Firebus DTV Recorder 1.1 released - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 06-02-2005, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't know if Vividlogic has fixed all the bugs, but there is a 1.1 version released now (was 1.0).

I don't have a PC by my Mits DLP anymore so I can't try it (I have a Powerbook I can use in a pinch), but I thought I would post this news in the hope that it might some you with your HD recordings...

www.vividlogic.com

Good luck
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post #2 of 42 Old 06-03-2005, 07:39 AM
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Well, at least one of the major problems they had appears fixed: you can switch media directories without a reboot.

But, what's up with the activation? Tied to your 1394 card? So if I upgrade my HTPC, I have to buy it again? No offense guys, but what if you go out of business? Or what if my 1394 card buys the farm? I'm all for protecting their product from piracy, but do actual legitimate customers have to pay the price?

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post #3 of 42 Old 06-03-2005, 07:40 AM
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So the next question is, how does it (and my DTV) deal with streams from other recording devices? The Fusion and MyHD can record only a sub-channel. Can Firebus and my DTV handle this for playback?

Xesdeeni
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post #4 of 42 Old 06-03-2005, 11:47 AM
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I tried both Capdvhs and Dvhstools and they work sometimes, but sometimes they don't and I have no clue why (could be a hardware). Can this program be tested before purchase to see if it works any better? I also think keying the software to particular firewire card is crazy. I change hardware about every 6 months or so, have 3 different computers, as a matter of fact my AV computer is on it's 2nd firewire card since the first one was flaky (it works fine in another computer, go figure) and my next upgrade within next 6 months will be motherboard with firewire onboard.
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post #5 of 42 Old 06-03-2005, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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From the website:

Evaluation of FireBus DTV Recorder:
You may evaluate FireBus DTV Recorder 1.1 free of charge for a period of 30 days. During evaluation period, you will be able to record contents for a duration of 30 minutes only per recording. After the 30-day evaluation period, purchase and activation is required for continued use.

I agree that the firewire card tie-in is a pain in the butt. I can understand their reason for doing it that way, but I would hope that they provide an easy way for their legitimate customers to re-activate it in the event their firewire card takes a dump.
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post #6 of 42 Old 06-03-2005, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
I agree that the firewire card tie-in is a pain in the butt. I can understand their reason for doing it that way, but I would hope that they provide an easy way for their legitimate customers to re-activate it in the event their firewire card takes a dump:
End of quote

The way I look at this is such that if somebody wants to steal software he will, regardless of protection. On the other hand some people won't buy software if it's too restrictive in it's copy protection and I'm one of those. C'mon, give me a break a own at least 5-10 games, and use on regular basis about 20-30 programs, plus operating system. Now imagine I have some hardrive crash and need to reactivate Windows and all of my software. No, thank you, don't think so.
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post #7 of 42 Old 06-05-2005, 05:20 PM
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Anyone have any success in getting perfect playback to a Sony KD34XBR960?
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post #8 of 42 Old 06-07-2005, 06:18 AM
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A bit of warning, before you forget those who have gone before you..... Try before you buy!

This s/w is very, very, iffy. I have not seen ANYONE who has got it working and is the least bit satisfied. Personally, I could not even get the trial working. An email to their "support" team resulted in a 1 week delayed response of:
Quote:
Please send the registery entry details in a zip format. Please tell
us the date of purchase of product and it's reference id.
Thanks,
Support Team, Vividlogic
Not much of a response, given this was my request:
Quote:
I'm interested in the current support state of your DTV Recorder v1.0 product, given that the demo is nonfunctional on my system. My system meets all of your specifications, that I can see yet it does not function.

WinXP SP2
512Mb Ram
1.8Ghz Athlon Processor
40Gb NTFS Drive, for storage
etc...

Connected to a Mitsubishi WS65515 via a new Firewire cable.

Everything proceeds seemingly correctly, (install, setup, reboots, etc..) and I have tried both AVDisk and DVHS settings. Yes, I deleted the Netcommand setup, and rebooted, each time. No matter which configuration I use, the results are the same:

1) Mits says Recording is started ...
approx 10 seconds later...
2) Mits says {DVHS | AVDISK} "is NOT RECORDING" and recording is stopped.

I end up with empty files on the PC, but once there was an 8MB file but it would not play using your program.

I'd be very interested in knowing the status of the program and any potential fixes.

Thanks,

AmigaDude
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post #9 of 42 Old 06-07-2005, 07:29 AM
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Well, I did get it working...mostly.

I installed it without a hitch on an HTPC with Windows XP, and Athlon XP 2600+, and attached via a TI-chipset based 1394 card to a Mitsubishi WS-65513 TV. The installation placed the Content Manager icon on the desktop (it didn't ask), but since I can't change drives without this software, I would be using it a lot, so I let this slide.

After reboot, the TV popped up a window indicating a new network device had been installed. I had chosen DVHS during installation (I didn't know what the difference between AVDISC and DVHS was, so I thought DVHS might have a better chance of success), so I named the new device DVHS.

During install, it also asked for a path to captures and playback (a single one shared for both), and I gave it one of the media drives. But when I ran the Content Manager before I tried to play, there were no streams shown. So I found my first problem: it only recognizes .TS files, while my Fusion and MyHD files have the .TP extension.

So I changed the name of one of the .TP files to .TS and ran the Content Manager again. Now I had a video. At that point (figuring it was ridiculous in the second version of this software, with all the feedback from the first version, that it would still only support .TS files), I decided to double-check that there wasn't a way to change the filter to .TP. So I double-clicked on the Content Manager icon again...and the HTPC rebooted!

Not good. After the reboot, I tried to run the Content Manager again...and it was fine. Weird. So before I did anything else, I switched to the DVHS device on the TV. A gray screen came up. I hit Play, and...it played! Keep in mind that this is using non-standard streams. Certainly it's not FireBus's issue, but the TV was able to handle the NULL-stripped, single channel streams just fine...Hooray for our side! The picture was fine, and audio appeared OK. I tried FFW, and typical of these TVs, response was slow (I'm assuming those schmucks thought Java was a pretty good idea for the UI). It stuttered forward, not showing nearly enough video to track where it was. But it worked. And as a bonus, the TV's Closed Caption worked.

I can't remember the exact sequence from there, but...

At one point I switched back to the PC and then back to the DVHS device and the playback had stopped. I wanted to see what the CPU demand was while playing, but any time I switched from the DVHS input, playback stopped. And when I went back to DVHS mode, pressing Play didn't restart it. Eventually I figured out that if I hit Stop and then Play, it would resume from where I left off, as if I had stopped an actual tape. BTW, using the Task Manager moving graph, it looks like just a few percent (1-3?) CPU use for playback...nice.

I also tried the Content Manager again. It seemed like clockwork that the second time I ran it after booting, it would reboot the HTPC. Given that I have multiple media drives, so I'd have to run this many times (poor UI), this is a show-stopper already.

Anyway, I thought I'd try a killer test. I lauched the FusionHDTV and the MyHD. When you manullay launch the Fusion, it's also decoding the video in software (well, with DxVA assist). I also enabled the MyHD overlay...wait, I was able to enable both overlays? Hmmm...I thought they both fought over the overlay hardware. Well, I guess the MyHD can degrade gracefully to use the primary surface...nice. Then I started them both recording. Now note that I have each recording to different drives. This isn't a performance thing, it's a distribution of data thing. This keeps me from having to move video around if one drive fills up, and shares the wear-and-tear between drives. But anyway, I then switched back to DVHS mode and hit Play. Ech! The picture was horrible. Definite massive loss of data in that stream.

So I switched back to the PC again, and disabled the faux-overlay in MyHD. I started them recording again and switched back to DVHS. And the picture was fine. I could play and even FFW and REW. The response appeared to be just as slow as before...at least I didn't notice much difference. Cool!

Then I went back to the PC and stopped the recordings. I then viewed each of them to ensure that there were no glitches in the recording caused by the playback. And I didn't see any issues. And this was with the Fusion doing the decode. When it does scheduled recordings, it doesn't eat up the CPU or AGP/PCI bus for video decode. So it should be even better.

At some point it occurred to me that having multiple files would be difficult to navigate with no list to choose from. So I decided I should probably have used AVDISC mode instead of DVHS. So I switched the mode in the FireBus control panel applet and rebooted. But when the HTPC came back up (after hitting the "Continue Evaluating" button in boot dialog shown), the TV said the DVHS had been reconnected. Oops. Later that day I happened to be glancing through the readme, and I found that the Mitsubishis have a quirk about this switch. It said to unplug the 1394 connection, delete the device on the TV, and then re-plug it back in. Well, before I was going to tug out the TV again to get to the 1394 port on the back, I thought I'd try just a power cycle. So I shut down the PC, deleted the device on the TV, and powered the PC back up. That worked fine.

This time I named the device AVDISC (original, huh?) and things worked bascially as before. I'd hoped the Content Manager reboot would go away, but it seemed to work the same (second run, reboot).

At this point I was also pissed about the .TS filter. So being an obstinate bastard, I pulled out a hex editor and searched their binaries for *.TS. I found about 7 or 8 of them, and replaced them with *.TP. After some juggling of binaries that were already in use and a reboot, all my .TP content showed up nicely in the Content Manager (the first time I ran it...I didn't run it a second time).

So now I switched to AVDISC mode and up popped a window with 8 of the recordings listed to choose from! (More pages come up if there are more than 8 entries.) Of course, navigating them was a Mitsubishi-special pain. And the number of characters listed was limited. On the MyHD recordings, where I have the channel number, and date before the title, I got just the first letter of the title (I didn't count the characters). But again, I'm pretty sure this is a function of the TV, not FireBus.

But hey, I could choose between the recordings, and they played pretty well. At one point, I started a recording, which had a commercial at the beginning. I got up to let the dog out, and when I sat back down (30 seconds at the most), I had a gray screen. I don't know what happened, but when I pressed Play, it worked OK.

My wife and I then sat down and watched a 30-minute recording. It was fine. FFWing through commercials sucked. Between the sometimes massive delays between the remote keypress and the TV response, and the spotty video being shown while FFWing, it was a crapshoot. I found it easier to hit FFW and try to make a mental note of the timecode, and then run until two minutes had passed. Of course, since the streams are stripped of NULLs and other channels, that wasn't very accurate either.

There were a couple of audio glitches, but I can't be sure they weren't in the stream (I should have verified them on the other players...shame on me). But overall, it was OK.

So it's not horrible. But the three show-stoppers for me are:
- Content Manager crash
- No .TP file filter
- No multi-path playback (Requires switching to PC to run Content Manager to choose new playback path)

I decided to e-mail their tech support with the first one. They were very responsive (several back-and-forth e-mails in one day). They suggested I disable virus programs on the machine. But I don't have virus protection on this HTPC (it's not connected to the Internet, and only functions as an HTPC). So they told me they'd fix it in the next release. I'm wondering how they'll do that without any more details.

Anyway, I did ask them if the lag between 1.1 and 1.2 would be the same as 1.0 to 1.1. They say 4-6 weeks this time.

And I asked them about the other issues I mentioned above. They said they'd address the extension issue, but balked at the multi-path playback. I tried to explain that my wife and kids aren't going to deal with switching to the PC and searching through the media drives to find what they want to watch. What I didn't try to explain, because I didn't want to waste too much of his time, was that we also tend to queue things up to watch sequentially. So we want our displayed list to show the programs in the order they were recorded. And since I use two (and if FireBus was working, three) recording devices, going to multiple media drives, different programs are recorded onto different drives on the same nights. The MyHD will do this fine, except that I have to manually add the Fusion recordings to its playback list, and handle the order manually. But then I can't use the MyHD to play back a program if it's recording another. That's the reason I'm so interested in this product.

You might have noticed that I didn't try to record anything. I'll hopefully get around to this before my 30-day trial expires. But it's not a priority right now (although some nights this fall might be a problem :-) ).

Xesdeeni
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post #10 of 42 Old 06-07-2005, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I am going to unsubscribe from this thread (I don't use the software - I just thought I would let folks know there was a new version), but I wanted to share my experiences with this original version...

Reboot city. It used to reboot my machine as soon as I would plug in the firewire cable. This was what caused me not to buy/use it.

I was hoping that these random reboots might be fixed in this version, but I guess I was wrong...

I actually have a Mac now (a 17" powerbook), and they have a slick little app in the developer tools (the firewire SDK, actually), and it works just the way that Firebus recorder should work.

The program emulates a DVHS, and lets the TV control it just like it was a standalone deck. I first used it when the Masters was on and Tiger chipped in the shot from off the green, and the ball just hung on the lip. Seeing that in HD (over and over) was really cool. The detail really showed that the ball was still moving (just barely) as it hung on the lip!

Sorry - got off topic!

Anyway, I just wanted to say that if you are a Mac user, there are some nice tools out there for this purpose...

Thanks,
Jeff
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post #11 of 42 Old 06-07-2005, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiff72
I think I am going to unsubscribe from this thread (I don't use the software - I just thought I would let folks know there was a new version), but I wanted to share my experiences with this original version...

Reboot city. It used to reboot my machine as soon as I would plug in the firewire cable. This was what caused me not to buy/use it.

I was hoping that these random reboots might be fixed in this version, but I guess I was wrong...

I actually have a Mac now (a 17" powerbook), and they have a slick little app in the developer tools (the firewire SDK, actually), and it works just the way that Firebus recorder should work.

The program emulates a DVHS, and lets the TV control it just like it was a standalone deck. I first used it when the Masters was on and Tiger chipped in the shot from off the green, and the ball just hung on the lip. Seeing that in HD (over and over) was really cool. The detail really showed that the ball was still moving (just barely) as it hung on the lip!

Sorry - got off topic!

Anyway, I just wanted to say that if you are a Mac user, there are some nice tools out there for this purpose...

Thanks,
Jeff
As it seems from your mail, you are able to install firebus, and your TV is able to recognize your PC. Could you please tell what channel are you recording. Because if it is multi channel stream and bandwidth is very high, Firebus recorder may fail to record.

:D
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post #12 of 42 Old 06-07-2005, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skd
As it seems from your mail, you are able to install firebus, and your TV is able to recognize your PC. Could you please tell what channel are you recording. Because if it is multi channel stream and bandwidth is very high, Firebus recorder may fail to record.

:D
I assume that you are asking Xesdeeni?
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post #13 of 42 Old 06-07-2005, 05:15 PM
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Well, this is one of those out-of-the-blue things that makes you sit up in your chair. I thought Vividlogic had given up on this. I'd been following the original thread for a long time--at least a year before I even got an HDTV. I got a Mits DLP after the new year and struggled with 1.0 before I gave up.

What I want to know, and I invite anyone to chime in here, are the following:

First, has anyone tried it with a 1394-equipped STB? One major pain in the butt with my TV was that since the PC got the signal from the TV, it was totally dependant on the TV--not only did the TV have to tune to the proper channel, as I recall the TV had to be turned on to record. What I'm thinking is that I could get a STB like a Motorola 6200, plug that bad boy into the PC, and use the Motorola to control recordings. The support FAQ says "the STB needs to provide a user interface to control the PC software." What does that mean?


Second, if this sucker creates *.TS recordings, why not use something like this to play back the files?


All in all, the promise that this software offers is intriguing, especially for someone like me, who happily gets his HD via satellite but would love to be able to record the networks (besides CBS) in HD.
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post #14 of 42 Old 06-11-2005, 07:02 AM
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Airblair - All I can say is GOOD LUCK! You sound as optimistic as I did when I first got started with this s/w. Let me TRY to answer your first question, as I see it.

Yes - I have a DVR-6412, but it DOES NOT have a user interface to support external recordings. So, it really never 'sees' the HTPC. What does it mean? Well, you plug everything in and ..... and .... and ... now what? (smug attempt at humour)

If that's not clear, then let me try this - The cable box continues to act like a Cable Box and just ignores anything else going on. The Mits TV, on the otherhand, sees has screens dedicated to recognizing a DVHS (HTPC in this case) and scheduling a recording.

Hope this helps...

AmigaDude
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post #15 of 42 Old 06-11-2005, 04:17 PM
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I keep waiting for MS to incorporate this into MCE2005. I have a mits 52725 and have also tried firebus and the other free software out there and nothing seems to work very well.
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post #16 of 42 Old 06-15-2005, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmigaDude
Airblair - All I can say is GOOD LUCK! You sound as optimistic as I did when I first got started with this s/w. Let me TRY to answer your first question, as I see it.

Yes - I have a DVR-6412, but it DOES NOT have a user interface to support external recordings. So, it really never 'sees' the HTPC. What does it mean? Well, you plug everything in and ..... and .... and ... now what? (smug attempt at humour)

Curses! Just as I thought. I guess the box would need a HAVI interface, and from everything I've seen HAVI is pretty much dead.

Oh, well, the search continues. . .
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post #17 of 42 Old 06-16-2005, 07:53 AM
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I just received a notice from the VividLogic support team that they have posted version 1.1.1 of FireBus on their website. They say they should have fixed my Content Manager crash issue. I'll give it a try and let you (and them) know.

Xesdeeni
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post #18 of 42 Old 07-14-2005, 12:47 PM
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:confused:

I was never able to get 1.0 to work reliably after purchasing the software and trying to get it to work with various PC and Firewire Card combinations. I've spend well more than the $100 for the application!

I decided yesterday to download 1.1. It appears to work much more reliably now. The problem is I can not seem to get the "Free" upgrade since my Keys are not working as they said they would and no one from Vivid Logic is responding to my emails!
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post #19 of 42 Old 07-14-2005, 02:05 PM
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Oops, sorry. I did try the 1.1.1 upgrade and it did fix my crash. It still doesn't recognize TP files and it still only handles a single directory for playback. They say they'll work on those features, and I said to let me know and I'd consider the product at that time.

Xesdeeni
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post #20 of 42 Old 11-12-2005, 02:01 PM
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I posted some comments a little over a year ago on V1.0. I did not have much luck with that version, and had hopes for this version (1.1.1).

Unfortunately, I did not have any better luck with this version. I have listed my hardware in an email to Vivid Logic asking for help. I hope to get some answers. Here is what I sent them. I will post their reply once it comes.

Dear Sirs,

I have with great anticipation downloaded your most recent version of Firebus DTV Recorder Version 1.1.1.

You stated in your last correspondance with me:
"We have tested our Firebus DTV Recorder version 1.0 software on Ohci card, which is based on TI and VIA chip set. We are trying to get work Firebus DTV Recorder software with other manufacture’s chip set. We are very close to release next version of Firebus DTV Recorder and next release will work with other manufacture’s cards."

I have also, since last corresponding with you, obtained a new FireWire card.

The following are the specifications of the card I purchased.
Manufacturer: Adaptec
Model: AFW-4300B
Part Number: 2053500
Revision: A 0413
Serial Number: QX0A413COM2
Chipset Texas Instrument: 42A9J6T TSB43AB23
The packaging accompanying the Firewire Card indicated it to be OHCI compliant.

TV:
Mitsubishi 55" WideScreen - WS55513, with NetCommand 3.0. Two firewire connections on the back panel, and one on the front panel.

Computer:
WinXP Professional SP2
AMD Athlon 64 3000+ 1.81 GHz,
512Mb PC2700 DDR
40 Gb Segate on Raid - Main Drive - Master
160Gb Maxtor on Raid - Storage Drive - Master

Your web site states support for:
Any of the following 1394 cards:

* OHCI card using VIA chipset
* OHCI card using TI chipset.
* PCMCIA card using VIA chipset
* PCMCIA card using TI chipset

The television recognizes the computer as a AV/Disc device. It is available in NetCommand as a source and destination device. I am having trouble getting your software to recognize the connected TV. It never sees any input device.

Can you please respond to the following questions:

Can you confirm the card listed above, with the TI chipset listed, is compliant with your software?
If the above FireWire card is not compliant, can you please provide me with specific information necessary to obtain a compliant FireWire card. I want a manufacturer/model number or chipset number please. It is difficult to guess what is suppose to work and what may or may not.

Your quick response with the requested information is greatly appreciated.
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post #21 of 42 Old 11-12-2005, 06:44 PM
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Please note that yellow text is not friendly for the AVS White setting. No offense is intended.

Regards,
Joe


Going "over the top" with OTA, Netflix, Drobo FS and Apple TV!
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post #22 of 42 Old 11-13-2005, 01:32 PM
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Noted, no offence taken.
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post #23 of 42 Old 11-14-2005, 07:28 AM
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In addition to the above mentioned issues, you probably want to consider their copy protection scheme before you buy.

When you purchase, they tie the software to your firewire controller. If you upgrade your computer, or have to re-install Windows, you'll have to keep that same firewire controller and contact them to move the software. If the controller is on the motherboard (or you can't move the controller for whatever reason), you'll have to re-purchase the software. And if anything happens to Vivid Logic or their support for the product, any such system upgrade would mean you can't use the software again.

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post #24 of 42 Old 11-14-2005, 09:05 AM
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You should also make sure you can get the software package to work before buying it. They do not issue refunds for any reason, including failure to even get the drivers installed. Their support staff does try to be helpful, but if you can't get it to work, even after they have exhausted their bag of tricks, they will not issue a refund. Nor can you try installing the package you have already bought on another computer.
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post #25 of 42 Old 03-07-2006, 01:35 PM
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Having read through the beta thread, and then the 1.0 thread, I thought I would contribute with my recent findings. I had given the application a try on several platforms with no luck, and then reading through the forums I realized my results were apparently no surprise. I sent an email to VividLogic with my findings, and they responded saying dual processors were not supported with the app. So after sitting for over a month, I decided to go back and give it another try, and this time it actually kind of worked. I notice that VividLogic has recently added a note to the download page, and to the top of their known issues list about dual processors, so apparently my note must have prompted them to test and/or they have gotten several similar feedbacks like mine.

Now rebuilt with Hyperthreading disabled, the program seems to be performing pretty much as advertised, without continuous system lockups and crashes. It is not perfect, as I can only capture 50% of my available HD channels directly to my pc, but at least for my particular TV with integrated AVdisk, I seem to have a reliable workaround to at least archive off to the pc for COPY FREE material should I ultimately choose to purchase. I must say that their support is abysmal, and I include my email chain below for example as well as technical specifics of what I found. I would say that this solution may be worth looking at again by some of you, if your previous testing happened to have been on a dual-proc/HT system and you experienced issues.

My email chain follows, and it should be noted that as of this writing, I have received no reply to my last response:

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 3:02 PM
To: 'Support Support'
Subject: RE: Firebus Issues

OK, your pc DTVR supports up to 24 Mbps...what is your point? All of my samples have been less than 24 Mbps, so are you simply agreeing with me, that per specs it should be working, and you are equally stumped? Do you have any suggestions for troubleshooting further? I have already applied all available patches to the base SP2 install as a further test, with no change in results.

Here are some further findings. For the source HD channels exhibiting the low bit-rate and associated non-playability, I have already stated that they record and play back fine to the TV's integrated AVdisk. I also attached an external RCA DVR2160 AVdisk which also records and plays back all 12 HD channels. Here is the interesting thing...If I dub a recording from the internal AVdisk to the Firebus DTVR, of a recording I made from one of the "problem" HD channels, it plays back just fine from the pc DTVR. An examination of the .ts file with TSReader shows a bit-rate of ~18Mbps, and zero continuity errors. If I try to make that recording directly, or indirectly with the same dubbing procedure using the DVR2160, I get a non-playable low bit-rate .ts file as described earlier.

I would very much like to get this working so I can buy the product, so any assistance you might be able to provide to that end would be appreciated.

Regards,
Scott

-----Original Message-----
From: Support Support [mailto:support@zmail.vividlogic.net]
Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 4:25 AM
Subject: Re: Firebus Issues

Hi Scoot,

Currently, our pC DTVR supports upto 24 Mbps. Please ignore my previous reply.

Thanks and regards
Vividlogic support

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006 8:42 PM
To: 'Support Support'
Subject: RE: Firebus Issues

It turns out the slow capture rate and non-playback of the HD source is channel specific, and I can successfully capture and play back HD content. In my area, I am receiving 12 HD channels via QAM...6 of them are in the clear and the other 6 are scrambled. My DTV has two tuners, the first of which is linked to a CableCard and tunes all 12 HD channels, and the second is taking in the QAM signal directly, and tunes the 6 in-the-clear channels. The DTV also has an integrated AVdisk (I assume controlled within the Mitsubishi by a VividLogic solution?) which successfully records all HD channels from both tuners.

Of the 6 in-the-clear channels, 5 of them record and play back fairly well, and the other (my local NBC affiliate) is very choppy, pixilated and dropping audio frequently. Analyzing the .ts file with TSReader for the problem channel shows ~77 continuity errors within an ~90 second capture. Of the 5 scrambled channels being decoded by the CableCard, 2 of them are playable through Firebus demonstrating very minimal continuity errors (on the order of 2). The remaining 4 channel's recordings will not play back, including the channel my tests below were conducted on. On the .ts file mentioned below (Discovery HD Theater) that recorded for 30 minutes, but only netted a 55sec/125MB capture file, TSReader shows a bit-rate of ~6.9mbps and thousands of continuity errors.

I suspect it will be very easy to point to my cable provider as the problem, but considering I can record and play all of those channels without error to my internal AVdisk, I suggest that the Firebus app is perhaps not flexible enough to handle certain source signals well. Any suggestions you might have to work around these issues would be very welcome.

Regards,
Scott

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006 8:41 AM
To: 'Support Support'
Subject: RE: Firebus Issues

The disk has 240GB free. The stream is not stopping after 55 sec, but rather continues to trickle in for the entire 30 minutes. I used a stopwatch and took several samples throughout the capture, and the .ts file incremented ~2MB every 30 sec over the full 30 minutes. The capture did NOT dump 125MB in the first 55 sec and then sit idle. I repeated this multiple times on both platforms. So if I start an HD capture and watch it in the content manager, I will see the .ts file increment as stated, and the timer increments ~0:00:02 for every minute of time that passes.

Regards,
Scott

-----Original Message-----
From: Support Support [mailto:support@zmail.vividlogic.net]
Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006 2:46 AM
Subject: Re: Firebus Issues

Hi Scott,

It looks like streaming stops after 55 seconds. Please check the disk has enough free space. Please verify in the content manager that ts file size keep incresing all through 30 minutes

We will let you know about our future releases

Thanks and regards
Vividlogic support

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, March 01, 2006 10:47 PM
To: 'Support Support'
Subject: RE: Firebus Issues

OK, I built two additional platforms:

D) PIII 933 Mhz, 1GB RAM, Windows XP SP2, no supplemental patches, TI-based firewire add-in card
E) P4 3.2 Ghz, HT disabled, 2GB RAM, Windows XP SP2, no supplemental patches, VIA-based firewire add-in card

I have configured both in AVDisk mode. Neither have locked up after beginning recording. SD signal sources capture and play back without apparent issue. HD signal sources indicate they are recording, however the target .ts file, rather than incrementing at the expected 140MB per minute, increments at ~4MB per minute, approximately the same rate as the SD recording. After recording for ~30 minutes with an HD source, the .ts file is ~125MB in size, the timer states the capture is 0:00:55 and the file will not play back. I get the same behavior on both platforms.

I have the same behavior when in DVHS mode as well, which is odd, because HD was recordable and playable on my original three test platforms. If I can resolve these issues, I think I will have the basis of a functional system.

Additionally, any idea if and when these items from the "Known Issues" list will be resolved?

- SKIP is currently not implemented. Trying to use these on the transport menu of DTV may result in unpredictable behavior.

- While using against Mitsubishi DTV, if you are changing form AVDisc mode to VCR mode, or vice versa, disconnect the PC from the 1394 network, delete DTV Recorder from the Mitsubishi TV configuration and then connect the PC in the new configuration. Otherwise the DTV recorder will continue to appear in the earlier configuration.

- Playing a track using the content manager applet before the PC is selected on the TV may cause the DTV connection to the PC fail.

Regards,
Scott

-----Original Message-----
From: Support Support [mailto:support@zmail.vividlogic.net]
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 6:39 PM
Subject: Re: Firebus Issues

Hi Scott,

We didn't test our DTVR on dual processors. And you got the same problem with DTVR on P4. Is your P4 machine HT enabled?

Thanks and regards
Vividlogic support

----- Original Message -----
To: support@vividlogic.com
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 12:20:13 PM
Subject: Firebus Issues

I am working with the Firebus trial, and have been running into issues. I have a Mitsubishi WD-73927 that I have connected to three system installs with the following platform specifications, all using a SIIG TI-based firewire add-in card:

A) Dual-PIII 933 Mhz, 1GB RAM, Windows XP SP2, all Windows Update patches
B) P4 2.8Ghz, 1GB RAM, Windows XP SP1a, no supplemental patches
C) Dual-PIII 933 Mhz, 1GB RAM, Windows XP SP2, no supplemental patches

No matter what platform I am using, and regardless of whether Firebus is configured as an AVDisk or a DVHS, recordings will only proceed for a maximum of ~90 seconds before the PC locks up and requires rebooting. The resulting capture files will range from 30MB to 185MB in size depending on how long recording lasted before lock-up occurred. In addition to the lock-up issue which is consistent across all platforms and configurations, I have the following playback issues:

1.) All files captured with Firebus configured as an AVDisk, show up as Zero minute recordings when pulling up the index on the WD-73927, regardless of the size of the captured file on disk. These files will not play back under any circumstance (or perhaps are playing back, but if zero minutes long, I am seeing exactly zero minutes of playback), even though the capture file is tens of megabytes in size.

2.) Files captured with Firebus configured as a DVHS are playable as output in DVHS mode. The same files captured in DVHS mode are also selectable and playable within the index if Firebus is switched back to AVDisk mode. These playable files are still limited in total length due to the recording lock-up issue mentioned earlier.

I would be very interested in getting this to work (and frankly, I would be willing to pay full price or even more, let alone the discounted $99 fee), but I am not very optimistic based on my experience, coupled with what I have read on the forums about other people's results with this application. However, if you are able to assist in any way to make this a successful install, I would be very grateful.

Regards,
Scott
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post #26 of 42 Old 03-07-2006, 02:01 PM
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Vividlogic's web site has the following information regarding the DTVR software:

"The software can record and playback digital video programs that are encoded in the MPEG_2 transport stream format and conforms to the ATSC standard and has a bit-rate of about 19.39 mbps."

The problem is that many (probably most) transport streams provided by various tuners and DVR's are less than 19.39 mbps. Until the software can work with streams less than 19.39mbps, it is of limited use to me.

Steve
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post #27 of 42 Old 03-07-2006, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stjr
Vividlogic's web site has the following information regarding the DTVR software:

"The software can record and playback digital video programs that are encoded in the MPEG_2 transport stream format and conforms to the ATSC standard and has a bit-rate of about 19.39 mbps."

The problem is that many (probably most) transport streams provided by various tuners and DVR's are less than 19.39 mbps. Until the software can work with streams less than 19.39mbps, it is of limited use to me.
Yes, I was unsure exactly what they meant by "about" 19.39 mbps, and then in their email response they said "up to" 24 mbps. Of the signals that I had success with, TSReader showed bit-rates of around 17 mbps. I guess that is "about" 19, but 6 is not. :)
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post #28 of 42 Old 03-07-2006, 02:12 PM
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In my brief (and dangerous) exposure to this crippled piece of programming, I found that nothing less than constant bit rate ATSC transport streams would work to or from the PC. After several BSODs, I was saved by using the Windows system restore feature. Whew.

-Dylan

P.S. Any experimenters should probably be using WinXP service pack 1 as well as a single processor (Hyperthreading disabled). Firewire got pretty messed up in SP2.

I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!
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post #29 of 42 Old 03-07-2006, 02:45 PM
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I've been doing OK, within the noted 19.39mbps CBR limitations, transferring files to and from an LG-3410A using the demo DTVR and WinXP SP2 (single processor). Glitches in the streams can occasionally break the transfer process. This is not good enough performance to warrant my purchase.

Steve
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post #30 of 42 Old 03-07-2006, 09:36 PM
 
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If someone would actually design this software correctly (read: so it works), I know bunches of people that would buy it.
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