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Ok... maybe leaning towards SageTV

jwilson56

Senior Member
I currently run MCE on a slower machine and am in the process of migrating over to a new PC for SageTV. The new machine will have:

Asus A8N MB w/ 7.1 Sound onboard
AMD 3800+ X2 CPU
2GB DDR RAM
EVGA 6800GT w/AC Silencer V5
WinXP Home Edition
40GB System HD
200 Data HD
Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500MCE
VBOX Cat's Eye DTA-150 ATSC Terrestrial HDTV Receiver
nVIDIA DVD Decoder Install CD
Microsoft MCE Remote Control and receiver
Harmony 680 Remote

I am using a Samsung HL-S5687W DLP HDTV.

I will be using a DVI to HDMI cable.

Are there any SageTV users that use a Nvidia card like the 6800GT? Can you get 1080 rez out of your DVI? What drivers are you using? Any particular settings I need to know about?

Also I have used AC3Filter pass the 5.1 output through the SPID (TOSLink) jack to my 5.1 receiver. Will this work for SageTV as well? Will I need to install the Purevideo decoder?

Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

John
 

Mike

Senior Member
jwilson56 said:
I currently run MCE on a slower machine and am in the process of migrating over to a new PC for SageTV. The new machine will have:

Asus A8N MB w/ 7.1 Sound onboard
AMD 3800+ X2 CPU
2GB DDR RAM
EVGA 6800GT w/AC Silencer V5
WinXP Home Edition
40GB System HD
200 Data HD
Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500MCE
VBOX Cat's Eye DTA-150 ATSC Terrestrial HDTV Receiver
nVIDIA DVD Decoder Install CD
Microsoft MCE Remote Control and receiver
Harmony 680 Remote

I am using a Samsung HL-S5687W DLP HDTV.

I will be using a DVI to HDMI cable.

Are there any SageTV users that use a Nvidia card like the 6800GT? Can you get 1080 rez out of your DVI? What drivers are you using? Any particular settings I need to know about?

Also I have used AC3Filter pass the 5.1 output through the SPID (TOSLink) jack to my 5.1 receiver. Will this work for SageTV as well? Will I need to install the Purevideo decoder?

Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

John
John,

I use a 6800GS card in a PC (I also used MCE originally as well). I am not trying for 1080 currently as I had no luck getting OTA signals and heard my area is terrible for it.

I used an optical connection previously to my reciever which worked fine. The new PC I did not put the same card in and it used digital coax and I have not gotten it working with full surround sound yet (I think I am going to put the other card back in). Using the optical output seems to be the way to go from my limited experience.

I am also using a Samsung DLP (a HLN-6163 I think), but since I am not using the PC to do HDTV it does not help much.

I would recommend looking at one of the IR controllers they recommend (USBIRT or something like that) as the MCE one seemed to be difficult to get working with cable boxes. There are some work-arounds but I have not had the time to go work through that. I think you will spare yourself some headaches using one of those (although mine is currently using a MCE reciever).

I think you still need to buy a decoder (I am not positive on that) for the video playback. I would recommend buying Theatertek and using what comes with that one. I had the PureVideo (without audio) installed and had some stuttering on hd based movie playback. Once I put in Theatertek it has gone away. Plus you have the option to tie it in later.

Also, look at the MCE 16x9 customization (it is the major one in the customizations area on the sage forums). It looks like MCE and has worked well for me (and the wife loves it as well).
 

CollinR

Senior Member
You should also at least demo Beyond TV, both of them are better then MCE and have server/client packages.
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
BeyondTV doesn't support any hardware extenders, does it? I am not sure about the 'better than MCE' statement. MCE really is great in my environment, I just want cheaper hardware extenders.
 

CollinR

Senior Member
I'm not too sure, never tried. I install inexpensive PCs at every drop and use client software, there is aftermarket support for the MVPs and http support if a software encoder is on the system.





I feel Sage and Beyond are both "better" (How does anyone every really quantify that.) just because they use standard encoding practices allowing for more post processing then the wmv format MCE prefers. Automatic removal of commercials for instance. Also the multi-room functions aren't DRMed to death, what do you do if you have 2 PCs? All of my customers have 2+ PCs, so now you need a PC and an MCX. If you plan on using Vista all the old MCXs become junk. I am also biased as I hate M$ and do everything in my power to avoid them.

Does MCE still have it's tuner limitation (2)? Not too good for family situations.


In its defence it is really easy for an end user to setup and use.
 

jwilson56

Senior Member
Actually I own BeyondTV but have never tried it. I too was looking at the extender box for SageTV. I guess I could at least start out trying BeyondTV. I am surprised not more SageTV users chimed in....

John
 

CollinR

Senior Member
I have lots of BTV experience but not too much with Sage, I plan to change that soon though. I also plan on tring their linux distribution as I think that could become very interesting, especially once embedded.
 

johnnynine

Active Member
Not sure this helps much but just for reference I am using the following:

Windows Vista Media Center
ATI TV Wonder 650 tuner card
NVIDIA FX 5900XT video card
AMD 2500+ cpu

The OTA HDTV looks fantastic, but is quite jumpy and Media Center is very very sluggish in taking action on my commands when watching 1080i - It's really not usable. But it keeps up with standard cable tv just fine.

I have not tried any other pvr software solutions yet.

edit: corrected video card
 

CollinR

Senior Member
What are you using as a display and it's settings and native resolution if you know it.

The 650 should be fine I'm pretty sure both Sage and Beyond support it and it has a hardware encoder on board.
 

Digger

Senior Member
I was running version 5 and it was working fine (for version 5 at least). I downloaded 6.16 beta today and the playback is now very very choppy as is live tv etc. both on the PC and when using the extenders.

Anyone have this and know what to look at for a fix?

Thanks
 

Mike

Senior Member
Digger said:
I was running version 5 and it was working fine (for version 5 at least). I downloaded 6.16 beta today and the playback is now very very choppy as is live tv etc. both on the PC and when using the extenders.

Anyone have this and know what to look at for a fix?

Thanks
Check your decoder settings. I had that on playback until I took it off the defaults (and realized that I set it to Cyberlink which is PowerDVD versus TheaterTek which is what I had planned on doing. It seems TheaterTek requires some external plugins which I have not tried yet).

I have a USB_UIRT on the way as well as MCE changes killed half my buttons (SP 2 apparently from what I read). I was using the MCE reciever since this was originally an MCE box.

I went through several versions of the 6.x sage beta and rolled back to 5.04. Was getting too much flak on the bugs from the wife and things changing. Once it is released though I will definitely use it.
 

SkyBolt

Member
jwilson56 said:
I...Are there any SageTV users that use a Nvidia card like the 6800GT? Can you get 1080 rez out of your DVI? What drivers are you using? Any particular settings I need to know about? ...
I use a 6600 (Not GT) PCI Express 16X in a giga byte MB with 1gig ram. 2.66 Cel D Processor. It is hooked to a 65" Mits always outputting a 1080i. I primarily use MCE 2005 though. The DVI connection is great for 1080i video quality => HDMI - IMO. Except HDMI carries audio as well...

The nVidia encoder will also work fine within sage. Except it will not popup in the sys tray, but does show up in the processes list. Previous version of sage did not handle AC3 well, version 6 has made alot of improvements to this.

I have sage 6.15 beta runnig on my server and use the above PC to run the PC client once in a while. Every time I use the Sage client it never looks as good as MCE does. When I was runnig version 5 I used the MCE skin and the skin was awesome,but only because I am a really big MCE 2005 fan -not Vista.

I do run the Extender (MVP) for sage in th bedroom and den. The extender looks better then direct cable by far. The PC client locked up and froze a lot with Live Tv. Still does. I am not a fan of how Sage handles live Tv. watching a show on the same channel Live tv will pause and blink for new shows, it also keeps seperate files on the disk fo each show and deletes them later if desired (why?).

Since MCE can watch sage recordings fine I only use sage to record shows that can be watched throught the house.

The only benifit of sage is that it is a client server app where MCE is not, as well as the cost of an extender. One thing to keep in mind i sthat Sage does not handle AVI/WMV's as well as MCE. The FF and RW does not seem to work real well.
 

jwilson56

Senior Member
Can anyone tell me if either SageTV or BeyondTV can play DVD'd ripped to the harddrive to VOB files in folders? MCE does this very well.

John
 

Mike

Senior Member
Sage will play it, and the new version is supposed to allow this same capability to the extenders as well without any modifications.

That is something that requires transcoding, or background processing to do with MCE.

The following two points swayed me to Sage (and I and my wife really liked MCE)

Sage = No extra processing or complication and $109 extenders
MCE = Extra processing or complication and $300 extenders

Sage = Controllable via automation software
MCE = Not controllable via automation software
 
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