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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 09-26-2021, 02:50 PM
g0dM@n g0dM@n is offline
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Total newbie -- Need a 101 please

Background:
- I used Ceton PCIe 4-tuner and Windows Media Center from a very very, long time ago
- Upgraded to Ceton 6-tuner ethernet/external version, lots of tinkering with attenuators, super annoying
- Hacked WMC onto Win10, super annoying
- Eventually went to HDHR Prime 3-tuner with much better experience
- Finally cut the cord and over a year later I want OTA HD now
- Do a ton of streaming, but would love some of the free OTA, especially sports on national TV channels

I picked up an HD Antenna for OTA and did a dry run with it hooked up to my TV. Saw some HD but was digital scrambling, but b/c I had the antenna on the 1st room floor. I assume it'll be much better once I mount it on the roof (would like to within a couple of weeks in case I need to return the antenna).

What I need:
- DVR
- Share OTA to other computers or other devices

What I have:
- ESXi server in basement: Not sure, but I could pass-through a tuner card to a VM if that's possible, not necessary. Server has ZFS on it with plenty of space over SMB shares
- Have a Synology NAS that I back up my ZFS file server too, but can use this for storage also
- HTPC: Lenovo ThinkCentre M75q Tony, Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE v/Radeon Vega, 16GB RAM, NVMe, can hook up an external drive if I can't do SageTV recordings to SMB on my file server or NAS

I have other PCs, but my ESXi server and my HTPC run 24/7, so hopefully I can leverage one of those. I'm guessing I should get a tuner card, but not sure what to get. The antenna I have is a $50 antenna from Amazon... if it isn't good enough I'll return it, but I need to set up everything else anyway.

I have PCs, Amazon firesticks, and tablets all over the house. I currently have Plex available to everything, so was hoping there is a way I could hook up an antenna to a tuner card on a PC and use software to share it everywhere. I heard SageTV is awesome.

If anyone can get me started, I will be ecstatic!! My wife has been looking forward to getting some TV back, but we refuse to pay the hefty price of a TV subscription these days.

I'm a Sr Systems Engineer and have been doing IT for over 20 years... so I should be capable of whatever advice you guys have to give. Thanks in advance!!
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2021, 03:36 PM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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SageTV would work well for everything you describe but since you are already using Plex, have you looked at its DVR capability? It seems like that might be all you'd need.

But in terms of Sage, you can absolutely put it on a server (doesn't even need high specs unless you use a lot of plugins that do processing like ComSkip), and with the app-based extender capabilities now you should be able to use the various viewing devices you have around your house.

My family has been using SageTV for OTA DVR purposes for 13 years now (never had cable or satellite in that time). I'm not a programmer in any way so it definitely doesn't take a lot of knowledge of IT stuff - though it will certainly make it easier and you'd be "better" at it right off the bat than I've ever been!

Personally I recommend the SiliconDust HDHomerun ("HDHR") as a network tuner, as you can locate it near your antenna (shorter coax = less signal loss) - assuming you can get network cable to the HDHR unit. But if you can get good reception from the roof regardless, then there are several tuner options available.
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  #3  
Old 09-26-2021, 03:44 PM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is online now
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Personally I would steer clear of a tuner card, SiliconDust makes several different OTA tuner devices that connect via ethernet. And as far as the antenna, I would check tvfool.com and/or antennaweb.org, both sites have a wealth of OTA and antenna information.
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  #4  
Old 09-26-2021, 05:51 PM
g0dM@n g0dM@n is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj View Post
SageTV would work well for everything you describe but since you are already using Plex, have you looked at its DVR capability? It seems like that might be all you'd need.

But in terms of Sage, you can absolutely put it on a server (doesn't even need high specs unless you use a lot of plugins that do processing like ComSkip), and with the app-based extender capabilities now you should be able to use the various viewing devices you have around your house.

My family has been using SageTV for OTA DVR purposes for 13 years now (never had cable or satellite in that time). I'm not a programmer in any way so it definitely doesn't take a lot of knowledge of IT stuff - though it will certainly make it easier and you'd be "better" at it right off the bat than I've ever been!

Personally I recommend the SiliconDust HDHomerun ("HDHR") as a network tuner, as you can locate it near your antenna (shorter coax = less signal loss) - assuming you can get network cable to the HDHR unit. But if you can get good reception from the roof regardless, then there are several tuner options available.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithAbbott View Post
Personally I would steer clear of a tuner card, SiliconDust makes several different OTA tuner devices that connect via ethernet. And as far as the antenna, I would check tvfool.com and/or antennaweb.org, both sites have a wealth of OTA and antenna information.
Thank you both!
I had HD HR Prime and got rid of it since it worked with a TV card that I no longer feel like paying for.

If they have an external one that hooks up to ethernet, that's awesome! I ran gigabit wiring in my entire house when I first moved in. 2-4 runs to every single room in the house, so I can manage using that (would be great!)

I would like to:
1. Record
2. Be able to watch on multiple devices
3. Watch recorded stuff and/or live stuff
4. Pause on non-primary devices

In order to watch on tablets and the like, would I need a server to stream it, the way I do Plex?

I assume I'll have to get back to paying for schedules direct (was cheap like $25 annually) so that I can set up a guide to record.

My buddy recommended SageTV for OTA, so that's why I leaned in this direction.

FYI - I went into my attic and plopped the $50 antenna there and pointed it to where I'm fairly certain it needs to point. It came with a 40ft coax, so I dropped it down the attic door and ran it to the closest TV and it caught 62 channels with no hiccups! I just had to power up the amp that it comes with (forgot initially and boy does it make it go from trash to perfection).

This is the antenna:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0748KYTZN/

I'm guessing I got lucky that I didn't need a more expensive one. I swear, literally just plopped it upside-down (since I have the pole mounted and not physically mounting it yet)... couldn't believe it just works like that. So I may not need to put it on the roof after all. I planned to, but if it works perfectly from the attic then why have the antenna get hit with weather? Unless... I lose bandwidth if I want to start recording/tuning 2+ items at the same time?

Love you guys for the quick replies. I knew these were good forums!
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  #5  
Old 09-26-2021, 08:44 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithAbbott View Post
Personally I would steer clear of a tuner card, SiliconDust makes several different OTA tuner devices that connect via ethernet. And as far as the antenna, I would check tvfool.com and/or antennaweb.org, both sites have a wealth of OTA and antenna information.
My own experience with HDHR vs card tuners is that the card tuners (and USB tuners) pull in more channels more reliably from the same antenna as the HDHRs. My HDHR is a fairly old model, so perhaps the newer ones would do better, but because of its limitation, it has the lowest merit-setting on my setup. Really the only advantage for me for the HDHR is that I can use it with multiple Sage servers (but of course have to make sure they aren't trying to use the same tuner at the same time!).
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  #6  
Old 09-27-2021, 08:03 AM
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Opus4 Opus4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithAbbott View Post
And as far as the antenna, I would check tvfool.com and/or antennaweb.org, both sites have a wealth of OTA and antenna information.
Is tvfool.com still around? Hasn't loaded for me at recently, but the other antenna mapping sites work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by g0dM@n View Post
Check some antenna sites, including the one from the fcc -- just google something like "tv antenna map".

The antenna you mention doesn't include the low VHF range, but you might not have any channels in that range, depending on where you are. Check for any 2-6 physical channels, because that antenna might not be able to get them.

All my clear QAM was turned off recently, so the rest (4 tuners) of my old HDHR QAM tuners were switched over to antenna, joining the 2 tuners there already. I can't comment on the old HDHR OTA reception vs some other hardware, but I'm glad the ones I have still work.

Andy
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  #7  
Old 09-27-2021, 10:30 AM
TGsell TGsell is offline
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I've been using Sage OTA with the Silicon Dust quad tuner (below) and antenna from Amazon below with perfect quality - actually better than cable in many instances. I use Firesticks around the house.... some issues but generally excellent, it's an active improvement project (see Patreon) ..


https://www.silicondust.com/product/hdhomerun-flex-4k/

McDuory Outdoor 150 Miles Digital Antenna 360 Degree Rotation Amplified HDTV Antenna -Support 2 TVs-UHF/VHF/1080P/4K - Infrared Remote - 40ft RG6 Cable and Mounting Pole Included
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  #8  
Old 09-27-2021, 10:42 AM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opus4 View Post
Is tvfool.com still around? Hasn't loaded for me at recently, but the other antenna mapping sites work.
I think they may have had some server issues recently, but I just checked and it is loading for me now.
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  #9  
Old 09-27-2021, 12:15 PM
g0dM@n g0dM@n is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj View Post
SageTV would work well for everything you describe but since you are already using Plex, have you looked at its DVR capability? It seems like that might be all you'd need.

But in terms of Sage, you can absolutely put it on a server (doesn't even need high specs unless you use a lot of plugins that do processing like ComSkip), and with the app-based extender capabilities now you should be able to use the various viewing devices you have around your house.

My family has been using SageTV for OTA DVR purposes for 13 years now (never had cable or satellite in that time). I'm not a programmer in any way so it definitely doesn't take a lot of knowledge of IT stuff - though it will certainly make it easier and you'd be "better" at it right off the bat than I've ever been!

Personally I recommend the SiliconDust HDHomerun ("HDHR") as a network tuner, as you can locate it near your antenna (shorter coax = less signal loss) - assuming you can get network cable to the HDHR unit. But if you can get good reception from the roof regardless, then there are several tuner options available.
I'd love to record with commercial skip capabilities. Since I already have plexpass I'll try that, but I'll compare to SageTV also I guess. I just thought I needed to set this up on a server, so that I can easily share to the "weaker" devices on my network, such as tablets and older desktops (strictly for TV use). For example, I have a 10-yr old desktop in the shed (my man cave) on gigabit

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithAbbott View Post
Personally I would steer clear of a tuner card, SiliconDust makes several different OTA tuner devices that connect via ethernet. And as far as the antenna, I would check tvfool.com and/or antennaweb.org, both sites have a wealth of OTA and antenna information.
I'm leaning towards SiliconDust based on a lot of the posts here, and since I loved their 3-tuner TV card that I used with Verizon FIOS I stand by their product (wayyyy better than Ceton).
Quote:
Originally Posted by TGsell View Post
I've been using Sage OTA with the Silicon Dust quad tuner (below) and antenna from Amazon below with perfect quality - actually better than cable in many instances. I use Firesticks around the house.... some issues but generally excellent, it's an active improvement project (see Patreon) ..


https://www.silicondust.com/product/hdhomerun-flex-4k/

McDuory Outdoor 150 Miles Digital Antenna 360 Degree Rotation Amplified HDTV Antenna -Support 2 TVs-UHF/VHF/1080P/4K - Infrared Remote - 40ft RG6 Cable and Mounting Pole Included
Dude, first of all the Antenna I have is identical (assume rebranded versions):
https://www.amazon.com/pingbingding-.../dp/B0748KYTZN

So -- that's good news!

Second, yesterday I pulled 62 channels and they come out perfect with it, hooked up directly to a TV tuner.

Third, I couldn't decide between the different SD HDHR tuners. There's a duo, a quad, ones with a HDD built-in. I can't figure out which makes the most sense.

I don't need a built-in HDD as I have a TON of storage at home, externals, and the like. Being an IT geek I have a ton of hardware.

Any reason you chose this particular tuner? It's the one I'm leaning on the most as I'm looking to not have to upgrade at any time soon, plus I have externals I could hook up to it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Opus4 View Post
Is tvfool.com still around? Hasn't loaded for me at recently, but the other antenna mapping sites work.

Check some antenna sites, including the one from the fcc -- just google something like "tv antenna map".

The antenna you mention doesn't include the low VHF range, but you might not have any channels in that range, depending on where you are. Check for any 2-6 physical channels, because that antenna might not be able to get them.

All my clear QAM was turned off recently, so the rest (4 tuners) of my old HDHR QAM tuners were switched over to antenna, joining the 2 tuners there already. I can't comment on the old HDHR OTA reception vs some other hardware, but I'm glad the ones I have still work.

Andy
Andy, thanks bud.
What do you mean by 2-6 physical? I do get a few channel 2 on there, channel 4, etc.
My zip code is 10954. I'm in NY state, I'd say roughly 25 miles or so away from NYC/Manhattan. I'll check those sites you guys mentioned.

Man -- a wealth of knowledge here. I'm 2 steps closer!! Eager to order a tuner, but waiting for some more feedback and some more research in general.
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  #10  
Old 09-27-2021, 04:56 PM
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Opus4 Opus4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithAbbott View Post
I think they may have had some server issues recently, but I just checked and it is loading for me now.
Huh. Maybe it is something about my browser not letting it load, but I did see comments from others saying it wasn't working, so.... idk

Quote:
Originally Posted by g0dM@n View Post
Andy, thanks bud.
What do you mean by 2-6 physical? I do get a few channel 2 on there, channel 4, etc.
My zip code is 10954. I'm in NY state, I'd say roughly 25 miles or so away from NYC/Manhattan. I'll check those sites you guys mentioned.
I get NYC stations too, in NJ. Channel 2 (CBS) is a logical channel, not the physical channel.

If you go to This fcc antenna map page and put in your zip code, you'll see the channels listed & it will say UHF, Hi-V, or Lo-V. The logical channel is shown next to each station, if you click on the station, it will expand and show the direction and actual RF channel that the tuner has to use to receive it. Only MeTv is Low VHF according to that map, MeTV at physical channel 3.

Physical channel is the actual broadcast RF channel frequency; Logical channel is the channel number the TV will show.

Antennas Direct also has a mapping feature.

Doesn't look like you need to worry about low VHF right now. I don't either, unless I were to turn my antenna towards Philadelphia.

Andy
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  #11  
Old 09-27-2021, 05:43 PM
g0dM@n g0dM@n is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opus4 View Post
Huh. Maybe it is something about my browser not letting it load, but I did see comments from others saying it wasn't working, so.... idk

I get NYC stations too, in NJ. Channel 2 (CBS) is a logical channel, not the physical channel.

If you go to This fcc antenna map page and put in your zip code, you'll see the channels listed & it will say UHF, Hi-V, or Lo-V. The logical channel is shown next to each station, if you click on the station, it will expand and show the direction and actual RF channel that the tuner has to use to receive it. Only MeTv is Low VHF according to that map, MeTV at physical channel 3.

Physical channel is the actual broadcast RF channel frequency; Logical channel is the channel number the TV will show.

Antennas Direct also has a mapping feature.

Doesn't look like you need to worry about low VHF right now. I don't either, unless I were to turn my antenna towards Philadelphia.

Andy
Dude, this is great info!
That's what I was anticipating the lack of need for VHF. Like I said, I threw my antenna in the attic for now. It's on top of a prop and pointed roughly to where I believe it be correct. My house points almost exactly south from where I am and since NYC is south and just barely east from me, that's how I pointed it.

Ran the cable through the attic door to the nearest TV (directly into TV tuner). Picked up 62 channels, and of those I get CBS, ABC, NBC, WNYW (Fox). Those are the big ones I wanted, so now I can watch some football for free, like I've imagined!!

Now I just have to decide if I should build my own DVR through Sage or Plex (via a USB tuner hooked up to a PC), or just go with SD HDHR. I kinda don't want to have to rely on a PC. I just don't know how well I can do multiple tuners or record one show while watching on 1-2 TVs. I don't plan on going above that.
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2021, 06:16 PM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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I put that same antenna in my attic about 2.5 years ago, works great for 30 miles range, occasionally accidentally picks up channels 90 degrees off 60 miles away.

I use it with and HDHomeRun Quatro just like this one. Works great.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/15461930081...sAAOSwyVFg1WU2
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  #13  
Old 09-27-2021, 08:10 PM
g0dM@n g0dM@n is offline
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Alright, I'm going to give this guy a shot:
SiliconDust HDHomeRun Flex 4K ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV: 2/4 Tuners HDFX-4K
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B092GCN9NL

For $50 more I can do ATSC 3.0 for future proofing. I'll pop in an external drive and see where it takes me. If I don't like the interface, I guess I can start setting up Plex or SageTV and test against that also. This is a start!

And if the 40ft coax that came with my antenna doesn't suffice, I'll grab some quality cable. I actually have my own RG6 tips and the tool that I've used to help my brothers with some of their coax runs for their cable providers.
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  #14  
Old 09-28-2021, 04:33 AM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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I thought about it, but I am waiting until they have a unit with 4 tuners that are ATSC 3.0 instead of just 2.
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  #15  
Old 09-28-2021, 05:28 AM
TGsell TGsell is offline
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The only reason I chose the quad tuner (without storage for same reasons as you) was good experiences with HDHR tuners.... the quad performed MUCH better on weaker channels and bad weather than the older Duo....My cable company just informed me they are encrypting broadcast channels next month so having the OTA working so well is really consoling.
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  #16  
Old 09-28-2021, 05:59 AM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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Totally agree, I have had HDHomeRun tuners from their first 2 tuner model. (It needed 2 Coax inputs.) I went with the Connect until the get 4 ASTC 3.0 tuners in a model.
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  #17  
Old 09-28-2021, 08:10 AM
g0dM@n g0dM@n is offline
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I'll let you guys know how it all turns out.
@NetworkGuy, I see you have ShieldTV... you find this guy a major upgrade from Firesticks?

I have 2x 4k firesticks and 2 older ones. The older ones are pretty slow, so I replaced one of them with an old repurposed desktop for now.
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  #18  
Old 09-28-2021, 11:36 AM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g0dM@n View Post
@NetworkGuy, I see you have ShieldTV... you find this guy a major upgrade from Firesticks?
You can see a visible performance on the ShieldTV, but you should expect that since it 3-4 times the price of a Firestick. I use the ShieldTV with my home theater and Firesticks every where else. It is just not worth spending that much money for things like the kitchen TV.

I am waiting to see what type of performance improvement the new Firestick gives. When Amazon puts them on sale, I will use their trade-in program and upgrade.
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Tuner: HDHomeRun Connect Duo
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  #19  
Old 09-28-2021, 11:44 AM
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Tiki Tiki is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g0dM@n View Post
Alright, I'm going to give this guy a shot:
SiliconDust HDHomeRun Flex 4K ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV: 2/4 Tuners HDFX-4K
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B092GCN9NL

For $50 more I can do ATSC 3.0 for future proofing. I'll pop in an external drive and see where it takes me. If I don't like the interface, I guess I can start setting up Plex or SageTV and test against that also. This is a start!

And if the 40ft coax that came with my antenna doesn't suffice, I'll grab some quality cable. I actually have my own RG6 tips and the tool that I've used to help my brothers with some of their coax runs for their cable providers.
I donít think anyone has tried using that device with SageTV yet. It probably wonít work with Sage out of the box and not sure how much support you will get trying to make it work. Might still be a Good product if you know what youíre doing and have a lot of patience (or if you donít plan to use it with Sage).
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  #20  
Old 09-28-2021, 12:03 PM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiki View Post
I donít think anyone has tried using that device with SageTV yet. It probably wonít work with Sage out of the box and not sure how much support you will get trying to make it work. Might still be a Good product if you know what youíre doing and have a lot of patience (or if you donít plan to use it with Sage).
I've been using one with SageTV for a few months now, although I bought it direct from SiliconDust back when they called it the HDHomeRun Connect 4K. I use OpenDCT, I have not tried to run it in native SageTV. In OpenDCT, as soon as I installed the tuner and restarted OpenDCT, it picked the new tuners up automatically and everything just worked.

Now that being said, I only have a single 4K-capable television in my house, and it is mounted on the kitchen wall. So it's not really a good place to test out new features. Bottom line, I have never tried the 4K tuners in the device, my use for now is strictly 1080p and lower.
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Server: MSI Z270 SLI Plus ATX Motherboard, Intel i7-7700T CPU, 32GB Memory, unRAID 6.9.2, SageTV (java11) & OpenDCT Dockers
Tuners: 2 x SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime Cable TV Tuners, SiliconDust HDHomeRun CONNECT 4K OTA Tuner
Clients: Multiple HD300 Extenders, Multiple Fire TV Stick 4K Max w/MiniClient
Miscellaneous: Multiple Sony RM-VLZ620 Universal Remote Controls
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