Log in Register FAQ Memberlist Search pcHDTV Forum Index
pcHDTV Forum

pcHDTV Forum Index -> Installation/Setup -> pcHDTV 5500 Installation: Not a happy process Goto page 1, 2  Next
Post new topic  Reply to topic View previous topic :: View next topic 
pcHDTV 5500 Installation: Not a happy process
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:23 pm Reply with quote
rogerdugans
 
Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Massachusetts




I have been using MythTV for a year or two now and very pleased with how well it serves as a PVR and tv viewer.

I have NOT been as pleased with my cable provider and recently switched to Verizon FIOS and got one HD box for use with the computer setup and network. I purchased a pcHDTV 5500 card for this system as I like to support any vendors that support Linux.

Knowing that the pcHDTV card is built FOR linux, and has drivers coded specifically for linux, I was expecting a somewhat less painful process to get the card running-

At this point, after two days of work, I can now use the card with the v4l v1 driver ONLY. v4l v2 and DVB are not yet working.

What this ends up meaning, it seems, is that while I can get video from an HD signal, it is rendered down to SD.
And the picture is NOT as good as the Hauppage card I replaced.

In addition to the HD video difficulties, sound is a problem:
While I do GET sound, it is out of sync at all times.
The sound also continues after I leave watch live tv or MythTV is shut down- I must remove the blackbird driver AND the audio driver to stop it.

And this is after a lot of reading, searching and work.
This is after trying Knoppmyth (excellent distro, great card support) and SimplyMepis- both versions of linux that I am somewhat familiar with.
I am currently downloading SuSe linux to see if that fares any better, but at this point I am NOT what you'd call hopeful, unfortunately.

I am now somewhat resigned to having a long and painful process if I wish to have this card working and providing decent results.

I am NOT trying to slam pcHDTV- I am really not.
But gentlemen:
Linux is moving from being an "operating system for geeks" only to one that is much more widely accepted and used- having a vendor who touts a linux-only card that is THIS much trouble to install and use is just not good.

I do realize that with the plethora of linux distributions available it is not a minor task to support all of them well, but I do not consider the efforts here to be a good sign.

Documentation is badly lacking, and while there are a couple of HowTos written up, one is for an OLD version (Fedora Core 2!).
Knoppmyth, Debian and updated Fedora Core write ups would cover you for a LARGE percentage of currently popular linux distributions. (Debian is a very popular base for others, FC is popular and Knoppmyth- well, it is THE easiest way to get MythTV running in linux for most hardware.)

On top of the actual card and driver issues are the forum issues:
it is very difficult to find helpful posts with all of the spam that is left in place.

I WILL get this card running, I will.
I am just unsure as to how long it will take. It should be running NOW.
Hopefully, once I do get the pcHDTV 5500 running, it will work well.
If not, I will be very unhappy.

_________________
Overclocked, Water Cooled and running Linux.
Media System: using PVR350 and testing a pcHDTV in a second system.
View user's profile Send private message
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:38 am Reply with quote
electronikjunkie
 
Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 15




try ubuntu. mines working on edgy just fine. i got a 2.6.17 kernel. i downloaded and installed the drivers from pchdtv's site. i still get some prebuffering pauses when my osd is displayed while using xvmc, but i believe this is do to my on board audio. i'm going to disable it in the bios, drop in a pci audio card, and increase it's latency to 128. when my osd is not on the screen i get smooth hd playback with mythtv. i did have to build mythtv from svn to get smooth hd playback, but now i'm thinking i just had some irq/latency issues... good luck.
View user's profile Send private message
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:46 am Reply with quote
rogerdugans
 
Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Massachusetts




Ok, thanks for the info. Smile

I think I have an Edgy install cd around here somewhere, amongst the few dozen other distros. Wink

I will give it a shot with your reccomendations.

Any pointers you have are appreciated...
And I will have to take a look at that Ubuntu guide, see if that is Edgy-specific.

_________________
Overclocked, Water Cooled and running Linux.
Media System: using PVR350 and testing a pcHDTV in a second system.
View user's profile Send private message
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:59 am Reply with quote
nybbler
 
Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 125




You've got sound issues in your sound card or in mythtv. Instead of recording the sound and playing it back from the recording, you are playing it directly through the sound card.
View user's profile Send private message
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 2:23 pm Reply with quote
rogerdugans
 
Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Massachusetts




Ok, I have partial success to report.

At least I finally have been able to view something in HD on the card!

I need to actually configure things as wanted and get sound working a bit (no speakers plugged in, yet), but at least I have been able to get a signal.

Thanks for the tip about Ubuntu!

Reference specs on the build:

P43.0c (@3200mhz)
1gb ddr ram
80GB WDC SATA hd
NVidia Geforce 6600gt (AGP) video
pcHDTV 5500
onboard sound

Working, at least partially.

Progress, at long last.

_________________
Overclocked, Water Cooled and running Linux.
Media System: using PVR350 and testing a pcHDTV in a second system.
View user's profile Send private message
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:13 pm Reply with quote
toups
 
Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 18




electronikjunkie wrote:
try ubuntu. mines working on edgy just fine. i got a 2.6.17 kernel. i downloaded and installed the drivers from pchdtv's site. i still get some prebuffering pauses when my osd is displayed while using xvmc, but i believe this is do to my on board audio. i'm going to disable it in the bios, drop in a pci audio card, and increase it's latency to 128. when my osd is not on the screen i get smooth hd playback with mythtv. i did have to build mythtv from svn to get smooth hd playback, but now i'm thinking i just had some irq/latency issues... good luck.


Regarding the problem with OSD, disable the fading by editing /usr/share/mythtv/themes/blueosd/osd.xml and changing (about line 5) from
Code:

 <fadeaway>30</fadeaway>

to
Code:

 <fadeaway>0</fadeaway>
View user's profile Send private message
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:14 am Reply with quote
electronikjunkie
 
Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 15




rogerdugans wrote:
Any pointers you have are appreciated...
And I will have to take a look at that Ubuntu guide, see if that is Edgy-specific.


yeah, check the ubuntu wiki guide. it has great documentation. just be careful. i had to build from svn source, which the guide doesn't cover. it references the binary packages in the repositories instead. i posted some of my notes here:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=383809

toups wrote:
electronikjunkie wrote:
try ubuntu. mines working on edgy just fine. i got a 2.6.17 kernel. i downloaded and installed the drivers from pchdtv's site. i still get some prebuffering pauses when my osd is displayed while using xvmc, but i believe this is do to my on board audio. i'm going to disable it in the bios, drop in a pci audio card, and increase it's latency to 128. when my osd is not on the screen i get smooth hd playback with mythtv. i did have to build mythtv from svn to get smooth hd playback, but now i'm thinking i just had some irq/latency issues... good luck.


Regarding the problem with OSD, disable the fading by editing /usr/share/mythtv/themes/blueosd/osd.xml and changing (about line 5) from
Code:

 <fadeaway>30</fadeaway>

to
Code:

 <fadeaway>0</fadeaway>

i've actually tried that already. didn't really help too much. i did notice that when i uncheck "Extra audio buffering" that i get prebuffering pauses all the time. i tried to check the latency on my onboard audio with
Code:
lspci -v
, but it didn't list any latency. so i'm thinking if i disable the onboard audio, drop in a pci audio card, and boost the latency it might fix it. i did go into my bios and disable everything possible to free up irqs, which now my nvidia card has its own irq. thanks for the tip...
View user's profile Send private message
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:47 pm Reply with quote
toups
 
Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 18




electronikjunkie,

Another thing to try is to output the video in the same mode as it was recorded in. If it is a 720p output it in a true 720p mode, 1080i then true 1080i. I found that I needed to let my TV do the conversion rather than the mythtv box. In fact I was originally outputting the 720p to a modified modeline that used less than 720 lines to eliminate overscan. With this modeline, I had lots of problems with the current versions of mythtv. Although I swear the modified modeline worked (as least better if not perfect) with an older version of mythtv or the corresponding system libraries. But that was many Gentoo "emerge"s ago.
View user's profile Send private message
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:03 pm Reply with quote
rogerdugans
 
Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Massachusetts




One week after I received my card- unqualified success to report. Smile

Well, at least as far as the pcHDTV 5500 is concerned. Wink

I have my card fully functioning, with sound and no card related issues this evening, although I am still uncertain of card stability: prior to the last few tweaks, I occasionally had something lock and require a restart. This may have been due to the cx88_alsa module and the sound issues and if so, it should go away now.

Distro in use is Knoppmyth and the distro did actually include all I needed to get the card working. There were a number of undocumented steps needed to get the card fully functional however, and without the last weeks searching I would have been lost.

I will be writing up the final process I used shortly, as I need to do it again soon anyway when I move the card to my multimedia system.
A copy will be posted here as well.

_________________
Overclocked, Water Cooled and running Linux.
Media System: using PVR350 and testing a pcHDTV in a second system.
View user's profile Send private message
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:20 am Reply with quote
puterguy
 
Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 13




My card is working perfectly except for the fact that under mythtv, both playback and livetv give me ~once per second pauses (prebuffering pauses) when watching HD signals.

Playback is smooth under SD. Also the HD recorded files play back smooth under mplayer or xine both on this machine and on a low-end Celuron laptop.

Is this similar to the problems that you had?
Any suggestions on how to fix?
View user's profile Send private message
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:38 am Reply with quote
rogerdugans
 
Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Massachusetts




I have had very few problems with HD playback, live or recorded once set up and on a channel. This may be due to my test machine having a faster cpu and video card (3300mhz P4 and Nvidia 6600gt)than some- my regular myth rig is a LOT slower (Athlon XP Barton around 2Ghz and NVidia Ti4200.)

Or it may be a driver issue for the video possibly.

The issues I have at this point are largely:
sound, which may be fixed with config changes
segmentation faults which appear to be pchdtv driver related.

The segfaults occur whenever I switch to a channel that doesn't lock, if I switch from hd to sd channels and sometimes just from watching for a while.

Not sure if something else in Ubuntu is starting up and causing a conflict for that last one...

_________________
Overclocked, Water Cooled and running Linux.
Media System: using PVR350 and testing a pcHDTV in a second system.
View user's profile Send private message
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:02 am Reply with quote
puterguy
 
Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 13




Interesting -- I have had no stability or sound problems under a pretty coreFedora Core 6.

It took me about a day or so to figure out how to setup the card and the difference between the analog vs. digital tuner and the corresponding sound differences.

My only real problem is with HD playback which seems to occur only under Myth while under mplayer/zine, I get pretty good results (though with some occassional unnoticeable dropped frames per the xterm messages and with relatively high cpu message).

My preliminary conclusion is that the issue is probably most likely my video card (GeForce Ti 4600) being only marginally fast enough for mpeg decoding and maybe secondarily my cpu (P4 2.8GHz) not being sufficient to make up for it in software decoding.

On the margins, I then assume that myth is either less efficient or less fault tolerant than mplayer/xine resulting in the fact that mythtv gives me either Prebuffering Pauses (if I enable audio buffering) or scrappy/clipped audio but only rare Prebuffering Pauses (if I disable audio buffering).

Alternatively, there might be some subtle configuration parameter that I need to tweak in mythtv to get it to playback smoothly on what I assume is still only a marginal GPU/CPU configuration.

Does this seem to make sense?
View user's profile Send private message
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:15 am Reply with quote
rogerdugans
 
Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Massachusetts




A lot of the "nuts and bolts" stuff is still new to me, especially where video and HD are concerned so I really can't say anything with authority to help...

I do have some experience with systems in general though, and I think that a Ti4600 should be sufficent for HD, and a 2.8Ghz cpu plenty fast enough.

I have a little experience with Fedora though- I used to use it as my preferred distro until it started going in a direction I wasn't happy with, personally.
Since then most others have too, but that's another story, lol!

Anyway- Fedora, or any other distro, picks and chooses the compromises they make to suit their intent: with fedora this often caused me issues with video drivers.
If you aren't now, make sure you are using the latest possible version of the NVidia driver for the card. It should be the latest "legacy" driver NOT the most recent NVidia driver.

I have always had the best success with the drivers straight from NVidia rather than the ones packaged for a distro, myself....
As long as I could get them installed.

_________________
Overclocked, Water Cooled and running Linux.
Media System: using PVR350 and testing a pcHDTV in a second system.
View user's profile Send private message
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:26 am Reply with quote
puterguy
 
Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 13




I am using the 96xx drivers that are somewhere between being true legacy and most-up-to-date. Do you think that downgrading further to pre 96xx drivers will give better performance?

(by the way, I use the ATrpm packaged version which have always worked cleanly for me)

And, yes, I too would have thought that my hardware would be sufficient given that I can play back HD ok even on my Windoze Celeron 1.6Ghz low-end laptop with an integrated cheapo video Realtek video chip (the only thing that stutters on that machine is when I run full HD with a bitrate of 18mbps). I would have thought that a P4 2.8GHz and GeForce Ti 4600 would be much more powerful...
View user's profile Send private message
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:30 pm Reply with quote
rogerdugans
 
Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Massachusetts




I'd give a shot with the last legacy- 7184, according to NVidia.

May just be that a bunch of stuff a Ti can't use is gumming up the works and slowing your card down.

_________________
Overclocked, Water Cooled and running Linux.
Media System: using PVR350 and testing a pcHDTV in a second system.
View user's profile Send private message
pcHDTV 5500 Installation: Not a happy process
  pcHDTV Forum Index -> Installation/Setup
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
All times are GMT - 7 Hours  
Page 1 of 2  
Goto page 1, 2  Next
  
  
 Post new topic  Reply to topic  


Powered by phpBB © 2001-2003 phpBB Group
Theme created by Vjacheslav Trushkin