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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a long time ReplayTV user, but I am considering switching to a PC based PVR like MythTV/SageTV/SnapStream/etc.


Has anyone else made this switch? Are you satisfied?


My reasons for considering it include :
  • No subscription fees
  • Properly formatted MPEGs (for editing/burning with less hassle)
  • Cheap/free streaming to other PC's
  • Lack of improvements to Replay software in the past 12-18 months (actually reduction in functionality in new units)


I already have a PC that I can use, and I can sell my Replay 5040 on Ebay for about what a high-end Hauppauge PVR card costs.
 

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I am using MythTV as my "Get up to speed with Linux" project. So far here is what I've found.


* The feature set is WAY beyond anything ReplayTV or Tivo have to offer.

* The cost of a reasonable MythTV box is about the same as a ReplayTV + Activation

* The setup is WAY more difficult as you need to learn a fair amount about Linux to install it.

* You get to choose your own case.

* LIRC (remote control and IR emitter) is a pain to figure out. (Not too bad once you get it figured out though.)

* You NEED a good video capture card. Hauppauge PVR-350 seems to be the card of choice as it has hardware encoding and decoding of MPG streams.

* Far more flexible on the "Hive" features.

* Multiple tuners work. (although the most expensive part is the tuner, so why bother.

* Better looking. It's skin-able.

* MP3 playback, but you won't care because with the price of Hard Drives today, you'll discover that once you go FLAC you'll never go back.

* Guide listings are NOT guaranteed, but seem pretty reliable.

* Your MythTV box becomes a door stop when YOU decide to stop supporting it, not when some company does.


Once I get all the wrinkles ironed out, I plan to try pointing the 'Video' directory to DVA running on the same box. If the mpgs from the DVA directory work without a problem, I will use my two ReplayTVs as back room recorders, and MythTV as the front end.


The final step will be to try to work out a script that will run the videos recorded by MythTV through the RTVTools, and get them to import into DVA. If that can be done, MythTV and ReplayTV can coexist in perfect harmony.


Here is a good step by step guide to set up MythTV on Fedora Core 1:

http://wilsonet.com/mythtv/
 

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Rich A has made the switch and he loves it. Or that's what he told me. I think he's using SnapStream, loves the software and the fact that it can encode to DVD compliant MPEGs that work without a problem.


Ok, it's not my experiences, but it's from another member who's been absent from here for a while... now you know why.
 

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I am mostly switched over. I have 2 4000's which I haven't been able to replace completely yet. Since I don't have the cool network scheduling or the multi-room resume where I left off features of the 5000 series, I don't have to replace that functionality. But, the folder/tab based organization of the replay ui is still the best I have seen.


I am using SnapStream on a mediapc I have in my tv room. I use myHTPC as a front end, with Snapstream running on in the background. A button launches it to the foreground. Overall, I think the future is very bright with SnapStream. It works very well for me, hasn't crashed or hung, doesn't need to reboot every 2 days, and has a lot of active development going on. I think with the release of the next 3.5 version, I will be able to get rid of the replays completely, replacing them with two tuners in my mediapc and a Hauppauge MediaMVP as a client.
 

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Well, here's my take. I tried the switch to Sage. I had a pretty nice setup, a PVR250 and 350 in the same box so that I could dual record, etc; Unfortunately in the end, it just couldn't pass the WAF test. She wasn't as keen on it as Replay. So I sold my cards and Sage license, and used the cash to buy a second Replay. She's much happier, and I have more HD space for other stuff :).


Some notes... I had a lot of problems getting a decent picture out of Sage, especially for sports. With the new version's ability to use the ISD via SVideo, that might have changed. I did try every combination of software decoding filters known to man, but never got as good an image as what Replay was giving me.


-MP
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by madpoet
Well, here's my take. I tried the switch to Sage. I had a pretty nice setup, a PVR250 and 350 in the same box so that I could dual record, etc; Unfortunately in the end, it just couldn't pass the WAF test. She wasn't as keen on it as Replay. So I sold my cards and Sage license, and used the cash to buy a second Replay. She's much happier, and I have more HD space for other stuff :).


Some notes... I had a lot of problems getting a decent picture out of Sage, especially for sports. With the new version's ability to use the ISD via SVideo, that might have changed. I did try every combination of software decoding filters known to man, but never got as good an image as what Replay was giving me.


-MP
Yeah, the old sage ui was really bad, nothing compared to the replay. Their 2.0 beta pics look much better.
 

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I bought a HTPC based PVR using SageTV with dual-tuners. I'm to busy/lazy to have built my own. And it came already configured to go. the software is not as polish as ReplayTV. But having dual tuners is nice. And it does everything but CA. Plus it cost about the same as two 5000/5500 which would add up to dual tuners. And you have a built in DVD player or Recorder. For your average user ReplayTV is a better buy. But if you got more then a little Technology Geek in ya, Check out a HTPC ;)
www.tapeitall.com
 

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I don't know if sagetv does this or not. I will find out an post back.
 

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Sage has issues with CC.


-MP
 

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Sage has support for at least one of the HD cards... Access maybe?
 

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You might also want to review Lord Smurf's video capture page:
http://www.lordsmurf.com


Although he mostly uses ATI All-In-Wonder solutions, the page has a LOT of great how-to's on all phases video capture, esp. software.

He also explains WHY he holds some views.


Definately worth a look.
 

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I can see one potential advantage: You can copy the mpeg files to CD, DVD or other computers without having to stand on your head and recite the alphabet backwards to avoid compatibility and audio sync problems.
 

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I use a satellite dish as a video feed to a twinhan vp 1020 pci dvb card. Once the data is on the computer, I display it remotely using the priimiq via ethernet I can also display directly from the computer, but that really does not look as good as the display from the prismiq, or the display direct to the monitor. The nice thing about the prismiq is that the prism people have already worked out the UI and remote control issues. These days it's dead simple to manuver around a very large video collection with the primiq.


The winter project is to set up win prvr 250 (for SD) and myhd-100 (for HD) to see if I like it better than the replay. Titan tv provides a guide that works with the myhd (HD) card. I don't know if the prismiq can display this type of HD mpeg file, and from what I read you even have problems getting the computer monitor to display it.


The nice thing about the replay is the video toaster part. You plug it in, it works. But... video quality is so bad on it, that the only thing I watch these days is the evening news and the simpsons. If I want a movie I watch what's off the satellite dish. If I want network TV I'd rather watch what's OTA HD. This is partly the cable company's fault, and partly replay's. I don't have an HD monitor. I just use an old Sony Trinitron attached to the composite output of the HD receiver. Digital OTA tv is stunning, even on a composite monitor


If it were not for the video quality, and the monthly cost, and the lack of a slider bar and the obscure hunt and peck to find show, and the lack of a todo list, and the limited disk space, and the artificial barriers to transposing recorded data to DVD, I'd never even consider anything but the replay.
 

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I have been considering the PC route too. My only concern is where these products get their guide data from, and how acurate it is. One of my complaints with replay has always been that it has never been able to get guide data for the directv sports packages such as Center Ice. The data is out there, NHL.com always posts what is going to be on, and center ice is availabel on cable and dish.


Anyone know where MythTV or snapstream get their data?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Belial6
I just mounted my DVA drive on the linux box running MythTV. Anything downloaded to DVA from the ReplayTV is now availible to MythTV. Woohoo!
My question is this: can you use DVA to stream programs recorded by MythTV to a ReplayTV (or two)?
 

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If you convert them, yes.


-MP
 

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Once I have my MythTV box hooked up to the TV, I will investigate auto converting them. MythTV supports auto transcoding, so I suspect this can be done.


I am still doing too much experimentation to put the MythTV box in from of my wife. Pretty much once she starts using it, it will need to stay static unless there are major upgrades she would use.


MythTV gets it's guide data from ZapToIt if I am not mistaken. Since it scrapes the web page for data via XMLTV, there is no reason that an industrious person with some coding skill couldn't modify the open source code to scrape from some other source.
 
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