View Full Version : Problems with Live TV stuttering
10-05-2010, 12:13 AM
I've searched the forums for an answer to this question. I've found a lot of similar problems, but none of the solutions have worked for me.
If I record a show and watch it later, no problems. But if I try to watch live TV--even if I'm delayed in the same file--the stuttering is almost unbearable. This happens with placeshifter and with my wired HD200. And, whatever stuttering I see is part of the file that is recorded. I can replay the same section over and over--even hours later, and it will still have stuttering in exactly the same places. If I pause playback during the recording, no stuttering appears in the recording while playback is paused.
This always happens with HD content, and usually (but not always) happens with SD content.
Dedicated SageTV and backup server: Intel Core 2 Duo Extreme 3.2Ghz, 3GB RAM, Windows XP SP3, Intel 965G motherboard with Gigabit LAN and RAID controller
Drives: 1TB Samsung and 1TB Hitachi. Both formatted to 64k blocks. The drives are on the RAID controller, but not configured as RAIDed drives.
Java Version: 1.6.0_21
STV file: 220.127.116.11
Static IP address.
Hauppauge MCE 150 (Sage reports it as WinTV PVR PCI II Capture)
Both drives fragment excessively with SageTV. (5,000 fragments in a 5.6GB file that is one hour of HDTV recorded from the HDHomeRun). I have tried everything: using only one drive, defragging, using UltraDefrag 4.4.0 to optimize the drive after defragging, etc. No problems reported in the system messages.
Any ideas what's wrong? This is driving me crazy! I can't watch anything live!
10-05-2010, 08:27 AM
If the drives have SMART enabled, you can download a reader app that will provide that information to you. It may be that one of your drives is failing. I had that happen to a 750GB drive and it was very annoying.
Also, have you tried moving the drives off of the RAID controller and see if that makes a difference? I have a setup that is lower power than yours and I can record four HD streams (3 HDHR and one HD-PVR) and play back a fourth on an extender and have had no problems.
10-05-2010, 10:35 PM
Thanks for the suggestions.
Both drives exhibit the same behavior.
I tried switching from RAID to IDE; I got the same result: ~4,500 fragments recorded for a 1-hour HD show. I can't switch to AHCI because I didn't install it that way, but based on my reading, that wouldn't help with this kind of problem.
I also updated the motherboard BIOS and drivers to make sure I had the latest version.
Any other ideas?
10-06-2010, 11:02 AM
Sounds like there may be some issues with the LAN because you have the problem while watching/recording live TV, not playing previously recorded media (while not watching). Your NIC/network is both receiving and sending many packets while watching/recording. I have had a bad onboard NIC's before. I would try and eliminate as much network (switches, wire, router, etc.) as possible between you and the HDHR, and the HD200. If you had another NIC and/or switch (even and older 10/100M) to test with, it might reveal an issue.
Another thought - Are you using the switch ports on the back of the router? Hopefully not. The preferred method is all devices plug into a separate switch.
However, if you want to try eliminate the HDD as a problem test the HDD's with the HDD manufacturers diagnostic programs, followed by Hd Tune (http://www.hdtune.com/files/hdtune_255.exe) "scan" to try and eliminate the HDD as the problem. HD Tune will give SMART info as well.
When using the manufacturer diagnostics I would run the "quick" test, if it passes I would run the long slow test, most tests I am familiar with do not destroy data, if that is a concern. But beware the long test will take a long time.
Sound like you have IDE HDD's, I also might change IDE ribbon cables, have had instances where after several plug/unplug cycles they just go bad. Additionally my personal preference is to not use the cable select on IDE HDD's, I set the HDD jumper as Master/slave on each device.
I would remove one, test the remaining one, then swap and test the other.
The übergeek/anal-retentive of us might:
- Take a note or screenshot of SMART values
- Run manufacturer's hdd utility to do a zerofill/wipe/secure erase on the entire drive. TWICE.
- Run manufacturer's hdd utility to do AN EXTENDED DIAGNOSTICS.
- Compare SMART values.
I haven't done this last procedure (ever! - although I sometimes exhibit the described traits ;) ). Supposedly it can weed out a majority of bad drives before use.
10-07-2010, 06:21 AM
If I record a show and watch it later, no problems. But if I try to watch live TV--even if I'm delayed in the same file--the stuttering is almost unbearable.
I had exactly this problem and it turned out my HD200 was overheating. I put it on top of a laptop cooling pad (with a fan) and the problem instantly disappeared.
10-07-2010, 06:49 AM
Since you you have an HDHomerun in the mix it could be something in the network setup. It's interesting that in the past week I have read a few posts about poor video performance over a network.
one thing to look at is the Flow Control on the NIC(s). It should be turned on for both TX and RX. The idea is that many of the home consumer switches/routers don't buffer well enough and have a difficult time with mixed speed networks. Making sure flow control is enabled is supposed to help. additionally, you could force everything to run at 100Mb and full duplex.
I know the HDHR is a 10/100Mb device and your PC has a GB NIC, however you haven't mentioned what your switch/router is capable of. I don't use extenders so I can't comment on configuring an HD200.
10-07-2010, 07:50 AM
Check your antenna. For me, that usually is the problem (poor reception, slightly pointing in the wrong direction).
10-07-2010, 11:26 PM
Thanks for all of the ideas.
BTW, I mis-stated the CPU. The Sage server is running on a Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4 GHz processor. The other machine (with placeshifter) is the quad-core 3.2 GHz extreme.
Both drives are SATA. One is a Samsung, the other is a Hitachi. I can configure the motherboard BIOS (Intel 965G chipset) to talk to them via IDE, RAID, or AHCI. AHCI is not an option for me because I didn't install XP with AHCI turned on.
I've tried both drives independently; it's possible but unlikely that both of them are having problems. I can pop another drive in there and see if that solves the problem.
I'm not using anything on the back of the router. Everything dumps into an 8-port 10/100/1000 Gigabit switch or a 16-port 10/100 switch. I've tried every possible permutation of connections to the switches, except that I've never plugged directly into the back of the router.
Re: mschauer's suggestion, it could be that the HD200 is too hot. It's in a cabinet with a H/K AVR 354 that runs really, really hot. I'll try moving the HD200 far away. It's unlikely that this will solve the problem, however, because I also see the stuttering when watching liveTV via Placeshifter on the quad-core.
Flow control was already on. I just quadrupled the number of RX and TX descriptors to see the that helps.
10-20-2010, 11:45 PM
Well, thanks for all of the suggestions. The problem was apparently solved when I went into the Windows Driver properties for the onboard gigabit LAN and quadrupled the number of RX and TX descriptors to whatever the maximum is.
The files still fragment on the disk: sometimes 4-5000 fragments for a one-hour high-def recording of 5-6Gb. But this happens whether or not I am watching the show while it records.
vBulletin® v3.7.6, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.