HD Channel Stuttering & Freezing Problems After Installing Additional 2nd Tuner Card (1 Viewer)

RobAtBentley

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July 31, 2013
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Before installing an additional TV tuner card (Cinergy S2 PCI HD) pretty well everything was working fine with my old TBS6981 dual tuner card. i.e. All freesat channels were working okay on channel B of the TBS. However, only one of the TBS tuner channels ever worked at one time so was looking to instal my spare Cinergy single channel tuner to allow recording/viewing different channels at the same time. Before installing my additional Cinergy card, I added a 2nd satelite cable to my TBS which made the "good" channel move from B to A for some unknown reason. Reception of both sat cables was about the same and gave good signal strength and quality when re-tuning on the "working" TBS channel.

On installing the Cinergy card (2nd card), re-scanning channels (etc) I could record and watch difffent channels at same time. However, after a day or so, I realised that some of my HD channels were severly pixilating and freezing for minutes at a time, and many others(non-HD) such as m>movies+1, More>movies, mov4men etc could not be viewed as no signal available.

I've had a read of setup notes but nothing obvious explaining how I could fix this problem. Any suggestions appreciated.
I obviously have a seperate problem in that I can't get the 2nd channel of the TBS card working but suspect it's a dodgy card. In the mean time, I'd like to find a solution for the combined Cinergy & TBS card problem.
I've attached "Export all currently present" logs as don't think this is a bug.
 

mm1352000

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    Hello

    How are you splitting the signal?

    Are you aware that...:
    • Satellite tuners deliver power to the satellite dish. So, unless you want to risk damaging your tuners, you must not plug/unplug them while the computer (or STB) are turned on. I actually recommend to unplug power from all connected computers/STBs before changing satellite connections.
    • Satellite tuners send switching signals to the satellite dish to get access to the channel you want to tune. This almost always means you can't simply split an output from a satellite dish to more than one tuner without special equipment like a multi-output LNB or multi-switch. In other words, splitting a satellite feed is completely different to splitting an aerial or cable feed.
    • Splitting a feed reduces the signal strength and quality of the outputs. If you split a feed to too many outputs then signal strength/quality may become marginal => stuttering etc. like what you're seeing.
    mm
     

    RobAtBentley

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    July 31, 2013
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    No, I'm not splitting the signal. I'm using an Octo LNB.
    I also have a seperate HTPC setup in my living room with a TBS6981 (both channels in use with their own LNB feed) which has been working fine for a few years running off the same dish. It's my "office" PC that's having the problem, and it uses the same dish but different LNBs.
     

    mm1352000

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    It's my "office" PC that's having the problem, and it uses the same dish but different LNBs.
    Same dish but different LNBs?
    So how big is your dish, and how many LNBs are mounted on it?
    Is the LNB that the office PC is connected to mounted off-center using a bracket, or do you have a toroidal dish, or...?
     

    RobAtBentley

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    Not an expert on Sat Dish nomenclature. It's a single bracket/module with 8 LNB sockets/ports coming out of it. This is the actual module I recently purchased from eBay. ...and the dish is a zone 2 (oval) as per this link. I currently only have 4 cables off this dish with plans to add a couple more in the next few months, assuming I can fix this problem.
     
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    mm1352000

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    Not an expert on Sat Dish nomenclature...
    Understood. :)
    The thing that had me confused was this:

    ...and it uses the same dish but different LNBs.
    I now take that to mean it uses the same dish and LNB, but different output feeds from the LNB.

    The other thing that is a little confusing is this:

    Before installing my additional Cinergy card, I added a 2nd satelite cable to my TBS which made the "good" channel move from B to A for some unknown reason.
    If you have a TBS 6980/1/2 (ie. a card with two tuners) then you need to feed it with two connections from your LNB, otherwise only one tuner will work.
    Adding the Cinergy requires a third feed from the LNB.

    You also need to make sure you've connected power to the cards.
    The Cinergy needs the old style 4 pin molex connector whereas the 6981 needs the new style 6 pin PCIe power connector.


    When I look at the logs from your scanning I have the general impression that your tuners have problems receiving from high frequency transponders. Some of these transponders are not locked at all; some are locked with extremely low signal quality (eg. < 30%). When you try to tune channels from those transponders there are many continuity errors in the TsWriter log. This implies signal corruption, and would result in the stuttering etc. that you reported. The cause might be a cabling, LNB skew (ie. twist angle), dish alignment, tuner, tuner/LNB power or tuner/LNB heat problem. Hard to know for sure.

    Earlier in the log files the signal quality seems to be considerably higher (70+ in most cases). This makes me wonder if something you did when you added/connected the Cinergy has caused problems for the TBS card or even the dish or LNB.

    However, only one of the TBS tuner channels ever worked at one time
    which made the "good" channel move from B to A for some unknown reason.
    This is not normal. As above: make sure you've connected the power and two feeds from the satellite dish to the card.
     

    RobAtBentley

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    July 31, 2013
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    then you need to feed it with two connections from your LNB
    About 1 year ago, I tried the TBS6981 with 2 sat cables but still only one of the channels (channel B at the time) ever worked, even with swapping the cables A-B and B-A. Channel B was the only one that worked. As per my post above, it now seems to have swapped back to channel A being the only one that's working.

    You also need to make sure you've connected power to the cards.
    Yes, all power connectors "connected" but no way of knowing if the power is actually getting through. Double checked and they're a snug fit on the cards so connected as far as I can tell.

    The other symptom that I noticed when is that I'm scanning for TV channels for the Cinergy card, the Signal Level (green bar) never appears, but the Signal Quality does. See attached screen-shots when comparing scanning for the TBS vs Cinergy. At a guess, I assume that the lack of Cinergy "Signal Level" was a problem with the Cinergy drivers.

    The cause might be a cabling, LNB skew (ie. twist angle), dish alignment,
    I retested the cable signal level after installation of the new LNB and Cinergy card using a Konig Electronic "Satellite Finder" meter. Not very scientific but the signal was pretty good at each end (LNB and PC end) of the cables and compared favourably to the signal before making any changes. I'll recheck to see if anything has changed in the mean time and I'll post the results here.
     

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    mm1352000

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    About 1 year ago, I tried the TBS6981 with 2 sat cables but still only one of the channels (channel B at the time) ever worked, even with swapping the cables A-B and B-A. Channel B was the only one that worked. As per my post above, it now seems to have swapped back to channel A being the only one that's working.
    The working channel can't just swap like that, even with a faulty card. Something funky is going on and I'd be interested to see fresh logs showing what happens when you connect both connectors on the card.

    The other symptom that I noticed when is that I'm scanning for TV channels for the Cinergy card, the Signal Level (green bar) never appears, but the Signal Quality does. See attached screen-shots when comparing scanning for the TBS vs Cinergy. At a guess, I assume that the lack of Cinergy "Signal Level" was a problem with the Cinergy drivers.
    Ignore this. It simply indicates that the Cinergy driver either doesn't produce a signal level reading, or the values are outside the range supported by TV Server (0 to 100).
     

    RobAtBentley

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    I measureed the Vdc at the dish-end of the 2 cables while they were "on" at the Cinergy & TBS cards. Cinergy=14.2Vdc and the TBS was 18.2Vdc which I guess could make a difference to the quality of the signal received.


    Something funky is going on and I'd be interested to see fresh logs showing what happens when you connect both connectors on the card.
    Changed both sat cables to the TBS with the old Cinergy cable connected to TBS6981 channel B (I think!). Quick check of channels allowed me to view and record 2 different channels at same time, making me think that both channels (A & B), on the TBS, were now working with no obvious pixilation!! ...which, sureely, is impossible as I hadn't reconfigured the TVServer to reactivate the TBS-B channel. Stranger and stranger!

    Sequence of events...

    Moved sat cable from Cinergy to TBS-B
    Closed-down MP1 session.
    Opened TV Server Configuration app.
    Enabled TBS-B channel & disabled Cinergy channel - see screen-shots of "cards" tab before and after.
    Manually restarted TVService service because I was recording a channel (no auto-restart).
    Manually set "Number of IPTV Cards" from 2 to 1.
    Manually restarted TVService service because I was recording a channel (no auto-restart).
    Ran MP1 session and killed recording.
    Opened TV Server Configuration app
    Ran channel scanning on TBS-A channel successfully for a handful of channels
    Ran channel scanning on TBS-B channel - not successful as no signal.
    Manually set "Number of IPTV Cards" from 1 to 2 with auto-restart of TVService
    Ran channel scanning on TBS-A channel successfully for a handful of channels
    Ran channel scanning on TBS-B channel - not successful as no signal.
    Enabled Cinergy channel
    Ran channel scanning on TBS-A channel successfully for a handful of channels
    Ran channel scanning on TBS-B channel - not successful as no signal.
    Exported the logs for you to view.

    Current status...

    Both sat cables on TBS A & B channels.
    Cinergy & TBS (A&B) channels enabled.
    Number of IPTV cards = 2

    Let me know if anything else to try. It was very interesting to see that I could record & watch 2 different channels when just moved cables from Cinergy to TBS-B without any reconfiguration.
     

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    RobAtBentley

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    July 31, 2013
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    Updated status:

    Both sat cables on TBS A & B channels.
    Cinergy channel disabled.
    TBS channels A & B enabled.
    Number of IPTV cards = 1
    TBS channel B (at dish)=1.6Vdc. i.e. Not working!
    TBS channel A (at dish)=13.5Vdc
     

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