HDR-FOX T2 to HDHomeRun, my journey

emdubya77

Member
Thanks for sharing your "journey". I've just borrowed a 4th gen DUO to have a play with (in exchange for my spare Hummy), so it's good to get an idea of what to look out for (there may be questions coming your way if you don't mind ;)).
 
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lc200

New Member
Ask away if you need to.

In terms of the software I've been working on it to keep improving it. The latest version I'm testing is now using TCP rather than UDP from the HDHomeRun, this stops issues with packet loss on busier networks or when Wi-Fi is in the mix. This packet loss looks just like Freeview interference so if seen tends to be blamed on the tuners and/or reception issues or the tuners not being as good as other kit. So far using TCP with many hours of recordings I've not seen a single error in any transport stream, this wasn't the case with UDP.

I'm going to get the software packaged up in an installer to make it easier to install when I get chance.
 
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lc200

New Member
I've now got an installer working to simplify the setup which was surprisingly complex to do but should be working. Currently the installer is for 64bit Windows, I can do a 32 bit version if anyone has need for one.

Set up instructions are in the Google shared folder as a PDF, it is much simplified, basically everything done by the installer now except for checking and installing a couple of prerequisites.

The software has also been updated to stream from the HDHomeRun tuner using TCP, this is more reliable than UDP, as UDP packets can be lost causing what appears to be reception issues on playback.

See the link in post #9, for some reason it is not allowing me to add links now.

When downloading the Zip file, after downloading right click on it and select Unblock before extracting the files, otherwise Windows will start throwing up warnings galore as by default Zip files are flagged unknown/blocked when downloaded from a website.
 
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Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
The software has also been updated to stream from the HDHomeRun tuner using TCP, this is more reliable than UDP, as UDP packets can be lost causing what appears to be reception issues on playback.
The reason UDP is used rather than TCP is because prompt delivery is more important than intact delivery, unless the receiver buffers ahead. TCP might retry, or even receive packets in the wrong order.
 
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lc200

New Member
Absolutely, UDP is used for real-time video (Skype/Zoom conference calls etc) because it is light weight, and if packets are lost being real time you can't do a lot about it as the moment is gone. UDP packets also can and do arrive out of order and the network stack delivers them in that out of order state, the software/hardware upstream would need to implement it's own mechanism to identify and reorder the packets. TCP packets are just as prompt unless they go missing, and if they do or are out of order the network stack itself deals with this and the software upstream gets an error free stream and is unaware of any problems lower in the stack.

For a network tuner the only negatives with using TCP is the hardware requires a bit more memory and CPU power to deal with the error handling, but Silicondust introduced support for TCP on their tuners to stop errors seen with UDP that made it seem the tuners were not always that good, where in reality it was the persons own network causing issues. Plus another issue is UDP packets are larger than the transport stream packets, in the case of the HDHomeRun tuners the UDP packet size is 1316 bytes, so each UDP packet holds 7 transport stream packets, so a single UDP packet lost actually loses 7 transport packets so the error is magnified and it is harder for the decoders error handling to "ride" over the missing data.

Since using TCP I've recorded hundreds of hours and testing the resulting transport streams they have not a single packet error, this wasn't the case with using UDP, so it is definitely better and nice that the HDHomeRun tuners have a nice power processor to be able to offer TCP.
 

renzz

Member
Do you have any plans to support devices other than the Homerun? Perhaps support for BDA drivers generally, which would cover working with most PCI/USB tuners on Windows. Or even support for SatIP which seems a standard way of accessing tuners over the network.

This has the potential to be the Holy Grail of TV recording software for UK users - there aren't many simple Windows ones that do both Accurate Recording and Series Link. On Linux, TVHeadend does but I had all sorts of issues with device drivers that I gave up in the end. For many years I have used DVBViewer Recording service which does Accurate Record, but not series link (it's developed in Germany where they don't have it, so they have no interest in including it).

I think one other thing that you mentioned would be the ability to just use a single tuner to record multiple programmes in the same MUX - that would be a must, as it's easy to run out of tuners without it.

Hope you don't mind my suggestions - it does look promising!
 
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lc200

New Member
Hi, yes I looked into using BDA but it is pretty complicated and would take some hours to do although I might be able to find a C# wrapper to simplify things. I also contacted Hauppauge as they have C# code written to control their tuners and asked interested people to email them (presumably it is offered under an NDA) but they never came back to me.

I've not investigated it but there will be a limit to how much data can be pulled down from any tuner so it wouldn't be possible to record say 4 whole muxes and end up with every HD program recorded as that would exceed the Ethernet connection speed on tuners like the HDHomeRun plus their processing power is likely a limiter, i.e. they couldn't process the data fast enough, so it comes down to perhaps getting 5 or 6 HD recordings or 5 or 6 SD records from clever use of the tuners on a 4 tuner device, but depending on the muxes etc it wouldn't be a guaranteed recording as when the time comes it might not be possible, but yes the options are there to try and do something clever.
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
I also contacted Hauppauge as they have C# code written to control their tuners and asked interested people to email them (presumably it is offered under an NDA) but they never came back to me.
They haven't changed then. About 15-20 years ago I was briefly in contact with someone from there about controlling one of their products. They were a complete pain to deal with.
You would think they'd bother to respond having specifically asked, but I think these "Contact us" things are often just put there for show. None of these sort of companies really want to interact with anybody like boring end users/developers.
 
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lc200

New Member
Well the Humax HDR-T2 is now retired completely, everything has been watched on it and it is now disconnected. Popped open the can expecting to see it quite dusty and was surprised to see it looked practically brand new, no sign of any capacitors bulging or leaking either. The manufacturing date was July 2010 and a search in my emails I found I bought it in August 2010 for £329.00 and it has been in constant use since then, so works out at £32.90 a year, so pretty reasonable. I've just put the custom firmware on there to get some SMART details about the drive and no problems reported! It will probably get donated to a family member.
 

EEPhil

Number 28
how much telly do you watch that 4 tuners won't be enough?
Sounds like a variation of Parkinson's Law. The amount of telly you want to watch expands to fit the number of tuners available.
Often I find nothing to watch or record. When there are things worth watching, the broadcasters schedule them to be on at the same time. Sometimes 4 tuners is not enough!
 

MymsMan

Ad detector
Sounds like a variation of Parkinson's Law. The amount of telly you want to watch expands to fit the number of tuners available.
Often I find nothing to watch or record. When there are things worth watching, the broadcasters schedule them to be on at the same time. Sometimes 4 tuners is not enough!
But with +1 channels, other repeats and iPlayer etc it is very rare that you actually have to miss something,
Having more tuners just reduces the need to shuffle the schedule around to avoid conflicts
 

EEPhil

Number 28
But with +1 channels, other repeats and iPlayer etc it is very rare that you actually have to miss something,
Not everyone has unlimited access to iPlayer etc. (ie. expensive broadband). Not all channels now have +1s. But repeats, I'll give you that one. :roflmao:
 

MikeSh

Well-Known Member
But with +1 channels, other repeats and iPlayer etc it is very rare that you actually have to miss something,
Having more tuners just reduces the need to shuffle the schedule around to avoid conflicts
iPlayer has less functionality than a recording and is less convenient.
None of the +1s are HD. (C4 used to be but I think that was lost with mux 56.)
 
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lc200

New Member
Just an observation, it seems HDHomeRun's are no longer available on Amazon. They can be ordered direct from Silicondust online shop, but both their resellers they partner with (Amazon and OneVideo) have no sign of these products anymore. Of course they can be found on Ebay often over priced. Hopefully they will keep supplying products for the UK market as these tuners are the most reliable tuners I've found out of any similar type of stand alone network or USB type DVB tuner. I guess it is an ever shrinking market for DVB tuners these days.
 
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lc200

New Member
Only the 4 tuner version. The dual tuner version is not selectable.
Makes you wonder if they are being discontinued in the UK. For the US they are bringing out a new model that supports 4K (being crowd funded, couldn't make this a link as for some reason I still can't add links but copy and past this into a browser without spaces https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1275320038/hdhomerun-atsc-30) but 4K as a new model isn't applicable for the UK, so it doesn't seem likely stocks are low because of new models coming out here.
 
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