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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 09-13-2008, 07:32 AM
JGAM JGAM is offline
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Another HD PVR stuttering.

Hi All,

My Sage trial period is almost over and I've got everything working except an annoying stuttering problem.

Live TV seems okay, it seems only a problem in HD playback. I've switched to 64K clusters, tried numerous versions of video card drivers, tried all the MPEG-2 decoders listed in the Sage setup. Nothing seems to make anything better, just worse.

It stutters slightly but the video does not go out of sync.

I have a HP Media Center M7330n. Athlon 64 X2 4200+ 2.2 GHz with 512 MB RAM (upgrading to 1 GB today). Asus EN8400GS vid card (nvidia 8400 GS chipset) with 256MB DDR2 PCI-E. Windows XP MCE and the most recent stable release of Sage. The signal from my Starchoice box is 1080i.

I'm trying to figure out of this is an issue with the HD PVR, capturing via Sage or playback.

Any tips or insight are greatly appreciated.

Edit: Just tried Live TV through Sage. This is stuttering as well. Any ideas?

Last edited by JGAM; 09-13-2008 at 07:41 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2008, 03:06 PM
sic0048 sic0048 is offline
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Well, there is no "live TV" with Sage. What I mean is that everything is recorded. So there shouldn't be a lot of difference between "recorded" TV or "live" TV because they are both recorded the same, it is just that live TV may not be saved depending on your settings.
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  #3  
Old 09-13-2008, 03:48 PM
Deacon Crusher Deacon Crusher is offline
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I just switched my cable box from 1080i to 720p output and that switched my problems (when playing back on an extender which is the main (only really) way I watch Sage.

With 1080i I had bad audio sync problems that by the end of an hour show or if did any skipping around with be 2 seconds off.

With 720p audio stays in sync but get occasional brief stutter.

I'll take the stutter for now.
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  #4  
Old 09-15-2008, 10:20 AM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Your processor is not powerful enough to play 1080i H.264 video. My server is running the very same processor. It used to be my main desktop system. I could never get it to play 1080 H.264. Just not fast enough. You'd have to upgrade your server or go with an HD Media Extender if you want to play 1080i/p H.264 video.
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  #5  
Old 09-15-2008, 10:25 AM
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TallMomof2 TallMomof2 is offline
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Definitely try switching your STB to 720p. 1080i stutters for me and I have a fairly powerful PC.
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  #6  
Old 09-15-2008, 10:49 AM
Clift Clift is offline
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I guess I would have to see the exact symptom of the "Stutter" but I can tell you right now that your video card is not powerful enough to do smooth hardware acceleration of 1080i AVC stream and your processor is not powerful enough to do smooth software rendering of 1080i AVC. Here is the evolution I went through:

-GeForce 8400GS, with hardware acceleration: getting choppy playback (best way to describe is "dropped frames")

-ATi HD2400 Pro with registry hacks: getting pretty good playback but some occasional stutter, especially during full screen panning

-GeForce 8600GT: okay playback with the same panning stuttery-ness but not as bad. Now, I know the 8600GT can handle it because I built another HTPC that could play Blu-ray and HD-DVD with hardware acceleration and the 8600GT is a more powerful card. So anyway, changing the decoder from ArcSoft to CyberLink PDVD8 (using either the Sage demux hack or the beta demux) I am getting smooth playback. It's not without it's quirks though, unfortunately.

I am this close to buying an HD100 extender or switching to Vista Media Center TV Pack 2008 as soon as someone figures out how to hack/enable h.264 playback.
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  #7  
Old 09-15-2008, 05:11 PM
ben_95sl1 ben_95sl1 is offline
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I'm playing 720p hd-pvr recordings without any stutter using full software decode (if only hw accel would work properly with my ati hd3450!) on my sagetv server, an X2 3800+ with 1gb of ram, AND 1080i works fine as well, but system is not acceptably responsive for ffwd, etc during playback. You need to be using overlay, forget VMR9 for now: I have another system with 5000+ X2 overclocked to 3.1ghz and it makes no difference for VMR9 stuttering (I have problem with both nvidia and ati cards), there is something going on there and it's not processor power. But you shouldn't be having trouble with 720p and 4200+ X2 in overlay. Make sure both cores are being used if problems persist.

I'm using arcsoft decoders.

Ben
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  #8  
Old 09-15-2008, 06:49 PM
JGAM JGAM is offline
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I'm wondering of it's a computer or a HD PVR problem. The "stuttering" appears to be dropped frames. It does appear to occur during panning shots. The sound is never out of sync with the picture. I believe this would indicate a problem with the computer not being powerful enough. The weird thing is, I didn't notice this problem at the beginning. Neither core gets above 20% on playback either using software accelaration. Hardware acceleration is unusable. It's completely choppy with screen artifacts.

I'm just wondering if it's also a heat related issue with the HD PVR. It's a C2 hardware revision.

If a more powerful video card would fix the problem, I'm all for spending a little more money. Which nvidia card would be the minimum?

I like the product and have now purchased Sage, hoping that I can work out these problems.

Thanks.
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  #9  
Old 09-15-2008, 08:15 PM
ben_95sl1 ben_95sl1 is offline
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Are you using overlay? If you're less than 20% cpu then you're using hw accell I bet (I think mine hovers around 60%, 1080i is ~80%); you need to disable it! The panning shot issue is what I notice in 1080i only.

Almost everything I did somehow caused a stutter until I found the perfect match (I've tried all of the scenarios with both nvidia and ati cards on two machines with similar results):

Arcsoft decoders for all testing...

- USB External Recording Hard drive somehow messes up my recordings (settings are irrelevant) = stutters
- VMR9 w/o hw accel = stutters (any res)
- VMR9 with hw accel = stutters (any res)
- Overlay with hw accel = stutters (any res)
- Overlay w/o hw accel AND 1080i, hard drive connected via IDE = recordings look like they are not deinterlacing properly, which in a way I would call stutters
- Overlay w/o hw accel AND 720p and hard drive connected via IDE = no stutters!

It was a long road, but atleast I'm there. good luck
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Last edited by ben_95sl1; 09-15-2008 at 08:17 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2008, 08:52 AM
popechild popechild is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGAM View Post
Thanks everyone for your replies. I'm wondering of it's a computer or a HD PVR problem. The "stuttering" appears to be dropped frames. It does appear to occur during panning shots. The sound is never out of sync with the picture. I believe this would indicate a problem with the computer not being powerful enough. The weird thing is, I didn't notice this problem at the beginning. Neither core gets above 20% on playback either using software accelaration. Hardware acceleration is unusable. It's completely choppy with screen artifacts.

I'm just wondering if it's also a heat related issue with the HD PVR. It's a C2 hardware revision.

If a more powerful video card would fix the problem, I'm all for spending a little more money. Which nvidia card would be the minimum?

I like the product and have now purchased Sage, hoping that I can work out these problems.

Thanks.
A couple of people have suggested this already, but you haven't said if you've tried it: switch the output on your STB from 1080i to 720p. This isn't just a processing power issue, or a video card issue, it's a problem with the stream from the HD-PVR. (Narflex has commented on it, and supposedly it's being addressed for the next HD-PVR driver, whenever that finally comes out.) What you're describing sounds exactly to me like what I see if my STB is set to 1080i. No problems at all using 720p, and I'm on a 3500+ single core CPU.
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2008, 09:42 AM
jerryt jerryt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGAM View Post
Thanks everyone for your replies. I'm wondering of it's a computer or a HD PVR problem. The "stuttering" appears to be dropped frames. It does appear to occur during panning shots. The sound is never out of sync with the picture. I believe this would indicate a problem with the computer not being powerful enough. The weird thing is, I didn't notice this problem at the beginning. Neither core gets above 20% on playback either using software accelaration. Hardware acceleration is unusable. It's completely choppy with screen artifacts.

I'm just wondering if it's also a heat related issue with the HD PVR. It's a C2 hardware revision.

If a more powerful video card would fix the problem, I'm all for spending a little more money. Which nvidia card would be the minimum?

I like the product and have now purchased Sage, hoping that I can work out these problems.

Thanks.
My HD-PVR has;
audio sync problem = 1080i
Stutter problem = 720p

For me a choice of "Pick your poison".
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2008, 10:57 AM
popechild popechild is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryt View Post
My HD-PVR has;
audio sync problem = 1080i
Stutter problem = 720p

For me a choice of "Pick your poison".
You sure you didn't get that backwards? Everyone I've ever seen report on this so far (including myself) has had:

audio sync problems on 720p
stutter problems on 1080i
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  #13  
Old 09-24-2008, 11:33 AM
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sleonard sleonard is offline
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Every post I've read is the same as Jerry's. Audio sync on 1080 or stutter on 720. This also fits with the issue that Narflex posted about and that is a known driver issue that causes stutter on 720p.

S
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2008, 11:42 AM
tedson tedson is offline
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Anyone have any idea when they are going to release the new drivers. 5.1 surround would be nice to have on the tv again.
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  #15  
Old 09-24-2008, 01:11 PM
jerryt jerryt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popechild View Post
You sure you didn't get that backwards? Everyone I've ever seen report on this so far (including myself) has had:

audio sync problems on 720p
stutter problems on 1080i
Here are my original reported findings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryt View Post
OK, here are the results of side by side comparison of a HD-PVR and a R5000-HD to a HD-100.

HD-100
on HD-PVR
STB outputting 1080i - Bad audio sync problem, crawler on CNN is fine.
STB outputting 720p - Stutter on CNN crawler (Everything else too), Audio in sync.

on R5000-HD
No stutter or Audio sync problems at all. Slightly slower channel change.

I will keep the HD-PVR until CC data can be extracted from the H.264 channels, after that I would prefer just using R5000-HD units even at a higher cost.

Note - I installed the R5000-HD unit as a separate box external of the STB for portablity. I wanted the flexiblity to move the R5000-HD between multiple STB's easily.
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  #16  
Old 09-24-2008, 02:02 PM
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phelme phelme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleonard View Post
Every post I've read is the same as Jerry's. Audio sync on 1080 or stutter on 720. This also fits with the issue that Narflex posted about and that is a known driver issue that causes stutter on 720p.

S
yep, I've seen the 720P frame drop bug so I've changed my DirecTV box to only output 1080i. That solved that issue.

I'm not seeing this audio sync problem that others are however. And this is on 4 different PC clients. Is everyone using only the ArcSoft codecs for both AAC audio and H.264 video (setup in the SageTV client properties file)? That's the only combination that seems to be reliable. The SageTV demuxer as it stands doesn't handle other combinations of codecs for HD-PVR .ts files very well, if at all.
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  #17  
Old 09-24-2008, 02:12 PM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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I have the beta demuxer installed and using the PowerDVD 8 Cyberlink H.264 decoder and the Arcsoft audio decoder. Playback is smooth as silk. Although SageTV often times crashes when playback is stopped.
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  #18  
Old 09-24-2008, 03:04 PM
Deacon Crusher Deacon Crusher is offline
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Taddeusz

Very interesting.

I believe the uniform experience of 1080i output from stb through hd-pvr equals audio sync issue and 720 output from same equals stutters is when playback is on an extender.

Anyone not having that experience when playing back through an extender??

Seems like some folks are getting good playback on clients or server when everything is configured perfectly (in your case adding the new demuxer was a key to the solution.)

Given that the new demuxer helped you and supposedly the new demuxer just makes the server/client experience better match the extenders experience, or that's how I read the release notes, then this doesn't really add up.

Also, if good playback can be obtained via any playback device/software then doesn't that imply that the files are "fine?" And if so then seems like our waiting on Hauppauge for a fix may be off base and really we need a Sage fix?

Thoughts folks?

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taddeusz View Post
I have the beta demuxer installed and using the PowerDVD 8 Cyberlink H.264 decoder and the Arcsoft audio decoder. Playback is smooth as silk. Although SageTV often times crashes when playback is stopped.
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Tuners: 2 ATSC - Kworld UB435Q connected to attic mounted Channel Master CM2016, great reception, 4 Cable via Ceton and SageDCT, 1 HD-PVR (in tuner priority order)
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  #19  
Old 09-24-2008, 03:20 PM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Yea, I don't understand this myself. It's kind of crazy how some people are having so many problems and others not. I'm among those that are not having any problems. My videos play great whether they are on my client or on my HD100. No stuttering or sync issues. At least from my SA 4250HDC. It apparently went bad during my move and was replaced with an SA 3250HD. So we'll see how that works out. I currently have neither my client computer nor my HD100 hooked up. Still in that move transition. Plus having cabling issues with the location of the TV and have a wireless bridge on order that will hopefully work with HD streams.
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  #20  
Old 09-24-2008, 03:40 PM
Deacon Crusher Deacon Crusher is offline
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Okay, so another thought.

your signature makes it look like you may output audio to your TV, just wondering if that's true and if that may be the common factor as it has at times felt like there are some audio issues with the extender. I mostly just output audio to the TV so the extender is converting/downmixing/monitoring the stream to make that work right and I wonder if that might be our common factor.

So, folks who have no audio sync or stutter issues, do you playback audio through the TV or through your stereo (via an optical or hdmi connection as through stereo but over rca cables should be the same as through TV?)

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taddeusz View Post
Yea, I don't understand this myself. It's kind of crazy how some people are having so many problems and others not. I'm among those that are not having any problems. My videos play great whether they are on my client or on my HD100. No stuttering or sync issues. At least from my SA 4250HDC. It apparently went bad during my move and was replaced with an SA 3250HD. So we'll see how that works out. I currently have neither my client computer nor my HD100 hooked up. Still in that move transition. Plus having cabling issues with the location of the TV and have a wireless bridge on order that will hopefully work with HD streams.
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Tuners: 2 ATSC - Kworld UB435Q connected to attic mounted Channel Master CM2016, great reception, 4 Cable via Ceton and SageDCT, 1 HD-PVR (in tuner priority order)
Clients: Wired: HD300, HD200, HD200 running Squeeze Slave, HD100, Placeshifters, HD200 (via wireless N bridge, linksys wrt320N running dd-wrt),
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