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Old 09-10-2013, 12:34 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Colorado, and loving it
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Sudden Sage Problems with HDHR Prime and SageDCT

To start, I have browsed and searched the huge thread about this and it appears no one is having exactly the same problem as me...

I have been running the same Sage setup for 6 years now with no real problems (other than those induced by Comcast). My Sage Server (dedicated to Sage) is WinXP 32 bit with 2GB RAM and a couple of large drives that serve up my BD's in mkv format. Those drives also serve as backup recording locations when the network storage PC is offline (this is a PC I built specifically for storing videos as well as music and family photos). I watch via HD extenders (HD100x2, HD200x2 and a HD300). I was running with an Avermedia card and two HVR-2250's and once 1600 recording my local channels and a Colossus recording the encrypted cable channels through a STB. Then Comcast encrypted my locals. About the same time (a couple weeks earlier), my Colossus lost the blue component to the color. So, I removed all my cards and bought a HDHR Prime and got a cablecard. I setup SageDCT and have it tuning well, but now I have video studders on playback and randomly, SageDCT service stops. My CPU and memory usage are now way higher than they have ever been. Sage will eat up over 1GB of RAM, then fall to 40MB. SageDCT will do the same. I ramped up the overclock on my processor (core 2 duo, E5200) so that I'm now running at 3.2GHz, but I'm still seeing ~60% loads periodically. I have almost no trouble with recordings though. Whether the recording is being saved on my storage PC or the Sage server, there's no apparent difference. During playback, if the video studders and appears to skip a second or two, I just hit the rewind and it's all there, playing smoothly for another minute or so. Then it studders again. I used to record 5 or 6 OTA HD TV shows simultaneously with no trouble. Now I have trouble when recording just one, let alone more. Since the trouble started, I have replaced my router and the gigabit switch that all of my wired devices are plugged into (which is the Sage server, the storage PC and all of the extenders, all plugged into the same switch). I even replaced the NIC in my storage PC. I have played with some settings in SageDCT, like the RTP and write buffers. I have run CHKDSK on all my disks. I have also run the low level network diagnostic from the SD website that someone posted here. It appears that there are no dropped packets (all dots on the test). I have even replaced the power supply in my Sage server which had a noisy, but working fan.

The Sage setup that the wife and kids have loved for the better part of a decade is rapidly angering all of them and seriously frustrating me! I don't think it's the drives, because the problem persists regardless of storage location. I don't think it the network as I've replaced most of the components. I don't think it's SageDCT as the recordings are generally in good shape. What's left though? I'm attaching the SageDCT logs (verbose) in case there's a clue in there. The logs are short, but span an instance of the SageDCT service stopping on its own. Honestly, I would have thought that my CPU usage would have gone down without the PCI/PCI-E tuners in my Sage server box. I would sure appreciate any suggestions you have.
Attached Files
File Type: zip SageDCT (33.4 KB, 190 views)
Dedicated Sage Server, Headless: Intel Dual Core 2.5GHz (OC'd to 3.0 GHz and very stable), 2GB RAM, WinXP Pro, PVR-150, HVR-1600, 2x HVR-2250, Avermedia Duet, 1x HD-300, 2x HD200, 1x MediaMVP, 9TB Network storage and continually adding...
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:19 PM
waynedunham waynedunham is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,448
On my system the only time I see symptoms similar to yours, i.e. stutter, rewind no stutter, stutter returns, etc, is when my server is busy. Typically when a backup is being done (running Windows Home Server v1).

I would look for some process that is stealing all your CPU time. SageDCT, and the Sage service typically don't use much CPU at all on my system. I'm running a Core2 Quad though with one HDHD Prime/SageDCT, and 2 HD-PVR/STB's.

I have a 2nd SageServer with one HDHR Prime/SageDCT running on a CoreDuo running Win7 and get no stutters there either. I do get the occasional spinning circle in SageTv as it deletes a recording sometimes. But no stuttering in the recordings.

I haven't tried SageDCT on XP so I can't give you any data on that.

However I'd suspect some rogue process stealing CPU cycles. Did Windows turn on Disk indexing on you? Back when I was using XP (pre SageDCT days with my old HDHR's) something would turn on disk indexing from time to time and that would steal all kinds of CPU. You might want to check that.
Wayne Dunham
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hdhr, network, prime, sagedct

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