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441 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 505990 13-Aug-2011 15:04
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AllenG: 
I have installed Catalyst 11.8 beta now and, touch wood, It's looking ok so far on TV3 on DTT(HD) for an hour or so.


This 11.8 catalyst update didn't fix the video stutter.

I got desperate today and borrowed a friends surplus Nvidia GEforce GT220 and installed it alongside my ATI card.

the ATI card is in the first PCIe x16 slot, the Nvidea in the second PCIe x16 slot and the Hauppague tuner has been relegated to a PCI3 x1 slot.

Win7 pro detected and installed drivers for the Nvidia card. The Catalyst control centre seems to be happy enough that the Nvidea card is there. My extended desktop works over the two cards and the TV is now plugged into the Nvidia card. I guess any advanced Nvidia settings won't be configurable by Catalyst control centre, but seems to work for TV.

In Media Centre I had to rescan and re-merge my UHF & satellite channels because the Hauppage tuner was moved to a different slot.

The difference in live H.264 TV is immediately noticable. On the ATI card if I skipped through a TV recording or the live TV pause buffer the picture would stutter and pixelate for several seconds. On the Nvidia card it doesn't do this. There is very little picture disturbance when jumping backwards or forwards or changing channels. The Nvidia card is certainly not a high end card but it seems to be doing a better job of H.264 TV

I'll watch some live TV for a day or two and confirm whether it is indeed finally fixed.

Regards Allen. 

368 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 506103 13-Aug-2011 22:06
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Cool - keep us posted!




My HTPC - Case Antec Fusion Remote, MOBO Intel DH67BLB3, CPU Intel Core i5-2400S 2.5 GHz, RAM 8GB  DDR3 1333, HDD 120Gig Corsair Force Series 3 SSD system | WD Caviar Black 2TB data, Tuners Black Gold BGT3595 dual DVB-S/S2, dual DVB-T, Video nVIDIA GeForce GT 520, 1024MB, Sound Intel® High Definition Audio (onboard), OS Windows 7 x64



441 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 506318 14-Aug-2011 15:39
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Definite improvement with the Nvidia, but still not perfect.

I can drag the media centre window from the TV (on Nvidia) to desktop (ATI) and notice a repeatable difference between the two when jumping to different points in the pause buffer. On the Nvidia it mostly  jumps and resumes playback without any problem. with the ATI it pixelates and sometimes stutters for a second or two on resuming playback. Audio is fine, just video.

Watched TV on the nvidia card for several hours lastnight and still had a few occurrances of pixelation rather than stuttering. on one occasion this coincided with a recording starting on another tuner. 

I also suspect that frames are being dropped as vertical scolling isn't smooth. It is best when fullscreen with focus on media centre, and worst full screen with focus off media centre. Windowed performance is variable.

I might try ans install the Nvidea control app alongside the ATI and see if I can tweek the card settings.

Regards Allen. 

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  Reply # 520938 14-Sep-2011 13:13
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Hi Allen,

I have a similar setup and also a similar issue to you and I have also been having great difficulty in resolving it.  However, I believe I have narrowed it down to either tuner drivers, or something in Win7 x64 (or Win7 in general) which is causing the issue.

Media PC: Intel E2180 Dual Core CPU, Asus P5N-E Mainboard, 4GB RAM, nVidia 8400 Graphics Card, SATA HDDs
Tuner: Hauppauge Nova TD-500
OS: Win7 x64 (fresh install)
Media Software: MediaPortal v1.1.3 (f

I realise that our setups differ quite a bit, but there are some points of similarity between them and the issues we are both having which caught my attention (Hauppauge cards, Win7 x64)

Basically my issue is the occasional video pause but mostly pixelation / corruption (strangely it mostly only occurs on the lower half of the screen...?).  Interestingly for me, if I boot up my old XP (x86) install, everything works perfectly, so from this I can deduce that the issue is not:
- PC Hardware
- Tuner Hardware
- Signal
- Media Application (corruption also occurs in Win7 with Media Center)

I have also tried a number of different codecs, with the same results, so I'm fairly confident that these are not the issue.

I have also seen the same corruption on a remote client connecting to the main media PC (Mediaportal), which tells me that the issue is probably in the processing of the signal and tends to steer me away from video drivers as a cause, although the client PC and the media PC both have (different generation) nVidia cards, so it's still possible that drivers are an issue (I need to try updating them).  That said, you've tried a number of different drivers & in fact a completely different video card manufacturer & associated drivers, so that makes it less likely and a bit of a long shot really.

So based on my testing so far, as I said to start with, what's left is:
- Tuner Drivers
- Win7 or Win7 x64

I have recently updated the Tuner drivers so unless this is an unfixed bug, it's not likely to be them, and TBH, although we both have Hauppauge tuner cards, the likelihood of the same bug in drivers for 2 completely different cards is somewhat slim.  However, this is still possible as the HD tuner hardware on both cards may be similar or in fact identical.

The other element is Win7 or Win7 x64.  I would not have suspected this as the cause, but the fact that my XP install works flawlessly has forced me to consider Win7 as a possible cause.  In general Win7 x64 is very solid, but x64 is still fairly new to the mainstream so you never know.

So, I just wanted to share my story with you in the hopes that we can assist each other to solve this issue.  It's possible that we are seeing completely different issues, but I think the similarities are too many to ignore.

Things I'm going to try:
- Fresh install of Win7 x86
- Reverting to same version of tuner drivers in XP (if possible)
- Updating nVidia drivers to the latest
- Reverting nVidia drivers to the same version as is in XP

Thoughts?

Sam.



441 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 521114 14-Sep-2011 18:12
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Hi Sam.

I have rebuilt my Win7 PC in the last few days. I had a failing C Drive. I had a backup but decided to reinstall from scratch to see if I could cure this and a couple of other niggly issues. Media centre was recording and buffering to a different drive (D).

I have updated windows, Hauppague drivers and Radeon Catalyst software and driver. I have not installed any additional codecs whatsoever.

I have however added a second tuner card robbed from another PC (Avermedia  H789 PCIe)

Media centre did a shoddy job of scanning and merging channels from the two UHF (DVB-T) tuners. I ended up with 6 merged channels on each. Two for the correct frequency and two either side of the correct frequency. I manually merged the satellite channels and guide data with the UHF ones and ordered the preferred tuners in the order Hauppague UHF, Avermedia UHF, then satellite.

The quick tests I have done still stutter and pixelate on HD. I have yet to make the Avermedia card the preferred tuner and test that. I also havn't done any extended testing to ascertain whether this is still an HD only issue.

I did notice however that The Hauppague signal meter that is installed with WinTV7 says the signal is good  C/N around 32.7 and zero errors but  that media centre shows quality figures of 39% (594 Mhz),  54% (578Mhz)  65% (562Mhz). I may try tweeking the level on the masthead amp.

I can't understand why media centre is reporting low quality when the hauppague meter isn't.

It may take a day or two but I'll post any further observations.

Regards Allen.

 

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  Reply # 521131 14-Sep-2011 18:46
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Hi everyone

I hadn't seen this thread before now but there were a few questions that I thought I could answer...
1. The ATI drivers since Catalyst 11.4 are dubious at best. We (the MediaPortal team) have had quite a few reports of problems with them. Especially 11.5 and 11.6.
2. With MediaPortal you can easily select the codecs that are used (wiki info). Other software mostly requires knowledge of DirectShow merits.
3. Some software allows you to monitor what codecs are *actually* used through the DirectShow running object table (ROT). This is possible with MediaPortal, but not with WMC as far as I'm aware. With MP, the codecs that are used are usually the ones that you choose in MP configuration, but not in all cases (like if you choose a codec that is incompatible with the stream format for whatever reason). To check the actual codec graph:
i. On Vista and 7 register proppage.dll with regsvr32.
ii. Download and run GraphStudio.
iii. Click "file" -> "connect to remote graph..." while MP is running.
iv. There should be a remote graph listed in the dialog box. Select it and click okay.

4. MediaPortal allows you to specify the process priority for the client (MediaPortal) as well as the server (TV Server).

mm




441 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 521157 14-Sep-2011 19:51
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mm1352000: Hi everyone

I hadn't seen this thread before now but there were a few questions that I thought I could answer...
1. The ATI drivers since Catalyst 11.4 are dubious at best. We (the MediaPortal team) have had quite a few reports of problems with them. Especially 11.5 and 11.6.


Hi mm, I have previously tried V11.6, 11.8 preview, 11.8 release, and V10.18 which someone else posted was the "Golden version" on their setup. Currently installed 11.8 release.

2. With MediaPortal you can easily select the codecs that are used (wiki info). Other software mostly requires knowledge of DirectShow merits.


Tried media portal, didn't like it (sorry) and it still had the stuttering problem. I also tried the Media centre looking skin and it was buggy for me. I prefer the GUI, EPG etc of media centre.

3. Some software allows you to monitor what codecs are *actually* used through the DirectShow running object table (ROT). This is possible with MediaPortal, but not with WMC as far as I'm aware. 


I tried Shark007 32 and 64 bit codec packs on my previous install. I am pretty sure that you cannot over-ride the Windows foundation TV/DVD codec in win7 64 bit. By disabling the foundation codec live TV broke in media centre no matter what alternate H.264 codec you chose. 

The change that helped most with the previous build was adding a second video card an nvidea GT220 and changing the media centre TV to this card. My primary card is a Radeon HD5770.
I have since swapped the GT220 for a GT260 in a secondhand PC I bought for my sister. If I can't sort this out with the ATI, I will swap if out for this card.

By the way I have tried disabling alll indexing on the TV recording HDD. I have also tried temporarily disabling Avast antivirus.

Regards Allen.



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  Reply # 521160 14-Sep-2011 20:00
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AllenG:I have rebuilt my Win7 PC in the last few days.

I assume you've stuck with Win7 x64?  Which version of Win7 have you got (Home, Professional, Enterprise etc)?

AllenG:I have however added a second tuner card robbed from another PC (Avermedia  H789 PCIe

This will be the acid test I think, a completely different card from a completely different manufacturer (assuming of course they don't use the same components as Hauppauge :D)

AllenG:The quick tests I have done still stutter and pixelate on HD.

Considering the 'cleanliness' of your install, with no codecs etc, I think we can rule out any other factors related to a bad / corrupted OS install or other software etc causing issues.

On this subject, my brother is running Win7 x64 with a Hauppauge HVR2200, which is very similar to yours, without any issues, which is interesting.

AllenG:I can't understand why media centre is reporting low quality when the hauppague meter isn't.

I would trust the Hauppauge signal stats more than MC as MC may not understand the expected signal level for that particular card & signal type.  That said, I'm assuming you don't have an HD TV to test the signal with?  As I mentioned mine works perfectly in XP, so no issues for me on this front.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 521169 14-Sep-2011 20:28
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SamF:
I assume you've stuck with Win7 x64?  Which version of Win7 have you got (Home, Professional, Enterprise etc)? 

Yep Win7 pro 64bit

AllenG:I have however added a second tuner card robbed from another PC (Avermedia  H789 PCIe
This will be the acid test I think, a completely different card from a completely different manufacturer (assuming of course they don't use the same components as Hauppauge :D)

I have made the Avermedia card the preferred tuner for 1, 2, 3, & four. No better

.Considering the 'cleanliness' of your install, with no codecs etc, I think we can rule out any other factors related to a bad / corrupted OS install or other software etc causing issues.


On this subject, my brother is running Win7 x64 with a Hauppauge HVR2200, which is very similar to yours, without any issues, which is interesting.

 
I would trust the Hauppauge signal stats more than MC as MC may not understand the expected signal level for that particular card & signal type.  That said, I'm assuming you don't have an HD TV to test the signal with?  As I mentioned mine works perfectly in XP, so no issues for me on this front.

I don't have an HDTV. I do have a TViX M6500A media player with DTT tuner in it. I havn't checked it lately but it has issues of it's own with no EPG, and issues with channel Four. I'll have a look.

By the way I never had any issues with Satellite TV (Mpeg2), only with UHF (Mpeg4/H264). Havn't tried watching Sat since the rebuild.

I can make the picture pixelate and stutter for several seconds by jumping to a new point in the pause buffer or changing channels.

BTW I have done speed tests and checked the smart status of the recording HDD. Its a 2TB WD Caviar Black 2001FASS.

mm, which is the best version of Catalyst to use for Mpeg4/H.264?

Regards Allen.

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  Reply # 521174 14-Sep-2011 20:39
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AllenG:I have made the Avermedia card the preferred tuner for 1, 2, 3, & four. No better

Interesting!

AllenG:I can make the picture pixelate and stutter for several seconds by jumping to a new point in the pause buffer or changing channels.

Hmm, this is a bit different to what I'm seeing.  I can't 'force' my system to fault and changing channel or changing buffer position doesn't cause issues.

Any chance of doing a temporary install of XP to see if that resolves the issue for you?



441 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Reply # 521185 14-Sep-2011 21:10
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SamF:Any chance of doing a temporary install of XP to see if that resolves the issue for you?


Not really.  

I have an old PC with a legit copy of XP Home (no media centre) and no pcie slots on that PC. I still have to use xp at work and after having win7 at home for 12 months there is no way I'm going back to XP on my home one.

I'll try satellite tuner, the TVix tuner, tweaking the UHF signal level, an older catalyst driver and then try the nvidea GT260. I do prefer the TV picture from the ATI though.
Edit: Tried the Satellite tuner of the Hauppague card on SBS one HD, working perfectly. Can skip through the pause buffer without a stutter or out of place pixel in sight. Only a slight hesitation when transitioning from pause buffer to live TV. DVB-S2/Mpeg2 I think?

Regards Allen.

PS PC is Quad core I7, 8GB ram, CPU running at 5% on Live TV

 

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  Reply # 521188 14-Sep-2011 21:25
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Tried media portal, didn't like it (sorry) and it still had the stuttering problem. I also tried the Media centre looking skin and it was buggy for me. I prefer the GUI, EPG etc of media centre.

Each to their own - no need to apologise to me. I was simply trying to answer the questions about debugging on the chance that it could help you. I don't know MC at all well so I can only give advice about what I know.

The fact that your problem seems to be system wide and that the NV card made a difference makes me think video card, but it could be a number of things in combination. I'm using Catalyst 10.4 with my HD 4670. If you weren't stuck with MC (Wink) you could try a codec that doesn't use hardware acceleration like FFDShow. Check your GPU temps and utilisation level in Catalyst Control Center. Also what are your CPU levels like when watching DVB-T? Is there a difference in behaviour between recordings and live TV, and have you got some h.264 video sourced from somewhere else that you could test with?

mm



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 521196 14-Sep-2011 21:42
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mm1352000: 
Each to their own - no need to apologise to me. I was simply trying to answer the questions about debugging on the chance that it could help you. I don't know MC at all well so I can only give advice about what I know.

The fact that your problem seems to be system wide and that the NV card made a difference makes me think video card, but it could be a number of things in combination. I'm using Catalyst 10.4 with my HD 4670. If you weren't stuck with MC (Wink) you could try a codec that doesn't use hardware acceleration like FFDShow. Check your GPU temps and utilisation level in Catalyst Control Center. Also what are your CPU levels like when watching DVB-T? Is there a difference in behaviour between recordings and live TV, and have you got some h.264 video sourced from somewhere else that you could test with?

mm


Cross Posted.

CPU 5% on live TV.

I can rewind live TV and it won't break up in the same place the second time. Before the rebuild I had Cyberlink PowerDVD 9 installed and it played Bluray discs perfectly. Havn't reinstalled it yet.

Edited the previous post: Tried the Satellite tuner of the Hauppague card on SBS one HD, working perfectly. Can skip through the pause buffer without a stutter or out of place pixel in sight. Only a slight hesitation when transitioning from pause buffer to live TV. DVB-S2/Mpeg2 I think?

Will try V10.4 catalyst next if I can find it.

GPU 35 degC, Activity 0%, Fan 30%.

Regards Allen.

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  Reply # 521214 14-Sep-2011 22:32
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AllenG:
SamF:Any chance of doing a temporary install of XP to see if that resolves the issue for you?


Not really.  

I have an old PC with a legit copy of XP Home (no media centre) and no pcie slots on that PC. I still have to use xp at work and after having win7 at home for 12 months there is no way I'm going back to XP on my home one.
 


I'm just talking about a temp install (perhaps on a different partition / hdd?) to aid our diagnosis - ie; is it some weirdness with Win7 or something else...



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 521222 14-Sep-2011 22:41
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SamF:
I'm just talking about a temp install (perhaps on a different partition / hdd?) to aid our diagnosis - ie; is it some weirdness with Win7 or something else...


Hmm. I'm not keen on installing non legit software. I have a legit copy of xp home, not pro or ultimate so don't have media centre on it.

Time for some sleep now. I havn't achieved much tonight, too busy posting on here. Bummer.

I will concentrate on more testing for the next evening or two. so I probably won't post again 'til then unless someone comes up with a brainwave that fixes it!

Have you tried XP MC on your problematic system?

Regards Allen.

 

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