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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 9:38 am 
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Location: Virginia, USA
I finally got a 2.6 kernel running on one of my PCs and decided to take a stab at installing a HD3000 on it. Here's some notes for other newbies who might want to give it a shot:

* I didn't try getting it working with MythTV yet. I haven't seen any good step-by-step HOWTOs at getting it working, plus I've definitely seen that the 2.4 drivers don't compile with the 2.4 kernel present in KnoppMyth R4V5. At this point I'd be happy just getting it to work as a tuner for our upstairs LCD HDTV.

* Installation was on a Shuttle SN41G2, Athlon XP 2.4GHz, 512MB RAM, 80GB hard drive, using onboard nForce2 video.

* The instructions that come with the card work, but aren't organized very well. You have to look at the printed instructions, the driver README, the tools README, the xine-hd README, etc. It'd be nice if they were all in one place in the correct order. This posting on the pcHDTV forum was a very helpful reference:

http://pchdtv.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=273

* Following the instructions, and plugging a powered set-top antenna into the card, I actually managed to get a signal! I really couldn't believe it. (Basically, I never believe it when I get anything working under Linux.) Tried xine-hd, and got choppy playback, but playback nonetheless. Woo hoo!

* Then, I rebooted, and got nothing. No signal, no nothing. Using the posting above as a hint, I checked what was going on via dmesg, and found an error listed over and over again: "cx88atsc dvr error g." I searched the fine forum (pcHDTV forum that is) for that error, and sure enough, others had the same problem. Newest drivers reportedly fixed it, so I went to download them. Oooh, bummer, pchdtv.com's website's been hacked. Luckily they only defaced the front page, the downloads page was still there.

* Loaded new drivers, and bingo, I managed to watch Fox's series "House" in glorious 720p! It actually had some weird display problems using XvMC, and played back fine without it. Looked darn good.

Now the bad news:

1) I can't get xine-hd to change the channel, nor does the "-C" flag mentioned in the instructions seem to work. (This sounds like a problem mentioned by liv2cod when using XvMC, except I had it with and without XvMC.) The "xine-hd" skin mentioned in the printed instructions doesn't appear in xine's skins list. Once I track that down it might help with changing the channel. I got vlc and used the method mentioned in the URL above to view other channels.

2) Other local channels, I think, might be broadcasting in 1080i rather than 720p. They display a lot more interlacing artifacts than the Fox show I watched, and of course the second you try to start deinterlacing a 1920x1080 image, you start needing a lot more iron than a Shuttle SFF box has.

3) I didn't always get good playback of even the Fox 720p signal. Sometimes it looked good with no sound, sometimes it played choppy and I got xine's "dropping frames" warning, sometimes it was fine. I should have tried to record a bit and see if it was a reception problem or a playback problem.

BTW, I think transcoding will be a big deal with HDTV recordings. I've seen an XviD-transcoded episode of "Lost" and it's VERY impressive. Only about 700 megs for the episode (without commercials) and while it might not equal the original signal, it's still light years beyond the analog SD recordings I made of the episode. I can almost relate to Hollywood's desire for a broadcast flag. Almost. :)

Hope this is useful to someone out there.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:22 am 
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Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Excellent report! You are well on your way to HD nirvana.

You can tell what a channel is broadcasting by starting mythfrontend with '-v playback'. It will report the broadcast resolution of a stream when you tune it in. This is when you get mythfrontend working, BTW.

Apparently the sound setup make a big difference with stutters and playback quality. ALSA is good, but ALSA 1.06 is bad. Earlier or later is fine. I don't know much about xine-hd other than it's a special hacked version of xine. Dunno what the differences are.

I'm just starting down the path of getting my HD-3000 to work. I know I can't make it coexist with my HD-2000 card, so I have it in a separate backend server. Time has been short this week to play with it.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 2:49 pm 
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Location: Nashville, TN
Well I can verify that xine-hd compiles installs and works fine on the latest R5 alpha The skin shows up channels change and everything. I did of course have skipping and dropped frames, but I expected that on an athlonXP 1700+ I have not tried with xvmc yet. I do have mythtv working with the pchdtv as well, but xvmc is hosed in the alpha right now. I am going to recompile with good xvmc support and native alsa later this week or this weekend, and start playing with that. I can't comment too much on the quality, as I have yet to figure out what is wrong with my vga -> component converter so I am outputting svid 1024x768 at the moment. I have managed to tune about 4 channels using a cheap powered settop antanae.

Only thing neccesary for me to get mythtv working was to set the input device to /dev/dtv1 (see my other post) and to go through the broadcast channel setup I had from zap2it and change the frequency to what it was supposed to be. Found this on antenaeweb (sp) Haven't really played around to see if subchannels are working properly or not yet.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 3:10 pm 
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Location: Virginia, USA
Quote:
I have yet to figure out what is wrong with my vga -> component converter


You got an Audio Authority 9A60, right? I could never get that to work with one of my video cards on a different system (a GeForce4 I believe but would have to check). No output at all. Worked fine with an ATI Radeon card, worked fine with onboard nForce2 video (two systems) but not that GeForce card. I went through two converters before checking the video card.

I have a xine skin but it's the default (I think) and doesn't look anything like the picture in the installation instructions. Are there keystrokes that work to change the channel?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 3:27 pm 
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well if it's the video card, I am kind of SOL, because I am using the onboard nforce2 video. I know the vga out used to work, but I haven't tried it in quite some time, as I don't feel like lugging monitors around, but I suppose I could just to see if the vga is still outputting a signal. I got exactly what you described. Nothing.

one thing I did notice odd about my converter is that I was wondering if the power was working, so I broke out the old digital multimeter and it is outputting 18v when it is only supposed to be 12v, which worries me a bit.

I'm not sure if there is a key sequence to change the channels or not, because the first thing I did was go change the skin and I used thier buttons to change the channel.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 4:13 pm 
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Location: Central California, USA
ceenvee703 wrote:
* Installation was on a Shuttle SN41G2, Athlon XP 2.4GHz, 512MB RAM, 80GB hard drive, using onboard nForce2 video.

Is your athlon a 2.4 Ghz cpu, or is it an athlon XP 2400? 'Cause the Athlon 3200 only runs at 2.2 Ghz (although it's faster than a 2 ghz Pentium 4.)

What I really want to know, though, is what FSB your CPU and Memory are running at. I have a feeling this has as much to do with FSB speed as internal CPU speed.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 5:57 pm 
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Location: Virginia, USA
Yeah, I saw that after I posted it, it's an Athlon XP 2400+, which means it's running at whatever speed really... 1.8, 2.0.

I'm pretty sure I'm running dual channel at 333MHz. Will double-check next time I can.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 6:46 pm 
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Location: Arlington, MA
ceenvee703 - I think we need to have some kind of "crossing the line" ceremony for you or something like that so you know that you're not really a novice anymore. ;-)

Upgraded a kernel, installed new drivers, gets bleeding edge hardware working, debugged from log files, ... and still thinks he's a novice... :roll: Talk about humility! ;-)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:20 pm 
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Location: Adelaide, Australia
ceenvee703 - I'm trying to get the 2.6 kernel running on my machine too. Did you do this on top of an R4V5 installation?

I have started writing a HowTo in the wiki and have got to the point where I can't get my memory stick to work. Any chance you could swing by the page in the wiki http://knoppmythwiki.homelinux.org/index.php?page=KernelUpgradeHowTo and see if I there is anything different that you did?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:35 pm 
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tjc: well, don't blow up those balloons quite yet. :)

I didn't upgrade my kernel. I'm using the PC3000 on a box with something that's already got the 2.6 kernel running. And I doubt I'd have thought to look at dmesg if they hadn't mentioned it in that walkthrough. I have gotten better at trying to find the relevant error message and then go and STFW or STFF with it.

Greg: I've seen your HowTo at the wiki. Looks good to me but since I didn't upgrade my kernel I can't comment on its completeness. If I ever decide to upgrade my kernel I'll definitely follow it though!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:39 pm 
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Well I don't know I've been playing with this linux thing for quite a while, and I still feel like a novice sometimes. :wink:

On some lists more than others.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:31 am 
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for you guru out there, I currently in the process of rebuidling my mythbox (stupid HD died) and also got my HD3000. Originially I was just gonna dump everything into one box but now I am actually thinking about just set up a linux box upstair in my study as a server with RAID 5 using FC. This got me thinking, maybe I should put the HD3000 card on the server upstair running as MB. I can get better reception (on the 3rd floor) and dump the recording on RAID drives. The question is, can a 100mb network handle streaming HD content from MB to a frontend/SB?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:51 am 
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Grooby wrote:
The question is, can a 100mb network handle streaming HD content from MB to a frontend/SB?

Should be no problem. The full raw ATSC stream is 20M bps max, so your LAN should be fine. Typical shows are 6-8G bytes/hour which is a little less than 20M bps sustained.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:55 am 
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yes 100Mb will handle HD content from backent to frontend as long as it is performing properly. however 802.11b won't even think about it, and it will be pushing 802.11g. You should need at least a steady 20Mbps maybe more with overhead. 1080i is 19Mbps just for the stream. At any rate a decent 100Mbps network should easily push 50Mbps reliably.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 12:23 pm 
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excellent! this will save me the trouble of cracking open the "compiling linux kernel for dummies" book! :lol:


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