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New SageTV point release.

bfisher

Active Member
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?

It's less expensive to buy tuner cards and use their s-video input than it is to have a direcTV box hacked. Unfortunately, that means you can't get DirecTV HD into sage... If you want DirecTV HD, then you look to R5000 but I don't think it's cheap. There is supposedly a DirecTV PCI card in the works, but I have not heard an official date... that would be ideal.

The easiest way to do HD (my opinion) is local OTA antenna. Of course, then you are missing HD ESPN, HBO, etc. Don't blame Sage... problem is that there are no HD capture cards.
 

Steve

Senior Member
Well I guess Sage is not an option then at this point even at any cost if I want to watch any non OTA HD content, even when the HD MVP is out. If there is no way to get DirecTV HD into it then its not gonna fly, especially later when they come out with many more HD channels. Even the R5000 won't work because it only supports certain legacy HD boxes, not the H20 which I have. Those legacy boxes don't even show up on ebay. So, I guess until there is a DirecTV HD PCI tuner card (and I'm not holding my breath any more, there are simply no other options). The killer is that I can be ok with just recording OTA HD, but I often watch other DirecTV HD content, and if I centralize my receivers and use extenders then I lose that capability, which means keeping an HD receiver at the TV which kind of defeats the purpose. Too bad there is no hack for the H20 (and the R5000 just seems like a hack with some software), or some sort of HD capture card (like sending component signals to a card in the Sage server).
 

CollinR

Senior Member
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.

Right I was more getting at the stability side, it you want it to run 24/7 for years HDs and power supplies are what need the beef.

The easiest way to do HD (my opinion) is local OTA antenna. Of course, then you are missing HD ESPN, HBO, etc. Don't blame Sage... problem is that there are no HD capture cards.

Don't forget QAM! Especially for you, the only thing better then banning a company is to use the services for free. :) Most get ESPN HD via QAM.


Well I guess Sage is not an option then at this point even at any cost if I want to watch any non OTA HD content, even when the HD MVP is out. If there is no way to get DirecTV HD into it then its not gonna fly, especially later when they come out with many more HD channels. Even the R5000 won't work because it only supports certain legacy HD boxes, not the H20 which I have. Those legacy boxes don't even show up on ebay. So, I guess until there is a DirecTV HD PCI tuner card (and I'm not holding my breath any more, there are simply no other options). The killer is that I can be ok with just recording OTA HD, but I often watch other DirecTV HD content, and if I centralize my receivers and use extenders then I lose that capability, which means keeping an HD receiver at the TV which kind of defeats the purpose. Too bad there is no hack for the H20 (and the R5000 just seems like a hack with some software), or some sort of HD capture card (like sending component signals to a card in the Sage server).

The reason it's harder to find those boxes is they are in demand, they were a big mistake from the manufacturers. They can accept and decode the newest streams however they do not have hardware enforcing copy protection. This is why they work with what they are doing, the modern boxes would provide a scramble at best. The R5000 is a hardware hack, they add a USB port directly to the video decoder. Then they provide you with device drivers and some streaming software.

Here before long your componet signals will be 480p anyway so the point would be mute. You might as well just capture over S Video.
 

Steve

Senior Member
Here before long your componet signals will be 480p anyway so the point would be mute. You might as well just capture over S Video.
My point is regardless of whether it's s-video, component, hdmi, etc, it would be nice to take a receiver that spit that out and have a capture card that can receive that into Sage. I don't think that exists - if it did then I could do HD that way.

And how would you get cable/QAM for free if their service/signal does not even come into your house?
 

CollinR

Senior Member
My point is regardless of whether it's s-video, component, hdmi, etc, it would be nice to take a receiver that spit that out and have a capture card that can receive that into Sage. I don't think that exists - if it did then I could do HD that way.

Not much point in it, as you learn more you'll understand why. Those are just cable and transmission protocols, it doesn't make sence to have a DVI or HDMI input when the same info could go over cheap Cat5 via ethernet. So I don't see anyone building on in the future.

And how would you get cable/QAM for free if their service/signal does not even come into your house?

In order for it to work you would have to have a cable TV demarcation box on your house, most houses do. QAM is how they will be sending us the TORNADO warnings when analog transmission goes away. As such that data is a free for all, they often make the mistake of leaving other channels not required to be free also in the clear. Thats how people wind up getting 300 channels out of the deal, you are basically assured ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS and OETA however most seem to get more then that.

If you have no cable tv line on your property it's not going to work until 2012 when it's all but required.
 

Steve

Senior Member
In order for it to work you would have to have a cable TV demarcation box on your house, most houses do. QAM is how they will be sending us the TORNADO warnings when analog transmission goes away. As such that data is a free for all, they often make the mistake of leaving other channels not required to be free also in the clear. Thats how people wind up getting 300 channels out of the deal, you are basically assured ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS and OETA however most seem to get more then that.

If you have no cable tv line on your property it's not going to work until 2012 when it's all but required.
Well, I do have a cable box on my property as I had cable many years ago before I switched to DTV. But my understanding is when you cancel your service they physically disconnect the line feeding your house from the main splitter out there somewhere, so there ain't nuthin on the cable line coming into my house.
 

CollinR

Senior Member
Hmm that may not work... Even after 2/20... :( If the cable is physically not attached at their box it damn sure won't work. Even after 2/20 I don't see where the cable tv company must provided storm data either... :( So they are not obligated to provide anything to anyone aside from their service agreements.

Best bet is have some kind of cable company service before attempting QAM capture, If you do have a connection you will recieve for sure ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. You may aso recieve any other channel that the cable company has not specifically encrypted, often smaller networks want their feeds "in the clear" to add to their market. This is most assured not to work with HBO and the like, however not unheard of, from a guy with cable internet access only.

If they have filtered your line, it should work. You can simple test by having a buddy bring his cable modem or digital STB over, if it connects (or knows the correct time) then the cable is physically connnected and analog reception has been disabled by a filter. They don't always disconnect the cable anymore, most people get digital service so they can simply filter the low frequencies and control access by the STB. On midnight 2-19-08 that analog signal will stop and from that point on there is no need to physically connect/disconnect customers. It is their option as to which they choose, $35 hookup and send a tech in a truck to drive to and from location to connect some coax or $35 hookup and authenticate a MAC address remotely. I'm pretty sure which they will choose in the end. :blink:
 

CollinR

Senior Member
More interesting stuffs...

Right NOW all TVs imported into the US OR shipped INTERSTATE have a digital TV (ATSC) tuner. :(

Retails may sell existing inventory of non digital TV sets however they MUST have an obivous disclaimer on or near the goods. :eek:

The feds (NTIA) will give you 2 coupons (per US household) redeemable for a digital to analog tuner device, ( $40 value! :blink: ). This starts in 1/08 so make sure and put in for your 2 coupons as mod/dad will probably get hosed in this. :(
 

Mike

Senior Member
Mike I was mistaken, I guess FIOS carries QAM!

Verizon FIOS in Northern VA

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Just got the HDHomerun up and running and here is what I can get through QAM. I did get another section of music channels but I didnt bother going through and mapping them out. Same thing with the local info channels.

Catching up on posts I missed: So this is a networked box (the HD Home Run) that Sage can access? I was briefly looking around for manuals and such and did not find much. Looks like split my fios feed, attach this, and plug it into the network and I am good to go, right?

Even getting local channels in HD and being able to record/distribute would be a nice add on.
 

CollinR

Senior Member
Catching up on posts I missed: So this is a networked box (the HD Home Run) that Sage can access? I was briefly looking around for manuals and such and did not find much. Looks like split my fios feed, attach this, and plug it into the network and I am good to go, right?

Even getting local channels in HD and being able to record/distribute would be a nice add on.

Yes it is basically an ethernet appliance that tunes QAM and spits out MPEG2.

Yes, to install all you do it plug it in like a TV and then provide it a network connection. Ideally you would give your HD-Homeruns a dedicated NIC in the server so you can never really run out of incoming bandwidth. If you are starting out that shouldn't be an issue but if you have 10-12 of those MVPs running it won't work with Base100 on the server. Basically I already install a dedicated LAN just for the MVPs, this is just an extension you would have a subnet for HD incoming and a subnet for extender outgoing. Keep in mind all these devices are Base100 so gigabit will only help between the switch and the server.

To get going though just plug it into a switch, you may get lucky and get your entire digital lineup. You may just get locals in HD which you could also do with an HVR1800. The big deal here is it doesn't take up a PCI slot, you can have many of them if you choose.

HDHomerun is a dual tuner, so it's a 2 for one deal.
 

Mike

Senior Member
Ahh so that is a second input. Gotcha.

Sounds great. I think I am going to have to order one...

On the bandwidth, I hope the new devices you referenced for HD are gigabit capable, but segmenting the network makes sense. I am not using a lot of them yet and usually only one is on at a time (sometimes two), but planning ahead would make sense. Another good idea. Thanks.
 

Rogier21

Member
Are those Sage extenders kinda customizable? I mean I want to add my own menu's and maybe write my own plugins, but I found a SDK but Im not sure about the extenders...

And is it possible to connect some sort of USB or serial port to the new HD extenders? This would be GREAT to connect a cheap DVD drive or even better, a touchscreen.
 

CollinR

Senior Member
Ahh so that is a second input. Gotcha.

Sounds great. I think I am going to have to order one...

On the bandwidth, I hope the new devices you referenced for HD are gigabit capable, but segmenting the network makes sense. I am not using a lot of them yet and usually only one is on at a time (sometimes two), but planning ahead would make sense. Another good idea. Thanks.

Yup, IIRC they are Base100 as the two MPEG2 feeds it can stream are nowhere close to maxing that connection. With a Gigabit switch in the mix you can have Base1000 to the switch and then Base100 down to each HDHomerun. You really have plenty of room no matter what unless you have 3-4 HDHomeruns.

Are those Sage extenders kinda customizable? I mean I want to add my own menu's and maybe write my own plugins, but I found a SDK but Im not sure about the extenders...

And is it possible to connect some sort of USB or serial port to the new HD extenders? This would be GREAT to connect a cheap DVD drive or even better, a touchscreen.

The GUI is alsmot the same GUI that runs on the server, so yes you can fully customize just about anything. No real need for an SDK either, between the customizable menus hack and swapping out graphics you can do whatever you like. SageTV includes it's own development suite called SageTV Studio, it's free and comes with the server license. That will allow even more indepth modifications.
 

Rogier21

Member
Ah ok thats very good to hear... I think I will wait for the HD version and then also switch, especially for the power consumption we have to watch nowadays :D
 

Ranger Digital

Active Member
Collin, sagetv really needs to give you a job or at least pay you for your services, LOL. really! :D

at least a free something, hahahahaha.
 
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