Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hauppauge HD PVR Colossus Unboxing and SageTV Preview

By: Clift

The Hauppauge Colossus HD PVR is the latest capture card that allows High Definition capture from an unencrypted source. It is the successor to the popular HD PVR USB model 1212 that came out almost 3 years ago. The Colossus HD PVR retains most of the strengths of the original HD PVR and loses some of the (arguable) weaknesses. Namely, the Colossus HD PVR is an internal PCIe X1 full size card. That's a good thing from some, and a bad thing for others. The best part of the HD PVR (USB and Colossus) is that it has an onboard hardware encoder that re-encodes HD material into H.264 format. Where the Colossus HD PVR differs from its predecessor, however, is that it utilizes a different encoder chip, which also supports MPEG-2 encoding (although this functionality is not yet utilized) and it adds support for unencrypted HDMI capture. The Colossus HD PVR also supports pass-through of the component signal like the HD PVR USB, as well as S/PDIF audio. As you can see in the image above, the Colossus HD PVR comes with two break-out cables that attach to the board through proprietary connectors (input and output/pass-through).

The cards just recently started shipping from Hauppauge to early adopters who purchased during the pre-order period. SageTV recently released a beta update to SageTV 7 that allows the Colossus HD PVR to be used as a capture device within the software. Setup was pretty straight forward, as any other capture card being set up in SageTV. Hauppauge also has updated drivers on their website that fix a S/PDIF audio issue. I recommend using the updated drivers as well because reports seem to indicate the CD installer attempts to update other Hauppauge cards if they are installed in the system. Some have reported these updates made their existing Hauppauge cards less stable.

In the box:
HD PVR Colossus PCIe board
Quick Start Guide/Warranty card
Drivers CD
Two sets of Component + Analog Audio break-out cables
IR receiver cable
IR blaster
Hauppauge 45 button remote + batteries
HD PVR Colossus Unboxing:

HD PVR Colossus running with SageTV (Server capture, HD200 output @ 1080P):

SageTV Beta Arrives – With Hauppauge Colossus Support


SageTV released a new public beta this week – version 7.1.2.  This once includes some improvements to the guide data details as well as support for the new Hauppauge Colossus tuner.

Highlights of the update include:

  • Revamp of UI for SageTV HD300 in standalone (Media Player) Mode
  • Support for new Hauppauge Colossus “Tuner”
  • Updates to TV guide data including ability to save “favorites” for a sports team, awards information (academy awards etc), al Zap2It Guide data now included for OTA and digital lineups in U.S. & Canada
  • Significant improvement for “smooth” fast forward and rewind on HD Extenders (HD200 & HD300)
  • True frame stepping support on HD300 plus support for seeking while playback paused
  • Placeshifter improvemets

There are many additional updates detailed at the SageTV Forums

Also mentioned in the update notes are some “coming-soon” features:

  • Channel Logos provided by SageTV
  • Guide data enhancements:
    • Season & Episode numbers
    • Improved detection of ‘unique’ airings
    • 2+levels of categories
    • additional flags for shows including Live, Dolby5.1, Letterbox, etc.
    • Images for movies in the guide data – basically fanart

Looks like this beta and the next few will include some nice improvements for SageTV users!


Read more and get the download at SageTV

Monday, February 21, 2011

TV Premieres, Finales & Specials This Week 02/21/2011

Time for another round of TV Talk.  Read on for this week’s complete listing of premieres, finales and specials for the week.

NOTE: All Times are Listed for EST – TV schedules subject to change


Monday, February 21

Tabitha’s Salon Takeover (10pm on Bravo – HD) Season finale


Tuesday, February 22

Frontline (9pm on PBS – HD) Revolution in Cairo

American Treasures (10pm on Discovery – HD) New series where Archaeology professors, Dr. Jason De León and Dr. Kirk French take a break from school to investigate artifacts that might have historical significance


Wednesday, February 23

America’s Next Top Model (8pm on CW – HD) Season premiere

Ghost Hunters (9pm on SyFy – HD) Season 7 premiere

Shedding for the Wedding (9pm on CW – HD) New Reality/Game Show Series

I Used to be Fat (10pm on MTV) Season finale


Saturday, February 26

Secrets From a Stylist (9pm on HGTV – HD) New series

Antonio Treatment (9:30pm on HGTV – HD) Season premiere


Monday, February 28

Bethenny Ever After (10pm on Bravo – HD) Season premiere