Friday, June 24, 2011

SageTV Offers Free Upgrade to Existing Customers


After the acquisition of SageTV by Google, the store was closed and therefore there was no way to purchase a license upgrade from an older version of SageTV.  This put many who wanted to upgrade or were in the process of trying out the new version in limbo since they couldn’t purchase the upgrade even if they had installed the trial.

In what can only be viewed as a very nice goodwill gesture, the SageTV team (with Google’s permission) has announced free upgrades to the most recent version, SageTV 7 for anyone with a purchased SageTV 5 or SageTV 6 license!

Howdy All!
Got some good news for now. I've been authorized to post updated EXEs for SageTV and SageTVService Version 7 for Windows. These new EXEs do not need a V7 upgrade key to run. They will run with exisiting V5 or V6 licenses. This is to satisfy existing customers who did an upgrade to V7, but the trial has expired or is about to expire on them.
Replace your existing V7 EXE files for SageTV.exe and SageTVService.exe with the corresponding ones inside the zip files attached to this message. If you have an existing V5 or V6 key, then V7 will function for you properly.
Thanks an enjoy.

The SageTV team addressed many other questions from existing SageTV users in this Q&A I posted earlier this week.  Over the weekend I’ll address the bigger-picture ramifications of the Google acquisition of SageTV so stay tuned.

If you own SageTV 5 or 6 and haven’t yet upgraded to version 7, now is your time.  Grab the update at the SageTV forums now.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What’s Next for SageTV Customers Post-Google?


Since receiving word of Google’s acquisition of leading MediaPC company, SageTV this past Saturday fear and speculation has been the norm for the existing SageTV user base.  Saturday I reached out to SageTV and Google representatives to gather as much information as possible.  Keep in mind the transaction very likely had just been finalized so it takes some time to sort through all of the details including sales of existing products, supporting existing users etc. etc. 

Today I received some answers for many of my questions – most of these are focused on what happens next for SageTV users.  We won’t be receiving any official information on Google’s plans with the future of SageTV + Google for now, although I plan to share my thoughts on that soon as well.

Note:  In the responses below, “we” typically means “SageTV/Google” since they are now one and the same company.

Answers from Google/SageTV are in bold below:

EPG Data

If you already use SageTV and rely on it for your TV recording and viewing needs, the first thing you want to know is what happens to the Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) data that is used for seeing what shows are scheduled on your TV – it’s an essential part of your DVR. 

SageTV’s EPG data will continue to remain active for at least one year.

Existing SageTV Keys & SageTV Beta Status

The most recent version of SageTV was in a public beta so I asked what happens to that beta?

The beta versions do not expire. SageTV/Google does not currently have plans relating to posting a final release of V7.1; the current release candidate is of 'release' quality based on SageTV’s prior standards. 


Existing, Purchased SageTV Product Keys

Purchased keys from SageTV products will continue to be valid. There is no time limit on them.


SageTV Software as we know it – Is There a Future?

I asked the obvious question, Will the software & hardware we know as SageTV exist in any form post acquisition?  The answer, as expected is “we cannot comment at this time.”

That isn’t as good as “yes”, but it’s better than a flat out no.  I’m not surprised to get the no comment answer on that one for now.  We’ll have to see what happens at Google Labs and/or GoogleTV – could be a while.


SageTV Forums & Downloads

I asked what would happen to the existing SageTV forums & downloads currently hosted by SageTV?  Will users continue to have access to these resources important to the SageTV software? 

Yes, the forums will remain open and we plan to make current version downloads available to current customers.  Plans are to continue making the 3rd Party plug-in downloads available as well.

SageTV HD300 (Extender/Player) Warranty/Service

I asked if the warranty for those who recently purchased SageTV HD300’s will be honored.

Google will be honoring the 1 year warranty policy on the HD300.

Will HD300’s Be Available for Purchase?

Many SageTV users have been wanting to purchase another HD300, but the SageTV store has been closed since the acquisition.  So I asked if they had plans to sell any of the existing HD300 stock or perhaps even sell new ones.

Unfortunately the answer here was “we can't comment at this time.” 

Google Beta Testing?

I threw this one in hoping to get a “feel” for the SageTV/Google future:  “Does Google need an awesome group of beta testers (aka SageTV beta group)?  I many SageTV users would love to contribute.

Yes, Google will be interested in beta testers in the future. We will inform the community of any related opportunities.

Role for SageTV 3rd Party Developers?

I asked if there was any chance the existing group of 3rd party developers most of which worked on these projects for "fun" could contribute towards similar 3rd party add-ons with Google's future GoogleTV?

No comment related to Google TV. But we do want the developer community to remain alive and strong. They've been an integral part of SageTV's success and we value them greatly, as does Google.

Software-Only GoogleTV/SageTV Future?

I threw out this one as a long-shot:  Does Google plan to provide any software-only installation of GoogleTV/SageTV in the future like SageTV allows for today?

The answer was as expected:  “We can't comment at this time.”

GoogleTV DVR Capability?

Another long-shot question from me:  Any hope for DVR capability in GoogleTV with this acquisition?  That was one of SageTV's strengths over the competition.

The answer again was as expected:  “We can't comment at this time.”

There you have it – existing SageTV will still have SageTV available to us along with the EPG data, downloads, 3rd party plug-ins etc at least for the next year.  Forums will continue to be hosted and maintained as well.  Beyond that though we just don’t know.  I saw no indication or even hope of new licenses or hardware being available making it difficult if you need to upgrade your HTPC system with an additional TV for instance.

As far as what Google plans to do with SageTV I think there are some things we can read from the above.  I get the feeling they really do plan on doing something with the SageTV assets directly with the next iteration of Google TV.  Does that mean DVR capability, placeshifting of some kind or something else?  We don’t know yet – I have my thoughts/educated guesses and will share it with you soon.  I don’t think much of the tech media really understands this acquisition yet – but they will soon.

Thanks to both the SageTV team and Google for responding to these questions!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

TV Premieres, Finales & Specials This Week 06/19/2011

It’s the Father’s Day edition of the weekly TV update on GeekTonic.  This week we have another bunch of premieres and finales.

Falling Skies

New Speilberg Produced Sci-Fi series, “Falling Skies” premieres on TNT tonight

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


Sunday, June 19

Coal (8pm on Spike) Season finale

The 38th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards (8pm on CBS)

Falling Skies (9pm on TNT) A new sci-fi series on TNT premieres tonight with a two-hour episode.  This one brings some big names – Steven Spielberg produced this one and Noah Wyle stars.  The synopsis is this: A young father struggles to protect his family and humanity following an alien attack.  It’s on my record and see-what-happens list.

Game of Thrones (9pm on HBO) Season 1 finale – I don’t currently subscribe to HBO, but I hear this is one to watch so I’ll catch it on Netflix once available.

I Survived (9pm on Biography) Season finale

Masterpiece Mystery! (9pm on PBS) Season premiere

Drop Dead Diva (9pm on Lifetime) Season 3 premiere

The AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Morgan Freeman (9pm on TVLand) We’ll see Clint Eastwood, Sidney Poitier and others honor Morgan Freeman

The Killing (10pm on AMC) Season 1 finale

Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals A Home Coming (10pm on OWN) New reality series


Monday, June 20

Horaders (9pm on A&E) Season 4 premiere

Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided (10pm on PBS) A 6-part history miniseries that begins with Abraham and Mary Lincoln's childhoods through the presidency

Nurse Jackie (10pm on Showtime) Season 3 finale

Sanctuary (10pm on SyFy) Season 3 finale

Intervention (10pm on A&E) Season premiere

United States of Tara (10:30pm on Showtime) Season 3 finale


Tuesday, June 21

History Detectives (8pm on PBS) Season premiere

101 Ways to Leave a Game Show (9pm on ABC) New game show where players who answer questions incorrectly leave the show by being strapped to the wing of a plane, dropped off the side of an 18-wheeler, flipped upside down in an exploding car or launched by dynamite.  Nice.

Staten Island Cakes (9pm on WE) New reality/cooking show

Hardcore Pawn (9pm on TruTV) Season 4 premiere

16 and Pregnant (10pm on MTV) Season 3 finale

Combat Hospital (10pm on ABC) New medical drama where doctors work at the NATA Medical Unit and work in wartime

Storage Hunters (10pm on TruTV) New collectibles/reality series

POV (10pm on PBS) Season premiere


Wednesday, June 22

I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant (9pm on TLC) Season premiere

Primetime Nightline: Beyond Belief (10pm on ABC) A new newsmagazine with a paranormal twist.

The Challenge: Rivals (10pm on MTV) Season 21 premiere


Thursday, June 23

Expedition Impossible (9pm on ABC) New reality contest series by Mark Burnett

CNBC Titans (9pm on CNBC) Season premiere begins with a focus on Steve Jobs – Mr. Apple himself

Burn Notice (9pm on USA) Season 5 premiere

Wilfred (10pm on FX) New comedy series starring Elijah Wood based on a comedy from Australia.  The premise is… different.  I’m recording it just to see if it’s for me or not.

Suits (10pm on USA) New drama on USA.  This one takes place with a lawyer who recruits a genius without a law degree.  USA has done a terrific job of carving out watchable dramas so I’m recording this one to see how it goes.

Rookie Blue (10pm on ABC) Season 2 premiere

Louie (10:30pm on FX) Season 2 premiere


Friday, June 24

Ultimate Predators (8pm on National Geographic Wild) New animal documentary series

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (9pm on ABC) Season 2 finale

Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings (10pm on IFC) New comedy/entertainment series where Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal use local talent to produce commercials for small town businesses.

Unplugged (11pm on VH1) Mumford & Sons perform in New York City

Young Broke and Beautiful (11pm on IFC) New entertainment/comedy series


Saturday, June 25

Carson Nation (10pm on OWN) New reality/fashion series

Durarara (12:30 (after midnight) on Toon) New action/anime series


Sunday, June 26

Wild Amazon (7pm on Animal Planet) New animal/nature series

Law & Order: Criminal Intent (9pm on USA) Season 10 finale which is also the series finale

Leverage (9pm on TNT) Season 4 premiere

Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew (9pm on VH1) Season 5 premier

True Blood (9pm on HBO) Season 4 premiere

The Marriage Ref (10pm on NBC) Season 2 premiere

Extreme Chef (10:30pm on Food) New food series with fun stuff like Rattlesnake steak!


Monday, June 27

My Babysitter’s a Vampire (7pm on Disney) New Children/Adventure series

Weeds (10:05pm on Showtime) Season 7 premiere

The Big C (10:30pm on Showtime) Season 2 premiere


Wednesday, June 29

The Voice (8pm on NBC) Season 1 finale

Melissa & Joey (8pm on ABC Family) Season 2 premiere

State of Georgia (8:30pm on ABC Family) New sitcom

Royal Pains (9pm on USA) Season 3 premiere

Necessary Roughness (10pm on USA) New drama on USA where a Long Island divorcee becomes the therapist for a professional football team.

Love in the Wild (10:01 on NBC) New reality/romance series where 20 singles pair up and compete


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