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Very cool. I wasn't ready to take the jump to SageTV because with my two Xbox 360's I didn't want to have to buy the Sage Extenders as well or repurpose older PC's.

Also, because my cable box is actually an old Comcast one the firewire ports aren't operational so I can't connect it directly to my PC.
 

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The Nextcom is a good option. The only downside is that you tie yourself into a provider, unless you want to spend several hundred $$ to switch. It also only works if you are on sat rather than cable, at least not for Rogers Cable in Ontario.
 

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The HD-PVR does have the advantage of being fairly hardware neutral. I also have a Bell 6000 with the 169time adapter. That will become unusable soon due to new technology. The HD-PVR will still keep working.
 

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Thanks for everyone's input...as a noob...just trying to figure it all out.

Heading down to States and can pick up Hauppauge HD PVR and SageTV's HD200 (HD Theatre).

Currently have a SA8300HD, one HD TV plus several computers. Want to be able to transfer previously recorded HD programming to HD PVR plus play .iso backups of DVDs. Playback would be on the HDTV and some of the computers.

If I have this straight, the Hauppauge HD PVR (as distinguished from the SA 8300HD PVR) is the vehicle that allows me to either transfer from the SA8300 or record directly to an attached computer. Apart from my previously recorded programs, it would seem best to record directly to computer via the Hauppauge HD PVR and thus avoid having to record to SA8300 AND then transfer through the HD PVR (both in real time).

The SageTV HD200 then allows me to play these recorded programs (plus the DVD .iso files).

I would gather the HD200 would be directly connected to the HD TV. Doesn't all of this get rather bulky where one is watching TV. You have the HD200, the Hauppage HDPVR, the SA8300HD, a computer, and a large capacity hard drive?

If I want to watch recorded TV programs on other computers, do I need another extender? I know the .iso files can be viewed via networked hard drives without any additional hardware. How about the Hauppauge HDPVR recorded programs. My old Hauppauge WinTV currently records files as .mpg files and can also be viewed via other computers through the network.

My apologies for the noob question? Main thing is what I need to purchase when I head down to the US in 4 weeks: 1) Hauppauge HD PVR 2) SageTV HD200 - how many of these? one for HD TV...any for computers (wouldn't think so).

And of course, just to make sure...all of this works with the Rogers digital setup?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Generally you would not have the HD200 and the PC connected up to the same TV so it is not as cluttered as you would think. A PC can play back the files via your network, either recorded TV programs or others.

Many people will have the HD-PVR and cable box connected to a server that is not really connected to a TV - it acts as a PVR plus a media server. You would then have several HD200s around your house at all of the TVs and you really don't need any other sources at your TV.

Here is a writeup on my system that was posted on the Geektonic blog - this may help clarify things somewhat http://www.geektonic.com/2009/04/media-gadget-showcase-htpc-setup-by.html
 

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Thanks, Wayne...

That helps clarify things...particularly your link to Geektonics.

I think my next step will be to purchase the Hauppauge HD PVR and the SageTV HD200...I would assume this also means purchasing the SageTV software.

From other posts I've read in this forum, it doesn't sound like Placeshifter can handle the HD content yet. Is that just a license that one purchases online (i.e. no hardware)? Do they just mail you a license code or allow you to download the software? In other words, when I head down to the states, it won't matter that I don't pick up Placeshifter at that time.

Apart from the HD issue with Placeshifter, what exactly does it do? It seems as if serves as a wireless hub from which recorded content can be viewed in a wifi environment. What does it do with respect to viewing via the internet? Does one in essence view one's own streamed content? Finally (re: Placeshifter), does one need it, if the computers in our network are already connected through the ethernet cables?

With respect to your set-up, you have three cable boxes. Why is that? Are you able to split your signal and pick up three recordings at the same time? Does that splitting cause any degradation in the quality of the signal?

You also describe in your set-up (the picture of your main HT set-up) that you have a cable box PVR and the extender. Is this so you (or your wife) can watch live TV. I suppose I am also answering part of my previous question in that you would require a separate cable box to attach to the Hauppauge HD PVR (in your server room).

I would also assume that your extenders and computer have to be connected through your home network. It doesn't sound as if the wireless capability is there yet. When we built our place, we installed network cabling throughout, except for where our HD TV is. I'll have to take care of that.

One last question (for now...and thank you for taking the time to describe all of this...very much appreciated). Does the extender have access to all of your drives? That is, I would gather it's attached through the LAN connection to your server. Therefore, the SageTV software has the ability to read multiple drives?

Thanks for your great input! I will probably have more questions once I purchase the hardware.
 

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I think my next step will be to purchase the Hauppauge HD PVR and the SageTV HD200...I would assume this also means purchasing the SageTV software.
You can download a fully functional trial version from Sage's website that works for about 3 weeks.

From other posts I've read in this forum, it doesn't sound like Placeshifter can handle the HD content yet. Is that just a license that one purchases online (i.e. no hardware)? Do they just mail you a license code or allow you to download the software? In other words, when I head down to the states, it won't matter that I don't pick up Placeshifter at that time.
Yes for PlaceShifter, and even for the full software, they just email you the license code. Some people say they have Placeshfiter working for 720p content but not for 1080i content. You can set up your cable box to force it to output 720p and then it may work better, at least for now. But I am not sure if that is over a LAN or over the internet. Over the net you would have more issues as you have to transcode the bitrate down to your upload speed which is generally less than 1 Mb/s. If you are just looking to use Sage at another PC there is also Sage Client which allows you to play back all of the content from a separate PC.

Apart from the HD issue with Placeshifter, what exactly does it do? It seems as if serves as a wireless hub from which recorded content can be viewed in a wifi environment. What does it do with respect to viewing via the internet? Does one in essence view one's own streamed content? Finally (re: Placeshifter), does one need it, if the computers in our network are already connected through the ethernet cables?
Placeshifter allows you to do almost everything you can do from in front of your Sage PC over your LAN or over the net. If you are familiar with Slingbox - this is kind of what it does allowing you to play videos, live TV or music over a network. It works best on your LAN but also works over the net. Placeshifter also allows you to do things like scheduling recordings so if you forgot to schedule a show and you are at work you can log in from work and do the scheduling. Or you can even log in from work and watch TV - just don't let your IT dept know! Placeshifter has a fairly light footprint and it can run from a memory stick which means that you could even use it from a internet cafe PC.

It will work via wireless but getting HD to stream over wireless is very finicky. Although 802.11g is rated at 54Mbps the actual throughput you get is WAY less. If you have wireless N equipment it might work or you could look at other options like powerline ethernet adapters or ethernet over coax, which is what I am using for my bedroom.

With respect to your set-up, you have three cable boxes. Why is that? Are you able to split your signal and pick up three recordings at the same time? Does that splitting cause any degradation in the quality of the signal?
Yes I am just using a splitter 1:4 from Home Depot and I have no issues with quality. Since the signal is digital you don't have to worry about noise - with digital you get the signal or you don't. I can record three shows at once - two HD shows since I have two HD-PVRs and one SD show. I also have an OTA tuner so I can also record OTA HD at the same time as well.

You also describe in your set-up (the picture of your main HT set-up) that you have a cable box PVR and the extender. Is this so you (or your wife) can watch live TV. I suppose I am also answering part of my previous question in that you would require a separate cable box to attach to the Hauppauge HD PVR (in your server room).
Yes the PVR box is so that my wife can watch live TV - I rarely do. It is also a backup if I really want to make sure I record something I can also record it on this box. But I bought the box years ago and I may as well use it. I do have separate HD boxes connected to my PC in my "server room" - these boxes are SA3250HD which you can now get for about $99 on sale, at least you could at boxing day.

I would also assume that your extenders and computer have to be connected through your home network. It doesn't sound as if the wireless capability is there yet. When we built our place, we installed network cabling throughout, except for where our HD TV is. I'll have to take care of that.
See my comment on wireless above. This isn't just a Sage issue, it is a broader issue that HD video and wireless don't mix well. I would strongly suggest that you run ethernet cabling to your HD.

One last question (for now...and thank you for taking the time to describe all of this...very much appreciated). Does the extender have access to all of your drives? That is, I would gather it's attached through the LAN connection to your server. Therefore, the SageTV software has the ability to read multiple drives?
The extender can have access to all of your drives. My server that you see in the photos (not the one by the TV) is running Windows Home Server and is the repository for all of my data files - videos, TV, music, photos, other types of files, etc. so I only have to map it to this PC. But you can tell Sage what drives have videos, what drives have music, etc. As long as the drive is shared over your network these drives do not have to be on the same PC that Sage is running on and you can map to mulitple drives. You can use UNC mapping (i.e. \\server\videos) or drive letter mapping for networked drives. This setup is generally the same for all of your Sage PCs/extenders, etc. I have only been using the extenders as Sage extenders. They can also be used in media extender mode where you don't have to have a Sage PC running - you just map the extender to shared drives on your LAN.
 

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PC System Requirements

Thanks for all the info Wayne!

A couple of questions.

1) Assuming I have NO INTENTION of playback on a PC (will buy the HD-200), do you know if the HD-PVR still requires a Dual Core CPU to just do recordings? I have a P4 2.26 Ghz with 1 Gb Ram and IDE HDD's. Do you know if that would work? Will it work on a Windows Server 2003 member server?

2) Assuming (since I am "thrifty") that I buy only ONE Rogers box and put it in my server room (different floor than HD TV) and connect it to the HD-PVR. To view LIVE TV to the other floor where the TV and HD-200 are, would I need to run component cables from the HD-PVR passthrough component out and pull cables through the wall (NOT really and option) OR could I just view it through the HD-200 over ethernet? i.e "watch without recording" through the HD-200.

Channel changing from the TV room would be a separate "challenge" that I am sure can be sorted out somehow.

Thanks
 

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for point 2, yes you feed Ethernet from your PC to the 200, then either HDMI or component to your TV.
Channel changing can be done either firewire or IR blaster,...I am still working out the firewire changing thing.

FM
 

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You don't need a Core2Duo to just do recordings a single core is fine. As Footand Mouth said you just need ethernet.

However, there are a couple of issues if you are using the same box for Sage and live TV.

The first is that channel changing is relatively slow. If you look to just lean on the Ch Up and Ch Down buttons all the time then you will be frustrated.

The second issue is that you will have recording conflicts. You will not be able to watch one show and record another.

A third issue, which is much more minor, is that even if you are watching live TV in Sage at the end of every show, typically every 30 or 60 minutes, there will be a slight blip as Sage stops one recording and starts another. This is because with a PVR you don't really watch LiveTV, you are always watching a recording. But the way that Sage does this is by creating separate files for every TV show rather than always running a buffer the way that TiVo did or some other PVR software.

The solution to the above three issues is to never watch Live TV. I don't and I am a big sports fan. I will start watching an hour or two into a hockey or b-ball game and just skip through all the commercials. The one exception to this may be the Masters this weekend as there are no commercials.
 

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Hi guys, I'm having a heck of a time getting my new Hauppauge HD PVR to work with SageTV or Mediaportal. With Mediaportal I get to the point where it's time to do the channel scan, but it doesnt find any channels. I can't understand how it could scan channels through component input anyway. SageTV doesn't even recognize the HD PVR as an input device. Has anyone out there managed to get this to work? Am I missing something big? Maybe it's Vista 64 that is the issue and I should try it with Vista 32, although Windows 7 RC1 is being released tomorrow...

Any suggestions?
 

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PS. My ultimate goal (i.e. the reason I bought the HD PVR) is to stream TV across a network. Apparently there is a Windows Media Centre "fix" too, mentioned previously, but that doesn't work for me either.
 

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I had no issues getting my HD-PVR to work with Sage running Vista x86 (although my two HD-PVRs are now running on a machine with WHS). I am assuming that the OS sees the HD-PVR - ie. it shows up in device manager? You may want to contact Sage tech support - they are very good and get back to you very quickly.
 

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wealthyfriends, the 1st time I setup SAGE with the Hauppauge HDPVR I had the same problem: blank screen. I didn't plan on installing the Totalmedia theatre and Totalmedia extreme programs. Once I installed the Arcsoft software, however, the channels appeared to perfection. My operating system is WXP Pro not Vista. I also use the USB-UIRT which Sage recognizes out of the box, once Windows drivers are installed for USB-UIRT, of course. I'm having few if any problems with the system now.

Maybe that'll solve your problem. It's worth the fuss for the results you get.

BTW, I have found the picture on my 50 inch plasma looks better through the HDPVR on PC than it does through the Shaw 6200 cable box alone. The video card on the PC might be the reason, partly. It's not high end but an EVGA 8400GS 512mb has newer rendering features for gaming, sometimes overkill for HDTV.

Good luck
 

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Hey,

I've been using the HD-PVR with Sage for about 18 months now from when they first came out.

I just did a rebuild of my Sage server using WHS and would make a strong recommendation for that OS over any of the other Windows OS's -- but that's another story.

So, for your HD-PVR install -- I'd recommend using the new Beta driver (1.5.6) on the Hauppauge website instead of the driver that comes with it. The new driver fixes some issues recording 5.1 audio on Bell HD receivers (DishNet actually, but Bell uses their stuff). You also need to install the ArcSoft TME software as Sage uses the ArcSoft codec for playback of the HD content. That codec will need to be installed on any machine where you want to watch the HD content.

Steps are -- Plug in HD-PVR. Install Hauppauge driver. Install ArcSoft TME. Ensure that HD-PVR is working by opening ArcSoft TME and doing a test recording/playback. Then set up the new Video Source in Sage.

Also note -- make sure your audio and video connections connect to the Inputs on the HD-PVR not the outputs (not that I would ever make this sort of mistake myself :) ).
 

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PS. My ultimate goal (i.e. the reason I bought the HD PVR) is to stream TV across a network. Apparently there is a Windows Media Centre "fix" too, mentioned previously, but that doesn't work for me either.
PS. My ultimate goal (i.e. the reason I bought the HD PVR) is to stream TV across a network.
Assuming that this "network" is a LAN and not the Internet -- Sage does this extremely well. The most reliable, trouble free playback approach would be to get the Sage Media Extenders (HD-200 is their latest). Network cable to your LAN, HDMI or Component and Optical to your TV/Receiver and you've got HD content streaming around your LAN. Sage has a nice out of the box interface or you can improve it by installing the SageMC package and really make it look sexy. Otherwise you can use Sage clients, but need to be prepared to play around with codecs and be certain that you've got lots of CPU power and RAM for clean playback.

If you're streaming across the Internet -- Sage can do this with their Placeshifter, however, it's still pretty iffy as your server has to Transcode the HD video into something that can stream (or you need a big honking upload connection from your ISP if you stream without transcoding). The Transcoding effort tends to max out my dual core CPU and really makes streaming HD content impossible.
 

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For MediaPortal, there is a thread on the MediaPortal Forum entitled "initial support for Hauppuage HD-PVR." It's pretty much required reading to get the HD-PVR working with MediaPortal. The later posts concerning the 1.0.1 release are most relevant. Installing the HD-PVR software is a good idea since it provides a working codec and is a good way to verify that the hardware is working. The CoreAVC codec can also be used but costs US$15. MediaPortal does not work well with the latest Hauppauge drivers. The slightly older versions (1.1) must be used. (Hauppauge has had a lot of problems with their newer drivers and pulled a 2.0 version just after release.)

I had no issues with SageTV. It pretty much worked "out of the box" but I decided to use MediaPortal due to cost.
 

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I have a HD-PVR with my Sage and a extender thus far. I have everything working BEAUTIFULLY except the remote that came with the HD-PVR. I'm new to the HTPC game so it takes me a while to wrap my mind around how everything interacts with each other but I'm getting there. Anyway on the the questions!

The included remote doesn't have any sort of indicator to say it's working or has power. Any neat tricks to test if an IR signal is going out?

I used the Blaster Config that came with the PVR and when I use my mouse to test it, it turns my Bell receiver off/on and changes the channels but the actual remote does nothing. Should the remote work out of the box once you have Blaster Config setup? I haven't even gotten to the point of trying to get it working with Sage or with my Harmory. That leads me to my next question.

I already preemptively setup my Harmony and it too does not do anything when selecting the power button (or any button). I assume if the Hauppauge remote was dead it would be no big deal as I can still use the Harmony but....not having much luck at all with the remote.

Any tips would be appreciated.

One point of possible interest. When following the instructions for setting up the remote it mentions selecting the "on/off" button with your mouse to test the Codeset. That button is greyed out to me but the "Test Next" is selectable and if I hit it, it cycles off/on as per normal.
 

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"Any neat tricks to test if an IR signal is going out?" use any video camera and look at the ir end of the remote with the lens and on the camera screen you will see a white light if the ir is sending so test each button while looking at your view finder and you will see if a button is stuck or if the remote is DOA
 
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