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Stuttering on D* HD Locals

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by baritony, Sep 1, 2007.

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  1. Sep 1, 2007 #1 of 18

    baritony Cool Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    So I have an Hr20-100 and 700.
    When watching Primetime Network via D* HD Locals, I get a little skip or stutter in the picture on both units.
    The commercials are fine and like last night, Letterman, Leno, etc were fine.

    Anyone else experience this or have any suggests?

    I have OTA as well and that is fine so I dont believe it to be the Locals Bcasts.
  2. Sep 1, 2007 #2 of 18

    TriggerDeems Godfather

    Mar 1, 2007
    Most likely there is nothing wrong with your setup, if it is only occurring VERY OCCASIONALLY. The locals are in MPEG 4, and they are still working out the kinks.
  3. Sep 1, 2007 #3 of 18

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

    Dec 18, 2006
    I often experience video stuttering with my HR20. It doesn't appear to ever have been fixed, although it does seem to happen less often lately.
  4. Sep 1, 2007 #4 of 18

    gsslug Legend

    Sep 13, 2006
    A couple of nights ago I was watching Stargate SG-1 on a local instead of the usual SciFi channel. Almost totally unwatchable. Audio dropouts for 30 or more seconds at a time. Video stuttering. Finally gave up and deleted it. I have noticed most of my problems occur on local channels and only occasionally on regular cable channels. If it's a MPEG 4 "kink" I hope they get them worked out before switching other channels over to MPEG 4.
  5. Sep 2, 2007 #5 of 18

    baritony Cool Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Thanks guys!
  6. Sep 3, 2007 #6 of 18

    racermd Legend

    Dec 17, 2006
    Hey, all. It's been a long time since I've posted, but I'm getting more and more eager for the new HD channels to hit.

    I found video stuttering on my 3 HR20-700 units since the day I got them. It's not confined to HD or SD signals, recorded or live, etc. I complained about this early this year, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears. It's not really all that bad, but it is rather distracting.

    The symptom I see is about 5 seconds of video running at what I'd estimate is 10 fps. Audio is completely unaffected. So far, it happens so infrequently that I cannot give an accurate repeat cycle, but I do see it about once per day or so (out of about 6 hours of viewing per day at around the same times per day, but not at the exact same hour/minute). If I were to 'rewind' and watch the same content again, it will appear normal. The video never drops and there is no image artifacting. This happens on all three of my HR20-700 boxes, though not necessarily at the same time. All three are connected via component video cables (triple RCA). Two are connected directly to their respecive display device, the third is running through a video switch in a home-theater receiver.

    I can narrow it down to the receiver boxes because I know the boxes are getting the full stream (rewind and play again is fine), and all three boxes are connected to different make/model displays - 1 Sony RP tube, 1 Samsung RP DLP, 1 Panasonic Plasma.

    I can think of two things that might cause this behavior:

    1: Some subsystem of the hardware is bogged down for a brief period of time and cannot process video in a timely manner. In an effort to keep things *mostly* going, it skips video frames.
    2: It's a by-product of some intentional process running on the box to, for example, verify or correct audio/video sync.

    Perhaps it's a combination of the two, or something I haven't thought of, yet.

    For me, it's not a show-stopper. However, as a video source/playback device, the primary function is playing video. If it skips frames, it's doing a very poor job at that. As a previous UltimateTV receiver owner, I know that it takes some time to work out the bugs (the UI was fixed well enough to be generally usable just about the time it was discontinued). Though when it's the core function of the device, some priority should be given to make it work correctly and all the time.

    Enough of my soapbox. To any HR20 programmers out there - please spend some user-time with the box to figure this out. It's annoying!
  7. racermd

    racermd Legend

    Dec 17, 2006
    Trying to get noticed again... Anyone else with video stuttering?
  8. Slip Jigs

    Slip Jigs DBSTalk Club Member

    Oct 20, 2006
    Stuttering is what I would call dropped frames - where you don't get macroblocking (pixelation), and may or may not get audio drop.

    In either case, there may be several issues that can cause it or a combination of two or more issues. But my gut feeling is that you're correct - it's a hardware issue.

    A while ago, there was a thread talking about MPEG4, and if that could be the issue. I develop video for the web - and currently work a lot with the On2 codec. It compresses video to about half the file size as previous web-codecs. But it takes more processing power to render it at runtime.

    I THINK mpeg4 works the same. It compresses to a lower bandwidth but takes more processing on the viewing end. So this means that the tuner can't decode it fast enough, or the video playback engine can't render it fast enough. Or either, or both.

    What does everyone else think? If this is the case, does it mean that the hardware is bad, or is this inherent to the design?
  9. kirkus

    kirkus AllStar

    Mar 20, 2006

    I noticed it for the first time last night after disconnecting my diplexers (in prep for new channels) and watching the MPEG 4 local HD broadcast from Directv versus OTA. Only noticed it on local HD, and primarily on cut scenes, though only about 10-20% if them. Looked like what you would see if whenever you had a scene change, you got one frame of the new scene, back to one frame of the old, and then on to the new scene - just a very quick flash or stuttering. Could not get it to duplicate in slo-mo or pause/frame advance, but it was consistent on recorded programs at the same point in the program, which may lend credence to your hardware/processing theory. Didn't check all channels, but ABC and NBC here in Dallas were effected. Hope this doesn't indicate a problem when the new bird is lit up and I'm watching a lot more MPEG4.
  10. techntrek

    techntrek Godfather

    Apr 26, 2007
    I get audio stuttering on recent CE releases, including the current national release which is what I'm on right now. Up until a few releases ago it was more of a dropout of a few seconds on live TV. Going back in the buffer would show the stream arrived fine.

    The last few releases its been different, where it will do a "Max Headroom" thing, repeating a 1/10 clip of audio a dozen times, then returning to normal. It appears in the buffer, too.
  11. gregchak

    gregchak Legend

    Jan 8, 2007
    I notice it when watch MLBIE in HD. It happens every night to every other night and lasts for about 5-10 seconds and the goes back to normal. I have never noticed it when watching recorded playback or SD. For me, its only HD and only current broadcasts; didn't want to say live and confuse with live event. Although I don't remember ever seeing it on my HD locals.

    As stated above, its not a show stopper, just an annoying thing that happens every so often. But, when you think about the primary purpose of this device it really shouldn't be happening.
  12. tivoboy

    tivoboy Legend

    Aug 16, 2006
    So, i have been getting the SAME thing lately, I thought it was from the rain we had, but it seems to continue.

    I have had the H20DVR for about six months, haven't really had a problem with my locals, here in the BAY AREA, but now that hte MPEG4 channels are coming down, I seem to be getting problems.

    When we had the rain last weekend, I have LOTS of problems with the CNN and CNBC and such stuff that is clearly on the 103b is it? I know that my signals there are only 58-70, which I need to do something about.

    But, the locals that we have, have been around since December last year, and I would think they were coming in on another SAT that is getting 85-96 or so.

    Has something changed, are all the locals now on a MPEG4 only 103b satellite?

    Is there anything to do about it all, or could this be a hard drive problem too?
  13. Michael D'Angelo

    Michael D'Angelo Lifetime Achiever

    Oct 20, 2006
    Yes I have been getting the audio stuttering a lot lately on all HD channels, mainly my local MPEG4 HD ones.

    CBS (WJZ) here is Baltimore has been the worst for me lately. NBC (WBAL) and ABC (WMAR) has not been to far behind.

    I have not had to many problems with FOX (WBFF) here lately and that is the one that everyone in the Baltimore market was having problems with about 6 or 7 months ago. I know a few other markets was having problems with their local FOX also.
  14. Coffey77

    Coffey77 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    Nov 12, 2006
    I wonder if they Networks are trying to tweak their HD feeds as the push for them to "get it right" is finally going on. DIRECTV has called them out by sending a letter asking them to get their acts together and give a "final" status as to what they're going to broadcast in. I think once this gets together, we'll see a better broadcast.
  15. cody21

    cody21 Icon

    Sep 26, 2007
  16. DirecTVHDFan

    DirecTVHDFan AllStar

    Oct 12, 2007
    I notice the picture stuttering when I am watching recorded MPEG4 shows. If I pause the show, sometimes when I hit play the picture will stutter 3 times then go back to normal. Doesn't happen every time I hit pause, but I would say it is at least 50% of the time.

    Probably something buggy with the way that the Hard Drive stores the MPEG format...
  17. cody21

    cody21 Icon

    Sep 26, 2007
  18. SteelersFan

    SteelersFan AllStar

    Nov 4, 2006
    This seems to be an ongoing issue. Extreme video stuttering (like it's playing catch-up or recorded at a different frame rate) along with audio sync issues. :( I taped Kitchen Nightmares and the recording was ridiculous at about the half way mark. I tried rewinding, fast forwarding, starting over and a reset from the menu and nothing worked. Does this necessitate a hard drive reformat or is this a definite issue with the MPEG 4? What's the latest consensus? I've had a few other shows in the past week with the same issues. Also, as far as I'm aware, it's only on recorded content - nothing live.
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