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SageTV vs Media Center

Mike

Senior Member
I was curious if there were any opinions on Sage vs MCE. I'm getting to the point where I integrate things a little deeper and I see Sage is able to be controlled.

I've been happy with MCE to date, but if I stay with it, I get two interfaces (whatever I choose to integrate with, CQC/MainLobby, etc, and MCE). Doesn't seem to make sense.

I've like what I have seen of IVB's setup, so I am thinking perhaps to trial Sage (which I can do on my new second MCE machine), but wanted to see if there was anything else I should be looking at as well.

Sage has an API to interface with it, which was nice.

The other question: I was planning on using the Windows versions, any strong reasons to try to go after the linux version?

Too bad I will need to toss my MCE IR eye.
 

IVB

Senior Member
I don't have any opinions about the difference. I got SageTV back in 10/03, haven't bothered looking at anything else since. I've had some very minor startup issues with the SageTVClient, but i've noticed others talk about them on the sageTV forum and folks usually storm all over it with answers. I don't care enough about them to pay attention to the fixes myself as I set CQC up to easily restart.

The SageTV forum is darn active, there's usually 100-250 users online. It's easily the most active forum i've seen. Also TONS of custom skins available, of course my goal is to rip out the Sage UI and replace it with CQC as soon as the upgraded driver is ready [still 2+ months away].

Lastly, I'd stick with the Windows version - it's been around much longer than the Unix version, and many folks will attest to it's fantastic stability.
 

johnnynine

Active Member
IVB said:
Also TONS of custom skins available, of course my goal is to rip out the Sage UI and replace it with CQC as soon as the upgraded driver is ready [still 2+ months away].
I think I'm a little behind on the Sage TV / CQC connection.

Does CQC interface with Sage TV?
 

IVB

Senior Member
Yes, but only to an entry-level degree. It can startup Sage, provide a few other controls as mentioned here.

However, I've been working with a developer type to substantially improve this integration. Our goal is to treat TV just as we do DVDs or CDs - be able to render in a custom built screen, using the common CQC repository that will be available in V1.7. Right now, V1.7 isn't even in beta, so we're just doing some structural work and making sure we're clear on what we want to do. Then, once V1.7 comes out, this will be attacked in full force.

Jury is still out as to how much we'll be able to accomplish inside CQC. If we can use a custom CQC UI to select a recording and playback, that's 99% of my Sage usage. I'm ok with having to drop into a Sage UI for "admin" type functions like managing favorites or selecting live TV to watch, as that rarely happens in our house.
 

johnnynine

Active Member
I had looked into a HTPC a while back for kicks and though Beyond TV was the one I would go with.

Does SageTV have an advantage?
 

IVB

Senior Member
Check the the SageTV forum on HTPCnews.com - there's 2 posts on that front page today alone about that.

I constantly see posts comparing them on the various forums there - many folks going from BTV->Sage, not vice-versa though.
 

Mike

Senior Member
Since I was fortunate when upgrading my MCE machine to wind up having enough parts to build a second, I think I'm going to get a copy of Sage and try it out once I finish the new machine.

Will probably take awhile to get the wife over to it if all works well (took forever for her to try MCE and not just go to the modulated Tivo), but it I take this to the next step with CQC I think everything will fall into place.
 

Mike

Senior Member
Well I did try out Sage and trialed it in the living room. I wound up buying it yesterday as the trial ran out (lots of HA activity this month cash wise at least).

MCE:
1. If a show was playing and it was paused for a period of time, I would have to hit stop and resume to get the sound back (did not test this to see if it was 'environmental'
2. The guide for MCE is incorrect for several channels. Microsoft blames this on the FCC. Tivo, Sage and the cable company had no such issues.
3. If you have two tuners, they have to be setup identically. I wanted to use a HD box and traditional coax, not possible, both must be the same.
4. I saw some strangeness with the Xbox 360 Extender (shows stopping and not going past a certain point). I need to retest with the new machine though.

Sage:
1. Interface could be better. I think I will be playing with the MCE look alike to try that out.
2. Related to above, it takes multiple clicks to delete something.
3. Favorites seems to not listen to delete feedback (I kept deleting things because I don't like it and they seemed to come back). I just turned it off.
4. It can list movies (VOB) but I have not seen a My Movices equivalent.
5. Extenders can play all video types, but only has s-video output. Bonus if s-video is sufficient, the extender is only $109.

I was happy with Sage, and it resolved a few issues I had with MCE. I'll have to get CQC setup and play around with them together (once I resolve my IR issues).

Best of all, Sage passed the wife test.
 

Digger

Senior Member
Mike,

I am about to take the plunge into HTPC. I am debating the Sage as well. Do you think it can do the following??


1. Record and play back multiple videos at the same time (record tv while watching a few movies etc for a total of 4 maximum at the same time)

2. Allow storage of about 200 DVD's, 40 or so CD's and about 100 hours of recorded TV, and 100 hours of recorded video from camcorder if I have enough drive space (to be built up over time).

3. Have video available for streaming to computers (including wireless laptops and tablets) and TV's

4. have teh ability to view CCTV through it.

OK to many questions..... I will behave.
 

Mike

Senior Member
1. Record and play back multiple videos at the same time (record tv while watching a few movies etc for a total of 4 maximum at the same time)

I have two tuners in it now and have not had a problem watching shows regardless of what is taping. I have not been watching but it must have been recording two at a time by now while we are watching a third.

Not sure how to get the fourth stream though..

2. Allow storage of about 200 DVD's, 40 or so CD's and about 100 hours of recorded TV, and 100 hours of recorded video from camcorder if I have enough drive space (to be built up over time).

Most of this is drive space related, so I don't see why not. I'll pay with the music portion a bit more but I did not notice any issues from some brief playing and I think I have 6500 songs in about 42GB if I remember correctly (obviously not lossless currently).

3. Have video available for streaming to computers (including wireless laptops and tablets) and TV's

Do you mean with placeshifter and the extenders? I have not tried these, I especially like sage because it seems you can stream/extend vob files as well.

4. have teh ability to view CCTV through it.

Sorry, have not gotten this far. Would you want sage to do this? I started looking at sage because I was planning to use CQC. MCE would have meant switching interfaces. CQC on the other hand seems to be able to play CCTV if IVB's examples are any indication. He may have some comments on sage in general.
 

Digger

Senior Member
Thanks for the feedback.

So far I am still leaning towards Sage TV since it seems to be a cost effective option.
 

smee

Senior Member
Digger said:
4. have teh ability to view CCTV through it.
If you mean, can you watch a composite video input through Sage, then I believe the answer is yes. You can add the composite inputs on tuner cards as additional "channels" which can be viewed or recorded. I've never done this, but it should work.
 

IVB

Senior Member
I have two tuners in it now and have not had a problem watching shows regardless of what is taping. I have not been watching but it must have been recording two at a time by now while we are watching a third.

Cannot have more shows being tuned [recorded or livetv] than you have tuners. However, you can have an infinite amount of video streams, if in Mike's case all but 2 of them are already recorded onto the HD.

There's some folks doing 4-5 tuners with sagetv. But seriously folks, when are there 5 concurrent DIFFERENT shows you want to watch being broadcast at the same time. You can have 5 TVs on concurrently, but if you're watching shows that have already been recorded, you're not actually using any of the tuners.
 

Digger

Senior Member
IVB,

I agree that 2 tuners is plenty. I really need the ability to stream up to 4 DVD's or recorded tv shows at the same time.

It says you can watch live tv on a client if I rememebr correctly so if that affected by the number of tuners as well?

Looks like a neat system. Just need to come up with the money to do all of this. I need to upgrade my hard drives etc, add tuner card, upgrade power supply, add network switches, and buy those boxes for the tv's.

Then I need a year to rip al of the dvd's :)
 
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