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Media Center software for the DIY crowd

Media Center software for the DIY crowd

Media front end SageTV has embraced the DIY crowd with some of its latest releases, which include a Linux version of the Sage software and the SageTV SDK (software development kit), which allows anyone with a little programming knowledge to create a customized user interface and functionality.

For mainstream users who just want to record TV programs and control their video, photo, and music collections without using Microsoft's Media Center OS, the new SageTV 4 offers a few incremental upgrades to the software.

SageTV 4, available online for $79, now supports the ability to record and playback HDTV signals (which are currently available only to PC users as over-the-air signals; HD cable support for PC-based DVRs is expected to show up in late 2006); new support for WMA, WMV, and ASF media files; and electronic program guides for new territories such as Canada and Europe.

The Linux version, previously available only to OEM system builders, is aimed at users who want to build a fully functional living-room system without going anywhere near a Microsoft product.

If your media PC and TV are in separate rooms, another new product from the company is the $99 SageTV Media Extender, a small media extender box that lets you connect a PC with SageTV and a television display through your home network.