30 AM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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This is the recurring theme with Sage: At first it is intimidating, overwhelming and not so appealing to the eye. Eventually you "see the light".

Sage is doing some nice things to improve the "out of box" experience and I am sure they will continue to improve. I think the easiest thing to do would be to create a very simple yet elegant STV and during the initial install prompt the user to pick a "skin" (new users can relate to skins, they can't relate to STVs): basic skin for new users and normal skin for advanced users.
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  #86  
Old 12-07-2007, 10:48 AM
superporky superporky is offline
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Getting ready to convert from BTV to Sage (prolly after the holidays). I agree the manual is a bit daunting but on the other hand EVERYTHING is there. How did we every live before searchable PDFs?

For me (and I've posted this elswhere on these forums) Sages extender was the straw that broke the camels back. I have purchased 2 of the Helius MVPs from eBay and when they get here I'm off!!!


---------------------------------------------------------------
Find and replace BTV with SageTV
BTV Server - BTV 4.7.1 | AMD 64 3500 | 2GB | Evga 7300gs not connected to anything (yet) | 2x 160 gb sata 3gbps RAID 0 | 2x 250 gb pata RAID 1 | PVR 150 to DCT1800 STB | PVR 250 to DCT1800 STB | USBUIRT | XP Pro

DEAD - BTV Link 1 - BTV Link 4.7.1 | XP-M 2500 @2.0ghz | 1GB | GF 6600 - fanless | 10 gig 2.5" HD | ASROCK K7S41GX | Silverstone Lascala LC02 | IR Keyboard/Mouse | XP-Home | BM + BTV | Harmony 880 using keyboard and firefly mini receiver.

BTV Link 2 - BTV Link 4.7.1 | Compaq R4125CA notebook
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  #87  
Old 12-13-2007, 01:37 PM
TimmyToo TimmyToo is offline
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I made the switch from BTV.

Last year I looked at all the PVR software out at the time. Based on screen shots I had a preference for MCE and BTV. The SageTV screenshots looked utilitarian and unpolished. After a BTV 4.4 trial I ended up buying it. It worked and I liked it. I purchased the BTV Link/Firefly bundle as well.

For some reason that I can't remember I had installed a trial of SageTV on another PC. I was looking for integrated media playback and Beyond Media was going to work for me.

Using BTV Link on another PC as my viewing client had some glitches that you expect when you have a HTPC. I decided to try a MVP as my client hooked to a TV. I had seen the community BTV MVP package and thought I would give it a try.

After getting the MVP I installed the Hauppauge software on my PC to playback media files on the MVP. That software sucks, just like their WinTV software, but most people buy Hauppauge products to use with 3rd party software. No big deal as I was going to use the BTV MVP community hack anyway.

Before I did that I figured since I had SageTV trial installed I would test it with the MVP. I booted the MVP, selected the SageTV server and my jaw dropped. That was the moment I knew SageTV was where I was headed.

Since I had only purchased BTV a month before I wasn't excited to spend another $100 to get SageTV. After all I just bought BTV! I bit the bullet, I couldn't avoid how well SageTV worked. After many hardware disappointments over the years I was so impressed with the SageTV MVP client, it more than surpassed my low expectations, I knew it was the way to go.

Since then I've added a HD Homerun... Again worked great with SageTV. I did try getting the HD Homerun setup on BTV and gave up after a few hours. I don't consider myself a newbie when it comes to anything computer related but the BTV HDHR setup struggle was pointless after having it working in SageTV.

I got over the SageTV interface dislike, it worked for what I wanted. I then found the SageMC STV, so the BTV interface wasn't missed.

Today my Sage HD Extender was delivered. That completes my last big requirement for my ultimate PVR wish list. It is one more reason for me not to make the switch from BTV.

At this point I feel that SageTV is the best HTPC software on the market. I have concerns about the future with HD encrypted cable (cable card) being the biggest potential obstacle as time goes on. That is years down the road, for now I enjoy having something that works and doesn't need constant upkeep.
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  #88  
Old 12-15-2007, 12:00 PM
Khristopher Khristopher is offline
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I switched to SageTV a couple months ago now, but whenever I would go visit my parents, I would constantly be reminded of why I hated BTV because that's what I had previously setup for them. A combination of BTV and MediaPortal for all other media.

I finally had enough and Thursday night I installed the Trial of SageTV for them to try out and see what they think. (Their interest has been piqued due to seeing how easy I could play all my media at home with Sage, and do it all from one program).

From start to finish, it took me about an hour to download what I needed (SageTV Trial, Webserver, Comskip, and Autocompress), install, and configure. I used the Webserver to put back all their favorites and then put all their previous BTV recordings into a Video Import folder.

To make it even easier for me to help them, I setup their computer with an address on the domain I have registered, setup VNC, and also an FTP server so I can upload/manage media for them.

My Dad called me this morning to say I can remove BTV and MediaPortal and get Sage registered! They both found it easy to use (with minimal instructions from me) and picked it up pretty seamless after using BTV.

There is a learning curve to getting it installed and setup properly, but once you have that (and I think my parents are proof), it's just as easy to use compared to BTV and offers more of the features that they wanted.

One step closer to being Snapstream free! Now to just sell off everything!
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  #89  
Old 12-15-2007, 12:41 PM
MarcP MarcP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khristopher View Post
My Dad called me this morning to say I can remove BTV and MediaPortal and get Sage registered! They both found it easy to use (with minimal instructions from me) and picked it up pretty seamless after using BTV.
And this just baffles me. My wife showed me the same proof. She learned her way around SageTV very quickly and loves it well over BTV. Yet, when you look at the comments of some users on the SS forums, SageTV is extremely hard to setup and use. And I mean "nuclear science" difficult. I've never been able to understand such vague comments other than blind bias. Then you get cases like your parents who just got it. You got nuclear physicist in your family?
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  #90  
Old 12-15-2007, 03:59 PM
Brent Brent is offline
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Marc & Khris,
I am one of those who find SageTV much more difficult to set up and get working as smoothly as my old BTV/Beyond Media setup. I DO know SageTV has a great deal of additional flexibility and features that I didn't have with BTV and Beyond Media and it is that reason I'm still using SageTV today. Still, it's a little difficult to say it's as easy or easier than Beyond TV.

Maybe the reason has to do with how my Beyond Media worked. The DVD Library in Beyond Media was far superior to what is available with the stock SageTV and still several steps above SageMC but... with SageTV I can install and set up movies on my server PC and access them from any extender, placeshifter, or clientPC without having to set the "dvd library" on each pc.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is I think SageTV is more difficult to setup, SageTV is more difficult to get all the working parts working and the SageTV interface isn't as intuitive as Snapstreams. With some work though you can put on the add-ons to SageTV, customize the menus some and work at getting everything set up just so and it's worth it. It won't be for everyone, but if you want more features and integration, SageTV gives you that for sure. My family is still complaining some about SageTV due to some things they don't like as well such as the movie library, the lack of integrated DVD burning (although I'll soon be adding that with the latest version of the MC plugin), the music interface is a little stinky compared to the Beyond Media with the JRMC plugin (thanks craig) and a few things that I've been tweaking some such as different issues causing lockups etc. I'm working through all of these things, but its taking more time then I'd prefer. I've pretty much told the fam that this is the system we'll be using so have patience and I'll get it equal and better than they were used to before.

I should note that my fam is pretty demanding on what they expect from their "tv". They want error-free: pvr, giant movie database continually added to with views by genre and latest added etc, music with easy playlists and playlist imports, etc. When I'm setting this up, the end result has to be fairly seamless to the tv watcher because that is what they (and I) expect. It's not really about the interface being complicated and hard to use (since they aren't rocket scientists either) - it's about it working as well or better than before and my setup before was rock solid and pretty powerful. I didn't suffer from the "no integration" problems that you two must have I guess...

Last edited by Brent; 12-15-2007 at 04:04 PM.
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  #91  
Old 12-16-2007, 11:44 AM
Khristopher Khristopher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcP View Post
And this just baffles me. My wife showed me the same proof. She learned her way around SageTV very quickly and loves it well over BTV. Yet, when you look at the comments of some users on the SS forums, SageTV is extremely hard to setup and use. And I mean "nuclear science" difficult. I've never been able to understand such vague comments other than blind bias. Then you get cases like your parents who just got it. You got nuclear physicist in your family?
In retrospect, when setting up BTV, I was unsure of what I was doing and fumbled through it similar to the way I did with SageTV.

I would never expect my parents to be able to set it up, nor even BTV.....they just aren't that technically inclined. However using Sage is just as easy as BTV was for them. They aren't concerned with having a "flashy" interface, they just want one that works and Sage does exactly that for them and myself.

They walked into it with the mindset of "Ok, I have to learn something new", instead of "Why can't this work like the other one did?", what I think causes a lot of problems. People get stuck in a rut and get easily frustrated when things change, even if those changes are for the better.

No nuclear physicists in the family.....but I like to think I'm pretty smart!

Last edited by Khristopher; 12-16-2007 at 11:47 AM.
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  #92  
Old 12-17-2007, 09:23 AM
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mistergq mistergq is offline
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I just want to give an update. Yesterday, I decided it was time. I removed all the commercials from the tv programs I want to keep. I then installed Sage TV. Walked through the wizard, not that bad. I then installed SageMC 16x9. And that was the first hiccup. I thought I was completely up to date of Java. In fact, I believe it installed at some point yesterday...but it was not 100% up to date - but of course, at the time, I did not know I was up to date. I tried everything, made sure I was completely out of Sage, keep reextracting the files to sage directory. Finally, after many of these I noticed that the java update is in the system tray, I click that, download the update wait for the stupid install window to pop up which seemed like it took forever, clicked installed, and guess what, it now works. This is what I hate computers at time.

I then installed the Web browser interface program. While it is not as nice as BTV Web browser interface, I am figuring it out pretty quickly. I also installed Comskip.

Tonight, I am going to start editing my video files. At this rate, I should be up and running in the next couple of days. I also want to install the client on the computer by the tv tonight as well tonight. So far, no complaints from the wife about the look of it. she was fine with the default look of Sage.
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  #93  
Old 12-18-2007, 12:00 PM
raoul raoul is offline
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Thinking about switching to the dark side

Ok, I have had BTV running for a couple of years and I have had near flawless performance with it. I really don't have any complaints about how it does its job... it just works. I don't have a really tricky setup or anything. Just two Haug. 150 cards. I found it trivial to setup and get going and have one of the tuners for dish network and the other for DTV and OTA.

That being said, I am sick of the lack of integration and their refusal to even make a comment on it. If they would at least acknowledge it and say something to the effect that they are working on it and it is expected by XX, 2008, I would give them some slack. However, everyone in the forums is screaming for it and they are losing people over to SageTV - hiding their head in the sand and not commenting is not the proper response.

I did not buy Beyond Media as I didn't see the point. I already have other programs (media player, powerDVD) that will do these tasks. So if I have to minimize BTV and open up another program, then it might as be one of those. However, I really want to just play it through the same interface and SageTV might be the solution for me. How interesting it was to join this forum and find this thread of converts.

Now I just have to decide if I am ready to spend the $$$, but I think I am. The holiday season seems like a good time to tackle the job, and I don't see it being a hassle. I am fairly computer saavy and it sounds like I should head directly to SageMC. I must admit that I don't like the idea of installing comskip instead of having it already there, but I am sure it isn't that big of a deal.

A couple of things that I would like to be able to do:

1) I have two satellite services, so I have two channel 250s and stuff. It would be nice if I could customize the guide so at least all the DirecTV channels would be one color and all the dish network would be another. The other option would be if I could add 1000 or something to the channel numbers of one of the services just to seperate them somehow. This may be moot as I am thinking about dumping DTV anyway, but curious if I could do it in SageTV.

2) there are a lot of nice music videos on youtube that I know are not very great quality, but think it would be nice if I could download them to a folder and have my tv play through them. possible?

Anyway... after reading this thread, I am not sure why I have been waiting for so long to make the jump.

Oh... I should add that I am using the firefly mini remote with the USB UIRT. Will that work ok or do I need to buy other?

Last edited by raoul; 12-18-2007 at 12:03 PM.
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  #94  
Old 12-18-2007, 12:12 PM
CyRex CyRex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raoul View Post
2) there are a lot of nice music videos on youtube that I know are not very great quality, but think it would be nice if I could download them to a folder and have my tv play through them. possible?
Not sure if you are aware, but SageTV now has built-in integration of Google Video and YouTube. This has been available for the last few releases and is pretty well polished. In addition, the online content has been expanded to include a lot of other media all grouped by category, including some HD content.
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  #95  
Old 12-19-2007, 11:36 AM
superporky superporky is offline
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I'm slowly leaning in the direction of Sage but I've been looking for the sage equivilant to Beyond Medias DVD Library plugin. The DVD plugin is worth the price of BM on it's own. I had a look (albeit a quick one) at the DVD profiler option but it didn't tickle my fancy. Are there any other options I might be missing?
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  #96  
Old 12-20-2007, 10:08 AM
raoul raoul is offline
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Cool... just read about the Youtube / Google plugins. All looks good and worth a go. A bit daunting since you have to tweak everything to get the basic functionality. Really... is there anyone out there that runs a PVR system that doesn't want comskip? I am surprised that isn't already installed for you.

I think I am going to give this a shot over the holidays and see if I can get it tweaked in. The only thing that might be a bit tricky is getting the firefly remote to work. I think you have to install HIP or GIRDER? Then again, another post made me think that SageMC might have some support for it?

Hopefully it goes fairly smoothly...
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  #97  
Old 12-20-2007, 11:36 AM
dlandrum dlandrum is offline
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The Video feature in Sage is superior to BM as it is incorporated with Sage.
That is important when you start using the HD Extender.

I use LM Remote for Firefly usage in Sage.
I use EventGhost + USB-UIRT for Firefly usage with my Receiver (On/Off/Volume+-/Mute) and TV (On/Off).

Tip: Download SageMC 16x9, the weather icons, and the liquid themes.
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/down...do=file&id=141
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/down...do=file&id=153
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/down...do=file&id=177

Tip: If you are going to use the Videos feature with DVD lookups to IMDB and you are using client/server, then put SageMC on your Server too. It took me weeks to figure that out.
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  #98  
Old 12-20-2007, 12:52 PM
superporky superporky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlandrum View Post
The Video feature in Sage is superior to BM as it is incorporated with Sage.
That is important when you start using the HD Extender.

I use LM Remote for Firefly usage in Sage.
I use EventGhost + USB-UIRT for Firefly usage with my Receiver (On/Off/Volume+-/Mute) and TV (On/Off).

Tip: Download SageMC 16x9, the weather icons, and the liquid themes.
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/down...do=file&id=141
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/down...do=file&id=153
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/down...do=file&id=177

Tip: If you are going to use the Videos feature with DVD lookups to IMDB and you are using client/server, then put SageMC on your Server too. It took me weeks to figure that out.
Awesome thanks!!!
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  #99  
Old 12-24-2007, 01:01 PM
raoul raoul is offline
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Ok... I have moved forward and installed the trial of SageTV. Here is an update as to where I am now, and what I think of it compared to BTV.

The install went fairly smoothly. I had some codec issues that were a bit confusing. Went setting up the tuners, I kept getting some playback error and I couldn't preview anything. I restarted a few times and got the same result... finally I decided to move forward anyway. Later in the configuration wizard, you could try different playback settings and I found that my system would work using "basic" or "advanced", or i would get the same playback error. For some reason, my system doesn't like the overlay setting, but is happy with VM9R(?) 3D mode.

I could never get it to work using the Sage codecs, but was good with the Hauppauge CSS codecs. The next thing I couldn't get to work was the DVD player... some other codec issued. Reinstalled my Hauppauge drivers and directX, and eventually got that going using the codec that came with my Dell. Still unhappy with the Sage codec but oh well... it works!

My firefly remote basically kept working so no big hassle there. It was trivial to get USB-UIRT to control my DirecTV setup. So far so good!

Compared to BTV, I would say the menu system just feels "clunky" to me so far. The integrated music player and DVD players are nice, although not as revolutionary as I expected, and not exactly intuitive to operate. Still, I am glad they are there.

The integrated YouTube feature is really cool, but it looks a bit buggy to me. My internet speed is not blazing, but if I go to YouTube directly through IE, I can play videos without a problem. That is, it downloads faster than what I am watching and the initial few second buffer is sufficient. Watching it via SageTV, I get the first few seconds that it has buffered, then it stops and downloads some more...plays another split second or so and basically hiccups it way through the video. Can anyone explain why there is a bottleneck when watching via SageTV and if there is anything I can do to fix it?

Also, for some reason it would sometimes lockup and not release the video card or something. I would switch back to LiveTV and I could hear the audio ok, but just get a screen of green lines and stuff. Strange... and I really think it has to do with watching the YouTube stuff

Clicking over and getting the weather is also really cool.

I have not worked on installing commskip or anything yet. What would be the thing to check out next? I keep hearing about SageMC, should I try that next? i want to give it an honest check out before deciding if I am going to buy it or not. So far I think it is pretty neat... just not as smooth as BTV, but does a lot more. It is not hitting that high with the WAF factor yet, so I want to work on improving that area. She isn't as blown away with the integration as myself... I keep hearing "yea... neat... but we could always play dvds before with powerDVD and music with media player..." You know the story....

Any tips on where to go next?

Last edited by raoul; 12-24-2007 at 01:03 PM.
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  #100  
Old 12-24-2007, 06:29 PM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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SageMC looks great and has a lot of additional functionality compared to the stock STV. It's certainly a favorite around here.

I'd also try enabling the "secret menus" on the default STV. Navigate to the system information page and then press the four digits 5309. A little dot will appear on the top left of the page and now your recorded shows section will look a lot different. Press the options key in the menus to customize.

Also, neilm's web interface is a must. (You'll find that in the download section.)
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