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Old 01-24-2009, 10:01 PM
Dean_H Dean_H is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 105
HTPC almost perfect.....recording hiccups and I need some help

Not sure where to post this, so I'll start here (admin's, please feel free to move this if it should go in the hardware section).

My HTPC is just about perfect right now. I've got a PVR-500, HVR-2250 and HD-PVR (all by Hauppauge). I've got all the channels working just fine, and can record from any/all without problem (well just one....coming).

I've installed the ArcSoft codecs, have the Cyberlink DVD8 codes as well as the typical Sage codes all installed.

I've got 4GB memory, a Q6600 CPU and an nvidia 8600 graphics card. For recording space I have just shy of 1TB (500GB on one drive and 400GB on another) with 64k clusters.

I've been watching the CPU load during recordings and playback and it typically shows well less than 10% load (usually around 3 or 4%).

The problem that I'm having is that during the recording of shows, every so often (maybe once a minute or so) the video and audio "hiccup" or "glitch" or "stutter" (whatever you want to call it). The video looks like bad bad macroblocking, and seems to happen on items on the screen that are moving in the frame (mostly). I've called out for the ArcSoft codecs in the file for AAC and AC3filter for AC3.

I could use some help. I saw the word document for installing the cyberlink decoders in the registry, but have not tried that yet.....seems that some are recording just fine w/o this....


I should not that I get this macroblocking on the HD-PVR (a lot) and a little on the 2250's

Last edited by Dean_H; 01-24-2009 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:27 AM
Dean_H Dean_H is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 105
No one has suggestions?

I just recieved my RMA'd HD-PVR (a model E1) and it has helped greatly the stuttering, but I still see some from both the HD-PVR as well as the 2250. This tells me that there is something in the SageTV setup that I need to work on. I've just copied the latest file over (version 33 I believe) as will see how that works out.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:58 PM
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Skirge01 Skirge01 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 2,599
I had an NVIDIA 8500GT in my client PC and everyone told me it should be able to play back video without any problems. But, I tried everything else I possibly could and finally decided to pick up a silent HIS Radeon 4650. Fixed all my stuttering issues.

How does your 8600 do with Blu-Ray playback directly from the disc? Mine had serious issues if I tried to bring up any of the disc's menus.
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:49 PM
Dean_H Dean_H is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 105
I can't play BD discs on my HTPC (have not upgraded the DVD player in a couple of years). But, I have noticed that on some DVD the menu's freeze, and I was not sure why. Sounds like you had a graphics card with similar problems.

Before I go and purchase another graphics card, is there some way I can try to isolate the problem to be sure that it's the card and not something else? Any ideas?

I have noticed that it appears that the files have the stuttering in them. Meaning that for a show that was recorded w/o being watched at the same time, has a stutter in it. If I rewind and play back over and over agin, the stutter is in the same place. One thing that I've not tried yet is to play the file in WMP to see if the stutter is there also.

I also could try to watch TV through the TME software that came with my HD-PVR.

Anyone else have ideas?
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:58 PM
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Skirge01 Skirge01 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 2,599
Any friends with more powerful GPUs?

I wasn't recording TV at the time, so I don't know if my GPU would have been causing any stuttering during recording. But, that does seem like a logical line of thought.

EDIT: Actually, do you have another computer you can put the GPU in? It might not be definitive, but if you don't see stuttering, then it's probably not the GPU. If you do, it could just be that the same problem exists there. Also, if you turn off video acceleration, your CPU should take over and it's usage should spike. But, if the stuttering is still there, then it could just be that the CPU also isn't powerful enough.

Last edited by Skirge01; 01-30-2009 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:18 PM
CollinR CollinR is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 1,305
Check your HDD fragmentation, if you only have 1 disk doing all that with comskip too I am shocked it works at all.

EDIT: I see you have 2 disks, better but still more the merrier.

I have 5 disks and 5 encoders the disks are balanced so all get used rather equally. This will dramatically reduce fragmentation.

Also you can do the encoder_path route and force say your PVR500 to one drive your HVR2250 to another and so on. This too helps a bunch.

I have been having decent luck with jkdefrag to try and keep it under control. Think about it the drive is constantly recycling space, you record 5 1/2 shows and delete 3 then record a 1 hour whats the chance that 1 hour show will be bit after bit... Over time this just gets worse and worse until the head can't move fast enough to provide for both recording and playback or comskip which is basically both and then you get studders. If comskip is configured wrong it in itself can be somewhat a disk hog, the default commands are for fastest possible results you can use -n to make it "playnice".

Less then about 500 fragments in a 1 hour show is no big deal but when you run your analysis I'm betting you will find some with 3-4 thousand fragments, thats not cool. 64k clusters help, help 16 fold but you need to maintain as well.

Last edited by CollinR; 01-30-2009 at 03:21 PM.
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