SageTV Community  

Go Back   SageTV Community > Hardware Support > Hardware Support

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.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-20-2010, 09:43 PM
bhelmick bhelmick is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orlando
Posts: 8
Hardware Recommendation and Issues

Greetings everyone. I'm a new user of SageTV and running into a couple of issues with video.

First the basic system profile:
Tuner: HD-PVR
CPU: AMD Athlon64 X2 5400+
Motherboard: Asus M3A78-EM
Memory: 2GB
OS: XP Pro SP3 32bit
Video: On-board ATI Radeon HD 3200 (Using latest Catalyst drivers)
Also used: NVidia 8800 GTX (Used latest NVidia driver)
Dedicated HD for video capture formatted at 64k blocks.
SageTV Version 6.6.2.218
Resolution: 1280x720 with cable box configured at 720p.
h.264 Decoder: ArcSoft

My issues primarily revolve around video stuttering or interface lag.

When I used the NVidia 8800 GTX configured with VMR9 I had problems where the every few seconds the video would stutter and in some cases actually stop for a few seconds before resuming. Changing the MPEG-4 playback between Directshow/SageTV as well as changing FSE on and off didn't really affect the problem. If I changed the renderer to Overlay the video stuttering went away for the most part, but the video would lag behind the audio and within 3 minutes would be out of sync.

So I pulled the NVidia, uninstalled the drivers, and used the ATI Radeon on on the MB with the latest Catalyst drivers. This video card is clearly not as good as the NVidia, and in VRM9 mode it chunked so horribly that it was unwatchable. However, if I switch to overlay playback is absolutely flawless. It's so flawless I am hesitant to change anything; but the problem is the interface. Menus take so long to load that they disappear the moment they finally render due to time-out. Click back and forth through a video literally takes 3 or 4 seconds for the interface to respond. Once I can finally click to what I want the playback as I said is perfect but the horrible interface response is just untenable.

Last thing to mention is that this is a completely fresh XP Pro installation with no other software installed other than iTunes and VNC. The issues occurred before those two were installed.

So I have a dilemma. I'm so close to success but no matter the configuration I choose it falls short. Should I buy a new video card? If so, what should I buy? Is there any setting that I'm missing?

Thanks for your help.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-21-2010, 07:32 AM
graywolf's Avatar
graywolf graywolf is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 749
I had several playback issues when I first started that sent the WAF into a tailspin. She was ready to go back to using her VCRs.

I ended up getting the HD200 which resolved the playback issues and WAF went way up. Might even get a shot at setting it up as a headless server for all the STBs/TVs in the house. Just need to get wife to give up the STB remote and do it thru SAGETV
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-21-2010, 08:30 AM
rochurch rochurch is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 72
I had very similar difficulties with my set up. I don't have the specs here, but my system was similar and I went through similar steps.

I finally broke down and purchased the HD200. I liked it so much that I purchased a second one and moved the computer upstairs. Eventually I moved the STB up and it is now attached to an HDPVR.

Side comments:
Every now and again I have to unplug the HDPVR because it hangs Sage up. A simple and quick unplug, plug back in of the HDPVR is all it takes. I don't have to do anything to the computer and the extenders pick right back up where they left off. I am planning to do a complete re-install and see if that will help me with my HDPVR issue. I have read in other forum posts that that is what you have to do to completely get rid of the problem.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-21-2010, 09:14 AM
bhelmick bhelmick is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orlando
Posts: 8
I appreciate the positive reviews of the HD2000 and I will certainly look into it when I want to watch recordings in other rooms.

However I really would like to get this system working. SageTV is supposed to work and my hardware far exceeds the minimum requirements. I eventually would like to use this system for doing things on my big screen TV other than Sage, such as World of Warcraft and while I'm sure the HD2000 is very capable from a Sage perspective, I doubt it will perform well with WoW; but I digress.

I imagine the problem has got to be something relatively simple. SageTV is so close to working perfectly I have to believe it's simply a matter of either tweaking a setting or adding a specific piece of hardware.

Thanks again.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-21-2010, 09:55 AM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
SageTVaholic
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,550
Did you turn on hardware accelleration in ArcSoft?
__________________
Sage Server: AMD Athlon II 630, Asrock 785G motherboard, 3GB of RAM, 500GB OS HD in RAID 1 and 2 - 750GB Recording Drives, HDHomerun, Avermedia HD Duet & 2-HDPVRs, and 9.0TB storage in RAID 5 via Dell Perc 5i for DVD storage
Source: Clear QAM and OTA for locals, 2-DishNetwork VIP211's
Clients: 2 Sage HD300's, 2 Sage HD200's, 2 Sage HD100's, 1 MediaMVP, and 1 Placeshifter
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-21-2010, 11:32 AM
bhelmick bhelmick is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orlando
Posts: 8
I did not.

Apparently it is not enough to check the "hardware acceleration" box in TME. I downloaded "Directshow Filter Manager" and edited the properties of the filter and clear as day neither DXVA2.0 nor DXVA1.0 were enabled (screen shot attached).

So with that enabled, I rebooted (just for giggles) and turned VMR9 and 3D acceleration back on in Sage. Same kind of glitches and problems I had with the NVidia but noticeably better. I switched from the "directshow" player to "SageTV Player" and lo and behold near perfect playback.

However it's not 100%. About every 5 or 6 seconds I get blocking artifacts which are represented as black squares or corrupted video followed by a tiny skip; audio rarely skips although it did a couple of times while watching for a half hour.

So this got me tantalizingly close. I could easily chalk this up to poor performance of the onboard video and unfortunately the NVidia 8800 was not mine and I have given it back to its owner. Would anyone recommend buying a new card in light of how close PaulBeers suggestion got me? If so, what should I purchase?
Attached Images
File Type: png Screen shot 2010-04-21 at 12.03.24 PM.png (22.8 KB, 53 views)

Last edited by bhelmick; 04-21-2010 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Added screen shot of Arcsoft Properties Window
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-21-2010, 12:26 PM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
Sage Icon
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,043
It has been awhile since I used XP for Video playback. Win7 or Vista are both easier and more reliable for playing HD videos. (EVR)

I can tell you I was able to get good playback with lesser hardware. I was never able to get the ATI 3200 to playback well with anything but Overlay but I never had you problems with the menus.

Is the playback of these files HD-PVR content or something else? I have had that kind of problem with DTS-HD ot True-HD audio before but never the HD-PVR
Does it do the same thing in VLC or Media Player?
You never mention which Audio decoder you are using. I would consider using FFDShow:Install FFDShow http://www.videohelp.com/tools/ffdshow

Are you using the Haali Splitter?
Install Haali Splitter http://www.videohelp.com/tools/Haali_Media_Splitter

The CoreAVC codec is great with nVidia hardware and for only $13 worth the investment.

I would put back in the nVidia card.
Install Haali
Install FFDShow
Make sure 3D Acceleration is Enabled in the SageTV Advanced Setup.

If playback is still not right then I would get the CoreAVC codec.

Before when I have had similar problems is was usually a problem with the splitter. Removing Codec packs etc and just having Haali\FFDSHow is a good minimalist approach.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-21-2010, 12:41 PM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
SageTVaholic
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,550
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhelmick View Post
I did not.

Apparently it is not enough to check the "hardware acceleration" box in TME. I downloaded "Directshow Filter Manager" and edited the properties of the filter and clear as day neither DXVA2.0 nor DXVA1.0 were enabled (screen shot attached).
These problems were what drove me away from full clients to extenders (that and the lower power usage), but I understand your desire to get it to work.

With that said, there are several threads about which video cards are best. I personally am a fan of AMD/ATI video cards.

Also to re-enforce what has been previously stated, I too tried to get the onboard HD3200 video to do playback and it was borderline at best. I just could never get it to work perfectly for very long.
__________________
Sage Server: AMD Athlon II 630, Asrock 785G motherboard, 3GB of RAM, 500GB OS HD in RAID 1 and 2 - 750GB Recording Drives, HDHomerun, Avermedia HD Duet & 2-HDPVRs, and 9.0TB storage in RAID 5 via Dell Perc 5i for DVD storage
Source: Clear QAM and OTA for locals, 2-DishNetwork VIP211's
Clients: 2 Sage HD300's, 2 Sage HD200's, 2 Sage HD100's, 1 MediaMVP, and 1 Placeshifter
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-21-2010, 02:01 PM
bhelmick bhelmick is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orlando
Posts: 8
@SWKerr - The playback is of either recorded content or Live TV. The audio renderer was set to "Default" but no matter the setting it doesn't seem to affect the video issue. I left it set to "Realtk HD Audio Output" for the record.

I am no longer in possession of the nVidia card as I borrowed it from a friend to test this system. Since this is for all intents and purposes a virgin installation of XP I have no codec packs or other filters such as FFDShow installed. If I watch the HD-PVR using TME in full screen the playback is perfectly flawless all the time leading me to believe the issue is neither the Arcsoft codec, nor any other settings outside of SageTV.

My preference is to keep this system free from any 3rd party components that Sage would not otherwise provide support for. A system that exceeds minimum spec should work out of the box in absence of all 3rd party modifications. I therefore want to get the system working 100% before I install anything beyond just Sage and the core components necessary to run the HD-PVR. I wanted to turn to the community to ensure I haven't done anything silly before I request formal support from Sage. If there is a problem with Sage, I'd rather help to get the problem solved rather than work around it with 3rd party applications.

@paulbeers
Looking at various ATI video cards do you see anything wrong with this one and SageTV compatibility? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127481

I ask because the card isn't terribly expensive yet it seems fairly capable. Are there any specific features I should be looking for in a card?

Thanks for your help.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-21-2010, 03:47 PM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
Sage Icon
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,043
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhelmick View Post
@SWKerr - The audio renderer was set to "Default" but no matter the setting it doesn't seem to affect the video issue. I left it set to "Realtk HD Audio Output" for the record.
Thanks for your help.
I was looking for the entry just below that: MPEG2 Audio Decoder Filter. Look for Arcsoft. Don't think the audio will fix your slow gui issue just thought it might fix the nVida problem. (now moot)


Sage does not come with any good codecs. It does not come with any h.264 codecs. There is no way to get away from adding external components for good playback.

I have a couple of Radeon HD 4550s. Love them. I am sure the 5570 is as good or better. Read a review proclaiming it as the perfect HTPC card. Still not sure it will fix your problem. If you will be gaming than I would spend $10 more and get the 5670.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814161319
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-21-2010, 04:46 PM
bhelmick bhelmick is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orlando
Posts: 8
Part of the reason I preferred to stick with ArcSoft is because of it being the recommended codec from Hauppague. Ostensibly, since SageTV supports the HD-PVR they should therefore support it with ArcSoft. Or so my logic goes.

Thanks for the card recommendation, this is exactly what I was looking for.

I'll purchase it today and follow up in about a week.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-29-2010, 08:05 PM
bhelmick bhelmick is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orlando
Posts: 8
I got the card in on Tuesday and have been watching and tweaking settings. This is the closest I've been to perfection, but I'm still having some occasional episodes of stuttering. I'm also occasionally having sync issues. Unlike the nVidia card however the glitching is rare and the sync issue is easily remedied by clicking back in time and then to present; either way it only seems to happen once an evening or so.

My biggest complaint is the "tearing" artifacts. When I have it on overlay, or viewing in TME the display is flawless, of course in Sage the interface is still unusably slow; but the video is perfect. With VM9 however I get these tearing artifacts during motion. It makes watching live sports like hockey really annoying.

One interesting thing to note is that upon reboot, DXVA2.0 and DXVA1.0 are turned off again. This is going to sound like a total newb question, but I'm not quite sure how to keep this set permanently. Is there a registry entry that should be tweaked or something?

Many thanks to the community for help. The responses so far have been most helpful.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-29-2010, 11:24 PM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
Sage Icon
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,043
In XP the only way I found to get rid of the Tearing was to use Full Screen Exclusive mode. If you ever flip between Sage and another window you will need to shut down the Sage GUI and restart it or the tearing will resume.


A Win7 Upgrade would probably fix most of you pain.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-30-2010, 06:46 AM
Clift Clift is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 553
There's an option in Catalyst Control Center to force Vertical Sync on everything. Try that. It got rid of my tearing when I used to use VMR9 rendering with MCE 2005.
__________________
Server:W7 Ultimate, SageTV 7.1.9
Capture Devices: HVR-2250, 2x HD PVR 1212
Clients:
1x STX-HD100
3x STP-HD200
@cliftpompee
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hardware Recommendation Request Pumpkinhead Hardware Support 9 10-27-2009 12:07 PM
2 Hardware issues... RevolutionMastr Hardware Support 7 02-05-2008 12:16 AM
WHS Recommendation gblinckmann Hardware Support 2 11-22-2007 03:34 PM
Quality Issues - Hardware vs Software Encoding mike1961 Hardware Support 14 10-09-2006 06:10 PM
Client hardware: hardware decoder? specs? natesneat2000 General Discussion 9 10-26-2004 07:37 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2003-2005 SageTV, LLC. All rights reserved.