SageTV Community  

Go Back   SageTV Community > Hardware Support > Hardware Support

Notices

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.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #81  
Old 10-29-2007, 09:34 AM
kevine's Avatar
kevine kevine is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djc208 View Post
Why not put the amplifier at the server, I imagine you have power there and the cable is already split. Either an in-line amp on the line going to the 1x8 or (if you get a good enough cable amp) then you could even look into a 1x2 amplifier to replace the split for the cable modem/1x8.

Unless there is something wrong with the 20-30 foot run from the entrance (in which case replacing that run is your best bet), it shouldn't matter if you amp it at the entrance or at the end.
Just pick an amplifier carefully, with digital and internet a cheap splitter won't usually have the bandwith to amplify the whole signal, and could interefere with portions of it.
I should mention that I have already connected the cable directly to the 1600, no internet, and still only get a few channels in Sage. Therefore, I don't think the 1x2 would help and I have already thrown $100 at the problem with the distribution splitter.
__________________
Server: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (2.83GHz, 1333FSB), Asus P5B Deluxe MB w/Gb LAN, 4GB AData RAM, WHS, PVR-500 (NTSCx2), HDHomeRun x2 (4 QAM), HDPVR x2, 6.7 TB data pool, Comskip/SJQv3, HD200x3, SD-MVPx2
Reply With Quote
  #82  
Old 10-29-2007, 11:43 AM
Conejo Conejo is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: California
Posts: 645
If your cable modem is functioning it's hard to believe that you don't have enough signal strength to distribute to your cards. It's also possible that you're overdriving and distorting the signal with the power amplifier.

I suggest you stick to WinTV for testing since that program is a bit more robust, and once it's working well there then move on to Sage.

You may have to test combinations: (1600 as only device on cable; shared with Cable Modem; amplifier in-line; 2x splitter; 8x splitter; etc). It's possible that the 1600/1800 cards are sensitive to a particular signal level.

What's the signal level and SNR on your cable modem?
Reply With Quote
  #83  
Old 10-29-2007, 11:51 AM
kevine's Avatar
kevine kevine is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conejo View Post
If your cable modem is functioning it's hard to believe that you don't have enough signal strength to distribute to your cards. It's also possible that you're overdriving and distorting the signal with the power amplifier.
So you are saying too much amplification. Correct? I had thought that too. Maybe try splitting the cable several times before going into the the 1600?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Conejo View Post
What's the signal level and SNR on your cable modem?
Not sure where to test this and I am pretty technically inclined.

Thanks.
__________________
Server: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (2.83GHz, 1333FSB), Asus P5B Deluxe MB w/Gb LAN, 4GB AData RAM, WHS, PVR-500 (NTSCx2), HDHomeRun x2 (4 QAM), HDPVR x2, 6.7 TB data pool, Comskip/SJQv3, HD200x3, SD-MVPx2
Reply With Quote
  #84  
Old 10-29-2007, 12:25 PM
Conejo Conejo is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: California
Posts: 645
Were trying not to make this too difficult -- there are many possible directions to go off here. I don't want to waste your time doing diagnostics in areas that don't have issues.

#1
It would be nice to know what signal and signal-to-noise-ratio the Cable Company is delivering to you before you head off into splitters. Since the Cable Company usually wants your DOCSYS Cable Modem as the FIRST DEVICE on the line (prior to any amplifiers or major splitters), I like to take the readings off that device.

What type of Cable Modem do you have (Make/Model)? You can usually URL into the thing and look at a diagnostics page. If I know the model I can usually Google the URL.

#2
What is the signal level of your HDHR (as seen in 'HomeRun Config GUI') and how is the picture quality. If these are OK, especially with all the splitters necessary to run all your devices in place, then it's probably NOT a signal level issue.

#3
When you are viewing the 1600 through WinTV, what's your processor load percentage (in 'TaskManager/Performance', or through 'Administrative Tools > Performance [system monitor])?

#4
If #2 and #3 checks out, and the HDHRs are great, have you tried unloading, running hcwclear, and reinstalling your Hauppauge Drivers?
Reply With Quote
  #85  
Old 10-29-2007, 12:25 PM
bznotins's Avatar
bznotins bznotins is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 57
FWIW, I'm having this exact problem with my HVR-1600 as well. Discussed here.

Amplifying the signal did make things look better on my regular TV but did nothing for the QAM tuning on my HTPC.

I'm tempted to write off the 1600 and just go with ATi's new combo tuner when it hits the shelves (and when SageTV supports it, of course).

Last edited by bznotins; 10-29-2007 at 12:33 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #86  
Old 10-29-2007, 12:41 PM
Yooper Yooper is offline
Sage Advanced User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 118
Whenever you get into the video amplifier business your really need to estimate the losses in your cable.

At my house I have 137 of RG11 cable to the outside box (3.5 db loss) and then 59 ft. of RG6 to my distribution panel (2.4 dB loss) and then 32 feet to my TV (1.3 dB loss). This gives me 7.2 dB total - I put a 7 dB amplifier with 4 outputs.

My video server is next to the distribution panel - I've got that connected to an 8 output amplifier with 3 dB amplification - not enough to compensate for the total loss but enough to do the job.

My internet is connected thru the 7 dB amplifier - it is bidirectional.

Notice that I have no splitters anywhere.

I have used the Monster splitters in the past - they have less losses but cost a lot more.

I recommend that you measure your line lengths and use amplifiers that compensate as close as possible to your losses.

Even more ideal would be to borrow a "strength" meter that measures the signal strength coming into your house.

I'm not sure if the amplifier does anything with the digital signals - I don't notice anything. Does anyone know?
Reply With Quote
  #87  
Old 10-29-2007, 01:17 PM
Conejo Conejo is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: California
Posts: 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I'm not sure if the amplifier does anything with the digital signals - I don't notice anything. Does anyone know?
Great feedback Yooper.

To answer your question, digital signals have a very harsh cut-off level, so they either cannot be decoded or they can. Because HDTV is based on TIME and DATA, when the signal level drops below a certain point you loose data integrity and the processor misinterprets or can't reconstruct the frame and you get artifacts or the decoders stop processing until a valid signal is restored.

Generally, using a good 'digitally rated' amplifier is good if you need it. Using an 'analog' amplifier would probably induce signal distortion and cause the digital data to morph into unrecognizable pattern. Amplifying a digital signal can cause the square-wave pattern to have its corners knocked off, causing the data to change and be subject to misinterpretation.



Not a pretty picture, especially if your favorite program gets garbled. (Illustration courtesy of some Indiana University Southeast student who didn't copyright his pages in 2005)

If the above illustrated example was a Quadrature Signal (8 steps instead of 1) that would be one messed up data frame.

Last edited by Conejo; 10-29-2007 at 01:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #88  
Old 10-29-2007, 08:20 PM
Yooper Yooper is offline
Sage Advanced User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 118
Nice figures Conejo... That helps a lot.

Any idea how the digital signal strength is determined?

I have not seen any digital ratings on the video amps I've looked at.

Any idea where to go for these?
Reply With Quote
  #89  
Old 10-31-2007, 06:26 AM
kevine's Avatar
kevine kevine is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 514
I think I have my problem solved. There was a LOT of trial an error with cables and splitters. Turns out that I think my 1x8 distribution amp really can't handle 7 or 8. I used the HDHR signal meter to do move cables around and replace cables until I got a good signal from at least my 3 QAM tuners with good levels. I also reinstalled the drivers for the 1600.

I also was able to get into my cable modem and see that my signal was excellent even out of the 1x2 splitter. The downstream SNR was 36db. I hear that it should be above 30db for a good signal.

Now when I scanned the channels in Sage, I still got none found. However, I put the remap in and it worked for all so far. I am not done remapping because I did not have time but it was definitely encouraging.
__________________
Server: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (2.83GHz, 1333FSB), Asus P5B Deluxe MB w/Gb LAN, 4GB AData RAM, WHS, PVR-500 (NTSCx2), HDHomeRun x2 (4 QAM), HDPVR x2, 6.7 TB data pool, Comskip/SJQv3, HD200x3, SD-MVPx2
Reply With Quote
  #90  
Old 10-31-2007, 03:22 PM
Conejo Conejo is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: California
Posts: 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I have not seen any digital ratings on the video amps I've looked at.
Any idea where to go for these?
When I looked for Inline RF Amplifiers (and splitters) I wanted something that worked with Cable Modems and Digital STBs, meaning that it they had to pass 900Mhz, induced LOW NOISE and allow bidirectional communications. DSL REPORTS (Cable Tech)) has a great section on cable wiring and requirements, descriptions, diagnostics and suggestions.

The house here has been remodeled with additions and has hidden splitters on the cable so I decided to use a Motorola Signal Booster Drop Amp. The STB's now work with On-Demand and my HDHR is happy.
Reply With Quote
  #91  
Old 10-31-2007, 03:25 PM
Conejo Conejo is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: California
Posts: 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevine View Post
I also reinstalled the drivers for the 1600. [...]

Now when I scanned the channels in Sage, I still got none found. However, I put the remap in and it worked for all so far. I am not done remapping because I did not have time but it was definitely encouraging.
Don't forget that you need to erase (I would rename) the .frq file and create a blank in order for the SageTV scan to do its thing with the HRV-1600/1800.
Reply With Quote
  #92  
Old 10-31-2007, 03:46 PM
kevine's Avatar
kevine kevine is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conejo View Post
Don't forget that you need to erase (I would rename) the .frq file and create a blank in order for the SageTV scan to do its thing with the HRV-1600/1800.
I did rename it but I did not know you needed to create a blank 1.
__________________
Server: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (2.83GHz, 1333FSB), Asus P5B Deluxe MB w/Gb LAN, 4GB AData RAM, WHS, PVR-500 (NTSCx2), HDHomeRun x2 (4 QAM), HDPVR x2, 6.7 TB data pool, Comskip/SJQv3, HD200x3, SD-MVPx2
Reply With Quote
  #93  
Old 11-01-2007, 05:18 AM
Yooper Yooper is offline
Sage Advanced User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 118
My house was originally wired with all RG59 cable - including the underground leg. I put in new boxes and ran quad shield solid copper RG6 to all boxes. I also added cat6 internet cable at the same time for a gigabit network. I replaced the cable rat nest in the joists in the basement with a distribution panel for both video and internet. I built a desktop out of plywood for a gateway server and also a video server. Finally, I convinced the cable company to run two RG11 underground feed cables to the outside box and I replaced the RG59 line from the outside box to the distribution panel with RG6.

The original RG59 cable was poor and produced not only a poor video signal but also a marginal internet modem signal.

With the amplifiers and my tweaking I now get a video signal (even analog) that will knock your socks off. A big improvement over the original.

The improvements happened mostly incrementally - not at one time.

Of course, I'm always tweaking it and adding new features - it never sits static for very long. That's actually the fun part.
Reply With Quote
  #94  
Old 11-03-2007, 09:34 AM
stewart710 stewart710 is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 63
I just wanted to add my $0.02. I was having no luck getting a clear, non-stuttering picture out of the digital tuner of my HVR-1600. I purchased a used Electroline EDA-2100 (one port amp) drop amp on Ebay for less than $15 shipped and I now get every channel that I am supposed to. I also changed out one 18 gauge cable for a 16 gauge cable. I now have a 2 way splitter at the entry point of the comcast line. One part goes to the amp and the other to the cable modem. I don't split the signal after the amp, but if you needed to you could substitute a 2 port or 4 port amp by the same manufacturer. These amps are the same things that Comcast uses. If you buy one on Ebay double check that it comes with the DC power supply and don't forget to ground the amp!
Reply With Quote
  #95  
Old 11-04-2007, 05:35 PM
tommyjwall tommyjwall is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1
I'm upgrading from a PVR-150 to a HVR-1600, and I'm stuck on a step that I thought would be easy, but for some reason nothing I do can get me past it. I'm on the step when I select 'Digital TV Tuner' when setting up my video sources, and Sage crashes on me. I've tried running the HCWCLEAR.EXE, rebooting, and installing the new drivers from Hauppauge's website. I've also uninstalled and reinstalled java just to make sure. I'm willing to uninstall and reinstall Sage, but I don't want to have to re-customize it. This is the error message I receive in the log:

# An unexpected error has been detected by Java Runtime Environment:
#
# EXCEPTION_ACCESS_VIOLATION (0xc0000005) at pc=0x054f6439, pid=3216, tid=2932
#
# Java VM: Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (1.6.0_03-b05 mixed mode, sharing)
# Problematic frame:
# C [DShowCapture.dll+0x16439]

P.S. I'm kind of a noob, so be gentle. Thanks for your help!
Reply With Quote
  #96  
Old 11-10-2007, 01:19 PM
kruzerman kruzerman is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyjwall View Post
I'm upgrading from a PVR-150 to a HVR-1600, and I'm stuck on a step that I thought would be easy, but for some reason nothing I do can get me past it. I'm on the step when I select 'Digital TV Tuner' when setting up my video sources, and Sage crashes on me. I've tried running the HCWCLEAR.EXE, rebooting, and installing the new drivers from Hauppauge's website. I've also uninstalled and reinstalled java just to make sure. I'm willing to uninstall and reinstall Sage, but I don't want to have to re-customize it.
If you back up your wiz.bin file you will still have to do some customization to get Sage back to what you like but you should at least be able to retain your favorites and watched status. Backing up your sage.properties file will save the customizations but it could be what is causing your problem. What version of Sage are you using?
Reply With Quote
  #97  
Old 11-10-2007, 01:34 PM
kruzerman kruzerman is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 19
I'm completely frustrated with the 1600 and QAM as well. First, i had to boost the signal to pick up any signal and now sage is showing my signal at 100%. When i go to scan channels, I am not able to pick up the same channels on back to back scans. These are also different from the channels i picked up last night. I can't believe that I am only getting 11-20 channels per scan. Each scan lasts about 40 minutes. I have a few splits in the line but the channels i do get come in well with no dropouts. The stuttering i am seeing i believe is related to my pc setup. Has anyone else been able to get a system with the following specs to work?

AMD Athlon XP 3000
ASUS A7N8X-E
1 GB DDR400 RAM
350 watt fortron PS
Gigabyte fanless 6600 (component out)
Chaintech AV-710 (optical out)
PVR-250 (s-vid in from cable box)
PVR-150 (cable tuner)
HVR-1600 (cable tuner and qam)

The onboard spdif just crapped out on me forcing me to swap in the chaintech from another machine. I have had it up for the better part of 3 years and i think it may be time to upgrade. Especially if HD will be too much for the power i have. Aside from the sound issue everything has been working fine. At this point i am ready to take back the 1600 and get a HDHR.
Reply With Quote
  #98  
Old 11-10-2007, 04:59 PM
Conejo Conejo is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: California
Posts: 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by kruzerman View Post
I can't believe that I am only getting 11-20 channels per scan.
I believe this is the average amount of clear QAM channels that most of us are receiving. There ARE other QAM channels present but they are usually 'Unknown' (temporary channels used by on-demand) or 'Encrypted' (HD and SD simulcast channels for STB or CableCard play only).

Your system could probably handle recording four HD streams, but if you have to do any transcoding for playback...

You didn't say whether you're using an on-board display or a card to hand-off the MPEG-x decoding and video.
Reply With Quote
  #99  
Old 11-13-2007, 11:28 PM
nyle nyle is offline
Sage Advanced User
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Lacona, NY
Posts: 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by sabre View Post
I was able to get the 1600 to find open HD channels. But here is my issue. CBS-HD and ABC-HD come in great on my 1600, but NBC and FOX both struggle, most times only getting some audio or some garbled video.

Now my QAM tuner on the Panny TV gets all the HD channels fine.
HD Tuners have different sensitivity levels. I found that my 69% signal strength worked ok on one of my TVs but no where else. My solution, I bought an HD compatible inline amplifier. This not only increased the strength of my HD signal but improved the quality of my normal ones as well. It was worth every penny.

For the uninitiated - Also be sure you are using fully HD compatible splitters if you are splitting. If they don't have a high enough Ghz rating they'll clip HD channels.

-Nyle
Reply With Quote
  #100  
Old 11-14-2007, 08:12 AM
Yooper Yooper is offline
Sage Advanced User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 118
What in-line amplifier did you use? The ones I have tried do not seem to increase the HD signal levels at all.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HVR 1600 Analog picture quality CanadianEh Hardware Support 2 08-19-2007 09:54 AM
Need wisdom for sick WinTV PVR150 MacDaddy Hardware Support 3 02-02-2007 11:39 AM
Multiple Tuner Setup..Please Help garyellis Hardware Support 4 06-03-2006 09:21 AM
need opinions/suggestion on proposed setup xlr8shun Hardware Support 5 05-28-2006 05:10 PM
STV: Cayars17 Ultimate STV (Release 17 - Jan 18) Cayars SageTV Customizations 3664 12-13-2005 05:35 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright 2003-2005 SageTV, LLC. All rights reserved.