Friday, May 09, 2008

Placeshift Across the Web to your TV with SageTV HD Extender

SageTV PlaceshifterSageTV has been busy behind the scenes updating their flagship software with new features and bug fixes, updating the SageTV Studio program that allows add-ons and customizations to SageTV and also updating their excellent SageTV HD Extender (read SageTV HD100 review here) with new firmware that includes several new features and fixes.


While most of us were focused on the news that the HD extender handles the Hauppauge HD-PVR files with flying colors, one of the features they slipped into the SageTV HD100 extender firmware release is "placeshifter mode." 

Lets say you have a HD-100 extender you use at your home, but you're heading off to your parents, on vacation or somewhere else and you can't live without the Home Theater PC powerhouse that you've grown accustomed to.  Well now you can take your SageTV STX-HD-100 extender with you, plug it in to an internet connection (faster is better of course) and it will run as a hardware device over the internet much like it does at home.  Same menus and mostly the same functionality appear on your remote TV as it did on your home TV.


Note that you have the same limitation with running the HD extender in placeshifter mode as you would with SageTV placeshifter software.  Here's a few things to remember:

  • Placeshifter Mode is included with all SageTV HD100 extenders at no extra cost.
  • Your content is being transcoded based on your connections speed - upload speed from your home is important as is the download connection speed at your remote location.  Faster connection will mean better playback quality.
  • Because the transcoding is happening on your SageTV server PC, the more transcoding that is required the faster the processor demand is on that SageTV server PC.  Dual or Quad core processors aren't required, but will handle this action better then single-core processors on your server PC.
  • Just as with SageTV Placeshifter, you cannot view DVDs (ripped DVDs on hard drive or otherwise) using placeshifter mode.  You can however view movies that are in the many video file formats such as Mpeg, DIVX, etc.
  • Music, photos and other plugins that work with SageTV placeshifter should work fine in placeshifter mode.
  • Take your remote along with you as it will work with the HD100 extender in placeshifter mode and make your viewing experience much as it is at home.

With this addition, the HD extender and SageTV Placeshifter seem to be nearing some sort of competition with ORB, the free placeshifting software for PCs and even Slingbox now that SageTV has a hardware component to their placeshifting arsenal.  Should be interesting to see how popular this becomes for SageTV as they continue to get their feet wet in the placeshifting arena.


The bad news is that the SageTV extender isn't available for sale at the moment.  SageTV sold out of them in the first day or two when it was first released and then when they came back in stock they sold out in a couple of days then as well. 

The good news is that we're hearing rumors that the SageTV STX HD100 extender should be available again sometime next week so keep checking at or at this blog for announcements when they come back in stock.

Read more about the HD100's new Placeshifter Mode at the SageTV Forums

Deal of the Day - 1 Terabyte SATA Hard Drive $180

1TB Drive DealIf you're looking for a lot of hard drive storage for your HTPC or any computer, Micro Center has a great deal ($180) on a Western Digital Caviar 1TB SATA Hard Drive. 



I can't believe how much computer storage costs have dropped in the past few years - the closest I've seen for this size hard drive is $200 at  I'm thinking of picking one up to beef up my TV Recordings drive for my SageTV Home Theater PC.

Check it out at


Found via Forums

Thursday, May 08, 2008

SageTV 6.4.2 Public Beta Released Including HD-PVR Support



SageTV, a leading HTPC software company released a new public beta of their flagship HTPC front-end software, SageTV today.  With version 6.4.2 comes some nice, new features including one of the most anticipated features -  official support of the Hauppauge HD-PVR.  The HD-PVR is set to ship this month and SageTV joins GBPVR in officially supporting the new device that allows capturing HD content via the component output of cable boxes, satellite boxes and Blue Ray DVD Players.

Also included in the beta is a new file system & network browser, support for H.264 videos from YouTube (via the online videos feature), high definition photo display on the SageTV HD Extender, file transfers to/from the Placeshifter clients, and a boatload of bug fixes and improvements.



The complete feature list for SageTV V6.4.2 Beta is below:

1. High definition photo display does not currently work on the STX-HD100 while music is playing
2. The config wizard will be shown the first time this version is used even if it's already been ran before
Core Updates
1. Set the 'HD' bit for files that are imported that are of HD resolution
2. Fixed bug where TV recordings that were in TS format that needed a format redetection weren't getting it
3. Fixed bug where we'd use the wrong server address for the media format detection
4. Fixed bug where transcoding into AAC format no longer worked
5. Don't create lineups w/ 1000 channels on them of nothing when the user selects no epg source (this can be reverted by setting: epg/dont_create_full_channel_list_for_non_tuner_inputs=false)
6. Fixed bug in Scheduler where it would loop for an extremely long time trying to resolve certain scheduling conflicts that may not be resolvable. There's now a check for this and it'll terminate that search after 30 seconds. This is controlled by the folowing property: scheduler/max_time_for_smtsp
7. FIX: PTS-fix problem for a TS stream that has no PCR, or PCR is indicated to a wrong pid.
8. Fix: formatdect crash on Danmark DVB-T (more than 8 service TSID).
9. Added flow control for EPG data from TS sources

Windows Updates
1. Fixed installer so that it doesn't fail on the non-fatal psisdecd.dll fix error
2. Fixed bug where HD photo display didn't work properly on STX-HD100 due to the wrong file version in the installer
3. Fixed bug on Vista SP1 where SageTV would crash trying to start up
4. Fixed bug w/ not detecting Composite+SPDIF input in new HD PVR driver

Extender Updates
1. Fixed bug on HD extender where a JPEG image that failed to load would corrupt the high-definition image cache

Studio Updates
1. Fixed bug where dynamic H/V alignment of images did not work

STV Updates
1. Config Wizard: if the server has not been fully configured yet (ConfigWiz/ServerFullyConfigured is not true on the server), then any type of client will perform all major configuration options, such as source config, recording & import dir config, etc.
2. The Search menu item on the Schedule Recordings menu always searches TV airings instead of the last media type searched & was renamed to "Search for TV Airings".
3. Updated recommended HD100 firmware to version "20080505 0"
4. Right arrow acts as Select when navigating the new File Browser menu.
5. Added Info icon to the help line in the File Browser when a folder is highlighted. Used to get to the pop-up Folder options dialog.
6. Added warning when running an HD100 with a firmware older than the recommended version.
7. Slideshow transitions are enabled by default.
8. Separated iPod and iPhone in the list of conversion format options.
9. Fixed random positioning of images for screen saver slideshow.
10. Fixed fade transition of screen saver slideshow images on HD100.
11. Added photo description/details to the photo Info dialog.
12. Photo viewer's overlay menu has an option to regenerate the current image's thumbnail.
13. Photo viewer's photo rotate overlay menu has an option to autorotate the image, when autorotation is possible.
14. Config Wizard: Skip UI overscan setup if a desktop UI. Skip option to generate all picture thumbnails.
15. Added ability to use NTE when entering passwords when managing Placeshifter users.


Via SageTV Forums