Archive for January, 2009

SageTV HD200 with Playon – Improvements…?

Given PlayOn’s automatic updates, I’m not sure when this started happening, but an update that recently applied seems to make the procedure I posted to record content from Hulu more bearable.

I’ve been occasionally using the HD200 to record episodes of various shows.  I’m doing this because:
1.  The shows look far better on the HD200 than they do on Boxee (on my AppleTV)

2.  When you try to skip the intro to the show (which happens a minute or two into the show), the HD200 starts the show over completely.  This also happens when you accidentally (out of habit) try to skip a commercial.  

Needless to say, it’s extremely annoying when I screw up and have to re-watch the first few minutes of the show again.  And don’t get me started on how mad I get if I try to skip a commercial 15 or so minutes into the show.

The other day I was doing something in the room while it was recording (as opposed to starting one and leaving for an hour or two), and I noticed that it seemed to be recording pretty quickly.  While recording additional episodes, I roughly timed it and found that it’s taking between 15 and 20 minutes to record a 45 minute show.  This means I can record about three shows in the time it used to take to record a single show.

Unfortunately, things are inconsistent.  Out of the about 8 or 9 shows recorded since I’ve noticed this speed-up, only about 5 of them are good.  The other shows seem to cut off before the end… Though this problem only started today, after I started having the HD200 record one Hulu stream after another – Perhaps they have some logic built-in to purposely break it for users who stream multiple clips down faster than it is possible to watch them.  Another possibility is that some of my shows have had issues streaming down, making the resultant file not quite viewable.    

Whatever the cause, it is easy to see the problem in MPEG Streamclip, as it will show the total time of the clip.  Sometimes, I’ve seen shows with only 2 minutes or so, but other times it is significantly further into the show when it dies…

Anyhow, this should all be moot very soon because SageTV recently demo’ed direct support for Hulu.  Once this is in place, all these workarounds will likely not be needed because both points #1 and #2 (at the top of this post) are almost certainly to be non-issues.  

Of course, getting a Mac mini to run Boxee on would likely solve these issues too, as they have a beautiful interface to Hulu, plus support for lots of other streaming sites like ABC, CBS, Joost, etc.  However, I can’t see spending $600 to have a decent set-top box.

January 25, 2009 at 9:12 pm Leave a comment


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