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  #1  
Old 05-19-2017, 11:06 AM
mike1961 mike1961 is offline
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Strange Encoder Merit Problem

Hello - I have SageTV V9 and I have an HD HomeRun Prime along with 1 Hauppauge HD tuner and one Hauppauge internal card tuner. Here are my Encoder Merit Settings:

HD HomeRun Prime: 7
HD PVR: 4
Hauppauge internal card: 1

If I start recording TV shows, the first TWO shows record using the HD HomeRun Prime but the third show (recording at the same time of course) uses the HD PVR. Then the fourth show uses internal card and finally the fifth show recording at the same time use the last tuner on the HD Home Run. So, I know all the tuners on the HD Home Run are working. At first, it was only using the first tuner on the Prime with encoder merit 7. I then tried restarting Sage Service, I restarted my Sage Computer Server. I tried unplugging the HD HomeRun Prime and the fast switching tuner from Time Warner. I don't think I had this problem before upgrading to Sage V9 but I'm not sure if that is the issue. I think it is definitely a Sage issue because Sage will use all the tuners but just not in the correct order. I'm wondering if there is a problem with my Sage Properties file or is there something else I can try?
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2017, 07:43 PM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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The first two things that come to mind;

1) Check the properties file again, just to be sure that all the Prime tuners have the merit of 7. I have a couple old tuners in my Sage Properties file that haven't existing in my tuner pool for a while, but they still appear in the properties file, and I have inadvertently changed merit on the wrong tuner when I wasn't paying close enough attention. I also understand this can be done in V9 UI, but I'd probably do it in the properties file if there are perceived problems.

2) When you set up your test recordings, is it possible that one of the test records would overlap with a favorite, or other recording already scheduled, say, in the next 30 to 60 minutes? When I've seen this in the past, it was usually because that Prime tuner was already spoken for with a program coming up within an hour or two.
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2017, 12:33 AM
mike1961 mike1961 is offline
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Hello and thank you for your reply.

1. I have checked my properties file and also even re-entered the Merit numbers in the UI and restarted sage service. The Merit numbers are okay.

2. Nothing is recording at the time I do my test recordings so favorites should not be an issue. Nothing is recording and I just go to the guide and start testing manual records in real time.

So I'm still searching for an answer.
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  #4  
Old 05-20-2017, 06:57 AM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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Just to clarify 2) above, nothing has to be already recording at the very moment of the testing, but rather something scheduled to record within the next hour or two that might incidentally overlap with your manual recording.

Are all of the Primes using the exact same channel lineup, and not a slightly modified copy of another lineup? In other words, is it possible that the offending Prime does not have the target manual recording channel enabled for some reason?

If you're using cable TV only, this may not be applicable, but worth a read perhaps (HD vs. SD);

https://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64306
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  #5  
Old 05-20-2017, 03:52 PM
mike1961 mike1961 is offline
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Apparently, nothing is set to record for about 5 hours right now and now all three tuners on the HomeRun Prime are working with the correct encoder merit.

So let me get this straight: are you saying if I have something scheduled to record in about an hour on channel 4 and Sage is going to use the HomeRun Prime with encoder merit 7 then it will use another tuner for recording something now? If so, I'm curious as to how far in advance it decides to use another tuner?

Here's my situation: 98% of the time if the family is going to record several channels at the same time, almost always at least one or more of those channels will be from channel 2-13 or "copy freely" channels. Therefore, it makes sense to use the HomeRun to record those so that a tuner is always available to record upper channels. Otherwise, if my hauppauge tuners are recording channels 2-13 then nothing is available to record upper channels since my HomeRun can't record those "encrypted" channels.

Perhaps nothing is wrong, but if so then I'm wondering how far in advance a show needs to be scheduled where it makes a difference. Also, I'm assuming Sage is smart enough to know to still use the HomeRun if the same channel is selected to watch something now and that same channel is used to record something later.

Thanks,
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  #6  
Old 05-20-2017, 04:25 PM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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As I understand it, once a tuner is selected for a recording, Sage won't change that in your scenario if another tuner is available. I am in the same boat as you, basically, so I disabled all the copy freely channels for my HDPVR tuner.

I believe the logic makes sense if you think like a sage (not the plant). If you have (3) Primes and (1) HDPVR, and the Primes are your high merit tuners, then whenever SageTV picks a tuner for a favorite or other scheduled recording, it would fill the Prime tuners first. When some rogue person interjects a live TV show into the mix, the scheduled programs are unaffected, because Sage doesn't know how long that person will watch that show, and the scheduled programs should take precedence over that occasional live TV interjection.

There are things that drive re-scheduling of tuners, just not in this particular situation, when the HDPVR is valid and available, which is why I disable copy-freely shows for that valuable HDPVR.
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  #7  
Old 05-20-2017, 04:49 PM
mike1961 mike1961 is offline
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Interesting - I never thought of that. I would say most of the time it is not a problem and sometimes the family will record 4 shows in the 2-13 range (although not often) so I think it's best for me to just keep all the tuners available because usually no one here watches live tv anymore. I have 5 tuners which is why it's not a problem (3 with the HD Home Run, one PVR and one Hauppauge internal card).

The reason I asked was because for channels 2-13 I prefer to keep the sizes of the recordings as small as possible (no one deletes things around here) and the filesize will be smaller with the HomeRun in the 2-13 range.

I set my HD Home Run channels 2-13 to use the low res 480i which is about 1.3gb / hour and if they want HD (about 6 gb/hour) then I just configured that in the 402-413 copy freely that I have set up. Really the only channels I use for the HomeRun are 2-13 (and 402-413 for HD). There are other copy freely channels available but whatever they are I'm too worried about TWC will change them around and so I just use the other tuners for that.

Do you know when Sage reserves the tuner for recording (one hour, two hours, etc)?
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  #8  
Old 05-21-2017, 04:12 PM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1961 View Post
Do you know when Sage reserves the tuner for recording (one hour, two hours, etc)?
There is a time interval where Sage checks recordings - but I don't know exactly what that interval is. It probably does it when you first start SageTV, on a reboot for example, and then periodically after that, checking for new recording demands and EPG changes. Someone that knows more about that system will probably drop by and expand on this.

Sage schedules a recording as soon as it can be logically aware of it. If you have a favorite, let's say Blue Bloods first runs only, it checks the EPG for these and schedules them as soon as they are present (up to 2 weeks in advance, the typical amount of future EPG available). In the SageTV Web Interface, the user can view "Upcoming Recordings" and click on one of the recordings to look at the detail, and it will show which tuner is scheduled to be used for that recording.

If you decide today that you want to schedule a recording of "Wheel of Fortune" for tomorrow afternoon, and there are already scheduled recordings for that time, you can see how Wheel of Fortune will be picking from whatever available tuners remain, or if none remain, there will be a recording conflict that Sage will prompt you to resolve.

I honestly never gave much thought to the complexity of the scheduler, and how gracefully it can handle so many different situations, until I encountered a couple situations just like you have recently.
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  #9  
Old 05-21-2017, 04:16 PM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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Is there a specific reason to give the HDPVR higher priority than the Hauppauge? I consider my HDPVR's the last resort tuners, or highest [intrinsic] value tuners because they can record everything, without limitation, so I typically save them for last, to keep them available as long as possible in the tuner pool.
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  #10  
Old 05-21-2017, 10:58 PM
mike1961 mike1961 is offline
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Yes - I give the HD PVR a higher priority because my hauppauge internal card is not an HD card and for stations above channel 13, it's not with the homerun (a digital stream) so conversion is required and I'll have much better quality with the PVR. I have the PVR set to record at 2.8 GB/hour which is more than enough for me. It records in 720p which is fantastic quality for me. The Hauppauge card is "adequate."

So, my priority for merit is first the HomeRun if the channels are from 2-13 because the quality is decent even at 480i. Next I want the PVR which has great quality for all stations above 13 then the haupauge internal card. This gives me the best balance between quality and having videos that are not outrageous in file size but we can still easily record in HD on the prime if we need to.
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  #11  
Old 05-22-2017, 02:21 AM
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Have you tried testing what sage would do with your setup and all merits set to zero?
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2017, 12:34 AM
mike1961 mike1961 is offline
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I think KryptoNyte got the answer that "the tuner" might already be spoken for if there's an upcoming recording. I don't know how sage would work if all merits were set to zero, but I can't see it selecting the ones I would want and in retrospect after thinking about this, it does make sense. I want these merits otherwise there is no way Sage is going to always select the tuner I want and then I might not have tuners available for the upper channels when I need them. What I don't know is how far ahead Sage allocates the tuner.

So, as an example, suppose in one hour I'm going to record channels 2, 4 and 7. Sage will use my HomeRun Prime for all three channels. Now, suppose I want to watch channel 13 for 30 minutes and record the show. This is interesting now that I think about it. If I RECORD the show in the guide Sage SHOULD use my Prime tuner (I'm not sure but it knows it's only for 30 minutes so it should). But, if I watch LIVE TV then Sage does not know how long I'm going to watch Live TV for on Channel 13 so it might use my HD PVR tuner instead of the Prime.

When I ran the tests before and was confused why Sage was not always using the Prime tuner, I think I was selecting to watch Live TV and then record that and then go to another channel. I probably should have just selected Record in the guide and not selected Watch TV and then record the show from there. Perhaps that's where the difference is. I'll have to experiment with this more now that I'm curious.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2017, 01:38 AM
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I'm pretty sure it's not so much a look ahead, as it is manual records are processed in the scheduler first. As such, they will get assigned the highest merit tuner that has the airing available, and then the rest of the schedule is processed. The rest of the schedule will be filled around the manual records. Now - this is first pass stuff though - because it might end up that in an effort to resolve conflicts, a manual recording might get moved to a different encoder, if doing so clears a conflict.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2017, 04:41 AM
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EnterNoEscape EnterNoEscape is offline
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The priority ordering of recordings is as follows:
Manual Recording
Favorite Recording
Live TV (Seeker calls this a force watch, Scheduler calls this "desired")
Intelligent Recording

Tuning into live TV does involve an intelligent selection process, that includes merit, but it also includes video source quality which is multiplied against the merit. Because this is how things are calculated, it's possible to end up with a tuner selection you were not expecting, but it's usually the best choice at that time.
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  #15  
Old 09-09-2017, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnterNoEscape View Post
The priority ordering of recordings is as follows:
Manual Recording
Favorite Recording
Live TV (Seeker calls this a force watch, Scheduler calls this "desired")
Intelligent Recording

Tuning into live TV does involve an intelligent selection process, that includes merit, but it also includes video source quality which is multiplied against the merit. Because this is how things are calculated, it's possible to end up with a tuner selection you were not expecting, but it's usually the best choice at that time.
Tacking my question into this thread.

Can you elaborate on the "video source quality" value? I have an HDHR Prime (Cable) and HDHR Connect (OTA). Whenever possible, I want to use OTA for live TV. The Connect's tuner priority (for both is 15) the Prime's priorities are all lower (single digits).

Recorded TV works fine, the OTA is used whenever possible. Live TV is a completely separate story. I'm trying to watch football OTA right now (12:50), but it keeps selecting one of the Prime tuners. Next recording isn't until 10:00 tonight, and it's not OTA. The station I want to watch OTA, Sage TV says the Connect has 98% signal quality. So I can't understand why it's so insistent on selecting a Prime tuner.
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  #16  
Old 09-09-2017, 02:20 PM
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Out of curiosity, what is the value of video_crossbar_type for each of your capture devices in you sage.properties file?
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  #17  
Old 09-09-2017, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
Out of curiosity, what is the value of video_crossbar_type for each of your capture devices in you sage.properties file?
The video_crossbar_type value is 100 for all 5 tuners.

But I just restarted my server, and now Live TV tuning is performing as expected. Maybe an occasional server restart is all I need, because this isn't a unique event, I'll keep an eye on it.
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  #18  
Old 10-12-2017, 01:54 PM
mike1961 mike1961 is offline
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The problem is happening AGAIN today and I don't understand why. Here's my settings:

Prime 3 tuners: Merit 7

HD PVR: Merit 4

Win TV internal card: Merit 1

It keeps selecting the HD PVR and not any of the Prime tuners even though none are in use. I don't have anything set to record until one program at 1:00pm today and then two channels at 3:00pm today. At 9am this morning, (4 hours earlier) I tried to watch TV and it keeps going to the HD PVR. Normally, to fix this, I would restart the computer (which of course restarts the sage server). Restarting the service in the past would not fix it but restarting the computer would. Now, after restarting, it's not making a difference. It continues to select the HD PVR which is merit 4. Why? It seems to a be a bug. I recently installed the latest version of Sage 9 which fixed a problem with subtitles not showing and I don't know if this has anything to do with the problems with Encoder Merit.

(update: The recorded show at 1:00 today (a favorite), is using the Prime tuner which is correct. But, four hours earlier, Sage wouldn't use any of the Prime tuners? I even tried not doing a Watch TV option but doing a RECORD the current show in the guide and it still would not use the Prime Tuner.)

Last edited by mike1961; 10-12-2017 at 02:53 PM.
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  #19  
Old 10-15-2017, 07:03 PM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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It almost sounds like your Prime tuner(s) are dropping their network connection, and Sage is recognizing them as missing, handing the job to the next tuner. Have you ever experienced a missing Prime tuner? Are all of your Prime tuners up to date on their firmware updates?
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  #20  
Old 10-15-2017, 07:31 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KryptoNyte View Post
It almost sounds like your Prime tuner(s) are dropping their network connection, and Sage is recognizing them as missing, handing the job to the next tuner. Have you ever experienced a missing Prime tuner? Are all of your Prime tuners up to date on their firmware updates?
If a prime goes offline, OpenDCT will still respond to sage, so sage will not mark it as not functioning. Now, if sage loses contact with OpenDCT, THAT would cause this (if only the Prime's are via OpenDCT, that is).
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