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SageTV alternitive M.E.


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#1 firewalledcomm

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:37 AM

Are there any alternative media extenders available, (WDTV, APTV, etc...) or that can be hacked, that will work with the SageTV software. The SageTV media Extenders are hard to come by and I will need 3 for my setup.

#2 iostream212

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 01:07 AM

I will be interested in ditching my sage tv setup as well. I need my system to play ripped dvd/ blu rays off network shares, record and play live tv via tuner cards, tune external satellite source, play music and show pictures, and be reliable and intuitive. I have never had any headaches quite like the ones I got trying to make my sage system flawless. I frequently regretted it and just wanted to go back to ota. But I stuck with it. Version 7 was a great step forward. selling to google was a step back... Maybe time will prove different.

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#3 dkemme

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:35 PM

I'm trying Apple TV2 with XBMC and MythTV. Might just work but only with much work, I really will miss Sage!

#4 hagak

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:20 PM

I do not understand why MS does not try to do extenders for windows media center. They had a few many years ago but now the only option is xbox. Xbox is a little pricey and big for each tv.

#5 drvnbysound

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:25 PM

There are no extenders that have been hacked to work with Sage to this point - that I am aware of. I have been following the Alternatives to Sage thread over on the Sage forums on and off since the Google purchase. Many have asked and some have found almost identical hardware, but the software/firmware for the extenders was never released in any form, so I doubt it will be replicated.

Most people who have purchased and are using Sage continue to say that it works fine, and they will continue to use it until it dies. I wish I was in that place, and had made the purchase before the acquisition by Google. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be another comparable solution that has comparable (small-form factor) extenders other than Next-PVR (aka NPVR). Unfortunately, the only extenders that work with NPVR have been discontinued (older model NMT's - A100 and A110) and are only available via Refurbishment orders through Popcorn Hour. From what I have seen on this, is that they post when they have a number of them available via their forum. This is not the way that I would want to procure extenders - particularly for a new system. What happens when one of mine fails? I couldn't easily order a replacement, and would have to send mine back for repair... not really interested in that hassle.

I played with NPVR and MediaPortal just a bit, as both are freely available (open-source). I had some issues with the setup of both programs, when trying to setup a single HDHR tuner. That alone was enough for me to stop working with either of them, as the HDHR is a fairly basic tuner that I figured enough people use that setup of one, and documentation of the setup should be easily available. That said, I think 7MC is probably the most 'polished' solution. I want to try it out... I have read many posts that mention issues with live-TV or lack of support for it (I havent completely followed this problem) and need to find out more about it. I really dont watch much live TV unless it's sports, and even that, I feel that I could deal with a non-real-time feed if that was available (e.g. time-delay or lag due to processing). The biggest problem I have with 7MC is the fact that the only extender is the XBOX - it's not small and would make me do some fairly substantial changes to use in my MBR or guest room as both of those TVs are wall-mounted LCDs with no shelving or place to set a XBOX. I have seen wall-mount solutions, but they don't hide the xbox well; I like simple/modern decor and adding a shelf for a XBOX extender is not something I want to do. Not to mention that XBOX's aren't CHEAP (if buying new) - particularly when compared to the original selling price of the Sage extenders.

Having said all of that... I think it is fair to repeat what others on the Sage forum have said... if there was a comparable alternative it wouldn't have take 30+ pages of discussion over on their forum. The problem seems to be that each software suite has it's own niche, whether PVR or media library playback, and none of them seem to be able to provide all of the features Sage offered - probably why Google bought them. My biggest problem, which I think it worth repeating, is the lack of alternative that has a small-form factor media extender (I don't want to be relative with the term small - I want an extender that can fit behind a wall-mounted LCD and go unnoticed).

#6 drvnbysound

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:26 PM

I do not understand why MS does not try to do extenders for windows media center. They had a few many years ago but now the only option is xbox. Xbox is a little pricey and big for each tv.


+1!!

Any idea why third-party companies stopped making them (e.g. Linksys)? I assume it was just lack of sales?? Unfortunately, even some of the 3rd party options weren't exactly SMALL :(

Edited by drvnbysound, 09 January 2012 - 11:28 PM.


#7 drvnbysound

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 12:48 AM

I just read that the Hauppauge HD-PVR does recordings in H.264 format - I'm confused. I understand the software to perform the actual recording, so I am not sure how to interpret this. Looking for some help...

When used with 7MC, does Windows end up wrapping that content in their own file format (.wtv), a limiting factor of extenders?

I REALLY need to get my Media Server hooked up again and start testing with 7MC more. I wouldn't mind having an XBOX in my living room, as I have a hardware stand (basically a custom built TV stand - but the TV is wall mounted). So I would be absolutely OK with scheduling all recordings from that location. My main concern has been extenders (viewing) for the BR and guest room, with regard to playback of the 7MC proprietary files. I have read that there is a conversion process that can be done, but that requires some manual steps (assume it COULD be automated, but prefer not to go this route).

IF the HD-PVR recorded in a generic H.264 file-type via 7MC, I could use something like Hauppauge's MediaMVPs or Western Digital's WDTV boxes as extenders.

EDIT: I was wrong and realized it as soon as I got in bed last night.. I really do want/need full extender capability at my other 2 TV locations - not necessarily to schedule recordings, but to be able to watch more than what has been recorded or stored in the library.

Edited by drvnbysound, 10 January 2012 - 08:17 AM.


#8 InspiredTim

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 05:26 PM

@Dkemme: let me know how you go with apple tv. I have purchased the FireWire flashtv but haven't got around to playing around with the tv recording side of it yet. I know that apple sell eyetv as their tv tuner which is a networked tv tuner. I know with the latest update you can have all of the files stored on a NAS drive which each Apple TV can stream from. If we can get the tv side to work we will have a complete package. Also the apple tv boxes a small enough to fit behind a flat screen and also make no noise, can use apple remote app over wifi to control it. Just wish there was a way to control the volume from the remote.

#9 dkemme

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 11:35 PM

Able to get XBMC running on the ATV2, connection to my Windows7 box not reliable, not sure if related to Windows7 SMB issues or existing Sage (potential WAF decrease would not allow any changes on this box).

Forums suggest that much more reliable if stick with Linux in all the boxes.

Just ordered motherboard, SUPERMICRO|MBD-X7SPA-H-O, 4 GB memory and a 6 bay enclosure, from Newegg. Plans are to use a leftover power supply and drives and install Mythubuntu as the new NAS.

#10 Dan (electron)

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 01:53 PM

Supposedly, SageTV is far from dead (we can hope, can't we?):

http://forums.sagetv...62&postcount=20

#11 drvnbysound

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 09:34 PM

Very interesting... it has been quite some time since Jeff has posted anything on the Sage forum.

Unfortunately, for someone like myself without a current system in place, it's tough to sit around and wait without having any sort of estimated date for a system that doesn't exist and capabilities/limitations are unknow... making it easier to adopt current technology for the near-term.

That said, Comcast (my current cable provider) in my area has just (finally) transitioned to full digital, and now requires the DTA's for TV's w/o a cable box. I don't think this will effect me and the manner in which I wanted to setup a media server, but it does make me want to switch to another company - as the power supply will not fit behind my wall-mounted LCD's the way the power is routed (would require an extension cord to be added behind the TV's. If I decide to switch companies, I have some other work that I need to complete before hand, which gives me time to get other stuff in place, and makes the waiting time (for a Sage/Google release) easier to manage. I will stay tuned...

Edited by drvnbysound, 12 January 2012 - 09:35 PM.


#12 dkemme

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 10:28 PM

Newegg delivered right on time and the box assembled without a hitch. Found a 1 Tb drive from an old RAID and created three partitions from the MythBuntu install CD, 30 gb /, 8 gb swap and remainder for /data. Myth installed for backend only, total time about an hour! I'm kinda following these instructions because he seems very smart, but not for a full Ubuntu install.

Now need to stop the SageServer to free up the HDHomeRun....

#13 dkemme

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 09:46 PM

Almost 2 months later and finally gave up on Linux... Multiple attempts to get mdadm for the RAID failed... Multiple attempts to get MythBox add-on XBMC on the ATV2 to talk to MythTV backend server failed... I'm just not smart enough.

Have decided to build a Windows 7 box as HTPC following Assassin's advice on AVSForums with Windows Media Center...

Oh, I will miss SageTV!!!!

#14 dkemme

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:48 PM

Finally complete my HTPC, very happy with the final result. I would recommend assassin's HTPC blog, best $ spent on building an HTPC, you can even purchase an already built and formatted machine.

#15 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:32 AM

What are you using for the clients? That one big advantage of Sage was its cheap client boxes? I too would like to switch once a viable alternative is produced so I'm following your efforts!




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