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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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Old 03-04-2011, 07:31 AM
DaveGA DaveGA is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Monroe, GA
Posts: 1
Build HTPC/Client(s) or Server/Client(s) - Opinions Requested

After reading the forums for a few weeks, I would like to ask the brain-trust here to help with some options that I'm thinking about. Overall, there is not a huge difference in cost.

Option 1)

Build HTPC

Case - nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 5000B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case $89.00
Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-H55M-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $109.99
CPU - Intel Core i3-560 Clarkdale 3.33GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80616I3560 $149.99
SSD - OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGTE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $119.99
RAM - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ $44.99
Storage Drive - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $90.00
Blu-Ray - LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray Reader SATA Model iHOS104-06 - OEM $49.99
Power Supply - Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $64.99
Tuner Card - Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Media Center Kit Dual TV Tuner 1213 PCI-Express x1 Interface $128.49
Windows - Microsoft Windows 7 Family Pack/ Home Premium Upgrade - Retail 3 PCs $123.99

Total - $971.42


1 HD-300 $150.00
1 Client Lic for Mini Mac $30.00
SageTV Software $80.00
Use the HTPC connected to the upstairs computer for playback

Total - $260.00

Grand Total - $1231.42

Option 2)

Purchase pre-built PC for SageTV server

Something along the lines of:

eMachines - Desktop / AMD Athlon™ II X2 Processor / 4GB Memory / 500GB Hard Drive


Dell - Inspiron Desktop / Intel® Pentium® Processor / 4GB Memory / 500GB Hard Drive


Storage Drive - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $90.00
Blu-Ray - LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray Reader SATA Model iHOS104-06 - OEM $49.99
Tuner Card - Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Media Center Kit Dual TV Tuner 1213 PCI-Express x1 Interface $128.49

For a total of $628.48 (first pre-built) or $768.48 (second pre-built)


1 Client Lic for Mini Mac $30.00
2 HD-300 extenders $300.00
SageTV software - $80.00

Total - $410.00

For a grand total of $1038.48 (first pre-built) or $1178.48 (second pre-built)

Here's the TV setup:

Upstairs TV - 50" big screen HDTV 1080i, Pioneer VSX-92THX, PS3
Downstairs TV - 32" Panasonic SD TV
Client PC - Mini Mac

What I would like to do is to record/playback the OTA television (with Comskip if possible), play some online content (mostly PlayOn/Hulu), rip a few DVDs (SD), and maybe a few BluRay discs. I don't want to rip the entire library; I don't mind watching from a disc when we'd like to watch a movie. The rips would really be for the children's movies so they can be played without having to find the disc and trying to keep up with it.

Anything I haven't thought of? Or just being entirely too "green" in this area?

Thank you for any advice you may have.

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Old 03-04-2011, 07:44 AM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is online now
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Posts: 1,375
Personally, between the two options, I would go with the "Purchase pre-built PC for SageTV server". Fewer potential issues, greater long-term flexibility.
Server: MSI Z270 SLI Plus ATX Motherboard, Intel i7-7700T CPU, 32GB Memory, Unraid 6.11.5, sagetvopen-sagetv-server-opendct-java11 Docker (version 2.0.7)
Tuners: 2 x SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime Cable TV Tuners, SiliconDust HDHomeRun CONNECT 4K OTA Tuner
Clients: Multiple HD300 Extenders, Multiple Fire TV Stick 4K Max w/MiniClient
Miscellaneous: Multiple Sony RM-VLZ620 Universal Remote Controls
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:06 AM
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wrems wrems is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 1,332
Welcome to the forums neighbor!

As far as whether to buy or build is really up to personal preference. I enjoy building so I would advocate that route. You know exactly what you’re getting with every piece of hardware. I think your specs are great. It will be a solid performer. One thing I would change if I were you is the tuner. I would opt for the HDHR: .

They just came out with their latest gen version the black one... Also, I think you can get a good deal on the older dual tuner models. The reason I suggest the HDHR is it saves your internal slots for other things down the road. Maybe you’ll want to add a Hauppauge Colossus someday, or add a Intel NIC, video card etc. Overall, the HDHR’s are really fantastic devices.

You’ll have zero problems comskipping OTA feeds with any of your hardware options.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:07 AM
Savage1701 Savage1701 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Roscoe, IL
Posts: 668
Just a couple of opinions:

Extenders beat Client/PC combos, hands down. Best thing Sage ever did, and worth every penny, if you can use them. Of course, I use a client on my work machine for convenience, but if you are feeding a TV, I'd go extender vs. Client PC, HDMI out of a video card, etc.

2250's are twitchy, in my opinion. I can't speak to Silicon Dust vs. other brands, but I'd be leary of 2250's vs. even a couple of quality USB tuner sticks. I've heard great things about Silicon Dust if you don't mind the slightly different schema of how it does its thing vs. a card. My 2250 is a problem child in my Sage nursery.

I'm assuming you are using wired Ethernet, which is good.

I'll get flamed for this, but don't use your SSD for pagefiles, temp files, or as a recording drive for Sage. Since you have other drives, move those aspects of Windows to them.

The good part - Win 7 will align the SSD and you will enjoy the performance. You can burn up an SSD really fast with relatively non-compressible things like audio and video files. I speak from experience. OCZ is the best for FW updates, etc. You are on track there.

Nice choice on a low-power CPU. I am an Intel fan, if for no other reason than their chipsets, the P67 debacle excepted, just get along better. I'll get flamed for that as well, I'm sure. :-)

Get 64-bit Windows if you can, even if you can't take advantage of every single bit of it now, no pun intended.

I like the Spinpoint. I use them in a RAID array. They run cool and are plenty fast enough for Sage use. I actually had a couple cooling fans fail in the drive cage once and did not notice it immediately. The drives went up to 135 F but held on. A WD Caviar Black probably would have started a small, stable fire...

Bigger PSU- 800 watt range, Single +12V rail. Think Corsair, for example. A single hard drive spinning up will surge 2 amps on the +12v rail and 1 amp on the +5v rail.

I like Lite-0n. Try to get the retail pack so you get at least a LE version of a player.

If you want to rip and yank copy protection, regular or Blu-Ray, SlySoft is your go-to guy. For older DVD's, AnyDVD is awesome but no longer supported on new protection schemes.

Couple of sweetners:

If you have extra RAM, eBoostr makes a difference. It's a super-granular read-ahead cache. You can allocate huge amount of RAM to it. But with an SSD as boot drive that's less than necessary. RAM will still read out at about 1200MB/s vs. a 280 or so read-out rate on an SSD, so it can benefit things a little.

SuperSpeed's SuperCache is the ONLY quality write-back cache I've ever found. It can make a huge difference if you are willing to chance letting pages sit dirty for a few seconds before they commit to disk. But, again, better for mechanical drives than for SSD's, although if you start moving Sage recordings from drive to drive, SuperCache can make a big difference.

If you want to defrag your mechanical drive, DiskKeeper's Disktrix is awesome.

As always, best to format your Sage recordings drive in 64K blocks.

I think you are about there otherwise. And I agree with the other poster - build your own unless you have a compelling reason not to, or this is your first time, etc.
Asus P5Q Premium MB, E6750, 4GB RAM, 32-bit XP Pro SP3, 3Ware 9590SE controller, 80GB 7.2K Laptop boot drive w/SuperSpeed Cache Utility & eBoostr, (1) KWorld ATSC-110, (1) 950Q USB, (1) 2250 tuner, (1) HD-PVR using USB-UIRT, (1) 1600 Dual card, (1) DVICO Fusion 5 Gold, (1) Hauppauge 1250, (1) Hauppauge 2250, 8 various storage HD's, NEC-based x1 USB add-on card, 2 outdoor antennas capturing 2 different OTA markets, Dish Network w/HD Receiver for HD-PVR.

Last edited by Savage1701; 03-04-2011 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:56 AM
SimeonPilgrim SimeonPilgrim is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Christchurch, NZ
Posts: 53
For server I went low end, and got the Dell 570 with Athlon II X2 245 / 2GB Memory / 500GB Hard Drive for $340 total. I reinstalled Win7 64bit from MS image. And it runs rock solid.

The case is a little noisy at times, but a little foam should quite that down.

I put an Avertv MTVHDDUWB HD Duet (A188) for OTA tuning, and it's running well. It gets better picture quality than my TV did.
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