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SageTV Media Extender Discussion related to any SageTV Media Extender used directly by SageTV. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to a SageTV supported media extender should be posted here. Use the SageTV HD Theater - Media Player forum for issues related to using an HD Theater while not connected to a SageTV server.

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Old 06-06-2008, 04:01 PM
t4uecker t4uecker is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 72
Need help with HD100 buffering/stuttering issue -- about to lose wife's support!

hey folks -

i'm having some problems with buffering/stuttering that's making my wife want to revert back to tivo. i'm desperate for help to see if there's a way to fix the situation, so here's some information:


the main problem is that under certain circumstances (mainly when rew/ff a recorded tv show) video playback stutters and/or the audio drops out. sometimes pressing the skip back button gets things working again; and sometimes waiting for 10-15 seconds gets things working again. sometimes i'll get the spinning circle thing in the middle of the screen. the same thing also happens sometimes even if we're not using the rew/ff button, but that's less common.

more generally, the responsiveness seems quite slow -- in terms of menu selections, etc.


i'm running a dedicated sage server with windows xp, a 3GHz intel cpu, 2 Gb ram, and plenty of hard disk space. i'm running sage server version and i'm running the latest version of the hd100 firmware (if i click check for update it says i have the latest one).

i actually am using 4 hd100 extenders and probably the most important piece of information is that 3 out of the 4 seem to work fine and don't have the stuttering issue. unfortunately, the one that doesn't work is the one my wife watches the most, which is in the bedroom.

the 3 that seem to work fine are all connected via cat5 ethernet. the bedroom, however, doesn't have an ethernet jack but that does have coax running to our central switching area. so i bought a pair of motorola nim100 devices which do ethernet over coax, in order to get ethernet in that room. i tested the connection with a laptop running ixia's qcheck application and it indicated tcp/ip throughput (to the sage server computer) of about 43-44 Mbps and an average response time of about 3 ms.

what i've tried so far

in another thread that mentioned stuttering with the hd100, i saw a suggestion to make sure the disk cluster size was 64k. mine wasn't, so i formatted it to be 64k, but that doesn't seem to have fixed the problem.

using windows task manager, i've checked on the server computer to see what kind of cpu, memory, and network load is on the server...and it seems very minimal. with the hd100 in the bedroom playing back a recording, the cpu runs about 5%, there's basically no pagefile usage, and network utilization is shown to be between 0.35% to about 0.75%.

i've also tried exchanging the extenders between two of the rooms -- no difference.


i'm wondering if it's some kind of a buffering issue with the ethernet-over-coax that i'm running in the bedroom and whether there's any setting i can change in the server or the extender that might help with that. (though i'm not sure why that'd be a problem given my measurements of throughput, etc, but i can't think of what else the problem could be).

hopefully someone will have a solution, since i'd really hate to give up the sagetv system and go back to tivo. i'm happy to provide any other information that might help troubleshooting...
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Old 06-06-2008, 04:35 PM
photon photon is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 165
The fact that swapping extendors with one that is known to work fine elsewhere points to something not related to Sage or the extendor. Have you tried running a long ethernet cable temporarily? That would tell you for certain if it is a problem related to ethernet-over-coax or something else.

You can also try the option for never showing previews on menus (I'm probably not phrasing that correctly but I'm at work and hopefully you know the option setting I am trying to describe)
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:00 PM
t4uecker t4uecker is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 72
yup, i'm guessing it is something related to the ethernet-over-coax issue, since that's the only difference between the working and not-working extenders. but i'm not sure exactly what that difference could be and was hoping someone might have some insight into that; and also i'm trying to figure out if there's some setting adjustment for slower network connections that might help.
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:51 PM
MrD MrD is offline
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If you have a spare switch, put it between the nim and the extender. Let the switch deal with the nim instead of the extender.
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:51 PM
t4uecker t4uecker is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by MrD View Post
If you have a spare switch, put it between the nim and the extender. Let the switch deal with the nim instead of the extender.
i did have an extra switch and tried putting it between the nim and the extender. didn't seem to make any difference, though. any other ideas? so frustrating that it works in other rooms.
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Old 06-07-2008, 06:31 PM
Madcoder Madcoder is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 111
How about loading the newest Sage beta, and then trying this new setting in your settings file (it is a new feature):


You can set that line equal to the file type of the recordings, and it should help on that slower link.

Someone else was asking about it in the following thread:

If that doesn't work, and it is too much trouble to run a Cat5 cable there, then I would try wireless.

There is also a feature on the newest beta firmware for the extender to allow you to use it in a placeshifter mode, which might allow you to have the server side transcode it to a lower bitrate. However, that would be my last ditch effort.

Good luck

Last edited by Madcoder; 06-07-2008 at 06:35 PM.
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