Mystery tuner problem

Discussion of getting WMC to work on Windows 10 (unsupported)
technodevotee

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Mystery tuner problem

#1

Post by technodevotee » Tue Jul 13, 2021 5:58 pm

Here's one I've never encountered before...

I changed my tuners from one model of card to another model and ran through the setup, tuning in all available transponders on three satellites.

I can watch and record any channel that has a signal using the guide.

If the PC is asleep, and a scheduled recording wakes it, it invariably fails to record with a 'there was no signal when the programme was scheduled to record' message.

If the PC is on and WMC is open with any channel being watched, scheduled recordings on the same or any other channel invariably work.

Ideas please?

stuartm

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#2

Post by stuartm » Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:14 pm

Does WMC still have "ghost" tuners for the previous tuner card? Edit a channel that does this and see what sources are listed.

technodevotee

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#3

Post by technodevotee » Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:50 pm

No. Only the tuners that are currently installed are in there. The old tuners are listed in the registry but are shown as not enabled for WMC.

stuartm

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#4

Post by stuartm » Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:44 pm

Hmm, if recordings fail but watching works, (although your situation does not seem to be exactly that) I would suspect the lowest tuner in the sources is bad. since live watching starts with the first and recording starts with the last. (if you start recording the program being watched it will use the already in use tuner).

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#5

Post by technodevotee » Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:57 pm

I should probably mentioned that I get four no signal messages when it fails - one for each tuner.

I have tried recording four channels at once and get four recordings so I think the tuners are OK - they are brand new so the ought to be.

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#6

Post by stuartm » Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:08 pm

Long ago I had problems with some Hauppauge tuners. The card would randomly not be seen on system wake from sleep. Is this happening on a wake from sleep to record?
I verified the problem by manually sleep-wake many times in a row and checking tuner presence in device manager.

technodevotee

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#7

Post by technodevotee » Wed Jul 14, 2021 6:20 am

If I wake the PC and open WMC, when I go to watch a channel in the guide I get no signal on the first attempt but when I select a different channel it works. I can go back to the previous channel and that works.

Never had this before installing these cards.

It is like they are asleep until WMC wakes them up by changing channels/satellites. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any way of changing power settings on the cards.

I've searched the web for other people having the same problem but couldn't find anything. Maybe I need to get in touch with TBS.

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#8

Post by stuartm » Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:10 am

One workaround to try might be tying an action to your system wake up event that does a tune the tuner to some channel you dont normally record. Since WMC wakes up to record usually 5 or more minutes ahead of recording this might get the tuner kicked into action. Not sure of the timing of the WMC channel selection but I don't think it is immediate on wake up.

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#9

Post by technodevotee » Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:02 am

I just did a garbage collection and re-index and got the dreaded 'WMC has corrected an error message' so I updated the guide and let it populate the schedule.

I'll see what happens later...

Most of the programmes are recorded on another PC as well ATM so its only stuff that is peculiar to this PC (on Satellite but not on terrestrial) that is really an issue.

crosses fingers

update:
no change - I think I'm gonna have to start from scratch.

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#10

Post by technodevotee » Thu Jul 15, 2021 7:07 pm

As Victor Meldrew would say, I don't believe it!

I bought these cards at the beginning of June and installed them using the drivers I downloaded when they arrived. They seemed to be working at the time.

Shortly after installing them, I went on holiday for three weeks and when I cam back, I discovered that there was only a handful of recordings instead of several dozen.

I assumed that there would have been loads of people complaining if the cards were faulty but I couldn't find anything on the web.

I just checked the TBS website and discovered that there is a new driver from the middle of June so I have installed that and will see what happens.

It says that there were some fixes to do with DiSEqC, but I guess that not many WMC users need that functionality?

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#11

Post by StinkyImp » Thu Jul 15, 2021 7:33 pm

technodevotee wrote:
Wed Jul 14, 2021 6:20 am
It is like they are asleep until WMC wakes them up...
I've had this problem for years with my Hauppauge tuners. I've gone through the power and other settings to no avail and now I just live with it.

In my case the first recording of the day will have the "no signal" message for exactly 10 seconds. If there are recordings within a few hours, then it records normally. If a large number of hours elapses between recordings, then the recording will have the dreaded "no signal" message for exactly 10 seconds.

When I tune to a channel first thing in the morning it has "no signal" for exactly 10 seconds before showing the station.

This behavior is what makes me believe the tuners are asleep. After extensive digging I've never found any settings that make them "inactive".

My annoyance boils down to exactly 10 seconds.

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#12

Post by technodevotee » Thu Jul 15, 2021 9:23 pm

That is interesting. I've got a pair of Hauppauge Nova HD DVB-S2 cards that did exactly the same thing. Like you, I tried everything and just learned to live with it.

I switched them out for a pair of TBS 6982s in 2019 and they were fine until the beginning of the year when I started getting recordings ending early due to loss of signal.

I checked the alignment of the dish, the DiSEqC switches and the cabling and nothing seemed to have changed so that even though it was unlikely, I assumed that both of the cards had gone wrong.

As a stop gap, I tried to go back to the Hauppauge cards but they wouldn't work in 20H2 so I got a pair of TBS 6902s and it has been worse than ever since.

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#13

Post by technodevotee » Fri Jul 16, 2021 5:13 am

Still the same this morning. No signal on the first channel I tried but as soon as I change channel, it starts working on all channels that have a signal.

Bummer

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#14

Post by EZEd » Fri Jul 16, 2021 3:48 pm

When I ran and depended on WMC I just let my PC run 24/7 and set power mode to sleep - never. That always insured that recordings would happen. The downside is power consumption and wear and tear on the machine. That same machine has since been converted to a Win10 Emby/Plex server and still runs 24/7. I do have Win10WMC loaded but do not depend on it for recording. WMC is still loaded simply to stay current with what's going on in the WMC world. All of my real recording is handled by ChannelsDVR and TVE streaming. I am no longer able to get cable TV in the new location where I live so streaming is my only option to use a PC for TV recording. If you can afford it and dare to risk the maintenance cost of leaving a PC on continuous it is the best course for recording with WMC. Lots of old documented cases of this between here in TGB and over at HTPC Forum at AVS. If you do decide to go 24/7 continuous you'll also probably want to make sure you're on a battery back-up surge suppressor. As you don't want power glitches to kill either your power supply or motherboard. It took a couple a murders of both for me to learn that lesson the hard way. Good luck.

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#15

Post by stuartm » Fri Jul 16, 2021 5:13 pm

One of the main reasons I went to WMC was to conserve power as Satellite/Cable boxes always run 24/7 wasting power. That is just unacceptable to me. My HTPC's using WMC have been succesfully doing sleep/wakeup to record and watch for many years. It did take a bit of work and experimentation to get a working hardware/software setup but it is well worth it. It is always a good idea to have the systems on a UPS/surge protector.

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#16

Post by StinkyImp » Fri Jul 16, 2021 5:19 pm

technodevotee wrote:
Fri Jul 16, 2021 5:13 am
As a stop gap, I tried to go back to the Hauppauge cards but they wouldn't work in 20H2 so I got a pair of TBS 6902s and it has been worse than ever since.

Still the same this morning. No signal on the first channel I tried but as soon as I change channel, it starts working on all channels that have a signal.
I wonder how many people over the years have had this issue and simply lived with it? That could be why we can't find anything about this problem and what causes it. I never posted about it until you referenced it and in my case I don't have to do anything wonky (like switch channels to "activate" my tuners) I just have to wait 10 seconds. It doesn't really affect my recordings or viewing so it's only a minor annoyance.

I've often wondered if it's something in ehrecvr or ehvid (or even mcGlidHost) that might be the culprit? I always surmised that since ehrecvr was in charge of "receiving", then it must be something in the way it watches for a request and then activates a tuner. Without the source code and the ambition to spend hours poring over it, the solution will likely remain elusive.

It sounds like yours has gone from minor annoyance to full blown headache. I wonder if a complete OS wipe and then install everything from scratch would have any effect? Or go to a Win10 Emby/Plex server like EZEd.

This has been my concern over the past few years. Is WMC going to go out with a BANG... or a whimper?

EZEd wrote:
Fri Jul 16, 2021 3:48 pm
When I ran and depended on WMC I just let my PC run 24/7 and set power mode to sleep - never. That always insured that recordings would happen.
Same here. Running 24/7 and no sleep. I tried sleeping early on but it wasn't as reliable as leaving it running.

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#17

Post by EZEd » Fri Jul 16, 2021 5:54 pm

stuartm wrote:
Fri Jul 16, 2021 5:13 pm
One of the main reasons I went to WMC was to conserve power as Satellite/Cable boxes always run 24/7 wasting power. That is just unacceptable to me. My HTPC's using WMC have been succesfully doing sleep/wakeup to record and watch for many years. It did take a bit of work and experimentation to get a working hardware/software setup but it is well worth it. It is always a good idea to have the systems on a UPS/surge protector.
When WMC7 became abandonware I had no problem whatsoever converting to an Emby/Plex/Channels/JRiver server because I was already running WMC in 24/7 mode. If you ever run any servers you'll need to run 24/7 anyway, whether it be PC or NAS. PC was easier for me since I already had the hardware and was running it that way to stabilize WMC. Each has to survey their own use case and come to best conclusion for themselves. Yours' may be different.

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#18

Post by technodevotee » Fri Jul 16, 2021 6:16 pm

Apart from the slow startup we discussed, I've never had any problem using sleep mode until I got these cards and I am reluctant to run any of my PCs 24/7 because of the power consumption and the heat they generate.

I've already got another PC with WMC and a storage array on a UPS and a NAS and some other gear on another UPS. Between them - even with sleep enabled and power saving turned on - they kick out quite a lot of heat.

In any case, I'm not convinced it would resolve the situation entirely because I sometimes get the no signal message even when the PC on with WMC running. I can't help wondering if WMC just gives up too easily when DiSEqC is in the mix.

There are a number of tweaks to do with black hole timings, signal level and quality thresholds but none of them seem to make any difference.

I'm considering putting the 6902s into another PC and trying it with a fresh install. Alternatively, I could bypass the DiSEqC switches by hooking each of the cables up to one of the LNBs.

Just depends which is easiest to achieve - that's a tricky call to make.

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#19

Post by technodevotee » Tue Jul 27, 2021 6:55 pm

Having gone on holiday for a week and come back to no recordings whatsoever again despite having left the PC on, I bit the bullet this morning and refitted the old tuners.

I had hoped that restoring the database and registry entries with backuprestoresettings would put everything back as it was before I fitted the new tuners but it was not to be.

So I am in the process of manually re-scanning and assigning EPG data to all the channels again.

Oh Joy! I'll keep you posted on what happens,,,,,

Meanwhile, is there anyone out there that uses TBS 6902 tuners in WMC that doesn't have problems with them not waking up?

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#20

Post by Venom51 » Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:21 pm

So this was one of the reason I chose to design my system around a central recording instance of MCE and clients that do no recording unless it is a one off for convience. The server instance running on my server hardware is always up becasue that machine is always up anyway as it provides other services. The clients are all low power machines that sleep anytime we aren't watching TV. I then map the recordings folder on the server as a share on every other MCE. So you get centralized series recordings, energy savings from only one MCE running when no one is watching and the ability to watch all recorded content on any instance. The only downside is losing the convience of setting up a series recording from any of the instances. It must be done on the server instance. Not a big deal since I can do that from my mobile decide via the Ceton My Media Center remote app.

I should note that my tuners are all HDHomeruns and that may be a way to solve the issue as well.

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