SageTV Tip #3: All About My SageTV HTPC

I decided to build a Home Theater PC (HTPC), and with SageTV at its core, it is proving to be an excellent choice. Read on to learn why I decided to build a HTPC, what componets I chose, the issues I had, and my plans for the future…. Why did I build an HTPC? I’ve been a long-time DVR user, having used several ReplayTV models and a Moxi HD DVR. Each of these "standalone" DVR’s have excellent features, are very capable, and have stood the test of time (I purchased the first ReplayTV box very shortly after its initial release.) That said, there are three issues that were bugging me that caused me to decide to build an HTPC to replace them: 1. None of my ReplayTV boxes could reliably control our Motorola DCT-2000 Cable box. Unfortunately, cable companies don’t give you a lot of choice in Digital Cable boxes, […]

SageTV Tip #2: Why did I choose SageTV?

After reviewing the major Personal Video Recorder (PVR) software offerings, I decided that SageTV was my application of choice. Its feature set and price point made it very attractive, and there were several other "features" that swayed my decision. Read on to see why I chose SageTV over the competition…. There are several excellent PVR offerings to choose from, and they all have their benefits. These range from free applications like GB-PVR and MythTV to commercial applications like BeyondTV and SageTV. These applications are all excellent, offer feature sets that are surprisingly complete (although, some are more complete than others), and have excellent user and developer support. The free offerings are amazingly robust. I found that GB-PVR and MythTV to be very interesting solutions. There are other free offerings, but these two were the "biggies" that caught my eye. GB-PVR GB-PVR is clean, and feature-rich, and has a close user […]

Moxi Tip #11: How To Find The Shows You Want

With hundreds of Cable channels to choose from, it can be very overwhelming to try to find what you want to watch. Moxi, like most DVR’s has some excellent features that let you not only find the shows you are specifically looking for, but find other shows that might be of interest to you. Read on for some information on searching as well as some “deeper” functions that you may not be aware of… Hopefully, you are familiar with Moxi’s “navigation” controls. You should be able to bring up the Moxi menu, scroll left and right through the different categories, and scroll up and down through the different category choices. In addition to the “Channels” list, you should see several categories like “Sports”, “Movies”, “Kids”, etc. These are the groupings that Moxi uses to give you quick access browse through these basic categories of shows. Like the “Channels” list, these […]

Moxi Tip #9: Some DVR Basics

Many prople on this and other forums are long-time Digital Video Recorder (DVR) users, but what about those of you who are new to the DVR world? Read on for some “DVR Basics” that will help you get the most out of your DVR experience… What’s a DVR and how does it differ from a VCR? A DVR, or Digital Video Recorder, is a consumer device that lets you record and play back TV show recordings. But wait, isn’t that a VCR? Like a VCR, a DVD lets you record, play back, and Rewind, Fast Forward, and Pause while you are playing back the recordings. But there are some significant differences between the two that make then very unique. Analog vs Digital The first concept you need to understand is the distinction between analog signals and digital data. The input to a VCR is an analog audio/video signal. This signal […]

Moxi Tip #7: Moxi Vs ReplayTV

As a long-time ReplayTV DVR owner, comparisons are inevitable, so here are my rather lengthy impressions of Moxi in comaprison with ReplayTV. This comparison is an enhancement to a posting I made over on the AVS Forum. I have refined it a bit and added some more information, so read on for all you never wanted to know… BACKGROUND Before I get into the review and comparison, I want to provide a bit of background and perspective. I have been a long-time proponent of ReplayTV boxes and I have participated on AVS Forum’s ReplayTV forum for a number of years. I have owned three ReplayTV boxes over the past four years, and I run a personal hobby site,, where I have been providing Tips & Tricks related to several topics that interest me (including ReplayTV), so to say that I’ve had some experience and interest in DVR’s would be […]

Moxi Tip #1: What The Heck Is Moxi?

OK, so I’m providing Moxi information. I’m going to add some Moxi Tips. I’ll be comparing Moxi to some comparable products. So you ask, “What the heck is Moxi?” Read on to find out… “Moxi” is a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) from Digeo ( similar in concept to ReplayTV and TiVo, but it goes way beyond them in many ways. Moxi has all the “typical” DVR functions: pausing and rewinding live TV, recording shows, an interactive channel guide to find shows, Parental Controls, and a host of other functions. Its interface is very slick, very fast, and quite intuitive. But what sets Moxi apart? Well, the “big feature” is true HDTV recording. Yes, that’s right, HDTV. If you have an HDTV and your Cable provider provides HDTV channels and a Moxi box, you can display and record them in all their stunning brilliance! A comparable HDTiVo box costs upwards of […]

Vonage Tip #2: Get your ReplayTV to connect over Vonage!

One major concern in selecting Vonage is its compatibility with “dial-up” devices such as my ReplayTV boxes. If you have a ReplayTV box that dials out over the phone line, read on to learn how to get a reliable connection over Vonage every time… When I initially tried to connect my ReplayTV box over a Vonage line, the connection consistently failed. The explanation is that Vonage isn’t necessarily capable of transmitting all of the signals required in a high-speed modem connection. So, the solution is to lower the modem’s connect speed do a speed that Vonage can handle. The 2xxx series boxes (and I believe the 3xxx series) have a default and maximum connect speed of 33.6K. On the 5xxx boxes, it’s 56K (I don’t know about the 4xxx boxes.) Unfortunatly, these speeds tend to be too high for Vonage to handle. By throttling the connection down to 19.2K, I […]

ReplayTV Tip #7: UPDATE: Belkin F5D7230-4 Router

I purchased a used HP EN5000 Digital Media Receiver off of eBay. The EN5000 is a "Media Receiver" that lets me play (through my stereo and TV) MP3 files loacated on local network servers. It's not the most feature-rich device, but for a low eBay proce of $27.00…. Anyway, it requires an Ethernet connection, so I decided that an additional Belkin F5D7230-4 Router would be the most economical connectivity solution. In a prior article found here, I discussed how I set up my wireless network by leveraging the high configurability of the absurdly inexpensive Belkin F5D7230-4 Routers. I described how I configured three of these suckers to provide full-house coverage for all my networking needs. Read on to see what I did to improve my home network… I purchased a fourth Belkin F5D7230-4 router to provide additional connectivity in another room. The wireless coverage was absolutely fine, but I didn't […]

ReplayTV Tip #6-Multiple Belkin F5D7230-4 Setup HOWTO

After purchasing a new house, I needed to set up a network. An 802.11g wireless solution seemed to be the best choice, so after lots of research and planning, I purchased three Belkin F5D7230-4 routers and configured them to provide wireless routing, bridging, and access. Read on for what I did, how I did it, and how it has worked… Multiple Belkin F5D7230-4 Router/Bridge/AP Setup HOWTO: A Guide to Setting Up Multiple Belkin F5D7230-4 Router/Bridge/AP’s By Jim Barr Introduction BACKGROUND: My wife and I were fortunate enough to purchase a new-construction house. Unfortunatly, we purchased it just after all the walls were installed, so I was unable to have network cabling installed throughout the house. Bummer! The house certainly has ample attic and crawl space, but the notion of later installing whole-house wiring, though doable, was not too appealing. I tried installing an 802.11b network using some old Linksys equipment […]

ReplayTV Tip #5-Access an Airing Shows Pop-up Menu

If you bring up the Program Guide by pressing the Program Guide button, you can press the Select button to bring up a pop-up menu for the selected show. The problem is that if you try to do this on a show that’s currently airing, ReplayTV will switch to that channel and dismiss the Program Guide. Here’s how to avoid tuning to the channel and instead, bring up the pop-up menu… Bring up the Program Guide by pressing the Program Guide button on your ReplayTV remote. Navigate to a selected channel and highlight a show that is currently airing. Now, instead of pressing the Select button on the remote, try pressing the Enter button. This pops up the expected menu with all available recording and “Find All episodes” options!