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April 2009 - Posts

  • Gratitude

    Just in case you haven't been paying attention, I really like SageTV.  I know it's not for everyone, but I just can't get enough of the flexibilty and control that they've built into the platform.  The pace of change is amazing; so many new features from the development team and huge strides in usability and eye candy from the community, and that's just over the last few months.  I can't wait to see where it will be 6 months from now. 

    One of my favorite community driven efforts is fanart.  So I'd like to specifically thank those that made it possible and show some screen caps of their efforts.

    AMIS - Jaminben:

    The addin replaces the default video details screen, and everything is completely customizable.  When I was testing this out on my client pc, my oldest son asked me why the tv downstairs was cooler than the one upstairs (that didn't have this installed), and he was right; it made the trip upstairs that night.

    Grouped TV - Jaminben:

    Ben created something special here.  And these two screens don't capture even 1/2 of the slick functionality of this addin, which replaces the grouped tv display screen.  Pressing "right" from the titles slides out some panel that lets you cycle through the different fanart elements (posters, banners, & backgrounds), select prefered elements, and retrieve metadata (using BMT).

    Movie Wall - PluckyHD:

    This is a video browser replacement addin.  There's also a really cool list view pivot which shows the details and background, but I like this view for browsing.

    Of course none of this would mean anything if it weren't for Mike (MeInMaui - SageMC) and Sean (Stuckless - BMT* / Phoenix API)  because they provided the plumbing to make it all go.

    Thanks for bringing the bling :)

    * a completely automated fanart and metadata retrieval tool

    Posted Apr 30 2009, 08:06 PM by babgvant with 1 comment(s)
    Filed under:
  • Going to Disney World

    Taking the little VTs to Orlando in a couple weeks; I'd love to know about any good 1/2 day places to take them or places that we can eat that aren't Chili's.


  • Koolaid

    I have a confession to make; when Sage was running it's March Madness promo I picked up a HD200. I was planning to do a more full featured review, but never really made the time to pull it together so below are some random thoughts. 


    • Drop in and go (except for a brief connection problem; see below).  Everything played perfectly no messing in GraphEdt.
    • Audio stream selection
    • Subtitles everywhere, even in M2TS
    • Comes with every cable you need (except the one I wanted, but that's forgivable :))
    • Form factor
    • Turns on and connects faster than the TV (and much faster than a PC, unless you leave it running Sage when entering standby, in which case it's a tie)
    • BDMV playback (this would be cooler if I didn't have to store them as ISO so the PC can play them), for me this is a big advance v. the PC extender because I don't have to rip to get remote playback (AnyDVD HD is required to make this work; thanks to PluckyHD for pointing this out)
    • Can use the same menus as the server, or with dynamic menus a new rev can be defined (thanks to PluckyHD for pointing this out too)


    • Menus are slow (Next time I'll remember to use fresh batteries in the remote and save myself some shame)
    • Text is not crisp
    • Chokes when playing demanding content and you try to do anything else
    • Blinking green light all the time (30 seconds after discovering this, it was covered with electrical tape)
    • Is strangely warm when "off" (why isn't off, off?)


    • Native output is a really cool feature.  It worked well on my plasma (new) and terrible on my DLP (5yrs old).  I think the processor on the DLP is weaker than the HD200 anyway so I don't miss it, but I turned it off because of the way the tv handles transitions b/w resolutions (even the plasma blipped a bit here).
    • Couldn't get HDMI to work with my DLP (HDMI->DVI cable) until finding a post on the forums about forcing HDMI mode, then it worked but it was very frustrating to get working.
    • Doesn't WOL the server yet (I know there are hacks, but Jeff told me this was coming so I'm holding off).
    • PQ is about the same as my 780g not as good as the G45 (marginaly) on the plasma; can't tell the difference b/w the three on the DLP
    I bought it because it was on sale, I wanted to see if I was missing something (everyone's wrong sometimes :)) and needed another client license.  Overall, I like it and can see why other do as well, but frankly I was expecting more.  Honestly I'm not sure I would pick one up again, but don't regret buying it; at $180 (normally $200) it's cheaper than a PC but also a one-trick pony.  Configuration was much (much, much) easier, but it's a single purpose device that can't do all of the things that the device it replaced could do.  Only time will tell if I'll miss those things.

    BTW, it tastes like chicken ;)

    Posted Apr 18 2009, 11:27 AM by babgvant with 7 comment(s)
    Filed under: ,
  • ArcSoftAudioWrap

    ArcSoftAudioWrap is a DirectShow filter that wraps the ArcSoft Audio Decoder HD (not included) but allows the output to be set to something besides 2 channel stereo.

    If you want S/PDIF output just regsvr32 the filter and make sure it has a higher merit than the ArcSoft one.  If another setting is desired, copy the text of that output (from the property pages dropdown) to HKLM\SOFTWARE\babgvant\ArcSoftAudioWrap, Output (string).  Output = "S/PDIF" for e.g.

    This is very much use at your own risk.

    This is useful because the ArcSoft audio decoder will decode nextgen BR audio formats.  So when you remux the m2ts all the alternate audio tracks can be discarded keeping the lossless track (i.e. no more downmixing the DTS HD to AC3 via eac3to)..


  • Effing Brilliant

    It's not that often that I hear an idea so interesting that makes my brain tingle (is it just me?); give Jere a listen and give your brain a treat (near the end of the show).

  • ToDvrms -
    - uses (regsvr32 prior to use) filter to make files w/ h264 video work with WTV container on Win7 Beta1
    - added getpic and setpic
    - if the category = movie in the sage.xml WM/MediaIsMovie will be set to true
    - WM/OriginalReleaseTime will be set to originalAirDate
    - xml: optional, path to sage xml metadata file.

    bin | source

  • SageTV Registry Settings

    SageTV Registry Settings is a simple GUI application that exposes all of the registry settings SageTV can use with a short explanation of what the setting does (as a tool tip).

    The UI is dynamically driven from the included xml file, so future settings can be added easily.


    Thanks to Jeff for providing the list and descriptions.

  • Where's the bits?

    The Windows 7 beta process confuses me.  While it's great that MS made Beta 1 bits available to everyone; I don't understand why bittorrent has more recent builds than connect.

    What was the point of invitations and onerous forms to get into the non-public beta, to end up four months later with the same build (7000) that is on MSDN?  

    It doesn't make sense to waste time testing, developing or using something that was obsolete monthes ago.

    What am I missing?
@2008 andy vt
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