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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 03-15-2008, 02:51 AM
warkeke warkeke is offline
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HD Live TV Choppy with CPU 80-100% using HD100

I am a newbie to SageTV and the HD100, but got it all hooked up with an HVR-1600 tuner card with cable tv and OTA HD. I have no issues running analog cable LiveTV through the HD100 (component hookup to tv), but when I try the HD channels most of them are choppy both for sound and video, and the processor on my PC goes up to 80-100% usage and stays. I have a P4 2.8 GHz with 768MB Ram and the network is running at 100mbps. Furthermore, when I go to the channel setup for the OTA HD tuner and try to "View" one of the channels that it previously found through the scan, it won't pull in anything - just says no signal, yet the same channel will play choppy in Live TV mode. I guess I am wondering if low(er) signal strength can cause this issue since one HD channel seems to work just fine in LiveTV mode, but the rest are choppy. Will lack of signal strength cause the CPU to spike and hold as it tries to tune in the signal? I am just using an indoor amplified Terk HDTVa to pull in the signal, and it worked fairly well on most channels hooked to my standalone HD tuner, but is certainly on the fringe.

I am running the most current version of SageTV (6.3.10.166) and just updated Java tonight (1.6.0_05 according to SageTV properties), also, to see if that helped, but to no avail. I think I am a bit out of my league to figure out what to try next. I am sure the choppiness comes from the PC CPU spike affecting the recording to the hard drive and not some HD100 decoding issue, but I am not sure what to do about it.

Thanks for your help,

Kent
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Old 03-15-2008, 06:16 AM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
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Something is certianly not right. HDTV is already pre-encoded into an MPEG stream. All your PC should be doing is copying that MPEG stream onto your hard drive which uses very little PC power. Since the HD100 has a powerful enough decoder, it can then take that stream without any server load and display it on the screen (okay some as it the server has to transfer the stream, but that is very minimal). It sounds to me like either your java install didn't go as it should, Sage needs to be re-installed or windows needs to be scrapped and redone.

I suppose it could be due to the low signal if for some reason the stream is sooo bad that it isn't even coming accross as an MPEG stream and therefore your computer is trying to transcode it into something it can recognize but I reallllyyy highly doubt that. Have you tried to see what you can get for ClearQam channels from your cable company? I use ClearQam thru my HDHomerun and I get all the major networks (but Fox), so I completely stopped trying to do OTA. Your 1600 works with QAM tuning so I would think that would be a good way to take the low signal issue out of the equation.
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Source: Clear QAM and OTA for locals, 2-DishNetwork VIP211's
Clients: 2 Sage HD300's, 2 Sage HD200's, 2 Sage HD100's, 1 MediaMVP, and 1 Placeshifter
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Old 03-15-2008, 06:23 AM
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davephan davephan is offline
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I don't have SageTV setup for HD yet, so I cannot answer the HD questions. I don't know if a single core CPU is enough for HD and 768 megs RAM sounds low. My SageTV computer consumes about 1 gig RAM all the time.

Open the "Windows Task Manager" (control-shift-ESC). On the "Performance" tab, how much "available physical RAM" do you have?

Just to make sure there aren't any other system problems, click on the "Process" tab, double click on the "CPU" column. What are the top processes and how much CPU is being consumed? Another way to measure CPU consumption is to click on "View", "Select Columns", click on the "CPU Time" check box. High "CPU Time" is a another way to check for high CPU use, especially if it does not happen all the time.

Make sure all the ports needed are opened in your router. I found that my MVP extenders work without all the ports being opened, but the video was choppy until I opened all the needed ports. Maybe the HD extender is also choppy if the ports are not opened.


Dave
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Capture cards: 2 - HDHR Primes - Comcast Xfinity CableTV
Extenders: 1-HD-300, 2-HD-200
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Old 03-15-2008, 07:29 AM
warkeke warkeke is offline
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Well, I have been seriously considering a fresh Windows XP install, and this may be as good a reason as any to give that a shot to see if it corrects my issue. It is a pretty cluttered mess at this point, I think. Hopefully I can get it done before my wife gets home this evening - she hates it when I "mess" with things on the computer. All in the name of continuous improvement, I say.

I'll be back if that doesn't help me, or if anyone else has any other thoughts in the meanwhile, I'd appreciate any other guidance.

Thanks,

Kent
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:06 AM
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mistergq mistergq is offline
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A couple of years ago with BTV, my BTV server computer would spike when the client (Link computer) was viewing live tv. Turned out to be some spyware that ADaware or Spybot would pick it up. The only thing that would clean it was a reinstall.
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Media Extenders: HD-200 x 3, HD-200 x 2
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