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SageTV Software Discussion related to the SageTV application produced by SageTV. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to the SageTV software application should be posted here. (Check the descriptions of the other forums; all hardware related questions go in the Hardware Support forum, etc. And, post in the customizations forum instead if any customizations are active.)

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  #1  
Old 06-02-2010, 09:13 PM
DBGaither DBGaither is offline
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Quick & Dirty Guide for Noobs?

Okay, so I'm just about done with my very first server build and I'm really looking forward to loading SageTV and joining this great community. My problem is, as a noob, I can't find any "guides" to starting from scratch. Maybe there is one on these forums that I just can't find.

I have a sizable (300) amount of DVD's including Movie's, TV shows, Concert video's & some instructional videos. I also have about 50 BRD's that I'd like on my server as well.

I have a sizable music library (iTunes)(250Gb) that I'd like to bring over as well. Meta-data is already attached.

Before I load everything up en masse I'd like to "prepare the way" so to speak. I certainly want to organize my collection in such a way so that I can assign meta-data to the information. But I'm not sure how to go about this or perhaps I should use some naming conventions that will make some meta-data tool work more accurately.

Should I just copy ALL my stuff into one folder and let SageTV sort it out or is that asking for trouble?

Added into that is the hubbub over the Sage 7. I know there are probably many different approaches to do what I am asking. But some sort of primer with pros/cons of various approaches by one of you SageTV sages would certainly make this voyage a bit less anxious.
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2010, 07:19 AM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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A Noobs Guide would be nice but there are so many different combination and approaches that it is difficult to create something that works for all. There are a lot of guides on specific setup needs but those don't really answer you questions.

First Question is Sage v6 or v7. v7 is Beta but seems pretty stable on my test box. The problem with v7 is that not all of the core plugins work with it just yet. That said, it is better out of the box and I would start with v7 instead of v6.

Will you do any TV Recording or Online content like Hulu or Netflix?
What is the OS. WHS, Win7 ???

How to Organize imported content. There are probably a lot of different approaches to how to approach this. I have evolved over time to what I use today. My intention is also to store my content in such a way that it can be used in Sage, MCE and XBMC.

Note: You will want to install the Phoenix Fanart, Metadata Tools & SageTV Web Interface Plug-ins.

I have several shares setup for content. (Always use the Network share path when you set it up in sage)
\\server\Fanart
\\server\Music
\\server\TV Shows
\\server\Movies
\\server\DVR
\\server\Photos

Fanart: \\server\Fanart
The plugins that really take advantage of Fanart are not yet ready for v7 but it is still used in places and adds to the overall experience. You will need to define a central Fanart folder and I found a dedicated network share works best for me.

Music:
\\server\Music
...\\server\Music\Music Library
...\\server\Music\Playlists

I use iTunes as well and let it manage the music folders at the "Music Library" Level. This works out to be a \Artist\Album folder structure. I do not let iTunes put the track number on the song. Sage will periodically rescan the music share and update as appropriate. It can and will read the necessary metadata from the files. (Everything is a m4a)

Playlist are more difficult. Sage does not read the iTunes xml export so I have to manually convert them to a m3u which everything seems to support. I keep a xml and m3u playlist in the "Playlists" directory under the music share. Keep in mind that Sage does not seem to use the m3u but import it. You will need to delete the playlist in sage and re-import it for any changes to show up.

Imported TV Shows: \\server\TV Shows
...\\server\TV Shows\TV Shows\John Adams\Season1\John Adams - S01E01 - Join or Die

Anything that is a series does not work well in the Videos section. They really need to show up in the TV section that is better designed to deal with the sub groupings. I have a special share called "TV Shows" for imported TV series. Under the share I have a Directory call "TV Shows" as well. "\\TV Shows\TV Shows" seems redundant but when you are in the Folder structure navigating the extra level allows you to see all imported TV Shows grouped together. After that it is by \Show & then by \Season. In the file name I will use "Show Name - S##E## (Season##Episode##) - Episode Desc"

DVD Rips do not work as cleanly. I have started breaking out each episode into its own file at this point but still have a few left in DVD form. Until v7 SageTV did not support iso rips so mine are in the folder structure. I would name the ripped folder like I would the file for the show referenced above. Nothing seems to deal with the multiple episodes on the DVD very well. These will all show up in sage listing just the fist episode in the series.
\\server\TV Shows\TV Shows\Band of Brothers\Season1Band of Brothers - S01E01-02
* Band of Brothers episode 1 will show up in Sage but will launch the DVD that contains Episode 1 and 2.

The Metadata Tools plugin will help you manage imported TV Shows. You will be able to define them as a SageTV Recoding in the web interface of the plugin and they will show up in TV instead of Videos if you prefer. It will attempt to find the metadata automatically but you can override or change these setting if they don't suit your needs. The TV Explorer plugin is great at reading and combining the Metadata for imported TV with recording but is not yet ready for v7.

Movies: \\server\Movies
...\\server\Movies\Action
...\\server\Movies\Animation
...\\server\Movies\Adventure
...\\server\Movies\SciFi\Avatar\Avatar.m2ts

Movies are easier to manage than TV but I still group them by my own classification under the movies folder. I also have a separate directory for each movie as well. (The separate folder for each movie is really for how MCE plugins store the Metadata\Fanart which is in the folder itself. In Sage you really don't need to naviage the extra folder just press play at the folder level and it will play the movie.)

Under the Base UI I find the only good way to navigate a large imported collection is by folder structure. Something like the MovieWall plugin will give you more options but I still found myself using the folder structure. MovieWall not ready for v7.

Recorded TV: \\server\DVR
One big folder for all recordings. If you do not change the name of the file you can move these to imported "TV Shows" folders and they will still show up like you never moved them.

Photos: \\server\Photos
I don't use Sage for Photo viewing so I just point to a collection of good photos that get used in the screen saver.

I did reorganize my very large photo library by year recently. There are broad categories under the year as well but I found when I did it by category first I could never find anything.

Note:
The DVD rips now support iso but it is new and might have growing pains. I generally just rip the main movie as a m2ts file anyway.
Since BluRay support does not support menus at this point I just rip the main movies as well but if you want the whole disk just put it in a folder with the name of the movie and it will work just like a single file of the movie.
You should try to decide on a standard container as well. I use m2ts as that is the BluRay container and seems to have very broad support. mkv, mp4 and avi all have good support as well.

Last edited by SWKerr; 06-03-2010 at 07:35 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-11-2010, 04:56 AM
DBGaither DBGaither is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWKerr View Post
Will you do any TV Recording or Online content like Hulu or Netflix?
What is the OS. WHS, Win7 ???
We will be viewing online content. We have a Netflix account and watch content currently on our BR player. Haven't tried Hulu yet.

I'm using Windows XP. I had bought it years ago to install on my Mac, but used it instead for the server.

Because I am new to Sage, I was also thinking about starting with Sage7. I seem to have my hands full with just ripping my DVD collection right now. I looks like a LONG process.

You said that you do not let iTunes place the track number in the song - is that simply a personal preference or is there some reason I should change (I currently have all my tunes with the track number in the title of the filename.
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2010, 08:23 AM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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There is a developer working on a plugin called My Movies that will probably what you will want to use. The plugin is still in development and not ready for general distribution. PluckyHD designed the last MovieWall plugin that I use today and I am sure this will be even better. MovieWall will not be further developed so I would go with setting up with compatibility with the My Movies plug-in in mind. My Movies will use a external application that manages the Movie Library. My Movies is Free for some functionality and cost money for various level of additional functionality. If you are ripping a collection from scratch you might want to consider it.
My Movies Discussion: (Long Post)
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/show...ighlight=ready

My Movies Site:
http://www.mymovies.dk/

You can't get the plugin at this point but you can start using My Movies to organize you collection so you are ready. The folder structure will be basically the same as I described but it will also store the movie info in a database for use with the plugin PluckyHD is creating. What you do with My Movies today should still work will with the current non-plugin videos section of SageTV7.

I can't give you a lot of info on My Movies as I am not using it myself yet but will be testing it over the next few weeks as I have time. (Home Improvement project underway)

I would start with SageTV7. It is in beta but seems very stable to me at this point especially if you do not intend to use a TV tuner. Keep in mind that if you get the SageTV software you can add a relatively cheap tuner card and record OTA local stations for free and use the same Sage interface that you have for movies.

There is a plugin for Playon for SageTV7 that will let you watch Netflix and Hulu from the SageTV interface. It works very well for me on my test setup and I would recomend it. Playon is an external app the you can buy that takes all the major online sources and puts them into one interface that you can then stream to content devices like the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox360 (as well as SageTV extenders and software). If you have not tried Hulu you may want to check it out. There is a lot of good content on it.
http://www.playon.tv/playon

iTunes: I would not change unless you have run across something that bother you. I just don't like the track number in the name. When you sort by Name in something that is not using the metadata is will sort by the number of the track. Useless. (Mainly WinMobile problem for me) The track # is in the metadata for use by any app that needs it but I don't think it needs to be in the file name. Also: I forgot I no longer let iTunes manage the Library I use Media Money for that now. I have had itunes convert them all before and had to use media Monkey to put them back.

How do you plan to watch the library. You mention server will you be getting an extender or will you watch from the PC? XP will work fine as a server but I really would recommend stepping up to Win7 if you plan to use if for playback. Setup and stability and security are all much better. The GUI is just better as well.

Last edited by SWKerr; 06-12-2010 at 08:31 AM.
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2010, 01:28 PM
tchapin tchapin is offline
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I wrote a guide that may be what you're looking for, The Beginner's Guide to SageTV. Please take a look at let me know what you think.
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  #6  
Old 06-12-2010, 06:49 PM
heffneil heffneil is offline
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As a recent noob I know where you are coming from. There isn't as much documentation as you would like or hope and support from the company is limited. The community is the best avenue for support. Unfortunately a lot of questions aren't answered especially if they are remedial. My best advice is to try it on your own the best and trial and error is the best way to learn. Be as specific as you can when you post questions and make sure you search before you ask the question if you want to get a resolution fastest!

Best of luck and I can tell you it will be worth it!!!

Neil
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2010, 06:53 PM
heffneil heffneil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tchapin View Post
I wrote a guide that may be what you're looking for, The Beginner's Guide to SageTV. Please take a look at let me know what you think.
The above is a pretty good guide and the comments below are nice. I am surprised there isn't a wiki article on installation and configuration. Also I am surprised there isn't a sage wiki direct?

Neil
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2010, 04:13 PM
tchapin tchapin is offline
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Hi Neil,

Thanks. I'm open to improving the guide if people find it helpful, so let me know if there's anything that you think is inaccurate.

Once I get more familiar / comfortable w/ V7, I'll make updates to it as needed.

There is also some other feedback that I need to incorporate.

I want to keep that post as a beginner's guide though. I welcome topics for an advanced guide. I imagine that could cover more things like plugins and such.

BTW, if you haven't seen it already, you should check out Brent's GeekTonic Ultimate SageTV page: http://www.geektonic.com/2008/11/sag...ate-guide.html

Perhaps we need a sticky topic for "general helpful resources"...
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2010, 04:15 PM
Brent Brent is offline
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I'm working on a basics guide for SageTV 7, but it's going slow as I have many other blog/work/etc projects going at the same time. Tchappins is pretty darn good so a great place to start. My GeekTonic SageTV landing page (linked to above) needs some serious updating since SageTV7 was released - just have to get through 5 hardware reviews that are killing me at the moment.

My guide will be two-fold:
1st will be written with several sections.
2nd will be video & screen-cast which I hope to include in a All-SageTV video channel to be eventually added to the online videos section. That is if anyone can stand my voice for that long....
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  #10  
Old 06-16-2010, 05:28 PM
vorpel vorpel is offline
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Great forum thread - I am also relatively new to SageTV and really appreciate all the links and info you guys/gals are providing!

Thanks!
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  #11  
Old 06-17-2010, 01:38 PM
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freewheeling freewheeling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent View Post
I'm working on a basics guide for SageTV 7, but it's going slow as I have many other blog/work/etc projects going at the same time. Tchappins is pretty darn good so a great place to start. My GeekTonic SageTV landing page (linked to above) needs some serious updating since SageTV7 was released - just have to get through 5 hardware reviews that are killing me at the moment.

My guide will be two-fold:
1st will be written with several sections.
2nd will be video & screen-cast which I hope to include in a All-SageTV video channel to be eventually added to the online videos section. That is if anyone can stand my voice for that long....
That's fantastic! Hope to see it soon.
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2010, 11:08 PM
DBGaither DBGaither is offline
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UPDATE: I experienced a setback when my motherboard failed. I was also quickly running out of hard drive space so I purchased a couple more 1.5TB drives (I now have 4x1.5TB plus an 80GB for OS & Apps). I have been copying all my rips onto my HTPC from my external Mac drives. Eliminating duplications and trying to organize. I started with Sage6 as I only had sporatic snipets of time and wanted to get going ASAP.

SWKerr: First of all thanks for the great replies - a few questions - you refer to "shares" - are these just drives? I have taken your advice and downloaded MyMovies and have entered my entire library into my account. I have also started the process of using Handbrake to pull out my purchased TV Shows into individual episodes rather than multiple episodes on one "disk". Also, is the meta-data embedded into the files or is it just kept in a library and referenced? At this point I am going to be using my PC to actually watch the content, although if this becomes a problem then I'll just purchase another extender (HD300).

tchapin: I've read your "Beginner's Guide to SageTV". Very well done. Would have really helped me in the formative stages of my decisions. I was eagerly looking over your article to find out what kind of remote control you would use if you were watching off the server. I have done several searches on the forums trying to find out what remotes people are using. It seems most are using extenders with the included remotes.

heffneil: Yes, a Wiki would be WONDERFUL!! I wouldn't have started this post if there was one.

Brent: I am a Geektonic fan! Way to go! Keep up the good work.

What I would really like to see is a "After installation... now what?" kinda guide. There really a HUGE amount of disparate information but not much structure to help this NOOB readily digest it.

So, what are you guys recommending for a remote control? I would guess it would be some kind of universal remote with some sort of receiver and enabler software.

Thanks for all your help. -Doug
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  #13  
Old 09-28-2010, 08:49 AM
tchapin tchapin is offline
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Hi Doug,

I use Harmony remotes. Currently they are the older 676 models. Overall, I really like the Harmony series. I wish for a few things though:

- That the remotes would remember the power state of the devices once in an activity. For example, if I'm listening to music, I'll turn on my system, pick the music, then turn off the display. When I'm done and want to shut everything down, I have to turn the display back on, then shut off the whole activity which shuts down the display as well. If I didn't turn it back on before ending the activity, it would turn the display on. This could be because my displays are all older and don't support discrete power commands. It's a single command for power toggling.

- The Harmony website used for configuration of your devices needs a total overhaul. It hasn't been updated in years and is clunky to get around.

- An account is limited to one remote. I have three viewing areas, and each has the same basics of equipment. Display, receiver, Sage extender, etc. Where possible, I buy the same brands for each location. For example, all of my receivers are Onkyo. It would be nice to have all of your equipment and remotes in one account and be able to make changes that effect all of them. Right now, you must create a separate account for each distinct remote you own.

However, overall, the harmony remotes make things so much easier. There's very little IR learning that's needed, as the Harmony website has the remote codes for a majority of devices out there. And the default configurations are usually pretty accurate. I like to tweak the extra buttons and one of my TVs requires an extra long power signal to shut down correctly that was interesting to figure out.

Oh, and as for using a remote directly w/ the server or client, I would still choose a Harmony remote if you want other equipment controlled as well. I can't recommend a particular IR receiver (although I suspect that a USB UIRT can act as one as well) since I don't use that configuration.
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  #14  
Old 09-30-2010, 02:57 PM
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BonBon BonBon is offline
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Magazine

I said it before, I wish there was a magazine dedicated to all things HTPC.

That would be so cool.
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  #15  
Old 10-01-2010, 11:02 AM
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mickdaly mickdaly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBGaither View Post

So, what are you guys recommending for a remote control? I would guess it would be some kind of universal remote with some sort of receiver and enabler software.
Doug, for remotes I use four harmony 880s (IR) and one 890 (RF). Beware the 890 is very tough to get working well (programming via their website).
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HP Mediasmart EX-485 server with 4.5tb storage, running Sagetv 7.0.23; 2 Hauppauge HD-PVRs; 2 Directv Receivers (H20 and H21 channel changing by usb/serial/usb cables); 4 Sagetv HD-200s; 1 Sagetv HD-300; Carada Criterion 126" screen; Definitive Technology speakers (UIW RLS II x 3, UIW BP/A x 2, DI 5.5BPS x 2, IWSub 10/10), Pioneer KRP-500M Kuro plasma; Pioneer Elite SC-07 receiver; Panasonic TH-50PH9UK plasma; Sharp Aquos LC-C4067U LCD; Oppo BDP-83 Blu-Ray player.
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  #16  
Old 11-05-2010, 06:16 PM
DBGaither DBGaither is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWKerr View Post
(Always use the Network share path when you set it up in sage)
What is the Network share path and how to I determine what mine is? I only have the single HTPC with multiple drives and Sage on it. My drives are:

C:\ - This is my OS drive
F:\ - This is my Applications drive
(the above two logical drives are partitions on a single 80Gb drive. I have been considering reformatting this drive to a single partition with the OS and Apps on it.

G:\ - This is has temporary storage along with a RECORDING directory
H:\Movies - Has a bunch of movies in folders
I:\Movies - Has a bunch of movies in folders
J:\TV Shows - Has TV shows /w seasons and then episodes

For example J:\TV_Shows\Monk\Season_1\Monk - S01E10 - Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation

It seems as though I should have some other folders within my \Movies folders. But there are movies that need to be in several different "categories". What is the best way to set up these folders?

Also, I have a bunch of DVD folders and they don't show up in the proper "Genre" when I try to view them that way. How do I fix that?

Doug
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