As I wrote in another article, I’m using SageTV software to drive my home theater PC. I love it. More importantly, my wife loves it!
SageTV costs about $80 for one license, which includes updates to the program schedule. One of he first configuration settings is to tell it my zip code and then to select among the cable company options (company, basic cable, extended basic, digital, etc.). SageTV then downloads the detailed schedule for the next two weeks TV shows.
When I travel, I can access my home theater PC in two ways. First, if I just want to check the schedule and set it to record some shows, I can use any web browser to access the Sage Webserver running on my home theater. Sage Webserver is a free add-on for SageTV.
The other way was a new enhancement as of version 5. SageTV now has a free downloadable program called Sage Placeshifter.
With Sage Placeshifter, I have to install it on a computer and have to prepare SageTV on my HTPC to talk to Sage Placeshifter. This includes both purchasing a “seat”-type license for the placeshifter ($30) and making note of the Placeshifter Locator ID which will allow me to find my HTPC.
It sounds a little complicated, but it’s not. And, it’s worth the effort.
Anywhere that I can plug in my notebook to at least a 128 Kb/second download connection, I can not only control the HTPC, I can also stream pre-recorded video to the Sage Placeshifter on my notebook computer.
Since most hotels offer wireless Internet access, this means that I can check the schedules, set shows to record and watch shows I’ve already recorded. I can also do the same thing for shows that are currently on my home cable TV system — SageTV can record them and I can watch them almost in real time!