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canadaneedsmusi 2008-06-05 12:21 AM

Experiences With the Hauppauge HD PVR

Just thought I'd give everyone an update on how my experiences with the HD-PVR is going. I did recieve it on Monday, and I did have to pay the duty, $32.09.

Unfortunatly I coach soccer on mondays and tuesdays and wasn't able to actually try it until tonight.

Now for the issues, haha. I first needed to get SageTV, which I have now downloaded and installed, but I havent actually tired yet for the following reason. I didn't have an HD STB yet as I only moved in a few weeks ago and havent had a need yet as without the HD-PVR I couldnt record anything anyway. So I bought one tonight for Starchoice which is setup in my condo. I plugged it in, didn't work, tried everything, called tech support, signal is too week, tech will have to come and fix it. So there you go, no HD signal yet, so no HD-PVR testing.

Because I'm in a condo I get "corporate" support, and they are calling my situation "no signal" so I should get service rather quickly, but untill they come by there won't be any testing. As soon as I get everything set up I'll let everyone know how it went and how the quality is, etc.


(ADMIN NOTE: I have split this from this thread since the first thread was about the announcement. This thread is about the use of the product and I feel its better in a new thread)

canadaneedsmusi 2008-06-06 09:25 AM


Ok, last night after spending some more time on the phone with Starchoice they finally got the HD to work, 505 reciever. Something do to with stacked and non-stacked. Anyway, it's working.

So I procede to install the HD-PVR. I followed all of the steps in the instructions, and using the Arcsoft software that comes with it video seemed to work just fine. Probably not as high quality as it could be, but better then the old STB I had, and very good overall.

So with that working I move onto SageTV, I download the new beta to replace the version I bought, (the beta supports the HD-PVR), I go through the steps, and then I get to the setup aspect that wants to test the video... I tried all of the different quality levels in sage, and each one froze the program. This meant I had to crtl+alt+delete to get out of it. After this I just skipped the "video testing" and started SageTv. It worked for a second or two, then freeze, then blue screen of death.

So, so far here's my report. HD-PVR seems to work fine. Sage + HD-PVR not so much right now. I'm thinking it has to be something to do with Sage, not the box. Plus, even if the video stopped from the box why would Sage completely crap out? And like I said it seemed to be working on the supplied software just fine.

I'll keep everyone updated. Luckily I have the weekend to spend sometime on it, and I'm sure I'll get it working just fine eventually.


BerinG 2008-06-06 02:15 PM

Nice first glance.. thanks Dave.. can't wait for mine to get here. Hauppauge contacted me by e-mail asking if I would prefer UPS Express (35$ instead of 15$ for normal) since it covers broker fees. I had no idea, I always get screwed with UPS. I figured it'll be faster too with express.

Quick question, when it froze, how long did you wait before CTRL-ALT-DEL to turn Sage off? Could it be a syncing issue or the first "start-up".. some software hangs sometimes but it is still processing information. I'm just wondering. Also Sage is still in beta so these might be worked out soon..

Also, what are your PC's specs that you are running the HD-PVR on?

My PC isn't anything spectacular so I'll give an update for those who don't have high-end machines.. hopefully I can still use it ;) Personally, I think I'm pushing it. Hauppauge's system requirements, "Note: the playback of high definition H.264 requires a fast CPU and at least 256MB of graphics memory". Currently I can play HD H.264 so maybe I'll be fine.

Athlon 64 3800+ X2 (2.0Ghz)
2GB ram dual channel (only 400Mhz)
X1950Pro 256mb AGP8x
Windows XP SP3

EDIT: Just noticed that it is supported under Windows XP SP2, no mention of SP3.. might have to uninstall.. oh well. Software installed fine though (yes i installed the software already)

warpdrive 2008-06-07 05:39 PM


Originally Posted by BerinG (Post 755132)
Nice first glance.. thanks Dave.. can't wait for mine to get here. Hauppauge contacted me by e-mail asking if I would prefer UPS Express (35$ instead of 15$ for normal) since it covers broker fees. I had no idea, I always get screwed with UPS. I figured it'll be faster too with express.

That's weird. Mine is going out USPS, not UPS. I guess that's also why it's been a week and not here yet. But at least the broker fee will be reasonable.

IanR 2008-06-08 01:44 AM

Mine went out USPS too .. currently sitting in Canadian customs. I avoid UPS, FEDEX, DHL, etc like the plague due to their unreasonable broker fees. I wasn't in that much of a hurry anyway.

BerinG 2008-06-08 08:55 PM

Yeah that is weird. Did you choose USPS or they just told you it was coming through USPS ? I usually try to avoid shipping with UPS, FedEx.. can't imagine I somehow missed the option.. :confused: Maybe I was too excited :)

IanR 2008-06-08 11:06 PM

She gave me a choice .. I picked USPS

canadaneedsmusi 2008-06-10 08:53 AM

Hey Everyone,

Time for some updates. So right now, it's working OK at best. I believe I have one of the units with some overheating. Basically I seemed to be having some issues when in it's proper position after sometime of recording/watching, but when I put it on it's side it's been working fine. So I'm not sure if I should send it back or not. It's working right now it seems, but not necessarily "right"... so I'll have to think about it. (suggestions?).

As for getting it to work with Sagetv... nightmare! In the supplied software I havent had an issue, HD looks great. However in Sage the video in SD and HD was stuttering, slow, etc. Not good. Last night I seemed to finally get the image to the best level yet. However, I still don't think everything is working right. The HD image is still "slow" whenever someone moves, etc. Maybe a setting somewhere?

My HTPC has a Phenom Quad-Core, 4GB Ram and the 780G board, yet when watching TV through the HD-PVR my CPU usage is running at anywhere between 35% and 45%. To mee this seems very high. I have hardware acceleration turned on in Sage, but I still don't think it's "working".

And then there is still setting up Sage that I have to do (so many settings!).

Basically, I think my problems extend from two areas. The first is not having much experience with HTPC's (only about a month or so), having no experience with SageTV (just got it for the HDPVR) and the HD-PVR being brand new. The second reason is that I don't think my hardware acceleration is working at all, causing big issues with how fast Sage can run.

That said, as for the HD-PVR, the image is amazing in HD, but I still don't know if I should send mine back or not. I think I'll e-mail them and see if the fix is going to be a firmware thing, or replacement.

So, can anyone give me any suggestions on the hardware acceleration thing? Is there anyway way to find out what codecs I DO have on my machine? Anything else I should try? I'm seriously out of ideas and it's just not "right".

Any help you have would be great and I'll keep updating when I have any news.


BerinG 2008-06-10 03:26 PM

When you say you watch through HD-PVR do you mean the pass-thru, (component OUT to TV) is slow?

Or do you mean watching Live TV using your PC (through HD-PVR..usb, Sage, "Viewing window") ? Sage could caus resources to soar.. don't think that would be the HD-PV's fault though...Personally I would probably do my playback from my xbox 360

Or are you having trouble watching finished recordings already stored on your PC ? Like mpeg4 files ..

If not, any info about these ? Have you done recordings while not using the PC ? Have you played back some of the recordings.. etc..

As for your hardware acceleration.. no idea..

canadaneedsmusi 2008-06-10 04:25 PM

When I said thru I meant watching Live TV on my computer, through Sage, or the Arcsoft program. Both had basically the same CPU usage.

I'v watched a couple of clips and it seems to work pretty well, no issues on that front. But right now I'm really just working on getting Live TV to work well. Most of the TV I'm going to watch is going to be at night, when I'm home, meaning recording won't be a HUGE part of it. So live tv first, recording second. That said, recording hasnt been an issue yet, so that's one less thing to worry about.

I think I may have figured out the hardware acceleration issue. I'm thinking I'm using the wrong decoder... hopefully. I've been doing some reading and I didnt know that only certain decoders will take advantage of the hardware acceleration. So tonight I'm installing PowerDVD 7 that came with my blu-ray player, and it should work, hopefully!

What I do is take sometime at work, do a little research, make a list of "maybe's" and go home and try them, haha.

BerinG 2008-06-10 05:18 PM

Ah ok.. as long as the recording are good and playback etc.. I can't imagine you would have playback issues with your PC. Why not watch LiveTV on your TV.. live ? ;) In my case, I have PIP on my PC monitor so I watch it live there while working on the PC

As for PowerDVD, would that not only work on pre-recorded stuff that you are playing back inside PowerDVD ? Or does PowerDVD have tuning/recording/pvr features also ?

So many questions.. I guess I'm preparing mentally for the issues I'll be having ;)

Thanks again.. good luck

canadaneedsmusi 2008-06-13 10:38 AM

Ok, another update.

So basically Live TV in Sage still wasnt working very well and I kept tinkering. I discovered that recorded playback in the Arcsoft software did work well, and with hardware acceleration, so that was a nice bonus.

I decided last night to uninstall everything and do everything fresh. After doing that Arcsoft still works great, but now SageTV doesnt want to get a signal from the HD-PVR.

I also read that doing a quick addition to the Sage properties file helps, so I tried that, but like I said no signal.

So basically the entire experience has just been headache after headache thus far. But, the picture does look great in Arcsoft, so that's a bonus I guess.

I think the biggest problem here is software. Arcosft works great but isn't a full media centre by any means... just watch and record. SageTv looks to have a lot of potential, but is "beta" right now for the HD-PVR, and it shows, a lot. Hopefully Sage can iron some things out because it's getting a bit ridiculous with the amount of time it's taking.


bigoranget 2008-06-13 09:02 PM

Just receive mine today.

So far, it's not working very well. When I use the supplied software I'm only gettting picture and sound for about 30-60 seconds then the screen goes blank and nothing comes back until I turn the unit off and then back on. Again the video/audio will only work for about 30-60 seconds.

I have tried it on both a StarCHoice DSR505 and a Motorola 6412 issued by my local cable system (Source Cable).

Could Macrovision be causing this to happen? I don't have any issues recording S-Video to my regular capturing card.

warpdrive 2008-06-14 12:26 AM

I just got mine today and did a test recording with the supplied software. I recorded about 25 minutes straight at 1080i

However, I notice the recordings are glitchy, every 20-50 seconds, the whole picture breaks up for one frame (or more?). This is on a T60P laptop.

I can't imagine that's normal, but now I'm tempted to install it on another computer to see if it's computer or hardware related.

bigoranget 2008-06-14 12:53 AM

My PC conifuration below

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 2.6Ghz
NVidia 8600 GT
1.5TB HD Space

I cannot get this thing to work on my PC at all. Only works when my box is set to 480i Of I try 720p or 1080i, i get NOTHING.

I wont have time to do some real research and troubleshooting til Sunday. IF anyone has any suggestions, i'm all ears. Given my configuration, I can't see why I would have any problem with this PVR.

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