SageTV Community  

Go Back   SageTV Community > SageTV Products > SageTV Software
Forum Rules FAQs Community Downloads Today's Posts Search

Notices

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.)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-29-2008, 10:28 AM
meep meep is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 72
Sage just isn't working out for me..

I want it to work. I love the idea. I'm set up for it. But it's just not working.

I live in Ireland. I have a Sky TV Subscription. I have a Dual 3.0GHz Xeon Server running MS Server 2003. It has a Hauppage capture card taking composite feed and stereo audio from Sky digibox.

I have Sage installed on the server and a HD100 in my living room. Server and extender are connected via gibabit ethernet. Extender is connected to sony TV via HDMI. Server switches channel via USB-UIRT.

I have installed and reinstalled software, server etc. The following are my general issues;

-There is no provided EPG with the system. I must set up third party utilities to download program guides from tvtimes. This is an obtuse process (I'm a software engineer).

-The picture quality at my TV is sub-standard. Watchable, for sure but much poorer than the RF feed from my digibox. Camera panning is poor. Crawling text on screen is awful. General frame rate seems off.

-There are significant audio sync issues that I have never managed to get to the bottom of. Sync will vary by channel adn often witin a channel by content (programme vs. commercials).


I've asked the questions. I've tweaked the software. I'm just not happy. I'm not looking for help here, I'm just stating my experience. I'm on the verge of giving up on Sage.

Sky HD is available for 149. That's very attractive to me right now. That will give me HD programming, timeshifting, recording etc. Why should I continue to struggle with Sage?

Sorry

Peter
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-29-2008, 11:01 AM
doc's Avatar
doc doc is offline
Sage Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Leicester, England
Posts: 918
I had a similar system, with a scart connector on the back of the sky box, with composite and audio leads connecting from that to a pvr350 that had an extra connections bracket. USBUIRT to change channel, the latest java installed, and the latest version of Sage.

I had the birtles grabber and Stephane's importer, and a scheduled task that ran daily to update the epg.

I also disabled windows updates, and don't have any antivirus on the machine.

The recording quality setting was set to best.

The only difference was that I was using XP home instead of 2003 server.

Once set up I didn't have any issues at all.

I have used 2003 server on test systems before but was happier in the end using XP. Have you tried XP? maybe its down to hauppauge drivers.

I know what its like when there's something not quite right, I spent many an evening tinkering until I worked out the best way to do things - like adding the power on remote code as a prefix for each channel change to make sure the sky box is switched on.

The only change I've made now is I don't use the Sky box, but use freeview and freesat instead, and the quality from those is a lot better than from the sky box through composite as the signals are already digital and don't have to be converted back and forth. That said, the quality using the composite output with recording quality set to great should be a lot better than the RF output.

I guess it comes down to what you want from a system. If you only have the one TV then I guess you could stick get a sky+ box.

If you have multiple TV's, or like to save a fair amount of recordings on hard drives so that you can watch from a standard pc, or want to schedule a recording from the web when you're out, then maybe another look would be in order.

For me though, its also a hobby and I'd be bored most weekends if I couldn't browse the forum and see whats going on out there.

I'm sat in front of the TV now, HD100 remote in hand, catching up on recordings from the last week.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-29-2008, 11:08 AM
meep meep is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 72
That's what I want, but when your recordings flicker somewhat and have slipping audio sync, it's kind of unwatchable & depressing.

I think I'm about to give the whole thing one more go. I like the idea of FreeSat directly into something like the Nova S2 card. I might set up an XP box just to see how that works - odd that it would be better than Server but it may come down to hauppage drivers.

Will give it a go, I think......

Peter
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-29-2008, 12:09 PM
taylormadearmy taylormadearmy is offline
Sage Advanced User
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by meep View Post
Camera panning is poor. Crawling text on screen is awful. General frame rate seems off.
This sounds very much like a PAL/NTSC mismatch. Have you set your HDX-1000 to PAL? (install the latest release firmware and follow instructions here http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/show...4&postcount=34 ) Are there any settings for your capture card to make sure it captures in PAL?

T
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-29-2008, 02:34 PM
brewston brewston is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Surrey
Posts: 719
I used to have the same setup ie composite signal out of the scart port of a Sky digibox and you're right the picture quality isn't that great. (Never had audio problems though) I was connecting the PC directly to the TV via s-video

I finally kicked out the Sky box and got a Nova-HD-S2 card and the quality is far better. If you're reluctant to totally kick out the Sky then you could invest in a dual LNB and run 2 cables

But as doc says, if you're only looking for PVR functionality then Sky+ HD must be attractive. Personally, I like the other stuff Sage offers (and I like compulsively tinkering )

cheers

Tim
__________________
Tecra M5, 2 x HD200, 2 x HD300
2 x PCTV 290e
Win 7, Sage 7.1.9, Phoenix 2 STV
Stephane's XMLTV Importer, Digiguide,
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-29-2008, 05:30 PM
meep meep is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 72
Thanks for the inputs guys. I had PAL enabled and beta firmware installed on HD100. I've spent the evening doing the following;

-Installed WinXP Home on a spare PC (3GHz Pentium, Intel 915GAG, 2x HDs)
-Installed SP2 & all up to date MB and device drivers
-Installed Hauppague capture card and latest drivers as only PCI device
-Installed current SageTV 15 day trial
-Took existing server offline
-Updated firmware on HD100

My audio sync issue persists and now I have tearing/flickering every 1-2 seconds across the top 1/5 of the picture. This displays on both the machine running SageTV and the HD100.

I'm updating to SP3 and all other Windows updates overnight to see if that makes any difference. Next step will be a differnt TV capture card.

Peter
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-29-2008, 08:54 PM
bastafidli bastafidli is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 728
You haven't mentioned your network. What NIC are you using, how about cabling, router or bridge?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-30-2008, 01:40 AM
brewston brewston is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Surrey
Posts: 719
I'd also try different audio & mpeg2 decoders. Try AC3filter for audio, try purevideo (trial you have to download it) or cyberlink (installed if your PC came with PowerDVD) for video - see if they make a difference
__________________
Tecra M5, 2 x HD200, 2 x HD300
2 x PCTV 290e
Win 7, Sage 7.1.9, Phoenix 2 STV
Stephane's XMLTV Importer, Digiguide,
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-30-2008, 02:37 AM
Fuzzy's Avatar
Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
SageTVaholic
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Jurupa Valley, CA
Posts: 9,957
He's running an HD extender, so codecs have no play. This does bring up the point of trying to watch the recordings on the PC itself, and see how they play. If they are playing poorly there as well, the I'd look at your capture card/drivers.
__________________
Buy Fuzzy a beer! (Fuzzy likes beer)

unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-30-2008, 02:54 AM
meep meep is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by bastafidli View Post
You haven't mentioned your network. What NIC are you using, how about cabling, router or bridge?
Oh, thought I mentioned it earier. Onboard gigabit ethernet in server, gigabit switch with server and HD100 directly connected.

Yes, playback on PC exhibits tearing/flickering (which was not an isue with the same capture card in my Server 2003 set up).

As advised, I will change out the capture card and see if that has an impact.

Thanks all

Peter
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-30-2008, 03:47 AM
brewston brewston is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Surrey
Posts: 719
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
trying to watch the recordings on the PC itself, and see how they play. .
Yes, thats what I meant, try playing on the PC itself. A machine of that spec should handle playback no problem. The other test is to see what it looks like through WinTV

Tim
__________________
Tecra M5, 2 x HD200, 2 x HD300
2 x PCTV 290e
Win 7, Sage 7.1.9, Phoenix 2 STV
Stephane's XMLTV Importer, Digiguide,
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-30-2008, 03:56 AM
davephan's Avatar
davephan davephan is offline
Sage Icon
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,911
How much memory do you have? SageTV works much better with at least 1 gig memory? Is your video storage drive formatted with 64K block size?

Dave
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-30-2008, 04:10 AM
doc's Avatar
doc doc is offline
Sage Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Leicester, England
Posts: 918
I think Tim has the right idea, see what its like using winTV.

Also, make sure you install the latest java - the version with sage is 1.5 now I think, so make sure you get 1.6

If you still have problems with winTV it could be a problem with the lead from your sky box to your pc.

I used one of these from the back of the sky box and used the composite and audio from that to connect to the pvr card.

http://docwalker.dyndns.biz/zenphoto...age=PA-116.jpg

I never tried using the audio connectors on the back of the sky box, if you're using those maybe thats causing the audio sync issue.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-30-2008, 06:30 AM
meep meep is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 72
OK, plugged in my old Holograph H3d card which about a year ago I tried using UNE. To my surprise, Sage now picks it up as a source (previous versions did not). This card gives me RGBS input from scart and produces a much better picture than composite.

Happy days, except the picture still exhipts tearing and distortion in the upper 1/4 of the screen. So, that's down to Sage or something else in the machine and not the capture card.

Second drive is dedicated to Sage and is formatted in 64K blocks.

Off to troubleshoot this flicker issue now...

Peter
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-30-2008, 11:27 AM
meep meep is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 72
OK, flicker fixed. My dedicated sage drive with 64K clusters was a regular ata drive with an ata/sata adapter plugged into the SATA bus. Removing the adapter from the drive and plugging directly in to the ata bus fixed the problem. Obviously a disk speed issue casued by the adapter.

Next issue, getting sound in sync....
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-31-2008, 07:59 AM
meep meep is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 72
AAAgggghhhh!

Now, Sage has started freezing my PC whenever I try to edit settings via the UI. If I unsinstall Sage and re-install it, I can get one setup but any attempts after that will freeze sage and the entire PC. I get a slight blue shift on the screen which leads me to suspect a conflict with the onboard Intel video (this started after I updated video drivers to latest version).

I've pulled my H3D card and dumped it in another similar spec PC (but with an X1950 video card and delta 410 audio card). Picture on PC via sage is now rock solid and sound appears to be in sync (it may be slipping over time).

However, my HD100 has real problems. I've started a thread on it here: http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/show...037#post302037

Anyway, that''s another weekend lost to Sage and still no acceptable picture on many TVs. Some progress made but atill no joy. And I do enjoy tinkering but this software & hardware needs to work better - I love tghe idea of all the extra stuff sage brings but if it can't do it's core job properly, it's useless.

Peter
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-31-2008, 01:51 PM
meep meep is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 72
OK, solved that stutter problem - it was down to the MPEG encoder being used (see referenced thread).

So, two days and three PCs later, I have what seems to be a stable Sage installation, feeding excellent pictures to my HD100.

The outstanding issue is sound sync slippage over time (perfect when Sage is launched on the server, slips about 2 seconds over an hour).

I've changed the sample rate on the relevant audio input on my sound card to 48KHz to match the mpeg encoding rate to see if that has any effect (input had been set to 44.1KHz.

Peter
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-01-2008, 11:02 AM
Martin J Martin J is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by doc View Post
The only change I've made now is I don't use the Sky box, but use freeview and freesat instead, and the quality from those is a lot better than from the sky box through composite as the signals are already digital and don't have to be converted back and forth. That said, the quality using the composite output with recording quality set to great should be a lot better than the RF output.
This paragraph doesn't make much sense to me. Sky, Freeview and Freesat are all digital, the composite output of receivers for each is analogue, a composite output cannot be digital, so there's still a D/A (decode) then A/D (encode) process going on.

Nobody should expect much in the way of quality from a composite feed anyway, S-Video is much better, RGB and component better still. S-Video and/or RGB are available from all Sky boxes.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-01-2008, 11:07 AM
Martin J Martin J is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by meep View Post
Sky HD is available for 149. That's very attractive to me right now. That will give me HD programming, timeshifting, recording etc. Why should I continue to struggle with Sage?
Sky HD is not without bugs too, but most of them are minor and many users have trouble-free use (you only tend to hear about the ones with problems).

It's much easier to use than Sage and there is no recording transcoding, when you play back a recording you're playing back an exact copy of the transport stream.

But... you can only keep so many recordings on a Sky HD box. Even if you upgrade the drive to a 1TB model using Copy+, sooner or later you'll run out of space. You can record shows to DVD etc. to save them, but this is only geared up for SD, to save them in HD then you need something like the Hauppauge HD-PVR and a package like SageTV.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-01-2008, 01:31 PM
doc's Avatar
doc doc is offline
Sage Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Leicester, England
Posts: 918
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin J View Post
This paragraph doesn't make much sense to me. Sky, Freeview and Freesat are all digital, the composite output of receivers for each is analogue, a composite output cannot be digital, so there's still a D/A (decode) then A/D (encode) process going on.

Nobody should expect much in the way of quality from a composite feed anyway, S-Video is much better, RGB and component better still. S-Video and/or RGB are available from all Sky boxes.
Having just re-read my message I didn't make it clear. The Freeview and Freesat I'm using are through PCI cards in the PC, not set top boxes, and so the signals are already digital.

If I were using set top box's for Freeview and Freesat then yes, the output would then be analogue.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cannot get Sage Codecs working in Vista... grooves12 SageTV Software 1 08-28-2008 08:44 PM
HDHomeRun and VLC working, Sage not. tsitalon1 Hardware Support 9 06-16-2007 09:10 AM
Best way to get Logitech Harmony 676 working with Sage gtd885a Hardware Support 4 06-24-2006 02:30 PM
How To: In-place recompression of Sage Recordings nielm SageTV Customizations 39 02-18-2006 11:32 PM
Sage crashes rfutscher SageTV Software 0 01-23-2006 04:31 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright 2003-2005 SageTV, LLC. All rights reserved.