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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 01-15-2007, 08:26 AM
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Slack Slack is offline
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An Issue with 1080i ?

I recently added a second Vbox DTA 150 Digital ATSC HD Tuner to my HTPC.

Asus A8N-VM-CSN
AMD 64 3200
Nvidia 6150 (Onbaord)
XP Pro SageTV 5
Running Overlay (VMR too much for the GPU)
NVidia Pure

I never had issues with 1080i before, but this weekend I noticed what appeared to be dropped frames on CBS Football, typically when the camera is panning the crowd, or following kickoffs or passes. It was still 'watchable' in all other regards. Commerials, even HD commericals exhibited NONE of this. Keep in mind, while this game was recording, until the last hour of padding was reached, the recording tuner was all alone, just as it was when there was only a single recorder. Saturday, Tuner 1 recorded CBS, Sunday, Tuner 2 recorded CBS - problem the same on both.

The FOX games were perfect.

I'm going to copy the game file to a computer upstairs to sse if it is on the recording side or playback side.

Anything else to look for?
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2007, 09:50 AM
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lobosrul lobosrul is offline
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Was it JUST that channel? NBC and PBS also broadcast at 1080i so it might be usefull to see if your having the same problems on those channels.

For a few weeks my local NBC affiliate was having all kinds of issues on their digital channel.
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2007, 08:52 PM
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Well, it's still an issue on CBS. Watched NFC Championship on Fox - no issues whatsoever. The AFC game on CBS was annoying. Like I said before it's most noticeable on pans of the crowd.

I notice nothing on NBC (SNL looked fine, albeit it ain't fast motion).

As another check I recorded the same CBS game on a ReplayTV that is hooked up to a Samsung OTA tuner - Tuned to same channel - same antenna. Silky smooth, even if it is only 480 lines.

Guess I'll poke around in pure video as I think it's a playback issue. It just baffles me that adding a second tuner could do this.
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  #4  
Old 01-22-2007, 05:35 PM
gtd885a gtd885a is offline
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I don't have an answer for you necessarily, but I will say that I have experienced similar problems ONLY on CBS 1080i during football/etc. (specifically when they pan or there is fast motion).

I use firewire recording, but I also see the exact same issue if I use an OTA HD card. I emailed Sage support about it a while back (this was before I got the OTA HD card) and they basically said "Sorry, we don't support firewire recording" (no, actually that's exactly what they said).

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I am past this problem (mostly), and that in my case, it was definitely a playback issue (because I can go back and watch things that used to be unwatchable, but work fine now). Mine was fixed when I upgraded to the latest purevideo decoders about a month ago, however I can't say for sure why or what changed.

However, last night, I had the problem again. I started to get upset, but decided to restart my machine (I had installed a couple things but hadn't restarted yet), and it was fine again.

So, I'm sure I didn't help really, but I mostly wanted to mention that I had experienced the exact same thing (although in my case, when it started to skip, it became unwatchable).
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  #5  
Old 01-22-2007, 06:35 PM
icmoney icmoney is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slack
Well, it's still an issue on CBS. Watched NFC Championship on Fox - no issues whatsoever.
I've noticed the same thing when watching HDTV football on CBS and NBC. It is not related to any one system. It occurs for me on Sage TV and OTA viewing on my Dish vip622. I also notice it when they are panning to follow fast action. Closeups are crystal clear. I have a theory that it is an anomaly associated with 1080i and the use of telephoto lens. I never see the problem when they show shots from sideline cameras.

For those who may not know what I am talking about, it is the phenom that occurs when the camera quickly pans to follow a pass or a player running. The ball or player will remain clear, but the background around the player or ball will become grainy looking. I watched the Bears/Saints on Fox(720p) and also did not notice the problem.

I don't think there is anything wrong with your system.
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2007, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icmoney
I have a theory that it is an anomaly associated with 1080i and the use of telephoto lens. I never see the problem when they show shots from sideline cameras.
OK so I'm not insane.

I watched studio shots and overlayed graphics during the pre-game and halftime and never saw a hint of what I saw in-game. Some of those action collages they do before a story/interview feature fast pans nearly identical to what they do live. And I never see the 'anomaly' on the pre-produced segments.

What Irks me most is, I can swear I never noticed it until I installed the second tuner. That, and the check I did with the ReplayTV recording via OTA tuner tell me it probably is my system. Although I'd like to believe it was on their end.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gtd885a
Mine was fixed when I upgraded to the latest purevideo decoders about a month ago, however I can't say for sure why or what changed.
Definitely worth a shot. I was going to start poking around in Pure Video anyways, as a start.

Edit: After updating PureVideo, and a Reboot - seems better but not gone. Still noticeable on a field goal (lots of zooming).

Last edited by Slack; 01-22-2007 at 08:19 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-22-2007, 10:59 PM
jkohn jkohn is offline
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Quote:
For those who may not know what I am talking about, it is the phenom that occurs when the camera quickly pans to follow a pass or a player running. The ball or player will remain clear, but the background around the player or ball will become grainy looking.
This sounds completely different than the dropped frames the original poster described, and in fact it sounds compression artificats (macroblocking in particular). It's more likely to show up in 1080i than in 720p due to the larger data requirements for 1080i. Your local network can also have an impact here; if they're multicasting subchannels the main HD feed may only bet getting 10-12mbs instead of the full 19, and you'll definitely see lots of artifacts at those bitrates, especially if they're using an older encoder.
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  #8  
Old 01-22-2007, 11:02 PM
jkohn jkohn is offline
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Slack, as to your dropped frames I had a similar problem with the more demanding 1080i content even after upgrading to a Core2Duo. What finally solved the problem for me was using Reclock as the audio renderer in SageTV. Since making that change I've been getting pretty flawless playback.
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2007, 12:13 AM
gtd885a gtd885a is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkohn
What finally solved the problem for me was using Reclock as the audio renderer in SageTV. Since making that change I've been getting pretty flawless playback.
I hadn't heard of Reclock until you mentioned it. What version are you using? I might have to give it a try.

Edit: LOL, I just noticed the thread titled "Nvidia Purevideo and Reclock the holy grail?" I obviously need to get my head out of the sand

Last edited by gtd885a; 01-24-2007 at 12:17 AM.
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2007, 10:00 AM
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I see the Super Bowl is going to be on CBS. So I must fix this before Feb 4th. I kept the Colts/Patriots game to test the success of changes.

Think I'll start with locking down Purevideo so that it always de-interlaces the same way (I don't use Sage for anything but HDTV - so nothing should be seen as Film - right?)

I'll also update Forceware as a thread over on HTPC News says some improvements to de-interlacing are there.

If that all fails I'll join the holy grail crowd.
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2007, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slack
Think I'll start with locking down Purevideo so that it always de-interlaces the same way (I don't use Sage for anything but HDTV - so nothing should be seen as Film - right?)
No some HD will be film (24 fps) and some will be video (60 fps when using the Nvidia decoder). Film is much easier for the Nvidia cards to handle. 1080i video content is hands down the most demanding. 1080i film isn't usually a problem in my experience.

If you use automatic your content will be played back at either 60 or 24 fps depending on the flag. Smart mode ignores the flag and determines the proper method to use because some content is mixed and other content is flagged incorrectly. I believe selecting video should keep all content at 60fps. Forcing film has always kept mine at 30 fps.

I really wish Nvidia included an option not to double the framerate when playing back Video content. It would make smooth playback much easier to achieve.

Last edited by blade; 01-25-2007 at 02:44 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-26-2007, 07:30 AM
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Well, last night pretty much sucked for me.

I had a 2 hour window before the next recording so I started fiddling....

Purevideo: I changed all the de-interlace settings one at a time & checked the change by playing the football game. Nothing really improved, although somethings gave me horrible jaggies.

RecClock: I downloaded & installed ReClock. Didn't fix the playback & introduced audio drop outs (I'm using SPD/IF to my amp, aka passthrough).

Forceware: I downloaded & installed 93.81 (Had been running 91.47). Things got much worse. So I downgraded back to 91.47 or at least I hoped I could, and this is were things went bad. No problem I;ll restore an image I made on 15 Jan 07

Re-Image: Restored OS (On it's own disk, single partition) And SageTV, My TV shows most of my shows GONE. American Idol (recorded AFTER this image) survived, as well as Star Trek - the trouble with tribbles (My kids like that one).

So I think aha! No problem, before I decided to restore 15 Jan, I imaged again & saved it '25 Jan 07'.

Re-Image: Restored with 25 Jan: And the shows are still GONE. I check the MY Recordings folder and sure enough they are gone. Thank god American Idols survived, the wife would have been pissed. So once they are watched, I'm going to 'nuke from orbit'. Uninstall second tuner, and re-store an image I made on 09 Jan that was prior to insertion of second tuner.

Perhaps the issue is in the recording? Perhaps the PCI bus is acting up with TWO IRQs taken by the same model tuner card? I dunno, but I;m gonna go back to single tuner and record some High def sports on CBS to see if the issue is gone.

Then maybe I'll think about the HDHomerun or a dual tuner card from VBOX.

Perhpas I was just greedy.
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2007, 09:44 AM
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gplasky gplasky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slack
Well, last night pretty much sucked for me.

I had a 2 hour window before the next recording so I started fiddling....

Purevideo: I changed all the de-interlace settings one at a time & checked the change by playing the football game. Nothing really improved, although somethings gave me horrible jaggies.

RecClock: I downloaded & installed ReClock. Didn't fix the playback & introduced audio drop outs (I'm using SPD/IF to my amp, aka passthrough).

Forceware: I downloaded & installed 93.81 (Had been running 91.47). Things got much worse. So I downgraded back to 91.47 or at least I hoped I could, and this is were things went bad. No problem I;ll restore an image I made on 15 Jan 07

Re-Image: Restored OS (On it's own disk, single partition) And SageTV, My TV shows most of my shows GONE. American Idol (recorded AFTER this image) survived, as well as Star Trek - the trouble with tribbles (My kids like that one).

So I think aha! No problem, before I decided to restore 15 Jan, I imaged again & saved it '25 Jan 07'.

Re-Image: Restored with 25 Jan: And the shows are still GONE. I check the MY Recordings folder and sure enough they are gone. Thank god American Idols survived, the wife would have been pissed. So once they are watched, I'm going to 'nuke from orbit'. Uninstall second tuner, and re-store an image I made on 09 Jan that was prior to insertion of second tuner.

Perhaps the issue is in the recording? Perhaps the PCI bus is acting up with TWO IRQs taken by the same model tuner card? I dunno, but I;m gonna go back to single tuner and record some High def sports on CBS to see if the issue is gone.

Then maybe I'll think about the HDHomerun or a dual tuner card from VBOX.

Perhpas I was just greedy.
Before any major operation always make a copy of the current wiz.bin file for safe keeping. This is what contains all of your episodes info, favorites, etc. This is THE most important file in your Sage directory. As a matter of convenience you can also keep a copy of sage.properties and sageclient.properties. I say conveniece because if you lost these you would just run through the wizard and re-setup your Sage installation including video sources, channels, guide, etc.

Gerry
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Last edited by gplasky; 01-26-2007 at 06:04 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-26-2007, 10:51 AM
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OK, so Sage launches after I imaged 15 Jan. And sees all this stuff in 'My Recordings' that does not correspond to the old 'wiz.bin' and deletes it? Is that what happened?

How did American Idol survive? (Recorded 23 Jan & 24 Jan)
Why did Studio 60 get nuked (Recorded 22 Jan)
Star Trek surviving I can understand I've been keeping it since 04 Nov.

There just doesn't seem to be a rhym or reason to it.
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  #15  
Old 01-26-2007, 04:52 PM
jkohn jkohn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slack
OK, so Sage launches after I imaged 15 Jan. And sees all this stuff in 'My Recordings' that does not correspond to the old 'wiz.bin' and deletes it? Is that what happened?
In my experience SageTV does not delete them, they're just not listed in My Recordings because it doesn't have info about them in wiz.bin. They should show up under "Imported Videos" in the Media Center.

When you say they're gone, are you actually checking the recording folder on your HD, or just assuming they're gone because they no longer show up in the Recordings menu? Stupid question maybe, but your recordings aren't stored on the same drive that you just restored an image to, are they? (Hey, I had to ask).
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  #16  
Old 01-26-2007, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkohn

When you say they're gone, are you actually checking the recording folder on your HD, or just assuming they're gone because they no longer show up in the Recordings menu? Stupid question maybe, but your recordings aren't stored on the same drive that you just restored an image to, are they? (Hey, I had to ask).
They are gone, as in Windows explorer does not see them. I have a single location for recordings on a separate physical drive from the OS.
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  #17  
Old 01-27-2007, 02:01 PM
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I yanked the second tuner & restored the Image from 09 Jan.

Tuned to a CBS HD Basketball game & still had micro stutters.

Turned my attention to Disk drive. In the BIOS I checked that it was being connected at the max rate. It was. PIO Mode = 4. The video drive is the Secondary Master - alone on the IDE channel.

So, on a whim, I disabled S.M.A.R.T.

Back in Sage - Micro stutters are gone.

Perhaps this is one of those things all you veteran sage users know. Perhaps I'm full of it & had an episodic placebo delusion?
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  #18  
Old 01-27-2007, 03:02 PM
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gplasky gplasky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slack
I yanked the second tuner & restored the Image from 09 Jan.

Tuned to a CBS HD Basketball game & still had micro stutters.

Turned my attention to Disk drive. In the BIOS I checked that it was being connected at the max rate. It was. PIO Mode = 4. The video drive is the Secondary Master - alone on the IDE channel.

So, on a whim, I disabled S.M.A.R.T.

Back in Sage - Micro stutters are gone.

Perhaps this is one of those things all you veteran sage users know. Perhaps I'm full of it & had an episodic placebo delusion?
Whoa, whoa wait a minute. Is that a typo? Your hard drive should NEVER be in a PIO mode. It should be DMA or UDMA and I would think it would be 5. (could be 4) Any hard drive that will handle video material would need to be in DMA or UDMA mode. PIO will never be fast enough. You can also see this mode in Windows through Device Manager.


Gerry
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  #19  
Old 01-27-2007, 04:35 PM
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Windoze says...

For the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers... DMA If Enabled

The machine's bios says....
Device: Hard Disk
Vendor: ST323200822A
Size: 200.0GB
LBA Mode: Supported
PIO Mode: 4
Async DMA: Multiword DMA-2
Ultra DMA: DMA-5
SMART Monitoring: Supported

All that above seems to be the current 'status', or capabilities of the drive....Below that is the BIOS settings. And everything is set to [Auto] except..SMART Monitoring (which I disabled), and '32 Bit Data Transfer' which I'm not sure if I want to enable that or not. As the BIOS ain't too specific about it. Thought of data corruption entered my mind and I decided not to enable that until the family watches the last bit of TV that old setup captured.

So in short DMA Mode is set to [Auto] in the BIOS

Oh BTW it was totally placebo effect. After I washed the car I fired up the Basketball game & saw my beloved CBS micro stutters.
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  #20  
Old 01-27-2007, 06:45 PM
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gplasky gplasky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slack
Windoze says...

For the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers... DMA If Enabled

The machine's bios says....
Device: Hard Disk
Vendor: ST323200822A
Size: 200.0GB
LBA Mode: Supported
PIO Mode: 4
Async DMA: Multiword DMA-2
Ultra DMA: DMA-5
SMART Monitoring: Supported

All that above seems to be the current 'status', or capabilities of the drive....Below that is the BIOS settings. And everything is set to [Auto] except..SMART Monitoring (which I disabled), and '32 Bit Data Transfer' which I'm not sure if I want to enable that or not. As the BIOS ain't too specific about it. Thought of data corruption entered my mind and I decided not to enable that until the family watches the last bit of TV that old setup captured.

So in short DMA Mode is set to [Auto] in the BIOS

Oh BTW it was totally placebo effect. After I washed the car I fired up the Basketball game & saw my beloved CBS micro stutters.
Do you have a DVD or CD ROM on the same channel as the 200GB drive. That is probably the PIO-4 or Multi-word DMA 2. I would check it in Windows Device Manager and see what does Windows see the drive set at. Any drive that Windows shows in PIO mode is going to cause you issues with video.

Gerry
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