As many of my readers know I used to use Snapstream’s BeyondTV as my primary Home Theater PC software, but switched to SageTV in order to get an integrated PVR along with DVD, Music and Photo support as well as extenders.
I noticed a good write-up by Michael van der Meulen about his experience with switching to SageTV as well as his “don’t overpay the Cable Company” advice. One of the things that strikes me with new SageTV users is how much the HD Theater (HD200) extender sells the overall SageTV experience. Here’s Michael’s comment about the extender:
The real hit was the media extender. Initially, I placed it in the family room. This little box, consuming just 8 Watts (can you believe it!!!!), renders perfect HD on any TV, even at 1080i. It has access to all media that is stored or recorded or live TV on the PC where SageTV is running. Initially I had a problem setting it up, but that was due to my impatience and instructions that were not all that explicit. Once I had it all up and running, I ordered two more extenders.
I see this sentiment all the time – the extenders are a hit because they deliver an experience VERY close to the one you get with a computer, but without the hassle. A well implemented extender like the HD200 is one of the things that make SageTV unique and something I hope Microsoft is paying attention to – that is the #1 thing missing from the Windows Media Center experience to date. Yes the XBox 360 is an able extender for media center, but it’s not quite there with respect to the HTPC experience many HTPC users are looking for.
Read Michael’s article Don't Overpay the Cable Company - Or - Converting from BeyondTV to SageTV – it’s worth checking out.