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SageTV client advice

Last post Wed, Aug 11 2010 5:05 AM by jelwood. 2 replies.
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  • Wed, Jul 28 2010 11:09 AM

    • jelwood
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Fri, Oct 6 2006

    SageTV client advice

    Andy,

    I saw your review of the Dell Inspiron Zino HD.  It sounds like it's an ok solution, but in the comments you said their were better solutions.  Could you outline what you would consider to be the "perfect" client machine?  It's been a very long time since I've used a PC as a client (I've been using the SageTV extenders for playback).  However, I'm seriously thinking about getting a Windows client and using it because my video library has grown quite large and the cover art is taking too long to load with SageTV V7 on the extenders.  I need some help because I out of touch with using a PC for Sage playback.

    I see that you really like the i3, is that what you'd purchase, or would you go with a standalone graphics card?

    Other than Windows 7 and your "anti-pack", what other codec packages would you recommend (most of my content is h.264 and MPEG-2 with AAC and AC-3 audio - I don't have any DTS audio right now).  I have the HD-PVR (this is recorded in 1080i so I care about deinterlacing), ATSC content (it's normally either 720p or 1080i), some MP4 content with h.264 and AAC (480p or 720p), and some MKV content with h.264 (1080p or 720p) with MP3, AAC, or AC-3 audio.

    Given the above content that I play, is there any "gotchas" that I should be looking out for (I plan to use the HDMI port out of the client machine directly into my TV's).

    What IR receiver would you use?

    Any advice for sleeping the machine?  I don't want to kill my electric bill because the machine is running 24/7.

    Lastly I've see you talk about using an SSD.  I agree it made a really big difference in my desktop machine.  Are you using one in your SageTV Server?  Is it the boot drive or some other drive?  I'm thinking about getting one for my boot drive, however, I'm not sure it will make much of a difference.  I use other drives to store all of my media.  The only thing on my boot drive is the OS and the SageTV executables (along with DTB, Comskip, etc).  However, all my real "work" for a drive happens on other drives.  I'm just not sure if I will notice a speed increase since my boot drive isn't used much once the system has booted (my swap file is on that drive, so maybe that will make a difference).

     

    Any guidance you could give would be greatly appreciated.

  • Wed, Aug 4 2010 11:18 AM In reply to

    • babgvant
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Oct 2 2006
    • United Kingdom

    Re: SageTV client advice

    jelwood:

    I see that you really like the i3, is that what you'd purchase, or would you go with a standalone graphics card?

     

    The i3-530/540 is an excellent choice for a client; I use a i3 in one of my clients (server has an i5).  There are caveats with the i3, but since you have an HD-PVR you also have the version of TMT2 that came with it so either install it on the box or install it on a VM and extract the useful filters (what I did) to get DXVA2 support for VC-1 and AVC (if you don't want to use the MS decoder).

    Like most low/mid range GPU i3/i5 do require FSE enabled to get the best quality playback so enable that and you should be good to go.

    ATI has the easiest DXVA2 story because the MPC-HC VC1/AVC decoder works, so that's also a good option.  I'd proably recommend a 5570 or 5670, the 5450 doesn't have enough go to to proper DI.

    jelwood:

    Other than Windows 7 and your "anti-pack", what other codec packages would you recommend (most of my content is h.264 and MPEG-2 with AAC and AC-3 audio - I don't have any DTS audio right now).  I have the HD-PVR (this is recorded in 1080i so I care about deinterlacing), ATSC content (it's normally either 720p or 1080i), some MP4 content with h.264 and AAC (480p or 720p), and some MKV content with h.264 (1080p or 720p) with MP3, AAC, or AC-3 audio.

     

    Anti-pack is a bit outdated, and not as useful now that v7 (Haali isn't required anymore) is out so I'd skip the install and go with the guidence for AC3Filter.  If you need HD audio you will need to install ffdshow.

    I use the PDVD AVC, TMT2 VC-1, AC-3 Filter for TV w/ AC-3 and ffdshow for other audio codecs including AC-3 in M2TS and MKV.

    jelwood:

    What IR receiver would you use?

     

    Ehome IR receiver w/ sagetvlauncher.

    jelwood:

    Any advice for sleeping the machine?  I don't want to kill my electric bill because the machine is running 24/7.

     

    If you use UNC paths then it's pretty easy.  I have had some issues with the Sage client not liking the display going away on Windows 7 when the TV turns off so I ususally close or sleep the client before turning it off.

    jelwood:

    Lastly I've see you talk about using an SSD.  I agree it made a really big difference in my desktop machine.  Are you using one in your SageTV Server?  Is it the boot drive or some other drive?  I'm thinking about getting one for my boot drive, however, I'm not sure it will make much of a difference.  I use other drives to store all of my media.  The only thing on my boot drive is the OS and the SageTV executables (along with DTB, Comskip, etc).  However, all my real "work" for a drive happens on other drives.  I'm just not sure if I will notice a speed increase since my boot drive isn't used much once the system has booted (my swap file is on that drive, so maybe that will make a difference).

     

    I have an SSD in one of my clients (noise) and in my server (performance).  Fanart and the wiz.bin are all on the SSD so there's an improvement with everything that touches those.

  • Wed, Aug 11 2010 5:05 AM In reply to

    • jelwood
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Fri, Oct 6 2006

    Re: SageTV client advice

    Great information!  Thanks for your help.

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