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Discussion Starter #1
Ok I want to add either sage or beyond tv software to my HTPC. If you own one of them what was the reason you bought it. And better yet if youu have used both what is the preference. Is performance better in one or the other? Do both support Dolby Digital. Things of this nature is what I am looking for to help in my dicision.

Also can either one be used to watch TV without it recording? Any help is really appreciated.


My system


Thermaltake Bach HTPC VB8000 Case

Thermaltake A2331 VFD Media Lab (dispaly) with remote

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+

ATI TV Wonder 550

Nvidia 7600GT OC 590 mhz 256 meg PCI Express Video Card

1 gig DDR2 ram

250 gig HD & 60 gig HD (for OS & Programs)

DVD + - RW Dual Layer Burner

DVD/CDR Burner Player

Creative Labs XFi Extreme Music sound card

Windows Media Center 2005

TheaterTek Video Software w/ nvidia pure vidio
 

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Both work if you have the right equipment. I had Beyond (which I liked the menu flow of better) but I now use Sage because it supports exclusive renderless.


Both will allow you to just flip through channels like a regular tuner. niether are as fast to change channels as a STB tuner (or the MyHD card for that matter). I know Sage records the channel as you watch, and I am pretty sure Beyond does as well, but I can't remember 100%.


In any case, both offer full featured trial downloads for a period of about a month. Download them and try them out, then pick the one you like better.


-Suntan
 

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If you're willing to put a bit of time in (installing a few plug-ins and an alternate UI like SageMC), then Sage is far superior. However, BeyondTV is probably a better polished out-of-the-box solution.
 

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People complain about the Sage UI as being dated, but they're in my opinion just arguing for change for change's sake. There is at least on alternative UI you can use if that's important to you, but the UI works.


BTW, the changing channel thing is somewhat dependent on the device.


Finally, Sage does have an issue on some people's systems of stuttering, so watch a live sporting event during the trial period, and let it record the program at least two hours. On my system the stutter is more noticable when the show has been recording a long time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karyk /forum/post/0


People complain about the Sage UI as being dated, but they're in my opinion just arguing for change for change's sake.

True, then there are some people that have owned and used both, and simply prefer the interface Beyond has.



-Suntan
 

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I started using SageTV because I really had no other choice. Because of my location, I had no other option for PVR. Tivo doesn't exist in Canada. The local cable company had no PVR at the time. Someone came out with an XMLTV plugin for Sage allowing me to get EPG for Canadian channels, which wasn't supported by either Sage or Beyond at the time. So I tried out SageTV and have been with them ever since.


Probably the best thing I can say about SageTV is that it works as advertised. I use it every day, and it has been rock solid and dependable, and now has native EPG for Canadian channels. I have not had any desire to try other programs. As for the user interface, I don't mind it at all, although I now use the SageMC interface and slightly prefer it over the default.


Now in terms of playback, obviously a lot depends on your hardware and the decoders. For whatever reason, I still have the greatest success with Intel chipsets. I previously built an HTPC based on the nvidia 6150-based motherboard, and had some stability and playback problems. My current intel setup has been completely stable.
 

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I have used BTV for a while now. I didn't know about Sage at the time. I did look at Sage since then and found the interface to be lacking.


One thing that Sage has that BTV lacks is official support for QAM tuners. This I think is a big deal.


I am using an unofficial plugin in BTV for QAM support, which as alpha software is going through some growing pains. Getting it to work is not exactly easy.
 

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I'm looking to purchase an HDHomerun and have been looking at Sage and BTV. The HDhomerun is already supported by Save and they are working on offical support for BeyondTV. The is a working unofficial hack for BeyondTV that works short of watching live televison.


The Sage interface while being functional just isn't impressive and it felt clunky using my universal remote/Girlder setup. I think the Sage interface is a good fit for a SD TV display but looked lacking on my 61 inch 1080p display. The BeyondTV interface seemed a bit nicer but I still wasn't impressed.


I think TVedia ( 8dim.com ) has one of the better interfaces for applications on HTPCs which has the ability to adjust for the ideal setup ranging for a low quality 4:3 SD, 720p, 1080p with various display tweakability. The interface is pretty slick too but I still think it needs some work with functionality. To give you an ideal I use TVmedia for selecting DVDs/Videos and launching them in Zoom Player (by custom modification to TVedia) along with the My Pictures feature. TVedia does the best job by far that I've seen for scaling my digital camera photos on my DLP, it's really inpressive. They used have a DVR function but have dropped support for this.


I'm basicly looking for an application that allows me to load a clean well designed EPG. I want be to able to quickly and easily select recordings, season passes and have the application in the background save the raw mpeg streams to disk. Once recorded have the option to transcode to a custom format(s) of my choice on off peak times. I would also prefer to playback the recorded streams with Zoom Player using chapters for comskip features. I don't care about live television on the HTPC.
 

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Not sure about Sage, but BTV is strictly PVR. They have Beyond Media for the pics, dvd, music, etc. I was unimpressed by BM. I have opted for xlobby as a media front end. For DVD playback I have gone with theatertek. This is all discussed extensively under this forum.
 

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Dont forget that SageTV is a JAVA based program and along with that comes poor performance and resource hogging. I have used both and find BTV much much faster, especially on lower spec systems. SageTV=Java. No thank you. This is a non started for me and I wont touch it with a 10 foot pole. Plus the BTV UI is much cleaner and more polished, although SageTV does have some nice features.


I too have (2) HDHomeRun's and long for the day an official BTV driver becomes avaliable-soon. For no I have been using TSReader.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd /forum/post/0


Dont forget that SageTV is a JAVA based program and along with that comes poor performance and resource hogging. I have used both and find BTV much much faster, especially on lower spec systems. SageTV=Java. No thank you.

Please don't trash a product based on the language it was written it. Just because something is written in java doesn't automatically make it slow. I'm a software engineer and I can write you a program in C++/C#/whatever that will be 10x slower than the same program in java. Now, you may have a valid point that Sage is slow, I've never used it, but it isn't slow b/c it was written in java, if it is slow, it is slow b/c of poor programming.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by white_2kgt /forum/post/0


Please don't trash a product based on the language it was written it. Just because something is written in java doesn't automatically make it slow. I'm a software engineer and I can write you a program in C++/C#/whatever that will be 10x slower than the same program in java. Now, you may have a valid point that Sage is slow, I've never used it, but it isn't slow b/c it was written in java, if it is slow, it is slow b/c of poor programming.

Yeah well, whatever the reason, Sage is slow. And installing java is kind of annoying to have to do. A lot of times you press a button, then press it again because nothing happened only to find out Sage needed a few moments to make up its mind.


On the other side, Beyond always seemed to take forever to load and exit, often holding up windows' shutdown routine.


-Suntan
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan /forum/post/0


Yeah well, whatever the reason, Sage is slow. And installing java is kind of annoying to have to do. A lot of times you press a button, then press it again because nothing happened only to find out Sage needed a few moments to make up its mind.


On the other side, Beyond always seemed to take forever to load and exit, often holding up windows' shutdown routine.


-Suntan

Not in my experience. Don't know what is up with your PC, but I had Sage running on a P4 1.8 in my first HTPC and it ran fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks for all of the replies guys!


I eneded up DL the trial version of BTV. So far I like the results. The picture is pretty good and I am able to use my nvidia pure video decoder with it. Have not had a chance to play with all of the functions but I will see this weekend.
 

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I'd say give both a good try before you make up your mind, you may find something in one or the other you find you "can't live without". Or something you just can't stand.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan /forum/post/0


Yeah well, whatever the reason, Sage is slow. And installing java is kind of annoying to have to do.

For some reason, I find installing .Net much more annoying


Quote:
A lot of times you press a button, then press it again because nothing happened only to find out Sage needed a few moments to make up its mind.

Install Java 6.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/0


For some reason, I find installing .Net much more annoying

Agreed, but I'd rather not have either installed.



Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/0


Install Java 6.

No thanks, I'll take slow and poky, but stable, over rolling the dice with continued java updates in an effort to eliminate memory black holes/lock ups anyday.


-Suntan
 

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Couple of things that win sage over for me. BTV, you have to pay more for less. If you want integrated DVD, Video, and Music then you will pay. All of that comes with sage. Hey want DVD Burning (BTV you will pay) Sage has a free plugin (Sage allows users to make their own plugins!) Sage also has transcoding feature which is awesome! Say you record a couple of episodes, you run the commercial skip plugin with sage, and then transcode it to AVI for storage or archiving. BTV good luck you will have to pay for I bet. UI I agree that BTV seems smoother, but capabilities without a doubt SageTV will win everytime
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan /forum/post/0


No thanks, I'll take slow and poky, but stable, over rolling the dice with continued java updates in an effort to eliminate memory black holes/lock ups anyday.

Seriously, check out the Java 6 thread on the SageTV forums. There are a lot of users running it, and it's accounted for a major performance improvement. I've been running it since shortly after it was finalized, and it's just as stable as 1.4 was, but much faster.
 
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