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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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  #21  
Old 05-05-2010, 06:01 PM
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gerberdude gerberdude is offline
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I was able to replicate the problem!

Tried recording two HD shows simultaneously, and the same errors are cropping up. I am going to replace the cable that I am using anyway, to RG6Q, but in the meantime I checked with the cable modem and here is what it told me:

Quote:
Cable Modem Downstream
Downstream Lock : Locked
Downstream Channel Id : 5
Downstream Frequency : 591000000 Hz
Downstream Modulation : QAM256
Downstream Symbol Rate : 5360.537 Ksym/sec
Downstream Interleave Depth : taps32Increment4
Downstream Receive Power Level : -3.9 dBmV
Downstream SNR : 37.8 dB
Quote:
Cable Modem Upstream
Upstream Lock : Locked
Upstream Channel ID : 2
Upstream Frequency : 28200000 Hz
Upstream Modulation : QAM16
Upstream Symbol Rate : 5120 Ksym/sec
Upstream transmit Power Level : 44.2 dBmV
Upstream Mini-Slot Size : 1
I have it plugged in to the 4-way 2300mhz splitter still, which is taking away -7.4db per F-terminal. So working backwards, that means that if it is at -3.9 now, then going into the splitter I guess it would be around 11?

That doesn't seem too low to me, any thoughts?

Edit: I also went in and looked at the HDHR Config GUI and watched the signal strength for the various channels that I have been trying to record. The Signal Strength, Quality, and Symbol Strength are >90%, >95%, and 100% respectively.

I'm starting to think that this may not be a signal strength issue...

Last edited by gerberdude; 05-05-2010 at 06:17 PM. Reason: Update
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  #22  
Old 05-05-2010, 06:44 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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what are your actual symptoms that you are saying are your problem? are you having playback issues? are you getting system messages in sage?
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  #23  
Old 05-05-2010, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
what are your actual symptoms that you are saying are your problem? are you having playback issues? are you getting system messages in sage?
System messages on the HDHR, indicating that there has been a halt in the recording. I will check and write the exact message here in a little while.

Also, when trying to record/watch two HD programs, that seems to also cause the errors, and the program you are watching will not even play.

On another note, found this in the HDHR manual:
Quote:
Splitters:
A splitter should be rated for 50-900MHz or 50-1000MHz operation. Splitters rated for 2GHz
operation should be avoided (even if rated for 50MHz to 2GHz operation) as these are intended
for satellite use and often do not perform as well at cable/antenna frequencies.
Any credence to this?
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  #24  
Old 05-05-2010, 06:57 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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yes, there is possible SOME credance, though it'd be minor. There'd certainly be no reason to spend EXTRA to get a 2GHz splitter, and the 2GHz will let in more HF noise, which COULD cause a minor drop in signal quality. That said, it probably isn't the source of your problems. The fact that the problem only comes up when trying to do multiple recordings and playback at teh same time points more towards a bandwidth issue. That could be network related, or hard drive related.
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  #25  
Old 05-05-2010, 07:39 PM
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The long and short of it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
That said, it probably isn't the source of your problems. The fact that the problem only comes up when trying to do multiple recordings and playback at teh same time points more towards a bandwidth issue. That could be network related, or hard drive related.

Okay, let me recap from the beginning:

I've been using the HDHR with an RCA Model: ANT1251 OTA antenna since about September. Things have been going pretty well, the only annoyance was a studdering that would occasionally happen during HD recordings. I understood that to be concurrent with a poor OTA signal, due to bad reception.

That being said, I never had problems with playback completely stopping, dropping out, or causing system messages.

About three weeks ago, I added a 500GB Seagate SATA Drive. I have an older motherboard, so I had to throttle down the interface speed on both of my SATA drives to 1.5GB/sec due to chipset limitations. Still no issues with playback or recording, other than the occasional studdering.

Yesterday, I decide, (due to my wife sighing every time the video would studder) that I would put in a 4-way splitter to get the HD from charter, to avoid the studders.

I put in the splitter Monday afternoon and go through all the hoops of getting the HDHR to work with the Charter QAM cable signal. Finally get it "working" late Monday night.

Tuesday at 7:00 Recording of Biggest Loser starts on HDHR

7:01PM Sage reports this system message:
Quote:
Warning - Halt detected in recording
The device input "Silicondust HDHomeRun Tuner 1018E2EA-1 Digital TV Tuner" stopped producing data while recording "The Biggest Loser" on KSDK on physical channel 100-1008-785. SageTV will try to reset the device. This may be caused by a channel that is no longer available.
7:02PM Sage logs this message:

Quote:
Error - Halt detected in recording
The device input "Silicondust HDHomeRun Tuner 1018E2EA-1 Digital TV Tuner" stopped producing data while recording "The Biggest Loser" on KSDK on physical channel 100-1008-785. SageTV will try to reset the device. This may be caused by a channel that is no longer available.
83 Messages. Last occurance: 9:04 PM Tue 5/4
8:15PM Watching Lost (live, via the cable TV in the living room, independent of any Sage Hardware or Software) the TV reports that it cannot tune due to a weak or scrambled signal.

8:15PM At the same time, (even though we were not watching Lost on Sage) Sage logs this message:

Quote:
Warning - Halt detected in recording
The device input "Silicondust HDHomeRun Tuner 1018E2EA-0 Digital TV Tuner" stopped producing data while recording "Lost" on KDNL on physical channel 103-1008-780. SageTV will try to reset the device. This may be caused by a channel that is no longer available.
9:05PM Sage reports this error:

Quote:
Error - Recording Missed due to capture device failure
The device input "Silicondust HDHomeRun Tuner 1018E2EA-1 Digital TV Tuner" failed to record "The Biggest Loser" on KSDK on Physcial channel 100-1008-785 at Tue 5/4 19:00. The TV source for this input may have become disconnected, powered off, has lost its signal, the channel may no longer be available, or the device is failing.
After looking in my recent recordings, Lost is there, but there is a big gap from 8:15 until about 8:16:30. Consistent with what we saw on TV.

Biggest Loser is not in my recordings.

That is the long story of the events from last night.

I was able to recreate it with other HD recordings tonight, and the errors and warnings are pretty much identical.

Any ideas?
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  #26  
Old 05-05-2010, 08:26 PM
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Well, if you wer ehaivng the problems on the NON-sage tv, then yes, it is probably a signal problem. In which case, you probably WOULD be better off gong back to the antenna. It may just need some tweaking of the antenna to get a little better reception.

I don't have comcast, but charter instead.. however, I have definately noticed a significant number of packet errors in the cabletv stream, that I simply never get over the air. for one, QAM is just not quite as noise tollerant as ATSC. Also, the cable companies usually use far from ideal compression settings (like stretching out B frame intervals) when recompressing the OTA feeds to put on their network, causing more significant data loss per signal blip. Nevermind the fact that the actual video quality will be far better with OTA.

Personally,I'd say that if you get acceptable OTA reception, stick with that.. if it's ALMOST passable, then you can probaly get better returns working on improving that, than you would going to the already inferior cable feed.
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  #27  
Old 05-05-2010, 08:53 PM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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What kind of signal strength and quality and symbol quality do you get on your channels when you tune to them with the HDHomeRun Config GUI?

How old of an HDHR do you have? I had a similar problem with my unit with the whole power supply fiasco. What started out happening was that both of my tuners would stop working when both were supposed to be in use.

Then, more recently, that same unit had one of the tuners go bad and I would end up getting a poor signal on one of the tuners but a good signal on the other. Just replaced the tuner with a new one and now I have a perfect signal on both.
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  #28  
Old 05-05-2010, 08:58 PM
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gerberdude gerberdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taddeusz View Post
What kind of signal strength and quality and symbol quality do you get on your channels when you tune to them with the HDHomeRun Config GUI?
The Signal Strength, Quality, and Symbol Strength are >90%, >95%, and 100% respectively.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taddeusz View Post
How old of an HDHR do you have? I had a similar problem with my unit with the whole power supply fiasco. What started out happening was that both of my tuners would stop working when both were supposed to be in use.
Bought it in September and have had no problems until now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taddeusz View Post
Then, more recently, that same unit had one of the tuners go bad and I would end up getting a poor signal on one of the tuners but a good signal on the other. Just replaced the tuner with a new one and now I have a perfect signal on both.
If you look at my breakdown of the error messages, it does look like most of the errors are occurring on Tuner #1. I will keep an eye open for that.
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  #29  
Old 05-05-2010, 09:01 PM
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gerberdude gerberdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
Well, if you wer ehaivng the problems on the NON-sage tv, then yes, it is probably a signal problem. In which case, you probably WOULD be better off gong back to the antenna. It may just need some tweaking of the antenna to get a little better reception.
Any advice for how to do this in an apartment building (I am limited to indoor antennae)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
Personally,I'd say that if you get acceptable OTA reception, stick with that.. if it's ALMOST passable, then you can probaly get better returns working on improving that, than you would going to the already inferior cable feed.
I just hope that I can get things back to being "almost passable" now that they seem good and screwed up!
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  #30  
Old 05-05-2010, 09:18 PM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerberdude View Post
The Signal Strength, Quality, and Symbol Strength are >90%, >95%, and 100% respectively.


Bought it in September and have had no problems until now.



If you look at my breakdown of the error messages, it does look like most of the errors are occurring on Tuner #1. I will keep an eye open for that.
Well, that looks good then. I don't expect that this is the same problem I was having, but you never know. Do you have trouble with all the channels or only certain ones? With my problem I would only have trouble with the upper channels, around 106 and up. Specifically for me 116 and 131. And the result was that the signal quality and strength would be fine but the symbol quality would occasionally drop, sometimes for extended periods of time, causing major dropouts in the video.

You might want to follow the trouble-shooting guide located here to see if you might be having network related issues.
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  #31  
Old 05-06-2010, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taddeusz View Post
Well, that looks good then. I don't expect that this is the same problem I was having, but you never know. Do you have trouble with all the channels or only certain ones? With my problem I would only have trouble with the upper channels, around 106 and up. Specifically for me 116 and 131. And the result was that the signal quality and strength would be fine but the symbol quality would occasionally drop, sometimes for extended periods of time, causing major dropouts in the video.
It's hard for me to tell if it's related to only a range of channels. It looks like all of the channels are located right around 100-103, but I'm not sure if I'm looking at the right thing or not.

In the HDHR GUI, I would tune to channel 100, then the 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 "substations" are my major networks. Same thing on 103. Those are the ones I watch, but they are also the ones I am having problems with. It doesn't seem like they're spread out.
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  #32  
Old 05-06-2010, 09:05 AM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerberdude View Post
It's hard for me to tell if it's related to only a range of channels. It looks like all of the channels are located right around 100-103, but I'm not sure if I'm looking at the right thing or not.

In the HDHR GUI, I would tune to channel 100, then the 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 "substations" are my major networks. Same thing on 103. Those are the ones I watch, but they are also the ones I am having problems with. It doesn't seem like they're spread out.
Yes, the channels I'm referring to are the major number. For example, channel 100-1 would be channel 100 program 1, etc. It doesn't matter which program you select as the HDHR is receiving all the programs (channels) for a given channel (frequency) in a single transport stream. When SageTV records something it actually tells the HDHR to single out an individual program from the overall transport stream.

What I was doing to is open the HDHR Config GUI, tune to one of the channels and watch the levels. My problem channels would be fine most of the time with an occasional drop to zero in symbol quality. If this is happening you should probably contact Silicon Dust support.
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  #33  
Old 05-06-2010, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taddeusz View Post
What I was doing to is open the HDHR Config GUI, tune to one of the channels and watch the levels. My problem channels would be fine most of the time with an occasional drop to zero in symbol quality. If this is happening you should probably contact Silicon Dust support.
Is there a reason this would happen now, with the Charter QAM, and not before with the OTA antenna?

What would a drop in symbol quality indicate?
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  #34  
Old 05-06-2010, 10:16 AM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerberdude View Post
Is there a reason this would happen now, with the Charter QAM, and not before with the OTA antenna?

What would a drop in symbol quality indicate?
If that's what you're seeing I'm not sure. Those are questions best left for Silicon Dust.

It sounds like you have a good signal. Contact Silicon Dust and see if they can help you.
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  #35  
Old 05-06-2010, 10:32 AM
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gerberdude gerberdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taddeusz View Post
If that's what you're seeing I'm not sure. Those are questions best left for Silicon Dust.

It sounds like you have a good signal. Contact Silicon Dust and see if they can help you.
I'll go home tonight and monitor the signal. Thanks for the help. I'll report back and let you know what happens.

In the meantime, I am anxious about getting this working in time for the Lost finale in a couple of weeks.

Can anyone recommend a nice indoor antenna that will not drop like the one mentioned above in my previous post?
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  #36  
Old 05-06-2010, 01:03 PM
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doncote0 doncote0 is offline
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Lightbulb Compensating For Insertion Loss

You may want to trace the signal path back to where it comes into the house. 1 bad upstream connector/splitter/adapter can hurt signal and performace for the whole house.

Any splitter or amp used for HDTV, internet, interactive TV or SageTV (PVR/DVR) should be POWER PASS. Without power pass, your performance and response will suffer.

Symptoms of a problem include:

cannot order movies,
annoyingly slow channel response,
system says "low signal strength" despite being amped,
system guide does not refresh within 10 minutes of restoring power,
channels often refresh as thought they are being painted in tiles (pixelation).

If you have a lot of splitters and cable demand in your house, you may need to install or upgrade a drop amp. Equaline is one of the leaders in this area. Many of the drop amps in use today are Equaline or re-branded Equaline.

http://www.cabletvamps.com/drop%20amps.htm

I do not own stock in this company, so don't bash me. They have a good explanation of what is going on and what to avoid, but I do not get my splitters from them. http://www.cabletvamps.com/index.htm

I got the Equaline EDA-FT08300 drop amp from them. It was a bit pricey, but I did not regret it once I installed it. (You can get lower prices from the same company by checking eBay.) My picture seems clearer, sound is cleaner, interactive tv is faster. Even my internet speed is better! (Yes, my cable bridge is downstream of the whole house drop amp--this solution has performed better than splitting it off upstream.)

Anytime I split the signal a lot, I think about compensating for the insertion loss. I have used this http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...uctId=2103092# to support spot splitting 4 or more times. You probably do not need to turn the amp (gain) all the way up unless you are splitting 5 or more times on an 8 way splitter. I leave this on minimum gain for 4 way splitters and maximum gain for 8 way splitters.

For spot amps, I prefer an amp and a HQ splitter to an amp/splitter combo (unless you are using the correct Equaline drop amp).

For those connections that are NOT HDTV, NOT Interactive, NOT SageTV (PVR/DVR), you probably do not need to amp back up--those connections can still drive a signal all the way down to 0db.

Many problems can be caused by "overdriving" the signal. It is important to amp only where needed to compensate for the insertion loss, so do your calculations. Consider the insertion loss for every cable connector/splitter-many have the insertion lost stamped on them. Long runs of cable also cause insertion loss.

I hope this helps someone!

Last edited by doncote0; 05-06-2010 at 01:05 PM.
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  #37  
Old 05-08-2010, 12:29 PM
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gerberdude gerberdude is offline
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[QUOTE=gerberdude;421676]I'll go home tonight and monitor the signal. Thanks for the help. I'll report back and let you know what happens.[QUOTE]

Well, I replaced the QAM cable with the old OTA antenna, and the studdering continues.

It seems like I am getting the same problems, except now with the OTA antenna!

After watching the GUI, the signal quality and symbol quality drop out occasionaly together.

I have submitted a ticket to silicondust, so we'll see what they say! I'll keep you all posted. Thanks for the help!
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  #38  
Old 05-10-2010, 11:03 AM
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doncote0 doncote0 is offline
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Red face Might Be Interference

Is the signal diplexed (two signals transmitted over the same line)? Is(Are) the splitter(s) power pass? Are you using RG6 quad coax? Is this an amplified antenna? From what I have read, antenna signal should not be split on a non-powered antenna--does your antenna have a power supply?

Try this, eliminate the splitter and go straight to the HDHR. Make sure the cable between the antenna and the HDHR is high quality RG6. If your signal is good and the problems go away, the problem is in between your antenna and the HDHR.

For the antenna, do you have power lines in the signal path between you and the signal source?
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  #39  
Old 05-10-2010, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doncote0 View Post
Is the signal diplexed (two signals transmitted over the same line)? Is(Are) the splitter(s) power pass? Are you using RG6 quad coax? Is this an amplified antenna? From what I have read, antenna signal should not be split on a non-powered antenna--does your antenna have a power supply?
Signal is not Diplexed.

The 2300mhz splitter was power pass.
Now, I have it hooked to the OTA on a dedicated splitter, it is not power pass. - Problems persist.

Antenna is amplified with a power supply that is plugged in.
It makes no difference if I use the amplification or bypass it via the switch on the antenna, the problems stay the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doncote0 View Post
Try this, eliminate the splitter and go straight to the HDHR. Make sure the cable between the antenna and the HDHR is high quality RG6. If your signal is good and the problems go away, the problem is in between your antenna and the HDHR.
I will try that, but I am doubtful it will make a difference. The cable going to the two way splitter is the dongle coming out of the antenna, it is soldered in.

The cables from the splitter the HDHR are RG6.

Even when I was using the Charter, I was using RG6Q patch cables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doncote0 View Post
For the antenna, do you have power lines in the signal path between you and the signal source?
Yes, there are some high tension power lines just north of my apartment, but I don't think that should matter, since I had never had these problems before with error messages using the OTA antenna.

Why am I getting errors with the OTA if I never did before? What else could be different?
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  #40  
Old 05-11-2010, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Hello,

Judging from the description of the issue, broadcast is most likely an issue with antenna positioning, so our recommendation would probably be to tune channel 30 in HDHomeRun Config GUI and adjust the antenna until the signal quality is steady. With indoor antennas, minor changes can make a big difference because of the reflections involved with the indoor environment, and the changes in foliage this time of year. The St. Louis market utilizes UHF for all broadcast channels, and UHF is more prone to signal reflections from leaves, especially when it's windy and the leaves are moving. Optimal positioning can often be achieved, but it will take some time and what works in the Winter may not work in late Spring and Summer.

As for the cable side, we would need to see diagnostic data from the HDHomeRun software to determine the issue for sure. However, 90% of cable issues with SageTV are due to not running a full channel scan on each tuner when setting them up in SageTV. If channel scans are not run on each tuner, various failures will occur, including some of what you saw in the logs.

Silicondust Support
Well,

The answer I got from Silicondust wasn't too helpful, so I just decided to start from scratch. (The one item that I know I did not do when setting up the QAM was run a channel scan on each tuner individually.)

I went back in a removed all of the .scn and .frq files associated with the HDHR.

I then purchased a new, more powerful indoor antenna and cut a 60 foot RG6Q cable to run to a window facing the northeast. It's not a perfect line of sight, but it seems to be better.

I re-ran the whole source setup again and tried not to mess with too many settings along the way.

At least at this point I've gotten it back to where it belongs. I recorded and watched DWTS on ABC last night and it recorded the whole thing for two hours, no errors and no studdering. I also did a lot of "live" flipping around to my various HD channels. No errors so far doing that.

Fox2 KTVIDT is not coming in very well at all, but I may try and adjust the antenna tonight to correct that a little bit. Hopefully I can find a happy medium.

We'll try this for now and if problems persist with choppy signals, I may try the Charter route again.

I know that the first time I ran the GUI once I switched to QAM I rushed the setup and that caused some problems. I thought I had those fixed, but maybe that was what my problems stemmed from.

Anyway, thanks for everyone's help. I'll let you know if I change or find anything else out!
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