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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Little background. Windows 7 ultimate installed on a SDD, data/storage is a WD AV-GP, i5 with 4 Gb of ram and a MSI IceQ ATI 5670. Two tuner cards, one Hauppauge 2250 (2x OTA) and one Asus 150 (1x ClearQAM, other tuner not used).


What happens is occasionally the screen will freeze and become completely unresponsive. Commands from the remote (changing channels, stop/play/etc) don't work. I can use the mouse and minimize and restore the screen but WMC just seems stuck. If you let it sit and don't do anything after 30 or so seconds the sound comes back then 2 seconds later I get the "Weak TV Signal" or the "Low Bit Rate" message but then 2 - 3 seconds after the message the picture comes back. Consistently...the pattern is the same. Looking at my hard drive light it stops blinking when this happens like it's really not getting anything to record or the tuners have stopped tuning.


This happens very randomly....it could happen three times in a hour or it could happen once in 4 hours of TV watching. It happens with BOTH tuners however I usually get the "Weak TV Signal" on OTA channels and the "Low Bit Rate" error on cable channels. But they behave the same. This happens both on "live" TV, buffered TV, and recorded TV...again with no pattern in how often. A recorded one hour show can be fine or it can have 2 of these errors during it. I reformatted and reinstalled everything with the same issues before and after. All drivers are up to date, all windows updates including the ones that are supposed to address the low bitrate errors have been applied. There is very little installed on the machine, it's really just a HTPC so it stores a bunch of media but doesn't have many programs installed.


Any ideas of what could be causing this? I can't find any examples of my exact problem but it's driving me (well mostly my wife) crazy. It's pretty much the only issue I have left to work out to get it as reliable as my old DVR (well now that I've abandoned sleep mode as too unreliable).


-Allan
 

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I had a similar issue with a couple OTA channels that was "fixed" by a slight adjustment in the direction the antenna was pointed. The signal wasn't weak, but it was apparently at a level the HVR-2250 didn't like.


If you're confident you're not dealing with a signal level issue, you could be looking for an intermittent issue with the power supply, or with something overheating. You should also verify there isn't a task running in the background that takes away too much CPU.


I'm sure you'll get more/better advice. Keep us updated on any test results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Signal is 100% on all the OTA channels, I have a ClearStream 4 in the attic pointed directly towards the towers which are 25 miles away. Plus it does it on both OTA and cable. It may be a task running but the couple times I've checked task manager there isn't anything running (and the "idle" task is taking most of the CPU). Brand new 600w power supply which is more then good enough for this system and heat isn't a issue at all....my CPU and case fans don't even go past "low" (they are set in bois for temperature). Plus I added two fans to the entertainment center, one pulling in and one pushing out which are temp controlled on the MB temperature (again rarely if ever run above low).


-Allan
 

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How hard would it be to simply rotate the antenna by ~ 5 degrees? My issue was not a weak signal either. In fact, I have a very similar situation to yours. But moving the antenna either strengthened or weakened the signals that I was having trouble receiving, and now all is well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Finally "fixed" this. I have a digital cable box in the basement and my wife was working out on the treadmill while I was up stairs watching TV. We were both watching the same channel and sure enough the HTPC did it's lock up and low bit rate error while the digital tuner box worked without a blip.


So from there I started trying to figure out what could be causing the PC to essentially lock up temporarily and they only thing I could figure is the SSD drive. With that said I did some searching and that lead me to http://www.computing.net/howtos/show...ows-7/552.html which has tweaks for Windows 7 with SSD drives. Went through the suggestions and applied every one they had listed. Haven't seen the blue "low bitrate" screen since.


So if your running a SSD then I highly suggest going through there guide.
 
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