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  #1  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:34 PM
archcommus archcommus is offline
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Vista has been released, time to compare Media Center to Sage!

Well Vista was released today, for those of you with the Ultimate edition I'd like to see how you think the new Media Center compares to SageTV 6. I hope it doesn't attract me away from my beloved Sage.
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2007, 09:04 AM
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One word - DRM
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2007, 09:14 AM
sjgore sjgore is offline
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I have to admit that Vista WMC looks tempting, and it has support for the Haupauge Nova-T 500 (dual DVB-T tuners) which SageTV does not.

I'm still in my trial of SageTV, and only found out yesterday that WMC is included in Vista Ultimate. I use SageTV with my MediaMVP, so the questions for me are: Do I buy SageTV and use my MediaMVP? Or do I save my money and put it towards Vista Ultimate (which I'm buying anyway) and buy a XBox 360 to act as a HD media extender?

Decisions, decisions!

Quote:
One word - DRM
This has turned out to be a lot of fuss over nothing. There are actually very few restrictions.

Steve.

Last edited by sjgore; 01-31-2007 at 09:17 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2007, 09:35 AM
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I think it really comes down to how much you are willing to spend, and what features and capabilities are important to you.

To move to a Vista-based system, you'll have to drop something like $300+ just on the OS, and then you'll need hardware that'll work with well it. (And notice I said "work well" not just compatible--there's a HUGE difference.) This could cost you some serious cash.

I'm personally interested in Vista, but unfortunately, all the hardware I own is suited perfectly for Windows XP. The notion of replacing things just to be "vista-compatible" isn't in the cards at this time.

And from what I've read, I really don't see any "must have" features in Vista that would push me to scrap my current Windows XP network and SageTV.

That said, I too would love to see a nice SageTV vs. Vista MC comparison
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2007, 01:55 PM
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Not too much has changed in the new Visa Media Center over the Windows XP Media Center so not sure what the big deal is now. Cable Card will be the new big thing but you either need to that or not.
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2007, 05:18 PM
archcommus archcommus is offline
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Well I'll be getting Vista Ultimate for free in a few months, so I'll have Media Center on my PC whether I use it or not, and cost is not an issue. I would just like to see a comparison because I'm curious if I'll end up using it and not Sage. I have never used Windows Media Center 2005 so I have no reference as to what it'll be like.

The main thing for me is, I do not use my PC as a media player/home theater device, I use it as my PC, with TV running in a window, sometimes full screen while I'm doing other things. So my software needs to be able to resize/full screen in a second (which Sage does), and also the preset window sizes in the Sage menu bar are really convenient. I also don't like how Vista Media Center seems to default to a 16:9 aspect ratio. My monitor is 5:4 and my TV signal is 4:3.

Last edited by archcommus; 01-31-2007 at 05:22 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2007, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjgore
I'm still in my trial of SageTV, and only found out yesterday that WMC is included in Vista Ultimate.
It's part of Home Premium and Ultimate, FWIW.

Quote:
I use SageTV with my MediaMVP, so the questions for me are: Do I buy SageTV and use my MediaMVP? Or do I save my money and put it towards Vista Ultimate (which I'm buying anyway) and buy a XBox 360 to act as a HD media extender?
Or use Sage with your MVP and get the HD extender when it comes out later this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by archcommus
I would just like to see a comparison because I'm curious if I'll end up using it and not Sage. I have never used Windows Media Center 2005 so I have no reference as to what it'll be like.
The biggest difference is MCE is a much flashier interface. Perhaps it would help if I go through my reasons for not using MCE, especially when MyMovies, and the 360 extender (I have a 360 anyway) are really attractive:
  • No PC client - Softsled is the codename for the PC-based MCE "extender", basically the equivalent of SageClient.
  • Recording must be done to a local drive, and to only a single drive. This forces the storage (noisy, hot) to be in the "primary" interface PC, ie the one in the theater.
  • Inability for the extenders to play DVDs, yes there are hacks, but short of re-encoding 300+ DVDs into WMV9 and losing the DD audio, chapters, (menus in some cases) and some quality, it's basically not functional.

I've got a very nice Sage setup that would simply be impossible to duplicate with MCE. I have a server that sits in a closet, it has lots of hot, noisy storage and all my tuners. It's headless, and it's set and forget. One side effect of this (positive) is recording (never crashes) is completely decoupled from playback (which is most prone to crashing, rare as it is).

Further it gets the noise out of my theater. In my HT I have a carefully spec'd HTPC that's nearly silent, far quieter than my projector. All it does is playback. With MCE, I'd have to move the tuners and storage into this, and it would no longer be anywhere near silent.

Then there's the client issue, which I touched upon above, lacking a PC client (or a fully-functional HD extender) I need a PC in the theater, so this is why MCE forces me to move the recording "server" into the theater, because I can't have a PC client/extender.

Quote:
The main thing for me is, I do not use my PC as a media player/home theater device, I use it as my PC, with TV running in a window, sometimes full screen while I'm doing other things. So my software needs to be able to resize/full screen in a second (which Sage does),
Vista MCE can be run in a window (I spent a very little time with it on the public preview). But my recollection is it's much more cumbersome to get around in with a mouse than SageTV (not that SageTV is great). Both are designed for use with a remote in fullscreen mode, and honestly both are a little cumbersome for use as an app to view TV.

Last edited by stanger89; 01-31-2007 at 08:17 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-31-2007, 06:43 PM
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Wow I never realized how limited MCE was.
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2007, 08:18 PM
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Yeah, every once in a while I look into the practicality of switching to MCE, but what kills that idea every time is that it's really only meant to be used on a single PC. Sage absolutely kills MCE in the distributed/networked PVR area.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2007, 08:32 PM
archcommus archcommus is offline
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Wow, no PC client? I had no idea. I guess that's why everyone only talks about using their Xbox 360 as an extender then.

I DO only watch TV on one PC, and only use one PC, so I guess that wouldn't be an issue for me at all.

Questions I have:
How configurable is it? Can you customize remote and keyboard commands?
What menus are transparent over live video? I know the program guide is, not sure about anything else.
Is it always running? In the tray? Does it have separate sleep and close commands like Sage does?
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2007, 06:40 PM
archcommus archcommus is offline
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Bump....

I'm sure some people here are getting or already have Vista Ultimate and could do a comparison for us.
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  #12  
Old 02-03-2007, 07:15 PM
Motofreak75 Motofreak75 is offline
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I have been using Ultimate for a few days, and the gui in vista is really nice. But for what I do, NAS, MVP and PC client. Sage kills it. But Sage needs to get with the times, 2002-3 gui is so out dated. (do you hear this Frey ?) Microsoft did their home work with the new style interface but it lacks DVB, network expandability for home networks & DRM Bull-shit-o .

Among other issues with its firewall not opening up enough ports when you add a program to the firewall policy or that fact you can't (yet) disable the green button in the MCE remote. Vista resets the registry for green button upon every reboot. It has taken over everything and even Assigning Admin users to standard permissions after a few reboots so you have to disable that in the machines policy's. An as it stands right now, you can't use Sage with MVP correctly without the MVP beening disconnected (anywhere) from 2- 60 minutes. I'm in the search for which of the two firewall programs is doing this (or ADM policy ) the tcp socket gets reset. But I think I might have a fix, I just need to test it out after the kids goto bed.

I will update it a bit until then ciao
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2007, 10:03 PM
Motofreak75 Motofreak75 is offline
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I have found a fix for the MVP connection in Vista

The following ports are used for the MVP as a Media Extender:

* UDP:
o 16867 (for booting the MVP)
o 16869 (for booting the MVP)
o 16881
o 31100 (for discovering the SageTV server after boot)
* TCP:
o 31099

(as quoted in the FAQ )


If you let Vista firewall add sagetv.exe into the firewall policy, the problems that I had and many others will have, is random disconects from the sagetv server. But if you go into " Windows Firewall with Advanced Security on local computer" under Admin tools. And manually add those ports in. It will make the connection stick. If you just add the rule that lets Sagetv.exe open ports, it will not work. And even if you disable the firewall it will not work. The firewall has to be enable (wtf ?) and then the ports must be added manual through the admin tools. And not the firewall console in the control panel, because it will not work either. (just an FYI)
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2007, 10:20 PM
Motofreak75 Motofreak75 is offline
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back to the drawing board.


it reset itself after 3 hours...
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  #15  
Old 02-04-2007, 06:56 AM
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gplasky gplasky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motofreak75
back to the drawing board.


it reset itself after 3 hours...
You might need to disable UAC (User Account Control) or actually log in as administrator (not a user in the administrator group)and make the necessary changes to the firewall. You can only disable the firewall logged in as THE administrator and as no one else.


Gerry
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  #16  
Old 02-04-2007, 07:53 AM
Motofreak75 Motofreak75 is offline
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I have done that the a long time ago, Sage is a were of this issue and they don't have an answer yet ( a few people are having this issue) so I'm looking for one myself. ALso I have disabled
" Local security policy \ Security Options \ User Account Control: Run all users, including administrators, as standard users." which is the biggest pain in the ass.

debug log
Fri 2/2 14:57:30.015 MiniUI client error:java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: Array index out of range: 0
Fri 2/2 14:57:35.443 Killing UIMgr UIManager:localhost@@000dfe0b11a2-f0f2eb

Debug console log
Fri 2/2 14:57:30.015 MiniUI client error:java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: Array index out of range: 0
Fri 2/2 14:57:35.444 Killing UIMgr UIManager:localhost@@000dfe0b11a2-f0f2eb
Fri 2/2 14:57:35.446 Killed UI Timers
Fri 2/2 14:57:35.449 java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: Array index out o
f range: 0Fri 2/2 14:57:35.452 at java.util.Vector.remove(Unknown Source)
Fri 2/2 14:57:35.454 at sage.bk$a.new(Unknown Source)
Fri 2/2 14:57:35.457 at sage.bk$a.a(Unknown Source)
Fri 2/2 14:57:35.459 at sage.bk.db(Unknown Source)
Fri 2/2 14:57:35.461 at sage.bk.if(Unknown Source)
Fri 2/2 14:57:35.464 at sage.bn.new(Unknown Source)
Fri 2/2 14:57:35.466 at sage.bn$1.run(Unknown Source)


But look for a Vista thread ( so for going off topic)
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Last edited by Motofreak75; 02-04-2007 at 10:13 AM.
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  #17  
Old 02-17-2007, 04:33 PM
archcommus archcommus is offline
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Hope you get your Sage/Vista issues worked out, Motofreak75.

So is everyone saying their main reason for preferring Sage is its extendability advantages over Vista? That doesn't apply to me at all since I only use Sage on one PC, so I'm still comparing Sage to Windows Media Center. I do have to say I like the UI changes they've made in 6.1.3 RC.

Here are screens of it for those who don't have Vista:

Pic 1
Pic 2
Pic 3
Pic 4
Pic 5
Pic 6
Pic 7
Pic 8
Pic 9
Pic 10
Pic 11
Pic 12
Pic 13
Pic 14
Pic 15

Last edited by archcommus; 02-17-2007 at 05:08 PM.
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  #18  
Old 02-17-2007, 05:55 PM
Motofreak75 Motofreak75 is offline
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yeah I figured it out, by default Vista has TCP scaling turned on, and the MVP using a rather old NIC setup can't handle TCP Scaling, so it just craps out. The easy fix is just o turn it off in Vista.
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  #19  
Old 02-24-2007, 09:10 AM
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Taking a look at the Vista MCE screenshots, I do not see anything that WOW's me over SageMC. The only thing I found cool was the enhanced RSS feed (the fox sports alert).... which looks better than the existing plug-in for Sage - only in that it allows you to associate the news source's logo with the feed. Otherwise, it really doesn't do anything for me.

I'm quite happy with SageTV and SageMC
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  #20  
Old 02-24-2007, 11:49 AM
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My 2 cents

Just getting into HTPC.
Trialed Sage on 2000, expired before chance to really look.
So waited for Vista to look at Winwoes MC.

Vista, what an ovebloated gui, and keep looking for adaquate drivers.
Anyway......

PVR 350 34 button remote.. Only volume works.
PVR 350 S-Video input, don't plan on using it. MC only supports the Tuner and not a Composite/S-Video. I believe this is true for all additional inputs in WMCE, it don't use it!

SageTV on Vista, no 3D excelleration. Says need 32MB RAM ( I have GForce 6600/256MB) or need to install DiirectX (DirectX 10 installed and functioning). So I can not test Full Screen.

NVidia Beta driver Ver10 appears to work ok, released driver did not, various issues. Cloning does not work right. Switch HDTV output as primary but retains Monitor resolution. Have to set Dual View to get HD res right.


So for me, I need to install 2000 on another partition to trial Sage again.
Primarily to see if the remote works and if I can run Full Screen on 1080i.
Any insight to this issue would help me.

Summary,
Vista/WMCE, not a chance....
Add the fact that my CF Reader don't work and my Scanner don't work.
Turn off defender and everything I could find to stop stupid confirmations. No Sage won't run. POS, OEM Version for sale cheap.

SageTV
Everything I am looking for, TV/DVD/Media an Photo from single interface. Remote Works. Fairly simple to maintain and configure.

Beyond
Media and TV appear seperate, so no go.
Media did not run on Vista anyway.

Just a note, I consider myself fairly technical and find Vista difficult to mantain/manage.
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