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Glitchy HD picture, glitchy NTSC sound, "analog options
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:47 am Reply with quote
Godfrey
 
Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 5




Hi,

I recently got a HD-5500 card, and am attempting to set up a Mythbuntu system (mythtv version is 0.21.0+fixes16838-0ubuntu3), but I'm having a number of problems.

First, all the HD channels have frequent glitches in the video (example images: 1 2 3 ). This doesn't occur when I watch directly on the TV, but does occur (three or four times per second) in both LiveTV and recordings under MythTV. The glitches are present in the MPEG files saved on disk. How do I clear this up?

Secondly, in the MythTV setup guides I've read, they say to set up the card as DVB, and click the "Analog Options" button in order to make it tune NTSC channels. I don't see an "Analog Options" button anywhere. On the Capture Card Setup screen, I have:

Quote:
Card type: DVB DTV capture card (v3.x)
DVB Device Number: 0
Frontend ID: DViCO v2 or Air2PC v3 or pcHDTV HD-5500 Subtype: ATSC
Signal Timeout (msec): 3000
Tuning Timeout (msec): 5500

And then buttons for DiSEqC, Recording Options, Cancel, Back and Finish. For Recording Options, I have:
Quote:
Max recordings: 2
{X} Wait for SEQ start header.
{X} Open DVB card on demand
{ } Use DVB Card for active EIT scan
DVB Tuning Delay (msec): 0

As I understand it, DiSEqC is for controlling a satellite receiver, which I don't have.

Where is "Analog Options" supposed to show up? Here? Somewhere else? I've looked everywhere in the backend setup, and haven't seen it.

Since I can't find "Analog Options", I've set up a separate V4L capture card so I can get NTSC channels, but it occasionally gives me glitchy sound (especially the first time it records after a reboot). When this happens, I get a lot of this in /var/log/syslog:

Code:
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225627] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225634] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225642] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225649] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225657] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225665] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225672] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225676] cx88[0]/1: IRQ loop detected, disabling interrupts
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225687] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225695] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225702] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225710] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225717] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225725] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225732] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*
Jun 20 10:34:03 satellite5 kernel: [52656.225740] cx88[0]: irq aud [0x1001] dn_risci1* dn_sync*

Is there any way to fix this? My current setup is:
Quote:
Card type: Analog V4L capture card
Video device: /dev/video0
Probed info: pcHDTV HD5500 HDTV [cx8800]
VBI device: /dev/vbi0
Audio device: /dev/dsp1
Audio sampling rate limit: 48000 { } Do not adjust volume
Default input: Television

I've also got a Hauppauge WinTV PVR USB2 attached, if that makes any difference.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:17 pm Reply with quote
waterhead
 
Joined: 24 Apr 2005
Posts: 299




It looks like your picture is suffering from pixelation. This is usually caused by interference in the reception, or a poor signal. The fact that your TV doesn't experience this can be because of several factors.

1) Your TV has a better tuner.
2) The signal is degraded to the PC, but not the TV.

#2 can be caused by using splitters in the incoming line. If the PC is after splitting the line, the signal will be weaker. If the signal is not that strong in the first place, then splitting it doesn't help.

You may want to try and re-align your antenna with the broadcast towers. If you are using an indoor antenna, there may not be much more than you can do, maybe move it to a different location.

As for the analog tuner, I think that the analog options were removed in the current version of MythTV. Setting it up as a separate card is what is needed. The analog portion of pcHDTV cards is of rather poor quality. Many have had problems getting a good picture. There is also the problem of getting MythTV to use both tuners. Since both tuners are on one card, they cannot be used simultaneously. MythTV has to shut down one side of the card, so that it can initialize the other side. It can be done, but is it worth the trouble? I say no! You can get better quality from a dedicated analog tuner card, and you will still have use of the digital tuner.

Top that off with the fact that the transmission of analog broadcasts will cease on Feb. 17, 2009, and I feel that it is a waste of time.

_________________
Mythbuntu 8.04
Intel D875PBZ main board
Pentium4 3.06Ghz
1024GB RAM
nVidia 6600GT
pcHDTV HD-3000
Air2PC PCI
MythTV 0.21
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:27 pm Reply with quote
Godfrey
 
Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 5




waterhead wrote:
It looks like your picture is suffering from pixelation. This is usually caused by interference in the reception, or a poor signal.


Thanks for your reply - I should have mentioned, it's coming in via cable, not an antenna.

There is a splitter, one which the cable company installed; but if I connect directly to the HD-5500, I still get the same kind of glitches.

I know the transmission of analog broadcasts will cease in February, but will the cable companies be removing analog channels from their lineups altogether? Because, to be honest, the majority of the shows I record are on those channels - so it's hardly a "waste of time" to get them working right.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:42 pm Reply with quote
waterhead
 
Joined: 24 Apr 2005
Posts: 299




You didn't mention cable, so I assumed it was OTA.

Your analog channels will be available on cable for a while. Using a pcHDTV card for this may not be a waste of time for you, but it is certainly a waste of money. There are a lot of analog cards that are much cheaper than a HD-5500.

Buy the way, I hate pay TV! If you had mentioned that you were using cable as the source, I would have never even replied.

Good Luck

_________________
Mythbuntu 8.04
Intel D875PBZ main board
Pentium4 3.06Ghz
1024GB RAM
nVidia 6600GT
pcHDTV HD-3000
Air2PC PCI
MythTV 0.21
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:21 pm Reply with quote
Godfrey
 
Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 5




waterhead wrote:
Using a pcHDTV card for this may not be a waste of time for you, but it is certainly a waste of money.

Not if I want to record both NTSC and HD channels. The whole reason I went with the HD-5500 was because it would do both.

Quote:
If you had mentioned that you were using cable as the source, I would have never even replied.

Well, my apologies for causing you to offer help, then.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:49 am Reply with quote
waterhead
 
Joined: 24 Apr 2005
Posts: 299




I apologize if my blatant honesty offended you.

WARNING! RANT AHEAD!

[rant]I just find that the amount of money people throw at cable TV (and cell phones) to be absurd. It irritates me to no end (as you have seen). If people would take that money and put it towards retirement or their mortgage, everyone would be better off. I have neither, and have just payed off my 30-year mortgage in 10 years![/rant]

Now you know why I don't help with cable TV problems. Don't take it personal.Wink

I feel that I still am correct to say the HD-5500 is overkill for mostly analog viewing. If you are using the digital tuner, the analog can't be used. And if you are using the analog tuner, the digital tuner can't be used (hence, a waste of money).

I still wish you good luck. There are some who used to post here that can help you out. Unfortunately, most have disappeared. Search the forums, the answers may be in older posts.

_________________
Mythbuntu 8.04
Intel D875PBZ main board
Pentium4 3.06Ghz
1024GB RAM
nVidia 6600GT
pcHDTV HD-3000
Air2PC PCI
MythTV 0.21
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:16 am Reply with quote
Godfrey
 
Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 5




waterhead wrote:
I feel that I still am correct to say the HD-5500 is overkill for mostly analog viewing. If you are using the digital tuner, the analog can't be used. And if you are using the analog tuner, the digital tuner can't be used (hence, a waste of money).

Is it really so difficult to comprehend that there are shows on NTSC channels that I want to record, and shows on HD channels that I want to record... and that I purchased the card because it seemed to offer the capability to do both?

I was aware before I made the purchase that you can't use both the analog tuner and the digital tuner at the same time. The shows I watch, and want to record, don't run at conflicting times, so that particular limitation is not currently a problem for me, and therefore not a "waste of money" in my estimation.

To the contrary, one might suggest that someone who buys an analog/digital card (such as the HD-3000 you have listed in your posts) but uses it exclusively for capturing digital content, has wasted his money by purchasing hardware which he has no intention of fully utilizing its capabilities. But of course since different people have different requirements and goals, such a suggestion would be discourteous and presumptive, would it not?

So. Thank you for your time, and yes, you have made it abundantly clear that you have different opinions from mine.

Those opinions, however, do not help resolve my technical issues, so is there anyone else on this forum who's capable and willing to help?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:10 am Reply with quote
klc5555
 
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 3




First off, the Mythbuntu setup guide is a bit out-of-date with regard to the analog component of these cards in 0.21. In place of "analog options" from mythtv 0.20.x, the analog component is set up as a separate tuner and then the defined digital tuner and defined analog tuner are associated into the same "recording group" so as to prevent mythtv from assigning the "two" tuners to record two different programs simultaneously.

Secondly, others have found re. these cards in Mythbuntu that one frequently needs to compile the dvb drivers by hand in order to get the analog component working acceptably. The wiki link describing this fix is to be found at:

http://mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/PcHDTV_HD-5500

Now I confess I use 2 of these cards in a Mythbuntu 7.10 (0.20.2) setup and, while I find these cards great for digital viewing and recording, and quite good for viewing live analog TV (once the analog is started properly by cycling through the tuner cards a couple of times with the "Y" keyboard shortcut), I've never gotten them to successfully do a timed Analog recording in Mythtv, and I ended up adding a Hauppauge PVR 150 for this purpose. I do not use locally compiled dvb-v4l drivers.

I do use them to record analog that I happen to be watching, and then starting the recording process with the "r" key. But the only time I have noticed the type of pixelation you have has been when the CPU has been overtaxed by doing several things at once, and the 5500 has been set (in the mythtv front end) to decode analog into MPEG-4 instead of the less-CPU-intensive default of RTJPEG. Maybe CPU-loading is causing some of your recording pixelation problem.

Good luck.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:39 pm Reply with quote
Godfrey
 
Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 5




Hi, klc5555, thanks for your reply.

The CPU is an Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 (2.53 GHz); in your opinion, is that too weak for processing HD?

I'll give a try at recompiling the drivers, thanks.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:13 am Reply with quote
klc5555
 
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 3




The processor should be fine for handling HD from a single card. Digital/HD recording is not CPU intensive because you're recording the embedded mpeg stream from the cable company. Analog decoding _is_ CPU-intensive.

I the analog components of my two 5500's set to decode into MPEG-4 rather than RTJPEG, since I pipe some programs over to a remote frontend running mythtv player for windows, which can't read RTJPEG. I find if I have set one analog recording, I can't simultaneously watch analog with the other without dropped frames in the live TV and pixelation and dropped frames in the recording. And my processor is a bit faster, at 3.06 Gigs.

Now currently I have no difficulty recording two HD programs simultaneously with the 5500s, while also simultaneously recording an analog broadcast with my 3rd card, the PVR 150 (which has an imbedded hardware decoder). But I had to tweak out my hardware a bit to do this in mythtv with the 5500s. Specifically, I had to max out the onboard RAM at 2 Gig and, more importantly, I had to move myth's recording directory to a second, fast SATA drive, since mythtv seems to have trouble ring-buffering, recording, and swapping simultaneously to one single drive from more than one input. Each HD broadcast moves over 6 Gigs of data per hour, and all the read/writes to the same disk kept stepping on each other. The recordings were all degraded and unwatchable, and frequently myth would just crash.

But with all recordings going to a fast, dedicated second drive, I'm quite happy with the digital/HD output and capabilities of my two 5500s. And, well, I put up with the considerable limitations of the analog portions of the cards because, once I finally get them started, their analog picture quality seems significantly superior to the PVR 150, even though I 've taken some pains to tweak the output of the latter.

Good luck on your configuring. If you get the analog portions to schedule-record reliably, please let us know what you did.

Cheers!
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:17 pm Reply with quote
kshots
 
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
Posts: 16
Location: Florida




Hopefully you got something working, but here's some additional input:


  1. I have been using the digital and analog input simultaneously (accidentally) due to the new mythtv configuration interface that allows for it (no "analog options", just another tuner card). I didn't do the recording groups, and consequently mythtv thought it was two cards. The results? Actually, it worked. At least... for a few days. HD recordings were always clear. Analog recordings started clear for a few days... then started pausing the video and continuing the audio, then skipped ahead (video skipped, audio sped up) for several seconds, and repeated over and over until the end of the clip (thus destroying whatever you wanted to record). Eventually, I figured that this was a new bug in mythtv and an old bug in the HD5500 (the analog recordings NEVER worked correctly... I had to use an external sound card from the beginning just to get decent audio), so I went ahead and bought two Hauppauge PVR-150's (apparently popular). The video quality took a sharp nosedive... but the skipping videos came to an abrupt halt, and the HD stuff is still working great.
  2. Video throughput: In my case, I had planned this from the beginning as a good quality mythtv backend... thus, I have a software RAID-0 striped across three 250G SATA-II drives. I had an old Athlon64 X2 3800+ with 2G of RAM to throw at this, and gave it 3G of swap from the RAID. With my current setup, I can record two HD channels and up to 4 standard channels simultaneously.


Basically, the way I see it... the HD-5500 fails as a dual-tuner card (HD+NTSC). It makes a good HD tuner (my recordings look and sound flawless), but I'd go elsewhere if you want NTSC recordings. While I did pick up two PVR-150s... I probably should have used PVR-300s. They have MUCH better video quality. Alternatively, I could have left room for expansion and simply picked up a PVR-500 (dual NTSC tuner - effectively two PVR-150s on a single card), but the quality would again suffer.

I also think waterhead seems to have needed to get something off of his chest... hopefully that's done now, and he can go back to being helpful... most of his posts on the forums here seem to have been fairly intelligent, so I wouldn't dismiss his advice on your issues. Again, good luck.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:06 pm Reply with quote
waterhead
 
Joined: 24 Apr 2005
Posts: 299




I don't have/need/want cable TV, so I don't offer any help on that. I don't have any useful experience in it to even offer help. I guess that I could have been a bit nicer about it, but let's not go down that road again.

Before I first set up MythTV, I used my HD3000 card with the TVtime app. It will use the analog part of the card. I found the picture to be horrible. The color was way off, and you had to make major adjustments just to get it to look OK.

I later tried to set it up in MythTV. Given the problems getting MythTV to use two tuners from one card, and the horrible picture, I decided that it was not worth the trouble. I didn't need it to record analog cable, or anything else. If I did want to record from an external analog source, I most assuredly wouldn't use this card.

Sorry again for the misunderstanding. I DO like and try to help people get things working.

_________________
Mythbuntu 8.04
Intel D875PBZ main board
Pentium4 3.06Ghz
1024GB RAM
nVidia 6600GT
pcHDTV HD-3000
Air2PC PCI
MythTV 0.21
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Glitchy HD picture, glitchy NTSC sound, "analog options
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