[vdr] eHD experiences with VDR

Antti Hartikainen ami+vdr at ah.fi
Thu Feb 26 19:52:11 CET 2009


Hello list!

I had a thought to write about my experiences with eHD and VDR, to share my findings and to get some help/hints about some problems.

For the begining I will tell that I'm a not software developer, and I don't know how to debug crashes, find crashing code etc.

About one week ago I upgraded my VDR computer to DVB-S2 and HDTV time. Before I had it running with 2x DVB-T USB, 2x DVB-S budget 
and Technotred DVB-S full featured 1.5 card (only as decoder/tv-out card, no tuner was used).

So currently I'm running my vdr with:
- 2x Terratec Cinergy T2 USB (DVB-T)
- 2x TechnoTrend S2-3200 PCI (DVB-S2)
- Reel Extension HD as decoder/tv-out card

Drivers and software in use:
- VDR-1.7.0 with loads of patches to support S2API, H.264, teletext subtitles, reelbox plugin (TrueColorOsd) etc:
   - vdr-1.7.0-h264-syncearly-framespersec-audioindexer-fielddetection-speedup.diff
   - vdr-1.7.0-s2api-07102008-h264-clean.patch
   - vdr170-h264-rmm-svn9403-patch.diff
   - vdr-1.7.0-liemikuutio-1.21.diff
S2API patch didn't work with my DVB-T tuners so i needed to change tuning code from dvbdevice.c a little bit (to do it like scan-s2 
did, as tuning worked fine with it)

- DVB driver is latest from s2-liplianin mercurial (http://mercurial.intuxication.org/hg/s2-liplianin)
- Reel drivers/plugin r10768 (testing branch) from reelbox.org svn (svn://reelbox.org)
- Some plugins, like osdteletext, ttxtsubs, epgsearch

I also tried vdr-1.7.4 with following patches, without any plugins (except reelbox plugin):
  - vdr-1.7.4_reelbox.10388.diff (found from mailinglist, to patch OSD code to work with reelbox plugin)
  - vdr-1.7.4-liemikuutio-1.23.diff
  - and "1.7.4" patch for reelbox plugin (allowing audio track id 0)

With VDR-1.7.4 things doesn't work so well as heavily patched 1.7.0. There is lots of more "freezes" than with 1.7.0. Some packets 
are lost every now and then (vdr: [2163] ERROR: driver buffer overflow on device 2). And sometimes VDR gets in state when there is 
about 99% of packet loss (femon plugins shows about 0.10 Mbit/s data rate for channel, while it should be like 5 Mbit/s for SD and 
16Mbit/s for HD). This could be driver problem too.

And note for ttxtsubs users:
I also tried to put teletext subtitles patch on 1.7.4. Latest patch exist only for 1.7.2. As only failed hunks were in recorder.c 
(propably because of TS recording), I gave it a try. Subtitles worked fine with live view.


So that's for the configuration and patches, now for the problems I've encountered (both with 1.7.0 and 1.7.4):

1) Subtitles are out of sync. DVB Subtitles are shown about 2-3 seconds too early. It varies between different channels. Teletext 
subtitles work fine in live view, with recordings need to set subtitle delay to maximum. I have tried the "set analog 
audio to soundcard -workaround" but it had no affect at all.

2) Lots of crashes and freezes. I think they are mostly related to reelbox-plugin, as usually vdr still keeps recording if such 
happens. OSD will be frozen and no video/sound.

3) Choosing different audio language in left/right speakers doesn't work. Choosing left or right doesn't make any difference, 
both are played always. (I have tried only with S/PDIF from mini-din).

4) Fast forward/rewind problems. Skipping with green/yellow buttons have about 2-3 second delay before anything happens. FF/FRWD 
with left/right buttons work.. mm.. just poorly, never can know in which point of recording it will start playing again when 
pressing play.

5) No automatic aspect ratio changing. I have connected eHD to my TV via HDMI. This is propably The feature I miss the most from FF 
card. Always need to change aspect ratio manually from TV between 16:9 and 4:3. This can be TV problem too (that's why I wrote this 
message, to get experience from other users too, if something works for them what doesn't work for me).


So here's my one week observations of VDR with eHD. On average use everything is working fine, I can watch SD channels, HD channels, 
recordings, get AC3 sound over S/PDIF to my home theater receiver, get MPEG sound as PCM over S/PDIF. So most of the things are 
working like before, and how it should be.



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