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SageTV Software Discussion related to the SageTV application produced by SageTV. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to the SageTV software application should be posted here. (Check the descriptions of the other forums; all hardware related questions go in the Hardware Support forum, etc. And, post in the customizations forum instead if any customizations are active.)

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  #1  
Old 04-01-2009, 07:27 PM
brittnell brittnell is offline
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Red face Total Newb Looking for Some Setup "Hand-Holding"

Hey there,

So... I got this crazy idea that I could replace my Comcast dvr with a home-built PC version.

Problem is, it is turning out to be a lot less "plug-and-play" than I was hoping, with every night of the past 4 ending in nothing but frustration and cursing.

I'd really love if someone would be so kind as to "hold my hand" through getting this thing up and running. I feel like it should be possible to do what I'd like, but my experience so far is making me feel like switching back to Comcast's damn gray slab.

My details are such:

Comcast Cable (basic)
San Francisco, CA (94110)
Core2 Duo PC (@3GHz)
4GB RAM
XP Pro
nVidia QuadroFX 570 (DVI to HDMI on Sony Bravia XBR tv)
Hauppage HVR-2250
SageTV MC 6.5
I'm using all the latest drivers and updates.

I believe I've got everything installed properly, and can see some channels when I set the input to "TV Tuner" and scan for them. However, there doesn't seem to be anything I can do to get all the channels I know are there, namely any of the HD ones. I even purchased a "highly rated" amplified HD antenna from Radio Shack, and tried pulling in the local HD over the air, but only one seemed to come through (channel 5), and ALL the standard channels were a mess of garbled snow.

Is there really no way to pull the HD channels off of Comcast? They come in fine with the cable plugged straight into my TV (no set-top box).

I'm really at a loss as to what I've done wrong, and what I need to do to get things right (if that's even possible).

Is there any chance one of you might have been through a similar experience, and can lend me some literal "step-by-step" assistance?

If I could do nothing more than record FOX in HD, and the SD Disney Channel (ch 86.6), I think I'd be satisfied!

Many thanks in advance.

This has been quite a humbling experience...
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2009, 07:42 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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Have you checked your OTA antenna on a digital TV (or analog TV with digital converter)? That would help with a diagnosis. Another possibility (if your TV or converter box can tune the OTA channels) is to try to tune your Hauppauge card with its bundled software. If that too works ok, then you have a Sage config to troubleshoot.
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  #3  
Old 04-01-2009, 08:01 PM
brittnell brittnell is offline
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Thanks for the response!

I currently watch tv channels by having the cable input directly into the digital tv (Sony KDL-32XBR4). The tv does all the tuning, with no cable-box/external tuners.

Do you think I should continue to pursue the OTA/antenna route, or might there be a way I can get what I'm hoping with the existing cable?

When I've tried it previously, I can get a fair number of SD channels by having one input set to "TV Tuner", but I fail upon trying to find HD channels... I've tried setting the second input to "Digital TV", but it's blue the whole way through the scan.

Man, I feel dense.
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  #4  
Old 04-01-2009, 08:06 PM
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davephan davephan is offline
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Everyone has to start somewhere.. It's not such a crazy idea, since SageTV does work very well, although it can take some tweaking to get everything to work just right.

If you are trying to receive over the air digital TV and unencrypted digital cable, then maybe a HDHomeRun box might be your best solution. A HDHomeRun is a box that has two HD tuners that hooks up to your Eithernet network cable, that connects to your router. SageTV controls the HDHomeRun tuners through Eithernet, and also streams the video/audio content through Eithernet.

The SageTV recording drives work best if they are formatted with 64K block size. If you use smaller sizes, you might experience video stuttering. SD recordings can consume 3 gigs per hour and HD about 8 - 9 gigs per hour, depending on your recording quality settings. So, you can easily use lots of disk space.

Dave
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Capture cards: 2 - HDHR Primes - Comcast Xfinity CableTV
Extenders: 1-HD-300, 2-HD-200
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  #5  
Old 04-01-2009, 08:47 PM
brittnell brittnell is offline
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Thanks for the additional assistance Dave.

The tuner card I'm using (Hauppage HVR-2250) also has two independent tuners, so that should be a good starting point as well, correct?

The entire PC is connected to my network via gigabit ethernet (direct to the router). All that stuff (internet surfing, file sharing, etc.) work fine. Also, and I just thought this might be of note... The machine is being used for this purpose (DVR/media server) exclusively. It shouldn't have to do anything but make pretty pictures.

It also has a internal 320Gb media drive that is separate from the OS drive. I've told SageTV to send everything to this drive, and did format it to the suggested 64k block size to begin with.

By the way, how would I find a channel such as "86.6" (as it shows up on my TV) via SageTV?

Thanks again!
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  #6  
Old 04-01-2009, 09:52 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brittnell View Post
Thanks for the response!

I currently watch tv channels by having the cable input directly into the digital tv (Sony KDL-32XBR4). The tv does all the tuning, with no cable-box/external tuners.

Do you think I should continue to pursue the OTA/antenna route, or might there be a way I can get what I'm hoping with the existing cable?
Since you have an antenna available, I'd suggest feeding it to your TV, then to your Hauppauge card, and compare channels received (you may need to fiddle with your antenna's orientation, depending on your distance and direction from the available OTA signals). Since your TV is tuning from the cable, either you have something else that decodes encrypted channels (such as a cablecard or similar), or your channels are all unencrypted QAM. It the latter is the case (and I think your Hauppauge card is supposed tosupport QAM), try plugging into the QAM connector and telling Sage to look for cable/qam. Again, compare channels, and compare what your card can do with its native software with what it does with Sage. I have a 1600 card and 950Q USB tuner, and the 950Q receives OTA channels that the 1600 has trouble with, from the same antenna input, so some tuners absolutely do better than others, for whatever reason.
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  #7  
Old 04-01-2009, 09:59 PM
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davephan davephan is offline
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It looks like the Hauppauge HVR-2250 can receive clear QAM digital TV, so you should be able to hook up the HVR-2250 directly to the cable TV, so long as the cable TV has clear QAM.

The first step would be to setup the Hauppauge HVR-2250 with the Hauppauge software. Once you have it working with the Hauppauge software, you can add the tuner card in "Setup", "Setup Video Sources". You should be able to add the tuner and setup the channels. SageTV also allows you to 'rename' the channels to different numbers.

I have an older Hauppauge PVR-350 tuner card. I tried hooking the card directly to cable TV, when I had cable TV, and the signals were weak and snowy. I don't know if the problem is specific to my card or it is problem with PVR-350's.

My PVR-350 is configured is I only use the S-video input. I connect S-video from my DirecTV set top box to the PVR-350 S-video. When I had Dish Network and cable TV, I hooked it up the same way, unless the set top box did not have an S-video output. If the set top box did not have a S-video output, I used a RCA to S-video converter that I got from Radio Shack.

My other tuner is a HDHomeRun, which has two antenna lines hooked to a splitter, then to a roof top antenna. The HDHomeRun is also connected to the computer to the computer via Eithernet.

Dave
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SageTV: LIAN LI PC-K58, Gigabyte GA-EX580UD5, i-7 950 3.06 gig quad LGA 1366 CPU, Zalman CNPS9700 CPU cooler 1366 bracket, Memory 24 gigs GB, PNY NVIDIA GeoForce 9800 GT 1024 MB, Corsair 750w PSU, Samsung 500GB SSD boot, 3 SSD recording drives
Capture cards: 2 - HDHR Primes - Comcast Xfinity CableTV
Extenders: 1-HD-300, 2-HD-200
Software: Windows 7 Pro X64, Ghost 15, VideoReDo TVSuite 4 h.264, Playon (Netflix), OpenDCT
UnRAID File Server 4.7 Pro: Lian-Li PC-G70B, MBD-X8SIL-F-O, i3-540, 16 TB
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  #8  
Old 04-01-2009, 10:33 PM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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Are you plugging the same coax into the TV as the one to the HVR-2250? If you are using a different coax to the 2250, it might not have the same signal strength, especially if it's been through a splitter, also the quality of the coax cable matters too.
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  #9  
Old 04-02-2009, 12:10 AM
freedml freedml is offline
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I don't have any experience with cable, but it seems to me that if your TV can tune the channels then a QAM tuner should be able to do it. I have 950Qs but just use them for OTA.

As to your outside antenna, it sounds like it's not pointed in the right direction or you don't have enough amplification on the signal. I only got a couple of stations with my big old VHF/UHF yagi-style antenna. I bought a large directional amplified antenna at RS (all our stations are in the same place), added a second amplifier downstream and got most of the channels (see www.antennaweb.com for what you can/should get). But a couple were still not 100%, so I added a third amplifier and turned it up just enough to get 100% on those still-marginal stations.
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  #10  
Old 04-02-2009, 10:33 PM
brittnell brittnell is offline
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Smile

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh... Major breakthrough this evening!

I set the input to "Digital TV Tuner", told it to not use any guide, then had it scan everything. All of the stations I normally watch on my TV showed up "like magic", even the HD ones.

AWESOME!

Now, the only issue I'm looking at is how to get guide information for channels such as 86.6 (Disney Channel) that don't show any information. There are, what, 5 different remapping options? Is there a specific one, or combo of these I need to use in order to get it to associate this 86.6 with the other's (55 on "Digital Cable") program guide?

Other than that (and a couple of SageTV crashes since), I'm feeling much more optimistic!
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  #11  
Old 04-02-2009, 10:41 PM
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Opus4 Opus4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brittnell View Post
... told it to not use any guide ...

Now, the only issue I'm looking at is how to get guide information for channels such as 86.6 (Disney Channel) that don't show any information. There are, what, 5 different remapping options? Is there a specific one, or combo of these I need to use in order to get it to associate this 86.6 with the other's (55 on "Digital Cable") program guide?
First, you'll need to have a lineup associated with the tuner or else the stations you are looking for have to exist on a lineup for another tuner or else you won't be able to map the channels to the proper stations.

Then, in the SageTV v6.5 PDF manual, see "Remapping Stations for EPG data using ATSC or QAM Digital Tuners", starting on p. 164.

- Andy
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SageTV Open Source v9 is available.
- Read the SageTV FAQ. Older PDF User's Guides mostly still apply: SageTV V7.0 & SageTV Studio v7.1.
- Hauppauge remote help: 1) Basics/Extending it 2) Replace it 3) Use it w/o needing focus
- HD Extenders: A) FAQs B) URC MX-700 remote setup
Note: This is a users' forum; see the Rules. For official tech support fill out a Support Request.
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  #12  
Old 04-15-2009, 08:35 AM
brittnell brittnell is offline
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Question

Great, I think this has all helped to get things running fairly smoothly now. Thanks a lot for the help!

I do have one more question, that may, or may not be, SageTV related...

Would anyone have any idea why recordings made via SageTV would have no sound when played via a network device (a PS3 in this case)? All other material played from this PC (via PS3) plays fine, as does (surprisingly) SageTV's "live" recording.

When played locally (directly on the PC where they are hosted), the audio on any of these recorded files plays perfectly fine.

This behavior happens across both standard and HD station recordings.

I have tried every SageTV "Recording Quality" option offered, to no avail, and am at a complete loss as to what to try next.

Having said all of that, I know it's not THAT big of an issue, as I can play them directly from SageTV when the TV's input is over to "PC", it's just that I use the PS3 for serving the majority of my other home entertainment, and it would be awesome to be able to get this working enough to have all the material available (and audible) there.

Thanks again guys,

Brittnell
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  #13  
Old 04-16-2009, 10:14 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brittnell View Post
Would anyone have any idea why recordings made via SageTV would have no sound when played via a network device (a PS3 in this case)? All other material played from this PC (via PS3) plays fine, as does (surprisingly) SageTV's "live" recording.
Don't know if it is related, but see this thread on sound problems:

http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39928
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  #14  
Old 04-16-2009, 11:20 PM
brittnell brittnell is offline
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Interesting, and, I can see how this might possibly be related.
Thanks!
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  #15  
Old 04-24-2009, 01:36 PM
garberfc garberfc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davephan View Post
<snip/>

The SageTV recording drives work best if they are formatted with 64K block size. If you use smaller sizes, you might experience video stuttering. SD recordings can consume 3 gigs per hour and HD about 8 - 9 gigs per hour, depending on your recording quality settings. So, you can easily use lots of disk space.

Dave
My drives are formatted as NTFS drives. How can I figure out the block size?
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  #16  
Old 04-24-2009, 01:43 PM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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Default format is not 64K, so if you didn't set it at 64K or don't know what it is, then you probably don't have it set to 64K.
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  #17  
Old 04-24-2009, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garberfc View Post
My drives are formatted as NTFS drives. How can I figure out the block size?
Running chkdsk will tell you. My user profile page links to a file size utility that can tell you too.

- Andy
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SageTV Open Source v9 is available.
- Read the SageTV FAQ. Older PDF User's Guides mostly still apply: SageTV V7.0 & SageTV Studio v7.1.
- Hauppauge remote help: 1) Basics/Extending it 2) Replace it 3) Use it w/o needing focus
- HD Extenders: A) FAQs B) URC MX-700 remote setup
Note: This is a users' forum; see the Rules. For official tech support fill out a Support Request.
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  #18  
Old 04-25-2009, 09:30 AM
freedml freedml is offline
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Right click on the Hard disk icon
Properties
Tools
Defragment now
Analyze the drive
View the report
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  #19  
Old 04-27-2009, 06:38 AM
garberfc garberfc is offline
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I'm assuming that "Block" size is the same as "Cluster" size?

All four of my drives are 4K. That must be the default.
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  #20  
Old 04-27-2009, 06:43 AM
garberfc garberfc is offline
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How's the performance with an external drive? My four bays are full .

- eSata
- USB
- NAS on a gigabit network

F
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