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  #1  
Old 07-02-2007, 02:53 PM
jvalj jvalj is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 15
Question Unusual set-up questions

Hi,

I have read the forums here and done some searches but I am still a bit confused on some issues, particularly relating to using SageTV under Vista Home. Specifically, I am thinking of running SageTV and the R5000-HD modification to record StarChoice satellite programming. I have a few questions to determine if this solution suits my needs.

Requirements:

Like many long-time TiVo users, I am not interested in watching live TV but would like to be able to start watching a program say, a half hour after it has started so I can skip through boring parts (e.g. commercials and time outs in a sporting event). It would be ideal if I could do this on a different computer on my home network that is not the one doing the actual recording. What I care most about is long term archival access and the ability to edit some of the HD programs I record, even if I change computers and eventually operating systems. I would like to run Vista Home Premium as the OS. I want to use the computer both for HDTV and for work (I have used a projector for MS Office, IE, and other applications for 10 years now but never had an HTPC).

Questions:

How does SageTV name the program stream it saves? Can it only be played with SageTV open or is it a general MPEG file that can be opened by other programs?

Can I watch recordings made from SageTV within the Vista media center interface?

Can I switch back and forth between the SageTV and Vista 10 foot interface on the same computer? Are there any compatibility problems?

Can I convert SageTV recordings into MPEG files that I can edit (e.g. take out commercials or save short clips of shows using videoredo)?

I will be buying a new HTPC computer as I do not want to assemble it myself. Do you have any recommendations on pre-built systems? For example I am considering the Velocity Micro Cinemagix with Vista Home Premium, a quad processor, two ATI TV Wonder 650 ATSC tuners, and an ATI Radeon 2600XT video card. Would something like this run SageTV in a reasonably convenient way?

Thanks everyone for reading a newbie post and hopefully providing your thoughts.
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2007, 03:34 PM
ybrew ybrew is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 633
Questions:

How does SageTV name the program stream it saves? Can it only be played with SageTV open or is it a general MPEG file that can be opened by other programs?

General mpeg file. I've just copied the mpg files to cd/dvd to share with non-sage friends. No issues.

Can I watch recordings made from SageTV within the Vista media center interface?

No clue. Does Vista MC allow you to watch other mpg files? If so, yes.

Can I switch back and forth between the SageTV and Vista 10 foot interface on the same computer? Are there any compatibility problems?

no clue.

Can I convert SageTV recordings into MPEG files that I can edit (e.g. take out commercials or save short clips of shows using videoredo)?

You can edit a sagetv mpg file same as any other mpg file.

I will be buying a new HTPC computer as I do not want to assemble it myself. Do you have any recommendations on pre-built systems? For example I am considering the Velocity Micro Cinemagix with Vista Home Premium, a quad processor, two ATI TV Wonder 650 ATSC tuners, and an ATI Radeon 2600XT video card. Would something like this run SageTV in a reasonably convenient way?

I'm in the process of building my new server now. For an HTPC, I think building is probably the best way to go. The biggest limitation to buying pre-built is getting the slots you need on the motherboard, and the expandability to add more disk space. If neither of those presents an issue, go for it.

For comparison sake, my server will have 3 pvr-500 PCI analog tuners (6 tuners total), an HD Homerun (2 HD tuners), 3 sata II 500 gig drives for recordings, and I know I'll be adding more drives eventually.
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2007, 05:00 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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I don't use Vista, so you should probably hear from someone that does, but I don't think Vista's Media Center and Sage play nicely together. I think people have had to disable the media center functionality, which might prevent the Vista Media Center interface from working.

The Velocity Micro system seem to be good, albeit pricey, HTPC machines. They can hold 4 hard drives, which is roughly what you'd get in other cases, short of a big, noisy full tower case.

Card slots shouldn't be a problem either. There seems to be 4 available. That kind of makes we wonder what motherboard they're using, since its rare to see a board with 4 usable PCI slots. Perhaps they are counting a slot next to the video card, which most people don't use.

Also, R5000-HDs act as network encoders, thus giving you a tuner without taking up a card slot. I think you'll be fine on card slots.

That being said, a lot of people with large Sage setups have a big, noisy server tucked away somewhere out of sight and sound. Then they buy small, quiet clients to connect to TVs (or MVPs if they just need standard-def TV). That helps stability too, as Sage can run as a server forever without crashing, but I've had problems watching videos on it for long periods of time without it crashing. You may want to consider that route if you haven't already.
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  #4  
Old 07-04-2007, 09:25 AM
jvalj jvalj is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 15
Thanks for your responses ybrew and reggie14.

I now understand that I have to disable Vistaís media center in order to use SageTV on that system. Thatís fine with me as long as there is a way of doing this easily. I am getting the impression from other threads that this is far from foolproof. All I want to do is buy a new system with Vista Home Premium (Ultimate if absolutely necessary) and have SageTV (Client and/or Placeshifter) work, including remote control functions. If this is possible now I will definitely buy it. If anyone knows of the steps involved to do this please point me to them. The thread http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24437 is certainly a good start but the impression I get is that many people are still having problems.
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  #5  
Old 07-04-2007, 09:28 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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I'd recommend going with Windows XP, except that Velocity Micro doesn't seem to sell that anymore.

I don't have Vista, so I can't really give you any help. I will say that Sage now officially supports Vista. I wouldn't say Sage's technical support is great, but this forum is certainly invaluable and I know the Sage guys do the best they can. Unfortunately, there does seem to be some lingering problems with Vista (for example, I think extender support is still broken).

I love Sage, and I think its been a great product for me. While I have confidence that Sage will fix the problems in Vista, I'm still not going to recommend that you buy a product that seems to have compatibility issues with the platform you want to use it on.

In my case, I have two licenses for Vista Business, but I haven't used them specifically because I don't want to break Sage.
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