Hauppauge Freeview HD recording glitches

tgwj77

Novice Member
My first ever post, so apologies if this is not the right sub-group ...

I invested in a Hauppauge WinTV-dualHD tuner in order to record Freeview broadcasts, particularly in HD since I can't transfer HD recordings off my Humax FVP-4000T box.

My set up is the Hauppauge plugged into an old laptop. I programme and manage all the recordings via a Plex server installed on that laptop. Recordings themselves are made directly onto a network hard drive.

Programming and management of recordings with this setup works OK - Plex isn't perfect, but pretty good. The issue is the quality of the recordings - particularly HD but very occasionally SD as well - where I get a fair bit of digital video and audio glitching. It seems as though some channels are a little worse than others - Channel 4 being a little lower than others, for example. It looks very like what I would expect (and have had in the past) from a poor quality signal.

So, I invested in a SLX 4 way signal booster to try to bump up the signal quality. The SLX is plugged directly into my antenna wall socket - I'm in a block of flats so this leads to the communal aerial. I only use 2 outputs from the signal booster - one goes to my FVP-4000T and the other to the Hauppauge. I definitely saw a boost in the Plex signal strength readings after setting up the SLX, however, the glitching in the recordings continues (I'm not certain whether or not less than before).

The FVP-4000T now reports c. 90% signal strength and 100% quality on all the main HD channels. Plex reports 4/5 or 5/5 bars signal quality on all channels (5/5 on all the HD channels). I'm reasonably sure these readings are higher than prior to installing the signal booster. So I am not sure I am ever going to get significantly stronger signal strength going into these devices.

The weirdest part of all this to me is that, while the Hauppauge's recordings are quite glitchy, the FVP-4000T signals are rock-solid perfect, every time (whether live or recorded). I really don't understand how two devices using what must be exactly the same signal input can yield such different results.

Any help as to how I can get the highest possible quality HD recordings on the Hauppauge would be appreciated. If anyone has any better ideas as to how to get unrestricted Freeview HD recordings that would also be great!
 

mikej

Well-known Member
I would have thought installing a larger harddrive in the Humax would be the way forward or, alternatively, are you not able to move recordings to an external USB harddrive ? They won't be readable from another source but should be from the Humax.

You say your laptop is old - it presumably needs to be reasonably powerful to do a good job of recording in HD, so it might not be up to the job. It may even have on-board graphics rather than a dedicated graphics card. Does it exceed the minimum specs required by the TV tuner dongle ? Are you able to watch programs live on the laptop without glitches ?
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
That things haven't changed much since adding the amplifier suggests something else is at play.

USB tuners were notoriously deaf and in a noisy environment (PC/laptop power supplies and processors). The problem is likely one of interference between the laptop processing the data and perhaps network cabling, wifi transmit/receive etc.,.

Quite possibly the laptop just cannot handle all the things it's doing at the same time? Or the network? How is the laptop connected to the router and network-attached storage, and what media player is used / how is that connected to the network?

I'm thinking more bottlenecks and lack of CPU grunt... Plex may even be transcoding (well it almost certainly is from HE-AAC to stereo or - less likely - DD 5.1) on HD channels...
 

tgwj77

Novice Member
Thank you both - I reckon you are right on the money. An important piece of missing information is that I have never watched the live Hauppauge output for more than a few seconds. Of course, now that I do, it turns out to be perfect.

So as you say the issue must lie within my laptop/network recording setup. My first guess is that my laptop is connected to the network drive via WiFi and that is a definite bottleneck. I've recorded a couple of programmes direct to the laptop's internal drive, and the recordings are looking perfect, so far ...
 

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