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  #1  
Old 01-20-2006, 02:32 PM
GoldenTiger GoldenTiger is offline
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Trying the trial, looks great, but have a hitch problem during playback...

Hello,

I just got the trial of SageTV as I was having issues trying out GBPVR and it works great for me, except for one small problem. For some reason, if I put an internet explorer window or anything with tooltips/alt text beside the window, and then hover over it so the tooltip/alt text expands, SageTV looks like it flashes a frame from earlier in the show quickly just as the tooltip/alt text appears. I'm not sure if this is driver-related or SageTV related.

System specs:

Shuttle SN25P Small-Form-Factor chasis/motherboard/PSU
Athlon 64 X2 3800+ dual-core CPU
eVGA Nvidia 7800GT 256mb videocard (pci-express)
2GB dual-channel RAM
300gb Maxtor MaxLine III 7200RPM 16mb Cache 7L300S0 model HDD
DVD burner
1680x1050 widescreen Dell 2005FPW 20" LCD monitor
Hauppauge WinTV PVR-USB2 external TV tuner hooked into a USB2.0 port directly, not a USB hub.


Driver version for motherboard chipset (nForce4 Ultra) is 6.53, no nvidia IDE drivers installed because they cause crashes for most people, 82.12 ForceWare video drivers, etc.


Any ideas? Thanks a lot! I'm going to buy this soon, but this issue is a little bit annoying since I like to browse sites a bit while I watch game shows and stuff. One other quick question I may as well ask while I have your attention: how do I adjust the default quality setting after the initial setup? I can't find the option in the SageTV software for the life of me! Also, very occasionally, the programs I've recorded will have a tiny "hitch" where part of the screen becomes blocky (like poor, randomly-colored compression) for a split-second (maybe 1/3 to 1/2 a second). I don't know what's doing this, either.


EDIT: It does this alt-text/tooltip thing in Windows Media Player, as well when I open the files with it. So, I don't think it's codec-related, as Windows Media Player is using AC3-filter and Dscaler5's video codecs.

Last edited by GoldenTiger; 01-20-2006 at 02:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2006, 03:17 PM
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Opus4 Opus4 is offline
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I don't know anything about the tool-tip part, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger
how do I adjust the default quality setting after the initial setup? I can't find the option in the SageTV software for the life of me! Also, very occasionally, the programs I've recorded will have a tiny "hitch" where part of the screen becomes blocky (like poor, randomly-colored compression) for a split-second (maybe 1/3 to 1/2 a second). I don't know what's doing this, either.
You can change the default recording quality via Setup -> Detailed Setup -> Multimedia -> Recording Quality. You can set an overall default, or per-tuner default. Manual Recordinogs & Favorites can override this default. (See p. 168 in the v4.1 PDF manual in your SageTV directory; that section also has links for changing the MR & Fav recording rates.)

I would guess that the blockiness that you are seeing is related to a lower recording rate. Try something like Best, at 3 GB/hour.

- Andy
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  #3  
Old 01-20-2006, 04:11 PM
GoldenTiger GoldenTiger is offline
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Thanks... I think the tooltip thing is probably related to my video drivers to be honest, as there's a similar issue with windows overlapping 3d applications causing similar behavior, and has been for several driver revisions.

As far as the blockiness goes, it's very random and even happens during mostly-still scenes (such as looking at an inanimate object on screen with camera slowly zooming out for a Price is Right episode showing a widget). I will try a higher record rate, it is currently at 2.0GB/hr., was hoping I could keep it to that but we'll see !


EDIT: It seems that the blockiness thing is just in that one recording... I've been watching a few others made later in the day still at 2.0GB/hr. and they play fine (still do the tooltip thing but as I said, think that's driver-related).

EDIT2: Interesting, now I found a recording from mid-day that has the issue again with the blockiness (2.0GB/hr.)... wonder what's up?

Last edited by GoldenTiger; 01-20-2006 at 06:20 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-20-2006, 06:30 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Re: the blockyness. That kind of sounds like false contouring to me. My first suggestion would be to try calibrating the capture device.

Other than that, possibly try some other decoders.
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  #5  
Old 01-20-2006, 06:35 PM
GoldenTiger GoldenTiger is offline
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By calibrating, you mean the page on that site with the color calibration?

I just installed the trial of the nVidia PureVideo decoders and it still has the issue with the blocky colors appearing occasionally in the recordings I have that are having the issue. This is the really big thing I want to solve before I buy SageTV ... it's the only major annoying/major quality issue I am having.

EDIT: I will post a screenshot of a minor version of the same issue I am having that I managed to catch with the PrintScreen key on my keyboard.
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2006, 06:40 PM
GoldenTiger GoldenTiger is offline
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Here... I was just looking at the screenshot and it looks like it's tinting/hueing the colors in random compression block lines... of the actual image it's supposed to be playing, not just random blocks like I thought. Is this the kind of issue you are talking about being color contouring possibly? This is from a Judge Judy I recorded earlier this afternoon as a test.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg errorcolors.jpg (37.7 KB, 206 views)
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2006, 06:45 PM
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No, false contouring is where instead of smooth transitions between colors there's a sharp edge. Kind of like 16-bit vs 32-bit color (but more subtle). You'd usually see it on gradients (like underwater or the sky).

Oh, and the picture you posted isn't false contouring. That looks like some kind of encoding corruption/artifact.
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  #8  
Old 01-20-2006, 06:53 PM
GoldenTiger GoldenTiger is offline
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Is it normal to have that happen so often, however? Some recordings it happens every 20-30 seconds for about half a second, some it does it once or twice the entire recording, and some it NEVER does it during an hour-long recording. Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 01-20-2006, 07:02 PM
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Perhaps a hardware problem on the encoder? Do the recordings have the same problem if played in another program, and do recording have the same problem if you use the Hauppauge software to create them?

USB2: Any other USB2 prots you could try, even on another system?

- Andy
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SageTV Open Source v9 is available.
- Read the SageTV FAQ. Older PDF User's Guides mostly still apply: SageTV V7.0 & SageTV Studio v7.1.
- Hauppauge remote help: 1) Basics/Extending it 2) Replace it 3) Use it w/o needing focus
- HD Extenders: A) FAQs B) URC MX-700 remote setup
Note: This is a users' forum; see the Rules. For official tech support fill out a Support Request.
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  #10  
Old 01-20-2006, 07:07 PM
GoldenTiger GoldenTiger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opus4
Perhaps a hardware problem on the encoder? Do the recordings have the same problem if played in another program, and do recording have the same problem if you use the Hauppauge software to create them?

USB2: Any other USB2 prots you could try, even on another system?

- Andy

1) This is a replacement PVR-USB2, both have had this issue (the first one's stand came in broken from manufacturer, as the product box was sealed as well as items inside being sealed, etc., and shipping box was fine, both tuners brand new).

2) Playing in another program they do have the same issue.

3) No clue on the Hauppauge software thing.

4) USB2: I can try swapping to another USB2 port and seeing what happens, will take a lot of watching to make sure it isn't something else though as it's not doing it in all recordings and some of them it is only doing it a time or two. Are there any common causes of this sort of thing? I am going to try this over tonight and will report back sometime tomorrow after I watch some of the recordings made since the change. I don't have the ability to tag the tuner onto another system at this time, unfortunately .

Thanks again!

Last edited by GoldenTiger; 01-20-2006 at 07:21 PM.
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  #11  
Old 01-20-2006, 10:12 PM
GoldenTiger GoldenTiger is offline
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Plugged it into a different USB2 port and it isn't doing the discolorations/artifacts in as large an area, but it still does happen. This is with a recording made after switching which port it was in (it prompted me to reinstall the WinTV PVR-USB2 driver, which I did at the time). The bands are very thin (like 40 pixels high and 400 across) and don't appear for as long a time... not sure what the issue still is, but it's slowly getting better hehe ! I want to nail this down if possible, though at this point it's nowhere near as bad, I know that most others don't have this issue and thus want to fix it . Anyone have any other ideas?
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  #12  
Old 01-21-2006, 11:08 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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What's your USB2 controller? Some have reported problems that were fixed by switching USB controllers.
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2006, 11:58 AM
GoldenTiger GoldenTiger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89
What's your USB2 controller? Some have reported problems that were fixed by switching USB controllers.

It's the motherboard's, and I can't add a different motherboard or USB controller in due to it being a small-form-factor system. I haven't heard of any issues with its controllers on various forums, however.
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  #14  
Old 01-22-2006, 01:04 AM
GoldenTiger GoldenTiger is offline
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Think I found something out... I just ran this on a file and the blockiness in the video appears at exactly the time in minutes/seconds listed as errors in this log! Anyone know what could be causing this sort of thing? It must be something with the audio encoding driver for the tuner itself... I tried a different driver version from Hauppauge without any luck, as well as power cycling the device. Is there a driver setting utility for the PVR-USB2 that may have an option I could use to fix this, or am I on the wrong track? It's definitely not Sage that's doing this, but I'd really like to fix it if possible as it's annoying when it happens. I'm going to be buying SageTV shortly , as even with this glitch (which I now know isn't from Sage), it's still an excellent setup/program. I just wish I could get this thing nailed down .

***
*** PVAStrumento 2.1.0.15
*** running at 01-22-2006 01:53
***
Pre-Scanning input. Takes some time.
Stream info for
C:\Program Files\SageTV\SageTV\Video\CardSharks-55076-0.mpg

Found 1 video stream.
Found 1 MPEG audio stream.

VIDEO #1
Resolution 720 x 480
Aspect ratio is 4:3
Frame rate 29.97 fps
Nominal bitrate 4000000 bps
First PTS: 00:00:00.333

MPEG AUDIO #1
MPEG1, Layer 2
stereo, sampled at 48.0 kHz.
Bitrate 384 kbps
Each frame contains 24.0 ms audio (1152 bytes)
First PTS: 00:00:00.289


==SCANNING==
Input: C:\Program Files\SageTV\SageTV\Video\CardSharks-55076-0.mpg
Closing starting GOP.
Aiming for sync at 00:00:00.333
Cutting audio.
Audio stream 1 now starts at 00:00:00.337
Video stream 1 now starts at 00:00:00.333
ALERT> Audio 1: 3 audio frames missing at 00:02:24.978
ALERT> Audio 1: 3 audio frames missing at 00:04:45.118
ALERT> Audio 1: 3 audio frames missing at 00:11:04.997
ALERT> Audio 1: 3 audio frames missing at 00:14:02.675
ALERT> Audio 1: 3 audio frames missing at 00:22:15.167
ALERT> Audio 1: 3 audio frames missing at 00:22:15.667
ALERT> Audio 1: 3 audio frames missing at 00:22:47.699
ALERT> Audio 1: 3 audio frames missing at 00:24:44.816
ALERT> Audio 1: 3 audio frames missing at 00:24:45.317
ALERT> Audio 1: 3 audio frames missing at 00:27:12.964
Last fileset:
979417856 total bytes written
Video 1: 53535 frames, 00:29:46.284
Audio 1: 74917 frames, 00:29:58.008

Sync estimate at EOF:
MPEG Audio #1 : sync

Video statistics
================
GOP length (min/avg/max):
15 / 15 / 15 [frames]
98334 / 250155 / 418318 [Bytes]
GOP bitrate (min/avg/max):
1571 / 3998 / 6686 [kbps]
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  #15  
Old 01-22-2006, 01:19 AM
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Opus4 Opus4 is offline
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I didn't check above: you are using 64K clusters on the partition where the recordings are created? Checked the drive itself for errors?

If no one has a good idea of the cause, I would suggest that you try creating recordings with the Hauppauge software just to see what happens & that you contact Hauppauge to see if they think the PVR-USB2 hardware has issues. Perhaps they will have an idea on the cause.

- Andy
__________________
SageTV Open Source v9 is available.
- Read the SageTV FAQ. Older PDF User's Guides mostly still apply: SageTV V7.0 & SageTV Studio v7.1.
- Hauppauge remote help: 1) Basics/Extending it 2) Replace it 3) Use it w/o needing focus
- HD Extenders: A) FAQs B) URC MX-700 remote setup
Note: This is a users' forum; see the Rules. For official tech support fill out a Support Request.
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  #16  
Old 01-22-2006, 11:12 AM
GoldenTiger GoldenTiger is offline
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I am using 4kb clusters. I just ran a defrag on the drive and it was very fragmented. I'm going to check it for errors next...
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  #17  
Old 01-22-2006, 01:13 PM
GoldenTiger GoldenTiger is offline
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Checked for errors this afternoon, chkdsk said there were some and scheduled a boot-time scan (no bad clusters, though). It then ran through its boot-time scan after I rebooted, so I am going to try recording again and see what happens. I don't think this is related to what PVR software I am using neccessarily as I had the issue (albeit far worse, to the point where when it would do the hitch it would randomly skip to some point in the video forward or backward) with GBPVR when I tried that before SageTV (SageTV seems much, much nicer overall than it, hence why I am buying it as I feel it is well worth the money).

Could it just be the cluster size being too small to record video at a needed clip on my harddrive? This is a fairly high-performance disk, but despite that, some things just can't be compensated for by speed . I will try the Hauppauge software next, although I don't expect to see a difference between that and SageTV as far as errors in recordings go.


Thanks again for your help!
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  #18  
Old 01-22-2006, 02:09 PM
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It really should be formatted using 64K clusters, since once it gets fragmented w/4K clusters, the drive just can't seek fast enough to keep up w/the video throughput requirements. Using 64K cluters, fragmentation pretty much doesn't matter.

- Andy
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SageTV Open Source v9 is available.
- Read the SageTV FAQ. Older PDF User's Guides mostly still apply: SageTV V7.0 & SageTV Studio v7.1.
- Hauppauge remote help: 1) Basics/Extending it 2) Replace it 3) Use it w/o needing focus
- HD Extenders: A) FAQs B) URC MX-700 remote setup
Note: This is a users' forum; see the Rules. For official tech support fill out a Support Request.
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  #19  
Old 01-22-2006, 02:46 PM
GoldenTiger GoldenTiger is offline
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So could fragmentation of the files and the small cluster size be causing this? I'd like to be pretty sure before I go through the process of reinstalling Windows, all my apps, restoring settings, backing up absolutely everything, etc. etc. to reformat with a larger cluster size . I'm going to look around and see if there are any other possibilities that could be causing the "hitches", but if this seems to be the likely cause, I will go ahead and do it. Sorry to be asking soooooo many questions ! Being a guinea pig for your family who are looking to have you setup sage things for them is no fun !

Last edited by GoldenTiger; 01-22-2006 at 03:40 PM.
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  #20  
Old 01-22-2006, 03:42 PM
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If the cluster size isn't causing this problem, it will probably cause other problems eventually. There are utilities to change the cluster size w/o reformatting (Partition Magic, some other program from Acronis, etc). I usually create partitions just for recordings, so I don't need to do anything to the OS drive.

- Andy
__________________
SageTV Open Source v9 is available.
- Read the SageTV FAQ. Older PDF User's Guides mostly still apply: SageTV V7.0 & SageTV Studio v7.1.
- Hauppauge remote help: 1) Basics/Extending it 2) Replace it 3) Use it w/o needing focus
- HD Extenders: A) FAQs B) URC MX-700 remote setup
Note: This is a users' forum; see the Rules. For official tech support fill out a Support Request.
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