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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 01-10-2007, 05:14 PM
msurebel msurebel is offline
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Complete Setup Question.

I've been roaming around here for a few days reading post and trying to fully understand how the system works, but I have a few questions as to the complete system setup, or my setup more specifically.

If I understand this correctly, I need the Sage TV software and Extender. I will also need some type of IR Blaster to communicate with my Dishnetwork recievers and other components, plus my HTPC with all the TV tuners and drive space. I'll be able to record and watch anything with it all coming into one spot for operation. Love it!!!

With this, I'll be able to operate both recievers at the HTPC and it all be one big happy system? At least that is my hope, to eliminate all the clutter of equipment at the TV, my cable, Dishnetwork, Internet, OTA HD all in one guide that even my momma could work.

My big objective is to archive all of my old movies and DVD's. With 5 kids, they tear up a DVD before you can even play it. Having access to all my media in one spot will be sweet.

Does anyone have similar setups that they could share with me?

I plan on using my old Dual Xeon 933 with 2 gig of ram to run and maintain all the media. Any pointers would be appreciated.

Hopefully, I didn't miss a similar question in the forumn somewhere else, I did look, but may have missed it.

Thanks, and this looks like a great product that has more flexibility and features than Windows Media.
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2007, 11:49 AM
jquinlan jquinlan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msurebel
If I understand this correctly, I need the Sage TV software and Extender.
I you wish to do a Client/Server setup then yes, you will need the Sage TV software and Extender(s) or the Sage TV software and Client(s).
The Extender uses a MediaMVP as a thin STB extender and the Client will allow you to use a smaller PC based client (with no turners or large storage) to also access the SAGETV interface. The PC based client will give you added benefit of watching multiple file formats without the heavy trans-coding load on the server CPU that can occur with the extender when watching DVD's, Divx, Xvid and other file types. The program guide will combine all your channel linups into one easy to use interface.

You can always just do the server/client in one box to get things setup and see how it works, but it will require the box to be close to the dish turners for channel change functions.

Your DVD's will need to be copied to the storage space you use for SAGETV, it wont pull the movie live from the DVD player on the server. The server will then serve it out to the clients.

The Xeon should be good for the server with multiple tuners and clients, the only thing that seems to tax the servers is the trans-coding for extenders. Now, to give you an update, at the CES show SAGETV is demoing a new extender that support more file formats natively and high definition to eliminate allot of this but, the MediaMVP will need some help. Dont know if the current extender licenses will work with the new one so you wish to monitor that thread also as more infromation is released.

Welcome to the SAGETV forum.
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2007, 01:47 PM
msurebel msurebel is offline
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Is there an estimated release date?

Having a small box in lieu of a computer at the TV doing all the work, would be best, so did they mentioned when the new media box would be released?

I guess I misunderstood the current extender, I thought it did the trancoding in lieu of the server.

Hopefully my Dual Xeon will handle a few clients.

Does anyone know of a pci card that allows input of IR transmitters? I've got two of the cable transmitters, can't remember where they came from, but a card with the ability to add a few more would be convenient.
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  #4  
Old 01-11-2007, 09:58 PM
jquinlan jquinlan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msurebel
Having a small box in lieu of a computer at the TV doing all the work, would be best, so did they mentioned when the new media box would be released?
They said the second quarter of 2007.
Quote:
I guess I misunderstood the current extender, I thought it did the trancoding in lieu of the server.
The MVP can only handle MPeg 1,2,3 formats natively. This is probably what kept the cost down. I bought my first MVP over 2 years ago. Now that the technology has gotten faster and smarter it time for something new.
Quote:
Hopefully my Dual Xeon will handle a few clients.
As long as you dont need allot of conversions of videos at real time you should be able to run multiple clients without your CPU spiking. Also pre-converting videos and DVDs to 100% native MPEG2 will help.

I cant help with the IR transmitters. I use raw analog cable for my SAGE server.
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  #5  
Old 01-12-2007, 02:14 PM
msurebel msurebel is offline
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Mpeg-4 Decoder

Anyone know if there is an encoder to use between the server and extender for mpeg-4 movies. For disk space, I would love to encode everything to 4, but if the extender won't read it, does me no good unless there is a fix somewhere.
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  #6  
Old 01-12-2007, 02:51 PM
ke6guj ke6guj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msurebel
Anyone know if there is an encoder to use between the server and extender for mpeg-4 movies. For disk space, I would love to encode everything to 4, but if the extender won't read it, does me no good unless there is a fix somewhere.
The MVP extender won't read mpeg-4, that is why the server transcodes it on-the-fly to mpeg-2 so that the MVP can read it.

That is why the next extender that Sage demoed at CES is wanted so bad. If it can read all the newer formats, then the server won't have to transcode it.
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__________________________________________
Server: AMD Phenom 9750, 2GB RAM, 2 Hauppauge PVR500, 1 Firewired DCT6200, 1 HDHomerun tuning 2 QAM channels, Vizio 37" HDTV LCD, 1 USB-UIRT

Clients: 1 MediaMVP, 1 Placeshifter Client, & 1 SageTV Client.
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  #7  
Old 01-12-2007, 02:53 PM
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MeInMaui MeInMaui is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msurebel
Anyone know if there is an encoder to use between the server and extender for mpeg-4 movies. For disk space, I would love to encode everything to 4, but if the extender won't read it, does me no good unless there is a fix somewhere.
The sage server transcodes other formats (i.e. divx and xvid) to mgeg2 on the fly when streaming to the mediaMVP extender. As long as your server has enough horsepower for this, it works well. I haven't seen any problems and my server runs an Athlon64 3200+ processor. HTH.

Aloha,
Mike
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  #8  
Old 01-12-2007, 02:57 PM
msurebel msurebel is offline
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Raw horsepower may be the problem...

I have a dual Xeon 933, with 2 gig of ram. If I don't have over two TV's wanting a movie, it should be okay, but anybody have a feel for what my system would handle?
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  #9  
Old 01-12-2007, 03:00 PM
ke6guj ke6guj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msurebel
Does anyone know of a pci card that allows input of IR transmitters? I've got two of the cable transmitters, can't remember where they came from, but a card with the ability to add a few more would be convenient.
Not sure what you are asking here. Are you asking how to add IR blasters to your system? If so, you either use one of the Hauppauge tuner cards that has an IR blaster, or a USB-connected IR blaster. The hauppuage IR blasters are only for a single STB (cable or sattelite box). A very popular USB IR blaster is the USB-UIRT. It has 3 zones, so it can control 3 identical STB's. If you can set the STB to use different codes, you can run even more than 3 off of one USB-UIRT. Plus, IIRC, you can run multiple USB-UIRTs if you need to.
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__________________________________________
Server: AMD Phenom 9750, 2GB RAM, 2 Hauppauge PVR500, 1 Firewired DCT6200, 1 HDHomerun tuning 2 QAM channels, Vizio 37" HDTV LCD, 1 USB-UIRT

Clients: 1 MediaMVP, 1 Placeshifter Client, & 1 SageTV Client.
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  #10  
Old 01-12-2007, 03:37 PM
msurebel msurebel is offline
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No

I've got a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 MCE dual tuner, I do have one ATI 650 tuner card that has HD,a USBUIRT, with extra transmitters, the Hauppauge Media MVP for the TV, Sage 6 and a license for the MVP. I plan on putting at the server two Dish Network 500's OTA HD, Comcast and my media files. My server has almost 500 gig of IDE drives, 80, 80, 80, 120, 160 but I plan on replacing two 80's with two 250's for a possible RAID configuration. My thoughts were to set up the 250's either as a RAID 0 or as seperate drives and use the others as archive, or backup duties. I want to archive my DVD/VHS collection for access across the network. Primary reason, is my kids are destroying every movie we have, (5 under 8 yrs of age) and my hope is to protect them by having them online.

I know nothing about Linux, but I've read about setting one up with multiple drives, different sizes, LVM, but I want reduntancy because if I take the time to archive my movies, I only want to do it once and storage is pretty cheap.

I have no HD televisons at this time, but do want to save the movies in the highest quality for when I do get one. Don't want to be doing this again.

I do some video editing of my movies, and the server would also serve as storage for some of my media, as well as viewing.

I do have three external 600 Gig Maxtors One Touch, that could also be used. I have firewire 400, but would most likely install an 800 card for the best performance.

I've got four televisions that I would like to eventually hook up to the system, but for starters, it will be just one or two. If they come out with the new media extender, then there should be less load on the server for any I add afterwards, right?

With all the rambling I just did, can my server handle a couple of TV's, or more doing the transcoding with great quality? I know the Hauppauge card only encodes mpeg2, so I'm thinking I should be fine, but being new at this, is there anything I missing, or should do differently?

Another question, what is the required throughput of the network? Where my server is, I only have one cat 5 cable running from there to the rest of the house that would need to be hardwired and I have a switch at the end of it, to seperate into the different rooms. Is this going to be adequate?
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  #11  
Old 01-12-2007, 04:00 PM
ke6guj ke6guj is offline
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Ok, recordings from the PVR-500 in mpeg2 will not requre any transcoding for the MVP, so there should be very little CPU load on the server.

Recordings from the 650, in in any format other than standard-definition mpeg2 would requre transcoding for the MVP.

Yes, a future-released HD-extender should reduce the need to do any server transcoding and limit the CPU load of the server.

As for how many TV's you can support, your should be able to support the 4 you want to as long as you aren't having to do any transcoding. I don't know if a Xeon 933 has enough horsepower to transcode on the fly. Sage can use both processors for its use, but it won't span the transcoding of a video stream over both cores. 1 stream, 1 core.

As for network bandwith used, I've seen SD running about 5Mbit, and HD running around 15-20Mbit. I think you'll be fine running on an 100Mbit network. The wiring setup you are describing is fine. If you had the switch by the server, and ran separate wires to the rooms, you'd still have just 1 cat5 cable from the server to the switch. As long as the cable is less than 100meters, you should be fine.
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__________________________________________
Server: AMD Phenom 9750, 2GB RAM, 2 Hauppauge PVR500, 1 Firewired DCT6200, 1 HDHomerun tuning 2 QAM channels, Vizio 37" HDTV LCD, 1 USB-UIRT

Clients: 1 MediaMVP, 1 Placeshifter Client, & 1 SageTV Client.
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  #12  
Old 01-12-2007, 04:11 PM
msurebel msurebel is offline
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Will a good graphics card help?

I know in some of thevideo editing apps, they make use of the graphics card to render and take the load off the CPU. Can Sage?
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  #13  
Old 01-12-2007, 04:14 PM
msurebel msurebel is offline
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dual processor

Will Sage utilze both cores if it is transcoding different shows? Say one tuner is transcoding a show, a request for another comes in, it is transcoded by the other?
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  #14  
Old 01-12-2007, 06:00 PM
ke6guj ke6guj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msurebel
I know in some of thevideo editing apps, they make use of the graphics card to render and take the load off the CPU. Can Sage?
Sage does use the graphics card's GPU to render the video, but only when being output through that video card, and you have to use a video decoder that supports hardware decoding, such as the nVIdia Purevideo decoder. The included Sage MPEG decoder is a software deocder and only uses the CPU to do the decoding. AFAIK, It won't work the way you want it. As in sendingvideo to the video card, through the GPU, and then bringing it back out of the video card in to the computer to be sent out to the MVP via the network card.


Quote:
Will Sage utilze both cores if it is transcoding different shows? Say one tuner is transcoding a show, a request for another comes in, it is transcoded by the other?
That is the way I understand it to be.

edit: A point of clarification, the tuner would not be transcoding a show. The tuner just records the content and saves to the HD. There is no transcoding from the tuner. If it was the PVR-500, it would be recording in mpeg2 and saving to the HD. If you want to watch that show on the MVP, then Sage would not need to transcode the video from the HD and send it to the MVP. However, if you were recording a show with your HD tuner, Sage would need to transcode the video from the HD to send it to the MVP. OR, if you had imported .avi files or sage-converted mpeg>avi files, then those would need to be transcoded on-the-fly for the MVP to view them.

So, if you wanted to watch 2 different shows on 2 different MVPs, the way I understand it is that Sage can use both cores, one for each transcoding job. But it only needs to do a transcoding job for non-mpeg2 content.
__________________
- Jack
__________________________________________
Server: AMD Phenom 9750, 2GB RAM, 2 Hauppauge PVR500, 1 Firewired DCT6200, 1 HDHomerun tuning 2 QAM channels, Vizio 37" HDTV LCD, 1 USB-UIRT

Clients: 1 MediaMVP, 1 Placeshifter Client, & 1 SageTV Client.

Last edited by ke6guj; 01-12-2007 at 06:09 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-13-2007, 10:58 AM
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naln naln is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msurebel
Anyone know if there is an encoder to use between the server and extender for mpeg-4 movies. For disk space, I would love to encode everything to 4, but if the extender won't read it, does me no good unless there is a fix somewhere.
How about using a modded Xbox running the XBMC SageTV script with nielms Sage WebServer....lot of people here have reported that to work very well. That way the Xbox does all the hardwork of decoding and displaying video formats.
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  #16  
Old 01-13-2007, 11:14 AM
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naln naln is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msurebel
I know nothing about Linux, but I've read about setting one up with multiple drives, different sizes, LVM, but I want reduntancy because if I take the time to archive my movies, I only want to do it once and storage is pretty cheap.

Another question, what is the required throughput of the network? Where my server is, I only have one cat 5 cable running from there to the rest of the house that would need to be hardwired and I have a switch at the end of it, to seperate into the different rooms. Is this going to be adequate?
Try NasLite for your server- if that was your question. I know nothing about Linux either- and yet setting it up was a breeze. I use a USB boot version and that frees up 4IDE and 4SATA ports on my mobo for adding drives without even putting in a RAID card . There is also support for RAID and is detailed in the serverelements documentation (the raid cards to choose - needs Hardware RAID). For your questions on the Network bandwidth- take a look at the serverelements webpage for network traffic that is supported by the server.....Again- no expert on network stuff, but my requirements of the network are pretty humble- so can't comment on the techinicalities- just pointing u to the info!
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