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I've googled, but having a hard time understanding how MCE and SageTV differ in how they record OTA HD content. It's obvious to me that for SD MCE uses their proprietary DVR format and Sage I think uses Mpeg2? But how about HD OTA content?


If MCE still uses DVR, but simply records more bits, how does this fair when I go to convert to an MPeg2 or Mpeg4 file format in terms of image quality.


Put another way, what PVR system would you use if your biggest concern was retaining network shows that you capture OTA in HiDef and want to burn then to DVD's for playback on DVD players? Or for that matter, streaming the HiDef shows from your media center to other HD plasmas and the like.


Thanks!


bradesp
 

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Media Center records everything to DVR-MS. DVR-MS is basically the MPEG-2 video within an ASF wrapper. You can pick out the MPEG-2 without problems, and can even be automated using something like DVRMSToolbox. You can burn DVR-MS files with several programs, the SonicEncoder's app-in for Media Center will do it completely integrating into Media Center (downres' to SD). You can also stream them to any Windows XP PC.


Media Center does support CGMS-A protection which is used by HBO, Starz, etc. These shows can't be recorded to DVD or played on other Windows XP PC's. They can however be streamed to any Media Center Extender, including the Xbox 360.


Chris
 

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VideoRedoPLus is a good tool to handle pretty much any MPEG-2 editing, joining, converting between MPEG-2 formats, sometimes even fixing files with dropped audio/video frames. Program keeps Audio / Video in sync pretty well. Definitely worth the money and they keep working on Betas, continually, allowing you to download the Betas as well.


I wouldn't let DVR-MS scare you from MCE as it is much more accepted than a year or so ago. If a program doesn't accept DVR-MS you can always convert to plain MPEG-2 with VideoRedoPlus (while you edit out the commericials at the same time).


For full compatibility with Media Center, the DVR-MS format is the best (keeps the ability to fast forward/rewind, where a raw MPEG-2 only can use the skip forward/back in MCE). Same for the extender to Xbox, I think.


If you plan on HBO, etc. the CGMS-A may scare you from MCE.


I don't know much about BeyondTV or Sage, etc.
 

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On another note, MCE can playback a lot of filetypes (not always with full functionality of remote - FF, FR), but if you can get Media Player to play it, generally MCE will as well. I have been impressed with the wide range of filetypes that can be played.


Sometimes it requires registering the filetype (there is a 3rd party tool to do this), downloading codecs, and using tools like Quicktime Alternative to play MOVs. But that is no big deal.
 

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


I've googled, but having a hard time understanding how MCE and SageTV differ in how they record OTA HD content. It's obvious to me that for SD MCE uses their proprietary DVR format and Sage I think uses Mpeg2? But how about HD OTA content?

SageTV records directly to MPEG-2 Program Stream (by default) or MPEG-2 Transport Stream (optionally).

Quote:
Put another way, what PVR system would you use if your biggest concern was retaining network shows that you capture OTA in HiDef and want to burn then to DVD's for playback on DVD players? Or for that matter, streaming the HiDef shows from your media center to other HD plasmas and the like.

Given that SageTV showed their HD Extender at CES, I'd take a long hard look at SageTV.
 
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