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Old 12-29-2005, 07:28 PM
duckhunter duckhunter is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 3
Questions from a Newbie

My family purchased a HDtv for Christmas. We switched to digital cable and have access to some HD channels, digital channels, and some analog channels. We are leasing a DVR from the cable company for our HDtv. The other two tv’s receive analog cable. It doesn’t take long to get used to HDtv and DVR technology. We are investigating alternatives to supplement our main tv.

First, the HD-DVR does a nice job recording programs but there are times that one wants to make a permanent copy. I have been told that if I add a wireless PCI card to the back of the DVR, that I can access the saved files on the DVR with my home network. An inexpensive option, about $40. I could choose to save the files on my computer and view them later on the computer or burn onto a DVD. I’m not talking about ripping original movies from HBO or another premium channel (don’t even have access to premium channels). Rather, simply recording college sports (hockey and football) plus other conventional shows. DVD copies would only be for personal use. Does anyone know if this will indeed work?

A more expensive alternative (~$300) would be to purchase a DVD burner and burn a DVD while watching the saved program from the HD DVR. Some people have told me that DVD burners cannot duplicate these saved programs because of copyright protections. Is that correct?

A final alternative is to purchase SageTV. This option is intermediate in price (~$150). I would have another HD tv (computer monitor), have another DVR, be able to store saved programs on the computer hard drive and burn DVD’s. Very intriguing. However, I must admit that I am a real newbie when it comes to this technology and have several questions.

How does it all fit together? The SageTV PCI goes into a vacant slot on the motherboard. Cable connection goes to the back of the PCI card (co-axial cable connection). What attaches to the remaining three colored connections? (told ya I was a real noob….).

Do I need a cable box for the computer? I’m guessing not…

Would I still be able to use the computer for internet access and gaming or is it now a “full time tv”, unless I change connections in the back?

I have a wireless network. Can a laptop access saved programs from SageTV through the network?

Can someone with a wireless laptop watch tv over the network?

Can the Sagetv PVR replace the leased DVR from the cable company? If so, how can I send the saved programs to our big HDtv or must it be burned to a DVD first?

The Sagetv Media extender appears to provide the answer. What connections are used to connect the computer with other tvs in the house? Our computer is downstairs and the other tvs are upstairs. Is this a hardwire connection?

I have also considered satellite (Dish network) rather than cable. Dish network has a dual HD tuner that can be linked to two tvs. The cost is very high to have HD-DVR capability ($250 upgrade cost for DVR plus monthly fees). Is it possible to connect the computer to a satellite receiver using sageTV? Can the computer PVR be used to control both the computer and HDtv? Can the saved programs be shared between the computer and big HDtv?

Can a complete electronic “noob” pull all this off? I’m mostly a plug and play kind of guy…

Thanks for any assistance that you can provide!

Computer specs: 2.4 Ghz Pentium IV
120 GB Harddrive
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128 MB Video Card
XP pro OS

Last edited by duckhunter; 12-29-2005 at 07:31 PM.
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