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  #1  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:30 PM
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Steve2112 Steve2112 is offline
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Goodbye and thanks SageTV

Well, after much fustration with Hauppauge products and drivers, I tried a $50 Tivo that I could not pass up as open box (but 99% new), upgraded to Lifetime (because it was a Humax DRT400, which is still eligble for the lifetime subs). I then sold the Tivo on eBay for a profit, and finally bought a HD TV. I then looked into Cox's HD/Digital box the 6416, which can record 2 HDTV channels, and it just works. It is not as customizable as Sage, not as friendly as Tivo, but it just plain works so far.

No problems with Sage at all - great product, and I still plan using it for analog overflow (if there is such a phrase!).

I just got tired of Hauppauge and the buggy drivers. Main card was the 350, had a 150, and USB2, but it was a constant battle. Tried drivers from CD, drivers from Hauppauge, drivers from SHS, etc... either the remote stopped working (I tried all the tricks in the forums) - or the 2nd tuner never worked.

I am so happy sitting here with my new TV and DVR box....no more battles, and no more missed episodes of Family Guy and Lost!

Thanks Sage - awesome product, I loved you for 2 1/2 years of no payments for guide, and an awesome community.

I'll be back some day when I learn more about HDTV tuners for PCs, cable cards, etc.... so see you another day.

Hauppauge - I have lost more hair battling the 350, EOF bug, IR hardware cannot be found, and tuners not working as they should. I blame my dabbling into Tivo and Cox PVR on you Hauppauge!

Ok, done with that rant....

Steve
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:54 PM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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When the MVP started working with SageTV even unofficially with matt's plugin, you should've abandoned the 350's TV-out. The MVP is the solution to that problem. And if you use the 350 just as a tuner, it works fine. Thats what I've done.

As for the hauppauge remote, yes there is a problem when you combine their "MCE" tuners with regular ones. And an easy solution is to use an alternative remote and easily configure to work with either girder or hip if not supported officially by SageTV. And if you went with the MVP, the remote it comes with is excellent.

Anyway, as I always stated, for easy headache free setup, buy a Tivo or even a preconfigured MCE2005 PC, or in your case, the DVR from your content provider. SageTV is not a "just works" out of the box product, at least not when it is aimed to work on any PC hardware.

But I'm glad you're happy with your decision.
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2006, 11:17 PM
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Steve2112 Steve2112 is offline
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I did move from the Hauppauge remote to the one that comes with MCE2005 (yes, I tried that too). My remote problem was finally fixed, but even a fresh fdisk and reinstall of XP gave me lingering problems with the Hauppauge drivers. I do PC support for a living, and my job burns me out, so I didn't want to fight my PC at night. MVP sounds interesting...

Like I said, gone for a little while for now.... Sage rocks, and I mention it often in forums.

I know it won't work out of the box, but I have been doing PCs and computers for 17 years, first computer was a Timex Sinclaire, Vic-20, TRS80 model I, and III etc....onto DOS and IBM PC. No other product like the Hauppauge ones caused me so much driver grief.

Steve
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2006, 11:32 PM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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Just curious, what are the problems with the hauppauge drivers? And are they related to the USB2 tuner? I read a few threads about problems with the USB2 tuner and therfore stay away from it. I have a 350, 150MCE, 250MCE, and 500MCE, and I have no problems with their drivers. The 350 always had the TV-out problems, but since using it as just a tuner, it works without problems.

For SDTV, nothing beats the MVP in terms of picture quality, stability, and cost.
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2006, 01:50 AM
Lucas Lucas is offline
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It just goes to show that each one of us may have alltogether different issues.

I for one have trouble with the PVR250 drivers, which on occasion (about once every 2-3 weeks) cause a crash causing an auto reboot after which the PVR250 drivers don't load losing it as a capture device. A fresh reboot restores everything.

In contrast to the USB2 functions perfectly from day 1.

Apart from the above and a couple of other annoyances I couldn't see my self dropping SageTV.
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  #6  
Old 10-18-2006, 03:00 AM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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I must be lucky then because I don't have hauppauge drivers crashing my system. I also built two other SageTV system for other people with hauppauge cards, and no reports of crashes there. I haven't seen too many posts complaining about hauppauge drivers aside from the 350 TV-out problems in which there are endless amount of posts. I think for the 350, its not just a bad driver but faulty hardware and overheating issues are also to blame. Are hauppauge drivers that bad?
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Last edited by mayamaniac; 10-18-2006 at 03:02 AM.
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2006, 02:26 PM
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dvd_maniac dvd_maniac is offline
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Quote:
Are hauppauge drivers that bad?
I think they stink when it comes to using the remote with mulitple cards and I wish they would get off their #$$#% and fix it.

Otherwise they are great!!!
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  #8  
Old 10-18-2006, 03:32 PM
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jominor jominor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayamaniac
I must be lucky then because I don't have hauppauge drivers crashing my system. I also built two other SageTV system for other people with hauppauge cards, and no reports of crashes there. I haven't seen too many posts complaining about hauppauge drivers aside from the 350 TV-out problems in which there are endless amount of posts. I think for the 350, its not just a bad driver but faulty hardware and overheating issues are also to blame. Are hauppauge drivers that bad?
Ditto. I've got two 250s and a USB2 Hauppage and I think they are rock solid. My system runs 24/7 with upgrades when I download MS patches every 7 weeks or so.
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2006, 07:54 PM
stevech stevech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayamaniac
Just curious, what are the problems with the hauppauge drivers? And are they related to the USB2 tuner?
USB2 tuner used here for quite a while, problem free.
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  #10  
Old 10-18-2006, 11:46 PM
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Steve2112 Steve2112 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvd_maniac
I think they stink when it comes to using the remote with mulitple cards and I wish they would get off their #$$#% and fix it.

Otherwise they are great!!!
Yep, that was my problem until I used someone's suggestion of using the remote & receiver that came with my Windows XP MCE 2005.

I should mention that my motherboards (I have 5 systems with the same mobo, 1 was dedicated to Sage) was the Soyo K75SA (or K7S5A, I forgot which letter came where!).

The system would not boot if Hauppauge cards were in certain slots, so I played "PCI Chess" until I found the right spots for the system to come up.

At one point, I had a pretty good working system that consisted of a 350 card feeding the S-Video input to my TV with UI enabled (didn't have too much trouble with this), and a 150 card.

Then one day for no reason other than a normal reboot the system would no longer load IR.EXE - system error msg complained it failed to load the infared hardware.

Opus4/Andy gave me a bunch of IR registry settings to try to change the card that was utilized for the IR, but none of them solved the problem.

As I mentioned above, eventually changing to the MCE remote fixed that problem.

The problem that put me over the edge was the fact that only 1 tuner would work. There were no device manager problems, like red exclaimation points, everything looked normal. I tried other versions of the drivers too - but what would happen is the 2nd tuner looked fine in Sage too, saying it was recording etc.... but when it was done recording the file, it deleted it immediately because it was corrupt. I did not really know this was happening until I investigated and found that the only recordings I was getting came from only the 350 tuner card (checked details of the recorded show, and never saw tuner #2 there as being the card that recorded the show. That's what prompted me to buy the USB tuner - something new to try (I got the right one too, not the $99 retail one that does not do the same thing as the $149 retail USB2 PVR).

If you would go into source setup, and try to preview channels or do "color calibration" which also brings up an image of what the card was doing, would fail with one of two errors - either error -000004 null request in playback, and I can't remember the 2nd error message that would sometimes come up, but it was very similar - unable to render the image.

I found that Sage worked best with the Hauppage cards when executed in service mode - otherwise there would be weird audio artifacts like screeching noises that would last a tenth of a second, kind of like the sound of a DJ with a turn table scratching lol.

The other thing that would happen is that randomly, the computer would hard freeze at :59 or :29 past the hour about 5-6 times per month, even if the computer was not recording anything... I would arrive home at say 4:45pm, and the computer was frozen, and the time was always ending in :59 or :29, so it would say 2:59am for example.

This even continued after fdisk, format, new XP SP2 install - all the symptoms came back as described above.

Maybe it was the Soyo motherboard (I tried to make a Sage system on two computers, both had the same Mobo though...) So PERHAPS if I had a different mobo I would have never experienced these problems - who knows. I think that MB is based on VIA chipsets, and I hear they don't play well with what I was trying to accomplish.

So, maybe it's not Hauppauge, maybe it's the underlying hardware - who knows. All I know is that I added my final component to my new system tonight, and it made the number of cables used for home theater/TV go down.... I replaced my component cable set & audio cables with 1 HDMI cable going from the Cox DVR to my TV. It is so simple and elegant now.

I also have the added bonus of HDTV recording, without buying all new equipment and fighting that vendor's faults (or my own!).

Sage is an awesome product.... I stand by that. I also feel I put in plenty of blood, sweat, and tears over the 2 year period. I had never owned a Tivo before Sage, so when I first got my 350 card for use only with the WinTV application to view TV on my PC, imagine my excitement as I stumbled onto the free Sage demo which has changed TV history and enjoyment for myself. I think it was a card that came with the 350 that got me to check Sage out. Thanks for that, it has brought me to where I am today in HTPC knowledge (far from an expert, but enough knowledge to be dangerous!)

Steve
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  #11  
Old 10-19-2006, 01:06 AM
doc doc is offline
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I think part of your problem may have been the K7S5A motherboards. I bought 2 a while back and they gave me nothing but trouble. I remember playing music slots with network, sound, tv card, and mpeg decoder cards, and never quite being able to get all working together. I had a lot more hair in those days! In the end they both ended up in the skip and I got 2 giga-byte motherboards.

All of these problems we're before I tried Sage.

I used to have problems with via chipsets with my old digital camera. Sometimes it would be detected ok, sometimes it would just error. It depended which way the wind was blowing as to whether it would work or not. Newer via chipsets have been ok.

For the first 6 months of using Sage I wasn't impressed with my picture quality. I hadn't any idea what was causing it, but a change of input from coax to composite has helped greatly (svideo keeps jumping to black and white), a 100 nvidia graphics card, and a lot of tweaking has made it very good. I do understand the bit about just wanting something to work though.

I think whats made it work for me is that I get bored at weekends and so have a lot of time to play, and no WAF screaming at me when the pc's been sat in bits for a few days when I've lost the will to put it back together again.
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  #12  
Old 10-19-2006, 04:57 AM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve2112
Maybe it was the Soyo motherboard (I tried to make a Sage system on two computers, both had the same Mobo though...) So PERHAPS if I had a different mobo I would have never experienced these problems - who knows. I think that MB is based on VIA chipsets, and I hear they don't play well with what I was trying to accomplish.

Steve
As soon as you mentioned Soyo K7S5A motherboard, I googled it right away before finish reading your post and noticed it's VIA chipset. I would bet the problem is there. If you are willing to give SageTV a try again in the future, I suggest you either replace that Soyo with an NForce2, 3 or 4 board, whatever supports your CPU slot. Or if you build a new server PC, I recommend going with intel motherboard. They are much more HTPC friendly. Stay away from VIA chipset boards.

I tried running my SageTV server once on an AMD64/Asus/Via PC, and that was nothing but constant crashes. At first, the board wouldn't even boot with the hauppauge 500MCE. I forgot what I did, but I had to upgrade some firmware to get it to work. But still the crashes were too often and I swapped it with my other PC, which is all intel, and no more crashes since. I use the AMD64 as a game machine now and its fine.
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