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  #21  
Old 06-06-2011, 12:32 PM
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heffe2001 heffe2001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightyt View Post
The video card is a VisionTek ATI All-In-Wonder HD. As mentioned above direct cable connected, no HD box in between. Everything is HD. The 1600's each have one Digital tuner and I have tried Clear QAM, but most of the channels either never show up or after a long while do, but stutter badly.
The stuttering on those QAM channels is most likely due to codec problems on playback. Any of the Sage HD extenders would probably play those channels fine. I'm using 2 HVR2250's (same as your 1600's essentially, except dual tuners on both digital and analog), I get absolutely stunning quality on the QAM channels I have, but good to fair on the analog channels (Charter Cable, and the other comments on this thread about them having quality issues on their analog channels are definitely true, I don't even get audio on the GSN, or if I do it's got such a horrible hiss you can't hear it). When I complained about the quality on the analog channels, I was told I'd need to get a cable box at some point, as they are going to phase out straight analog any day now, and be digital only... I'm hoping the new silicon-dust cable-card tuners get Sage support, I'll switch to one or 2 of those, and everything should be great from there on out..
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  #22  
Old 06-06-2011, 04:53 PM
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you do know your sd recordings look like crap because your displaying them on an hdtv. That being said I'm almost exactly the same with my setup. I just removed the last of my pvr-150/250/500 cards. Now all i have is an hvr-1600, hvr-2250, and hdpvr-usb running in my system. I output to an optoma projector and my screen sizer is 105". My sd recordings look horrible when ive just watched something in hd, but it is to be expected as the native resolution of those recordings is far from coming anywhere close to the hd ones. If you have an hd settop box you can try recording over firewire although you'll lose any 5c protected channels, but you will get the raw feed piped into your system sd and hd. Then you can compare PQ with your pvr cards, although I do highly recommend you dump the 250 for something a bit more up to date. But kudos on having pvr-250 that still works after all these years. Codecs from TME or Cyberlink have always been my friend, but the cold hard truth is that as more and more content is delivered to us in hd from every direction anything in lower quality will start to look more and more like crap. If you from 4 years ago were here today he'd tell you that your crazy and that it looks the same to him. Frankly if you want things to look good then they must be recorded in the quality you are trying to achieve.
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  #23  
Old 06-07-2011, 06:39 AM
valnar valnar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightyt View Post
I have three tuner cards with a total of 6 cable ports. All three cards are Hauppauge. Two are HVR 1600's and one PVR-250.
The Hauppauge cards have always been terrible quality. I used them out of convenience. Fortunately most of what I watch now is digital from my HDHomeRun, so the quality is the same as live (through my HD200/HD300's).

I did however replace my PVR-250 with an old discontinued NVidia DualTV board. Wow!...much better. I have that for my remaining analog needs and its much nicer.
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  #24  
Old 06-07-2011, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbarber69 View Post
you do know your sd recordings look like crap because your displaying them on an hdtv.
Op keeps saying that the same shows look fine on the same HD TV when Sage isn't in the loop.
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  #25  
Old 06-07-2011, 09:57 AM
bits bits is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dealsdyker View Post
Op keeps saying that the same shows look fine on the same HD TV when Sage isn't in the loop.
That is more than likely due to the fact that the TV is hooked up to the STB and the capture cards are not. I suggested that he hook his TV directly to the coax from wall and see what the pic looks like on his TV.
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  #26  
Old 06-07-2011, 10:13 AM
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sleonard sleonard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valnar View Post
The Hauppauge cards have always been terrible quality. I used them out of convenience. Fortunately most of what I watch now is digital from my HDHomeRun, so the quality is the same as live (through my HD200/HD300's).

I did however replace my PVR-250 with an old discontinued NVidia DualTV board. Wow!...much better. I have that for my remaining analog needs and its much nicer.
Before I switched to HD I used 3 Hauppauge PVR-250 cards and had outstanding video quality, even on a 720p HDTV.

S
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  #27  
Old 06-07-2011, 11:03 AM
valnar valnar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleonard View Post
Before I switched to HD I used 3 Hauppauge PVR-250 cards and had outstanding video quality, even on a 720p HDTV.

S
My PVR-250's, even with all the registry tweaks available for brightness/contrast/saturation, etc didn't look as nice as native cable to my TV. The NVidia is closer.

If you say the Hauppauge PVR-250 looked as good as regular TV, I am surprised.
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  #28  
Old 06-07-2011, 05:42 PM
bits bits is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valnar View Post
My PVR-250's, even with all the registry tweaks available for brightness/contrast/saturation, etc didn't look as nice as native cable to my TV. The NVidia is closer.

If you say the Hauppauge PVR-250 looked as good as regular TV, I am surprised.
I agree with sleonard. My PVR150 and 250 made very decent recordings provided the source material was decent. When viewing SD recordings on my HD TVs I do not force full screen because that will cause the PQ to degrade significantly. We simply watched with the black bars. I think a lot folks have forgotten that SD video (720x480 or 640x480) was not meant to be played on a 1920x1080 screen. It is a lot like taking a photo shot at 1Mega pixels and blowing it up to make a poster....it will look like garbage.
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Viewing: Samsung 55" 8000, Sony 50" and HP 37"
The more complicated it is the more likely it will break!

Last edited by bits; 06-07-2011 at 05:46 PM.
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  #29  
Old 06-09-2011, 12:36 AM
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Again ... thanks to everyone for some great advice ...

So, attached are my current settings. I am interested in your comments/suggestions. I made the changes to Win7 where possible on the video side. It did seem to make a difference, so I would not consider it "terrible" anymore. Moved up to fair to good, but as also advised, I think I am going to look at color correction next because the picture is a bit washed out.

I hear you all saying better codec's help, but also not to expect great SD picture on a wide screen HDTV. The only thing that keeps me from reconciling that in my head is when watching the same SD channels through the HD cable box, that tuner provides a better picture.

Many of you are also convincing me that the HD300 is really worth getting and also improves SD picture quality. So, I am now considering that as another option.

Lastly, you convinced me not to throw in the towel just yet. Since my frustration level has simmered a bit and am now using the new out of the box v.7 UI, my wife even commented ... Is that Sage? It really looks good! That was a first for me.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf SageTV 7 Settings.pdf (379.7 KB, 228 views)
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  #30  
Old 06-09-2011, 07:27 AM
bits bits is offline
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Sorry to sound like a broken record but I still think you need to establish what the picture quality is of your recordings. You need to know this because that can explain the difference between what you see when you play an SD show directly unrecorded through your STB into your TV vs playing back a show that was first recorded and played back on your TV using your PC. The quality of that same SD show going directly from the wall using coax to your capture cards is more than likely lower picture quality and therefore your recordings, which sage has no control over, will be low quality and will therefore play back poorly. Until you nail this down you may very well be throwing money away on buying extenders. You also need to realize that there is almost always a degradation of PQ when recording shows and that your TV is upscaling the show when comes directly fromt the STB. It may also be upscaling the streamed recorded video but that video is already at a lower quality.

Codecs and extenders can not fix poor quality recordings and poor quality recordings usually start with poor quality source material.

I know the quick easy fix seems like getting an extender but until you know what the quality is of the recordings you will be playing back using your new extender you may be just throwing money away.
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  #31  
Old 06-09-2011, 08:10 AM
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mightyt mightyt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bits View Post
Sorry to sound like a broken record but I still think you need to establish what the picture quality is of your recordings. You need to know this because that can explain the difference between what you see when you play an SD show directly unrecorded through your STB into your TV vs playing back a show that was first recorded and played back on your TV using your PC. The quality of that same SD show going directly from the wall using coax to your capture cards is more than likely lower picture quality and therefore your recordings, which sage has no control over, will be low quality and will therefore play back poorly. Until you nail this down you may very well be throwing money away on buying extenders. You also need to realize that there is almost always a degradation of PQ when recording shows and that your TV is upscaling the show when comes directly fromt the STB. It may also be upscaling the streamed recorded video but that video is already at a lower quality.

Codecs and extenders can not fix poor quality recordings and poor quality recordings usually start with poor quality source material.

I know the quick easy fix seems like getting an extender but until you know what the quality is of the recordings you will be playing back using your new extender you may be just throwing money away.
No need to apologize. There are so many pieces and parts to this, that I need to hear some stuff twice. So, I will add to my list direct connect coax to TV with no in between cable box. Also, I will try a play back a recording using another player ... WMP or VLC to see if Sage is just playing the quality already recorded.

Thanks Bits ...
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  #32  
Old 06-09-2011, 08:38 AM
GbrNole GbrNole is offline
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get an OTA tuner and relegate the SD channels to necessary cable only!
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  #33  
Old 06-09-2011, 09:13 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Or get a digital cable box and use the s-video from the box to one of your tuner cards, assuming they can take an s-video input. You will need an IR blaster to change channels but this should give better quality.
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  #34  
Old 06-09-2011, 10:40 PM
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I'm surprised that he has been a SageTV user for so long yet has never considered the HD Extender, probably the number one reason why people chose SageTV over the competitions. No messing with codecs or video card settings, it just plays everything you throw at it like VLC does.
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  #35  
Old 06-10-2011, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
Or get a digital cable box and use the s-video from the box to one of your tuner cards, assuming they can take an s-video input. You will need an IR blaster to change channels but this should give better quality.
If you're going to go to that, I'd get an HD box and an HDPVR or Colossus and move up to HD, that will fix the problem a lot moreso than S-Video.
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  #36  
Old 06-10-2011, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mayamaniac View Post
I'm surprised that he has been a SageTV user for so long yet has never considered the HD Extender, probably the number one reason why people chose SageTV over the competitions. No messing with codecs or video card settings, it just plays everything you throw at it like VLC does.
Well, when I started there was no extender, plus I invested in a media center pc case from Silverstone that has been in my entertainment center as a direct connected server. Honestly I haven't gone to the extender because putting the server in my home office would only add more heat than I would like. Lastly, early on extenders had their share of problems and were more limited than today's 300.

That said, many of you are convincing me it may be a better option. I may try one to add Sage to my upstairs bedroom and then decide if it is worth looking for an alternate location for my server.
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  #37  
Old 06-10-2011, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
If you're going to go to that, I'd get an HD box and an HDPVR or Colossus and move up to HD, that will fix the problem a lot moreso than S-Video.
Neither of these have been a desirable option for me because it includes added monthly costs for the cable box, which is part of the cost benefit of having an HTPC.
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  #38  
Old 06-11-2011, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mightyt View Post
Well, when I started there was no extender, plus I invested in a media center pc case from Silverstone that has been in my entertainment center as a direct connected server. Honestly I haven't gone to the extender because putting the server in my home office would only add more heat than I would like. Lastly, early on extenders had their share of problems and were more limited than today's 300.

That said, many of you are convincing me it may be a better option. I may try one to add Sage to my upstairs bedroom and then decide if it is worth looking for an alternate location for my server.
I started with SageTV about the same time as you did or even earlier, basing on forum joined date, and not counting a year or two I had with BeyondTV. I also build an HTPC case (Antec Overture), still have the case actually. But I switched to the MediaMVP as soon as it was released. And then switched to the HD100, HD200, and HD300 when they were released. It didn't seem like a huge investment with each upgrade because all those purchases weren't a one time out of pocket cost. They were upgraded one at a time over a span of many years. Plus the price point of the extenders were pretty reasonable.

I finally retired the MVP and HD100 as they were too slow for SageTV 7, especially with the Diamond UI. But those extenders saved me a lot of headaches over the years. Even the MVP, it outputted better SD picture quality to the TV than most video cards, if not all. I can't remember too many limitations of the HD100, I think lack of support for blu-ray rips or DTS audio was it. The HD200 was even better and now the HD300 is just perfect. A completely silent client next to the TV is the way to go.
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  #39  
Old 06-14-2011, 01:24 PM
thomaszoo thomaszoo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayamaniac View Post
I finally retired the MVP and HD100 as they were too slow for SageTV 7, especially with the Diamond UI. But those extenders saved me a lot of headaches over the years. Even the MVP, it outputted better SD picture quality to the TV than most video cards, if not all. I can't remember too many limitations of the HD100, I think lack of support for blu-ray rips or DTS audio was it. The HD200 was even better and now the HD300 is just perfect. A completely silent client next to the TV is the way to go.
My MVP has been sitting unused for years now, but my 2 HD100s are still being used in bedrooms. I run pretty much the stock UI (SageTV 7) on them and they are quite capable, even if a little slower than the HD300s. And I never had a problem with blu-ray rips.

The MVP gave me a preview of how much better the extenders are than a PC. The HD100s were a revolution (huge improvment) over the MVP and the HD300s are an evolution over the HD100s. Without the extenders I probably would not have continued on the HTPC road. They definitely up the WAF and give me more time to pursue other interests.

Wayne
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  #40  
Old 06-14-2011, 02:25 PM
Torkild Torkild is offline
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Sure your not watching analog tv ?
You say you having trouble tune digital channels.
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