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I am getting closer to putting my HTPC together. I will be using a 2.8GHz MacPro that will be doing double duty as our home computer. It should arrive in the next couple of days. The computer will be directly connected to a Vizio NV370 TV through a Cat6 HDMI extender. Yes I will need to figure out some kind of remote also. I think my wife's iPhone might be the first iteration. I will be using an HDHomeRun to capture clear QAM and possibly OTA in the very near future. I don't have plans to rip all my DVDs at this point. I will be wanting to access internet options like Hulu and Netflix. Now I am trying to review all my options for software. Here are the options with some pros and cons of each that I have found so far. Please let me know if any of this is incorrect and if there is anything else I should consider.


Myth: Both front end and back end to record TV shows and play saved content. Free but may require work to setup and maintain.


SageTV: Records TV and will play saved content. Commercial program costs money and currently no subscription fee for TV schedule. Does have free trial period.


EyeTV: Records TV and will play saved content. Commercial program costs money and has subscription fee for TV schedule. No free trial period.


XMBC and Plex: Both open source for streaming saved content. Does not record TV.


I am leaning toward Myth and SageTV. I am willing to pay for the initial program but wanted to get away from subscriptions like EyeTV would need. I am not sure asking which program is the best since I think some of it would be up to the HTPC configuration and personnel opinion. But I am still eager to hear any suggestions people have. Thanks for your help.
 

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I am leaning toward Myth and SageTV. I am willing to pay for the initial program but wanted to get away from subscriptions like EyeTV would need.

Only a handful of people use Myth or Sage in this forum--the vast majority of us prefer OS X with EyeTV to record, and then employ some combination of Front Row, Plex and/or XBMC as a front end. Most of us use EyeTV because it is convenient, it works, and it doesn't usually require much effort to keep it working--which means you have more time to enjoy rather than tweak and troubleshoot.


There's no sense asking whether Plex or XBMC is better, just spend some time with both and see which feels right for you. At the moment I'm using Plex, it's easy to get to your Netflix instant watch queue from it, though these days we tend to use the aTV for Netflix because its interface is so nice. I came late to the Plex party, always finding it overly complicated and buggy, but once I started ripping blu-rays it became essential.

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EyeTV...program costs money and has subscription fee for TV schedule

$19.95 a year for EyeTV's TV Guide data, $1.66 a month, is hardly something I'd think a Mac Pro owner would be concerned about, also fyi, first year of the guide data is free. My 6 year run with TitanTV on EyeTV is about to end, and I'll miss it, though who knows whether I'll even have clearQAM to record anymore come December 2011 when I'm finally asked to pay for TV Guide.


An iPhone can make a fine remote, plenty of very good app options, the remote app we use most often is Snatch because years ago it was the first good one for Plex, but can also do FR and EyeTV and lots else. (I don't think it is available anymore.) We keep an iPad on the living room coffee table and use that as remote in the home theater more than our iPhones, especially since Apple updated their remote app and we added the 2nd gen aTV to the lineup.

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I am not sure asking which program is the best since I think some of it would be up to the HTPC configuration and personal opinion.

That's right, there's no shortcut, you have to figure out how to interact with and control these things, and the lack of an IR port on your Mac Pro shouldn't hinder you too much home theater-wise as long as you have an iOS device at your disposal.
 

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Originally Posted by chefklc
My 6 year run with TitanTV on EyeTV is about to end, and I'll miss it, though who knows whether I'll even have clearQAM to record anymore come December 2011 when I'm finally asked to pay for TV Guide.
I'm still using TitanTV as well. Is December 2011 the cutoff date for everyone? I had thought that it was the end of this year. As for ClearQAM, don't the cable companies have to keep it going for local stations? Comcast recently scrambled all of the non-locals here, but I still get the networks in HD ClearQAM, which is all I need. If I lose that, I don't know what I'll do.
 

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Quote:
Is December 2011 the cutoff date for everyone? I had thought that it was the end of this year.
It is the end of this year, then you get your first year of TV Guide for free.

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As for ClearQAM, don't the cable companies have to keep it going for local stations?
It's an urban myth, and commonly misunderstood: there's no law specifically requiring cablecos to transmit the locals 1) in high def and 2) in the clear. They can send an unencrypted SD stream on the basic tier if they want to screw with you--they can even encrypt them (and some have) as long as they give customers a way to access those channels, for instance with a CableCard or STB for rent.

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Comcast recently scrambled all of the non-locals here, but I still get the networks in HD ClearQAM, which is all I need. If I lose that, I don't know what I'll do.
Comcast has been pretty good so far, generally keeping those locals in HD and in the clear for me and for a lot of folks around the country. My larger point was just that anyone currently invested in older clearQAM tuners (like the HD Homerun) and EyeTV software should be prepared to switch to OTA at some point or upgrade hardware to something like the Hauppauge or EyeTV HD. (As long as that loophole remains...)
 

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Originally Posted by chefklc /forum/post/0


It is the end of this year, then you get your first year of TV Guide for free.

What happen's at the end of the year? TitanTV's guide stopped work for me when I upgraded to EyeTV 3, but I can still added things for recording by going to the website and clicking record. I have to set the channel manually, but I get the meta data and it still records. I hope I can continue to use it that way.


Dennis
 

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Originally Posted by ultimate /forum/post/19565826


What happen's at the end of the year? TitanTV's guide stopped work for me when I upgraded to EyeTV 3, but I can still added things for recording by going to the website and clicking record. I have to set the channel manually, but I get the meta data and it still records. I hope I can continue to use it that way.


Dennis

Do you use the website for your guide? I thought of doing what you're doing but it seems awfully cumbersome, and the website is pretty ugly!
 

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I tried to install MythTV with no luck. The Mini was my first OSX machine. And there are three programs you have to install for the backend. I couldn't get the one that actually setups up the TV information and tuner. There was stuff suppose to go into a specific directly, and it wasn't there on 10.6.4.


I tried SageTV. Works pretty well. I didn't like how it interacted with the Mini DiNovo. And for some reason, I'm one of the few people when I set for digital out to get 5.1 audio, both live and recorded TV was horrible. Sound flicker and really bad video lag. Most people who use it on OSX said it worked well.


There is another option called The Tube. It did not recognize or find the HDHomerun, so I wasn't able to try it. It is a PVR program too. It's only $40 and designed for OSX. I think the interface may be off putting. Some on here had tried it, but did not care for it. I think the EPG is free, but don't quote me on it. You can get a free trial for them, but you have to write them about it.


I like Plex. It works really well in OSX. It really shines for stored media files. Once you set the files structure right, it's a breeze. I couldn't get Netflix to work, but honestly, Netflix on the PC is not it's shining device. I didn't care for the Hulu on it either; I couldn't get it to play the HD/high res feeds. The Hulu desktop app is really good for Hulu.


You may want to look into Boxee as well. Plex and Boxee are derivates from XMBC. I think they may all still use the same video player, but that may be changing with new versions they're all working on. Boxee is really nice for online videos such as Revision3, MLB, and so forth. I can do file playback fine. It's scrapers kind of blew. I'm sure they work fine, but the name structure was just different enough from XMBC and Plex that it had problems. I've read it's suppose to be improved.


So it really comes down to, do you want one interface to access all the things you want, or the best program for certain functions. Your OP seems to indicate the latter.


On a side note, make sure to download HDHR software so your network will see the tuners. It stinks that windows gets a free program to watch live TV (no PVR), and OSX gets nothing. Plex has a plug to watch live TV, and I think XMBC does too.
 

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A couple of points...


You might want to dedicate a computer to recording TV rather than using your MacPro for everything. Otherwise, you can only reboot it when it is not recording. The current generation Mini is a great choice--sufficiently powerful, small, silent, low power consumption.


Re Myth, yes it is possible to run Myth, frontend and backend, on Mac OS X. I've been doing it for 2.5 years now. Myth has THE most flexible scheduler, and does automatic commercial detection and skipping. All your recordings live on the backend and can be played from any frontend on your home network. BTW, if you are in the USA, you WILL want to get your listings data from SchedulesDirect which costs $20 per year.


Setting up the backend on OS X is not for the faint of heart. A bunch of stuff has to be done from the command line. Instructions here . If that doesn't scare the pants off you, feel free to ask for help. Myth backend has been extremely stable for me once running. EyeTV crashed far more often when I was using it--although admittedly, that was several version before what is current now. Nonetheless, crashes and missed recordings will always occur when they'll most annoy your spouse! ;-)


Another option is to set up a Linux backend. Strangely, this is simpler than installing on OS X. Get one of the Myth distributions, (MythBuntu, etc) and the whole system will install from one disk. This machine can be ugly and noisy since it can be hidden anywhere you can drop an ethernet connection. There is no problem mixing Mac frontends with a Linux backend.


Craig
 
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