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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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  #1  
Old 10-25-2009, 10:00 PM
alisonnic alisonnic is offline
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HD PVR + SageTV + USB-UIRT = nightmare

I had SageTV working! Oh, why oh why didn't I leave well enough alone?

I actually had it working with the HD PVR's IR blaster. Everything was fine. It was tuning the VIP211k to the right channel and recording as programmed.

But I got greedy. I wanted to be able to control SageTV using a remote. And the Hauppauge remote that came with the HD PVR didn't seem to do anything, no matter what I did.

So I ordered a USB-UIRT. Should be the berries, right? Able to wake up the Dish VIP211k, so I don't have to leave it on all the time. Able to learn remote codes so I can control SageTV with a remote.

It came, I installed the drivers, plugged it in. A little fiddling (well, a lot) and surfing these forum posts and I got it to talk to the VIP211, finally.

But first I had to uninstall all three software packages for the IR Blaster: ir32, hdpvr scheduler, and irblast 27070, and SageTV, and then reinstall SageTV. Before I did that, whenever I started SageTV, it started up and immediately began running both CPU's at 100 percent and was essentially useless.

I thought all that uninstalling and reinstalling fixed the problem, because SageTV worked ok after that - until this evening, when it recorded a scheduled show. Again the CPU utilization by the SageTV client went to 100 percent as soon as I started it (I've got the SageTV server running in the background so the recording went on) and when the end of the hour came the entire computer froze. Fortunately it saved the recording before doing so, but I had to hit the Reset button on the computer to get out of the freeze.

Now, after reboot, CPU utilization is more reasonable (about 10% when playing a recording) but full screen (1280x1024) playback of a SageTV recording is very choppy, with constant little frame hangs and freezes. It's essentially unwatchable.

Note that before I plugged in the USB-UIRT and installed its drivers this computer was running SageTV perfectly. I was able to play back SageTV recordings on either the 1280x1024 monitor or a 1366x768 HD TV attached to the video card's TV out and it played smoothly and beautifully.

What do I do now?

Note: this isn't the only problem I'm having with the USB-UIRT and SageTV. I've tried to teach it the codes from the Hauppauge remote that came with the HD-PVR, but it seems to get two different codes from each button on the remote. I push a given button once, the UIRT reports (through SageTV) one code. I push it again, I get a different code. Push it again, and (usually) I get the first code again. Push it a fourth time, and (usually) I get the second code again.

Worse, if I have any florescent lights on in the room, or if the VIP211k is turned on, I get a random code that's different every time I push the same button. What the heck is going on??

Fortunately I found that the codes are saved in the SageClient.properties file, so I can always delete the bad ones. But my confidence in the UIRT is now very low, and my frustration level is ... very HIGH!

It took me so long to get SageTV and the HD PVR working. Weeks and weeks. Finally I succeeded. I loved it when everything was working right. But now that it's broken again, I am at my wit's end. I'm almost at the point of throwing the whole thing out and going out and buying a VCR! (Not really, but I long for the days when recording a TV show was simple and reliable!)
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Tuner: Hauppauge HD PVR Rev E3
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Last edited by alisonnic; 10-25-2009 at 10:08 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2009, 01:46 PM
alisonnic alisonnic is offline
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So...no one's had this kind of problem? Installing the USB-UIRT along with SageTV and an HD PVR works fine for everyone else? Nobody's got SageTV going into what appears to be a frenzy of thrashing under these conditions, sucking up 100% of the computer's CPU cycles?

Any helpful suggestions would be very much appreciated! Please! Pretty please!!
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Tuner: Hauppauge HD PVR Rev E3
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2009, 02:10 PM
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Naylia Naylia is offline
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I was running that exact config on Vista Enterprise last fall/winter with no issues. HDPVR, USB-Uirt, Sage 6.5.X, and the Vip211. Not that that helps you...
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2009, 02:15 PM
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davephan davephan is offline
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I tried using the HD-PVR's IR blaster. I could not get it to work.

The HD-PVR and USB-UIRT is working fine for me. The LrnHelper program can help you determine where the problems are occuring.

When your system quits working due to changes, you should recover your computer back to the last known good image of your SageTV system. Once you recover the computer, make less changes, and try to verify what caused the problem. As you make changes, take periodic images. You will then be able to recover your system to a known working state if further changes break things.

If you do not have an image, you may have to go through the pain of re-installing everything from scratch. You then should take images during the process, so you can always recover to a known working state.

What processes are taking most of the CPU cycles, and what priority are the processes running at?

Dave
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  #5  
Old 10-26-2009, 02:26 PM
dead_ferrets dead_ferrets is offline
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Man, I've all of these problems and they suck.

Let's go one at a time. Choppy playback of recorded Sage video. This sounds like a codec or video render issue. Have you tried troubleshooting in that area via detailed setup?

Are we talking HD-PVR recordings? Can you play other video using Sage, i.e,. that wasn't recorded by Sage?
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2009, 03:23 PM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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USB-UIRT:
Here is a BeyondTV post that has the codes for your STB attached. I found that finding the config from someone that had already suffered thru it was easier. I don't think the codes change for use in Sage.
http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/beyo...vip-211-a.html

The differnt codes are actually what is comming from you remote. A lot of remotes do that. You didn't notice before because the HD-PVR software already had a profile for your receiver.

You will have the same problem using something like EventGhost or Girder when you try to train it to control an application. I usually use a universal remote (Harmony) and have it emulate the MCE remote to control applications. A lot of other remotes will have more than one code and it will be a hassle to get it to train and scroll smoothly.

HD-PVR setup:
I would delete the tuner in Sage and then use the hardware clear utility that comes with the driver. Shut the machine down and power off the HD-PVR. Wait a few minutes and then reinstall the HD-PVR using the driver you know was working. Then add the tuner back in Sage. If it was playing back before and you did not remover any of the TME software codecs in this little exercise then it is probably recording. It would be nice if you had anther machine to test test the recordings on.

Last edited by SWKerr; 10-26-2009 at 03:33 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2009, 03:25 PM
alisonnic alisonnic is offline
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Thanks for all the suggestions!

Actually the USB-UIRT driver triggered a System Restore snapshot, so I could go back to that, although I'm not sure that would restore the various Arcsoft/Hauppauge software and drivers that I uninstalled.

But I think I have fixed the system performance problem. I tried to capture a screen shot of Process Explorer showing SageTV Client running at 100% CPU but the system kept freezing before I could save the shot. After lots of freezes and reset/reboots I finally decided to turn off the separate SageTV Service and just use the integrated SageTV Server that runs whenever the Client is running. That seems to have gotten rid of the performance problems. SageTV is now using almost no CPU even though I'm watching a live show, and the show is playing quite smoothly.

I don't like this solution because I am always afraid that I will accidentally close SageTV instead of putting it to sleep, and then the programs I want to record later won't get recorded. But if it's necessary to get SageTV to work properly, I'll do it.

Has anyone else had performance problems when using the standalone SageTV Service instead of the service that's integrated into the Client? I'm baffled as to why simply running the separate service would introduce such severe problems.

Anyway, I'm delighted to have SageTV's main functionality back again. Maybe tomorrow I'll work on getting the USB-UIRT to properly accept codes from the Hauppauge remote. LrnHelper may be useful for this; I've already downloaded it.

Thanks again for your suggestions!
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Server: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R, Intel E7400, 2GB, MSI 8800GT 512 OC, XP Pro SP3
Client 1: BioStar TP45HP, Intel Q9650, 6GB, MSI N250GTS, Win7 HP 64; Client 2: GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3, Phenom II X3 720 2.80 GHz, 8 GB, EVGA GTX650Ti, Win7 HP 64; Client 3: Acer Aspire 7552, Phenom II N950 Quad 2.10 GHz, 8 GB, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650, Win7 HP 64
Tuner: Hauppauge HD PVR Rev E3
Receiver: Explorer 4250HDC
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2009, 03:42 PM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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You want to run Sage as a service. The recording engine is very stable but if the playback flakes out you will not be able to restart Sage until your recordings are complete. If it was a service you can exit and kill the GUI without affecting the recording.
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  #9  
Old 10-28-2009, 08:42 PM
alisonnic alisonnic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWKerr View Post
You want to run Sage as a service. The recording engine is very stable but if the playback flakes out you will not be able to restart Sage until your recordings are complete. If it was a service you can exit and kill the GUI without affecting the recording.
Yes, I would much rather run SageTV as a service. But whenever I run it that way (using the SageTVservicecontrol app) I seem to have problems. Before I installed the USB-UIRT, and was using the Hauppauge IR Blaster, the problem was that the Blaster would stop working after a few hours. So I turned off the service and stuck with launching the SageTV UI at boot time and keeping it running all the time.

When I ditched the IR Blaster in favor of the USB-UIRT, I thought that I could go back to running SageTV as a service. But instead I had worse problems (the jerky playback, 100% CPU utilization and system freezes which I described above).

Should I try turning on SageTV service in the Services Control Panel? Would this be any different from launching the service through the SageTVservicecontrol app?

FWIW, the problem seems to revolve around communication issues between the SageTV service and the SageTV UI (and possibly the USB-UIRT, of course.) If I leave the service running but don't run the UI, there's no problem. As soon as I launch the UI (with the service running in the background), problems begin.

Incidentally, I'm running G Data Total Care and SuperAntiSpyware, but shutting these down didn't seem to resolve the problems. Only switching to using the SageTV UI without the service seems to work properly.
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Server: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R, Intel E7400, 2GB, MSI 8800GT 512 OC, XP Pro SP3
Client 1: BioStar TP45HP, Intel Q9650, 6GB, MSI N250GTS, Win7 HP 64; Client 2: GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3, Phenom II X3 720 2.80 GHz, 8 GB, EVGA GTX650Ti, Win7 HP 64; Client 3: Acer Aspire 7552, Phenom II N950 Quad 2.10 GHz, 8 GB, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650, Win7 HP 64
Tuner: Hauppauge HD PVR Rev E3
Receiver: Explorer 4250HDC
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  #10  
Old 10-28-2009, 09:30 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Are you running the service as a user, or LocalSystem? I'd recommend running it as your normal user account (configured from the SageTVServiceControl app). If you ARE running it as a user account, then your problem may actually reside in the sageclient.properties (which is NOT being used while you are using non-service mode). I'd suggest moving/deleting/renaming your sageclient.properties files, and running sage in service mode. then, run the UI, which will create a default sageclient.properties, and run you through the setup wizard.
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  #11  
Old 10-29-2009, 09:22 PM
popechild popechild is offline
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Man, I feel your pain. I'm running the same setup: HD PVR, SageTV, USB-UIRT, and VIP211k - and I had a nightmare of a time getting remote stuff to work right. Problem is, it's been a while since I finally got it sorted out, and now I can't for the life of me remember what all I did to get it to work right. But I know it involved running 3rd party apps, using some sort of script that fires to kill a process whenever the computer reboots, and I think using the USB-UIRT for incoming remove signals and the MCE remote blaster for outgoing signals to the VIP211k - I kid you not.

I've actually got a free day tomorrow and may go about trying to bring my system up to date on the latest versions and firmwares. It's probably a 50/50 shot whether it'll go smoothly or I'll want to kill myself for ever having decided to change anything in the first place.

But hey, maybe if it all goes to hell I'll at least end up having to figure out what I did to get all the remote stuff working, and if so I'll let you know.
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  #12  
Old 10-29-2009, 09:42 PM
popechild popechild is offline
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Well what do you know, sometimes I actually do something smart... apparently when I was doing all this a while back, I actually took notes on what I was doing, because I realized I'd never remember it later on, and I just found the notes, so you're in luck...sort of.

Here's the bad news - it's even more complicated than I originally thought. Or at least it was for me.

(btw, it all stems from a note I made at the beginning, which I can't remember how I figured out, and maybe it's not even accurate, but my note to myself says that the USB-UIRT *cannot* be used to both send and receive IR signals while Sage is running in Service mode. Why, I have no idea. But it makes everything else a pain in the you know what. I'd love to find out that I'm wrong about this, or that it's been fixed now, because I'd hate to have to go through all this again sometime.)

(Oh, and btw, I can't tell from my notes, but this may or may not have been a Vista-only problem. If so, and you're on XP, you might be in luck)

Again, I'm not kidding, here's (in a high level nutshell) what it took for me to get it all working correctly:

- Have to use USB-UIRT to receive IR signals and MCE blaster to send them.
- Had to use LM Remote Keymap 3rd party app to control MCE blaster (I don't believe the MCE is useable as a blaster without 3rd party software, AND the VIP211k is really funky with remote codes, so I had to use LM Remote Keymap to do some funky customizations on the remote signals being sent)
- Actually had to have the author of LM Remote Keymap do a custom version for me that would send the correct number of repeat signals to the VIP211k, since it wouldn't work right on its own
- Had to disable Windows Media Center services
- Had to change one of the USB-UIRT service proccesses to delay at startup, so that before it started I could do the following
- Had to write and execute on system startup a batch file to kill a specific LM Remote Keymap service that was interfering with the USB-UIRT process once it started up.

That's just the high level version. I hope to high heaven I was just an idiot and there's a simpler way to do it, but I asked around at the time and couldn't find a single person who was able to simply use the USB-UIRT to both receive and send signals while running in service mode, at least on Vista.

Someone please tell me I was wrong...
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  #13  
Old 10-31-2009, 02:55 PM
hockeyfan hockeyfan is offline
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I run a usb-uirt with LM Keymap on the server, with sage running in service mode on the server. No problems with this, works quite well.

On my PC I run sagetvclient and I also have a usb-uirt. The other day I downloaded the newest release of LM Keymap so I could control TotalMedia Theatre with my remote.

The next day when I booted up my PC and tried to start sagetvclient it would pin the processors at 100% and the screen would be all black. Thought about it for a second and realized the only change was LM Keymap. So I stopped the services for LM then started up sagetvclient and it had no problems starting. So yeah I've seen what you're talking about. I didn't bother to figure it out instead I just uninstalled LM off my PC.
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  #14  
Old 10-31-2009, 03:06 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alisonnic View Post
FWIW, the problem seems to revolve around communication issues between the SageTV service and the SageTV UI (and possibly the USB-UIRT, of course.) If I leave the service running but don't run the UI, there's no problem. As soon as I launch the UI (with the service running in the background), problems begin.
First, when you star the UI with the service already running, does it create a sageclient.properties file?

Do you have a firewall enabled?

I wonder if for some reason when you start the UI, if it's not starting a second copy of the backend, which results in contention over the USB UIRT.

Maybe try downloading SageClient or Placeshifter and install it to a separate directory on the server and see if they run OK.
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  #15  
Old 10-31-2009, 05:45 PM
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davephan davephan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popechild View Post
Man, I feel your pain. I'm running the same setup: HD PVR, SageTV, USB-UIRT, and VIP211k - and I had a nightmare of a time getting remote stuff to work right. Problem is, it's been a while since I finally got it sorted out, and now I can't for the life of me remember what all I did to get it to work right. But I know it involved running 3rd party apps, using some sort of script that fires to kill a process whenever the computer reboots, and I think using the USB-UIRT for incoming remove signals and the MCE remote blaster for outgoing signals to the VIP211k - I kid you not.

I've actually got a free day tomorrow and may go about trying to bring my system up to date on the latest versions and firmwares. It's probably a 50/50 shot whether it'll go smoothly or I'll want to kill myself for ever having decided to change anything in the first place.

But hey, maybe if it all goes to hell I'll at least end up having to figure out what I did to get all the remote stuff working, and if so I'll let you know.
You might want to take a disk image of your C drive before you make the updates! Then recover to the C-drive image to test it. Then you will be prepared to recover it if the updates go bad.

Dave
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Capture cards: 2 - HDHR Primes - Comcast Xfinity CableTV
Extenders: 1-HD-300, 2-HD-200
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