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  #1  
Old 09-01-2009, 04:48 PM
kmp14 kmp14 is offline
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Might Be Saying Goodbye to SageTV - RESOLVED

Need to vent my sadness.

First off, I love SageTV. Very cool platform as a whole, but.....

I am about ready to give up on SageTV and HD200 extenders. I have a problem when watching TV where every 30-45 seconds the video stutters or twitches. It is not in the signal because it is not reproducable (does not happen at the same place in a recording every time).

I have been working with SageTV support, and they have been pretty responsive, asking for logs, asking me to try different firmware, etc. They are definitely doing their best to help.

NO, I dont have other extenders using the Photo screen saver.
YES, 64K cluster drive for recording.


Here is what I have tried to fix the problem (NONE solved the problem):

Assuming the problem is network:
-ONLY the Server PC and the HD200 on the network (Netgear GST24 Switch, Linksys WRT600n router)
-ONLY the Server PC and the HD200 on the Linksys WRT600 router (no switch)
-ONLY the Server PC and the HD200 on my old Linksys WRT54GS router (no switch)
-ONLY the Server PC and the HD200 on my REALLY old Linksys BEFSR41 router (no switch)
-ONLY the Server PC and the HD200 on a Linksys 5 port gigabit switch (not sure of model num)
-Tried an Intel Pro/1000 NIC instead of the on-board NIC.
-Tried a Marvel chipset based gigbit NIC instead of the on-board NIC.
-Tried a linksys based 10/100 NIC instead of the on-board NIC.
-REWIRED Server and HD200 ethernet in case there was a bad cable - properly terminiated Cat5 cables!
-Tried EVERY Advanced Setting available on the NICs. Yes, one at time, test, set the setting back.
-Attempted a crossover cable, but could not figure out how to get DHCP Server working in vista.

Assuming something wrong with the server:
-I have heard that SATA and AHCI (specifically intel chipsets) may cause weirdness, so I tried a USB drive (granted, SATA). Same exact problem.
-Could it be something else with the intel-based chipset server? Maybe, so installed server on my WHS (HP MediaSmart). This WHS is AMD based - so no Intel involved. Same exact problem. (Yes, 64K clusters on recording drive)

Assuming something else?:
-Bad HD200? Nope, I have 3, they all do it, purchased at different times.
-Bad TV? Nope, happens on all 3 TVs

The only thing that I have seen that MAY stop it is setting the output of the HD200 to 720p, but I am not 100% sure that it goes away with that either (can't take any more testing!), and my TV is 1080p and overscans 720p horribly, so no thanks, even if it was acceptable.

I can't enjoy TV when I can't help but look for the twitch.

I realize others with HD200's are either - 1. Not having this problem, 2. Not noticing it, 3. Not caring. Regardless, I am having it, and it is frustrating!

Again, SageTV support has really been working with me to try to solve this, and I have no complaints with support, but I love TV, and I need a solution that doesn't make it frustrating! Unfortunately I have temporarily gone back to MCE, and may have to stay there

My 3 MCE Linksys extenders were going to go up on EBAY, but now it looks like my HD200s might be going up

At this point I am pretty sure the problem is in the hardware and/or firmware, at least after all of my testing, what else couold it be?

I am going to wait a few more weeks, just in case they solve the problem, otherwise they go on Ebay.

Just needed to vent. I am sad.

****************UPDATE 9/7/2009****************************

Well the great news is that the problem is solved!!!!

I was working with George from support, and the solution was to add a custom resolution:


Test1920x1080i@60|standard=HDMI_1080i59;

When I switch to that custom resolution, the pic is rock solid, and I jump around the room doing the happy dance!

Strange part: Both the Samsung DLP and Philips LCD need that res. to solve the problem. Seems odd that 2 different brands had a quirk that needed a special res.

Thanks, thanks, thanks, to everyone who spent the time helping me. I learned a ton! Even better, I am staying with SageTV!

Last edited by kmp14; 09-07-2009 at 07:47 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2009, 04:53 PM
Brent Brent is offline
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How is playback on the server PC? Same issues?

Any chance the hard drive you are recording to is bad?
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2009, 05:03 PM
carlgar carlgar is offline
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Have you gotten a wireshark capture of the network traffic? It seems like that would tell you a lot about where the problem is. Since it occurs every 30-45 seconds it seems like the server cannot get enough data to the HD200 in a timely manner.

If you want to test with a crossover cable, why not just use static IPs? You could also use the free Tftpd32 program as a DHCP Server. I used it on my Vista system when I needed a DHCP server there.

Have you used the Reliability and performance monitor to look for bottlenecks on your system. I would think it unlikely to be a Sage issue because this is the only issue I have seen like this.
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2009, 05:13 PM
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MeInMaui MeInMaui is offline
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Do you have an antivirus program on your server that might be scanning that directory?
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2009, 05:22 PM
kmp14 kmp14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeInMaui View Post
Do you have an antivirus program on your server that might be scanning that directory?
No antivirus on the WHS, same problem.
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2009, 05:23 PM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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I'm with carlgar. Instead of making guesses and swapping out hardware at random, spend some time analyzing what your system is actually doing when the symptoms happen. Do you see any periodic spikes in CPU usage or network activity? Java garbage collection? Paging file access? Is there some competing process hitting the disk at 30-second intervals? All these things (and more) are measurable with software tools, so it makes sense to do those measurements and find out where to focus your troubleshooting efforts.
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2009, 05:26 PM
kmp14 kmp14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlgar View Post
Have you gotten a wireshark capture of the network traffic? It seems like that would tell you a lot about where the problem is. Since it occurs every 30-45 seconds it seems like the server cannot get enough data to the HD200 in a timely manner.

If you want to test with a crossover cable, why not just use static IPs? You could also use the free Tftpd32 program as a DHCP Server. I used it on my Vista system when I needed a DHCP server there.

Have you used the Reliability and performance monitor to look for bottlenecks on your system. I would think it unlikely to be a Sage issue because this is the only issue I have seen like this.
30-45 seconds was a rough estimate, it is not "every X seconds" at all, very random.

It does not happen at all with MCE and Linksys extenders so if there is a bottle neck somwhere, I would think it may reek havoc on any media streaming.

I would not know what to do with Wireshark data. If SageTV support asked for it, I would definitely provide it.

Also remember, I have tried 2 completely different systems (Vista, Quad Core PC, and a AMD based WHS) so it is not the "server" since I have tried 2 different ones.
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2009, 05:28 PM
kmp14 kmp14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent View Post
How is playback on the server PC? Same issues?

Any chance the hard drive you are recording to is bad?
Don't really even use the server PC to watch TV. Would be a good test.

As far as the hard drive, I have tried 2 separate PCs, and an external USB drive, same problem.
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2009, 05:31 PM
kmp14 kmp14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKusnick View Post
I'm with carlgar. Instead of making guesses and swapping out hardware at random, spend some time analyzing what your system is actually doing when the symptoms happen. Do you see any periodic spikes in CPU usage or network activity? Java garbage collection? Paging file access? Is there some competing process hitting the disk at 30-second intervals? All these things (and more) are measurable with software tools, so it makes sense to do those measurements and find out where to focus your troubleshooting efforts.
I would agree, except that I have tried it on 2 (actually 3) completely separate PCs as the server. A Quad Core running vista, a quad core running XP, and a WHS AMD based. All 3 have the exact same problem somewhere in the OS or hardware? Seems really unlikely.
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2009, 05:36 PM
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MeInMaui MeInMaui is offline
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Does this happen for all video playback (DVD's and recordings)? What is your capture device? Are your drivers up to date? Does this only happen for HD video, or SD as well?
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  #11  
Old 09-01-2009, 05:56 PM
carlgar carlgar is offline
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Since you mentioned having a USB file, have you tried using the HD200 in stand alone mode? If the problem does not occur in stand alone that would narrow it down to the server. If the problem does occur then it would probably be the HD200.
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  #12  
Old 09-01-2009, 06:04 PM
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gplasky gplasky is offline
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You mentioned you had rewired. Have you tested with just pre-made cables? (Just asking-nothing personal. Just something else to take out of the equation.)

Gerry
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  #13  
Old 09-01-2009, 06:38 PM
kmp14 kmp14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeInMaui View Post
Does this happen for all video playback (DVD's and recordings)? What is your capture device? Are your drivers up to date? Does this only happen for HD video, or SD as well?
Only use SageTV for TV recording. I could try to rip a DVD and play it just to see.

2 HDHomeRuns as the tuners.

Happens for HD and SD.

All drivers (and HDHomeRun firmware) up-to-date.
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  #14  
Old 09-01-2009, 06:40 PM
kmp14 kmp14 is offline
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Originally Posted by carlgar View Post
If you want to test with a crossover cable, why not just use static IPs? You could also use the free Tftpd32 program as a DHCP Server. I used it on my Vista system when I needed a DHCP server there.
I tried static IPs on the SageTV and Vista Server, they would not talk to each other.

The instructions somewhere on here say that the HD200 can only be used crossover-style with the Server having DHCP. Any tips? I will check out Tftpd32.
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  #15  
Old 09-01-2009, 06:41 PM
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MeInMaui MeInMaui is offline
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I would rip a DVD to try it. There could be something funny about those recordings that make them not play nicely. I've had so many glitches with my HDHR that I finally gave up and disconnected it. The fact that this happens for both HD and SD suggests it isn't a network or hard drive throughput issue. Heck, I get flawless SD playback on an HD100 over 802.11g.

Aloha,
Mike
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Last edited by MeInMaui; 09-01-2009 at 06:45 PM.
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  #16  
Old 09-01-2009, 06:49 PM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmp14 View Post
All 3 have the exact same problem somewhere in the OS or hardware?
Or in the software config. Presumably you've configured SageTV the same way on all three test systems, with the same add-ons and utility programs.

Also I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Windows Search service, disk defragmenter, or something else of that nature causing similar problems on three different platforms.

The point is that running diagnostics is fairly painless compared to moving your whole setup to new hardware, so there's not really any downside to doing it. If it confirms what you already believe, great; now you have more and better reasons to believe that. On the other hand, if it turns up something you didn't think of, well then, that's good too.
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  #17  
Old 09-01-2009, 06:55 PM
kmp14 kmp14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKusnick View Post
Or in the software config. Presumably you've configured SageTV the same way on all three test systems, with the same add-ons and utility programs.

Also I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Windows Search service, disk defragmenter, or something else of that nature causing similar problems on three different platforms.

The point is that running diagnostics is fairly painless compared to moving your whole setup to new hardware, so there's not really any downside to doing it. If it confirms what you already believe, great; now you have more and better reasons to believe that. On the other hand, if it turns up something you didn't think of, well then, that's good too.
I am not an expert in the diagnostics. I looked at Vista's monitor app, and there are hundreds of things to monitor, and I wouldn't know how to interpret it. Any tips, advice, links, recommendations as to how to use the tool, and interpret the results?
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  #18  
Old 09-01-2009, 06:59 PM
carlgar carlgar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmp14 View Post
I tried static IPs on the SageTV and Vista Server, they would not talk to each other.

The instructions somewhere on here say that the HD200 can only be used crossover-style with the Server having DHCP. Any tips? I will check out Tftpd32.
Is the crossover cable self made or purchased? DHCP should not be required if using static IP number. At this point, I am more interested in knowing if the issue occurs when in stand alone mode. If so, then that would rule out any cable, network or server issue.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:05 PM
carlgar carlgar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmp14 View Post
I am not an expert in the diagnostics. I looked at Vista's monitor app, and there are hundreds of things to monitor, and I wouldn't know how to interpret it. Any tips, advice, links, recommendations as to how to use the tool, and interpret the results?
I would start out with the resource overview that shows the 4 graphs (CPU, Disk, network and memory usage). I would look for spikes that seem to occur when the problem occurs. If you see a match that should give you an idea of where the issue is.
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  #20  
Old 09-01-2009, 07:15 PM
bcjenkins bcjenkins is offline
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I am wondering if you have allocated more memory to the JVM. Can you bump up to 512 or even 1024?

B
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