View Full Version : Sage TV 1.2.7
04-17-2003, 11:58 AM
Running Sage TV 1.2.7 (Beta) on:
PIII 866, 256MB RAM, NVidia GeForce2 MX 200 (Video), 17GB, 20GB & 30GB HDD's, Aureal Vortex 8830 Audio, Soundblaster Digital VCR TV Card.
Having a devil of a time with audio sync. Most channels seem to be okay initially but loose sync after a period of time. I have WinDVD Recorder SW installed. I installed the Elecard MPeg 2 video decoder, I think I downloaded the Elecard MPeg 3 encoder but I'm not sure. I downloaded the two encoders on the page links I've seen around but aparently I can't get them installed correctly. When I select the Elecard for the audio I get an error having something to do with opening the MPeg 2 filter.
Currently I'm using the WinDVD SW for Video and Audio decode.
Love the software the guide is cool, but this issue is driving me to drink.
04-17-2003, 12:05 PM
Open up WinDVD and enable hardware acceleration in its configuration. This should then propogate over to Sage. That may resolve your issue.
I'd also suggest trying the Elecard MPEG2 Video Decoder filter for your video decoder, and disabling DScaler for deinterlacing (just to test). Then select the MPEG Audio Decoder for your audio decoder. Then see if you have sync issues.
04-17-2003, 12:43 PM
Thank you for your reply...
Double checked the hardware accelleration - it was enabled already.
Selected the Elecard decoder, and the option you mentioned was already deselected.
I'm pretty sure I've already tried this configuration but hey, any port in a storm. I'm currently trying it now. I'll let'cha know.
Thank you VERY much for your help.
BTW, I'm a Systems Enginier and therefore work with Tech support people much more often than I care to. This product's support is WAY above average.
04-17-2003, 12:55 PM
Okay now the audio doesn't seem to go out of sync, but however now everything (Audio & Video) are stopping and starting over and over again. It's as if somebody were playing with the pause button.
But just like the earlier issue the longer it plays the more pronounced the problem.
04-17-2003, 12:58 PM
What's your CPU usage at?
04-17-2003, 01:01 PM
I'me currently recording a sit-com now (Don't ask - please) and my cpu usage on SageTV.exe is bouncing at about 30-40%. Total usage is roughly the same.
04-17-2003, 01:22 PM
It's most likely a disk fragmentation issue. I would first defrag your hard drive to see if this improves performance. I would also recommend using a dedicated partition for video formatted using NTFS using 64k block sizes.
Let us know how it works.
04-17-2003, 01:35 PM
Welp, you're cirtainly right about the drive needing defragmenting. It looks REAL bad. I'm working on it now.
04-17-2003, 04:49 PM
Okay, defraged the drive - While things seem a little speedier I still have the audio sync issue.
When I switch channels the audio seems to be ahead of the video. I'm doing some recordings so I'll be able to tell you whether the files themselves are in sync. I also want to see if the sync get's worse as time goes by.
04-17-2003, 05:55 PM
Keep us posted..
04-17-2003, 07:04 PM
Still having issue. The audio is lagging behind the video and it gets progressivly worse with time. I've also noticed that it gets progressivly worse each time I manipulate the window in some way. For instance, switching to full screen when windowed or just adjusting the size of the window. Once in a while I can start the app. or come out of sleep mode and the audio is in sync for a while.
The video files on the hard drive are out of sync as well. They start in sync but progressivly go out of sync as time goes by.
I've checked the processor utilization and it seems to be fine. Hovering around 40-50% total and 30-40% on the Sage TV app. The computer I'm using is used only for this reason. Short of McAfee virus scanner (Disabled), and WinDVD recorder software there's not much of anything else installed - with the exception of the native Creative TV app (also disabled).
I sure like everything else about this product. It has a lot of great features... Am I simply seeing the result of a "beta"? I sure hope so because these problems will probably get worked out and I can look forward to using this software full time. It's very cool.
04-17-2003, 07:33 PM
Let's try one more thing. In addition I'm going to make a post to see if any other DVCR owners have seen any problems with the recent beta.
Uninstall SageTV and then delete the Frey Technologies folder in the Program Files directory. Reboot then reinstall SageTV. You'll have to go through the Setup Wizard again and then let's see if that fixes the audio sync. Something may have got corrupted when you installed the most recent version. If this doesn't work, send an email to support@freytechnologies and we'll give you a debugger to use so we can pinpoint the problem.
Let us know how that goes and thanks for your patience.
04-17-2003, 08:26 PM
That's a good idea, I'll try it.
04-18-2003, 02:25 AM
Welp, uninstalled Sage TV and virtually everything else, including the virus software. Reinstalled - no change. Man this is maddening.
04-18-2003, 08:21 AM
Thanks for trying everything Mark. This shouldn't be happening because of the way we've written the code so it will get fixed before 1.2 is released. In the meantime you can regress to beta version 1.2.5.
If you regress versions you have to do a complete uninstall of the older version as I told you above before you install the new version.
04-18-2003, 09:57 AM
We just found the bug and it was also in 1.2.5 but no one noticed so we are fixing it now for the next build. Sorry for the confusion and don't bother regressing to the other version.
04-18-2003, 10:43 AM
I'm sorry I'm not sure I understood your last post.
Did you find the cause of my problem (My Sage TV problems, not my mental problem that is) in the code? If so, that's great news.
04-18-2003, 11:30 AM
Yes, we found it. :)
04-18-2003, 11:34 AM
That's great. I was ready to take a screw driver to this computer and start replacing parts.
Can you give a time when you expect to have the new build where this will be repaired? I'm on an eval and I'd be nice to be able to evaluate this in a working environment.
Thank you for your help.
04-18-2003, 11:39 AM
We'll have a patch out for the Creative card later on today, but won't publish a build for a few days. So send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you the patch.
04-18-2003, 01:39 PM
Welp installed the fix and it is WONDERFUL. I was starting to think that my TV card could only recieve old Japaneese monster movies.
I'll keep playing with it but so far so very good.
Thank you for your wonderful help. I understand that this is beta software and so expected some issues, but I never expect such great help with them.
I'll keep you up to date on the progress.
04-18-2003, 05:19 PM
Things are much better. It's usable now. Usable enough that I purchased it.
I'm am experiencing some unstableness in the audio and vidio but changeing the channel up and then back seems to fix it.
Recording seems to be okay though. I'll be able to tell you more in a while.
04-21-2003, 02:38 AM
Okay, some more information.
The audio sync seems to be okay about half the time. Can't seem to find a pattern to it. The issue is propagated through to the Mpeg files as well. Roughly half of the Mpeg files have it. The audio sync seems to start going screwy at about 6 minutes into the file. These programs were done when the software was in "Sleep" mode so I doubt that it's a processor utilization issue.
Mind you, the audio sync is MUCH better than it was, but I have a lot of plans for these Mpeg files (DVD archiving) but the sync things makes half of the files impossible to use.
I'm trying to figure this thing out. As far as I can tell, the settings in the audio and video sections of the configuration are for playback only right? And the actual construction of the Mpeg file is taking place elsewhere? I'm asking this because I'm attempting to pinpoint where my issues are, and therefore narrow my investigation.
As I understand it, with the SB card (may be all?) the video is encoded by the chip on the card, but the audio is encoded in software. Am I even close?
As far as the encoding is concerned, I see a lot of people suggesting using the Elecard MPeg III encoder and all of the links I've seen to it so far seem to point to a page that has a link on it that points to a download page with a lot of different files from which to choose. The Elecard decoder was a no-brainer but the Mpeg III encoder was a bit tough. I was not sure which file I should have downloaded, lot alone how to install it. Do you think that this might have something to do with my issues? Of so, which file do I download, and how do I install it?
You help is as usual very apreciated.
04-21-2003, 10:23 AM
The audio/video settings you're referring to are for playback only and do not affect recording. The MPEG file is created by my multiplexor and that's what handles maintaining the audio/video sync.
Are the sync problems you're having constant or do they get worse as the file goes on?
04-21-2003, 12:24 PM
Im not totaly sure whether the sync problem gets progressivly worse or not. I believe that was the case before you sent me a fix for it. That particular issue is aparently gone. Before I'd sometimes get complete sentances before the mouth would even move (Like an old japaneese monster move). Now the audio sync is much less pronounced and so the timeing is more difficult to keep track of. That combined with the fact I deleted all of the out of sync files last night and optimized the drive. So far today they're in sync so I'll wait for the Mpeg files to pile up for a while. Could it have been possible that the drive fragmentation caused it? If so, that's going to be a tough one. The very nature of the software leaves the drive very prone to fragmentation (constantly creating and deleting files). Would it be possible to Pre-allocate the drive like the Creative SW does, or would that be violating a copywrite, or patent or something.
Anyways as to my previous question, if that data stream comming off of the card (presumably Mpeg data) is divided into Mpeg video and standard audio (I assume PCM) then the program would have to encode the audio and then join them together. If that's true, it makes me wonder if the Elecard Mpeg III encoder's existance (or non) might have something to do with the issue. I know, I know just enough about this sort of thing to make a complete fool of myself, but I'm trying to understand the nature of the problem and perhaps either help, or be able to give you some intelligent responses.
04-21-2003, 12:33 PM
Drive fragmentation could have something to do with it. You can avoid problems with fragmentation by capturing to a dedicated partition (use it only for video) and format it using NTFS with 64K blocks.
04-21-2003, 12:41 PM
The drive I'm using is being used for nothing else which is 30 gb (I have another 20gb I use for the SB SW and a 17gb is use for the OS (3 drives). It is formated with NTFS but I formated it using the default allocation size (Frankly I don't know what that is).
The 30gb I'm using is a 7200 RPM, ATA 100 drive. The Controller I believe is a UDMA 66. The drive is running in UDMA Mode 5. So the only thing I can imagine is I could reformat the drive using 64k blocks. As soon as I get a chance I'll do just that.
04-21-2003, 12:47 PM
Default block size if 4K. So doing a 64K format will make your files on average 16 times less fragmented. That means 16 times less disk seeking than before. It makes a HUGE difference. :)
04-21-2003, 01:08 PM
Call you back when it's done and I have a chance to test it.
04-21-2003, 10:35 PM
Jeff, I keep getting an error on playback. It just stops randomly. usually coincident with ffd'ing. I can't get a log of the error, because I think I read somewhere, you turned it off for this pre-release. The only way out is to shut down SageTV.
04-22-2003, 02:34 AM
Which decoders are you using now John?
04-22-2003, 05:38 AM
Ummm, let me check....Ravisent Cinemaster. The same ones I've been using.
Should I be using something else?
04-22-2003, 05:48 AM
We've noticed one other thing as well. There is a lip synch issue with every playback that is fixed by ffd'ing or rew'ing. We never used to have that problem before. But it is very prevelant now.
04-24-2003, 01:23 PM
Okay here's an update.
The audio sync, although much better is still occuring about 25% of the time. Oddly enough it almost allways seems to happen on the same programs/channels. For instance all of the Star Trek TNG episodes I record have audio sync issues which seem (not sure) to get progressibly worse as time goes by. Cheers, as well. This might be a coincidence but who knows. Maybe Dolby audio encoding? I don't know.
Disk fragmentation might have something to do with it. Can't find a discernable pattern just yet.
The output files have the same effect. If the program is glitchey when originally watched, it's glitchey in the playback of the resultant MPeg file. Sometimes I do get some major audio drift (video lagging behind the audio) when either jumping backwards or forwads. But this is in an existing file.
I hope this doesn't sound like a lot of random information. It's all I have to offer in the way of observation.
04-24-2003, 02:46 PM
Yes i notice it as well but not so much not nearly as much as before. One thing i did notice is that if i was running Sagetv in a window and was surfing the web (In this case going to my banks online website which uses java) it suddenly caused Sagetv while IE was using the java to.....uhm hickup and the audio went out of sync. I was able to get it back into sync by changing the channel. So it's a problem but not as big of a one as before also i as well found some programs where it would go out of sync on and others where it would stay in sync just fine.
One thing of note i did see some audio problems on the DVCR program as well but it ws more of a audio skip on some programs where the audio would just skip part of a word here and their or kinda jerk on one here and their. It's kinda hard for me to explain i wish i could show you but it doesn't happen under the recordings or if you hit the pause button for a second then hit play it goes away. Just thought i should share that.
At anyrate it's gotten much better now and is actually getting close to better than the DVCR software is and thats much farther than others have gotten with this and other card like it so many Kudos! :goodjob:
04-24-2003, 04:09 PM
It's good to know I'm not alone in this.
On this computer I only run the Television software and nothing else, so I can't really have issues with an errant process eating up CPU clicks.
I've had much better luck with the original DVCR software that came with the card. I've really had no issues with it at all, that is except the issues with the resultant MPeg files that are almost impossible to get on VCD or DVD without some sort of major hickup ever few seconds or so (Although Pinacle Studio does very well). The main reason I was originally interrested in Sage was to get clean MPeg files, and so far they seem like a MAJOR improovement over the Creative's. It's Sage's other features that made me fall in virtual love with it - A very nice program. Makes me wonder if Creative was missing at the "What users would love in television software" seminar :) .
I'll just keep hanging around using Sage TV and offering observations when I can - Hoping that these issues will be fixed eventually.
04-24-2003, 05:11 PM
The best advice I can give you regarding audio/video sync is to use a card like the Hauppauge PVR 250 or 350 that has hardware audio encoding & multiplexing. The cards use hardware to maintain audio/video synchronization. Doing it any other way (like is done with the Provideo or Creative card, or any other capture card that's video only which is what every other PVR uses) is prone to loss of audio/video sync NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO :bang: This is because Windows is NOT a real-time operating system so it is impossible to maintain perfect sync if the responsibility is left to the software because there's no way to have guaranteed timing in the software. But as you can tell, the software can do pretty well even when running on a non real-time OS....but for perfection there is no substitute for hardware audio encoding & multiplexing.
04-24-2003, 11:01 PM
Jeff, why am I having sync problems with my PVR-350? (reference note above)
04-25-2003, 12:03 AM
Oh Heck, don't tell me that Jeffrey:o
I actually bought one of those cards but the software was so obnoxious I took the sucker back immediatly. The software was horrible.
That just goes to show you that software is sooo important
I've got just enough software experience and heaven knows I've got enough hardware experience to understand what you're saying. The only question I have is why was the Creative able to pull it off? The files themselves as well as the player on my computer were synced about perfectly (Never noticed an issue). Even when played within WinDVD they were great. The only trouble I had was reencoding them to either VCD or DVD format. After searching the web for months it became very aparent that this was indicitive of the goofed up Creative MPeg format. Aparently something to do with the way they encode the files themselves (Perhaps a comprimise to get the darned thing to sync). Even Virtual Dub wouldn't touch 'em.
04-25-2003, 12:16 AM
It just occured to me, I'm going to try to set the process priority to a higher (Or much higher) and see what happens....
Do ya thing this might help?
Also, is the audio encoder yours? Or you using one installed already on the machine? I'm wondering if I have what I need, or what SageTV expects to find. Or is there one you'd recommend.
04-25-2003, 02:05 AM
Yeah i actually did that after reading Narflex's post. I setup Sagetv 1.2.8 to run in realtime priority and so far it appears to be working though i haven't tried it with all channels like for me 73 scifi happens to have this problem all the time. But i haven't gotten a chance to test it on that as i have favs recording right now. I'll let you know how it turns out once i get a chance to test it on shows i have had bad sync with before. Also it's kinda wierd but Sagetv actually seems to use less rescources running in realtime not much less but less. Also i noticed that some have been useing the elecard codec with sagetv i haven't been useing that i did finally install it and gave it a try but it didn't seem to do any better well actually a little worse with screen noise running across the top. So i switched back to the default codec (the Provideo codec i selected to install when i installed Sagetv) and found that thoughs worked better and i also don't have to look at that watermark in the corner.
So now all appears at this time to be fine and i can still use the system for doing alot of other things the Sagetv running in realtime hasn't seemed to have slowed down the system any which is also kinda wierd. Other software i have run in realtime tends to overmax the cpu and not let me do much of anything else while their running but this one takes it in nice stride and lets me still surf the web and that without waiting 5 min for a window to draw. So i have to say the best way it seems to run this is in realtime or as close to realtime as possible. The only problem is how do i get it to start in realtime? I know their was a command that could be put into the quake 3 startup line in a bat file for realtime mode but i have forgotten how that was done. So anybody know how to do that?
04-25-2003, 02:19 AM
Ok i just checked 73 Scifi and that channel still goes out of sync on all shows but others that i had had sync problems on now seem to stay in sync. It's wierd if i try to watch it without pause or timeshifting it jerks like theirs no tomarrow and if i pause it to let it get ahead the audio goes out of sync right away. But other channels that i have had this issue with before don't seem to have that problem anymore. I was recording extended play on 76 techtv and typeing that last post and doing some other stuff and that stayed in sync just fine but scifi wont stay in sync even if sagetv is the only thing running.
Also i noticed that Scifi also had some issues with the DVCR software in that if you tried viewing it live without timeshift the audio would do the jerk as well as video but if you paused and let it get ahead then the DVCR software would play it in sync just fine. So what is it that Scifi is doing that is causing the video/audio to do this and what did Creative figure out to do to keep it in sync under timeshift or record? If that could be figured out it would help you guys get this issue fixed so that at least it wouldn't be a problem with timeshift viewing and recording anymore though live viewing would still be an issue.
04-25-2003, 11:29 AM
Aren't you using multiple tuners and one of them is the Provideo card?
Creative maintains sync better because they have a lower level of access to the hardware than I do. With this their software multiplexor is able to utilize the timing information from the hardware to maintain sync because the card captures both audio and video itself.
Increasing the priority of the process will help audio/video sync a little, I already run those threads at highest priority for that reason.
If you've got a reproducible occurence of audio/video sync loss, then send an email to email@example.com and I'll send you a version of the multiplexor that'll give me details about what's going wrong with the a/v sync.
04-25-2003, 12:28 PM
If you're running an NT derivative check out the start command (Start /?) from a command prompt. So you'll have to use a batch file to get it started (Drop a shortcut in the start folder should do the trick). You can use the start command in a batch file to start SageTV in real time.
start SageTV /realtime
Or something like that.
Hope this helps.
04-25-2003, 01:53 PM
Narflex what do you want me to state in the email? Just who i am or the problem im having? or what?
Markus yeah i have been playing about with this but so far i can't get it to run at start in realtime. Iv'e tried every variation on the command and it just wont work it still starts in normal mode. UGH that one allways drives me crazy. About the best i can do is get it to open a new command line that is in realtime but not sagetv it's wierd iv'e done this before but cant recall how.
Must be allshiemers or something
04-25-2003, 01:57 PM
I played with it a bit and got this to work. It launches it in real time, but won't minimize it. Oh well, one out of two ain't bad.
start /realtime /min SageTV
I put the batch file in the SageTV folder and put a shortcut in the startup folder.
04-25-2003, 03:50 PM
Ok markus that worked it now starts in realtime. Ya know i seem to keep forgeting that one, I gotta try and remember realtime goes before the filename not the other way around.
04-25-2003, 03:51 PM
Now if we can only fix the minimize issue.
I don't think Start /MIN is what you want. SageTV in Minimized mode is very different from SageTV in Sleep mode. Sleep is probably what you want...
Unforunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to tell SageTV that, whenever it is launched, to come up "in the Taskbar". The only way to cause that is when you also cause a launch of SageTV at Start/Login time (i.e. by selecting "Load at Startup in Taskbar").
Perhaps we could as Jeff/Dan for this additional choice... I earlier had a similar request to be able to select something like "Load in FullScreen" alone rather than having to select "Load at Startup in Full Screen Mode". Fortunately, sage.properties can remember this preference. Perhaps there is a similar preferential setting to have SageTV launch in Sleep Mode...
For reference, I found the following in the sage.properties file:
That first line, "ui/last_win_fs=true" means that, whenever I launch SageTV, it comes up FullScreen.
I guess what we are asking for is something like:
Perhaps we could even have lines in there which provide default priority levels for each of the processes/threads SageTV launches...
04-25-2003, 05:36 PM
I've been single tuner bound since my Provideo card seems to have given up the ghost. I haven't been able to get it to work (same problem as before, the initialization of the card is failing.) No matter what I do (done all my tricks with the registry and everything) I can't get it to work anymore and it was really screwing up the system. Everytime SageTV would try to use it as a source, Sage would display black as video, so I totally uninstalled it and removed it from SageTV as a source. I have a RMA for the vendor to return the card and plan on sending it this weekend.
In the meantime since I've just been using the PVR-350, I have consistent lip sync issues on every playback and during live TV until I rew and then it sync's up. I also have been getting random, frustrating freezing of SageTV during playback, recoverable only by shutting down SageTV through End Process and restarting SageTV.
Needless to say, I've been anxiously awaiting the next beta release to see if that fixes my current problems. :)
04-25-2003, 05:38 PM
To startup SageTV in the taskbar, just use the -startup option on the command line. :)
> To startup SageTV in the taskbar, just use the -startup option on the command line.
Tried this in 1.2.8B - it didn't work for me :-(
04-27-2003, 06:38 PM
Just enable SageTV to start in the system tray (since this is what you're trying to emulate), and then look in your registry. You'll see there how to do it.
> Just enable SageTV to start in the system tray...
I guess I'm not being clear - THIS is what I CANNOT do. I see no setting/switch/whatever to do this. I tried the -startup option to no avail. Is their some argument I'm supposed to append following -startup?
> ...and then look in your registry.
Looked, but as I didn't succeed at step one, I didn't see anything enlightening there...
04-27-2003, 11:29 PM
Perfect Jeff, thanks. That did the trick.
Just a clue, run MSCONFIG (If you're running XP, not sure if 2k has it) ant It'll be easier to find. Beats going to hkeylocalmachine bla bla bla.
Havn't had a chance to install the debug yet (please forgive me) as my beauriful and wonderful wife has had a long list of honeydoo's for me this weekend.
04-28-2003, 10:37 AM
Ed, It's in Setup->Detailed Setup->Advanced under Startup Options.
> Ed, It's in Setup->Detailed Setup->Advanced under Startup Options.
Oh, you mean "Load at Startup in Tray"... Yeah, but that loads it at Login time.
Guess I'll have to try that out on my HTPC. Tried it on the "Other" machine, and
it had some sort of problem - haven't diagnosed that yet but it appeared to be
unrelated to SageTV...
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