or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Gaming & Content Streaming › ReplayTV & Showstopper PVRs › Where to from here?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Where to from here? - Page 7

post #181 of 262
Interesting! I have nothing running on my 7MC box and access it exclusively thru extenders. When the thumbnails turn to blue boxes (with show tittle in the box), it's all blue boxes, everywhere.

I've only re-booted the box after an update, not very often. Something is degrading over time to kill the thumbnails, not sure how to fix that.

Commercial skipping stopped after a boot and I went and added DVRMSfilewatcher to the Startup folder as it seems that that service doesn't seem to autostart after a boot. After that there have been no issues with skipping.

So you think the previous DTb version is more stable? I only use it for skipping commercials and don't need it to recode shows etc.

Also, I haven't seen anything on cleaning up the recorded shows folder of the orphaned skip files. Not sure if DTb is doing any auto cleanup (even though it seems to have a menu choice to do so). have you experimented with any of this?
post #182 of 262
I, too, use DTb exclusively for skipping commercials and nothing else.

All I know is, it looked like the May version of DTb didn't work for me, while the March version never *didn't* work for me.

What files are not being cleaned up? The XML files should disappear when you delete the show. I believe mine do...
post #183 of 262
DTb has a checkbox to "Auto Cleanup" that is supposed to delete files after the show is deleted.

I checked my "Recorded TV" Folder, it had 1,239 files in it and it looked like there were orphans.

I opened ShowAnalyzer GUI and selected File>Clean a Directory, then selected my recordedTV folder. It deleted 701 "Orphaned" files, now there were 588.

I then opened ShowAnalyzer again and selected File>Deep Clean a Directory, then selected the RecordedTV folder again. It deleted 503 "Artifacts" which turns out to be all of the commercial skip information! Now there are 85 show files left in the folder...

I'm figuring that Filewatcher will kick back in and re-analyze these shows?

It appears that this version of DTb (v1.2.2.4) is not auto-cleaning the orphaned files.

EDIT - Found more information. I wasn't seeing DTb re-analyzing the shows and began looking around...

It appears that DTb stores 2 commercial mark files (.vih and .XML) per show in my C:\\User\\Public\\DvrmsToolbox\\CommercialsXML folder. I found 168 files there and there seem to be no orphans so I think DTb is managing this folder correctly. Sure enough, playing a show right now skips commercials just fine. FileWatcher did not kick in because these files were still here.

So DTb appears to use ShowAnalyzer to mark commercials that are in my V:\\RecordedTV folder and SA leaves about 4 files per show (.edl, .log, .txt, and .vprj) in this folder along with the other 2 files in the CommercialsXML folder above. These don't seem to be needed by DTb to skip commercials at all as the folder is now empty of all files except the .WTV show files and commercials are skipping. It appears that these are not managed by either program so a periodic, manually initiated "Deep Clean" of the RecordedTV folder seems to be needed?
post #184 of 262
My experience is that DTb's directory watcher will kick in and pass them over to SA to analyze.

Well, if (May) isn't working for you....then uninstall and go back to

I started off with all of this asking for help in the SA 1.0 forum; spockers answered once or twice, then nothing. I started going back in and answering my own questions...basically having a discussion with myself. Still nada.

I'm not saying I regret paying the $30, but it sure looks like ShowAnalyzer is as dead as ReplayTV is. It still exists, it still works, he'll still take money for it, but all development has stopped and there isn't really any support.


KenL seems to be on a kick portending DOOM! that the evil Time Warner Cable and its DRM will take over and effectively kill and make moot everything we're doing, but the reality is that when the DTb/SA combination ceases to function for whatever reason, I will stop watching TV.

Either than, or turn my Replays back on to watch the eight analog channels left to me...
post #185 of 262
Read my edited post above with added info.

I'm sad to see that they aren't active but then it's summer as well? I agree that it will suck if this all goes away as right now it's a kick a$$ solution that looks great and barring these small nit's is pretty stable. Worst case I'll keep the Replays around, I still have about 50 analog channels.

I used Video Redo to open a few recorded shows and it works fine so nothing seems locked out on my channels. It's nice but I don't save shows anyway.
post #186 of 262
Tell SA "never" to generate those files. That's in the default profile, as I recall.
post #187 of 262
Thanks again! I checked the SA default profile and see that these files are to support VideoRedo, BeyondTV, and ComSkip. I changed them to "Never" and will see how it all works!

Edit - Looks like that stopped all but a .log and .XML file being created in the RecordedTV folder for each show that isn't needed. I can't find any other settings to kill these off that isn't already checked or un-checked in the menu's but I can just "deep clean" this folder occasionally using SA's GUI.

It still puts the needed .XML and a .VIH files in the CommercialsXML folder as well and these are managed by DTb. I found a setting to tell it how often in days to clean up the orphans, default is every 7 days.
post #188 of 262
Ed -
I'd be interested in how you set up the commercial skip.
My install will be 1TV direct to the media server, 4 tv's via the XBOX360.

Commercial advance is a welcome "must!" when possible.

Though I'll be using the DVBlink server + Colossus bridge (due to my install being all Satellite), the "non tuner specific" bits of your setup would be quite helpful. Not a lot of other REPLAY head cases like us doing this, just yet.
post #189 of 262
Basically you download DVRMSToolBox and install to the PC, Then download and install the DTb MediaCenter Add-in/Plug-in. Last, buy, download, and install ShowAnalyzer (aka SA, it's the analysis engine).

DTb is then integrated into MediaCenter, it monitors the folder where your recorded shows are stored and invokes ShowAnalyzer in the background. SA "watches" the shows at high speed, uses algorythms, station logo watermarks, etc. to very accurately mark commercials. It creates marker files that DTb then uses to skip commercials. It is magical to see in use, very very nice.

X-Box extenders behave IDENTICALLY to the PC in every way, you can't tell them apart. 7MC can support 5 extenders max I think. Commercials skip the same way on the extenders with no configuration on your part. I like the extenders so much that even my main TV is connected thru one instead of using the PC. I did this to isolate the PC from any family contact and not load the PC with driving local video. The extenders have been very solid and smooth video performance. When I direct connected the PC, the video or audio would occasionally glitch when some PC chore occured here and there, something the extenders never seem to do.

I found X-Box 360-S 4Gig diskless units on eBay for $120 each.

Adam is the real expert and has been my guiding light here.
post #190 of 262
Most excellent info.
I have to assume that there are some instructions with each of those 3 modules. Does the commercial skip work similar to replay on paused/live shows? or are live shows subject to just real time fast forwarding..?
post #191 of 262
The commercial skip is not exactly like Replay's; it has to process already recorded material after the fact, instead of marking the commercials real time as the commercial breaks are being recorded.

That being said, SA will start analyzing the show after it starts recording, if SA isn't doing anything else, so as long as you start watching 10-15 minutes in you should be OK. I've had great success with that.

But with four tuners...it might be busy.
post #192 of 262
I will look for the links that I found with instructions. It can be configured to begin scanning a show immediately so you could pause, wait for a while, then begin watching the show delayed and I believe it will skip. I don't do this as there is more that enough stuff already recorded but I think Adam mentioned that this works.
post #193 of 262
Here's a link to a good how-to article;


The install order of the three programs is critical.
post #194 of 262
Thanks! Really!
Just a few more questions because I'm ordering parts....
I'm building with an athlon II x3 processor (3.2ghz, the 450 model processor) with 4gb ram running on win7 home premium x64.

ED - you used RAID. what drives?

Also, do you think I've got enough horse power there? The CPU might be unlock-able to phenom II x4, but I'm not counting on it.

We're typically not watching live TV on more than 2 at the same time. But who knows which 2. I've got GB-Ethernet Router and the switches between the Media center and everything else will be GB-Ethernet.
post #195 of 262
I used Seagate 2TB drives, $81.50 each from superbiiz

Adam said you don't need much horsepower. I have 2 Hauppague dual analog cards and a Ceton4 digital card. I have tested it recording 8 at once and it actually works. Since I isolate the PC, I use it to transcode stuff, burn stuff, and didn't want to worry about when I could use it without taxing the system should it be recording etc. So I went with an Intel DH67CL mobo with integrated HDMi video, integrated RAID, and an i7 CPU, 8G ram, Win7 64Bit. Boot drive is Intel 160GB SSD, boots in 20-30 sec.

I've only run 2 extenders at once and one was via slingbox so there was lots of network traffic. I updated my network to a Netgear GB router and my edge switches around the house are now GB switches as well. The PCs connect at GB, everything else is 100MB. I'm glad I pulled Cat5e 10 years ago as it's working OK at GB speeds. So far I've not seen any stuttering on the extenders and we are mainly watching HD with the media center now.
post #196 of 262
What's your CPU utilization when recording 8?
Your I7 is about 2.5x the processor of the Athlon II x3.

post #197 of 262
no clue, I'll test it some time.
post #198 of 262
Is on board Radeon HD 4250 card enough for a HTPC? I have to think so.
Just looking at this to save a couple $ on the build.
post #199 of 262
I'd think so, it MUST support HDCP for a any copy protected content to display.
post #200 of 262
...or, like you, one could simply use an XBox for display to TV. And just use a regular monitor for maintenance duties.
post #201 of 262
agreed that would be the most cost effective on the PC side. I kept HDMI capability as I can access the PC on the TV when I want to do PC Stuff, but normally I use the X-Box to access TV Content.
post #202 of 262
I save 20 on the board buying a 4pci-e (2x1, 1x4, 1x16) board with on board video. The Radeon HD is HDCP compliant, but that's not much of an issue since I'm tuning with Colossus capture cards on component from satellite boxes.

And I don't have to spend 50+ on a video card.

post #203 of 262

MEM 4Gx2|G.SKILL F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT (8gb DDR3)
MB MSI NF750-G55 AM3 R (MSI motherboard with Onboard HDMI Nvidia video)
HDD 3T|HITACHI 0S03230 5.4 (4x5400RPM 3TB drives -- $109 each!!)

Just need a case and PSU. Already bought the COlossus cards...

Now if only anyone at DVBlink 1geektool forum would reply to my little problem...

But, we're on the way! Total so far - just shy of 1200. All new parts. Could not find a socket 775 mobo with 4 PCIE and integrated video, or 5 PCIE...

post #204 of 262
3TB! Nice.

My 2TB's in raid5 gives something like 5.3TB which is thouands of SD video hours but only about 500 HD hours. I thought, no problem as my girls haven't been HD fans. But their tune has changed and most shows are being recorded in HD, shows are 4-6G per hour...
post #205 of 262
Originally Posted by Ed Rempalski View Post

3TB! Nice.

My 2TB's in raid5 gives something like 5.3TB which is thouands of SD video hours but only about 500 HD hours. I thought, no problem as my girls haven't been HD fans. But their tune has changed and most shows are being recorded in HD, shows are 4-6G per hour...

Got lucky and found a deal... for sure.
The mobo has an IDE channel! for the boot/system, and everything else on the raid.... 8tb...

The colossus cards let me control the encoding a bit, so my test recordings so far have been about 4gb/hr and looking AWESOME.
post #206 of 262
Originally Posted by Ed Rempalski View Post

Adam, a question, do you ever have the saved shows guide loose the show thumbnail photos? I have seen this recently and a quick re-boot of the 7MC restores them but I'm curious as to why they would go away.

Looks like you're not alone:

post #207 of 262
Thanks for that, it seems like they went thru a lot of work to restore the thumbnails when a re-boot seems to fix things for me.

I haven't had time to watch anything over the last week, but sat down last night and found that newer shows stopped skipping commercials (skip data files missing). I went to the MC and opened the showanalyzer GUI and it appeared "stuck", there were 3 shows in the "active" tab, all at 100% and apparently been that way for some number of days...

For grins I dumped all CA marker files by deep cleaning (using the ShowAnalyzer GUI tools) both my saved video folder and the Dvrms Toolbox\\commercialsXML folder. Rebooted and it immediately began re-scanning the folders and marking shows. I upped the "workers" from the default 2 to now 3 since I have an i7 processor and an idling PC, so 3 shows are processed at a time. This morning all 200+ shows are marked and a random test shows are skipping just fine, BUT, the main show catagory thumbnails are missing... Open a series and the individual shows have thumbnails.

So who knows, I don't know if trying the previous DTB version will improve things, my system is stable, not taxed, and yet has these nits around DTB, it's just not perfect. DTB is a very diverse product and CA is a tiny piece of its capabilities. I wish there were a streamlined CA only version, I'm sure it would be far more stable.

Plus the issue may be ShowAnalyzer at other times (like the hangup with marking files), something out of DTb's control.

Anyhow, these are prices I'm willing to pay for CA. Skipping commercials as beautifully as DTB/SA do is worth the occasional bit of troubleshooting. But it's no "appliance" like the bulletproof Replays.
post #208 of 262
yeah, SA gets stuck now and again. Not DTb's fault.

He knows about it...but as I said before, it looks like SA is walking dead.

Too bad.
post #209 of 262
Had my first HDD failure in 7MC's Raid5 video store. One of the new 2T drives bellied up, clik-of-death cycling over and over. Ordered a replacement, hot-swapped the failed drive out of the iStar enclosure, it rebuilt the new drive and the system never missed a beat!

Regarding SA getting stuck, it looks like there is a setting to kill a process that sits idle for over 15min (default setting). It may be that this setting is only honored if SA is used stand alone and it may be disabled when SA is used as a plug-in to DTb. I just open the SA GUI now and check the "active" tab and manually kill any stuck processes (usually showing 100% and the time elapsed time counter is hours to days long).
post #210 of 262
My experience is that the SA setting is used regardless. I changed it from 15 minutes to 30 seconds, and I can now kill things in 30 seconds and it then moves on.

Regardless, the whole getting stuck thing is getting old.

What RAID tower are you using? I may expand that direction. Not for storage, but for just what you describe. Plus, none of my recordings are DRM; I could move the tower with its Recorded TV folder over to another box down the road, and move on.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: ReplayTV & Showstopper PVRs
AVS › AVS Forum › Gaming & Content Streaming › ReplayTV & Showstopper PVRs › Where to from here?