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  #1  
Old 11-23-2004, 05:58 PM
sudipto sudipto is offline
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Recording problem with Plextor PX-TV402U. Video frame gets stuck

I use 2 Hauppauge 250's and one Plextor PX-TV402U tuner with my Sage system.

I know I can assign the tuner priorities using the "mmc/encoders/XXX/encoder_merit" property ... however, these only seem to work among encoders of the same TYPE. So I can tell Sage to choose one of the Hauppauge cards over the other, but there doesn't seem to be a way to give the Hauppauge cards a higher priority than the Plextor.

I am having problems using the Plextor where a few of my recordings get stuck on a video frame but the audio progresses along fine. Once this happens, the whole recording is destroyed since all of the remaining part of this MPEG2 file gets stuck on this one frame and I haven't found a way to fix this.

So I would like to give the Plextor the lowest priority; I would like the Hauppauge cards to be used whenever possible and the Plextor to be used only when 3 recordings are going on simultaneously.

However, the Plextor is always becoming the encoder with the highest priority and Sage is always trying to use it first over any other tuners.

Any way to fix this ?
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2004, 06:18 PM
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Opus4 Opus4 is offline
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I'm not sure if this will do it, but... What do you have listed as your default recording priority? DivX? If so, try making mpeg2 as the default, then assign DivX as the default just for the Plextor. If you are already doing that, then I'm not sure.

Someone else just posted that he set mmc/enable_mpeg4_timeshifting=false to prevent some frozen frames. Maybe that is what is happening with you?

- Andy
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  #3  
Old 11-23-2004, 06:40 PM
sudipto sudipto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opus4
I'm not sure if this will do it, but... What do you have listed as your default recording priority? DivX? If so, try making mpeg2 as the default, then assign DivX as the default just for the Plextor. If you are already doing that, then I'm not sure.
Hmm ... I really don't want to record in DivX since the quality is still pretty bad (even with the highest quality DivX setting I have tried)

Quote:
Someone else just posted that he set mmc/enable_mpeg4_timeshifting=false to prevent some frozen frames. Maybe that is what is happening with you?

- Andy
I thought the same, so I tried setting "mmc/enable_mpeg4_timeshifting" to "true" for a few days and then to "false" for a few days - and the frozen frame problem happened in both cases.

It doesn't happen for most recordings ... only may be one in 15-20.
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  #4  
Old 11-23-2004, 06:46 PM
zinkpig zinkpig is offline
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I am having problems using the Plextor where a few of my recordings get stuck on a video frame but the audio progresses along fine. Once this happens, the whole recording is destroyed since all of the remaining part of this MPEG2 file gets stuck on this one frame and I haven't found a way to fix this.

hey i have this exact same problem its not as frequent in mine. I thought this went away with setting mpeg4 time shift as false. but it just may be that i havent seen this yet.
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  #5  
Old 11-23-2004, 06:51 PM
sudipto sudipto is offline
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Thanks ZP ! That makes it (at least) two of us. I have played with the mpeg4_timeshifting parameter to both true and false ... and the stuck frame occurred under both settings. Surprisingly, it always happens on the same channels and on the same shows for me (Arrested Development on Fox and Family Guy on Cartoon Network). I wonder if that has anything to do with it !

What recording profile are you using with the Plextor ? From your other post, it sounded like you are using one of the DivX profiles ? If so, what kind of quality are you getting ?

I am using the "DVD Standard Play" MPEG2 settings with the Plextor as well as with my 250's.
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  #6  
Old 11-23-2004, 07:03 PM
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Oh -- nevermind: that timeshifting property won't come into play for mpeg2 qualities.

I've got my Plextor set for mpeg2 also & don't see any freeze problem. What exactly do you two mean happens? I've got a 250, a USB2, and the Plextor all on one system.

- Andy
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2004, 07:10 PM
sudipto sudipto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opus4
I've got my Plextor set for mpeg2 also & don't see any freeze problem. What exactly do you two mean happens?
What happens is this - say the Plextor recorded Arrested Development on FOX. When I play it back later, it plays fine upto a certain point (say 10 minutes into the program ... this varies though), and then the video suddenly freezes while the audio continues to play normally. At this point, if I skip forward, the audio skips forward just fine, but the video remain stuck at the same point until the end of the show

I have tried playing the MPEG2 file outside of Sage in a multitude of players, and all show the same behavior; so I am pretty certain that the file itself got corrupted.

This has only happened with a few recordings done with the Plextor. This NEVER happened before with any of the Hauppauge 250 cards (in the past, I have had upto 4 Hauppauge 250's in this system).

If anyone is interested, I can make a small video clip available that shows the "freezing".
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  #8  
Old 11-23-2004, 07:20 PM
zinkpig zinkpig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudipto
Thanks ZP ! That makes it (at least) two of us. I have played with the mpeg4_timeshifting parameter to both true and false ... and the stuck frame occurred under both settings. Surprisingly, it always happens on the same channels and on the same shows for me (Arrested Development on Fox and Family Guy on Cartoon Network). I wonder if that has anything to do with it !

What recording profile are you using with the Plextor ? From your other post, it sounded like you are using one of the DivX profiles ? If so, what kind of quality are you getting ?

I am using the "DVD Standard Play" MPEG2 settings with the Plextor as well as with my 250's.
hmm. i dont remember what shows it happened on on one day it happened to two shows in sucesssion. i dont think its the "tuner" related as it happened on a show being recorded thru the svideo input. I suspect its something to do with cpu utilization. The plextor uses lots of cpu cycles (60% on p4 1.6gig). I was worried if it was because of usb2 bandwidth. i have my plextor and pvr usb2 connected to the two usb ports of a pci usb2 card, so when both are reecording theres quite a bit of data coming thru. I have used only divx certified home theater good quality with the plextor
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2004, 07:28 PM
sudipto sudipto is offline
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It is good that your setup and mine are quite different - helps eliminate a couple different things.

- I am recording ONLY thru the Tuner. My analog cable is connected directly to the Plextor box (well, it is not exactly a direct connection, since I have a distribution amp in between, but what I meant to say is that there is no cable box)

- I do not have any other devices connected to any of the USB ports. Also, I am using an USB port directly off of the montherboard (ASUS A7N8X-E deluxe)

- My CPU is an Athlon XP 2600+. Have not noticed how high the CPU utilization gets though ...

- I think when Arrested Development is aired, there is at least another show that gets recorded. The same is probably not true for Family Guy. But there are other shows that get recorded with 1 or 2 others, and they never got stuck (at least not yet).
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  #10  
Old 11-23-2004, 08:48 PM
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dvd_maniac dvd_maniac is offline
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I have 2 pvr-250's, 1 pvr-usb2 and 1 Plextor TV402U hooked up to one PC.
I am recording 3 shows right now. The plextor is recording in Divx, good quality and the others are recording in dvd (Best) quality.
I am also using CCE (85% CPU) right now to shrink a video recorded earlier. Sage is only showing 5-8% utilization. The divx file that just finished plays fine on my client. No freezes at all. The others play fine too. However, I have had the Plextor have problems with freezes and skipped frames before. But never to the end of the recording.
I just thought I would throw my 2 cents in about CPU maybe being the problem. From what I see, it isn't.
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  #11  
Old 11-23-2004, 09:22 PM
sudipto sudipto is offline
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I just thought of a possible correlation. I think the freeze only happens when I am trying to view a show that is CURRENTLY being recorded on the Plextor.

Usually I see the shows after they have finished recording completely. However, the last two shows which showed the freezing problem were both being watched (about 10 minutes delayed) as they were still being recorded.

Zink - is this your problem too ?
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  #12  
Old 11-23-2004, 09:26 PM
sudipto sudipto is offline
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Thanks for the input, dvd_maniac ! I usually have not seen Sage take up too much CPU cycles either. Right now Sage is recording two shows - one on the Plextor and one on the 250, and while it is using up 153MB memory, the CPU utilization is only between 4 and 8 percent.
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  #13  
Old 11-23-2004, 09:38 PM
zinkpig zinkpig is offline
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nope, i wasnt even watching anything when those shows with the problems were recorded. just came back home one niight to my favorite recordings of "2 and a half men" and "listen up" messed up.
yep just looked up the cpu cycles too its less than 10 % too
plextordirk(plextor tech support) said it was around 50-70% on his p4 here:
http://forums.divx.com/viewtopic.php...62563&forum=21
i guess cpu utilization is not the issue then
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2004, 07:52 PM
zinkpig zinkpig is offline
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hi again,
More problems. One of the shows sage recorded with the plextor today is a total mess. It has freeze frames, audio and video cutting out , pixellation. all kinds of problems. I thought the tuner crapped out totally, until i checked the following recordings which were perfect. I just do get it..some body at plextor/sage (most likely the former, I know i get some lame crap saying that i wasnt using winDVR to record) needs to take a look. I saved the file in case any one wants to look at it. I am going to make a copy of show on cd and mail it to plextor.
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  #15  
Old 11-28-2004, 09:23 PM
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korben_dallas korben_dallas is offline
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Zink,

I was doing some heavy transcoding off DVD yesterday, not thinking about my scheduled Sage recordings. I have the Plextor only, and about 20 minutes of my program the audio & video were out of sync and got some skipped frames. This is the only time I've had a problem with the Plextor, and it was obviously caused by the 90% CPU and heavy disk activity of my DVD ripping.

So, I'm wondering if you are either 1) taxing your system too much or 2) just have a bad plextor unit ?
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  #16  
Old 11-28-2004, 11:23 PM
zinkpig zinkpig is offline
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hey korben,
i dont think its from taxing mys system too much. The bad recordings took place when the system wasnt being used at all(dedicated htpc).usually the usage when recording is abt 10% this was the case with sudiptos too, so i dont think thats the problem. Abt the bad unit , cant really say for sure there are so many shows it records well . I think the plextor does video encoding via. hardware and audio via. software. I think thats why even when the video freezes the audio encoding is undisturbed. Same thing could cause AV lag, as a sudden video freeze up may introduce a delay.
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  #17  
Old 11-29-2004, 05:01 PM
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To let you all know....we are able to reproduce this problem and are working with Plextor to resolve this.
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  #18  
Old 11-29-2004, 05:31 PM
sudipto sudipto is offline
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the update Jeff ! It is great to know you can reproduce this now ... I am sure the fix won't be far away

Have you guys been able to find out WHAT exactly causes this problem to happen ? In other words, is there anything we can avoid doing to wrok around this problem until the fix is available ?
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  #19  
Old 11-29-2004, 10:58 PM
sagesupport sagesupport is offline
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I have been able to reproduce it here using the PVR-350 out, but I'm still having problems reproducing it when not using the TV-out function of the 350. How many others are using the TV-out function of the PVR-350? I haven't seen anybody mention that particular combo yet.

I'm trying to reproduce it another system now. Of course it hasnít happened yet. If anybody has any suggestions, I will try them here and see if we can get this resolved.

Thanks,
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  #20  
Old 11-29-2004, 11:19 PM
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korben_dallas korben_dallas is offline
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George,

Do you have access to the plextor? That's what both Zink and I have. During a recording, do something that really taxes the system. That's what caused my problem I think.

The only other thing I can think of would be a "pop" on the cable line that might cause the video hardware portion of the plextor encoding chip to freak out and you are stuck with what is in its video buffer, until some reset occurs - like when the program stops recording.
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