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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 02-21-2007, 10:05 PM
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jbarr jbarr is offline
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HDHomeRun success story

Sorry for the length of this, but I admit it...I'm excited!

OK, so I ordered HDHomeRun, and received it yesterday. Like every review states, it's a sparse package, but it does come with everything you need to hook up.

Setup
Setup was a snap, but instead of trying to get it to work with SageTV right away, I decided to test it with my wireless laptop. Scanning channels found TONS of channels on Charter Cable (Anderson, SC) but alas, most were labeled "encrypted". I tested the non-encrypted channels with VLC, and voila! I have about 11 channels (+ about 50 music channels) that come in. Of those 11 channels, 5 are actual "HD" channels.

The Channels
77-3 An unknown Spanish channel (Digital but not HD)
77-4 GAC Great American Country (Digital but not HD)
78-7 WHNSDT2 Weather (Digital but not HD)
78-8 WSPADT2 Weather (Digital but not HD)
86-8 SC (Digital but not HD)
90-1:-54 Music
91-1 BET (Digital but not HD)

78-2 WYFFDT2 Weather (Full HD!)
103-1 WYFFDT NBC (Full HD!)
103-2 WSPADT CMS (Full HD!)
103-3 WNTVDT3 PBS (Full HD!)
104-1 WHNSDT FOX (Full HD!)


So the GREAT news is that I now get the local HD channels--EXACTLY what I wanted. Of course, I would love more (HDNet, DiscoveryHD, etc.) but my wife and I are perfectly happy with this lineup.

So I logged the channel numbers and began the SageTV setup process. If you follow the instructions, it actually isn't that bad. After a couple tries, I got the HDHR tuner to show up in the Video Sources screen. Now came the challenge...how to configure the EPG.

My Setup
I have two Hauppauge PVR-150's, one connected to raw analog cable, the otehr to a digital STB. Now, I put HDHR into the mix, and it becomes a challenge. Fortunately, Zap2it provides three different EPG's for Charter in my area: Basic cable (assigned to the Analog PVR0150) Extended basic (assigned to the STB PVR-150) and Local Broadcast which I selected for HDHR. This fit pefectly, because all of the logged HD channels from HDHR are listed in the EPG! So it was just a matter of enabling the channels and mapping the physical numbers.

I also mapped the HD channels to virtual channel numbers 801, 802, 803, 804, & 805 as these aren't used in my lineup. This makes finding them a snap.

So I end up with everything lining up as I want in the EPG: Channels 2-99 seamlessly shared by the analog and STB connections, digital channels 100-799 services by the STB connection only, and channels 801-805 by HDHomeRun.

Stutter & how I eiliminated it
So I tuned a channel, and it came in crystal clear...but the video was jerky, stuttering, and completely unwatchable. I don't know what posessed me, but I went into the setup and tried all the combinations of video renders and decoders. After trial-and-error, I found that choosing the "VMR9" renderer and "InterVideo" decoder produced excellent, stutter-free video on both HD and SD recordings. I do notice a slight "frame skip" in some Star Trek: Voyager & TNG shows, but it is vastly improved. So much for the PureVideo decoder....

One nitpick: The HDHR audio is soft. I have to turn it way up, but it is still excellent. We just jump out of our skin if we forget to turn it down and change channels....

Bottom Line
I now have a SageTV setup that VERY nicely provides access to analog and digital SD content as well as HD content. And frankly, some of the PBS shows are simply stunning. Now that the stuttering issue is behind me, we can really enjoy SageTV, and we can really enjoy the HDTV we purchaed!
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-Jim Barr
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HTPC: AMD ASUS M2N-E Socket AM2 Motherboard; Athlon 64 3200+ Orleans 2.0GHz; 2GB RAM; eVGA 256MB Geforce 7300LE; 1x40GB IDE HDD (OS), 2xSeagate Barracuda 320GB SATA HDD (Recordings); Antec Overture II Case; Windows XP Pro SP2; SageTV v6.5
STV: SageMC
Video sources: Currently, none. I'm using SageTV for Music, Photos, and Video playback.
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2007, 10:10 PM
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jbarr jbarr is offline
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Quick Tip

I forgot to mention a quick tip: I modified one of malore's custom menus (Menu2 using the plugin) and set it to display only HDTV content sorted by date. I now have a quick & easy way to see what HD content I can record. VERY nice!
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-Jim Barr
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HTPC: AMD ASUS M2N-E Socket AM2 Motherboard; Athlon 64 3200+ Orleans 2.0GHz; 2GB RAM; eVGA 256MB Geforce 7300LE; 1x40GB IDE HDD (OS), 2xSeagate Barracuda 320GB SATA HDD (Recordings); Antec Overture II Case; Windows XP Pro SP2; SageTV v6.5
STV: SageMC
Video sources: Currently, none. I'm using SageTV for Music, Photos, and Video playback.
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2007, 11:09 PM
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GTwannabe GTwannabe is offline
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Try using ReClock as your audio renderer. It will resample the audio rather than dropping frames.

I've also noticed that video playback in 6.1.3 is far smoother than 6.0.19. With ReClock, PureVideo, and 6.1.x, video playback is smooth as glass (even on my HTPC's gimpy 7300LE)
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  #4  
Old 02-22-2007, 10:20 AM
eaug eaug is offline
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I have almost the exact same set-up and by trial and error found that stuttering went away with the combinations of the "VMR9" renderer and "InterVideo" decoder.

I have not been able to get rid of the mico drops even with ReClock.

If anyone has settings that work, let us know. Espeically for those of us with a Hauppague SD card and HDHomerun.

Thanks.

Brent
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2007, 10:23 AM
eaug eaug is offline
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Sound

I forgot to mention we have the same sound issue. It blows out our ears when we switch to a recording from the Hauppauge card vs the HDHomerun. Hopefully someone knows how to balance it out and let us know.

Brent
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2007, 11:11 AM
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Well, at least I can take some solace knowing that my system isn't some "fluke" system and there's some consistency among similar setups!

One option might be to play around with a Hauppauge tweak tool that can be used to adjust the db on the audio output. Conceivably, you could lower the Hauppauge side to more closely match the HDHR side. But from what I discovered last night while playing with things (based on Charter Cable content) is that the HDHR side is "consistently inconsistent" depending on the content. Actual HD content seems to be much lower in volume, but if non-HD shows have a higher volume. For example, a non-HD show had much higher volume in comparison to an HD recording on the same channel. In fact, if the show is an HD show, but has non-HD commercials, the volume was low during the HD content and high during the non-HD content. I can't say this is conclusive, but that's what I observed over a couple hours last night. So it seems that it's either an HD anomaly, or it's how Charter Cable pumps out their feed.
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-Jim Barr
SageTVTips.com


HTPC: AMD ASUS M2N-E Socket AM2 Motherboard; Athlon 64 3200+ Orleans 2.0GHz; 2GB RAM; eVGA 256MB Geforce 7300LE; 1x40GB IDE HDD (OS), 2xSeagate Barracuda 320GB SATA HDD (Recordings); Antec Overture II Case; Windows XP Pro SP2; SageTV v6.5
STV: SageMC
Video sources: Currently, none. I'm using SageTV for Music, Photos, and Video playback.
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2007, 12:36 PM
eaug eaug is offline
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Volume

Jim-

I agree, it's not just your cable company, our TWC has the same differences. Within a HD broadcast the commercials are usually louder, but not always.

We almost need something in Sage that can automically adjust output to a certain db level. For now I've just been glad to get the HD contenct virtually studder free.

I don't know if you use showanalyzer to skip commercials, but I've been in contact with Jere since the HDHomerun .ts files don't always process the commericals. For now I've switched back to using the commercial skip program instead of showalyzer/dirmon since it seems to process the files without problems.

Brent
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2007, 01:21 PM
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jbarr jbarr is offline
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Brent,

I use ShowAnalyzer/DirMon2 all the time, but haven't worked with it yet on HDHomeRun .ts files. It's only procesing .mpg's. Eventually, I'll take a look at commercial-skip processing, but my main goal was to get HD working. Now that it's working and working wekk, I'll likely sit tight for a while....
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-Jim Barr
SageTVTips.com


HTPC: AMD ASUS M2N-E Socket AM2 Motherboard; Athlon 64 3200+ Orleans 2.0GHz; 2GB RAM; eVGA 256MB Geforce 7300LE; 1x40GB IDE HDD (OS), 2xSeagate Barracuda 320GB SATA HDD (Recordings); Antec Overture II Case; Windows XP Pro SP2; SageTV v6.5
STV: SageMC
Video sources: Currently, none. I'm using SageTV for Music, Photos, and Video playback.
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2007, 01:40 PM
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lovingHDTV lovingHDTV is offline
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jbarr,
not sure what nvidia drivers you use, but I get the best results from the 84.21 release. There has been quite a lot of chatter on the forum regarding this topic. All of the later video drivers make my playback stuttery.

Anderson eh? I have not been through there in a while, I grew up in Asheville.
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2007, 04:46 PM
blade blade is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eaug
I forgot to mention we have the same sound issue. It blows out our ears when we switch to a recording from the Hauppauge card vs the HDHomerun. Hopefully someone knows how to balance it out and let us know.

Brent
Why this happens as well as ways to even out the sound levels have been discussed many times on the forums. Most people use the AC3 filter to normalize the audio. If you do a search you should find plenty of information on how to solve the "problem".
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