SageTV Tip #4: SageTV Customizations

Posted: January 3, 2007

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 customization types, but here is a brief summary:

1. STV's
These define the look-and-feel of the User Interface, and define what functionality is available to the user. There are several custom STV's that provide a wide range of alternate functionality from completely new UI's to simple feature enhancements. These can provide a whole new way of using SageTV.

2. STV Import Modules (STVi)
These plugins called "STVi's" are small add-ons that improve or extend core SageTV functions. Some examples include Customizable Menus, IMDB Search, and DVD Burning. These let you, the user, really tailor SageTV to your liking.

3. Other Customizations
This is the general category of all other SageTV customizations. These typically include more sophisticated enhancements that require installation of additional software or tweaking outside of SageTV. Though they may be a bit more complex, they also provide powerful capabilities.

The scope of SageTV customization is rather broad. Some customizations are seemingly as simple as displaying an on-screen clock to as complex as auto-detecting and removing commercials during playback. There are customizations that completely alter the look-and-feel of the user interface, and there is a plugin that will let you read RSS feeds.

There are customizations that provide amazing remote access to your SageTV through any Web browser, and there are add-ons that leverage external media players to handle a variety of common and obscure media formats.

There is's even a plugin that, when your phone rings, will pause playback and pop-up a message displaying the caller ID info right on your TV!

And best of all, these are customizations that have been developed by enthusiastic SageTV users. If you like any of these customizations, or if you have suggestions, be sure to contact the developers and let them know. They really to appreciate the feedback.

The best place to learn about SageTV customizations is to visit "SageTV Customizations" forum, and notably, the "List of available customizations" page in that forum.

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