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smdl 01-21-2019 10:35 PM

HD-PVRs Failing
 
Hi, folks.

After many years of reliable service, and a number of replacement power supplies, it appears that my HD-PVRs are really failing now. Of the original three, only one now remains functional. The others power up, and have no unusual lights, but they won't negotiate a proper USB connection. Sometimes, nothing appears to happen at all, but other times Windows indicates "USB Device Not Recognized". Even if I move the working power and USB connections from the one working unit to one of the duds, nothing happens.

One of the units failed about 6 months ago, and the second has now failed. Naturally, I fear that the third one may not last much longer. So, I recently picked up a used unit on Craigslist, only to find the same problem with that one! :bang: Again, the power supply is not the problem in this case, as I can swap power supplies among the three, and the one HD-PVR works with any of the three power supplies, but the other two won't work with any.

Has anyone else experienced this problem? Any potential solutions?

If not, what's the recommended alternative, these days?

Thanks,
Shaun

perfessor101 01-21-2019 11:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smdl (Post 619374)
Hi, folks.

After many years of reliable service, and a number of replacement power supplies, it appears that my HD-PVRs are really failing now. Of the original three, only one now remains functional. The others power up, and have no unusual lights, but they won't negotiate a proper USB connection. Sometimes, nothing appears to happen at all, but other times Windows indicates "USB Device Not Recognized". Even if I move the working power and USB connections from the one working unit to one of the duds, nothing happens.

One of the units failed about 6 months ago, and the second has now failed. Naturally, I fear that the third one may not last much longer. So, I recently picked up a used unit on Craigslist, only to find the same problem with that one! :bang: Again, the power supply is not the problem in this case, as I can swap power supplies among the three, and the one HD-PVR works with any of the three power supplies, but the other two won't work with any.

Has anyone else experienced this problem? Any potential solutions?

If not, what's the recommended alternative, these days?

Thanks,
Shaun

Iím not sure what the recommended ones are, but Iíve been using the hd-pvr2 gaming ones.

Thereís a few other capture cards that have been added recently.

What are your recording source connections?
Component, hdmi, spdif?

dstanley 01-22-2019 09:45 AM

I think I would also try the 'failed' units on another machine to rule out USB problems on a specific machine?

Not sure if you tried that - I have seen onboard USB ports fail in mainboards.
Curious if you come up with something - i have four units running that have been good for many years (other than power supply failures).

Also note that power supply failures can still operate the LEDs on the units but they won't record properly. I think the Amperage goes low on the transformers and it messes up the HD-PVRs functions.

davidb 01-22-2019 10:56 AM

I wish I would have known what dstanley posted a few years ago! My server had been rock solid for 5 plus years and then I started getting intermittent failed recordings. I was powering 2 hdpvr's off the pc power supply so power wasn't an issue although I did try another power supply but no different. I tried all kinds of things to fix it but what finally worked was just replacing the motherboard with the exact same one I found used on ebay. I used my existing memory and hooked everything up the exact same as before.
After that my recordings were solid again.

David

Quote:

Originally Posted by dstanley (Post 619379)
I think I would also try the 'failed' units on another machine to rule out USB problems on a specific machine?

Not sure if you tried that - I have seen onboard USB ports fail in mainboards.
Curious if you come up with something - i have four units running that have been good for many years (other than power supply failures).

Also note that power supply failures can still operate the LEDs on the units but they won't record properly. I think the Amperage goes low on the transformers and it messes up the HD-PVRs functions.


Wayneb 01-22-2019 04:01 PM

I switched to the Hauppauge Colossus after Multiple HD-PVR Devices fail.
I tried several other computers in my house and multiple known good power supplies before I gave up on them, I even vented the lid and put a fan on the last one the failed.

smdl 01-23-2019 01:43 AM

Thanks, folks. I'm pretty sure that the USB ports are fine, as I have moved the dead HD-PVRs to the port the one working HD-PVR is on, and they will don't work. Also, I have moved the working HD-PVR to the ports that the non-functional units were on, and it still works fine. I'll try them on an entirely different computer, though, just to be doubly sure.

I guess I'll consider switching to Colossus. Can they coexist with HD-PVRs?

Cheers,
Shaun

waynedunham 01-23-2019 09:19 AM

I didn't see it specifically mentioned so I'll ask. Did you swap out the USB cable on the non working ones and try a new cable, or at least the cable from the known working unit?
Also did you try swapping the working HD-PVR/cable over to one of the ports that the non-working units were/are on?

smdl 01-23-2019 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by waynedunham (Post 619401)
I didn't see it specifically mentioned so I'll ask. Did you swap out the USB cable on the non working ones and try a new cable, or at least the cable from the known working unit?
Also did you try swapping the working HD-PVR/cable over to one of the ports that the non-working units were/are on?

Hi, Wayne.

Yes, indeed, I did try swapping the cables around, as well. Will do that again when I get the opportunity to test on a completely separate machine.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Shaun

dstanley 01-23-2019 10:05 AM

Might not hurt to check out the input cables going to the HD-PVR as well.

They seem to depend on getting a good Audio signal - or else they just won't fire up a recording.

Just try to plug the spdif in the wrong connector (output) and you will see what I mean - ha! Did that several times by accident when recabling these ...

Dwight

smdl 01-23-2019 10:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by waynedunham (Post 619401)
I didn't see it specifically mentioned so I'll ask. Did you swap out the USB cable on the non working ones and try a new cable, or at least the cable from the known working unit?
Also did you try swapping the working HD-PVR/cable over to one of the ports that the non-working units were/are on?

Quote:

Originally Posted by dstanley (Post 619404)
Might not hurt to check out the input cables going to the HD-PVR as well.

They seem to depend on getting a good Audio signal - or else they just won't fire up a recording.

Just try to plug the spdif in the wrong connector (output) and you will see what I mean - ha! Did that several times by accident when recabling these ...

Dwight

Thanks, Dwight. The issue that I'm seeing with the HD-PVRs isn't with recording, it's with even connecting via USB and registering as a device. If you can't get the device registered on the machine, you can't even get to the point of being able to record.

As an aside, the input type to the HD-PVRs that I'm using is component. I think someone asked that previously, and I completely forgot to include that answer.

Thanks again.
Shaun

Tiki 01-23-2019 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smdl (Post 619398)
Thanks, folks. I'm pretty sure that the USB ports are fine, as I have moved the dead HD-PVRs to the port the one working HD-PVR is on, and they will don't work. Also, I have moved the working HD-PVR to the ports that the non-functional units were on, and it still works fine. I'll try them on an entirely different computer, though, just to be doubly sure.

I guess I'll consider switching to Colossus. Can they coexist with HD-PVRs?

Cheers,
Shaun

Yes they can coexist. However, there seems to be some sort of memory leak or other problem with the Colossus drivers. I think most people that use Colossus need to reboot on a regular basis (daily or weekly).

I used the HDPVR for a year or two by itself with no issues, but once I added the Colossus I found I needed to reboot about once per week for reliable operation (it seems to depend how often you record from it, but I have found that I can usually go about 10 days between reboots and still be ok). If you donít reboot, recordings will become choppy or corrupted. The longer you wait, the worse the recordings get.

Iíve tried going longer between reboots a few times but always had these same results. In one case when I had let it go a few weeks without rebooting, I think the HDPVR also started making bad recordings (this was never a problem before the Colossus was added).

dstanley 01-23-2019 02:12 PM

It still may be one failed power supply and it has 'messed' up your Windows USB devices so that it won't load the driver properly?

Take a look at the middle of this thread about removing USB drivers and starting over - one by one with your boxes - to see if this helps you out.

I seem to remember that happening with me 'unknown usb device' way back when I was on Windows and had a failed power supply - it was a pain to fix but turned out it was not the units themselves.

https://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44002

This thread is making me love my Unraid setup even more than ever before!

Dwight

smdl 01-23-2019 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tiki (Post 619406)
Yes they can coexist. However, there seems to be some sort of memory leak or other problem with the Colossus drivers. I think most people that use Colossus need to reboot on a regular basis (daily or weekly).

I used the HDPVR for a year or two by itself with no issues, but once I added the Colossus I found I needed to reboot about once per week for reliable operation (it seems to depend how often you record from it, but I have found that I can usually go about 10 days between reboots and still be ok). If you donít reboot, recordings will become choppy or corrupted. The longer you wait, the worse the recordings get.

Iíve tried going longer between reboots a few times but always had these same results. In one case when I had let it go a few weeks without rebooting, I think the HDPVR also started making bad recordings (this was never a problem before the Colossus was added).

Interesting. I wonder if the Colossus units are the cause of this, or something else. For years, I have heard reports from users indicating that they need to reboot their servers periodically, just as you describe. With my first server/workstation (2007-2013), I didn't experience this at all; it just ran perfectly, for months at a time. However, when I moved to a new server in 2013, I immediately saw this problem occur, and had to implement nightly reboots to maintain system performance. The interesting thing was that the configuration and all the attached hardware were identical. Same HD-PVRs, same STBs, same Sage version, same OS, etc. Also, despite devoting significant attention to the issue, I was never able to find and correct the problem.

Anyway, not sure that's really relevant, but thought I'd share my thoughts based upon your comments.

Thanks for the input.

Shaun

mike1961 02-01-2019 06:24 PM

Probably a 98% chance it's the power supply. You can either get another one every so often as they tend to fail or there's another thread where many (including myself) used the power supply in the server instead to plug into the external HD PVR. Just be sure you use the RED cable and not the yellow cable (I think it requires 5 volts and the yellow is a lot more. It's really easy to make the adapter cable and there's another thread (with photos) on how to do it.

smdl 02-01-2019 10:42 PM

Hi, folks.

Sorry for the late reply, but I finally just got to the point of testing the 'new' HD-PVR on another machine. When I did this, I used the power supply that came with it, and... it worked! Crazy!! Remember, I have been through this whole failing power supply thing a number of times over the years, and really thought that I had eliminated that as a possibility, As recounted early in this thread, I tested by moving a 'dead' HD-PVR to the power supply from the HD-PVR that was still working, and it still wouldn't work. I then tried the HD-PVR that was working on the power supply from the dead unit, and it worked fine.

From this test, I can only surmise that some HD-PVRs have greater or lesser tolerance to failing power supplies than others. Go figure.

Oh, well. I was planning to go ahead with connecting the units to the PC power supply regardless, so now is as good a time as any, I suppose.

Sincere thanks to all that offered advice!

Shaun

waynedunham 02-02-2019 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smdl (Post 619630)
Hi, folks.

Sorry for the late reply, but I finally just got to the point of testing the 'new' HD-PVR on another machine. When I did this, I used the power supply that came with it, and... it worked! Crazy!! Remember, I have been through this whole failing power supply thing a number of times over the years, and really thought that I had eliminated that as a possibility, As recounted early in this thread, I tested by moving a 'dead' HD-PVR to the power supply from the HD-PVR that was still working, and it still wouldn't work. I then tried the HD-PVR that was working on the power supply from the dead unit, and it worked fine.

From this test, I can only surmise that some HD-PVRs have greater or lesser tolerance to failing power supplies than others. Go figure.

Oh, well. I was planning to go ahead with connecting the units to the PC power supply regardless, so now is as good a time as any, I suppose.

Sincere thanks to all that offered advice!

Shaun

I don't believe this is 100% true. One of my failed HD-PVR power supplies that died was intermittent at putting out enough volts/amps to work my HD-PVR. It would appear and disappear as a USB device in my OS randomly and recordings that did happen were absolute crap.
When I put a meter on the PS in question it was fluctuating between just under its stated output and 1.5v below the stated output.
Another giveaway is that I have 2 HD-PVRs and the one with the issues had a noticeably dimmer power light due to the low power input.

So your PS in question might be fluctuating as mine did sometimes seeming to work just fine for a time and then suddenly not work.

Doubledose 02-10-2019 04:31 PM

Has anyone tried the new hd pvr 2 http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/webst...pvr2-1512.html
I have been looking at this a little, as I am wanting to build a new system, I currently have 2 of the original hd pvr's and also have been numerous transformers.
Thanks
Wayne

KryptoNyte 02-10-2019 05:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doubledose (Post 619821)
Has anyone tried the new hd pvr 2 http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/webst...pvr2-1512.html
I have been looking at this a little, as I am wanting to build a new system, I currently have 2 of the original hd pvr's and also have been numerous transformers.
Thanks
Wayne

That is the model that I purchased, usually trying to find it used on Ebay - they aren't particularly new. I can tell you that you can't count on tuning a channel directly - it doesn't always record properly. It's important that this is explained, because it can work fine .... I work around this by never tuning live TV (channel surfing up and down for example, while watching live) - I always go to the program guide and tell it to record a station, wait 10 seconds, and then start watching. There is something strange with the way the HDPVR2's start their recording files and the audio drops out if you try to watch it immediately.

Other than that, they have been pretty good devices, recording from from Xbox360 in 1080p via HDMI (with splitter) and then recording audio via its SPDIF (optical) in 5.1 channel surround.

If you have family using the system, it's a bit harder to implement the workaround. The quality is slightly sharper than the original HDPVR's via component HD cables.

Doubledose 02-10-2019 07:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KryptoNyte (Post 619822)
I can tell you that you can't count on tuning a channel directly - it doesn't always record properly. It's important that this is explained, because it can work fine .... I work around this by never tuning live TV (channel surfing up and down for example, while watching live) - I always go to the program guide and tell it to record a station, wait 10 seconds, and then start watching. There is something strange with the way the HDPVR2's start their recording files and the audio drops out if you try to watch it immediately.

Not sure what you mean by tuning directly. I let sage schedule tune my receiver thru the usb urit ir and kick on the PVR recording. So do the 2's have a recording menu in them or are they controlled separately?

Wayne

KryptoNyte 02-11-2019 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doubledose (Post 619825)
Not sure what you mean by tuning directly. I let sage schedule tune my receiver thru the usb urit ir and kick on the PVR recording. So do the 2's have a recording menu in them or are they controlled separately?

Wayne

For example, with an HDPVR2, when I'm looking through the program guide and select a program to "watch now," It will tune and start to play, but often without the audio (not always).

As an alternative, if I tell it to "record" instead of "watch now," wait 10 seconds, and then begin watching, everything is fine.


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