You can take the Alan out of the HTPC but you can't take the HTPC out of Alan. Its probably fitting that my first post be about SageTV and their new beta. After having time to look through the new manual and some of the threads on Sage's forum, it has become apparent to me that this isn't the break through release Sage was looking for.
Sage has been taking so many small incremental steps in its product development its almost hard to notice new features. Its like watching yourself grow old. However, even though it is a small step, it is still their biggest step since they released version 2.0. The have made some nice improvements to their "Media Center" and Online Services portion of the software. All of the basic functions are now there, now that they have the stepping stones in place, hopefully they can use their incremental strategy to improve in these areas.
I would especially like to see more tie in with additional google services. Sure the video service is nice, but they have a whole slew of other products just waiting to be integrated. Their music platform has gotten a nice lift, although it is just finally gotten even with SageMC. In fact, a lot of SageMC users will have no reason to upgrade unless they want integrated compression and conversion of formats.
Would I upgrade? I know I am going to, its tough not to when one has the upgrade fever. I hope by version 7.0 I see more online services integrated, a new UI with sexy animations, integrated way to purchase movies and music, and of course the moon.
What about the PVR portion, well its still one of the, if not the best out there. Its as simple as that, their bread and butter is still good stuff. While I complain about online services and the like, what keep a lot of people around is its client/server architectures that allows you to stream your content anywhere in your house with Sage Client and Media Extender and anywhere in the world with Place Shifter.
Read our news posting for full release details. I remind you, this is not a news post, and is personal opinion. As always, my personal opinion is full of errors, factual inaccuracies, and a wicked desire to buy more electronic goods.