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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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  #1  
Old 04-18-2010, 09:37 AM
nickster nickster is offline
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Some HD-PVR setup questions...

Hello ,

I just got an HD-PVR which I want to use with sagetv. I have a AMD phenom II quad core rig with ATI HD4350 video card and 8 gb RAM for this setup, and it will be connected to a Motorola DCT6416 cable box (Comcast cable). I want to use the PVR function and connect the pc to my main TV - this is where the cable box is hooked up and where I normally watch TV.

1. I have Vista 64 bit ultimate for an OS. I could upgrade to windows 7 - is that advisable? Is the ability to use firestb on win 7 32 bit more beneficial than using win 7 64 bit and getting use of all of my RAM?

2. What are the best decoders to use? I only have the arcsoft one that came with the HD-PVR for h.264 decoding, but there are several other mpeg decoder choices in sagetv's setup options (like the ATI decoder and sage's own built in mpeg decoders). What is the consensus on the best mpeg decoders?

3. I have a pinnacle vista MCE usb receiver/blaster, but I'm not sure I can get it to work with Sagetv. Is is best to just by a USB-UIRT so that sagetv can control the cable box?

4. Since this is my main tv to which I will be connecting the pc, I will have to watch live tv through sagetv if I want to record one channel and watch another, correct? Or is there a better way?

Thanks in advance for any answers to these questions.
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2010, 10:58 AM
sic0048 sic0048 is offline
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I haven't had problems using the built in Hauppauge blaster. As long as you only have one Hauppauge tuner device (the HD-PVR in your case), you should be fine. If you have more than one and want to make sure the built in blaster works with the HD-PVR, then simply install the HD-PVR last. It seems that the Hauppauge Blaster will assign itself to the last installed Hauppauge device.

Check out the "How To" in my signature. Many people have been helped by following those instructions. I wrote them because of a lack of decent information on how to set the HD-PVR up.

However, keep in mind that those instructions only cover the installation of the HD-PVR. It does not cover the playback of the HD-PVR files. I personally use Sage HD extenders for playback which are virtually plug and play. I know people sometimes struggle with getting playback on a computer to work well. It is usually a codec issue. However, the HD-PVR comes with its own set of codec and I would recommend using it.
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i5 quad core server with about 10tb of space currently
SageTV v9 (32bit)
Ceton InfiniTV ETH 6 cable card tuner (Charter cable)
OpenDCT
HD-100 HD Extenders
HD-300 HD Extenders
Nvidia Shield using the MiniClient
Using CQC to control it all
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2010, 11:59 AM
nickster nickster is offline
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Hey thanks for the reply. I read your guide and it was very helpful.

So you haven't had issues with the HD-PVR built in blaster? Seems like many people recommend avoiding it. I guess I'll give it a try as I don't know how to get my MCE IR device to control the cable box under sage. When you refer to extenders, do you mean the sagetv HD theater hardware, or the sagetv client or placeshifter software?

Any opinion on Win7 vs Vista?

And one last question- when I go to fullscreen mode on either live or recorded programs with sagetv and my HD-PVR, there is a thin red vertical line in the middle of the screen (it's not present on the windowed viewing). Any idea what that is due to?

Thanks again for the guide and your help.
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  #4  
Old 04-18-2010, 01:54 PM
sic0048 sic0048 is offline
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Yes, when I refer to extenders I mean the HD Theater (well actually I am using the HD-100 which was the previous version prior to the HD Theater was released). It is honesly one of the best ways to view media on the TV. You don't have to worry about codec or software issues, you simply plug it into the network and TV and turn it on.

Concerning the thin red line.... is it on all channels and all recordings or only some? Many times it is actually material (like closed captions, etc) in the actual broadcast. It use to be that most TVs had enough overscan that it was never seen on the TV screen. Now with 1 to 1 resolutions, sometimes you'll see it on the screen. If it is annoying, then you can always zoom the screen slightly to crop it off. If you want 100% of the screen, then you'll have to live with the noise.
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i5 quad core server with about 10tb of space currently
SageTV v9 (32bit)
Ceton InfiniTV ETH 6 cable card tuner (Charter cable)
OpenDCT
HD-100 HD Extenders
HD-300 HD Extenders
Nvidia Shield using the MiniClient
Using CQC to control it all
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  #5  
Old 04-18-2010, 03:35 PM
ytulpan ytulpan is offline
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My HD-PVR has the IR receiver window covered with aluminium foil and I don't use its blaster. This was part of some "voodoo" list somewhere in the forums. I must say that it is extremely stable now.

True story: Nils Bohr, the famous physicist had a horseshoe nailed on his entrance door. Asked about how can he believe in such things, he answered: "I've been told it helps those who do not believe it it, too".

Go figure.
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2010, 03:06 AM
ccsmoke ccsmoke is offline
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1. I had a server intel/nvidia based on vista ultimate 64bit E6600 chip in badaxe2 board and it was very stable, since then I sold that and am running quad 9550 with 9800gts on windows 7 64 bit and also is very stable. Windows 7 machine is far snappier but I attest that to a dual core vs quad...would save the bones and stick with your vista ultimate should work great.

2. I have very good luck with arcsoft decoder. Giving a pq rating, Blu- ray being a 10 for pq, hd cable being 8, I would rate my recordings a 7.5

3. That blaster, as long as it is the vista one, should have no issues. My blaster works on hd-pvr after updating the drivers for the blaster. If you use a blaster instead of firewire, I recommend using a flashlight to help see where the eye is on your cable box.

4. In order to do this you will need multiple tuners. For me, I am not really concerned about the monthly fee for STB but rather the limited storage (60gig) on the STB. I picked up another hd receiver w/o the dvr, kept the 6416 in theater room along with an extender. I moved the server downstairs and recording on the dedicated receiver. This give me 4 tuners for main room as well as 2 tuners per zone and 100% reliablitiy and unlimited storage in theater room baring power outage. 5 zones in all.

With so many issues people are having setting these up, sic0048's guide is a very good one. I'll add a little optional advice.

Starting from a clean slate is recommened. Make sure you have all of your motherboard drivers, video etc. are up to date. For an example don't go to the realtek site for onboard audio drivers instead of manufactor's MB website....reason why is not all features are enabled on all MBs so tailored drivers are better than generic ones.

I always try to use a decent power supply,650 watt min.

I use java U16 to start rather than the newest version.

When hooking up the hd-pvr make sure to use the digital in rather than digital out on the hdpvr, I also don't use passthrough as it is unneeded and I question if it truely will pass through without touching anything. (haven't tested). My hd-dvr is Rev. E.

Codec packages often are malware ridden and/or buggy, however I use sharks007 codec package as well as the x64 component with media player classic with great success. Again this is optional.

Lastly, and perhaps the biggest key here, is to make sure the hd pvr is capable of capture and playback before installing sage. In TME the capture will probably be jerky when viewing in real-time, however the recorded playback should have 5.1 sound and great pq. When you get to that point then I would install sage without plug-ins and after a week install plug-ins when stability is assured.

Last edited by ccsmoke; 04-19-2010 at 03:28 AM.
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2010, 07:29 AM
nickster nickster is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Thanks everyone for all the advice.

Two followups though-

The vertical red line in the middle of my screen is on multiple channels and is on live tv and recorded programs, but only on fullscreen and not in windowed mode. I'm still using the sagetv trial software- is this something that has to do with the trial version?

Is there a big stability/performance benefit to a 64 bit OS with 8gb of ram vs a 32 bit OS with 4gb of ram (I have the option to go either route)? I lose my firestb with the 64 bit route, and if the extra ram won't prove useful I'll stick with 32 bit.
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2010, 07:44 AM
sic0048 sic0048 is offline
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4gb ram should be plenty. I'd stick with 32bit to ensure your firewire connections.
__________________
i5 quad core server with about 10tb of space currently
SageTV v9 (32bit)
Ceton InfiniTV ETH 6 cable card tuner (Charter cable)
OpenDCT
HD-100 HD Extenders
HD-300 HD Extenders
Nvidia Shield using the MiniClient
Using CQC to control it all
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  #9  
Old 04-19-2010, 04:13 PM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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Win7-64 may have compatibility issues with older software or hardware. I have gone all 64 bit at this point and there are some games I can't play but that is about it. I have found it to be more stable than the 32 bit equivalent. My SageTV server is WHS which is still only 32 bit.

Have you tried to playback the recorded video outside of Sage. DO you get the same Line?
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  #10  
Old 04-19-2010, 06:45 PM
ccsmoke ccsmoke is offline
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Posts: 153
Just to give you a heads up, I did research the release notes of the driver and there was talk about this very issue. After seeing if problem exists outside of Sage, you can try turning off the overdrive settings in CCC reboot and see if problem exists.

It sounds like a graphical driver issue to me, but I haven't had an ati card for a while. Perhaps other users can post the driver they are using to get a known good driver.
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