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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 05-02-2016, 10:13 PM
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BM1000-HDMI (HDMI Encoder) Review

This device was brought up in this thread. I figured I should start a new thread to review it.

When I opened the box, one thing I checked immediately was that the power cord voltage matched the unit voltage of 12v. One commenter discovered he got the wrong power cord and had all kinds of issues with the unit dropping out. I like that the enclosure is made of decent quality aluminum. Throughout testing the box didn’t even get warm. Everything was easy to understand and hooked up without any issues. I assume my STB uses HDCP and it was not an obstacle to being able to stream.

The default IP address is 192.168.1.168 which thankfully can be changed. It would have been even nicer if there was a way to auto-discover the device, but I guess we can’t have everything. Once in the web interface I was a little disappointed to see that the video capture rate tops out at 30fps (this can be worked around, see below). Also, when you change any “main stream” (video encoding) settings, the device needs to be rebooted which takes at least 20-40 seconds (it seems to depend on what you changed). The latest firmware (4.0) was already installed.

The default video quality is ok for 1080i encoded to 1080p 30fps, and it gets better when you bump the bitrate up to 12000. The default of cbr is good with 1080i and that bitrate. However, I think the biggest impact comes from using a vbr stream and playing around with the video quantizers. I set qmin to 1 and qmax to 51. The result is when the picture isn’t moving much it’s very sharp and when there is a lot of action it gets a little softer. If you make these values too narrow and aggressive, the picture can get jumpy, so you need to find a balance or if the defaults are good enough for you, leave it alone. I settled on key frame 30, qmin 3, qmax 32. My wife couldn’t decide which one looked better when watching a both as a live feed side-by-side, so that’s a very good sign.

I was very skeptical about how well the deinterlace filter would perform. It’s better than I expected, so I think I’m ok with using it full time. I noticed on a few commercials that it seemed to forget the content was interlaced, but I didn’t see this happen once on actual show content. Tickers at 1080i to me look about the same as they do when using an average quality deinterlacer; acceptable unless you can’t stop looking for flaws.

720p content upscaled to 1080i by the STB looks ok until there’s fast motion. Then things get far too blurry; it could be the STB, I don’t have much experience on this one. My first STB was rented because I was buying an HD-PVR. Note that on normal TV such as sitcoms, this doesn’t seem to be an issue, but when watching baseball for example, it’s very distracting. I think this might have to do with the shows source content framerate. Also 720p content straight from the STB upscaled by the encoder to 1080p looks noticeably worse than just encoding it at 720p. Since 720p is normally 60fps, tickers have a little bit of flutter as they are scaled to 30fps. If you watch a lot of sports, I don’t think this will make you happy. I understand that you can find encoders similar to this one that can positively do 60fps, but they are a little pricier (this limitation can be worked around, see below).

1080i downscaled to 720p by the STB, then captured at 720p 30fps looks just as bad as it does on the HD-PVR when it’s doing it at 60fps. There’s nothing good to say about this configuration. 1080i downscaled by the encoder to 720p 30fps is only marginally better.

Beyond the encoders trueness to the source material in sharpness and clarity. The colors are a little washed out with the defaults, but maybe not enough for everyone to notice. Fortunately everything you should need is available in the web interface. MythTV has a whole page on these tuning devices and recommends: brightness 37, contrast 60, hue 50 and saturation 30. I found those in direct comparison to the source content produced a picture that was a little too bright. I ended up using 45, 50, 50 and 45. As demonstrated, your mileage will vary.

I was able to load this capture device up in OpenDCT using the new Generic HTTP Capture Device I just added last week and will be available in the next beta. I was very excited that it worked instantly with absolutely no surprises! Playback on the HD300 and HD200 went without issue. The android miniclient using ijkplayer (ExoPlayer didn't want to work at all for me) really doesn’t like the 12mb/s bitrate. I had to cut that down to 6mb/s, just to be able to play anything back. I then had to cut it down to 3mb/s so it would stop stuttering constantly. Even then every so often it stutters probably because it’s getting ahead of the stream. Interestingly enough 3mb/s was more than enough to be watchable. There’s no reason not to just use the raw consumer for this one since it creates perfectly useable TS files.

You’ll noticed on the web interface a feature called HDMI OSD display. It would be a neat way to display messages, but I couldn’t figure out how to clear the message once it was there. The only way I could get rid of it was to reset the configuration. Providing blank input didn’t make it go away. Good thing we’re looking at this from a video recording perspective.

I hope this helps anyone unsure if this is the right capture device for them.

Update: I read the rest of the MythTV information for this and it looks like the chip itself can handle 60fps just fine, just not on both streams at the same time. I'll need to test this a little more since this is a big find, but maybe this will be good for sports too.

Quote:
For 60 fps the Main stream:
http://YourEncoderIP/set_codec?type=hdmi&input_fps=60 Followed by an encoder reboot
or .....
For the 60 fps Secondary stream:
http://YourEncoderIP/set_codec?type=...t&input_fps=60 Followed by an encoder reboot
To reboot the encoder you can use the following web API -- http://YourEncoderIP/reboot -- or use the normal web menus
Resolution changing aware tuning script for BM1000-HDMI ONLY
General guidance on how to configure this kind of capture device
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Capture: 1x Ceton InfiniTV 4 (ClearQAM), 2x Ceton InfiniTV 6, 1x BM1000-HDMI, 1x BM3500-HDMI.

Clients: 1x HD300 (Living Room), 1x HD200 (Master Bedroom).
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Last edited by EnterNoEscape; 12-30-2016 at 03:34 PM. Reason: Updated information about 60fps content.
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2016, 05:34 AM
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Audio? 5.1 passthrough?
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  #3  
Old 05-03-2016, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KryptoNyte View Post
Audio? 5.1 passthrough?
As expected you only get stereo.

Edit: I know this hasn't been an issue in the past, but I'll mention it anyway. Since it's digital going in, it comes out indistinguishable from the source audio quality-wise.
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Capture: 1x Ceton InfiniTV 4 (ClearQAM), 2x Ceton InfiniTV 6, 1x BM1000-HDMI, 1x BM3500-HDMI.

Clients: 1x HD300 (Living Room), 1x HD200 (Master Bedroom).
Software: OpenDCT :: WMC Live TV Tuner :: Schedules Direct EPG

Last edited by EnterNoEscape; 05-03-2016 at 05:55 AM.
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  #4  
Old 05-03-2016, 06:37 AM
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Just wondering EnterNoEscape what is your STB make and model ?

KryptoNyte you may as well give it up on DD5.1

The Only down side with thoses device is lack of on board IR

EnterNoEscape keep in mind that some problems can be cuase by the STB as you can see with up/down scaling and in some cases it can be cuase by source content that you rev from the boardcast or tv provider.

iOS, Android and even most Windows Mobile device where never build to handel high bitrate.

Last edited by SHS; 05-03-2016 at 07:01 AM.
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  #5  
Old 05-03-2016, 07:36 AM
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Wild curiosity, will it accept 1080p60? Maybe setting the STB to that would help with some of the scaling/deinterlacing issues.
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  #6  
Old 05-03-2016, 07:45 AM
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Is it possible to set up your STB to output native (720p or 1080i)? I can do this on FIOS with my two QIP7100's via a hidden menu option. If so, would it be possible to re-configure your encoder to use the appropriate format based on the channel #? For example, 720p, 60fps for ESPN, FX, NGC, FOX, etc. and 1080i for everything else? I am assuming that when SageTV tunes a channel, it could pass that info. to your encoder somehow.
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  #7  
Old 05-03-2016, 10:09 AM
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Any indication if it handles protected content? I'd sure like to dump my HDMI splitter/HD-PVR pair and replace it with this.

Exactly which box did you purchase? AliExpress has quite a few sellers and while most seem to be identical, I did find one that claims to be a "Pro" version that supports 1080p @ 60fps http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Full-...b-03b431d55e74
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustFred View Post
Any indication if it handles protected content? I'd sure like to dump my HDMI splitter/HD-PVR pair and replace it with this.

Exactly which box did you purchase? AliExpress has quite a few sellers and while most seem to be identical, I did find one that claims to be a "Pro" version that supports 1080p @ 60fps http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Full-...b-03b431d55e74
I don't think it really matter as long as it a Live Video Streaming Broadcast device and do believe he got the Unisheen BM1000HDMI
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHS View Post
Just wondering EnterNoEscape what is your STB make and model ?

KryptoNyte you may as well give it up on DD5.1

The Only down side with thoses device is lack of on board IR

EnterNoEscape keep in mind that some problems can be cuase by the STB as you can see with up/down scaling and in some cases it can be cuase by source content that you rev from the boardcast or tv provider.

iOS, Android and even most Windows Mobile device where never build to handel high bitrate.
I'm still fiddling around with settings, but I don't think 5.1 is ever going to be a reality at least with this capture device. I know some of the quality issues might be the STB, but I still wanted to be through and detail out my experience in many difference scenarios. My Android test was on a Nexus Player, so I actually did expect a little more capability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
Wild curiosity, will it accept 1080p60? Maybe setting the STB to that would help with some of the scaling/deinterlacing issues.
Via the STB options menu, then best I could get at 1080p30. The colors were completely wrong, so I need to play with that a little more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecore View Post
Is it possible to set up your STB to output native (720p or 1080i)? I can do this on FIOS with my two QIP7100's via a hidden menu option. If so, would it be possible to re-configure your encoder to use the appropriate format based on the channel #? For example, 720p, 60fps for ESPN, FX, NGC, FOX, etc. and 1080i for everything else? I am assuming that when SageTV tunes a channel, it could pass that info. to your encoder somehow.
I went home over lunch to play around with the native resolution settings and my newly discovered 60fps "hack." I haven't had an STB in a while (I got a QIP7100 just for this experiment), so I forgot about the STB menu, but rediscovered it very quickly after Googling a little. I checked off 1080i, 720p and 480p as resolutions that my "TV" supports. When I checked 1080p30, it causes the capture to have strange colors, but I didn't have enough time to work out why so I have it unchecked for now. It's noted in many places that this encoder doesn't do well on 480i, so I didn't even bother checking that one. I also change the resolution to auto and set the capture FPS to 60 in the web interface and disabled the secondary encoder. It turns out that if less than 60FPS is coming in, the device will encode at the lower framerate. I'm actually completely sold on it after these changes, pending long term stability verification. I've been recording non-stop all night, through this morning and it did not have a single hiccup. At first glance it appears to be stable, but I'm going to try using it as a primary recording device over the rest of the week and see how it fairs.
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Capture: 1x Ceton InfiniTV 4 (ClearQAM), 2x Ceton InfiniTV 6, 1x BM1000-HDMI, 1x BM3500-HDMI.

Clients: 1x HD300 (Living Room), 1x HD200 (Master Bedroom).
Software: OpenDCT :: WMC Live TV Tuner :: Schedules Direct EPG
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustFred View Post
Any indication if it handles protected content? I'd sure like to dump my HDMI splitter/HD-PVR pair and replace it with this.

Exactly which box did you purchase? AliExpress has quite a few sellers and while most seem to be identical, I did find one that claims to be a "Pro" version that supports 1080p @ 60fps http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Full-...b-03b431d55e74
If you're talking about HDCP, as far as I can tell it negotiated it successfully for me. After discovering that the 30fps limitation on the web interface is artificial, I don't see any reason to get a box specifically advertises that it allows you to set 60fps in the web interface. Getting around this limitation is so easy, anyone will be able to do it. You just need to know that if you're using both streams from the device, only one of them can be 60fps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHS View Post
I don't think it really matter as long as it a Live Video Streaming Broadcast device and do believe he got the Unisheen BM1000HDMI
That's the one.
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Capture: 1x Ceton InfiniTV 4 (ClearQAM), 2x Ceton InfiniTV 6, 1x BM1000-HDMI, 1x BM3500-HDMI.

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  #11  
Old 05-03-2016, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnterNoEscape View Post
I went home over lunch to play around with the native resolution settings and my newly discovered 60fps "hack." I haven't had an STB in a while (I got a QIP7100 just for this experiment), so I forgot about the STB menu, but rediscovered it very quickly after Googling a little. I checked off 1080i, 720p and 480p as resolutions that my "TV" supports. When I checked 1080p30, it causes the capture to have strange colors, but I didn't have enough time to work out why so I have it unchecked for now. It's noted in many places that this encoder doesn't do well on 480i, so I didn't even bother checking that one. I also change the resolution to auto and set the capture FPS to 60 in the web interface and disabled the secondary encoder. It turns out that if less than 60FPS is coming in, the device will encode at the lower framerate. I'm actually completely sold on it after these changes, pending long term stability verification. I've been recording non-stop all night, through this morning and it did not have a single hiccup. At first glance it appears to be stable, but I'm going to try using it as a primary recording device over the rest of the week and see how it fairs.
Just to be clear - 4 questions/verifications:
(1) The encoder will automatically encode in either 720p/60 or 1080i/30 from a QIP7100 depending on the channel selected?
(2) Therefore, the only downside to this encoder is the lack of 5.1?
(3) This box does not require a "splitter" to record DRM content?
(4) What are you using to tune the STB - USB-UIRT?

I recently went through QIP7100 setup with HD-PVRs and can provide you with IR files with a "MENU-EXIT" prefix (to try and wake up the STB if asleep),sage.properties info. and details on building electrical-IR-electrical cable for connecting the USB-UIRT IR emitter port to the IR receiver ports of the QIP7100 if you want. I have always been interested in getting to an HDMI solution - although the HD-PVR works pretty good.
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Old 05-03-2016, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecore View Post
Just to be clear - 4 questions/verifications:
(1) The encoder will automatically encode in either 720p/60 or 1080i/30 from a QIP7100 depending on the channel selected?
(2) Therefore, the only downside to this encoder is the lack of 5.1?
(3) This box does not require a "splitter" to record DRM content?
(4) What are you using to tune the STB - USB-UIRT?

I recently went through QIP7100 setup with HD-PVRs and can provide you with IR files with a "MENU-EXIT" prefix (to try and wake up the STB if asleep),sage.properties info. and details on building electrical-IR-electrical cable for connecting the USB-UIRT IR emitter port to the IR receiver ports of the QIP7100 if you want. I have always been interested in getting to an HDMI solution - although the HD-PVR works pretty good.
I did some more thorough testing after I hooked up a USB-UIRT. The channel tuning support in OpenDCT is executable only and probably will stay that way for a while since it's so much easier to support. I wrote a batch file that executes uutx.exe once for each channel number, then sends enter. Thanks for the offer, but I already pulled all of my codes from here: https://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bi...t-2224/page-2/ Does disabling the screensaver not remove the need to do menu/exit?

1) Yes, but you need to configure it to use auto for video resolution and 60 for framerate. Then since I didn't need it, I disabled the secondary stream. When I configured the STB to do native 480p, 720p and 1080i, the HDMI encoder adjusted to each mode. Even though it was set to do 60fps, when only 30fps was coming in via the STB, the encoder only output 30fps. I did a lot of transitions between different formatted content just to see what happens to the video. When changing between progressive to interlaced, there is a flicker on the bottom of the screen for about 5 seconds. When changing from interlaced to progressive, tuning in the channel sometimes took up to 10 seconds. I'm still playing around.

2) The delay while transitioning between resolutions could be considered a downside. You can dedicate one stream to 1080i and the other to 720p like the MythTV page suggested, but I don't know if this actually helps. I added support for selecting the stream based on channel number, but I don't think too many people will really want to go that route. Yes, it's only 2 channel audio, but the quality is very good.

3) I am assuming that my STB uses HDCP and I didn't need to do anything special to get things working. I just hooked up the encoder and STB with a normal HDMI cable. I'll connect it to a Bluray player later to test out 1080p60 recording; those definitely use HDCP.

4) A long time ago, I was running a 32-bit copy of XP, then Windows 7 32-bit so I could still use Firewire for tuning. I may get to go back to Firewire tuning once I get everything over to Linux, but for now I'm using a USB-UIRT. I've had one for a very long time and it has been very reliable. I just like the feedback you can get with Firewire because I'm paranoid.
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Capture: 1x Ceton InfiniTV 4 (ClearQAM), 2x Ceton InfiniTV 6, 1x BM1000-HDMI, 1x BM3500-HDMI.

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Old 05-03-2016, 05:55 PM
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I tried 1080p60 in several configurations. Unfortunately it doesn't want to work at all. As soon as the display drops to 1080p30, all is well again. I noticed when I plugged it into a computer, it presented itself as a Samsung TV.
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Capture: 1x Ceton InfiniTV 4 (ClearQAM), 2x Ceton InfiniTV 6, 1x BM1000-HDMI, 1x BM3500-HDMI.

Clients: 1x HD300 (Living Room), 1x HD200 (Master Bedroom).
Software: OpenDCT :: WMC Live TV Tuner :: Schedules Direct EPG
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:41 PM
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How would you honestly rate the video quality of this unit versus the soft image that we get from the HDPVR 1212 with bitrate max'd out?
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:30 PM
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I personally think it's a sharper picture. I thought that when 1080i content was recorded at 720p, it looked marginally better than the HD-PVR once I got 60fps working. This may not be completely fair because I was never able to get 1080i to work reliably with the HD-PVR. I recall 1080i from the HD-PVR was less soft than 720p, so it really bummed me out. 1080i from this unit to me looks as good or better; it's very sharp and deinterlaced to 1080p30.

I'm not going to accept any liability for purchases made based on my opinion. However, I really am very impressed with this product and being a network device it's mostly future proof until all content goes to 4k. There's also a lot more you can tweak over the HD-PVR.
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Capture: 1x Ceton InfiniTV 4 (ClearQAM), 2x Ceton InfiniTV 6, 1x BM1000-HDMI, 1x BM3500-HDMI.

Clients: 1x HD300 (Living Room), 1x HD200 (Master Bedroom).
Software: OpenDCT :: WMC Live TV Tuner :: Schedules Direct EPG
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:49 PM
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Really great work. Thank you for doing this.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:31 PM
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Question about the choice of product,

Ideally it should work with any HDMI to IP hardware brand or just the specific brand that you purchased?


Bill
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KryptoNyte View Post
Really great work. Thank you for doing this.
No problem. I think the key to why this device can produce a sharper picture is because qmin can be set to 1 which basically means that during medium to low motion, everything looks extremely close to the source content.
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  #19  
Old 05-03-2016, 09:04 PM
Telecore Telecore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnterNoEscape View Post
Does disabling the screensaver not remove the need to do menu/exit?
I think that you need more than just the screensaver disabled. Even with it disabled, in the past few months, I've found the STBs powered off or re-booted a couple of times. The MENU-EXIT seems to turn it on if it is off. Ever since I added the prefix, over a couple of months ago, I haven't had a problem, but honestly, I am not 100% sure that this definitely fixes it. TBD.

I also have the unavoidable 5 or 6 second delay to accommodate resolution changes with the HD-PVRs. I don't see the delay as being a problem - I definitely prefer to capture video in native mode, and would like to be able to get the 5.1 sound as well. I'll keep up with this thread and may consider getting one after thinking about it some more. Thanks for keeping us posted.
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  #20  
Old 05-04-2016, 08:04 AM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnterNoEscape View Post
I'm not going to accept any liability for purchases made based on my opinion. However, I really am very impressed with this product and being a network device it's mostly future proof until all content goes to 4k. There's also a lot more you can tweak over the HD-PVR.
What website did you purchase it from? This one? http://www.aliexpress.com/item/MPEG-...856597088.html
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