[mythtv-users] Second Encoder Too Wide and Quiet

Kevin Kuphal kuphal at dls.net
Sun Nov 27 16:11:27 EST 2005

Stephen Henderson wrote:

> When my second encoder card is used to record programs, the recordings 
> have no sound and the video plays double-wide, yet cropped such as to 
> present the proper aspect ratio, leaving only the left-hand side of 
> the program material visible & stretched.
> The first encoder card always works like a charm.
> The issue first seemed to appear 6 months ago or so.  I disabled the 
> card after frustration and recording a 'critical' Battlestar Galactica 
> poorly... ouch.
> In a burst of energy... and given the off-season of Galactica, I 
> enabled the second card a few weeks ago, and it seemed to be working 
> until I physically rebooted the backend server... at that point we 
> were back to wide & quiet recordings on the second card.
> Until today... somehow the problem is fixed.
> I've left it enabled to spur me to debug the problem.
> My guess is that the mythbackend is not altering the capture settings 
> on the second card, leaving some bad power-on defaults in place.  I'm 
> wondering if any readers have ideas surrounding mythbackend's behavior 
> w.r.t. setting capture settings, problems that might be related, etc.
> Here's some info:
> 1. FC4 configured, per J. Wilson's HOWTO, via YUM.
> 2. Encoder 1 is a PVR350
> 3. Encoder 2 is a PVR250
> 4. I've diff'd the ivtvctl output for both cards during the wide & 
> quiet era, and today during the double-fisted recording era.  This 
> effort clearly illustrates that the capture settings are wrong when 
> things are wide & quiet.
> 5. /var/log/mythtv/mythtbackend.log doesn't seem to be reporting any 
> 'couldn't set the settings' failure.  Also, the permissions of the 
> /dev/video devices do not vary.
> 6. Mythbackend runs as root.
> Thanks for reading! I'd appreciate any suggestions.
If there are different settings, set them properly before starting 
mythbackend and confirm they are correct using other methods of capture 
(cat /dev/video1 > tmp.mpg).  In short, get the card working reliably 
and repeatably outside of Myth before you start looking for Myth as a 


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