SageTV Community  

Go Back   SageTV Community > Hardware Support > Hardware Support

Notices

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 12-21-2015, 02:02 PM
troycheek's Avatar
troycheek troycheek is offline
Sage Advanced User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 148
Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 sound problems

tl;dr: Anybody got a good set of drivers for the PVR-500 for Window 7 Pro 32-bit or a good suggestion for a replacement for the PVR-500?

Short version: The problem has been resolved. It was a failure of the second of the PVR-500's two tuners. The first one still works for now, but I have decided to seek a replacement. Does anybody have a suggestion for an analog capture device with composite (yellow, red, and white RCA jack) inputs that's known to work with SageTV?

Long version: I recently replaced my ancient CHEEKMAIN-PC SageTV server/media server/backup server (started on Windows 2000, upgraded to XP, upgraded to Vista) with a brand new MEDIA-PC running Windows 7 Pro 32-bit Bacon Ranch Edition. I chose 32 bit and only 4 GB of RAM because I wanted to make sure my Hauppauge PCR-500 would still work, knowing that it has trouble if it can actually see 4 GB or more of RAM. Windows 7 on the new computer only "sees" about 3.25 GB, about the same as Vista did on the old computer, so I don't think this is the 4 GB problem.

Anyway, the analog TV tuners on the PVR-500 are useless in this digital age, but the RCA composite inputs go great with the outputs of my old Motorola Comcast Set Top Box, and I use an IR blaster to change channels. While moving it to the new computer, it took the opportunity to install the second back plate for the PVR-500 which gives me an extra set of composite inputs. The new inputs, feeding the second tuner (the 500 is pretty much two 150s welded together) I never used before, actually give me a little better quality.

I copied the installation CD version 4.0A over the network because I don't have an optical drive on the new computer. The setup program ran fine and SageTV was soon recording. The resulting MPEG-2 mpg files were bright, sharp, played correctly, seeked correctly, and had perfect A/V sync. I did a few test conversions with HandBrake and FFmpeg, and the resulting H.264 mp4 files were fine, up to and including perfect A/V sync. I stress the A/V sync part because that's a big deal to my family.

If that was all I was doing, everything would be just fine. But I of course can't do anything right. Because I dislike the sound mixing and leveling on most TV shows and movies I watch, I strip out the audio of all SageTV recordings, run it through some automatic normalization programs, and then mix the new sound back in when I convert the recordings to mp4 file. However, the new converted files have terrible A/V sync, losing a second or so every 10 minutes, so that the sound on a two hour movie ends 10-15 seconds before the video does. This exact same automated process worked perfectly before the changeover.

I stepped through the process manually and found the problem was in the stripping out the audio. FFmpeg throws out errors "Header missing. Error while decoding stream #0:1: Invalid data found when processing input" continuously and the resulting audio file is a few seconds shorter than expected. Again, if I just straight convert the video, the A/V sync is solid. If I strip out the audio, it loses a few seconds. Curiously enough, if I strip the audio from a converted file which plays fine, the resulting audio also loses a few seconds (though ffmpeg doesn't report any errors).

Obviously, somewhere along the line, the PVR-500/drivers/Win7/SageTV is creating mpg files with bad audio. They play fine and convert fine, but when the audio is stripped out the faults appear. This is a deal breaker for me because the family really likes the normalized audio. From the "solving the wrong problem" department, I hacked together a program to compare the video length to the audio length and ever so subtly stretch the audio to the length it should be. As the lost audio packets appear fairly regularly throughout the file, this sorta kinda almost fixes the problem, with the A/V sync being good if not perfect for most of the video.

I tried installing new drivers. The "Installation CD Version 4.6b" I downloaded from the official support page wouldn't install, apparently looking for a physical CD. I think it wants the original installation CD to verify I'm a legitimate user or something, which I can't give it because this new computer doesn't have an optical drive. I did find "pvr-150-500_2_0_48_25037_whql.zip" on the Driver Install Only page. The first test resulted in the same bad audio, but it did occur to me that I didn't run the cleaner program and possibly didn't reboot as many times as I should have, so I started again. I'm recording a test now and typing this while waiting.

Further thoughts:
  1. Try any new drivers you can suggest for me.
  2. Reduce the amount of RAM, just in case this really is a 4 GB problem.
  3. Switch inputs back to the first tuner and see if that makes a difference. Possibly there's a hardware defect in the second tuner.
  4. Delete Windows 7 and find my old Vista CD (shudder).
  5. Find another capture device that has composite inputs and works with SageTV.
  6. Put a decent video card in MEDIA-PC and present it to the family as a new gaming rig.
Any suggestions would be useful. I'm basically clutching as straws at this point. The new computer was supposed to be the solution to all our problems. (The old one was randomly rebooting, losing recording drives every so often, disappearing from the network at inopportune times, etc.)

EDIT: Several attempts and unnecessary reboots later, solved the problem by going back to the first tuner on the card. No idea why two tuners on the same card running the same drivers on the same computer (same same same) would produce different output like that.

Last edited by troycheek; 12-22-2015 at 06:38 PM. Reason: Resolved for the moment.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-21-2015, 04:48 PM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
SageTVaholic
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Yukon, OK
Posts: 3,919
If I recall correctly the Hauppauge cards have problems in systems with memory of 4GB and above (inclusive). Reducing the amount of memory would be my first choice. The problem is that the Hauppauge cards are incapable of addressing memory above 4GB.

What happens when a 32bit system has 4GB of memory is that the addresses that are being used by hardware (video card, etc) get paged to above the 4GB barrier. Running 3GB of memory generally fixes this unless you have a video card with a huge amount of memory.
__________________
Server: i5 8400, ASUS Prime H370M-Plus/CSM, 16GB RAM, 15TB drive array + 500GB cache, 2 HDHR's, SageTV 9, unRAID 6.6.3
Client 1: HD300 (latest FW), HDMI to an Insignia 65" 1080p LCD and optical SPDIF to a Sony Receiver
Client 2: HD200 (latest FW), HDMI to an Insignia NS-LCD42HD-09 1080p LCD
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-21-2015, 04:54 PM
SHS's Avatar
SHS SHS is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Vinita, Oklahoma
Posts: 4,591
That rigth you need keep it below 3GB it has nothing to do Hauppauge or drivers but problems has to do chip it self that can't addresses share memory so keep in mind that the tech old long before we all move to pass 2GB.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-22-2015, 06:36 PM
troycheek's Avatar
troycheek troycheek is offline
Sage Advanced User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 148
Thanks for the replies. The old SageTV server was Windows Vista 32 bit, 4 GB of installed RAM, about 3.25 "usable," and ran the PVR-500 just fine. I don't think RAM on the new server is the problem, but I used msconfig to limit the available RAM to under 3 GB and under 2 GB with no change in performance. If I had a 2 GB stick of RAM handy, I'd try that.

Ultimately, I went back to using the first tuner on the PVR-500. The files SageTV creates when using it do not have the audio problems. Same card, same Windows, same drivers, same SageTV, same everything, but different audio streams produced. I can only guess at some hardware failure in the second tuner or a very weird driver issue. Problem solved, for now.

The possibility remains that the PVR-500 might be failing in general and I might require a replacement soon. Does anybody have a suggestion for an analog capture device with composite (yellow, red, and white RCA jack) inputs that's known to work with SageTV?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-22-2015, 06:48 PM
SHS's Avatar
SHS SHS is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Vinita, Oklahoma
Posts: 4,591
Is same PC with just update OS is a New system if yes the what are the new spec of that new system
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-22-2015, 07:24 PM
troycheek's Avatar
troycheek troycheek is offline
Sage Advanced User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHS View Post
Is same PC with just update OS is a New system if yes the what are the new spec of that new system
Thanks for the reply. It's a brand new SageTV install on a brand new computer. The only old hardware is the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 itself. The main difference between the old and the new is that the old was Vista 32 bit and the new is Windows 7 32 bit. Exactly what specs do you need? Stuff like motherboard type or RAM speed? I don't think that really matters. I've since discovered that the first tuner on the card works normally in the new system. It's only the second tuner that has the problem I described. I don't think I ever tried the second tuner on the card back when it was in the old system, so as far as I know it might have always had the audio problem. Or perhaps I fried it with a static discharge while I was moving it from one computer to the other. Regardless, I'm looking for a replacement, perhaps something in an external USB.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-23-2015, 12:39 AM
SHS's Avatar
SHS SHS is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Vinita, Oklahoma
Posts: 4,591
Quote:
Originally Posted by troycheek View Post
Thanks for the reply. It's a brand new SageTV install on a brand new computer. The only old hardware is the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 itself. The main difference between the old and the new is that the old was Vista 32 bit and the new is Windows 7 32 bit. Exactly what specs do you need? Stuff like motherboard type or RAM speed? I don't think that really matters. I've since discovered that the first tuner on the card works normally in the new system. It's only the second tuner that has the problem I described. I don't think I ever tried the second tuner on the card back when it was in the old system, so as far as I know it might have always had the audio problem. Or perhaps I fried it with a static discharge while I was moving it from one computer to the other. Regardless, I'm looking for a replacement, perhaps something in an external USB.
Keep in mind that PVR 500 is only Spec for PCI 2.2
You shuold test both tuner in old system first then test then the new system
if it still only one tuner working in both then something gone bad on board it self your better off replace it with.

I see you software normalized audio dosen't your settop box have audio option for line level

Last edited by SHS; 12-23-2015 at 02:54 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-23-2015, 02:35 AM
troycheek's Avatar
troycheek troycheek is offline
Sage Advanced User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 148
SHS: New motherboard is an ASUS M5A78L-M/USB3. The manual and website just say "2 PCI Slots" so no information there. I was kind of under the impression that PCI slots were dying out and weren't getting any new versions, so I never considered a compatibility problem there. Old motherboard is a Biostar A780L3G. Website also just says "2 PCI Slots" with no version number given.

You're right that I really should put the card back in the old system and check both tuners, but that's not happening any time soon with all the upcoming recordings on the schedule. I have vague memories of both tuners working correctly back when I still had analog cable, but that was a very long time ago and I was using SageTV automatic conversions back then if I converted at all, so I wouldn't have noticed the audio problem.

For a replacement device, I tried my brother's "Happy Fun Time Capture USB 5000" (I call it that - real name is something like EasyCAP) that he'd bought to copy some tapes from the VCR and never got to work. I finally got the drivers to install and even had SageTV recognizing it as a video source, but it failed to set video compression or something like that. Which was fine because Sony Vegas, VLC Media Player, and even the software that comes with it can't tune anything but a black screen with a few wavy lines regardless of what source we connect it to (STB, VCR, and it little portable Atari game). I burned through a little Christmas money ordering a Hauppauge USB-Live2, officially so that he can copy those tapes and totally not because I want to see if it works with SageTV. Two day free shipping with the Amazon Prime trial is addictive.

I'm using the yellow/red/white RCA outputs of the set top box, which I'm wanting to say is a Motorola DCT2000 (the one that got recalled because they like to catch on fire). I'm not sure what other outputs are back there and it's in a bad place to check right now. Audio output is set for Stereo, No Compression, Optimized. Nothing about line level. I can change Stereo to TV Speaker which is louder but sounds mono, can change to light or heavy compression which is louder but sounds distorted, and Optimized just says it's optimizing but doesn't seem to do anything.

Overall, the volume level is okay, maybe a little low on some of the devices with weak speakers but manageable. Our problem is that most shows these days have sound mixes like "whispered important dialog GUNSHOT! whisper whisper CAR CRASH! whisper whisper EXPLOSION! whisper whisper DRAMATIC MUSIC! whisper whisper COMMERCIAL!" So I run the audio through programs like Levelator, WavBooster, and Dynamic Audio Normalizer (I'm constantly changing programs and settings) which make the quiet parts louder, the loud parts quieter, the stereo channels equal volume, and I forget what else. I also down mix all the 5.1 to stereo because we don't have any Surround Sound equipment and some of our devices can't play anything but stereo anyway. Basically, I make the audiophiles cry.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-23-2015, 03:25 AM
SHS's Avatar
SHS SHS is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Vinita, Oklahoma
Posts: 4,591
More then like the ASUS could be base on PCI 3.0 spec.
Have check IRQ besure it not share other device I know some time this can problem.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
hauppauge, pvr500


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
Replacement for Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 troycheek Hardware Support 8 10-17-2011 08:21 PM
Problems with Hauppauge WINTV 950Q riverrat56 Hardware Support 2 12-29-2010 11:27 AM
WinTV Nova T 500 & WinTV-NOVA T Stick problems jaminben Hardware Support 6 10-03-2007 02:28 PM
hauppauge wintv pvr usb2 - stretched picture and "dalek" sound pschweig Hardware Support 2 06-05-2006 08:48 PM
2nd WinTV-PVR 150 No Sound joe123 Hardware Support 1 02-09-2006 01:43 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright 2003-2005 SageTV, LLC. All rights reserved.