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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm intrigued by the Popcorn Hour or Sage TV.


Unless the popcorn hour will allow me to watch a live TV show, I may be going for a Sage tv.


I'd like to hear from anyone that has either...

or another device (Note: I'm not interested in Xbox or Playstation 3)


Pro and cons if you care would be really helpful.
 

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I think the biggest difference between the PCH and Sage options is the Sage extender has their PVR backend so you can manage all your TV recording/scheduling/etc.


Probably the biggest thing the PCH has going for it is the HDMI 1.3 output so it can bitstream TrueHD/DTS-HD (the Sage extender is "limited" to only outputting decoded TrueHD/DTS-HD, and I'm not sure that functionality is actually there yet).


The Xbox 360 obviously integrates as a VMC extender, but has quite limited format support. The PS3 (AFAIK) has great format support, but no TV.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 /forum/post/15500354


Unless the popcorn hour will allow me to watch a live TV show, I may be going for a Sage tv.

The Popcorn Hour wasn't designed to be an extender. It's a stand alone networked media player. As such SageTV beats it on the integration front. You can watch live TV with the Popcorn Hour (search for GB-PVR) but it's not an idiot-proof install. The plug-in seems to be in its early stages, thus, it doesn't really function as well as it ought to. I haven't tried the plug-in yet as I'm actually watching shows on the Popcorn Hour instead of fiddling with plug-ins, interfaces and stuff, but I will do so eventually. In the meantime, the Popcorn Hour is an excellent, inexpensive media playback device that supports a wide variety of formats and codecs. It can't play back everything a PC will but for the cost, it's pretty good.


I don't have SageTV nor the SageTV extender so I can't really comment on it, but I believe it has the exact same interface as the SageTV application. That's useful for people who are already used to Sage. Again, integration is the biggest selling point of the Sage extender so if you already have Sage or if you plan on using Sage, then Sage extender is probably the way to go.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 /forum/post/15500354


I'm intrigued by the Popcorn Hour or Sage TV.


Unless the popcorn hour will allow me to watch a live TV show, I may be going for a Sage tv.


I'd like to hear from anyone that has either...

or another device (Note: I'm not interested in Xbox or Playstation 3)


Pro and cons if you care would be really helpful.

I believe the hardware device you are referring to is the SageTV HD Theater , which in essence is a SageTV extender with HD capability. It is designed to work with SageTV media center (a server with SageTV server software, capture cards, storage devices, .....), which you have to build by yourself. Also you need another server license from Sage. In this aspect, PCH cannot compete with Sage due to the integration with a PVR server.


Without the SageTV server in the back (so called stand alone mode), SageTV HD Theater is also a network media player. I think PCH beats Sage here (just like stanger89 said).


So the decision is not really based on the comparison of two hardware devices, but whether you are ready go into the PVR functions SageTV offers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
pvr functionality is a must have.


From what i am reading sageTV HD theater is what I'm looking for, the popcorn hours seems nice what ever i do must be able to function as a pvr. The reviews are really good.


If i were to get a windows media extnder device like a linksys or samsung or some other, would i be able to access WMC pvr functionality through it?


I'd also like to here from anyone that has a sagetv. the pc im going to put it on will be mostly dedicated but it may be used from time to time for some web browsing if our laptop being hogged by my wife or I. Is the pc unusable? are there stability or performance issues with it being used as a pc and someone watching TV downstairs through it?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 /forum/post/15505573


pvr functionality is a must have.


From what i am reading sageTV HD theater is what I'm looking for, the popcorn hours seems nice what ever i do must be able to function as a pvr. The reviews are really good.


If i were to get a windows media extnder device like a linksys or samsung or some other, would i be able to access WMC pvr functionality through it?

Yes, but no Blu-ray unless you do some major converting/transcoding.

Quote:
I'd also like to here from anyone that has a sagetv. the pc im going to put it on will be mostly dedicated but it may be used from time to time for some web browsing if our laptop being hogged by my wife or I. Is the pc unusable? are there stability or performance issues with it being used as a pc and someone watching TV downstairs through it?

You can use it, the only thing to consider is that systems that are used by people less are more stable. But if you're not installing tons of crapware there's not really anything to worry about. My Sage server is an Athlon XP 1800, and it also runs JRMC, it records from an HDHR and an HD PVR and an SD tuner and feeds two HD200's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So the sage tv wont play blu ray rips?
 

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Sorry, I see I caused some confusion, Windows extenders won't play BD rips unless you do some serious converting. I think you have to convert them to WMV, I know you can't just remux to MKV.


It (the SageTV HD200 extender) plays remuxed MKVs just fine, and will also play m2ts files (maybe even evos but I haven't tried that). I've done both with mine.


What's still in the works right now is support of BD "disc" rips (limited somewhat), ie ISOs and folder structures, and support of TrueHD and DTS-HD audio. I'm not entirely sure what the state of those are, the last post I saw from the Dev was that they were working on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK, well then thats a plus for the Sage, i was playing with WMC last night on my aptop and got the plugins for the browser and Netflix, the netflix worked really well, and the browser interface to hulu wasn't that bad, clunky but doable.


How does sage do with this? I read mixed reviews on internet streaming with sage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/15507092


No netflix (well there are some plugin/hacks for it), but pre-beta Hulu support is being shown on the HD200 at CES.

Internet support is a big tipping point.


The media extender has to do pvr and it has to internet TV or netflix.


I may be going back to HTPC.
 

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Any of the V2 extenders (Linksys DMA 2100 and 2200, Dlink, Samsung, Xbox 360) all support DVR/Live TV streaming both SD and HD.


The big thing about the Extenders is they currently don't support many codecs, however with Windows 7 coming out, there are new codecs it will support with windows 7 such as m2ts, and with that support you will then get mkv and and ripped blu ray support.


Also just to point out the netflix addon's for MCE aren't a 100%, if netflix where to change something on how they stream, those addon's will no longer work.


I'd love to see Hulu, and other network based streaming support but I have yet to see anything like that just yet.


For me I have the HTPC on my main big screen in my basement, then I have linksys extenders on the rest of the TV's in my house (4 extenders in total) and it actually works out pretty well.


Things I wish it had were vob support for ripped dvd's and m2ts but like i said with windows 7 that is soon coming.


- Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I hear hulu is coming to WMC soon.
 

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dunno where you are hearing things, but if it were true it would have popped up on here, or one of the many blogs I follow.


- Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

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all they say is "living room experience" says absolutely NOTHING about media center integration.


My best educated guess is what they mean by that is they will son announce support for the Roku box that currently supports netflix and amazon.


This is Universal Studio's we're talking about here, no way would they announce a media center plugin on their own.


-Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
well in any case with the HTPC and a browser plug-in in for WMC i can access hulu, its not perfect but it works good enough for me until something better comes along.


im trying to download windows 7 beta today but the server is getting killed.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx /forum/post/15507714


Any of the V2 extenders (Linksys DMA 2100 and 2200, Dlink, Samsung, Xbox 360) all support DVR/Live TV streaming both SD and HD.


The big thing about the Extenders is they currently don't support many codecs, however with Windows 7 coming out, there are new codecs it will support with windows 7 such as m2ts, and with that support you will then get mkv and and ripped blu ray support.

Don't confuse containers with codecs. And how do you know Windows 7 will support MKV on extenders? You can't change codec support on current extender hardware unless Windows 7 is going to do transcoding.


Do the current MC extenders support H.264?


Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx /forum/post/15508587


all they say is "living room experience" says absolutely NOTHING about media center integration.


My best educated guess is what they mean by that is they will son announce support for the Roku box that currently supports netflix and amazon.

For all we know they could mean SageTV integration (which is being demod @ CES right now).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/15509492


Don't confuse containers with codecs. And how do you know Windows 7 will support MKV on extenders? You can't change codec support on current extender hardware unless Windows 7 is going to do transcoding.

You have to demux the mkv to m2ts, http://www.edandersen.com/2009/01/05...-in-windows-7/


also: http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/1/3...howThread.aspx


but having mt2s support alone is huge.

Quote:
Do the current MC extenders support H.264?

yes they do, but honestly its mostly the PC itself, whatever the pc natively supports the extender will support.


- Josh
 

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