Frey Technologies' SageTV 2.0 - A SnapStream Alternativeby Andrew Ku on July 25, 2004 12:05 AM EST
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The great thing about SnapStream's Beyond TV 3 was that it enabled the creation of a HTPC without the need to purchase an entire system to get some of the functionality of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 OS. Its limitation was that the program only provided the TV experience and left out things like a music/media/photo library, playing DVDs, FM tuning, and everything else that Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 brought to the table along with the TV experience.
We have seen and tried lots of MCE imitation software (i.e. InterVideo's Home Theater), but nothing so far has come even close enough to making a great impression on us. Since the last time we checked, Microsoft is maintaining that they will not release MCE 2004 as a direct-to-end user product, which means until they do, there will need to be someone to fill the gap. And with the dropping costs of computer components, people are finding new ways to use their old/spare computer parts, and a HTPC for the home entertainment system answers that need well; either that or spending at least $800+ on a MCE 2004 system. While the hardware requirements needed for HTPCs aren't the same as the latest and the greatest, software continues to be an issue. After all, your HTPC needs to be just as good as TiVo and with more features, if it is going to be worth sinking some of your hard earned money into one.
Aside from SnapStream, the other name popping up in HTPC talks is Frey Technologies' SageTV 2.0. After we finished taking a look at SnapStream's Beyond TV 3, several of you asked for a SageTV 2.0 review, and we are here to deliver.