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Home > Hardware Reviews > Consumer Electronics

Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Sage TVv6PVR

1. Introduction

Sage TV is one of those products that is a little hard to initially describe because it does many different things. It is like a Sling Box - but offers more features. It is like TIVO - but it is not something you need to subscribe to. Essentially, if you are looking to truly turn your PC into a media center and want full access to your cable programming and the ability to record both live TV and scheduled programs on your hard drive - Sage TV might be for you. Throw in the "Placeshifing" capabilities of watching your TV and your recorded shows on a remote computer - anywhere in the world - and you might just have one of the coolest things available.

Sage TV was founded in 2002. They really began to "arrive" on the scene with the release of Sage TV V5 - now with V6 on the market and a host of peripherals available, they are quickly becoming a force to reckon with in the world of Media Center PC's and PVR technology.

The "Official" line from Sage TV reads as follows:

SageTV is an industry-leading software technology that allows users to create and operate complete media centers from an existing PC. Building on the concept of personal video recorders (PVRs) such as TiVo®, the SageTV Media Center adds complete control of home media such as TV, movies, music and photos through an easy-to-use interface. Users can pause live TV, record their favorite shows, access their music collection and play DVDs all from one application. By delivering such an integrated media solution, SageTV is helping to define the media center market and taking the concept of personalized home media entertainment to the next level.

  • Browse, search and watch all the latest online video from Google Video including movie trailers, TV shows, music videos and more.
  • Never miss your favorite TV shows and record multiple shows at the same time. (now in HD!)
  • Watch your TV when you want, not when it's on.
  • Skip through commercials in the blink of an eye.
  • Record in High Quality MPEG-2, MPEG-4* or DivX*.
  • Use your PC without realizing it's recording TV while gaming, playing music, surfing the Internet or more.
  • Record new shows automatically based on what you watch and record.
  • Watch shows on your TV, PC or both.
  • Access live or recorded TV, music and photos from anywhere with SageTV Placeshifter and a high speed internet connection .
  • Stream High Quality MPEG-2 Live and recorded TV across your network with SageTV on any PC.
  • Access your Music collection quickly by Album, Artist or Playlists.
  • Customize SageTV with SageTV Studio.
Detailed Features of SageTV Media Center and SageTVClient Software:
  • Timeshift television in MPEG-2, MPEG-4* or DivX*
  • Pause live TV
  • Instant Replay
  • Instantly skip through commercials
  • Personalized Intelligent Recording and Scheduling
    A SageTV exclusive that utilizes proprietary algorithms to determine your interests based on past viewing habits and automatically records programs for you.
  • Fully integrated programming guide**
    Up to two weeks of programming data updated daily from the SageTV server allows you to view all your channels and shows. There's no need for a web browser to obtain this data, as with other providers. ( U.S., Canadian and European TV listings only)
  • One-Touch Recording
    Find your favorite show and hit record. It's that easy!
  • SageTV Studio Development Kit (learn more)
    let's you customize or develop new applications for SageTV .
  • Multiple Tuner Support
    Record two or more shows at the same time! No limits to the number of tuners allowed.
  • HD Over-The-Air Tuner support.
  • Support for multiple formats across multiple tuners (can mix MPEG-2 and MPEG-4/DivX hardware encoders)
  • Favorites ManagerTM
    Never miss your favorite shows whether it's first runs, re-runs, or all episodes.  
  • Add Favorites by Title, Actor, Category and Keyword and link Favorites to specific channels
  • Search by actor, title or description and preview the results as you search
  • Browse upcoming shows by Category
  • Local DVD Playback
  • Library to organize your recorded TV, Music and other Video files
  • Browse your Music collection by Album, Artist or Song
  • Support for Album Art where songs are tagged appropriately
  • Playlist functionality for Music and Visualizations
  • Expanded support for music file types and playlists
  • Picture Library and Slideshow support
  • Integrated Weather reports
  • User Interface and OSD support for the TV-out of the PVR-350
  • Stream High Quality MPEG-2 Live and recorded TV anywhere across your network
  • Simple "VCR-like" interface for time-based recordings
  • Full screen interface supports sitting on a couch using a remote control or mouse and keyboard, to select programs, change channels, and adjust the volume
  • Extensive Parental Controls
  • Power Management to support Standby and Hibernate modes with automatic wakeup for recordings
  • Works with any antenna, cable, or satellite provider
  • Infrared or serial control of your cable or satellite set-top box
  • View TV full screen on your PC monitor or watch a mini screen while you work
  • Connect directly to your TV with a video card with TV out or use the TV-out of the WinTV-PVR-350 card
  • Widescreen (16:9) TV support
    Zoom options, screen shifting, background overlay
  • Step-by-step Setup Wizard makes setup and configuration simple
  • Record your favorite TV shows and movies with DVD quality to your PC hard drive
  • Recorded video is fully DVD/CVD/SVCD compliant and ready to burn with your third-party software

SageTV Placeshifter allows you to connect to your SageTV Media Center from your home network or any Internet connection with any PC or Mac!

  • Watch live or recorded TV on your laptop wirelessly over your 802.11 a/b/g home network or your wifi connection anywhere.
  • Never miss your favorite shows, local news and sports while you're away from home.
  • Pick your favorite shows to record anytime, anywhere
  • Setup and watch SageTV recordings from any other PC or Mac in your home

On to the review......

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