Wednesday, May 18, 2011

SageTV HD Theater 200 External IR Mod (Part 1)

By: Clift
One of the advantages of SageTV’s latest versatile HD extender, the STP-HD300 over the previous model, the STP-HD200, is the ability to remotely locate the small device and use an external IR receiver. This feature was often cited as a major oversight by some on the HD200. The HD200 is a small device that is just begging to be remotely located. As part of this two part series, I will show how to easily modify the HD200 to add your choice of an IR receiver (within reason). Before we get started it is important to realize that this is a hardware mod that will void your warranty. If, however, you are the owner of an HD200
that is already out of warranty and are still reading, then you’ll want to stay tuned and give this mod a try. That is, provided you feel comfortable modding your darling HD extender and the risks that go along with doing that.

In this first part we will explore some pre-requisite details before performing the mod. In part 2 the execution details and modification steps will be provided. It’s important to know that I have performed this mod on my HD200, so I know it can be done, and that it works. But like all things, your mileage may vary.

Since this is the pre-requisite part of the mod, let’s talk about what we’re going to do, and what we’re not going to do. For one, we’re not going to irreversibly modify the HD200. By that I mean that it will be possible to return to mostly stock. We’re going to open the HD200, solder a lead to the IR receiver trace on the main-board, drill a hole in the back of the HD200 casing, solder the lead to a panel mount stereo audio jack, and finally, install the stereo audio jack.

To pull this off you’re going to need the following tools:
-A soldering iron. Any basic one will do
-Solder, obviously
-Small Philips screw driver
You’re also going to need the following parts:
-five to six inches of 3 lead wire. Either purchase something thin with little resistance, or “borrow” some from your stash of computer stuff (and don’t pretend you don’t have a stash…. We all do).
-A panel mount audio jack (search Google, or hit up your local Radio Shack, part number: 274-249).
-An IR Receiver cable. One of the ones you have lying around from that old tuner card you have. It’s probably in your secret stash. Or, you could buy one from the SageTV store – the one they sell for the HD300, ironically.
-(Optional) Some electrical tape. While you’re in there you can FINALLY gag that network activity LED indicator from the inside!

In part 2 of this modification, we’re going to step by step walk through the process of installing. Stay tuned...

TV Premieres, Finales & Specials This Week 05/17/2011

It’s mid-May, lots of casualties for TV series (check this article for a full breakdown of series cancellations and renewals) which means some of the season finales this week are actually series finales. 

It’s time – past time actually for this week’s complete listing of premieres, finales and specials for the week. Nearly all of these are finales which is to be expected this time of year.


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

Wednesday, May 18

America’s Next Top Model (9pm on CW) Season 16 finale

Criminal Minds (9pm on CBS) Season 6 finale

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (10pm on NBC) Season finale


Thursday, May 19

The Big Bang Theory (8pm on CBS) Season 4 finale

Rules of Engagement (8:31pm on CBS) Season 5 finale

The Mentalist (9pm on CBS) Season 3 finale

Grey’s Anatomy (9pm on ABC) Season 7 finale

Bones (9pm on Fox) Season 6 finale

The Office (9pm n NBC) Season 7 finale

Private Practice (10:01pm on ABC) Season 4 finale

Parks and Recreation (10pm & 10:30pm on NBC) Season 3 finale (two episodes in a row


Friday, May 20

Kitchen Nightmares (8pm on Fox) Season 4 finale

Supernatural (9pm on CW) Season 6 finale

Storytellers (11pm on VH1) Cee Lo Green is the star on Storytellers this week.  This guy seems to be getting plenty of exposure lately.  Expect him to sing “Forget You” and the Gnarls Barkley song “Crazy.”


Saturday, May 21

Saturday Night Live (11:29pm on NBC) Season 36 finale


Sunday, May 22

America’s Funniest Home Videos (7pm on ABC) Season finale

American Dad (7:30pm on Fox) Season 6 finale

The Simpsons (8pm on Fox) Season 22 finale

Bob’s Burgers (8:30pm on Fox) Season 1 finale

The Celebrity Apprentice (9pm on NBC) Season 11 finale

Family Guy (9pm on Fox) Season 9 finale

Inspector America (10pm on History) Season 1 finale

The Borgias (10pm on Showtime) Season 1 finale


Monday, May 23

The Bachelorette (9pm on ABC) Season 7 premiere

House (8pm on Fox) Season 7 finale

The Event (9pm on NBC) Series finale – cancelled after a single season…

The Chicago Code (9pm on Fox) Series finale - cancelled after a single season…

Make it or Break it (9pm on ABC Family) Season 2 finale which is also the end of the series.

Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory (10:30pm on MTV) Season 4 finale


Tuesday, May 24

The Biggest Loser (8pm on NBC) Season 11 finale

Dancing With the Stars (9pm on ABC) Season 12 finale

Glee (9pm on Fox) Season 2 finale

Pregnant in Heels (10pm on Bravo) Season 1 finale



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