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  #1  
Old 07-05-2011, 07:07 PM
Biggen Biggen is offline
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Well I thought WMC was a solution...

I have been playing with WMC and Media Browser for the last week. It is amazing how great and customizable Media Browser is. It gets excellent marks in the WAF area. I have been doing all the testing from my desktop in my house (acting as an "extender" - or so I thought ) connected to my HTPC Server via my home network. I was thinking I could play with WMC and get everything setup before I build a couple custom made i3 HTPC's which would eventually replace ALL (3 of them) of my HD-300's and then purchase a Ceton InfiniTV to "round" everything out and be done with the whole thing.

At any rate, I finally got WMC to play properly all my ripped DVD/BD .mkv files. Took some playing around with codecs but I finally got it straightened out. So I figured I would tackle live/recorded TV viewing today. Seemed simple enough. I cranked up WMC on my HTPC-Server (the one Sage runs on) and I went through the TV setup menu. In a matter of minutes I was enjoying live TV right on the server and easily able to flip through the guide and change channels (channel changing happens so much faster in WMC than Sage). So I decided I give it a try from my desktop "extender" and see how it works...



I finally came to realize after a hour worth of internet searches that only "official" extenders can stream live/recorded TV from a WMC server. Well what are the official extenders? As far as I can tell the only extender that is still in current production is a Xbox 360. Well my friends, I already have a 360 and there is no way I am going to use those ugly, noisy, power hungry, heavy and hot devices as extenders all over my house. And then on top of that, the 360's don't play ripped BD .mkv content very well. Hell, I have 100% of my ripped movies in .mkv containers so if it can't play those properly what good is it??

So.... WTF?!?

1. Why are there no extenders other than the 360? From the research I did, there were half a dozen from different vendors a few years ago and then nada... In my mind that was backwards. The Ceton card has made it easy to watch/record TV in WMC yet the Ceton card came AFTER all the extenders were EOL'ed. It should be the other way around. We should have had a way to watch TV in WMC and then develop the appropriate extenders. The InfiniTV soulds like a great idea but ONLY IF there are extender support and there is none!

2. Why can't we build "extenders" like we can build clients with Sage? I swear if someone mentions DRM I will jump in front of a car...

This is truly frustrating. I thought I might have a "way out" when the time comes to abandon Sage and now I seem to be back to square one. I wish the WD TV units could act as media extenders for WMC. Those units can do everything I need EXCEPT watch/record TV.

Frustrated...

Last edited by Biggen; 07-05-2011 at 07:13 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:51 PM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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Sorry to hear that you went all through all that trouble to only discover that there's no WMC clients, but this is pretty common knowledge about WMC. The Xbox360 is the only way to view WMC contents. There was a project called "softsled" that was supposed to reversed engineer WMC to allow it to act as a client, but I think that project has long been abandoned, I don't follow it closely but it seems to be dead.

As for why there are no extenders from all the competing products? Well, because they don't listen or don't care what their customers want. We told SageTV that we want dedicated clients, and they listen and gave us extenders. We told them we want a better UI, and they gave us a better UI in v7. They listened and tried to add the features that the customers want. That is the difference between SageTV and other companies, I just hope Google understands that and continue that tradition.
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2011, 10:29 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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sooo... since you're here.. I take it you've already GOT sagetv... so just ... use it?
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  #4  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:12 PM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
sooo... since you're here.. I take it you've already GOT sagetv... so just ... use it?
Because we are doomed, DOOMED! If you never believed in the end of the world in 2012, well Google's takeover of SageTV is an obvious sign that the end is near.

Panic now.
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  #5  
Old 07-06-2011, 04:21 AM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Yup have to Agree pretty common knowledge sorry you wasted so much time.

The ceton offers network bridging to at least stretch the tuners out to different pcs and such but still not a client solution but is workable in some use cases.
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  #6  
Old 07-06-2011, 04:23 AM
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trini0 trini0 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
sooo... since you're here.. I take it you've already GOT sagetv... so just ... use it?
Unfortunately, it is somewhat harder to use, when I cannot get more extenders/client licenses..

Me personally, I recently married, and I sold the wife on ditching her cable dvr. I lugged my rack of gear to her place, and was getting ready to purchase extenders, when the hammer fell..

She is understanding for the moment, and we're using what we have, but I have my mind on what to do next to expand. Hoping Google can crank something worthwhile out..
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  #7  
Old 07-06-2011, 05:50 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayamaniac View Post
There was a project called "softsled" that was supposed to reversed engineer WMC to allow it to act as a client, but I think that project has long been abandoned, I don't follow it closely but it seems to be dead.
Actually "softsled" is the official MS software client for WMC, but it's internal only, and IIRC was used mainly for testing/developing media extender functionality.
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  #8  
Old 07-06-2011, 05:53 AM
Biggen Biggen is offline
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LOL. Well I guess it isn't common enough as I sure as hell didn't know about it... Once I found Sage a year ago I stopped looking for other PVR solutions so I never got the opportunity to research WMC that well. I did find this thread over at AVS. I must have read this guy's mind!


As far as continuing to use Sage, I am already doing that. I am "fully invested" in my Sage setup with 3 HD-300's and a dedicated HTPC Server running Sage in a closet. But I think some people on this forum need to face the facts already. Sage is EOL. There is no more support sans this message board. If an extender takes a power surge (or just plain breaks) one will have to resort to eBay to find replacement parts. Plugin development has seemingly stopped. What developers wants to continue to write and support code for a dead product? And then we have a bigger problem in that the EPG will be going away in 11 months which will essentially make Sage worthless one that happens.

Now will Google somehow integrate Sage into a new product? Perhaps... Will it work with our existing hardware? Doubtful... A bigger question is if Google does decide to somehow support us Sage users when will this happen and what can we realistically expect?

IMO, Google bought out a competitor with their acquistion of Sage and they have no desire in continuing to develop it. Some people may be content with sitting on their laurels dreaming that this didn't happen but I'm not one of them. I'd rather be more proactive and continue looking for viable alternatives BEFORE I can no longer use Sage anymore.

/soapbox

Ok, I am going to play around with using my Xbox as an extender today and see how it works. It appears the Xbox can't handle DTS which is a major problem and also can't handle high (i.e. ~12Mbs+) bitrates from BD rips. But it is still worth trying I suppose...

Last edited by Biggen; 07-06-2011 at 06:59 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-06-2011, 06:53 AM
simonen simonen is offline
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Just my opinion, but I think Sage saw the writing on the wall and jumped at the offer.

How much longer could they realistically hold out? Tivo, Whole-home DVRs from satellite and cable, TVs that integrate DNLA, Netflix and Skype. It was only going to get more and more difficult for them.

There may not be another all-in-one solution like Sage, but you can get most that functionality spread across devices you need anyways whether you have sage or not (TV, cable box, etc.).
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2011, 07:01 AM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggen View Post
Ok, I am going to play around with using my Xbox as an extender today and see how it works. It appears the Xbox can't handle DTS which is a major problem and also can't handle high (i.e. ~12Mbs+) bitrates from BD rips. But it is still worth trying I suppose...
Feel free to hit me up with any questions.

Also will MyMovies you can keep two rips (a lower bitrate for the extenders and a native rip for the main pc). MyMovies will automatically pick the correct rip based on where playback is started. If you transcode the blurays correctly it is hard to tell a difference in quality to be honest.

And for records sake the new slim is nearly silent in extender mode compared to the old jetplane models.
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  #11  
Old 07-06-2011, 07:05 AM
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heffe2001 heffe2001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggen View Post
...
I finally came to realize after a hour worth of internet searches that only "official" extenders can stream live/recorded TV from a WMC server. Well what are the official extenders? As far as I can tell the only extender that is still in current production is a Xbox 360. Well my friends, I already have a 360 and there is no way I am going to use those ugly, noisy, power hungry, heavy and hot devices as extenders all over my house. And then on top of that, the 360's don't play ripped BD .mkv content very well. Hell, I have 100% of my ripped movies in .mkv containers so if it can't play those properly what good is it??
...
I'm guessing you have the pre-slim version of the xbox.. I just picked up a Slim Kinect kit, and it's near silent compared to my old Falcon xbox (which finally died, no chance at a ressurection this time either ). I would at least LOOK at the new boxes, they use less power, and just don't make the noise that the older ones do. Not that I want to pick up a bunch of 360's myself to replace my extenders I already have, but at least that option is there (and you can pick up MC extenders on ebay pretty regularly for decent prices, especially considering how much Sage extenders are being gouged for on there, people should be ashamed to take advantage of their Sage-using brothers like that ).
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2011, 08:01 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggen View Post
As far as continuing to use Sage, I am already doing that. I am "fully invested" in my Sage setup with 3 HD-300's and a dedicated HTPC Server running Sage in a closet. But I think some people on this forum need to face the facts already. Sage is EOL. There is no more support sans this message board.
Not true:
http://www.sagetv.com/request.html

Quote:
If an extender takes a power surge (or just plain breaks) one will have to resort to eBay to find replacement parts.
If it's under warranty, Sage/Google is still honoring the warranty.

Quote:
Plugin development has seemingly stopped. What developers wants to continue to write and support code for a dead product?
I've seen new BMT and Phoenix builds in the last day or two (off the top of my head).

Quote:
And then we have a bigger problem in that the EPG will be going away in 11 months which will essentially make Sage worthless one that happens.
That's not certain, it was not stated it will end in a year, it's guaranteed for at least a year.

Quote:
Now will Google somehow integrate Sage into a new product? Perhaps... Will it work with our existing hardware? Doubtful... A bigger question is if Google does decide to somehow support us Sage users when will this happen and what can we realistically expect?
Well, we've got year or more to figure that out.

Quote:
IMO, Google bought out a competitor with their acquistion of Sage and they have no desire in continuing to develop it.
How do you figure Sage was a "competitor"? In what way did Sage "threaten" any of google's products?

Everything I've seen leads more to the conclusion that SageTV had something (people, tech, etc) that Google wanted or needed. I don't see how you could make a case for Google buying SageTV just to kill it, especially when Jeff is still employed by Google and optimistic about the future.

Quote:
Some people may be content with sitting on their laurels dreaming that this didn't happen but I'm not one of them. I'd rather be more proactive and continue looking for viable alternatives BEFORE I can no longer use Sage anymore.
I'm not sitting and being content, I don't really expect the result of this whole deal to be something terribly familiar to SageTV users. But at the same time I'm not going to panic, I'm going to keep using SageTV and keep an eye for alternatives should one become necessary.
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  #13  
Old 07-06-2011, 08:09 AM
OneOfMany OneOfMany is offline
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The lack of softsled is what got me to investigate Sage. And once I set it up, there's no way I could go back. My wife and daughter would have my head!

Grant
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  #14  
Old 07-06-2011, 08:51 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLUCKYHD View Post
Feel free to hit me up with any questions.

Also will MyMovies you can keep two rips (a lower bitrate for the extenders and a native rip for the main pc). MyMovies will automatically pick the correct rip based on where playback is started. If you transcode the blurays correctly it is hard to tell a difference in quality to be honest.

And for records sake the new slim is nearly silent in extender mode compared to the old jetplane models.
You already jump ship buddy? Or are you referring to your days on the "other side"?
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  #15  
Old 07-06-2011, 09:10 AM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Originally Posted by panteragstk View Post
You already jump ship buddy? Or are you referring to your days on the "other side"?
I remember the "other side" well had over 4 years with it and I am always expermienting
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  #16  
Old 07-06-2011, 09:25 AM
Biggen Biggen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heffe2001 View Post
I'm guessing you have the pre-slim version of the xbox.. I just picked up a Slim Kinect kit, and it's near silent compared to my old Falcon xbox (which finally died, no chance at a ressurection this time either ). I would at least LOOK at the new boxes, they use less power, and just don't make the noise that the older ones do. Not that I want to pick up a bunch of 360's myself to replace my extenders I already have, but at least that option is there (and you can pick up MC extenders on ebay pretty regularly for decent prices, especially considering how much Sage extenders are being gouged for on there, people should be ashamed to take advantage of their Sage-using brothers like that ).
I saw a youtube video last night comparing the slim version to the one I have. It did look smaller and lighter. My main requirement is sound though. My Xbox is a noisy beast. If the new ones are quiet(er) then that makes them more attractive in my mind.

@Stanger89

1. Do many of us have extenders that are still within the warranty period? If not then what? eBay??
2. You don't believe Sage could have been a competitor to GoogleTV? Really? What if Sage down the road had gotten Netflix ability? Facebook connectivity? Hulu? Google in one fell swoop not only eliminated a possible competitor but also gained programming knowledge from the SageTV team...
3. Who is going to pay for the EPG after our year (really 11 months now) is up? Google? Jeff?
4. Do you really expect plugin development to continue into the foreseeable future? I know the Diamond team said they would start back up again after the summer break but do we really expect them to invest their time into a product that is dying?

I have read many of your posts here and on AVS over the last year or two. You are an intelligent person and I have to believe you have to be worried about our alternatives because right now there simply isn't anything on the market like Sage and its future is doomed. No matter how any of us sugar coat it there is no upgrade path with SageTV any longer.

It makes me sad but its a fact of life.
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  #17  
Old 07-06-2011, 09:36 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Sage, as it sits now, is even more attractive than it was 6 months ago. It still has every feature it had then, PLUS Ortus/Phoenix in active development and in public beta, Diamond reaching 'completion' as it were. If a large portion of the user base were REALLY jumping ship, the prices on eBay would not be so high, as the supply would be much higher than the demand of the few that remain. Considering the prices of the HD300 on eBay, it tells me 2 things. There are way more people sticking with sage than leaving it, and that a client PC is cheaper than an extender. There are ways to get the client working without purchasing it using the trial period, and since the client has effectively zero value (since it is not for sale, and not transferable) I don't feel bad about bending the rules to make it work. Of course, I'd rather have legitimate keys for it, but that appears to not be an option.
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  #18  
Old 07-06-2011, 09:44 AM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggen View Post
II have read many of your posts here and on AVS over the last year or two. You are an intelligent person


Just kidding Fuzzy one day I will miss our bickering keeps the blood flowing
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  #19  
Old 07-06-2011, 09:45 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggen View Post
1. Do many of us have extenders that are still within the warranty period? If not then what? eBay??
If enough people are really going to leave sage like you say, the prices on ebay wouldn't be so high... so, if for some reason a bunch DO leave, then eBay DOES become a good source of hardware for those who remain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggen View Post
2. You don't believe Sage could have been a competitor to GoogleTV? Really? What if Sage down the road had gotten Netflix ability? Facebook connectivity? Hulu? Google in one fell swoop not only eliminated a possible competitor but also gained programming knowledge from the SageTV team...
Sage would never have the market share to threaten GoogleTV. It is targeted at a completely different group of users, with above normal needs. GoogleTV is targeted at the more mainstream consumer, and as such, already has plenty of other more realistic competitors in Roku and the like.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggen View Post
3. Who is going to pay for the EPG after our year (really 11 months now) is up? Google? Jeff?
Noone has ever paid for EPG data for anyone outside of the US and Canada - and they've been using sage for just as long. XMLTV works very well as a data source. That said, the cost to keep the sage EPG service going is probably not very high, especially to Google.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggen View Post
4. Do you really expect plugin development to continue into the foreseeable future? I know the Diamond team said they would start back up again after the summer break but do we really expect them to invest their time into a product that is dying?
Considering the public beta of both Ortus and Phoenix are still in the starting phases, and that there isn't a real alternative for anyone to switch to, (the community devs included), then yes, I do expect development to continue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggen View Post
I have read many of your posts here and on AVS over the last year or two. You are an intelligent person and I have to believe you have to be worried about our alternatives because right now there simply isn't anything on the market like Sage and its future is doomed. No matter how any of us sugar coat it there is no upgrade path with SageTV any longer.

It makes me sad but its a fact of life.
Exactly, SageTV is a community based product. The community is what gives it its strength. That community is still here, BECAUSE there are no viable alternatives, and therefore, Sage will still be here. I don't see a NEED for an upgrade path at this point. SageTV, in it's current form, i what I would consider a complete product. the plugin system is great, the backend has been great for many years. What do you envision would have been the next upgrade that we now aren't going to get, and is it a killer feature that the alternatives have?
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  #20  
Old 07-06-2011, 09:45 AM
Biggen Biggen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
Sage, as it sits now, is even more attractive than it was 6 months ago.
Are you a used car salesman

Seriously, a product that is EOL is MORE attractive than when still in production?

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