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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 02-19-2009, 02:26 PM
GreggP GreggP is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 27
Using SageTV 6.5.9 with HDHomeRun not working.

Here's my situation: I have a home network with several PCs and an unRAID media server. I use an HDHomeRun to view both cable TV stations and the OTA local stations off an antenna.

I've had the HDHomeRun for over a year and it has worked great. When I first started using the HDHomeRun, our main HTPC had an AMD Athon 64 X2 3800+ processor with 2 GB of RAM and the motherboard had an NVIDIA GeForce 6150 IGP. It worked pretty well with SageTV. However performance with other applications was horrible, especially Windows Media Center. SageTV was configured to use both the tuners in the HDHomeRun and get TV stations from our cable service and stations OTA using an antenna. This machine played back 1080i and 720p video pretty well, but stuttered when trying to play back 1080p video. I think the problem was with the integrated graphics processor, so decided to install a more powerful graphics card - NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT. After installing the graphics card, the 1080p video playback was good. However, when I was trying to resolve this problem, I tried installing several different video codecs and probably created more problems. I ended up purchasing the NVIDIA decoders because that seemed to be the one most recommended. I used several utilities to try to diagnose the problem and ended up making several adjustments to the filter merit settings.

Since then, we have upgraded our HTPC with a new motherboard and an Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (2.66 GHz) CPU, and 2 GB RAM. We converted the AMD Athon 64 X2 3800+ system into an office PC and moved the NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT graphics card into the upgraded HTPC. This system runs 32-bit Vista Ultimate SP1 (I also performed a clean install of Vista on the now converted office PC). With Vista installed on the HTPC, I decided to try Vista Media Center and it worked great. And the family (wife and kids) really like it. Unfortunately, VMC doesn't let you use both of the HDHomeRun tuners unless they are connected to the same source. So you can't have one tuner connected to cable and the other to an antenna and use both sources with VMC. I decided to use only VMC on the HTPC because I didn't want to go through all the codec hell hassles with the previous system. And since it was working well, I decided to leave well enough alone. I did install the NVIDIA decoder, because that seems to work very well with VMC. I've been very careful to try and keep the HTPC as clean as possible. Until I get a really good understanding of tools like GSpot, I don't want to install any codecs that might cause conflicts.

Recently, I decided I wanted to use both tuners again. I miss the ability to record 2 streams (1 from cable and the other OTA) at the same time. So I installed SageTV on the office PC. I configured it so it only used the tuner that is connected to our antenna. This way, I can record cable using VMC on our HTPC and at the same time record OTA programs using SageTV with the office PC. Installation went pretty well. It recognized the HDHomeRun and the channel scan found all the stations. Something is not quite right though because playback from SageTV isn't very good. It plays for about 5 seconds and then starts sputtering. I went into the settings menu and tried many different setting combinations for video renderer, MPEG2 Video Decoder Filter, Audio Renderer and MPEG2 Audio Decoder Filter. After changing the decoder filters from SageTV to NVIDIA decoder, it got worse. After switching back to the original default settings, I could get it to work, but it still sputtered a lot during playback. So I decided to record a stream to our media server and play back the file from the more powerful HTPC using either VMC or VLC. This worked fine. I don't know why SageTV running on the office PC would have problems, but it does.

Next, I decided to uninstall SageTV on the office PC and install it on the HTPC. I still wanted to just use the OTA tuner with SageTV, but if it worked really well, would consider using SageTV for both tuners and ditch VMC. Installation and setup of SageTV on the HTPC went smoothly. However, the same playback problems of stuttering occur on this machine. Actually it is even worse. With SD content, it just sputters. With HD content it starts to sputter and then it just starts pixelating and freezing. Even the recorded stream won't play back with other applications. Again, I tried adjusting the detailed settings for audio and video and nothing seemed to help. It only makes it worse.

Any suggestions for getting SageTV working well on my system?

I guess it's time to figure out how to use GSpot and/or Graphedit. Can anyone point me to a website with a good tutorial on these utils?
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2009, 08:11 AM
ractar28 ractar28 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Dallas
Posts: 19
I didn't SEE (though could have missed it), where you went into hdhomerun setup and changed the second tuner to be used with Sagetv as opposed to VMC.

The instructions below are obviously generic, but you'd set the one tuner for Media Center and the other for SageTV.

Stolen shamelessly from http://www.silicondust.com/hdhomerun...un_install.pdf.

HDHomeRun Setup:
HDHomeRun detection:
• HDHomeRun Setup will automatically detect the HDHomeRun device(s) on the network.
• If the HDHomeRun is connected directly to the PC rather than the network it may take a
few minutes before the HDHomeRun can be detected. Wait until the HDHomeRun link LED
stops flashing and click Retry.
Location page:
• Set your location (country plus postal code).
Tuners page:
• Signal Source:
• If using an antenna source set the Signal Source to “Digital Antenna” for each tuner
connected to the antenna source.
• If using a cable TV source set the Signal Source to “Digital Cable” for each tuner
connected to the cable TV source.
• If only one tuner is connected set the unused tuner to “Disabled”.
• Set the Application for each tuner as appropriate for the intended use:
• Set “MediaCenter” if using the HDHomeRun with Windows Media Center.
• Set “TotalMedia” if using the HDHomeRun with TotalMedia.

note: wtf took so long for an answer? Sorry, but I accidentally found your post while searching for something completely different.
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  #3  
Old 03-24-2009, 09:24 PM
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sdsean sdsean is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 537
Are you using Overlay mode (you should be) or 3D accelerated. . .

Pure Video decoders will only help you with standard def signals, not HD signals. . . so you may have wasted some coin there. . .to be honest I'd go with ATI video cards b/c those combined with PowerDVD from Cyberlink do the whole HD thing quite well (even though ATI isn't quite as stout for games).

I'd suggest an HD3870, kill the nvida reinstall windows to get rid of all the decoders and then refollow the HTPC instructions (yes i know all this is pain, but having all those decoders on a system can be a bigger pain to wade through / uninstall).
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