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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 11-23-2011, 07:34 AM
DaveS DaveS is offline
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Ceton PCIe or USB?

I'm thinking of going with a cable card tuner. I like the fact that the Prime is an external device, but based on the postings I've read, it seems that the Ceton is currently more dependable than the Prime. Plus the Ceton has 4 tuners while the Prime has 3, and that's an advantage for me.

It seems most folks are using the PCIe version of the Ceton. Ceton has added an external device, using USB2.0. Is anyone using it? Is there a disadvantage to using a USB device versus the Prime which connects via lan? I realize the Ceton USB needs to connect directly to a single computer while the Prime can be accessed by any computer on the network, but that's not an issue for me.

Is anyone using the Ceton USB version? Any problems with it?
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2011, 04:15 PM
egeller egeller is offline
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Ask me again in a week or so. Newegg had the sale on the USB version and I couldn't resist the $30 off on the USB version. It should show up on Monday.

After it shows up, I need to figure out if I can get a self-install kit for the cablecard or if I need to have Comcast show up.

I will update this thread with my progress, but I won't be able to report anything until next weekend, I think.
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Server:UnRaid;2x Intel Xeon E5; SuperMicro moboard;Also:BM3000 w/ WMC; 2x Ceton ETH 6; OpenDCT
SageTV Extender:3x HD200 1x HD300
Sage TV: 9.1.10, Standard STVi, Comskip Playback, Web Interface, 24 Hour Clock, SRE, YouTube2015, Playon
All in lovely Drexel Hill, PA
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  #3  
Old 12-20-2011, 06:21 PM
egeller egeller is offline
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OK, it hasn't been a week.

But it works. The Ceton USB version works great. Channel changing is fast. Setup was easy for everything except getting all the channels working on the cablecard.

Comcast and I had to work thru some issues. Two extra of calls later and the problem was resolved.

Somewhere, in trying to get the cablecard working, I used Windows Media Center to check the signal strength and saw that it was borderline. Before the final call, I disconnected all the other feeds except the one to the cablecard. The signal strength then went up. After they reinitialized the card, all the channels worked and still worked after I reconnected all the other cable TV feeds.

Now I need to stop Sage and reset the tuner priorities, so it will use the Ceton tuners first.
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Server:UnRaid;2x Intel Xeon E5; SuperMicro moboard;Also:BM3000 w/ WMC; 2x Ceton ETH 6; OpenDCT
SageTV Extender:3x HD200 1x HD300
Sage TV: 9.1.10, Standard STVi, Comskip Playback, Web Interface, 24 Hour Clock, SRE, YouTube2015, Playon
All in lovely Drexel Hill, PA
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2011, 07:03 AM
DaveS DaveS is offline
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This is good to hear. I'm thinking of purchasing a CC tuner but I'm waffling between Ceton and SiliconDust. What I've read leads me to think Ceton is more dependable and it has the added advantage of having 4 tuners rather than the 3 that the SD has. I like the idea of using an external tuner, but I'm a little concerned about the speed of the USB connection when using all 4 tuners. I'm not an expert on the hardware, but I think an ethernet connection like the Silicondust tuners use would be much faster. Is USB2.0 adequate for 4 HD signals along with perhaps other USB peripherals connected to the same computer?
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  #5  
Old 12-25-2011, 12:32 PM
egeller egeller is offline
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Well, it's day 4 or 5 with the Ceton USB. As with any new system, stabilization has been a learning experience.

The Ceton shows up as a network device. It's on its own subnet. The down side is that I've now lost the Sage TV's "Browse local network" option. I can work around that, I guess, by defining more import directories. I can see from the logs that an error is generated when Sage issues the command it gives as part of the network browsing option. I have tried redefining the properties of the Ceton's network card, but then I have found stability becomes an issue, both in WMC and Sage.

Signal strength was an issue, because of all the signal splits in my house. I got an amplifier, this one http://www.cabletvamps.com/Products/EDA-2800.htm and that resolved a number of issues for the Ceton, as well as two TVs in my house. Windows Media Server and the Ceton device's web page both have good metrics on signal strength and status.

I've learned that, when all else fails, find the relevant Windows service and restart it. That has helped me get Ceton working again as I battled network property issues.

I now have the Ceton alone on a USB hub. I have 2 HDPVR on the same hub, and they're working too. If they throw any errors, I may need to get a USB card. I have one laying around here somewhere. I wonder what I did with it.

In summary, the system has been stable since last night and generated no error messages, but it's not perfect either. About 30% of the recordings show a gap during them. Network definitions are Ceton's defaults. The Ceton device does not share its USB hub with anything else. Also, under Sage's "browse file system" I can no longer browse the network. Ceton gives me 100 extra channels, per tuner, over the Silicondust HDHR. I have set tuner priorities so that the Ceton 4 tuners are picked last so that my favorites are recorded on the HDHR and HDPVRs. I think I need to understand if there's anything I can do to reduce the gaps in some of the recordings.

If I figure out anything else, I will report it here.

*** Checked the SageDCT logs and saw errors. On a hunch I increased the default RTP buffer from 128K to 256K. The errors have disappeared and so have the gaps / connection drops / faults / whatever they were.
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Server:UnRaid;2x Intel Xeon E5; SuperMicro moboard;Also:BM3000 w/ WMC; 2x Ceton ETH 6; OpenDCT
SageTV Extender:3x HD200 1x HD300
Sage TV: 9.1.10, Standard STVi, Comskip Playback, Web Interface, 24 Hour Clock, SRE, YouTube2015, Playon
All in lovely Drexel Hill, PA

Last edited by egeller; 12-25-2011 at 03:19 PM. Reason: may have solved a mystery...
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2011, 12:55 PM
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Skybolt Skybolt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
I'm thinking of going with a cable card tuner. I like the fact that the Prime is an external device, but based on the postings I've read, it seems that the Ceton is currently more dependable than the Prime. ...
I went with the Prime and do not touch it. It has been up and running for ~2 months now. I am on an old firmware version as I don't need to fix what's not broken. My only issue is with my Cable company which basically has everything "CopyOnce". I use it for the basic network channels, but those are what I record most, without an issue.

It does work with W7MC real well. All stations work great(except they are DRM). 7MC is my back up should sage die. So I actually have a tunner(3 of them) ready to go without doing anything!

-Skybolt
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2011, 03:05 PM
kmp14 kmp14 is offline
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egeller,

Were you able to get a self-install for the cable card, or did Comcast have to come out?
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2011, 06:34 PM
egeller egeller is offline
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I was able to get the self install kit from Comcast. I stopped by my local office and they did not have any. They referred me to a larger office a few miles away and they did not give me any grief over it.
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Server:UnRaid;2x Intel Xeon E5; SuperMicro moboard;Also:BM3000 w/ WMC; 2x Ceton ETH 6; OpenDCT
SageTV Extender:3x HD200 1x HD300
Sage TV: 9.1.10, Standard STVi, Comskip Playback, Web Interface, 24 Hour Clock, SRE, YouTube2015, Playon
All in lovely Drexel Hill, PA
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2012, 02:19 PM
thomaszoo thomaszoo is offline
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I got my Ceton just before they started offering the self-install kit. The install went fairly smoothly with the technician. But after a few months I started having problems and Ceton suggested getting a replacement cable card. I took the cable card into Comcast and they gave me a new one along with instructions on how to activate it. I had no problems following their instructions and it has been rock solid ever since.

Wayne
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  #10  
Old 01-04-2012, 03:28 PM
DaveS DaveS is offline
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My main concern is USB vs PCIe or lan. I don't know much about the differences in bandwidth. I suppose USB is more than sufficient for 4 HD signals otherwise Ceton wouldn't have made a USB version. But is USB sufficent an a single computer for those 4 HD signals if you have other USB devices on the same computer? Say an HD/PVR, a USB-IRT, keyboard, mouse, etc?
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2012, 08:32 AM
egeller egeller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
My main concern is USB vs PCIe or lan. I don't know much about the differences in bandwidth. I suppose USB is more than sufficient for 4 HD signals otherwise Ceton wouldn't have made a USB version. But is USB sufficent an a single computer for those 4 HD signals if you have other USB devices on the same computer? Say an HD/PVR, a USB-IRT, keyboard, mouse, etc?
Your mileage may vary. However, it works for me. The USB devices I have attached to my system include 2 HDPVR's, USB UIRT, a Battery backup, the Ceton tuner, and 1 for the combination Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse. I may have forgotten one.

My signature is correct, mostly. I had to retire the Ubuntu server and move the recording directories to the Windows box where Sage (and SageDCT) were installed. SageDCT could not stand the delay in writing recordings over the LAN. Since I made that change, everything has been stable and trouble free.
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Server:UnRaid;2x Intel Xeon E5; SuperMicro moboard;Also:BM3000 w/ WMC; 2x Ceton ETH 6; OpenDCT
SageTV Extender:3x HD200 1x HD300
Sage TV: 9.1.10, Standard STVi, Comskip Playback, Web Interface, 24 Hour Clock, SRE, YouTube2015, Playon
All in lovely Drexel Hill, PA
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2012, 11:27 AM
DaveS DaveS is offline
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Thanks, this is good to know!
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