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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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Old 04-20-2010, 08:43 PM
bhelmick bhelmick is offline
Sage User
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orlando
Posts: 8
Hardware Recommendation and Issues

Greetings everyone. I'm a new user of SageTV and running into a couple of issues with video.

First the basic system profile:
Tuner: HD-PVR
CPU: AMD Athlon64 X2 5400+
Motherboard: Asus M3A78-EM
Memory: 2GB
OS: XP Pro SP3 32bit
Video: On-board ATI Radeon HD 3200 (Using latest Catalyst drivers)
Also used: NVidia 8800 GTX (Used latest NVidia driver)
Dedicated HD for video capture formatted at 64k blocks.
SageTV Version
Resolution: 1280x720 with cable box configured at 720p.
h.264 Decoder: ArcSoft

My issues primarily revolve around video stuttering or interface lag.

When I used the NVidia 8800 GTX configured with VMR9 I had problems where the every few seconds the video would stutter and in some cases actually stop for a few seconds before resuming. Changing the MPEG-4 playback between Directshow/SageTV as well as changing FSE on and off didn't really affect the problem. If I changed the renderer to Overlay the video stuttering went away for the most part, but the video would lag behind the audio and within 3 minutes would be out of sync.

So I pulled the NVidia, uninstalled the drivers, and used the ATI Radeon on on the MB with the latest Catalyst drivers. This video card is clearly not as good as the NVidia, and in VRM9 mode it chunked so horribly that it was unwatchable. However, if I switch to overlay playback is absolutely flawless. It's so flawless I am hesitant to change anything; but the problem is the interface. Menus take so long to load that they disappear the moment they finally render due to time-out. Click back and forth through a video literally takes 3 or 4 seconds for the interface to respond. Once I can finally click to what I want the playback as I said is perfect but the horrible interface response is just untenable.

Last thing to mention is that this is a completely fresh XP Pro installation with no other software installed other than iTunes and VNC. The issues occurred before those two were installed.

So I have a dilemma. I'm so close to success but no matter the configuration I choose it falls short. Should I buy a new video card? If so, what should I buy? Is there any setting that I'm missing?

Thanks for your help.
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