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Old 05-24-2007, 06:45 PM
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davephan davephan is offline
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Windows Verses Linux

Has anyone used SageTV for Windows and Linux? How do they compare? Is the performance any better on one operating system verses the other? There isnt' a Linux trial version available. So, there isn't a free way to determine if it is worth it to move from Windows to Linux for SageTV.

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Old 05-24-2007, 07:04 PM
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trini0 trini0 is offline
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I plan on building a server soon. Linux would be my first choice, but tuner support (as far as I can tell), is weaker on Linux. I will be sticking to windows for the build...
Server: ASUS P5BV-C/4L, Celeron E1600, 2GB Ram, Windows 7, 30GB OS/512GB (iSCSI) TV/DVD Storage, SageTV 7.1.9, Java 1.6.0_20, Paterson TV Translator
Client(1): SageTV STX-HD100 f/w:20100212 connected to an Onkyo SR-606 and Samsung LN46A650 via HDMI
Client(2): HP Pavilion dv5z-1200 Entertainment Notebook running Windows 7 and SageTV Client 7.1.9
Source(1): DirecTV H21, HD-PVR (E1) driver 1.5.7
Source(2): HDHomeRun, Winegard GS-2200
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Old 05-25-2007, 05:46 AM
ntisdale ntisdale is offline
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When I first came across SageTV it was the windows version which I demoed on a PC. I liked it but decided to buy the linux version because I liked the idea of running a barebones OS dedicated to acting as a SageTV server. Here are my thoughts on the two:
1) Structure of each package:
- Windows version contains SageTV server and SageTV client for windows
- Linux version contains SageTV server and SageTV placeshifter (note: a full SageTV client does not exist yet for linux)
2) Interoperability:
- All versions of SageTV work with each other across OSes. So you can buy a license for SageTV windows client and drive that from a SageTV linux server etc...
3) Features:
- SageTV is written on a Java core so most of the code is common to all OS versions and so are the features. It only differs where the code has to interface the OS e.g. controlling device drivers etc...
- This can result in small delays in features trickling down into each OS version.
4) Hardware/driver support:
- Windows, mostly if your tuner card has BDA drivers it will work in windows
- Linux, mostly if your tuner card is supported by the kernel video4linux extensions then it will work
5) STV package support:
- Windows, most packages are written on windows based systems and so they work out of the box
- Linux, packages that do not use OS specific extensions/libraries seem to work e.g. SageMC, Nielm's webserver. However, extensions such as DVD burning do not as they are OS specific. It is worth checking the packages you may wish to use before deciding!
6) Installation:
- Windows is obviously fairly straight forward however, some people report issues with running sage in service mode (search forum threads)
- Linux, installing from stratch using Sage's instructions was fairly painless for me far easier than MythTV the last time I tried it.
7) Speed:
- Windows, depends on many factors. Windows installs and runs by default a lot of bloat you don't need. You may have a lot of bloat installed on your system from various software packages. Therefore, it is worth investing some time in turning off unrequired services, removing unused software, preventing software from starting when windows starts etc... Then there's making sure you defrag regularly, overheads caused by antivirus/anti-malware programs. If you have a fast PC it'll probably cope fine even with the bloat (but it is still worth removing it), if you have a slower PC then cutting the bloat out can really help speed things up.
- Linux, if you install the base Gentoo system as described on Sage's website then you'll only install the bare minimum to run SageTV and placeshifter - great for performance. You can add functionality to the OS as required later - you can even remove or at least disable X from starting if you plan to use the PC as a server only. I certainly noticed that my MediaMVP (SageTV extender) ran faster on the linux system with less stalls caused by Sage thinking. Also channel changing for me was quicker as linux allows far closer control of hardware devices compared with windows.
8) Support
- Windows, end customers are officially supported by SageTV customer services
- Linux, end customers are not offically supported by SageTV however, they are usually very helpful when contacted as well as helping out in the linux forum

The one big minux for linux is the lack of full Client. Placeshifter does most of what the full client does with one large exception: DVD playback. The only way to watch DVDs on linux is to rip them to a unencrypted form which of course is illegal and should never ever ever be done ;-)
Still itss a pain if you just want to watch a DVD disc.

So in summary, SageTV linux is better for windows in terms of performance; channel changes are quicker and the extender is quicker. Windows is better for support in terms of device drivers, STV packages and DVD playback.

I hope that helps, if you have any more specific questions about SageTV linux I'd be happy to answer them.
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Old 05-25-2007, 10:56 PM
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davephan davephan is offline
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Thanks for your information about the Linux version of SageTV. If a second license wasn't so expensive, I would be tempted to setup a Linux version to see if I could live with the Linux version. It is really unfortuate that a trial version is not available.

Maybe a significant discount could be offered for the Linux version for people who already purchased the Windows version of SageTV. If existing Windows SageTV owners purchased the SageTV Linux version, SageTV would increase SageTV's sales profits, which would otherwise not occur in most cases. The Linux version could also be improved by the increased Linux user base.

As it stands now, no demo for the Linux version and no discount for existing Windows version users to purchase the LInux version, the Linux version user base probably won't grow much.

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Old 05-28-2007, 02:51 PM
wvpolekat wvpolekat is offline
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Unless you are already VERY comfortable with Linux and mutimedia, I would steer clear of it. You put yourself in the position of relying on poorly or completely unsupported things like video4linux and hoping that if things don't work right that you can find an answer or someone willing to help instead of giving one of the typical Linux zelot smartass answers of telling you to write your own driver or read the craptastic documentation that was written by someone who assumes whoever is reading it already has intimate knowledge of the item being documented.

As for all the Windows "bloat" and such, it's pure FUD. Anyone who thinks Linux doesnt have bloat is nuts. Even a basic install of Fedora, Ubuntu etc installs junk like sendmail and cups, even if you tell it you don't want printing support and regardless of what anyone thinks, a desktop does not need a local MTA.

Most statements about Windows instability and "bloat" are nothing but FUD.

I run my Sage on a Windows XP machine, just a default/vanilla install with 3 tuners in service mode with no problems at all. All of the service mode "problems" I have read about are related to trying to use mapped drives. Heck, try just mounting an SMB share in Linux, let alone accessing it by UNC.

It's another case of Linux not being ready for prime time. I think the OEM description is perfect for it. If you want to sit down and put a system together with parts that are known to play well with video4linux and work all the kinks out, and maybe resell it as an "appliance", then it may be a great choice. But, if you just want it to work and not have to futz and fight with it, just go with Windows XP.
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Old 06-05-2007, 03:59 PM
subslug subslug is offline
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I hate to hear what you're saying about my beloved Linux but I guess the truth is, it is a real PITA sometimes. It isn't Linux's fault though, most hardware builders only write device drivers for the 90% of the users out there, and that ain't Linux or Mac users either.

I originally purchased the Linux SageTV version and a capture card, the pcHDTV 5500 card which is strictly supported in Linux. After a full week of utter frustration I decided to give a try to the HDHomeRun device.... It fairs no better. I can't even get SageTV to recognize the HDHomeRun device exists.

Then figuring after investing this much into it, I really need to make something work, so I purchase SageTV for Windows. I finally got a half baked setup working but even that isn't stable enough to rely on for anything more than a thirty minute recording. What's really disappointing is that, the PC I've tried setting all of this up on is really a pretty high end machine, P4 3.2ghz with 2 gigs ram and two 500gb SATA hard drives and a nVidia 6600 graphics card.
So it's not like I'm throwing it all together on a junker.

I suppose I'll keep at it and eventually get all the worms sorted out but to anyone who believes SageTV works any better on Windows than it does on Linux, all I can say is that hasn't been the case in my situation........neither seems up to snuff. But then again, if you consider all of the possible configurations it's amazing that it works at all.
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:35 AM
ntisdale ntisdale is offline
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Hi subslug, I'm sorry to hear you've had so many problems. Just out of interest did you get either capture devices working independently of sage? Which version of Sage and Linux did you use? I initially came unstuck when installing my Sage linux setup because, at the time, the Gentoo install recommended by Sage didn't compile support for my capture card (a DVB-T digital TV card). This meant a quick lesson in kernel compiling, not as easy as windows granted, but for a novice I had no problems. After that I tested the card using the DVB command line tools to record a short clip and then played it back on my windows machine. I then had to wait for Sage to complete DVB support in version 6.1 and I was away, Sage recognised the card and worked wonderfully.

If you still have some patience left and have your capture card working in linux but not in Sage then try contacting sage support and try to get through to one of the developers. They are very helpful and keen to get Sage working, as of version 6.1 Sage linux supports DVB, ASTC and QAM I believe.

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