Saturday, July 04, 2009

Month in Review - June 2009


Wow, it's Independence Day here in the states - time has been flying by as I try to squeeze in way too much work along with a bunch of vacation I have to use up (and working during vacation... ) as well as keeping GeekTonic readers up-to-date. 

GeekTonic continues on a steady diet of HTPC and media-tech goodness.  Thanks to you, the readers for reading - I will continue working hard to bring you the content you came here for!

To wrap of June 2009 I wanted to share the most popular posts (as measured by Google Analytics) of the month:


    Other Content from past months on the Most Popular List include:


    Coming this next week: Interview with the CTO and founder of SageTV, Jeff Kardatzke

    Friday, July 03, 2009

    SageTV 6.5.19 RC Beta Released

    One more beta for SageTV arrived this week with a couple more cleanup items and bug fixes that cover the SageTV core program for Windows, Linux and Mac versions as well as for SageTV Placeshifter, Studio and other components.

    There's also a new beta firmware update for the SageTV HD200 firmware version "20090702 0".

    The full list of changes and bug fixes is detailed in this thread at the SageTV Forums

    Monday, June 29, 2009

    Sage MovieWall - A Beautiful Movie Interface for SageTV

    What do you get when you take a MediaCenter user with some coding skills who switches to SageTV as his primary HTPC?  The result is an beautiful, free add-on User Interface for your movie collection called "Sage MovieWall."
    Sage MovieWall has been in development for several months and is still in beta, but in my opinion has made some significant strides and looks absolutely fantastic.  This is just one example of how much can be done with SageTV Studio (A tool that allows for development & customization of the SageTV User Interface).  Skye (known as PluckyHD on the SageTV and Greenbutton forums) has been working on an alternative interface for the movie application with plans to expand to other portions of SageTV at some point.
    To give you an idea of what your movie collection will look like when using Sage MovieWall (thanks to a lot of work by Skye) check out the screen-shots below:
    As you browse these screen-shots there are a couple of things to note:
    • remember many of these are different options within Sage Movie Wall itself as there is an incredible amount of customization that you can do with your remote control - to make it look the way you want it to.  Many animations are built in that you can optionally turn on or off also.
    • Most of the ability to browse full DVDs in their pure form (ripped or most other formats) , Blu-Rays etc from any extender, HTPC or "softsled" client PC is already built in to SageTV.  This plugin doesn't "enable" that as the funtionality is already there - instead this add-on changes the way you browse the UI and the visuals you see while doing so.
    • No special setup of the movies, movie folders etc is required as that is already done if you are using SageTV - since it already does that for you.
                                             The Joker Theme
                                               Reflections Theme
                                                Horror Theme
    Requirements to use Sage Movie Wall:
    • SageTV 6.5.18 RC or higher
    • SageMC or higher (Skye is working on a version for the default UI for those SageTV users that don't use SageMC)
    • Batch Media Tools (a very powerful add-on to automatically obtain cover art, metadata etc for each movie, TV and music media) is not required but highly recommended.

    As this is still a beta, I recommend you back up your SageTV install and settings before installing - just in case.


    Here's a few more screenshots to check out.  I'll try to post a screen-cast video so you can see the animations in the next week or so as well.

    MovieWall view - This concept is as expected, a "wall of movies"



    Category/Genre View



    View Actors in Specific Movie

    CoverFlow - one of several coverflow-style views
    List View - One of my favorites.
    More Info View
    I've been using one of the earlier beta versions in testing, but haven't been home long enough to test this latest version.  Can't wait as it looks great.

    Sunday, June 28, 2009

    TV Premieres: What To Watch 6/28 - 7/04

    Not much premiering on TV this week as we head into the U.S. Independence Day weekend.  But there are a few.  Read on for all of the details.

    Note:  Download the free, PDF of all summer 2009 TV premieres


    Thomas Jane and Jane Adams star in

    Hung Premieres on HBO Sunday Night

    NOTE: All Times are Listed for EST

    Sunday 06/28/2009

    BET Awards (8pm on BET)

    Discovery Special: Prehistoric New York (9pm on Discovery- Available in HD)

    Hung (10pm on HBO- Available in HD)


    Monday 06/29/2009

    Dance Your Ass Off (10pm on Oxygen)


    Season Finales this Week:

    • 6/28 10pm "New York Goes to Work" on VH1
    • 6/30 9pm "Hitched or Ditched" on CW
    • 6/30 10pm "College Hill: South Beach" on BET



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