SageTV Tip #4: SageTV Customizations

SageTV provides lots of opportunity for third-party developers to provide enhancements and additions to core SageTV functionality. There are currently 3 general types of customizations: STV’s, STV Import Modules, and Other Customizations. Read on to learn about these types of customizations, what they are, where you can get them, and how they can improve your SageTV experience…. One thing that really impresses me about SageTV is that unlike some competing products, SageTV is very user-tailorable and user-extendable. This means that your investment in SageTV is not limited by what SageTV provides. Many dedicated and innovative developers have come up with customizations that improve upon and enhance SageTV’s core features. You have the opportunity to customize your SageTV experience into something that suits your personal needs. There are generally three types of SageTV customizations: STV’s, STV Import Modules, and Other Customizations. I’ll be posting separate Tips that detail each of the […]

SageTV Review: Animusic

This isn’t so much a tip as a plug. We were watching our local PBS station and saw part of a show called Animusic 2, the second of a collection of animated, computer-generated music videos. I immediately fell in love! I found the DVD at as well as the official Animusic site and bought both Animusic and Animusic 2 DVD’s. So what makes this relevant to SageTV? Well, SageTV plays these DVD’s perfectly, and they look absolutely stunning on our 42" Westinghouse W4207 Widescreen LCD HD monitor. This collection of musical shorts really demonstrates how music and computer animation can come together to create a stunning, engaging experience. Once you see it, you’ll want to show it to family and friends. The Animusic site has lots of nice sample videos and screenshots, and offers lots of interesting onfo about these DVD’s. I highly recommend these! Screenshot from Animusic: {mosimage} […]

Joomla! Tip #1: Editing the LUSH Template

I installed a new Joomla Template that I purchased from JoomlaShack. It is a very slick template with a style and feature set that I wanted. Unfortunatly, the colors weren’t really what I wanted, so I decided to try to tweak the colors myself. It turned into a larger undertaking than I expected, but in the end, I learned how to use a new application, and I think the results were pretty good. Read on to see how to edit the JoomlaShack LUSH template…. I was able to change the colors on the LUSH template by following JoomlaShack’s (rather sparse) instructions. It took some time, and was tedious, but it really wasn’t that difficult (at least from my perspective.) There are a number of ways to change the images, but the recommended way by JoomlaShack is to use the "Macromedia Fireworks 8" application to edit the images. Unfortunately, Fireworks is […]

SageTV Review: Westinghouse W2407 42″ HD Monitor

After building a Home Theater PC (HTPC) based on the SageTV PVR software, I decided that a 27" tube TV with an S-Video connection just wasn’t up to the task of providing maximum performance and display quality that a SageTV-based HTPC can provide. Thanks to an excellent "Black Friday" deal at Best Buy, I was able to economically add a new W4207 to our home theater setup. Read on for my review of this excellent value in LCD HD monitors, and how it fits into my SageTV setup…. CLARIFICATION I’d like to start off by clarifying one thing: The Westinghouse W4207 is not a TV–it is an HD monitor. This is determined by the fact that the W4207 does not have a built-in tuner. It will not tune analog or digital cable, and it will not tune OTA HD broadcasts. In order to view any content, you must connect it […]

Gmail Tip #56: Five New Features Launched!

Gmail has just rolled out 5 new features to add to Gmail’s arsenal including new Mobile Phone access. -Gmail On Your Mobile Phone -Forward all -Reply on top -Embarrassment-reducing new message notifications -Chat while your friends are offline Read on to see the details of these new features…. Gmail On Your Mobile Phone Point your phone to, download it the app, and you can access Gmail on your phone with just a click or two. Some neat features: It has the same Gmail interface you know and love Your account stays synchronized whether you access it from your computer or the phone You can easily view attachments such as photos, documents and .pdf files To learn more about Gmail for mobile devices, visit this page: Just be sure to check out the phone compatibility at their Supported Mobile Phone link at Not all phones are supported (mine […]

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 […]

SageTV Tip #1: What is SageTV?

SageTV is a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) software application that runs on a Windows or Linux PC. It provides not only excellent PVR function, but also integrates the management and playback of your Music, Photos, DVD’s, and Video files. Read on to see just what SageTV is, and what it can do for you…. But what’s a PVR? A is a program that simply captures video input from a variety of sources (typically Cable, Satellite, or OTA antennas) records them to a hard disk, and then provides a facility for you to playback the recordings either immediately (live TV) or at a later time (recordings). You can pause, rewind, and fast forward the recordings just like a with VCR, but unlike a VCR, you don’t have to wait for the show to finish recording and rewind the tape before you can watch it. Also unlike a VCR, your recording capacity […]

Gmail Tip #55: Excluding Chat from Search Results

Here's a tip inspired by a question from Ethan Lipman, an active Gmail Chat user. He wants to be able to search his Gmail messages for key words, but the Search Results often return hits from his Chat session logs. Read on to find out how to simply exclude Chat session logs from your Search Results…. The solution turns out to be really simple, but not necessarily obvious. It appears that all Gmail Chat session logs are simply standard messages Labeled with a hidden Label of "Chat". So this means that many functions you use on Labels should work. So, to exclude all Chat session logs from your Search Results, add the following text to your search string:  -label:Chat Likewise, if you wanted to include words found ONLY in Chat session logs, just add the following to your search string:  +label:Chat …making sure that it is the only "label:" string […]

Gmail Tip #54: New Feature! Select ALL conversations

{josquote}New feature!{/josquote}Deleting Spam and emptying Trash in Gmail just got a whole lot easier! Instead of being limited to deleting just a page-at-a-time, Gmail now lets you select all Spam and Trash conversations for deletion in one simple step. Read on to see some screenshots of the new features… One of the great annoyances of managing Gmail has been in dealing with Spam and Trash. When you had  more than screenful of messages, clicking "select all" would only select all messages on the current screen. Deleting numerous messages could mean navigating multiple screens just to select and delete. The Trash view now displays the message "Empty Trash now (messages that have been in Trash more than 30 days will be automatically deleted)"  Here's a screenshot: {mosimage}  When you click on the "Empty Trash now" link, Gmail will display a confirmation prompt displaying the number of conversations it will delete. Click […]