Thursday, August 28, 2008

SageTV Movies Part 1

SageTV can help you manage and display your entire movie collection including movies stored on your hard drive, on your DVD's etc in almost all movie file format including ripped DVDs.

How Does SageMC Handle Movies? 

Movies are displayed in by title, Movie cover-art and genre.  The functionality is mostly built-in to SageTV with extra capabilities added with the popular SageMC UI.  Features and functionality are similar to MyMovies for VMC or the abandoned Beyond Media's excellent DVD Library that I used to use.  The main point here is to use your HTPC to not only be the focal point for TV/PVR functions, but also for your movie collection.  Imagine having all of your owned movies stored on a single PC server and accessible from any of your extenders (hardware extenders or SageTV client HTPCs) or even accessible across the internet while you're traveling using SageTV's Placeshifter product.

Follow Your Movie Playback Throughout the House 

Just as you can with recorded TV content, you can start watching on one TV, stop playback and move to another TV in the house (or PC using Placeshifter) and resume where you left off.  Setup is only required on your SageTV server PC to view and playback those movies on all machines.

  1.  SageTV
  2.  SageMC UI installed and running (SageMC adds certain features that I'll be discussing below, but you can obviously view, navigate and watch movies without the SageMC UI.)


Using DVD Profiler as part of this is really closer to the way Vista Media Center MyMovies handles the movie organization. It is NOT as good as MyMovies, but it works pretty well.

Watch the screen-cast below for a feel of how the movies section of SageMC works


View by Genre - this sorts the movies by the genre assigned to them.  Genre can be assigned manually through the interface, using DVD Profiler or by IMDB imports.

You can also change the view to "view by list" instead of icons.  This changes the view to a "list" of genres instead of an icon for each genre.

Once you select a genre in this case "action", you'll see a list of all of your movies (online on your hard drive or offline on a DVD) listed out for that genre.  You can then select a movie to see more information and/or play that movie.


Once you select a movie title, SageMC will display more information about that movie and give you the option to Play the movie, add it to a playlist, edit the move as well as other options.


If you select "Edit Video Info" you'll then see an additional menu.
From here you can search for movie information from (this can also pull in metadata and the movie cover to save to SageTV, import from DVD Profiler, edit the genre/category and edit the movie title.


If you select IMDB, SageTV will search that title  based on your movie file name or folder name if ripped) and provide a list of results form IMDB


You can view additional information about the movie using the IMDB feature of SageTV


And when complete, save the metadata and cover from IMDB if you wish.


Stay tuned to GeekTonic (RSS Subscribe) for part 2 of this article where I'll review how to set up SageTV's Movie management using either DVD Profiler or IMDB.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Home Theater PC Video Podcast by Systm

If you’re interested in Home Theater PCs, check out Monday’s Systm Video Podcast by Revision3.  Patrick Norton hosts’s Robert Heron and reviews basic HTPC requirements, hardware, discusses tuner cards, Hauppauge HD-PVR, Vista Media Center and even a mention of SageTV, BeyondTV and MediaPortal.  I watched the podcast on my SageTV HD Extender from the comfort of my couch.  I'd like to see them focus on the various software packages available and the setup in future podcasts.

They also discuss configuring your HTPC for the best video quality.  It’s very high-level and focuses on Vista Media Center for software, but is a must watch for all HTPC fans.
Watch or download the show at the revision3 site

Monday, August 25, 2008

Deal of the Day - Hauppauge HD-PVR for $210

Hauppauge HD-PVR 1212Want to time-shift or record your HD content to your HTPC without DRM?  In the market for one of those awesome Hauppauge HD-PVR 1212 devices (read my first impressions on the device here) that let you record any content (HD, SD, digital etc) from your cablebox, satellite box or any other device with a component cable output?  If so, Amazon (affiliate) has the best deal I've seen on these so far with the HD-PVR for $209.99 with free shipping!  The next best price is $230 with shipping from NewEgg.

Now is a good time to pick one of these up because
  • Hauppauge has fixed the overheating issues with the earlier units
  • Hauppauge should have their surround sound driver upgrade available this week (tentative)
  • ShowAnalyzer has commercial detection working (in beta) for the HD-PVR recordings and Comskip, VideoReDo and BeyondTV aren't too far away from HD-PVR support.
  • My Hauppauge HD-PVR made the Olympics a pleasure to watch!!!

You can get the Hauppauge HD-PVR at for $209.99 (free shipping)

You can also pick up the HD-PVR at the following locations:
Standalone HD-PVR
$219.99 plus shipping at
$249.95 plus shipping at SageTV Store

Bundle with SageTV
$299.95 plus shipping at SageTV Store

Skip Commercials with ShowAnalyzer - Soon with H.264 Support!

If you use a Home Theater PC (HTPC), you likely are "in" to skipping those commercials.  Two of the best commercial skipping applications are comskip (which I've used for a while now) and ShowAnalyzer.  I'm planning to give ShowAnalyzer a try this month just to compare the two and also because ShowAnalyzer has H.264 support in its most recent private beta.  That means my SageTV HTPC will soon be able to detect commercials for the Hauppauge HD-PVR!  Even if you already are using Comskip or another commercial detection program, I recommend you purchase a copy of ShowAnalyzer today.  Find out why below.
What is ShowAnalyzer?
ShowAnalyzer is used for detecting and removing commercials from TV programs that have been recorded using HTPC software such as SageTV, BeyondTV, Windows Media Center, Vista Media Center, MythTV, GBPVR and more.   With ShowAnalzyer installed, your HTPC checks each recorded show for commercials and marks them so you can skip the commercial with a press of the button.
What's New for ShowAnalyzer?
Jere, the developer of ShowAnalyzer announced the following on the SageTV forums:

ShowAnalyzerSuite V1.0 is ready for beta testing.  The new version is full of new features and was written from the ground up.  The biggest new feature for me will be the h.264 (and therefore HD-PVR) support.
It's not perfect yet and likely has some bugs, but if your adventurous and want to be one of the first to try out the new version, Jere's distributing the installer in a private forum at  If you want to check out those new features and are willing to give the beta a try head over to the dragonglobal site, purchase the ShowAnalyzer Suite, register on the forums & send Jere a PM

If you're not up to beta testing, the public release date will be September 1st.

Price Increase - AND free lifetime upgrades at current price if you purchase before September 1st.
With ShowAnalyzerSuite V1.0 nearing release to the world at large, the price must increase to cover the higher royalties that the MPEG Licensing Authority requires.
Starting September 1st, the prices will be as follows:
ShowAnalyzerSuite (includes 1 year of upgrades): US$29.98
Maintenance Renewal (one additional year of upgrades starting from purchase date or expiration of current upgrade license, which ever is longer): US$14.99
The September 1st date is dependent on V1.0 being released that day.
Good News for current owners of ShowAnalyzer & those who buy before September 1st
As appreciation to the beta testers (not private testers), everyone who has purchased ShowAnalyzer prior to September 1st will get lifetime upgrades.
To cover the next royalty increase, there will be another price increase when I add the ability to actually cut the commercials out of the file. Since ShowAnalyzerSuite will then include encoders, the MPEG Licensing Authority will want more royalties. I am considering making the encoders (thus the higher price) optional, but I haven't decided yet. Regardless of my decision, it will be considered an upgrade, not a new product.

So if you think you might ever use ShowAnalyzer, I encourage you to get your copy now (you have about one week before the price goes up) and lock in your future upgrades.  Plus, it's always a good thing to support the guys like Jere who develop great applications for the HTPC community.
Get your copy of ShowAnalyzer
For a how-to on setting up commercial detection check out this article.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ultimate Fall 2008 TV Premiere Schedule

It's that time again when all the new shows begin again.  The Fall 2008 TV Premieres start this week and I have compiled a complete list for you.  I've included the premieres for Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS, SciFi, CW and more and tried to make it as accurate and complete as possible, but let me know if you notice anything out of place - it's very difficult to get these right as the networks tend to change things around quite a bit.

I've included start times (US Eastern Time) and dates and noted which season each show is in.  I typically just pick the shows I want to watch and the shows I think I might want to check out and set them all up to record.  Many times I never get around to watching some of those new shows since I often wait to see how they do (and whether they'll be canceled) before I get to involved in the show.  To be honest, theres not a single new show in this list that has caught my eye so far.  I could be missing a gem in there somewhere so let me know if you have one you're looking forward to that's a new series premiere.

Also available is a free, printable PDF version of this Fall 2008 TV Premieres listing

(For a detailed week-by-week listing of the TV premieres check out these links: week one , week two , week three).  And check out EngadgetHD for a daily list of TV shows available in HD.

Date Day  Time EST  Show Title Season Network
8/22/2008 Fri 9:00 Discovery Project Earth S1 Discovery NEW!
8/22/2008 Fri 9:00 Discovery Project Earth S1 Discovery NEW!
8/25/2008 Mon 8:00 Deal or No Deal  S4 NBC
8/25/2008 Mon 8:00 Monday Night Football S39 ESPN HD
8/25/2008 Mon 9:00 America's Toughest Jobs S1 NBC HD NEW!
8/25/2008 Mon 10:30 My Super Sweet 16 Presents: Exiled S1 MTV NEW!
8/26/2008 Tue 8:40 Gavin & Stacey S1 BBC America NEW!
8/26/2008 Tue 9:00 Greek - S2 S2 ABC Family
8/27/2008 Wed 8:00 Nextworld S1 Discovery NEW!
8/28/2008 Thu 7:00 Sunday Night Football S3 NBC HD
8/29/2008 Fri 9:00 Grizzly Man Diaries S1 Animal Planet
8/29/2008 Fri 10:00 20/20 S30 ABC
8/29/2008 Fri 11:00 Real Time with Bill Maher S7 HBO
8/30/2008 Sat 8:00 Saturday Night College Football S3 ABC HD
9/1/2008 Mon 8:00 Gossip Girl S2 CW HD
9/1/2008 Mon 8:00 Prison Break S4 Fox HD
9/1/2008 Mon 9:00 One Tree Hill S6 CW HD
9/1/2008 Mon 10:00 Raising the Bar S1 TNT HD NEW!
9/2/2008 Tue 8:00 90210 S1 CW HD NEW!
9/2/2008 Tue 10:00 The Shield S7 FX
9/3/2008 Wed 8:00 America's Next Top Model S11 CW
9/3/2008 Wed 8:00 Bones S4 Fox HD
9/3/2008 Wed 9:00 Ghost Hunters S5 SciFi
9/3/2008 Wed 10:00 Top Design S2 Bravo
9/3/2008 Wed 10:00 Sons of Anarchy S1 FX HD NEW!
9/3/2008 Wed 10:00 Destination Truth S3 SciFi
9/4/2008 Thu 8:00 The Moment of Truth S2 Fox
9/5/2008 Fri 8:00 Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader S3 Fox
9/5/2008 Fri 8:00 Samurai Girl S1 ABC Family HD NEW!
9/5/2008 Fri 8:00 Dogtown S1 NGC NEW!
9/6/2008 Sat 8:00 Cops S21 Fox HD
9/6/2008 Sat 8:00 The Locator S1 WE TV NEW!
9/6/2008 Sat 9:00 America's Most Wanted S22 Fox
9/7/2008 Sun 7:00 Football Night in America S3 NBC HD
9/7/2008 Sun 9:00 True Blood S1 HBO HD NEW!
9/7/2008 Sun 10:00 Entourage S5 HBO HD
9/7/2008 Sun 10:00 Sandhogs S1 History HD NEW!
9/8/2008 Mon 8:00 Terminator: Sarah Conner Chronicles S2 Fox HD
9/8/2008 Mon 11:00 Rachel Zoe Project S1 Bravo NEW!
9/9/2008 Tue 8:00 Fringe S1 Fox HD NEW!
9/9/2008 Tue 9:00 Privileged S1 CW HD NEW!
9/10/2008 Wed 9:00 Till Death S3 Fox HD
9/10/2008 Wed 9:00 Inside the NFL S32 Showtime HD
9/10/2008 Wed 9:30 Do Not Disturb S1 Fox NEW!
9/10/2008 Wed 11:00 Manswers S2 SpikeTV
9/11/2008 Thu 8:00 Hole in the Wall S1 Fox NEW!
9/11/2008 Thu 9:00 Kitchen Nightmares S2 Fox
9/11/2008 Thu 11:00 Comics Without Borders S1 Showtime NEW!
9/12/2008 Fri 9:00 Don't Forget The Lyrics! S2 Fox
9/13/2008 Sat 10:35 Saturday Night Live S34 NBC HD
9/13/2008 Sat 11:00 MadTV S14 Fox
9/13/2008 Sat 12:00 Talkshow with Spike Feresten S3 Fox
9/16/2008 Tue 8:00 Lincoln Heights S3 ABC Family HD
9/16/2008 Tue 8:00 House S5 Fox HD
9/16/2008 Tue 10:00 The Real Housewives of Atlanta S1 Bravo NEW!
9/17/2008 Wed 10:00 Ultimate Fighter S12 SpikeTV
9/18/2008 Thu 8:00 Smallville S8 CW HD
9/18/2008 Thu 9:00 Supernatural S4 CW HD
9/18/2008 Thu 10:00 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia S4 FX HD
9/19/2008 Fri 10:00 20/20 S31 ABC
9/22/2008 Mon 8:00 Dancing With the Stars S7 ABC HD
9/22/2008 Mon 8:00 The Big Bang Theory S2 CBS HD
9/22/2008 Mon 8:00 Heroes S3 NBC HD
9/22/2008 Mon 8:30 How I Met Your Mother S4 CBS HD
9/22/2008 Mon 9:00 Two and a Half Men S6 CBS HD
9/22/2008 Mon 9:30 Worst Week S1 CBS HD NEW!
9/22/2008 Mon 10:00 Boston Legal S5 ABC HD
9/22/2008 Mon 10:00 CSI: Miami S7 CBS HD
9/23/2008 Tue 8:00 Opportunity Knocks S1 ABC NEW!
9/23/2008 Tue 8:00 NCIS S6 CBS HD
9/23/2008 Tue 8:00 The Biggest Loser S6 NBC
9/23/2008 Tue 9:00 The Mentalist S1 CBS HD NEW!
9/23/2008 Tue 10:00 Without a Trace S7 CBS HD
9/23/2008 Tue 10:00 Law & Order: SVU S10 NBC HD
9/24/2008 Wed 8:00 New Adventures of Old Christine S4 CBS HD
9/24/2008 Wed 8:00 Knight Rider S1 NBC HD NEW!
9/24/2008 Wed 8:30 Gary Unmarried S1 CBS HD NEW!
9/24/2008 Wed 9:00 Criminal Minds S4 CBS HD
9/24/2008 Wed 10:00 CSI: New York S5 CBS HD
9/24/2008 Wed 10:00 Lipstick Jungle S2 NBC HD
9/25/2008 Thu 8:00 Survivor: Gabon S17 CBS HD
9/25/2008 Thu 8:00 Ugly Betty S3 ABC HD
9/25/2008 Thu 8:00 My Name is Earl S4 NBC HD
9/25/2008 Thu 9:00 Grey's Anatomy S5 ABC HD
9/25/2008 Thu 9:00 The Office S5 NBC HD
9/25/2008 Thu 10:00 ER S15 NBC HD
9/27/2008 Sat 10:00 48 Hours Mystery S12 CBS
9/28/2008 Sun 7:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition S6 ABC
9/28/2008 Sun 7:00 60 Minutes S41 CBS HD
9/28/2008 Sun 8:00 The Amazing Race S13 CBS
9/28/2008 Sun 8:00 The Simpsons S20 FOX
9/28/2008 Sun 8:30 King of the Hill S13 FOX
9/28/2008 Sun 9:00 Desperate Housewives S5 ABC HD
9/28/2008 Sun 9:00 Cold Case S6 CBS HD
9/28/2008 Sun 9:00 Family Guy S7 FOX HD
9/28/2008 Sun 9:00 Dexter S3 Showtime HD
9/28/2008 Sun 9:30 American Dad S4 FOX
9/28/2008 Sun 10:00 Brothers & Sisters S3 ABC HD
9/28/2008 Sun 10:00 The Unit S4 CBS HD
9/28/2008 Sun 10:00 Californication S2 Showtime HD
9/28/2008 Sun 10:30 Life & Times of Tim S1 HBO NEW!
9/28/2008 Sun 11:00 Little Britain S1 HBO HD NEW!
9/29/2008 Mon 8:00 Chuck S2 NBC HD
9/29/2008 Mon 10:00 Life S2 NBC HD
9/30/2008 Tue 10:00 Scare Tactics S3 SciFi
10/1/2008 Wed 8:00 Pushing Daisies S2 ABC HD
10/1/2008 Wed 9:00 Private Practice S2 ABC HD
10/1/2008 Wed 10:00 Dirty Sexy Money S2 ABC HD
10/3/2008 Fri 8:00 Wife Swap S5 ABC
10/3/2008 Fri 8:00 Ghost Whisperer S4 CBS HD
10/3/2008 Fri 8:00 Everybody Hates Chris S4 CW HD
10/3/2008 Fri 8:30 The Game S3 CW HD
10/3/2008 Fri 9:00 Supernanny S5 ABC
10/3/2008 Fri 9:00 The Ex List S1 CBS HD NEW!
10/3/2008 Fri 9:00 Sanctuary S1 SciFi NEW!
10/3/2008 Fri 10:00 Numb3rs S5 CBS HD
10/5/2008 Sun 7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos S19 ABC
10/5/2008 Sun 7:00 In Harm's Way S1 CW HD NEW!
10/5/2008 Sun 8:00 Valentine, Inc. S1 CW HD NEW!
10/5/2008 Sun 9:00 Easy Money S1 CW HD NEW!
10/6/2008 Mon 9:30 Samantha Who? S2 ABC HD
10/9/2008 Thu 8:30 Kath & Kim S1 NBC HD NEW!
10/9/2008 Thu 9:00 CSI S9 CBS HD
10/9/2008 Thu 9:30 SNL Thursday Night Live S1 NBC HD NEW!
10/9/2008 Thu 10:00 Eleventh Hour S1 CBS HD NEW!
10/9/2008 Thu 10:00 Life on Mars S1 ABC HD NEW!
10/9/2008 Thu 10:30 Testees S1 FX NEW!
10/10/2008 Fri 10:00 The Starter Wife S2 USA HD
10/13/2008 Mon 9:00 My Own Worst Enemy S1 NBC HD NEW!
10/14/2008 Tue 10:00 Eli Stone S2 ABC HD
10/15/2008 Wed 10:00 South Park S13 Comedy
10/17/2008 Fri 8:00 Crusoe S1 NBC HD NEW!
10/17/2008 Fri 10:00 Crash S1 Starz HD NEW!
10/21/2008 Tue 11:00 Frank TV S2 TBS HD
10/29/2008 Wed 9:00 Stylista S1 CW HD NEW!
10/30/2008 Thu 9:30 30 Rock S3 NBC HD
11/2/2008 Sun 7:30 Surviving Suburbia S1 CW HD NEW!
11/4/2008 Tue 10:00 Bad Girls Club S3 Oxygen
11/9/2008 Sun 10:30 Summer Heights High S1 HBO HD NEW!
11/23/2008 Sun TBA 24 "Redemption Movie" Special Fox HD NEW!
12/3/2008 Wed 8:00 Secret Millionaire S1 Fox NEW!
1/12/2009 Mon TBA Kyle XY S3 ABC Family HD

Winter 2009 Midseason TV Shows