Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
sjm817
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Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by sjm817 »

I have a support ticket open 152775 on this and would like a callback to discuss in more detail. I had pretty bad experience with a 4K Scribe. I chose the scribe for the ATSC 3.0 support and the DVR 1st year subscription came with it. My area does have ATSC 3.0. I have 2 TVs in the house, and here is what I see:

2021 Sony that has ATSC 3.0 built in. ATSC 3 works perfectly. Channels tune just fine, reliable. Tuner finds 50 ATSC 1.0 and 5 ATSC 3.0. TV shows audio input from ATSC 3.0 as AC-4. TV connected to Denon AVR via eARC shows DD+ so TV apparently converts the AC-4 to DD+

2019 Sony which does not have ATSC 3 tuner but DOES support AC-4 audio. This is what I got the HDHR for. I want it for ATSC3 tuning and recording. Channel scan shows 50 ATSC 1 channels
Hauppauge WinTV USB which is existing solution that HDHR would replace. Also finds 50 ATSC 1 channels

The HDHR connected to where the Wintv was, started finding total of 43 including ATSC 3, and then dropped to 23. After fiddling with chaining an antenna preamp I got it to 35 at best (30 ATSC 1 and 5 ATSC 3)
I could never tune the ATSC 1.0 Fox channels and subs. Just a screen of random pixels. The signal level always reported low compared to the other 3 devices. The ATSC 3.0 tuning was hit and miss. Sometimes worked, sometimes "no video data". This is using the HDHR app on Android TV. More on that below

Seems i got a unit with a bad tuner but something I need to understand before I consider giving HDHR another shot. The 2021 Sony sends DD+ off to the AVR. Flipping between the 1.0 and 3.0 channels shows a noticeable improvement in the 3.0 sound. Clearer and better center channel definition would be how I would describe it

The Android TV app sent DD-AC3 to the TV which was very surprising. I expected that the HDHR would just do a clear passthough of the audio, The issue was the audio from the HDHR 3.0 channels was notably worse than the 1.0 channels. Dull and muffled. In addition, the video was not right. I would describe it as having micro stuttering. Not smooth. I tried this on an Nvidia Shield as well. No difference.

What I liked about the HDHR is how the app integrates into the Sony TV/Channels app. Very seamless. What I need to know is it possible to passthough the AC-4 audio and let the TV deal with the conversion. The tuner problems and video quality problems are also something that would need to be addressed

NedS
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Re: Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by NedS »

From the diagnostic data, it like an issue with the unit. Replying to your ticket now with RMA instructions.

NedS
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Re: Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by NedS »

Asking the dev team about the audio issues now, and will update you on that soon.

sjm817
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Re: Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by sjm817 »

Thanks for the reply. I already returned the unit as I suspected it had bad hardware. You received it on 9/20. This was an Amazon return for refund. I do not see a reply in my support ticket. Please take a look at this

The reason I went for refund is not only the faulty hardware, but a significant downgrade in audio and video quality in ATSC 3 compared to ATSC 1. I am willing to give this another shot, but I need to know that
1) The audio can be sent through AC-4 unaltered for the end device to decode/process in both live and recorded streams. A conversion from AC4 to AC3 is resulting in poor audio quality
2) Need to understand why the video had the jitter problem - unless I have smooth video this device is unusable
3) The ATSC3 tuning must be reliable. If I set something to record, it has to be able to tune the channel first attempt.

I have the Sony with built in ATSC 3 tuner and I expect to have the same video/audio quality as that TV when using the HDHR. If the Flex would somehow work better for me than the Scribe, that is a fine option.

nickk
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Re: Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by nickk »

sjm817 wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:26 am 1) The audio can be sent through AC-4 unaltered for the end device to decode/process in both live and recorded streams. A conversion from AC4 to AC3 is resulting in poor audio quality
If you are using Android on a device with AC4 support the next HDHomeRun app update will solve the sound quality issue you are describing. If you are using a different platform we have a solution in the works.
2) Need to understand why the video had the jitter problem - unless I have smooth video this device is unusable
Happy to help. Which platform? All ATSC 3.0 stations in your area? (different stations likely have different video properties)
3) The ATSC3 tuning must be reliable. If I set something to record, it has to be able to tune the channel first attempt.
Of course. The HDHomeRun will tune ATSC3 channels on the first attempt.
I have the Sony with built in ATSC 3 tuner and I expect to have the same video/audio quality as that TV when using the HDHR
Video quality is determined by the client device you are using, plus any processing your TV is doing to the HDMI picture.

sjm817
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Re: Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by sjm817 »

Ok. Im going to put some info in ticket in regard to RMA but to keep this sort of info available for others to have visibility to:
  • What is the Android TV sound fix? Prefer an AC-4 passthrough but an EAC3 DD+ conversion may be acceptable or maybe even desirable as it would help people who dont have a client with AC-4 support. As long as sound quality is unaffected it is all good
  • When will this update be available?
  • No other platform than Android TV for my use cases
  • I have 5 ATSC 3 stations. All play smoothly with great sound on 2021 Sony X90J with built in ASTC 3 tuner. No issues at all
  • Above Sony X90J is the test TV. I expect no difference using onboard tuner Vs external tuner (HDHR) since the same TV is doing the video and audio decoding.
  • Is there any advantage or disadvantage for mu use case to use a Flex Vs a Scribe?

nickk
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Re: Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by nickk »

sjm817 wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:44 am
  • What is the Android TV sound fix? Prefer an AC-4 passthrough but an EAC3 DD+ conversion may be acceptable or maybe even desirable as it would help people who dont have a client with AC-4 support. As long as sound quality is unaffected it is all good
As far as I am aware it is not possible to deliver AC4 over a passthrough audio link like you can with AC3 or Atmos.
The app update uses the device's AC4 system codec decode AC4 and then outputs PCM or re-encodes to AC3.
sjm817 wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:44 am
  • When will this update be available?
Expected in the next 3 weeks or so.
sjm817 wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:44 am
  • Is there any advantage or disadvantage for mu use case to use a Flex Vs a Scribe?
SCRIBE has the hard drive built in. With FLEX you connect your own external USB drive. Functionality is the same.

sjm817
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Re: Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by sjm817 »

As far as I am aware it is not possible to deliver AC4 over a passthrough audio link like you can with AC3 or Atmos.
The app update uses the device's AC4 system codec decode AC4 and then outputs PCM or re-encodes to AC3.
I think you are saying yes but in a different way. When you say "the device's AC4 system codec decode AC4 and then outputs PCM or re-encodes to AC3" The Device is the Android TV, not the HDHR correct? This would mean the HDHR sends AC4 to Android TV and Android TV decodes. This is exactly how the Sony onboard tuner works. It gets an AC4 input, decodes and sends EAC3 DD+ out to my AVR. For the HDHR to do this, it takes in AC4 and does nothhng with it. Just send it over the network to the Android TV to decode. Hope that makes sense.

Antenna (AC4) --> HDHR (AC4) --> Android TV (decode to EAC3) --> AVR
Last edited by sjm817 on Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nickk
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Re: Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by nickk »

sjm817 wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:06 pm
As far as I am aware it is not possible to deliver AC4 over a passthrough audio link like you can with AC3 or Atmos.
The app update uses the device's AC4 system codec decode AC4 and then outputs PCM or re-encodes to AC3.
I think you are saying yes but in a different way. When you say "the device's AC4 system codec decode AC4 and then outputs PCM or re-encodes to AC3" The Device is the Android TV, not the HDHR correct? This would mean the HDHR sends AC4 to Android TV and Android TV decodes. This is exactly how the Sony onboard tuner works. It gets an AC4 input, decodes and sends EAC3 DD+ out to my AVR. For the HDHR to do this, it takes in AC4 and does nothhng with it. Just send it over the network to the Android TV to decode. Hope that makes sense.
Android TV, exactly.

One other difference between the FLEX and the SCRIBE - the SCRIBE includes the first year of DVR guide data, the FLEX does not. The DVR guide data is $35/year.

Nick

sjm817
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Re: Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by sjm817 »

OK Good. The included 1 year was why I picked the Scribe. With that, they are close enough in price. To be sure, one more thing. The scribe runs the DVR SW internally Vs having some other device on the network running it. Is there any performance benefit of the DVR running from a different server? I guess I could still do that if I wanted with a Scribe?

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Re: Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by signcarver »

sjm817 wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:27 pm Is there any performance benefit of the DVR running from a different server? I guess I could still do that if I wanted with a Scribe?
Other than being limited to 100Mbps ethernet? Not being able to transcode for other software/access?

For me 100Mbps is far too slow to pull a show off it (it's fine for viewing in real time). If I ever need to "download" more than 1 show from scribe/servio, I'd pull the drive and mount in a Linux pc as that would be faster. (but I can't honestly recommend that for most)

Most as far as the dvr goes probably wouldn't notice such.

Yes you can still use another dvr engine with a scribe. Just note that the scribe is your access to that free year of SD's dvr service and guide data that comes with that (up to the next 2 weeks rather than 4-24 hours). In general the engine that records will be the one with the most space and both can be used.

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Re: Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by sjm817 »

signcarver wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:45 pm
sjm817 wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:27 pm Is there any performance benefit of the DVR running from a different server? I guess I could still do that if I wanted with a Scribe?
Other than being limited to 100Mbps ethernet? Not being able to transcode for other software/access?

For me 100Mbps is far too slow to pull a show off it (it's fine for viewing in real time). If I ever need to "download" more than 1 show from scribe/servio, I'd pull the drive and mount in a Linux pc as that would be faster. (but I can't honestly recommend that for most)

Most as far as the dvr goes probably wouldn't notice such.

Yes you can still use another dvr engine with a scribe. Just note that the scribe is your access to that free year of SD's dvr service and guide data that comes with that (up to the next 2 weeks rather than 4-24 hours). In general the engine that records will be the one with the most space and both can be used.
Thanks. That sheds some light. Im new to HDHR. After fighting with Plex non working time shift long enough I moved to NextPVR with Kodi as the client. Hauppauge USB tuner. Works perfectly. My main use case is seasonal. Record NFL games, start watching an hr in and timeshift by the commercials. I dont save anything. Delete after watching. NextPVR/Kodi works perfect.

My interest in HDHR was mostly to get the (larger) 2019 Sony access to ATSC 3.0 programming. The DVR is kind of secondary but if it has it, might as well give it a shot. Honestly, the HDHR tuner/DVR UI I am not wild about. Maybe i would get used to it. What is super slick is the HDHR stations integrate perfectly with the Sony TV app. Use the HDHR channels the same as antenna channels.

Is see you mention SD guide. I did not know that is where it comes from. I can get that with NextPVR as well. Im not using it currently. The short guide data is enough to record NFL Sunday games.

If I had just the HDHR without a DVR sub, Could I still use the HDHR app for the live TV integration into the Sony TV and use Next PVR/Kodi for record/playback? Just replacing the Hauppauge with the HDHR. The question is how will NextPVR/Kodi handle the ATSC 3 stuff...I can see plenty of potential issues there.

I would like transcode capability. From what I see, Flex and Scribe are my two options for ATSC 3.0 tuners. would Flex have transcode capability?

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Re: Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by signcarver »

The tuner itself works as any other hdhr tuner so is compatible with anything you use now... but for atsc 3.0, you would want software that uses the modern (http) method of tuning. There are also codec issues as well for "most" software as it must support hevc and ac-4.

Without dvr service the guide data is limited to 24 hours (I mention 4 hours as that is the easy simple request for such data... I should also probably mention that here SD means SiliconDust as it's their forum (occasionally it may be referring to SD as opposed to HD but that would be more obvious in context) but your mention seems to imply you thought Schedules Direct while I was referring to data from SiliconDust, makers of the HDHomeRun).

The flex does not transcode... most modern devices handle hevc well so few would need to transcode the video portion of atsc 3. The audio is another story as most things (particularly free software) won't support ac-4.

My point on transcoding was that many would like a server (such as plex or a dlna server) to transcode the regular atsc mpeg2 content to h.264 (or even h.265/hevc). There are also a number of people who do post processing of such files to help save disk space as well as to serve their devices that don't handle mpeg2 as well (i.e. roku). To do this from an engine on a scribe, servio, or flex one would have to "SLOWLY" download the files to local/nas storage then perform whatever processing they wish then if they want the scribe/servio to still serve such would have to pop the drive to put the "edited" file back (though there isn't a reason to need to put it back as one can have another engine to serve it and/or the "copy" is only being served to other devices/apps not the hdhomerun app)... the flex makes such drive removal a bit easier as it's external.

It does not sound like you are interested in doing such processing so that ability isn't needed but many may wish to download a recording (or several) for other reasons... streaming a program/recording "live" is rarely above 15Mbps so most users of the scribe/servio/flex won't notice the slow port.

sjm817
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Re: Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by sjm817 »

signcarver wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:39 pm The tuner itself works as any other hdhr tuner so is compatible with anything you use now... but for atsc 3.0, you would want software that uses the modern (http) method of tuning. There are also codec issues as well for "most" software as it must support hevc and ac-4.

Without dvr service the guide data is limited to 24 hours (I mention 4 hours as that is the easy simple request for such data... I should also probably mention that here SD means SiliconDust as it's their forum (occasionally it may be referring to SD as opposed to HD but that would be more obvious in context) but your mention seems to imply you thought Schedules Direct while I was referring to data from SiliconDust, makers of the HDHomeRun).

The flex does not transcode... most modern devices handle hevc well so few would need to transcode the video portion of atsc 3. The audio is another story as most things (particularly free software) won't support ac-4.

My point on transcoding was that many would like a server (such as plex or a dlna server) to transcode the regular atsc mpeg2 content to h.264 (or even h.265/hevc). There are also a number of people who do post processing of such files to help save disk space as well as to serve their devices that don't handle mpeg2 as well (i.e. roku). To do this from an engine on a scribe, servio, or flex one would have to "SLOWLY" download the files to local/nas storage then perform whatever processing they wish then if they want the scribe/servio to still serve such would have to pop the drive to put the "edited" file back (though there isn't a reason to need to put it back as one can have another engine to serve it and/or the "copy" is only being served to other devices/apps not the hdhomerun app)... the flex makes such drive removal a bit easier as it's external.

It does not sound like you are interested in doing such processing so that ability isn't needed but many may wish to download a recording (or several) for other reasons... streaming a program/recording "live" is rarely above 15Mbps so most users of the scribe/servio/flex won't notice the slow port.
HA, the wrong SD. Yeah, IM familiar with the transcoding. Something Plex does very well. You are right. Everything I do now is direct stream. I still do have Plex running but dont use it much. If for some odd reason I needed to transcode to something I could point a HDHR store to Plex library and do it that way or something, but really, my use case is pretty limited.

The OTA guide I get is 24 hr for some channels and 11 hr for others. I have it update at noon so I have the NFL listings in the guide for the day :)

sjm817
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Re: Scribe 4K tuner and ATSC 3.0 issues

Post by sjm817 »

This thread has a lot of views so I wanted to update it. I got a new HDHR, a Flex this time since I have lots of storage and dont need the onboard storage of the Scribe. I subscribed to and installed the DVR on a WD NAS. This one works really well. Picks up every channel it should and works great.

My ATSC 3.0 audio issue I keep going back and forth. Its very hard ro tell what is the issue. Im hoping HDHR releases the version of code tha twill just pass AC4 through to the end device. This way I will be able to tell what is going on.

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