With the consolidation of most of the shows we like to Monday nights and Friday nights, my HTPC was having scheduling troubles.
You’d think that three TV tuner/encoder cards (Hauppauge PVR-250’s) would be enough, wouldn’t you?
Well, not quite, even though they were for two years. The problem is that the different stations don’t run on quite the same time, or maybe they just don’t consistently schedule their shows.
So, we have to add a little padding to the beginning and ending of each show. Just like you do with a VCR. That means that it takes 2 tuner cards to be able to tape back-to-back shows, in order to make sure we get the whole show.
I finally got tired of SageTV warning me that I had a scheduling problem and that a show wouldn’t be recorded (I’ve just found “24” and A&E is running a bunch of episodes, as are WGN and some other stations).
So, I added a new Hauppauge PVR-150 to the three PVR-250 cards. The PVR-150 is the later model, cheaper version of the PVR-250. I had to add a 2-port splitter to the system, too. Now, I have 4 RG-6 cables running to the four tuner cards. It’s already made scheduling easier, too.
Of course, SageTV (www.sagetv.com) handles all hard part of scheduling – I just tell it that a show is a Favorite and it will take the task from there.
SageTV also lets me fine-tune Favorites, with settings such as 1st run only, 1st run and reruns, reruns only, specifying a channel, specifying the start padding, specifying the stop padding, specifying the recording quality, and more options.
You can read about my HTPC in the HTPC section of my Terry’s Home Theater site.
[originally published in 2006]