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New SageTV point release.

CollinR

Senior Member
Maybe the problem is in my not understanding the information on the Sage web site. I would love to put all by Sat boxes and cable gear in the basement and just have an extender at each TV. It just isn't clear to me from the web site as to how this would work...

It's a bitch, it's not you... There are elevnty billion ways to skin this cat as such you really can't define a "right" way. Basically if you like, it it's right.

There is legality which is totally different.


How do you hook up 2 or 3 DirecTV recievers to the Sage PC? (If one of the cards in their bundles can do this it was not obvious to me). Do you need a separate serial cable from the PC to each SAT receiver to control it? (A drawing would be helpful here). Does it matter what brand of SAT receiver I have? (I like the Sony units I have)

The easiest cheapest way is via composite or S Video input, you'll need one analog encoder per analog source captured at any one time. The capture card may have many inputs only only one. It may also have many encoders, or none.

No matter what if you get any analog you want a hardware encoder.

I always suggest Hauppauge hardware, they are basically the most supported devices.

Other options are modified cable and sat boxes that pass the digital stream directly to the PC for storage, via USB or Fireire, Digital ATSC (over air HD) QAM (digital cable and evidently FIOS).

Also Sat PCI cards exist however only in Europe right now, hopefully a DirectTV option will show up before long. You would need one PCI card basically wherever you would have a sat box.

You would need either RS232, IR, USB or Firewire to control channel changes on the remote boxes. All boxes go in the same rack with the server.

Does Sage support true automatic commercial skip? (The reason I chose RePlay over TiVo was for this feature and I do not want to give it up!)

Yes through community developed add-ons, highly configurable as well. You can treat any channel or program differently, or no detection at all.

Can I blend the cable and Satellite channels together rather than have to pick a source (Grandma doesn't do well with input selection)

It's got a guide just like your Sat box except it shows all available channels, doesn't matter the source. You can reorder the channels, you can renumber the channels, you can remap the channels ( say the movies are 300-350 but you have one you like at 151, you can remap 151 to 351 so they are all together in your guide). You can also (through community add-ons) build a custom guide so that the kids have very few pre-approved options.

Don't I still need a local DVD player at each location to handle the "one time" video rental stuff?

A couple of posts back a DVD player or DVD mega changer option was mentioned. If it's a theater room I would have a dedicated SageTV client box there with an integrated DVD/BD/HD-DVD player. Otherwise the use an unused input for DVDs through a changer, then it shows up as channel #0 or whatever you want. I personally have no problems with my DVDs over S-Video.

I really like the concept of Sage but I need to find the detailed information that will convince me it would truly make things easier.

How about I demo my system to you remotely? It has a remote client inteface... I only keep basic cable but I have modified menus and whatnot to control the system, my lights, kick other clients off etc.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Lots of good info, thanks! Wish the Sage web page was clearer on this stuff. I will probably take you up on the demo after I am a little further down the road with research. I want to put together a concept first and see what would really be required to implement it.

From what I understand so far, I think this is what I would want to do:

Basement: Sage server, 2 DirectTV receivers feeding analog cards and controlled via serial connections, TV Tuner cards for 4 analog cable feeds.

Family room: Local SAT receiver with HDMI connection (for 1080P), Local Blu Ray DVD with HDMI connection, Sage Extender wired Media extender (for PVR and cable viewing).

2nd TV room: Local DVD via HDMI (for future Blu Ray upgrade), Sage Extender for PVR, SAT and Cable viewing).

3rd TV room: Local DVD via HDMI (for future Blu Ray upgrade), Sage Extender for PVR, SAT and Cable viewing).

Guest Bedroom: Local DVD (for convenience), Sage Extender for PVR, SAT, and Cable viewing.

Toy room: Playstation, Local DVD, Sage Extender (For SAT and Cable viewing -- restricted to Disney, Cartoon, NIK, etc.)

This gives me high def SAT in the one place I need it but regular SAT in all locations. Also ability to record 2 SAT programs at once. Hopefully the only new costs are the Sage server (still fuzzy on the input cards required), Sage software, and 5 extenders. Does this look like a reasonable approach?
 

Ranger Digital

Active Member
mike, i am with you on the website lacking. I would like to see some diagrams as well. they lose sells because of their website, IMO. i lost interest. my interest only gains when collin posts! LOL

i am still confused on the transmissions. i can run cat5 to carry from my sage pc to every tv? i assume thru baluns but i didnt see those mentioned. or is that i need an extender at EVERY location? thats a major bummer as on of the main reasons would be to consolidate all the equipment in one location. another would be to view any source at any tv.

if someone finds some drawings, please post them!!

Thanks
 

CollinR

Senior Member
It's an excellent easily workable solution, I'll modify some stuff and you may reconsider.

Basement: Sage server, 2 DirectTV receivers feeding analog cards and controlled via serial connections, TV Tuner cards for 4 analog cable feeds.

Build the server stout, I suggest server grade power supply and harddrives.

Add in 1 HD reciever thats been R5000-HD modified.
Add DVD changer for kids movies.

So thats

1 PVR500 serving 2 analog sat feeds over S video.
2 PVR500s serving 4 analog cable TV feeds.
1 R5000-HD - Everything you get from DirectTV now. (EVERYTHING in full HD)
I have more experience with the USBUIRT but I know RS232 control is possible.

Thats 7 incoming signals which I think is very reasonable.

Family room: Local SAT receiver with HDMI connection (for 1080P), Local Blu Ray DVD with HDMI connection, Sage Extender wired Media extender (for PVR and cable viewing).

I would use a full blown PC with HDMI display adapter (MSI 8500GTS diamond)
Optionally replace explorer.exe with SageTV as shell.
Move this sat box to basement

2nd TV room: Local DVD via HDMI (for future Blu Ray upgrade), Sage Extender for PVR, SAT and Cable viewing).

Yup

3rd TV room: Local DVD via HDMI (for future Blu Ray upgrade), Sage Extender for PVR, SAT and Cable viewing).

Yup

Guest Bedroom: Local DVD (for convenience), Sage Extender for PVR, SAT, and Cable viewing.

Yup

Toy room: Playstation, Local DVD, Sage Extender (For SAT and Cable viewing -- restricted to Disney, Cartoon, NIK, etc.)

I would nix the DVD player here, kids+optical disks is a bad combo.

This gives me high def SAT in the one place I need it but regular SAT in all locations. Also ability to record 2 SAT programs at once. Hopefully the only new costs are the Sage server (still fuzzy on the input cards required), Sage software, and 5 extenders. Does this look like a reasonable approach?

Now you got Hi def anywhere you want it. :)
Make that 3 feeds, 1 in HD and 2 in SD plus 4 CATV feeds.

Input cards are listed above.

+
1 SageTV Server license (Basement)
1 SageTV Client License (Family Room PC)
5 Extender Licenses

+

5 Hauppauge Media MVPs
1 Media client PC, doesn't have to be too nice. Often the "look" matters here.
 

CollinR

Senior Member
Distribution Diagram:

Blue = Cat5
Yellow = Composite/Svideo/SPDIF
 

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upstatemike

Senior Member
Thanks for the feedback and I'll have to ponder it all further. Not sure I can do a PC in the Family room. I am hyper sensitive to fan noise (I knocked a hole in the wall behind my desk to keep from being in the same room as my PC... And this is already an extremely quiet PC.)

I also looked at the R5000 HD modification page and it looked kind of scary... also not familiar with any of the equipment models they list. Can't I just use my existing Sony SAT boxes into a DVI input on the Sage Server somehow?

Not sure about a DVD in the basement. This is true equipment closet area... not someplace I would send somebody to load a DVD. The idea is that the stuff in the basement is never touched except for maintenance/repair activities.

I just assumed serial because it is usually more reliable than IR but I guess I can do either.

I'll do some more research and maybe have another question or two in a couple of days.
 

bfisher

Active Member
I'll add another viewpoint here...

- I got rid of all my DVD players. I rip all my movies to hard disk. Using the right tools, I can strip out ads, extras, etc. so when I want to watch a DVD - it just plays. Awesome for kids DVDs. We have hundreds of DVDs, not all are ripped. When we want to watch a DVD that isn't ripped, takes less than 5-6 minutes to rip it. Wonderful if we start the movie, and decide to finish in another room, etc.

- Yes, you need an extender next to each TV. No baluns... just plug Cat5 network into extender. They are very low profile, and silent. Probably the size of your hand with fingers extended. HD Extenders have been announced, due to be released in November. For any SD extenders trying to play HD content, the server automatically transcodes on the fly.

- Yes, you can automatically skip commercials... or jump ahead (30, 60, 58, whatever you want).

- I built a heavy duty video server. 1.8TB storage, 4 simultaneous recorders, etc. The worst I've seen is about 30% of CPU power used, but it's good to know I never need to worry.

- I have a seperate video network so it doesn't impact my personal network. Just a seperate switch - very easy.

- This is my source for every TV. Doesn't matter if I want satellite, HD OTA, DVD, etc. Very easy to use and good picture.

- You can have many satellite boxes (or cable boxes or whatever). I use serial control to control them - and Sage handles determining which to use at any time... all transparent to me. The serial control has been very reliable.
 

CollinR

Senior Member
Not sure I can do a PC in the Family room. I am hyper sensitive to fan noise (I knocked a hole in the wall behind my desk to keep from being in the same room as my PC... And this is already an extremely quiet PC.)

No worries, you can do HDMI over Cat5 from the basement if you really wanted. Of just put it in a nearby closet or whatever. If you build your client right it won't make much noise and it won't need to dissipate much heat.

I like the full PC though as I can post BS about SageTV on user forums while my wife uses SageTV and rolls her eyes. :)

I also looked at the R5000 HD modification page and it looked kind of scary... also not familiar with any of the equipment models they list. Can't I just use my existing Sony SAT boxes into a DVI input on the Sage Server somehow?

Link me, I have no information about the actual modification. Only service providers who will perform it on YOUR box. You can use your box assuming it's one that can be hacked, otherwise no you would need an approved box. It really doesn't matter what box you have the server will control it. Also the 2 tuner ones that basically have a modulated output and an RF remote for a second room, you can only use one of the tuners not both.

Not sure about a DVD in the basement. This is true equipment closet area... not someplace I would send somebody to load a DVD. The idea is that the stuff in the basement is never touched except for maintenance/repair activities.

If your kids are like mine they have no issues watching the same movie over and over and over, might as well just leave it in a changer. If they desire a new DVD you would put it in the changer for them.

I just assumed serial because it is usually more reliable than IR but I guess I can do either.

Serial is usually preffered but there is a bunch of cool stuff you can do with the USB UIRT too, the DVD changer for instance. You can have the server fire IR to it so it'll navigate through the disks. It too can be done with RS232 but you'll have to fork out more dough for that, DVDs and players are about dead too so I wouln't invest a bunch in whatever you do. Another reason not to have 5-6 of them.


The worst I've seen is about 30% of CPU power used, but it's good to know I never need to worry.

An that was probably while transcoding HD to an MVP.

- I have a seperate video network so it doesn't impact my personal network. Just a seperate switch - very easy.

Agreed, this is the best option. Further you can have a dedicated input network, all you need is an DHCP server on the SageTV server and another NIC then you can either stack servers for more inputs or use the HD HomeRun. No matter what happens you can't really saturate the input side. :)
 

CollinR

Senior Member
Hauppauge Media MVP

http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/products/data_mediamvp.html#

http://www.pcalchemy.com/product_info.php/...amvp-model-1000

mediamvp.jpg
 
Hey collin I really would like to use sage eventually ,So i can watch all my recorded tv at all my tv locations.I have 1 mod xbox,1reg xbox,and a xbox360,will these work with the mvp and sage?
 

CollinR

Senior Member
Nope. :)

Well at least not that I know of, I'm sure you can get some level of functionality going. However it's not something just anyone could do and the demand is low compared to the $249 HD Extender due out in Nov.
 

Steve

Senior Member
Is that MVP basically the same one that Sage sells for $110? And does the server really need server class hardware & horsepower? Doesn't IVB run Sage off of his CQC server? I am also very interested in setting this up but can't invest that much in hardware now. Do you have any links on how to hack a DirecTV box to go directly in to Sage? I have several I can play with and rather go that route than buy tuner cards if it is practical. And how do you get a DirecTV HD signal into Sage? I guess besides the hack, normally you would come RF out into a tuner, but what about HD? Besides an OTA tuner is there a way to use a DirecTV H20 receiver to put HD into Sage for all the non local HD channels?
 

CollinR

Senior Member
No it's exactly the same thing, the catch is if you buy it from SageTV the license is included. At PCAlechemy it's a seperate purchase ($24.95).
 

IVB

Senior Member
Is that MVP basically the same one that Sage sells for $110? And does the server really need server class hardware & horsepower? Doesn't IVB run Sage off of his CQC server?

Yeah, I used to. I can't remember when I split up CQC & SageTV onto their own boxes, but it was around the time I started messing heavily with more true HA hardware, and my wife would have kicked my ass if I destabilized the TV recording but the irrigation was predictable.

A SageTV server really doesn't need huge horsepower by any stretch if you're only going to use it as a recorder and an SDTV renderer without any transcoding of HD signals.
 
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