Saturday, December 01, 2007

DVR Alert: Sci Fi Channel's Tin Man

Cross the glossier, darker vision of a Sci-Fi channel story with Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz story and what you get is a three-part miniseries called the Tin Man.  The Tin Man premiers Sunday night on the Sci Fi Channel, at 9PM Eastern and Pacific time and 8PM Central.


I'm typically a sucker for the Sci Fi movies so I'll be recording this series especially knowing there won't be many decent shows on television soon due to the writers strike.  This one might not be for everyone though as there's been some lets say "mixed" reviews come out on the Tin ManHollywood Reporter says this about the miniseries:

"Say this for it: The thing manages to hold our interest in the same way it might were David Lynch to plan your office Christmas party."

Entertainment Weekly gives it a C+ and says:

"Tin Man deconstructs The Wizard of Oz and is best enjoyed if you've never seen the 1939 Judy Garland movie. But is there anyone out there who hasn't?"

Well I've seen The Wizard of Oz just like most others have, but I'm willing to give the show a chance - even if it won't be December when I watch it.

It's interesting how the Sci Fi Channel used their website to publicize the show.  They included a "Google Map" of the world the show takes place in, a comic (seems pretty common anymore in these types of shows) as well as a comparison of the Tin Man to the original Wizard of Oz Story.  Pretty good stuff.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

SageTV HD Extender Details & Photos - STX-HD100

4862-Front-with-RemoteAfter months of hearing their SageTV customers clamor for more juicy details and pictures of the coming-soon SageTV HD Extender, SageTV posted a bunch of photos and details of the STX-HD100 extender on the forums early this morning. 

The new extender will be priced $199.95 (includes a SageTV server-side license for the extender) and should be available December 10, 2007 per Jeffrey Kardatzke, CTO & Founder of SageTV, LLC.


Here's a rundown with photos of the extender right from the SageTV forum:

The extender is basically a hardware extender much like the Microsoft Media Center extenders that were sold for the old XP version of Media Center.  This one of course was made especially for SageTV and allows the streaming of content from a computer running SageTV.  All menus and functionality should be built-in to the box.

Confirmed Features/Details:

  • HDMI output
  • 1080p upscaled output
  • H.264 decoding
  • Digital Audio S/PDIF (optical)
  • Wired Lan: 10/100 Mbps Ethernet RJ45 Connection (I'm a little surprised it isn't Gigabit although it should be fine for streaming content regardless)
  • Includes S-Video, Composite and RCA Component Outputs
  • Dimensions: 14 3/16" Wide, 1 15/16" High and 9 1/4" Deep (with connectors)


Screen-shots of the front & back of the SageTV HD Extender


The front shows LED's for Power, Link, Data and IR

Also on the front are buttons for Menu, Up, Left, Right, Down, "OK" and standby.

USB 2.0 Mass Storage Interface connector - Not sure if this is for connecting additional storage, optical media or something else, but if it's optical media you could use it to play DVD's via a USB DVD-Rom Drive.  UPDATE: THE USB2 PORTS ARE UNUSED AT THIS TIME, BUT COULD ADD FUNCTIONALITY IN THE FUTURE


On the back you see an on/off switch and power cord.

Output's include HDMI, Component, S-Video, Composite and Optical.

The Power Supply (90-250V / 50/60Hz) is built in so there is no power brick

10/100 Mbps Ethernet RJ45 Connection on the back


This is a photo of the new HDX remote vs. the Hauppauge MVP remote for comparison



And finally, here's a shot of the box the extender will come it (click the photo to enlarge)


UPDATE 11/28/2007:

STX-HD100 Supported File Formats & Codecs:

File Formats:

  • AVI, ASF, MPEG, MKV, QuickTime, MP4, Ogg, WMV

Video Codecs:

  • MPEG-1, MPEG-2 MP@HL (This includes xvid and divx), MPEG-4.2 ASP@L5, H.264 up to 1080p, WMV9/VC-1 up to 1080p

Audio Codecs:

  • MPEG Audio, AAC, Vorbis (stereo only), AC3 (decode/pass-through), WMA, FLAC, DTS (pass-through)

Also can view unencrypted, streamed DVD's from the SageTV Server.


You can find these photos as well as comments in the SageTV Forums.

I should note that SageTV does not support CableCard, but it does support many  QAM tuners (unencrypted HD only) as well as the R5000HD (modified DishNetwork Tuner for encrypted HD) and OTA HD.

The extender will be a great seller - especially if the price is right.  I'll update this page as more information including price - comes available.

SageTV 6.3.2 Beta Version Details

SageTV 6.3.1 Beta Version Details




Sunday, November 25, 2007

SageTV 6.3.2 HTPC Software Beta Released

SageTV VideoThe latest Beta version of SageTV was released this past week as SageTV V6.3.2


UPDATE:  If you are interested in more details on the coming-soon SageTV HD Extender, READ THIS





This version's biggest feature is the addition of 125 new selections to the online services menu.  These include:

  • Hidden Universe HD
  • Beautiful Places in HD (Apple TV)
  • HD Yosimite with Tony Farlow
  • Comedy Insider (Apple TV)
  • Diggnation HD
  • Hubblecast HD
  • Washington Post Podcast HD
  • NASACast HD
  • SesameStreet Poscast
  • Nickelodeon Movies
  • NickJR Movies
  • Home & Garden Content (food, beer wine & more)
  • Sports Content (ESPN, NBA and more)
  • Entertainment Content (HBO Stand up, MTV Daily News, Comedy Central content and more)


Also included in this beta version is the following:

  • Hauppauge HVR-950 and ElGato EyeTV Hybrid support on the Macintosh (analog + ATSC)
  • HDHomeRun support for Macintosh (ATSC + QAM) (Linux support for HDHR will be in next build)
  • DXVA support added to SageTV MPEG Video Decoder
  • Support for the SageTV STX-HD100 Media Extender
  • Core animation system is enabled by default
  • Various bug fixes & performance optimizations
via SageTV forums


Here's a quick video of the SageTV online services in action:

For info on what was included in the previous (6.3.1) Beta release check out this post.


Remember, this is a beta version where the kinks get worked out so there will likely be some bumps.