View Full Version : Creative VBDVCR Audio/Video Sync
04-29-2003, 06:16 PM
If you're experiencing problems with audio/video sync using the Creative VBDVCR card in SageTV or SageRecorder V1.2.8. Please send an email to email@example.com if you'd like to try out a fix for it.
04-29-2003, 08:00 PM
Ok fired off an email will wait on this fix.
05-01-2003, 03:08 AM
Ok i got the fix and have put it in as told just before going off to work so i haven't had much time to test it but i had some recording scheduled and they were problem records on problem channels before.
It appears that now they all so far stay in perfect sync after watching them when i got home so all looks good so far. However i want to hold off on saying that it's a complete fix till i have had a chance to try it a while longer and i have still yet to try it out on my worst problem channel which is scheduled for a record at 8am today so ill know more after that.
If all works well after that i'll say woo hoo! And let you know at that time.
I do have to say im impressed though and have been intending to buy Sagetv on my check card as soon as i get payed this week which is today but i don't think i'll still be in time to get it at the sale price however i'll still buy it and as soon as i can buy another DVCR for multi tuner testing.
I just wish i could have gotten it before the sale ends but oh well.
05-01-2003, 06:32 PM
Ok Jeff im satisfied it works perfectly now. Not one channel looses sync at all i don't know what you did man but it's most impressive.
I sent you an email about this to let you know some of the more specifics of my trials with it.
2 Big Thumbs up you da man.:thumbup: :D :thumbup:
05-01-2003, 07:16 PM
Oh Yeah :dance: :dance: :dance:
07-15-2003, 11:13 AM
is this still available? I sent the email anyway, hope so.
BTW, might want to consider putting a note about this av sync issue on your website where you list Creative DVCR as "compatible". Credibility is everything.
07-16-2003, 12:16 PM
This looks like a more appropriate topic for the discussion of the DVCR card than the one I am referencing:
There, you stated:
"My honest recommendation is to stay away from the DVCR card. If you've got a good configuration, you should be able to get the DVCR card to work without sync loss; but personally I'd never build a system with one of those cards in it again. Creative stopped making them for a reason.
You will have no sync problems whatsoever if you use a PVR250/350."
I couldn't possibly disagree more.
First off, one of the reasons I paid $60 for your software was because you state repeatedly that you support the DVCR. Telling me to go buy a PVR250 after I have already purchased the software is horribly disreputable and rude.
When I purchased the software, I knew that it had a few bugs, but I was willing to live with them for a while since I understood that it was still early in the development and it could only get better.
So now what should I do? I'm stuck with your software and it certainly sounds like you plan on doing nothing to improve support for the DVCR.
I don't know where you heard that creative is no longer making or selling the DVCR either, since it is the primary product displayed when you select their "Video (http://www.americas.creative.com/products/product.asp?product=222&category=5&maincategory=5)" products page. I have seen no information whatsoever to suggest that the product has been discontinued.
There is no problem with audio sync issues when using the bundled Creative application except for a few select people with very specific hardware incompatibilities. Usually these are permanently resolved simply by increasing the latency on the PCI bus. The DVCR is not the only PCI card with this problem, and it is almost always easily delt with.
On the other hand, virtually every single DVCR owner who has used Sage will be more than happy to regale you with the stories of hundreds of man-hours spent fiddling with codecs, filters and Sage.Properties settings that are absolutely required to get the balance between watchable TV and audio synchronization to an acceptable level.
Personally, after about two weeks almost non-stop of configuration, testing, reconfiguration, reinstallations and tweaking, I'm finally able to use Sage at a reasonable resolution without audio sync issues provided that the computer is used for nothing else. Since the system was built specifically as an HTPC, this last requirement is, to me, reasonable.
Looking at it with a technical eye, I quickly see the differences between Sage and the bundled Creative app:
1. CPU% while recording:
a) Sage = 5-10%
b) Creative = 5-10%
2. CPU% while recording and viewing:
a) Sage = 55-60%
b) Creative = 35-40%
3. Audio sync problems with recorded shows:
a) Sage = 1 problematic show in 10.
b) Creative = All shows in sync.
4. Quality Settings:
a) Sage = "Great - 2GB/hr" (Which seems to mean 480x480, 384kbps audio, 4Mb/s video).
b) Creative = 640x480, 224kbps audio, 4Mb/s video.
So, almost double the CPU usage with Sage even though it's using a lower resolution and spending less time compressing the audio. To me, it seems like Sage is forcing some software transcoding in there somewhere to be forcing the CPU usage up that high in comparison with Creative's application.
Also, since Sage doesn't seem to keep track of dropped frames or do any linking of the audio and video streams, it's far too easy to have audio sync issues which steadily get worse as the recording progresses.
In the end, I'm reasonably satisfied with the quality that Sage provides, but I purchased the software with the understanging that you, Narflex, owned the DVCR as well and that support would be improved over time. Now it seems that you have completely abandoned the card, but there is no mention of this anywhere on the site.
So my question is:
Why did I purchase your software for $60 when I could have used BT1 in combination with MyHTPC and Girder for free? Especially considering that MyHTPC has a better, more configurable interface at the moment and BT1 has better quality with no audio sync issues.
07-16-2003, 04:47 PM
First let me say I'm not trying to start a fight. I really do understand and sympathize with your position. I just want to tell you may personal experience, and why I believe that Creative is no longer trully supporting the DVCR.
I can understand your feelings since Narflex has talked about fixing DVCR several times. But I can say since I once considered buying a DVCR to add a second tuner to my system that Creative is no longer making the DVCR. I first got this info on different web forums, but that is just hearsay. The thing that really made me worry was that my local Gamestop, which carries just about every Creative product, told me they were out and would not likely be able to get anymore. So I called Creative customer support and talked to Cindy. She informed that while creative does still have stock of DVCR for sale they are no longer making them. I got the usual stuff about we will stand behind this, but when I asked about EPG services that were talked about in the product's intital release info I was told that they had decide not to follow thru with it. I ask about future OS and drivers and was told they keep a staff for supporting "old" products. When I ask about the DVCR specifically I was told that it all depends on Microsoft and motherboard manufacturers and how much they change things. When I ask why they stopped I was told it was due to the large number of RMA's and unresolved customer issues.
From my experience with other products I know this translates to they are keeping a stock for returns and repairs, but thats about it. Just my personal perspective. It's a shame since I love Creative soundcrds and buy them exculusivly.
However, having talked about Creative, I feel Frey should make it very clear on their site that the DVCR has known issue's with certian configurations using Sage. After all it's only fair to future customers. The message should make it clear that you should try the trial before buying Sage if you have one of these cards. For all I know Frey may have added such a message already.
Narflex recent post in this forum is a good first step. I'm sure he wouldn't have posted that if he hadn't exhausted all possible options to correct the issues on some systems.
Best of luck in the future.
07-16-2003, 06:54 PM
I fully understand your issues also.. Having first downloaded Sage to work with my Creative DVCR. I had audio sync problems that were 9 out of 10 and could not resolve them. Because I liked the Sage interface I decided to take the risk and pick up a PVR250 from a store I could return it to.
Well I still have the PVR250 and Sage on my system... The PQ is so much better and the files created with the DVD Long Play (2.5Gig PH) are fully compatible with all the software I use to burn to DVD. The DVD's created some how look better than the original TV viewing, Can't explain this but even my wife noticed.
It takes me about 15 mins active time to trim the commercials, add menus and chapter stops for three/four half hour shows and burn them to DVD. It takes about 45 mins on my system to produce the final disk but I just let that go and don't have to watch it.
Is Sage perfect.. No Way.. There are lot's of improvements I want to see but I liked it enough to add 160Gig of HD space to my system. My wife is even using it every day and she is so anti-computer I would never have believed it.
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