Archive for May, 2016

SageTV is now open source

SageTV is a great product that I used years ago as my DVR.  What made it such a great system was that they also sold network connected set-top boxes to place around your house to watch the content.  It had a great plug-in system and lots of developers making custom interfaces and all sorts of extensions.  Then Google bought them in 2011 and they stopped selling the hardware and software.

I’ve been using MythTV for a year and a half, perhaps longer.  For the front-end of MythTV, I’ve been using Kodi on a FireTV, or (more recently) MrMC (a Kodi fork) on an AppleTV.

It’s still not as good of an experience as we had with SageTV.  SageTV had commercial detection that worked very well.  It tracked the history of the shows you have watched, could automatically convert your recordings to other video formats to save space, and had a great interface (that is actively being developed further).  It has a web interface that lets you do tons of stuff.  You can do batch jobs with a plug-in.  There’s a plug-in if you like recording sporting events that will automatically extend the recordings if your events run over.  And tons more.  It was a product way ahead of it’s time.

Years went by, and while there were advances in other products, there’s still nothing as good as SageTV, in my opinion.

You might then be able to imagine my excitement then when late last year (2015), Google open-sourced SageTV.


Of course, they aren’t bringing the hardware back, but that’s where the community comes in.  One developer has created an Android application that effectively emulates the original set-top box hardware.  The SageTV server does all the interface work, so you get the advantage of this working with all the plug-ins that work with the set-top boxes too…

I’ve been testing with the Android app on a 1st Gen FireTV and it looks very good.  I do sometimes run into issues with it not wanting to play content, until I restart the application.  But if little issues like this can be worked out, this will be a great solution.  Forget the dedicated SageTV-only hardware, just run it on whatever android-based hardware you can find…

I imagine that, given a bit more time, this will be the direction I move back to.

May 1, 2016 at 9:18 pm Leave a comment


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