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  #1  
Old 04-14-2019, 05:19 PM
Len_Lekx Len_Lekx is offline
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A bit of comparison shopping...

I've been working on my HTPC project lately - I have the hardware together and (seemingly) functional, so I'm looking at my software options.

At the moment, the front-runners are NextPVR and SageTV. Both seem quite capable, so I'm having difficulty deciding which one to use.

I like that SageTV is capable of serial-port control of a DirecTV box (I'm hoping that my H25-100 is compatible... ) - NextPVR requires an external program-call to do it. Not a big deal, but since I'm lazy...

I've been going over the support-section posts and the PDF manual for V7 - am I reading it correctly that ComSkip is built in? Is it capable of saving to a new file with the commercials removed, or do I need to do that manually?

NextPVR recently added built-in Schedules Direct support, so that's not a decider...

SageTV has IR support built in, correct? How well does it get along with other IR-control programs? Example - if I choose to use EventGhost to go to LiveTV or other apps, would Sage interfere with my scripts?

How well does it integrate with Kodi? I'm thinking of using that as a front-end for my video collection - the ability to set it up as my TV front-end would be nice... but not entirely necessary.

When watching LiveTV, is there a 'Last Channel Recall' function available? Is it accessible through the remote?

What are the advantages of going 64-bit over 32-bit? I suspect that, for the time being - since most support programs are still 32-bit, it's less of a hassle to go that route.

Any advice would be appreciated...
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2019, 11:09 AM
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Tiki Tiki is offline
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So, the current version of Sage is 9.2, but v7 was the last one to have a manual published. In case you're curious, here's a brief history: Sage started as a commercial / paid product and v7 was the last release before Google bought the company and stopped selling the Sage product. Google used Sage as the basis of its Google Fiber TV platform for a while (under the covers, this was known as Sage v8). Google later moved on to something else, and the original founders of Sage got Google's permission to release the source code as an open-source project. This open-source project was based on v8, but with some proprietary Google stuff removed and so became known as v9. So, v9 is now an open-source project maintained by the community and free for anyone to use.

I don't have DirectTV, so am no expert on that topic, but from my understanding, the serial control was relatively old. They changed to Ethernet (IP) control some time ago, which is better. Sage supports both.

IR is supported for both receiving commands from a remote control (to navigate the screens in Sage), and for blasting commands to a STB (set top box) from your cable or satellite provider. Of course you need supported IR hardware installed in your PC (such as the USBUIRT or the IR hardware that comes with many Hauppauge products). You may need to do some manual setup to teach the buttons on your remote, or to figure out the blaster codes for your cable box.

Comskip is not built-in to the base SageTV product, but support can be added easily via plugin. Sage has a built-in plugin manager that makes it easy to find, install, update, or uninstall plugins.

Sage does have support for the "Previous Channel" command. If the remote you are using has an appropriate button, you can map it.

64-bit Sage for Windows was just recently released. It runs on top of 64-bit Java (32-bit Sage works with 32-bit Java). 64-bit Sage requires you to use 64-bit drivers for the things it interacts with. Because it is relatively new it is possible that odd quirks or compatibility issues with various other hardware/software may be discovered, but in general you shouldn't see much if any difference.

The main benefit of 64-bit is that it can access more memory if your PC has it installed. One complaint many Sage users had about the 32-bit version was that if they had a lot of mini-clients (Android mini-client, Linux mini-client, or hardware extender) connected at the same time, they could run out of memory on the server. This was more likely to be a problem if they were using plugins that added fan-art and other graphic-intense elements to the UI. 64-bit Sage removes the memory constraints.

Sage doesn't really integrate with Kodi or any other software. Of course you could playback Sage recordings using Kodi or something else, but there is currently no mechanism to use Kodi (or any other PVR software) to schedule recordings in Sage, or otherwise manage Sage.

There are some plugins to make it easier to go back and forth between various PVR software (for example, renaming recording files in a format that other software like Plex can recognize, or tracking watched status on recordings between different software using Trakt).
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2019, 06:02 PM
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SHS SHS is offline
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Far I know of the serial port control is not possible on H25 you need switch to STB via ethernet.
USB-UIRT is the other option

Last edited by SHS; 04-18-2019 at 07:09 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-18-2019, 07:01 PM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len_Lekx View Post
I've been going over the support-section posts and the PDF manual for V7...
There is an online manual that has some updates, check out this post: https://forums.sagetv.com/forums/sho...postcount=2561
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2019, 08:56 PM
Len_Lekx Len_Lekx is offline
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Thanks for the responses thus far. Couple more things...

@Tiki

My question about IR blasters was more for a scenario like this: If I want to use Kodi to watch my ripped-video collection, and Sage for TV, I will likely need an 'intermediary' program to launch the appropriate app - say, green button for Sage and yellow for Kodi. The only ones I've been able to find are EventGhost and IR Server Suite for MediaPortal - and I haven't yet found a 64-bit version for either of those.

@SHS

I hope that's not correct. Given that my receiver is a 'grey-market', I've been asked to *never* connect my receiver to the Internet. I'm going to try serial-port control, though... but failing that, I *do* have a usb-uirt device installed, plus the blaster on one of my Colossus 2 cards. I'm a little uneasy about the IR option, because my old JRiver Media Server wouldn't properly learn the DirecTV codes.

@KeithAbbott

Thanks - I never saw that manual link. I'll have to take a peek at it later on...
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  #6  
Old 04-22-2019, 08:11 AM
Len_Lekx Len_Lekx is offline
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Just a quick update for SHS...

I did a 'quickie' test for serial control of my H25 box - I can, at the very least, cycle the power. Channel-changing is the next step.
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  #7  
Old 04-23-2019, 10:24 AM
JustFred JustFred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len_Lekx View Post
My question about IR blasters was more for a scenario like this: If I want to use Kodi to watch my ripped-video collection, and Sage for TV, I will likely need an 'intermediary' program to launch the appropriate app - say, green button for Sage and yellow for Kodi. The only ones I've been able to find are EventGhost and IR Server Suite for MediaPortal - and I haven't yet found a 64-bit version for either of those.
The 'intermediary' program can be either 32-or 64-bit.

Quote:
I *do* have a usb-uirt device installed, plus the blaster on one of my Colossus 2 cards. I'm a little uneasy about the IR option, because my old JRiver Media Server wouldn't properly learn the DirecTV codes.
You'll likely have much better luck using usb-uirt than the blaster on Colossus 2. In general, usb-uirt is much more robust and straight-forward. And Hauppauge's IR blaster usage is a huge hassle any time there's more than one HCW blaster-capable device connected to your system.
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  #8  
Old 04-23-2019, 10:38 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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@Len - You don't really talk about what configuration you need. Are you just running everything on one PC or are you going with a client-serer architecture?

One of SageTV's early advantages is that it is a full client-server implementation and SageTV had excellent lightweight clients - especially the HD200 and HD300 which were years ahead of their time. These are still very useful as clients or you can use an AndroidTV client like an Nvidia Shield.

The main reason to use 64 bit vs 32 bit is to be able to support more simultaneous clients. I have 8-9 TVs in my house and SageTV would choke once you got to about four simultaneous clients. But the 64 bit version allows you to run much larger JVMs so that problem is solved.

By the way, I would also suggest using boxes like an Nvidia Shield at your TVs for SageTV, Kodi, Netflix, etc. I have HTPCs at several of my PCs but I almost never use them as the boxes are just more reliable and less of a hassle.
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  #9  
Old 04-23-2019, 03:06 PM
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SHS SHS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len_Lekx View Post
Just a quick update for SHS...

I did a 'quickie' test for serial control of my H25 box - I can, at the very least, cycle the power. Channel-changing is the next step.
How when they have no home control jack so how could you have got to work when them 7 years ago they did have them that why I even switch to over to ethernet control it better and fast and far more reliable.
Are you talk about this serial port control http://www.dtvcontrol.com/cable.html or USB serial

Last edited by SHS; 04-23-2019 at 03:26 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-23-2019, 08:09 PM
Len_Lekx Len_Lekx is offline
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@JustFred

I asked because I tried to use EventGhost in conjunction with JRiver Media Server a few months ago - EventGhost was 32-bit, and JRiver was 64-bit - and my usb-uirt wouldn't read anything properly... so I suspected that a conflict between the 32-bit and 64-bit drivers was the problem Installing the 32-bit version solved the problem. But now that I'm not looking to use JRiver anymore, I'm trying to figure out alternatives.

@wayner

Sorry - my initial setup is going to be a single HTPC in my living-room. In the future, I may assemble a machine to run as a client in my bedroom (so I can get rid of one of my cable boxes...) and *maybe* put the client software on my work-room PC so that I can check the lobby-watch channel when deliveries come. I live in a condo, so I won't be setting up a ten-client video server - if I do expand, it'll probably be no more than five clients... with a maximum of two running simultaneously. I worry more about compatibility between apps than expansion.

@SHS

Again - sorry for not being clear. I have a USB-serial adapter connected to the receiver, going through a null-modem cable to another USB-serial adapter on the computer. I'm going through a third party, and have been told (rather emphatically...) that I should *not* be using any hardware that could potentially connect to the Internet.
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  #11  
Old 05-15-2020, 06:15 PM
Len_Lekx Len_Lekx is offline
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Coming back to this thread, because my search has once again brought up some question...

I've been looking, but can't see if Sage offers a picture-in-picture function. I would like the ability to, if I'm watching one channel on my satellite STB, check the Security (Lobby-Watch) channel on my cable STB without losing the channel I happen to be watching.

Also - I'm concerned that some of the channel numbers on one STB will be used by the other STB, but will be pointing to different channels. (i.e. channel 264 on the satellite STB is BBCAmerica, but on the cable STB it is NASA.) Can I set up Sage to 'group' channels to look at one input card only? I saw a paragraph in the old manual about using logical and physical channel numbers - which I suspect could work.
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  #12  
Old 05-15-2020, 06:49 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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No on Picture-in-Picture.

Yes, you can manually edit logical channel numbers to group as you see fit. I haven't bothered playing around with that as the channel number is not really relevant to me as I don't watch TV. So I continue to use the original channel numbers in my lineup which is OTA for Buffalo and Toronto stations plus Rogers digital cable.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:04 AM
Len_Lekx Len_Lekx is offline
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Bummer - I was really hoping for PiP... How about a hotkey - "Jump to Channel X" sort of thing?
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:02 AM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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Not an answer to your recent question but I just saw this thread and was going to mention: you say you still want to use Kodi to watch various media... Sage can be made to point to any folders on your server/network and anything recorded/saved there can be viewed. You can set the "refresh media" scan time to whatever you want and every time something new appears, the next scan will pick it up. Only limitations are newer formats since, as mentioned above, Sage somewhat stopped "official" maintenance in the H.264/1080p days. However, keep an eye on the "github" subforum and the other plugin/development subforums, as that is being worked on by the remaining devs.

Note you can also add plugins which give lots of options as far as modifying the menu formats. There are complete UI replacements, or there is "ADM" ("another dynamic menu") which allows you to just rearrange/replace the standard UI items and background pics to your liking. This allows you to make direct menu items out of plugin things, or rearrange based on your household's preferences.
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  #15  
Old 05-16-2020, 12:37 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len_Lekx View Post
Bummer - I was really hoping for PiP... How about a hotkey - "Jump to Channel X" sort of thing?
The best way to do that is likely with another remote like a Harmony.

The real value in SageTV is not watching LiveTV so these functions are generally of less use. Personally I NEVER watch LiveTV. Even for sports I watch a bit later on to zip through commercials, halftime, etc.

There are other useful things you can do, like use the web UI to search for a show and then have it play on any of your clients.
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Old 05-16-2020, 05:04 PM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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Welcome to SageTV! We all hope you get your money's worth as you comparison shop.
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  #17  
Old 05-16-2020, 09:38 PM
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xjim1 xjim1 is offline
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Welcome to the forum. It's nice not to be the newbie anymore.
I'd just recommend experimenting with each. Sage, at least on Win10, is an easy install. Don't run it as a service, just start it up when you want to play with it. Never worked with NPVR, but the price certainly is right. But w/SageTV, you get a full refund if you're not completely satisfied.

Seriously, I use it for an HTPC, and have to say, even after 10 years, I'm still impressed with some of the features I come across. It's a well designed product.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:42 AM
Len_Lekx Len_Lekx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjim1 View Post
I'd just recommend experimenting with each. Sage, at least on Win10, is an easy install. Don't run it as a service, just start it up when you want to play with it. Never worked with NPVR, but the price certainly is right. But w/SageTV, you get a full refund if you're not completely satisfied.
Yeah - experimenting is what I'm doing at the moment. I like NPVR, but the web interface on v5 keeps freezing on me at random intervals - don't know if that's a software problem, or something in my system. I'm going to try v4, because it offers picture-in-picture functions for my two input cards - I can check my lobby-security channel without interrupting what I'm watching at the time. (I know, I know - I'm not actually interrupting anything, since Sage records continually and all I have to do is skip back - but I'm so used to thinking in those terms, that it will be tough to break that habit.

Quote:
Seriously, I use it for an HTPC, and have to say, even after 10 years, I'm still impressed with some of the features I come across. It's a well designed product.
Thanks for the review - I've already crossed the JRiver Media Center off my list, because it doesn't use Schedules Direct and can't cope with two sets of IR blasters... I've asked if they would support external programs for channel control instead of built-in, but it doesn't seem to be a high priority for them.

Likewise MediaPortal is out - no Schedules Direct, and IR channel changing seems to only support one STB.

That leaves Sage and NPVR.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:45 PM
Len_Lekx Len_Lekx is offline
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Another dumb question...

What are the Extender and Placeshifter for? Do I need them if I run one or two local clients on my home network?
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  #20  
Old 05-19-2020, 06:13 PM
trk2 trk2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len_Lekx View Post
Another dumb question...

What are the Extender and Placeshifter for? Do I need them if I run one or two local clients on my home network?
The extenders were small hardware clients (HD100, HD200, HD300) that SageTV sold before they were acquired by Google. Many feel they still work as the best client for connection to TVs or projectors. They had some pretty advance features at the time with the final variant offering HD Audio, native resolution switching and 24fps support. Placeshifter is a software client that allows you to connect remotely to SageTV over the internet and stream video/tv. Placeshifter is antiquated these days. You do not need to enable support for extenders or placeshifter if you're just using pc clients on a home network.
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