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Latest Ceton InfiniTV 4 Info Thread - Page 158

post #4711 of 4759
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6079 View Post

You're right. It was more a forced situation. For the negative-three people that might be curious, I got as far as being allowed to watch standard def channels after I manually installed Play Ready. But HD and guides, of course, had to be connected to the internet.

I was shocked how ****** the SD channels' quality is on an old analog computer monitor (my viewing source). Watching on a TV with more distance between you and the screen seems to help significantly to "hide" all the artifacts, etc. I'm also pretty disenchanted with HDTV image quality. For some reason, I assumed a raw recording would look very clean (I've only casually seen any HDTV over the years on large TVs where I assumed any compression and other artifacts were exaggerated, due to it being such a large screen).

Then I do some Googling to find HD artifacts are the bane of many an image quality-enthusiast's existence. When Youtube videos of something look far cleaner than what you're capturing through your HD cable, it's a sad day.  But I wasn't on top of this and just found out. I imagine the folks' whom HDTV downloads I've acquired over the years may have been overseas or had a better signal than my supplier. Or maybe I'm more critical now that it's right in front of me and a disappointment.
I'm not clear on your setup. Are you trying to watch HD channels (delivered from your cable system to your Ceton-enabled HTPC) on an old analog CRT monitor (presumably 4:3 in aspect ratio)? And is that CRT monitor connected through VGA cable or DVI cable (which is really digital-A, not digital-D)?

Are you watching a video collection from YouTube?? What then is the Ceton card being used for??

If you're truly watching live TV via the Ceton, the quality of any picture source (SD or HD) is going to be questionable at best, subject to the capability of your video card and drivers and that monitor. Remember that all of the digital images in the HTPC must be converted to analog for delivery and presentation on your analog monitor.

If you want to see true HD on your HTPC monitor, you really do want to upgrade to a digital 16:9 or 16:10 flat panel monitor, spending as much money as you want depending on the quality you want. You can get a very nice 16:10 24" Dell Ultrasharp U2412M for about $290, although you should also have a modern video card, with either HDMI or DVI or Displayport digital outputs. This setup would be HDCP-compliant through any of these digital cable connections with supporting driver support and would thus allow you to view original source 720p/1080i HDTV untouched and presented true digital directly on your new monitor. Typically 1080i is also deinterlaced to 1080p so that it looks terrific.

You can also spend less money or more money on a flat panel monitor (or possibly just add it as a second monitor to your HTPC, if your video card supports it), depending on your desire.

But watching an SD 480i channel today is generally not going to make anyone happy, no matter what the equipment... compared to 720p/1080i. And watching downconverted and digital-to-analog 720p/1080i on an old analog 4:3 CRT monitor is never going to be pretty either.
post #4712 of 4759

You're correct, analog with VGA cable. I've kept myself a bit like a native in the forest in staying away from true HD presentation, so I understand I'm greatly lacking in seeing a picture at its best. However, this doesn't negate all the compression artifacts and other issues coming from the signal, I presume. I've seen uncompressed Blu Ray files on this monitor and, as mentioned, HD Youtube clips that lack these issues. And I went to compare what I was seeing on my roommate's HD TV and noticed many of the same artifacts I was seeing. The artifiacts and other terms of which I'm not as familiar that come from the broadcast are my main issue.

post #4713 of 4759
To continue the discussion, your cable provider is also a contributing factor to the over-compression and re-compression artifacts you might see when watching HDTV channels. Who is your provider, and where do you live?

In my case, TWC/LA is well known for re-compressing even the local OTA broadcast network channels. And the visual results of this when watching on high-quality true HD equipment (as I do via my Ceton-enabled HTPC) are very annoying... when you know what it can look like. So in my own HTPC in addition to the Ceton 4-tuner card for cable-provided (i.e. cable only) channels where I have no choice, I also have a Hauppauge 2-tuner HVR-2250 fed from my roof antenna. And I have WMC set up to prefer recordings from the OTA/ATSC tuners whenever an option exists. I also ONLY use the OTA/ATSC tuners (e.g. channel 2.1, 4.1, etc.) for series and one-off recordings of network programs.

Having TWO tuners available for true OTA/ATSC local broadcast networks (for maximum bitrate, uncompressed beyond whatever CBS, NBC, etc., send out, and resulting maximumg possible video image quality) and using them for any broadcast programs I record... that eliminates the problem TWC/LA creates through their recompression of everything (as they think their subscribers can't tell the difference) to increase virtual bandwidth and the number of HD channels available over limited infrastructure.

Actually, the recent trend to move to SDV (and digital tuning adapters) as the REAL solution to eliminate the bandwidth/infrastructure limitations for cable companies is the right solution... and theoretically could justify their reversal of a policy of re-compression on HD channels. SDV makes any re-compression unnecessary, and can support an "infinite" number of HD channels over the same fixed infrastructure delivery system.

Anyway, many HD channels don't look "as good as BluRay" of course, but that really does need to be taken in context. Many HD channels look FANTASTIC... depending on content. Nothing from HDTV will ever look as good as BluRay, as it simply cannot because of bitrate and compression limitations. But that doesn't mean most HDTV doesn't look terrific, on the right minimally acceptable equipment... with exceptions noted.

Furthermore, passing "raw HDTV" (say from HTPC) into the external HDMI input of an Oppo BDP-103/103D/105 to benefit from the video processing/cleanup and upconvert to 1080p that is possible from these players... well, I would say that HD programs can look "near BluRay", if they're not already very dark and badly compressed (from the source network) to begin with. Some channels are worse than others, and some programs are way worse than others, but many programs (especially "live" programs) looks terrific.
post #4714 of 4759

I have Comcast in Portland, OR.  It'd be nice if they were more choices, or some maverick company (like you can find with phone service providers springing up) offering a plan without these issues for people that value image quality. In a way, I'm surprised TV networks and producers don't make more of a stir, as some of the artifact-ing is so bad, you'd think it'd influence how you shoot your program to an extent (less motion, etc.).

 

It reminds me when digital cable and DVD recorders first became available. In some respects, I still preferred analog with VCR for capturing video, as the compression in the former was a drawback. But they seem to have gotten away with making that the norm.

post #4715 of 4759
Yep, I'm also one of those that see the artifacts/ crappiness of even 16mbit mpeg2.
Mpeg4/h264 hd at 8mbit looks better IMHO because it smooths more (compared to blocky mpeg2).
I believe a lot of european HD is already h264 btw.

Now, they just need to go to h264 and save us recorder space too!
post #4716 of 4759

I recently started having issues.  Recordings do not start or the stop after a few minutes.  It states it was manually stopped for use by another component.  Or the tuner is not installed or working.  I have restarted and rediscovered tuners.  It will work and then stopped just as fast.  I put in a ticket but I am curious if anyone else has experienced these issues.

post #4717 of 4759
Quote:
Originally Posted by robnitro View Post

Yep, I'm also one of those that see the artifacts/ crappiness of even 16mbit mpeg2.
Mpeg4/h264 hd at 8mbit looks better IMHO because it smooths more (compared to blocky mpeg2).
I believe a lot of european HD is already h264 btw.

Now, they just need to go to h264 and save us recorder space too!

It won't happen for a few more years. Most providers still have plenty of boxes deployed that cannot decode h.264, so they can't move most channels there.
A few exceptions:
At least one provider, with OnDemand content, sends h.264 streams if the receiving box supports them. Otherwise it sends MPEG2
Another provider has a channel pack they give for free, but only with whole-home DVR boxes. The reason for that is that MoCA-enabled boxes are new enough to support h.264 and provides a simple explanation to laypeople.
Another provider has 3D channels as h.264 - likely because they are limited audience, and most people who have a 3D TV and care about 3D channels have a new box already.
post #4718 of 4759
Thought I would throw in an anomaly I experienced last week. The No tuners available screen appeared and looking at the Ceton disgnostic box, not one green check mark except for the driver. Re-booting, re-powering you name it nothing worked. Took the HTPC to techs and it checked out fine, then took tuner in also. All good with 5 check marks in seconds. This was bench test with no cable feed. Then I got it home anc same old issue. Inoticed the usb on/off chime would fire maybe 5-6 times very quickly as if it was confused about connecting or disconnecting. Soooo, I started disconnecting other cables, usb etc. Only one made a difference and it was surprising....the culprit was the cable feed itself. Connected, no go, disonected all fine (I sdhoul also note the PC would not shut down properly as there was obvious confusion in the Inf4's power state. In connecting and disconnecting the F connector, I also noticed a small spark which did not seem kosher. The I went to the basement where my cable servcice enters and house and splits. I saw the ground wire off the splitter was not attached and I re-attached it. Presto! All good again. I believe this ground was disconnected for a couple months however, so the question is what changed? I am guessing Comcast has gotten some spurious voltage into my feed line and I will test for that this weekend. Long story short, if you see something like this, have a look at the grounding and cable feed. This drove me nuts for almost a week and cost me a lot of time and angst. Ceton tech was responsive but did not find an answer...at the end said they had never seen this sort of thing. If I see a voltage drop across my master cable feed, I will get Comcast in to fix it as this should not be the case.
post #4719 of 4759
A question I have here is does this card work with XBMC?
post #4720 of 4759
Yes and no. Yes in that you can tune and record all the channels that are marked as copy freely. No in that Windows Media Center is the only front end that can copy channels that are marked as anything other than copy freely. Depending on your tv provider, it can be anything from only the premium channels like HBO to every channel.
post #4721 of 4759
I'd just like to share my iTV4 experience tonight with you all. I have the first-release PCIe version, and up until today I had been running the original HW version of 4884, and the 1.0.7.2 FW. I'd left it alone all this time because everything was working as I wanted it, so I saw no reason to chance that. Well, I'm in the midst of a major system overhaul, and before I nuked the computer the iTV is installed in, I decided to update it and see what happened. I use the Ceton utility to update the FW to 1.1.7whatever, and then installed the latest version of the driver package/utility from Ceton's website, which then prompted further upgrades to the card. I'm now sitting at HW version 6289, FW 1.1.8.2. I did nothing else except these updates, and after the necessary reboots, I went in to WMC to see how things were going, assuming I'd need to run TV setup all over again.

Nope. Everything was working exactly as before. Ceton diagnostics showed everything as it should be, and all channels tested fine (encrypted and unencrypted).

Honestly, after seeing some of the experiences some folks here have had, I was expecting the worst. I can't believe it all went off without a hitch and I can just keep on keepin' on!

Now let's see how everything goes after the system rebuild/reinstall.....
post #4722 of 4759
I've read through quite a bit of this thread but in my reading had not seen anyone with an issue like mine. I have an InfinitTV4 PCI-E and am in the Seattle Washington area with Comcast for my service provider. At random times I get "no tuners detected". Now I have a dedicated HTPC that is always on, no firewall (sits behind a firewall/gateway) and only using MSE for antivirus. The machine does fee 2 XBox 360's as extenders. Now when this issue arise's ( every few day's sometimes it'll go a week or so) I can go into the diagnostics and the card does not show. After a reboot the card shows but then Cable Card diagnostics say the card is bad. Now if I shutdown the machine fully, remove the cable card and reinsert it and then turn the machine back on everything begins to work again. I've scoured event logs etc and can't find anything related to this happening. I don't necessarily believe the cablecard is bad since it was previously in a TiVo that I owned before and was seemingly working without issue in it. I've checked temps on the card and they are within Ceton's limits so no overheating. I've also noticed that this will happen on a normal machine restart i.e. install windows updates restart machine, after restart machine reports cable card bad, shutdown remove/re-insert cable card turn machine back on and all is right with the world again.

Any Ideas? BTW my signal strengths are well within range, the entire house is RG-6 quad shield and my normal signal ranges around +4-+6db with SNR of 35-38db (when my service was installed 2 years ago the tech discussed actually attenuating my line a bit but I asked him not to) new drop to the house since it previously had service through another provider before I moved in, and only 5 feet of cable between the HTPC and main splitter being fed by the drop.
post #4723 of 4759
What's the card's temperature when it fails? I had to get a slot-mounted fan blowing directly on the thing to get it to stop doing that.
post #4724 of 4759
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

What's the card's temperature when it fails? I had to get a slot-mounted fan blowing directly on the thing to get it to stop doing that.

Not sure of the exact temp but I know it's staying under 65c, whenever I go into diags it always shows a green check next to temperature.
post #4725 of 4759
looking at my current temps they're sitting at around 59.5c on all tuners, this machine runs 24/7 no sleep or hibernate.
post #4726 of 4759
It sounds like you have the same problem as me.

I get "no tuners detected" once in a while. It usually happens when I restart the computer or wake up from sleep and go straight to watch live TV.

After waiting a few minutes my system recognize the card and I'm able to watch live TV.
post #4727 of 4759
Quote:
Originally Posted by layziethug View Post

It sounds like you have the same problem as me.

I get "no tuners detected" once in a while. It usually happens when I restart the computer or wake up from sleep and go straight to watch live TV.

After waiting a few minutes my system recognize the card and I'm able to watch live TV.

Problem is for instance today it happened to my wife today while she was listening to a "DMX" station for background, it just stopped working, I remoted into my media center from work and diagnostics was unable to find the infinitv at all.
post #4728 of 4759
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremyfr View Post

Problem is for instance today it happened to my wife today while she was listening to a "DMX" station for background, it just stopped working, I remoted into my media center from work and diagnostics was unable to find the infinitv at all.

Sorry never had that problem, must be some other issue.
post #4729 of 4759
Mine was never happy at anything over 55c. Added the slot fan and a stronger case fan. Got it down under 50 and didn't have any further issues, though in all honesty, the card only stayed in the computer a couple more weeks after that. Once BHN put copy-once on every channel, out it came.
post #4730 of 4759
Ceton kills me. The Walking Dead got cut off by 10-15 minutes last night. I just don't get it. I've gotten my signal down to 0-3 dBmV (depending on tuner) and temps now are 27-32C. My SNR sits around 39-40 dB. I wonder if that's part of the problem now as I don't know what else I can mess with.

This is what I cut just before the recording ends (so it recorded about 48 min instead of just over 60 min):
Service was unavailable

No TV signal was detected for this channel while recording.
The channel may have been temporarily off the air.
post #4731 of 4759
Have you tried a different recording drive?
post #4732 of 4759
Quote:
Originally Posted by rc05 View Post

Have you tried a different recording drive?
Funny you say that. I temporarily changed the recording location to an internal drive. It's a USB 3.0 external that I was recording to. I may just use eSata instead. I don't have anymore space to drop a drive in my HTPC.
post #4733 of 4759
Quote:
Originally Posted by g0dM@n View Post

Funny you say that. I temporarily changed the recording location to an internal drive. It's a USB 3.0 external that I was recording to. I may just use eSata instead. I don't have anymore space to drop a drive in my HTPC.

Bad hard drives are sometimes the culprit for partial recordings, but the error message is usually "Weak signal", not "Service was unavailable" (I think, I may be wrong). Last week, I put in a new recording hard drive and I got a whole ton of partial recordings. It turned out the SATA cable was bad.
post #4734 of 4759
Quote:
Originally Posted by g0dM@n View Post

Ceton kills me. The Walking Dead got cut off by 10-15 minutes last night.
At least AMC airs the episodes more than once. It's on again Friday night and twice early in the morning on Saturday.
post #4735 of 4759
I was really pleased to see that when TWC re-did our channel lineup - they totally removed CCI from everything except HBO/Showtime/Cinemax!

xnappo
post #4736 of 4759
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnappo View Post

I was really pleased to see that when TWC re-did our channel lineup - they totally removed CCI from everything except HBO/Showtime/Cinemax!

xnappo

Well no one bit. For the record that was a lame April fools joke.

xnappo
post #4737 of 4759
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnappo View Post

Well no one bit. For the record that was a lame April fools joke.

xnappo
I believed you. I can't get TWC here so I didn't have much reason to reply.
post #4738 of 4759
Ok so an update on my problem, I updated to the newest beta firmware/hw for my tuner from Ceton and it seems to have completely resolved my issue. Haven't had one cable card drop since, and it survives a warm reboot now as well. Hope my luck continues but so far so good for nearly 2 weeks now.
post #4739 of 4759
Lately I have been getting low signal level (< -10) for cable channels (TNT) however the local channels (NBC) I get good signal level.

My setup is:

comcast provided splitter to cable modem and 2 port tap
from the 2 port tap: DC port to ceton, tap port to hd box, tap port to digital adapter

Here is the tap I am using

Any suggestions on how I can increase my signal level?
post #4740 of 4759
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremyfr View Post

Ok so an update on my problem, I updated to the newest beta firmware/hw for my tuner from Ceton and it seems to have completely resolved my issue. Haven't had one cable card drop since, and it survives a warm reboot now as well. Hope my luck continues but so far so good for nearly 2 weeks now.

You may want to wait another month before you jump for joy. I have been through everythiung (have a usb version) sending all kinds of enhanced diagnostics, updating firmware, beta firmware, hardware bla bla bla and Ceton has been very respoinsive. But NOTHING they seem to be able to do keeps the Ceton from losing the cable card about every 4-6 weeks and most recently it crashed. Rebooting the HTPC fixes the CC issue and power off/on fixes the crashes but it is annoying. Most recently I sent them screen shots of all programs insttalled on the HTPC, the network paths, all stuff loaded into the WMC and now they are down to asking me what color my neon light is at the rear of the runer (solid blue), so I think they are getting to the end of their idea rope.
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