This Troubleshooting Guide should be your first reference for any questions or problems you are having with SageTV. As new troubleshooting items are added, they will be available online at For additional support, you can post your questions in our discussion forum at If your question still remains unanswered, submit a support request at and we will reply within 72 hours.


General Crashes and Errors  Edit

If you are receiving errors that contain this phrase, “Problem utilizing the specific capture configuration”.

You might not be using a supported capture card. Please check our System Requirements page at

If you are experiencing random crashes, lockups or freezes in SageTV:

Be sure you have the latest drivers installed for your TV Tuner/Capture card. You may also want to try upgrading your video card drivers and updating your motherboard's BIOS to the latest version. 

Sage crashes on startup or going to Live TV. And/or I get Java errors on startup.

Remove all versions of Java from Add/Remove programs. Install the newest version of Java into its default directory. To download Java, go to

If you download the trial versions of SageTV and you get the following message; "Corrupt installation detected, check source media or re-download":

You must update your Windows Installer to the latest version. Use the "Windows Update" feature of your operating system or go to and choose "Windows Update" from the left menu. 

If your system hangs or reboots after exiting SageTV:

You need to upgrade to the latest version of your Java Runtime Environment from This is a bug with Java Runtime version 1.4.1_01. 

I have a little box that bounces around the screen.

Your Elecard Video Decoder ( trial has expired. Use a different decoder or purchase the Elecard Video Decoder. 

If upon starting SageTV, you are getting stuck at "Priming Seeker" on the splash screen, try the following solutions in order: 

 Check your video file directories to see if there are any "0kb" files and delete them and restart SageTV.


 Delete your file and restart SageTV. Note that you will have to go back through the Source Setup to restore your configuration settings. 


 Uninstall SageTV and delete the SageTV folder, then reinstall SageTV. 

I'm receiving the error message "There was a MPEG-2 video error in playback details: Failed connecting video stream to overlay mixer ErrCode = 0x80040217". 

 Go into your Detailed Setup and click on the Video tab. Change the Rendering Filter from Overlay to Default or vice versa. Then choose "Reload Media Player" for version 2 or later.

I'm getting an error during startup of SageTV "Initializing DirectShow Recording Graph: There was a problem utilizing the specific capture configuration. Unable to connect analog video cross streams ErrCode = 0x0040217". 

Some other process is using the capture card. Make sure there are no other instances of Sage running in the system tray or any other capture programs running. 

I'm using the Hauppauge PVR-USB2 capture device. I'm getting this error message "Failed running the graph for encoding ErrCode=0&80070017". 

There is a specific USB patch from Microsoft that corrects this error. Run Windows Update ( and run all current patches. 

Is there a debugging console for SageTV? 

The console can be used to troubleshoot problems. You can do this by creating a new DWORD value in the registry. Go to start, run and type in regedit. Here's the path: “\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Frey Technologies\Common”. Right click on the Common folder and select New – DWORD Value. Name it "consolewin" without the quotes and hit enter. Now double click on consolewin and change the value from 0 to 1. This will open up a DOS window for debugging when you start SageTV. 

What does the following error message mean? "There was a problem with the Shared Async Reader Filter. Failure loading file ErrCode=0x80004005". 

If you are getting this error with SageTV Client then try to connect to SageTV by IP address instead of the computer name. If you are not using SageTV Client and this happens with SageTV, then update to the newest version of Java from

If your system crashes unexpectedly for any reason while SageTV is running and SageTV does not recognize the TV Tuner/Encoding card upon restart, perform the following:

 Shut down SageTV and open the file from the SageTV directory. 


 Find the line "mmc/ignore_encoders" and delete the related device that's listed. Note: If a supported capture device is added to this property line, inform SageTV (at


 Save the changes and restart SageTV.


Video IssuesEdit

I get sound, but my Video is black.

 You might not be using a supported capture card. Please check our System Requirements page at

 Go to the display settings for your video card. You more than likely have the Overlay surface set to be on the monitor only, so video will show up as black on your TV.


 Make sure you have a Video Decoder installed and selected in your Detailed Setup ->

Video. Try a different Video Decoder. Also try uninstalling SageTV and deleting the

SageTV folder. Reinstall SageTV. In V2 or later, you can also try disabling Overlay Color Keying.

I can't tune to channels above 14.

Go to Setup > Source Setup and select the affected source. On the Source Details menu, make sure the Cable/Antenna setting is Cable instead of Antenna. 

If you experience a "black and white" picture using the S-video or composite input on your PVR-350:

Upgrade to the newest Hauppauge drivers and choose one of the new inputs. 

My reception is poor, but it looks fine under WinTV. I'm using the Coaxial input on the capture card. 

Go to Setup > Source Setup and select the affected source. On the Source Details menu, check the Cable/Antenna setting. Change it from Antenna to Cable or vice versa. Restart SageTV and change channels to make sure it worked. Also make sure to do a scan for channels in Channel Setup.

Poor or snowy picture quality on certain channels or all.

Sometimes the use of a Signal Amplifier can work. Also, change out the cables you are using. If you are using a splitter try using a different splitter. 

What can I do to improve the performance of the video quality? (For Hauppauge users)

Try out our registry performance increase for Hauppauge users. This works when you are also using the InterVideo NonCSS Video Decoder for Hauppauge as the selected Video Decoder in SageTV Recorder/SageTV.


Just change these registry settings to 1 while SageTV is shutdown:

o   HKLM\Software\Intervideo\Custom\Hauppauge\VideoDec\Dxva o HKLM\Software\Intervideo\Custom\Hauppauge\VideoDec\Hwmc


For the newer decoders the location is:

o   HKLM\Software\IviSDK4Hauppauge\Common\VideoDec\Dxva o HKLM\Software\IviSDK4Hauppauge\Common\VideoDec\Hwmc

Audio IssuesEdit

I get video, but I’m not getting any audio.

You might not be using a supported capture card. For a list of requirements, see the latest requirements listed on the SageTV website at

The audio stops being recorded after a certain amount of time. It's fine after I restart SageTV.

Sometimes MSN Messenger can cause this problem. Make sure you disable MSN Messenger. Also, other USB devices can cause this as you plug in and unplug them. 



What software is necessary to run SageTV?

For a list of requirements, see the latest requirements listed on the SageTV website at

How do I do a clean reinstall of SageTV?

Go to Add/Remove programs and uninstall Sage. Then delete the SageTV folder. Reinstall SageTV. 

What files are necessary to backup so that I don't lose my settings and recordings?

SageTV automatically backs up your configuration and data files. If you wish to keep an extra backup, you can backup your and Wiz.bin files. Note: If you are doing a clean install of SageTV to repair a problem, remember that the properties file may have been the source of the problem, so do not restore it after reinstalling in this case.

I want to create a new machine for Sage and I want to keep all my favorites and settings intact. How do I do this?

Check the FAQ for this topic in the SageTV discussion forum at:

What Video Decoder and Audio Decoders are defaults on my system?

Play an MPEG-2 video in Window Media Player, and then click on File –> Properties. That will list what Video Decoder and Audio Decoder WMP uses. These are the default Decoders. 



I can't play DVD's through Sage. What can I do?

Be sure to have selected a DVD compatible Video Decoder and an Audio Decoder. For example the SageTV Decoder, InterVideo NonCSS Video Decoder for Hauppauge, or the Elecard Video Decoder are not DVD compatible. 

How do I keep the SageTV window always in front of open applications?

Open up SageTV in windowed mode and right click on the blue bar at the top. Click on Video Always on Top. Or, see the SageTV Window is Always On Top option in Detailed Setup: Multimedia Settings.

How come when I play DVD’s I get Closed Captioning?

This can happen when using the Default Decoders. You need to choose another Decoder.  How do I get 5.1 sound from DVD playback?

It depends on your setup. You will need a sound card that supports 5.1 out and DVD Decoders. To get ideas for a setup you can search our discussion forums at

Can I use my cable provider's guide instead of the guide built into SageTV?

This is not possible. SageTV needs to use its own guide to work. 

Is there a way to automatically skip commercials?

No there isn't. You can set the interval of how much time it skips when you skip forward. It can be 10, 30, or 120 seconds. The default is 10 seconds. See the Fast Forward & Rewind times option in Detailed Setup: Customize Settings.

When I play a file in my video library, does SageTV stream the data to the client machines?

Yes it does.

Is there a way to export my recording schedule?

Yes. Make sure SageTV is closed and open up your file and look for this line, "scheduler_export_file=". Type in the path to your file after the "=" sign. 


Infrared DevicesEdit

How do you configure the Hauppauge remote control?

The receiver plugs into the back of the PVR card. Then, make sure you install the IR Remote application from the Hauppauge CD or website. There should be a little remote control icon in your system tray. After the IR Remote application has been installed and is working, make sure to check the box that says, "Configure support for the Hauppauge PVR-250/350 IR Remote Control", in step 4 during SageTV installation. Check to make sure your batteries are good. If for some reason you install/reinstall the IR Remote application after you have installed SageTV you must then reinstall SageTV. See details for the Hauppauge Remote in the Appendix.

If you are using an Actisys IR-200L:

Make sure you uninstall any software related to the Actisys prior to installing SageTV or SageTV Recorder. SageTV and SageTV Recorder will install the appropriate .DLL file needed to recognize the IR-200L. 

If you are experiencing problems with the Actisys IR-200L learning your remote codes:

Try a different learning method. The different learning methods are "press", "tap, tap", "press, tap" and "tap, press". 



My trial period has run out. Can I get an extension?

There is no way to extend your trial. You will need to reformat your computer or use another computer to try the software again. Or, the trial period is sometimes reset when a new version of SageTV is released.

I have a valid key for SageTV Client, but I get license errors when I connect to the server. What can I do?

Restart your server. 

If you are using the SageTVClient on more than one PC and accidentally entered the same license key from another PC you will get an error message – "Unable to connect to the SageTV Server".

To enter the correct license key, open your SageTV folder, right-click on the SageTVClient.exe file and create a new shortcut. Then right-click on the shortcut and go to Properties. Then enter in the Target line at the end after the quotes a space and then the word REGISTER. The correct entry will look like this:

"C:\Program Files\SageTV\SageTV\SageTVClient.exe" REGISTER.

Then you will be prompted to enter the new license key. After your correct license key is accepted, you can delete the shortcut you just created. 



My SageTV can't connect to the EPG Server to gather the guide information. What can I do?

Make sure you don't have any Firewall protection applications running. Something like ZoneAlarm or Windows XP built in Internet Connection Firewall. If you do, you can open one port on your Firewall protection program. The port is 7760. 



I don't live in the United States. Is there any way I can get guide data for my Sage?

Go to our configuration page in the Support section of our web site ( and get the XMLTV EPG Data Plugin. 



Can I record in either MPEG1 or MPEG2 formats?

Yes you can, but MPEG1 only supports playback and record, no time shifting. There's a link on the configuration page of our web site ( regarding creating a custom recording quality that uses MPEG1 instead of MPEG2 when using a Hauppauge encoding card. See:

Is there a debugging console for SageTV?

The console can be used to troubleshoot problems. You can do this by creating a new DWORD value in the registry. Go to start, run and type in regedit. Here's the path:

\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Frey Technologies\Common” Right click on the Common folder and select New – DWORD Value. Name it "consolewin" without the quotes and hit enter. Now double click on consolewin and change the value from 0 to 1. This will open up a DOS window for debugging when you start SageTV.


Client – Server ConnectionEdit

My SageTV Client is unable to connect to the server. What should I check?

Make sure the client is trying to connect to the correct IP address of the SageTV server. The System Information screen on the server lists its address and hostname. Try using that address or hostname when connecting with the client.


Make sure that SageTV and SageTV Client are allowed to communicate through ports 42024 and 7818. You may need to check the firewall for both computers to make sure those ports have been opened for those programs.