Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Switch To SageTV

For the past 6 years, I've been using BeyondTV as my dvr/pvr software, recording lots of tv shows. This spring I made the switch to SageTV for a number of reasons:

SnapStream has pretty much quit working on the consumer version of BeyondTV, and switched to an enterprise level version (targeting large companies), meaning there's no innovation on the horizon for the consumer level product. That in and of itself would not have been enough to make me switch, as I really do like BeyondTV, but it was enough to get me to start looking at the alternatives, as I figured the writing was on the wall.

Enter SageTV, which was always the main competition for BeyondTV at least in my mind (Media Center didn't count, and most of the others had no commercial backing), which after doing some research, I discovered that SageTV supports other media, such as music, and photos, as well as many more video formats (mkv, dvd, etc.). This started to get me interested, and then I discovered the HD200 SageTV HD Theatre, which is a little set-top box that will connect to the SageTV server, and will play pretty much anything you can throw at it. This was the main selling point, considering that we're building a new house, and running cat6 / ethernet cable to every room was already in my plan, which is much easier than running vga cables to the main tv locations, and then trying to control computers that will be sitting in the basement.

Made the switch, having only a couple issues.  The first being I had trouble importing the metadata from BeyondTV into SageTV, so I had to use the Batch Metadata Tools (BMT) plugin to set all the files metadata, which worked beautifully, even if it was time consuming.  The second issue was configuring my tuners, as I ran into a bug with the Hauppauge drivers when using 4GB ram.  After that, everything has been smooth. 

So after about 6 weeks of use, I'm really liking the ease of use with the HD200, I will admit that I miss the BeyondTV interface, as I used it for so many years, that I know where to find things much more easily, but there's nothing wrong with the SageMC plugin interface that I am using with Sage.

Now with SageTV 7 in beta, it's looking really good, and I'm having a hard time not upgrading to the beta, even though I don't really want to be running beta software.  More information about the beta including screenshots can be found at the GeekTonic blog.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New House Incoming

I think most of my family is aware that my wife and I are building a new house, but thought that some people might be interested, and not know yet, so here's your notice. :)

The new place will be South and a little West of where we are now, but in a similar area. We will have a real guest room, unlike the current house which has a room that can be used as a guest room. Will have a triple car garage, so that we can actually fit two vehicles in there. Looks to be about 2600 square feet, with a 500 square foot bonus room above the garage, and an unfinished basement.

We have obtained the building permits, and are now just waiting for them to become active, and the builder to be ready to start. The plan is to start about the middle of May, with a completion of late October / early November. Needless to say, we're starting to get excited as things are getting closer to actually starting. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mercenary Contract Generator (MCG) Update

Well, as you can see from the length of time between posts, I've obviously failed on the one resolution. Just after posting my list of resolutions, I put in about 4 or 5 hours work of work on Mercenary Contract Generator (MCG) which got the code into a stable point. I was switching to a new plugin framework, as well as switching to using Maven as a build tool. I now have all my work compiling using maven, and some code switched over to the new plugin framework. The plugin switch causes me to have to rethink how I'm planning on building it, and so I left it to ponder... then something called Star Trek Online came out, and I've been spending my free time playing that. Guess I need to get my act together and get the rest of the code ported over to the new framework. Then I can at least start moving ahead again.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I read somewhere that it is best if you write out any resolutions you may have, as well as post them somewhere where you will see them frequently so that you remember them, as well put them somewhere public so that others will be able to hold you to them as well. So here I am posting some with the hopes that I can stick to them better.

  1. Lose 46 lbs by the end of the year. Targeting the 200 lb mark which I haven't been in many, many years.
  2. 15 minutes a day of activity / exercise. Such as walking, jogging on the spot, or some other form of exercise. Such as my karate class once a week.
  3. Aim for at least one hour of work each week on Mercenary Contract Generator program for Battletech.
  4. Post more on my blog. Try to post once a month with updates on MCG. As well as posting other topics that I would like to discuss.
  5. Reading a chapter a day of the bible.