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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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  #61  
Old 01-25-2005, 06:50 PM
DFA DFA is offline
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You want it? Go get it here. Use your imagination about how you might use it. Also, review of the DVB support thread in this forum will be helpful in understanding the implementation of this network encoder.

DFA
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  #62  
Old 01-26-2005, 01:50 AM
DFA DFA is offline
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Here are a couple of screen caps of watching HDTV (inHD2) with Sage. I threw the info up for the first one for reference. The second cap is from their advert for inHD.

There are some things to be shared as I spend more time with it.

First, as stated earlier, VPP can not be used. Consumes too much horsepower, at least for my AMD 2600+.

Hardware acceleration must be used as well. I am running about 35% CPU with HW accel. Without HW accel, I run about 90% CPU with dropped frames.

Channel changes are slow. This is due to the STB. At least for the SA3250HD, the FW port is slow to come around to a channel change.

As expected, disk space consumption is at least 4 times as much. Disk transfer rates are going to be that much higher as well. I use SATA Raid0 for my media drives and experience no trouble.

Currently, I have just the HD channels assigned to the network encoder.

I have had some lockups on channel change and seems to be a filter / graph problem. I plan to experiment with other graph and filter combinations to find the best, most reliable combination.

DFA
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SageHDTV2.jpg (83.5 KB, 1627 views)
File Type: jpg SageHDTV3.jpg (72.4 KB, 1293 views)
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  #63  
Old 01-26-2005, 02:46 PM
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When you say disk space consumption is 4 times as much could you elaborate on this a little further? 4 times as much as what quality or even just raw numbers would be great.
I'm considering swapping out one of my digital boxes with Cablevision IO for an HD one.
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  #64  
Old 01-26-2005, 03:21 PM
dagar dagar is offline
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Which HW Codec are you referring to? MPEG2 HW CODEC on GPU?
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  #65  
Old 01-26-2005, 03:46 PM
DFA DFA is offline
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ToxMox:

I have noted that a 1 minute MPEG2 SD clip consumes about 25 MB of disk space. On the other hand, a 1 minute MPEG2 HD (1080i res) consumes about 100 MB of disk space. I do not know if that agrees or not with the "pixel math" but is what I am seeing real world.

I am pleased to be able to see and record HD. However, I have encountered one caveat.

The caveat has to do with using a single tuner for both the S-Video input for the PVR-250 and the Firewire input for the Network Encoder capture. I have seperate EPG's for the S-Video input and the Network Encoder. The caveat is that Sage remembers last channel for sources and does not actually issue a "change channel command" when switching back to a source if it knows the source to already be on that channel. Therefore, if I use "Prev channel" and those two channels are swithching between S-Video and Network Encoder, a source change will occur, but the channel will not change for one or the other sources depending on where you started out from. That may not have been clear but the best I can do.

The only way I see around it is to have a seperate dedicated STB for Firewire. Unless there is a "Sage.properties" line item that would make Sage issue a channel change command every time it is switching sources whether or not it believed the source to already be on that channel.

I know I have gone beyond your question but wanted to throw out that warning as well as troll for an answer anyone might have such as a fix with a Sage.proerties edit.

Regards,
Dane
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  #66  
Old 01-26-2005, 04:39 PM
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You mean this:
mmc/always_tune_channel=true
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  #67  
Old 01-26-2005, 05:31 PM
DFA DFA is offline
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Wow. Thanks Stanger89.
I browsed the prop file but was more focused on the key word "last" since I thought that might be in the variable name. Did not see that or maybe it is an adder?

Dagar:

When I was referring to "HW accel", I should have been more specific and said "DXVA".

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  #68  
Old 01-26-2005, 06:10 PM
dagar dagar is offline
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Ahhhh. Thanks
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  #69  
Old 01-26-2005, 07:06 PM
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Those sreen captures look amazing... This is very interesting indeed.
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  #70  
Old 01-26-2005, 07:14 PM
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You could always use a USB-UIRT to change the cable box channels....this would prob work much faster...I get channel changes in about 3 sec.
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  #71  
Old 01-26-2005, 07:51 PM
DFA DFA is offline
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Deadbolt:

I am using a USB-UIRT to change channels. The UNE can also change channels through Girder which is a necessity since Sage disables all local channel changing plugins and control for network encoders. Sage sends the channel change info along the network path only. The UNE has this covered.

Let me clarify what I mean by slow channel change with regard to the firewire port. AFTER the STB has received the new channel number, it takes the output from the firewire port quite some time to change gears. I have not timed it but I guess at 3 - 5 secs. Much more latency than either the composite/s-video/component outputs. During this time, the screen is not black, just on the old channel. This is not necessarily standard behavior for all STB's and perhaps limited to my STB make/model/ SW rev.

Just throwing out that observation.

DFA
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  #72  
Old 01-26-2005, 08:15 PM
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DFA,

Ahhh...thanks for the clarification. I thought you were changing the STB through the firewire port. So that would be like 3 sec for the usb-uirt channel change (conservative est.) + 3-5 sec for network encoder to feel the effect = 6-8 sec delay? Not too bad for recordings...annoying for channel surfing though. So the extra 3-5 sec delay occurs in what is outputted form the STB's firewire...maybe future firmware updates will speed this. Still and outstanding breakthrough!
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  #73  
Old 01-27-2005, 10:58 AM
LaVike LaVike is offline
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DFA,
Any word on the updated .inf file for firewire recognition? I had this working using the VLC - CAPDVHS approach. My system has since needed to be rebuilt (nothing to do with HD Capture or SageTV) and when I redo the recognition of my MOT6412, I'd like to have a better driver. Could you please post it if you have completed your modifications?

Thanks!
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  #74  
Old 01-27-2005, 01:08 PM
DFA DFA is offline
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LaVike:

Ask and you shall receive. Just to make you aware of what I have done:

I have taken the original "meituner.inf" and heavily edited it for our STB usage. I have renamed it "meistb.inf" so that it not be confused with the original Matsushita "meituner.inf". The actual driver that has to be used is "meitape.sys"; NOT "meituner.sys". Again, to avoid any confusion with original MEI INF's and drivers, I have renamed "meitape.sys" to "meistb.sys" to go with the custom "meistb.inf". "meistrm.sys is still used as is.

At this time I only have "Generic" and "Scientific-Atlanta 3250HD" tuner selection sections. I have started a section for Motorola but do not have the enumerated vendor ID for the 6200 or any others that have FW port. If others will send me the the full model number and enumerated tuner ID, I will add sections for them. The enumerated ID can be found in the Registry even if no drivers are yet installed. Just plug in the firewire cable and cancel the driver install prompts. When digging through the registry, something should be found that looks something like this:

AVC\Scientific-Atlanta__Inc.&EXPLORER(R)_3250HD&TYP_5&ID_0

Format: AVC\"Make"&"Model"&TYP_#&ID_#

In addition to "TYP_5" You may also find "TYP_9" which is "AVC Panel" for which we have no driver. "TYP_5" is tuner. "TYP_4" is tape. The AVSForum method is to force the STB TYP_5 device to go in as a TYP_4.

One of the important things about this INF is that "IAMTimecodeReader" plugin has been removed. It is not supported by STB and was causing the PC to BSOD when trying to open the filter property page when having a look at it in "Graphedit". For those that have installed the original way as given in the AVSForum, "IAMTimecodeReader" plugin has to be weeded out of the registry by hand. It does not go away with just uninstalling the driver.

The "Tuner Device" as installed by this INF still works with CapDVHS, etc.

To install, unzip into some directory:

meistb.inf
meistb.sys
meistrm.sys

Plug in the FW cable or reboot to get the "Found New Hardware" stuff. I don't remember the order they come up but "Cancel" the "Unknown" and the "Avc Panel". Go with the "AVC Tuner". Use "Advanced" and "Don't search" and direct the installer to the folder where you unzipped the files. You know what to do from there.

When done, go to "Device Manager" and disable the two (2) "Unknowns" and "AVC Panel" that should be showing under "Other". This is to prevent them from continuing to prompt for driver installation.

Hope it works for you. I have only used it for my SA3250HD but see no reason not to be suitable for others even if using "Generic" AVC Tuner choice especially considering everyone has been using the "Panasonic Tape Subunit" kluge. The edited INF is not a kluge.

Let me know how it works out!

EDIT: LaVike: If you can give me the enumerated vendor ID and full model for your 6412, I will add a section for it in the INF and re-post the file, otherwise use "Generic" AVC Tuner. It should work fine, just no specific device description when looking at the tuner. To find the vendor ID in your registry, try searching in HKLM\System for keyword "Motorola" or "AVC\" after plugging in the firewire and canceling the install dialogs.

Regards,
DFA

EDIT1: File updated Feb. 1, 2005 to include INF section for Moto 6200.
EDIT2: File updated Feb. 4, 2005 to also include INF section for Moto 6412.
EDIT3: File updated Feb. 4, 2005 to also include INF section for Moto 6208.
Attached Files
File Type: zip meistb.zip (23.2 KB, 4025 views)
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  #75  
Old 01-27-2005, 01:44 PM
LaVike LaVike is offline
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DFA,
Thank you very much for the quick response. I'm in the process of rebuilding my system (waiting on a new power supply) and then I'll be able to send you my enumeration. It will probably be a day or two though.

Thank you very much for all of your hard work in getting this done. I think its great! I hope the firewire control of the box ends up working too.
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  #76  
Old 01-27-2005, 04:06 PM
briands briands is offline
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DFA,

I have read the tread and you've piqued my interest for sure. I have tried the AVS method over the holiday, but the resulting file would not play. I plan to try again with your drivers. Your last post was pretty straight forward, but I'm unclear on the Sage integration.
Background-
My Motorolla 6208 is not in proximity to my Sage server, but to a Client. I assume I will need to install the Sage Recorder application onto this machine.... Then what? I did not see clear directions on how to get Sage to handle the new device (program Guide, encoder priority etc) the Sage server to accept this FreyWire device. I have a USB-uirt on the machine as well. How do I get it to tune the PVR?

On a side note, I assume this same UNE be used for a MyHD (or any other HD card)? Is anyone working on that?

Thanks for all of your work on this!

PS. I'll look for the Enumerator infor for the 6208 when I get home.
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  #77  
Old 01-27-2005, 04:48 PM
DFA DFA is offline
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briands:

You should not need to install SageRecorder on the machine that is local to the STB. What you need to install on that machine is Ander's "SGraphRecorder". It is the network encoder, just like SageRecorder, that your Sage Server is going use to obtain the stream from the STB. What I have not a clue about is if 10/100 Ethernet has sufficient bandwidth to handle HD bit rate. Others can comment on that.

After installing the STB capture driver given a couple posts above, you need to build a graph with Graphedit. In a different thread, I have spoken about the graph and given the most recent JPEG of it here (Post #12). You will save the constructed graph with some name such as "TStoPS.GRF" . Save this graph to the same folder that you have put "SGraphRecorder". I can not provide a copy of the file that all can use because the graph file contains information that is machine-specific. You must create it on your machine. Graphedit can be downloaded from the net. If you have not used it before it may at first seem difficult but is quick to catch on to. There are lots of help instructions out there on it. This may be the hardest part for some. Once you get a handle on it, you can easily construct a graph for, say, MyHD!

You need to set up the "SGraphRecorder.ini" file to use the graph you have made and other parameters. Here is a cut-and-paste of "SGraphRecorder.ini":

..............
; Port is the port number that this network encoder will listen to commands
; from Sage on. Use this when setting up the network encoder in Sage.
[System]
Port=6969

; FileName is the name of graph to use. This graph should contain 1 instance
; of a "dump" filter that implements the IFileSink interface.
[Graph]
FileName=TStoPS.GRF

; Set UseGirder to 1 to use Girder to change channel.
; Event to send to Girder will be string after GirderPrefix + channel number,
; for exampel "Channel1" (without the "" signs).
; The GirderIndividualNumbers controls if the whole channel number is sent in one
; event or if individual events is sent to Girder for each number in the channel.
; set it to 0 for events that looks like this "Channel791" and
; to 1 for "Channel7", "Channel9", "Channel1" with your actual prefix instead
; of channel of course.
; Set GirderInterNumberTimeSpacing to number of milliseconds to wait between the
; individual numbers
; Configure host, port and password to Girder settings IES plugin

[Girder]
UseGirder=1
GirderHost=127.0.0.1
GirderPort=1024
GirderPassword=HTPC
GirderPrefix=Number
GirderIndividualNumbers=1
GirderInterNumberTimeSpacing=10
..............

That is how I have my UNE / SGR dot INI configured. It is necessary to use the "Internet Event Server" (IES) plugin with Girder for Girder control. It is easy. Just activate the plugin and configure the password. It defaults to port 1024 and no need to enter the localhost address (127.0.0.1).

I will later put up the export of the Girder file I use for control of the STB with USB-UIRT and what you need to cut and paste into Sage Server's "sage.properties" file.

Regards,
Dane

PS: If you can't find your STB enumerated, you have a problem with the STB and its FW port. You will also need to uninstall the stuff you tried before.
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Last edited by DFA; 01-27-2005 at 06:56 PM.
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  #78  
Old 01-28-2005, 01:25 AM
DFA DFA is offline
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!MAKE A BACKUP OF YOUR "SAGE.PROPERITES" FILE BEFORE EDITING!

Here is what needs to be pasted into SageTV "sage.properties":

............
mmc/encoders/12345/1/0/available_channels=
mmc/encoders/12345/1/0/brightness=130
mmc/encoders/12345/1/0/contrast=135
mmc/encoders/12345/1/0/device_name=
mmc/encoders/12345/1/0/hue=125
mmc/encoders/12345/1/0/last_channel=
mmc/encoders/12345/1/0/provider_id=
mmc/encoders/12345/1/0/saturation=105
mmc/encoders/12345/1/0/sharpness=170
mmc/encoders/12345/1/0/tuning_mode=
mmc/encoders/12345/1/0/tuning_plugin=
mmc/encoders/12345/1/0/tuning_plugin_port=0
mmc/encoders/12345/1/0/video_crossbar_index=0
mmc/encoders/12345/1/0/video_crossbar_type=10
mmc/encoders/12345/audio_capture_device_name=
mmc/encoders/12345/audio_capture_device_num=0
mmc/encoders/12345/audio_processor=
mmc/encoders/12345/capture_config=
mmc/encoders/12345/default_device_quality=DVD Standard Play
mmc/encoders/12345/encoder_merit=0
mmc/encoders/12345/encoding_host=localhost\:6969
mmc/encoders/12345/last_cross_index=0
mmc/encoders/12345/last_cross_type=10
mmc/encoders/12345/live_audio_input=
mmc/encoders/12345/never_stop_encoding=false
mmc/encoders/12345/video_capture_device_name=SGraphRecorder
mmc/encoders/12345/video_capture_device_num=0
mmc/encoders/12345/video_encoding_params=DVD Standard Play
mmc/encoders/12345/video_processor=
..............


For those installing UNE / SGR on a remote client machine, you need to put the IP address for that machine for this variable:

mmc/encoders/12345/encoding_host=###.###.###.###\:6969

For installation in local machine, "localhost" or 127.0.0.1 is used. The port param must match what is in "SGraphRecorder.ini". 6969 is default.

Things like "Recording Quality" can be changed from SageTV setup menu although that means nothing to the UNE anyway. I have not tried contrast, brightness and color encoding controls but they should have no effect either. The TS stream from the STB is-what-it-is and already encoded so no control over any of that.

Also, while in "sage.properties" check and see that these variables are set as follows:

seeker/fast_mux_switch=false
mmc/always_tune_channel=true

After restarting Sage, go to the "Setup Wizard" and select "Add New Source". You should now find the "SGraphRecorder" network encoder and configure from there.

Some leg work is needed for the EPG part. For the UNE, I have assigned an idpendent EPG that has identical channel lineup. I was able to find a neighboring town with the same provider that had the same lineup. I put the zipcode in for that locale and assigned the digital EPG from that provider to the UNE. This way I can enable channels that I want the UNE to handle and disable those same channels for the PVR-250. The EPG for the PVR-250 and the EPG for the UNE are inverse mirrors of each other. What is enabled in one is disabled in the other and vise-versa.

I do not know if everyone will be able to easily find an alternate, independent EPG with identical channel lineup. I went to my providers website where I was able to see other areas they serviced and then went to those websites. It seems most providers publish their lineup on the website so is easy to determine if it is what you need.

If all else fails, there is always XMLTV but would be a last resort. If you try to use the same EPG as PVR-250 is using, Sage will always go with the PVR-250 first. If you could get it to go with the UNE first, it would always go with that exclusivley. I currently have the unencrypted HD channels assigned to the UNE and all the SD channnels are still assigned to the PVR-250. The first 13 channels I have assigned to the PVR-250 tuner.

Pictures speak plenty, so I have attached a couple JPEG's.

DFA
Attached Images
File Type: jpg EPGs.jpg (89.9 KB, 840 views)
File Type: jpg Encoders.jpg (101.4 KB, 905 views)
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Last edited by DFA; 01-28-2005 at 01:56 AM.
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  #79  
Old 01-28-2005, 09:20 AM
sticky sticky is offline
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Thanks for your hard workd DFA.. I will have to bug Cox for a firewire box and try it with them! If you are ever in the southwest let me know I'll buy a beer
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  #80  
Old 01-28-2005, 12:12 PM
DFA DFA is offline
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Thanks Siticky! I won't forget!

DFA
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