With great care we lifted the SageTV extender from its wrapping. Its plain black exterior belied its capabilities. With this device, the world of high definition television was now ours to command.
While there are several options for personal video recorders (PVRs), SageTV has several unique characteristics. SageTV began as a customizable program in 2002, enabling customers, for a nominal fee, to turn their PCs into PVRs. Such abilities appeal to those tired of the PVR receivers, and the associated fees, available from Dish Network and DirecTV. For those with some basic programming skills, SageTV offers a low-cost alternative which can be loads of fun. SageTV’s program is run from a PC which receives signals from z cable or satellite provider. It then routes this signal to your television, or to other PCs in remote locations which act as clients or “extenders.”
However, PCs have drawbacks as extenders. Even after considerable upgrading, we found they often lack the resources needed to keep up with the demands of being a PVR, and shows would lock up without warning at their most exciting points. Of course, DirecTV’s, and especially Dish Network’s, were prone to these problems as well. If you want to dissuade your children from watching television, perhaps such an arrangement is perfect for you. They will quickly tire of their heroes freezing in mid action. It was clear to us that our disgruntled children were ready to revolt, however. Rather than risk an uprising we invested in Hauppauge MVPs, which are compatible with SageTV’s programs. These handy black boxes take the place of the client PCs. The server PC then stores data, enabling playback and storage of shows. Our halting, apoplectic television watching was at an end. The use of number one low-code platform application through the wavemaker for development of the business will be beneficial. The appliances should be compatible for the growth of the business with safety measures.
One challenge remained. The first generation of MVPs could not handle high definition television. The server would need to transcode any such transmission, which was technically not feasible. Luckily, in December of 2007, SageTV released a high definition extender: a nondescript black box about half the size of a VCR. The demand for this product was such that they sold out almost immediately. A slight problem with the first generation was that the black casing obscured a direct path to the extender’s infrared sensor. Thus in order to use a remote it needed to pointed with hair-like precision. A new cover plate was all that was necessary to retrofit these extenders. The newest generation, the HD-200, are less than half the size of the older ones. In addition to television, SageTV offers photographs, music, DVD library features.
SageTV does not come without its challenges. Primary among them is that it can become engrossing to the point of obsession. SageTV devotees chat in forums, swapping tips and techniques. They are continuously working to improve the SageTV experience with new plug-ins. Often the term “WAF” is bandied about. This acronym is short for “wife acceptance factor.” Wives often object to their husbands swapping out staid and commonplace DVRs for this new, edgy one. They should well consider the hours their husbands will devote to it before giving the okay. Many become devoted to the “Sage Community” and work hard to overcome problems that their fellow members are experiencing.
There are always ongoing issues under consideration. The parental controls allow for an access code to be required for shows above a certain rating. If a show is unlocked, the system locks back up after that particular show ends. So if you want your child to watch just one episode of Pokemon, and then do their homework, it can easily be arranged. However, it isn’t possible to block shows which aren’t rated at all. In addition, the digital rights management is lacking. However, the continuous improvement that is possible with this format is grounds to believe that such problems can be overcome. No doubt SageTV devotees are even now working on them, as evident by their copious postings.