[mythtv-users] PVR350 problems with Myth 0.25.2

George Mari george_mythusers at mari1938.org
Sun Sep 23 18:39:24 UTC 2012

>     I just saw the same thing this morning on my PVR-350.  I'm running
>     Fedora 17, kernel 3.5.3-1, MythTV 25.2-1 from RPMFusion.
>     I somewhat suspect it's a leaky/bulging capacitor I found on my PVR-350
>     today, however.  The card is 7 years old, after all.
>     On the other hand, other flaky behavior with the ivtv driver re-loading
>     itself and causing the myth backend to no longer use that tuner do
>     coincide with my upgrade at the beginning of the month for Fedora 17.
>     _______________________________________________
>     mythtv-users mailing list
>     mythtv-users at mythtv.org
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> I don't think it's a hardware fault as I have this problem on 2 PVR250's
> in 2 separate systems. I suspect it's an IVTV driver problem as I
> finally got around to trying the card outside of mythtv (using mplayer
> /dev/video0 -) this morning and the same thing was happening, I quit out
> of mplayer and ran the command again and the picture was OK. I'm not a
> member of the IVTV mailing list, but it might be worth taking a look
> there to see if it's been reported.
> Regards,
> Dave.

In my case it may be a combination of driver and hardware.  I noticed 
when I took the PVR-350 card out of my backend to inspect the capacitors 
that it was much warmer than usual to the touch.  Not uncomfortably hot, 
but warm enough to notice when I wasn't looking for it.

I had been running the backend in the basement with the side of the case 
off for several months, up until about a month ago when the trouble 
started.  So putting the pieces of evidence together, I'm working under 
the theory that the card is starting to run hotter as a result of the 
failing capacitor, and for the last month with the case closed up 
instead of open, running hot to the point to cause the visual, blinking 
artifacts at the top of the screen, and possibly the driver thinking it 
needs to reload.

As of yesterday afternoon, I have now taken the side of the case off 
again, and aimed a small AC fan directly at the card to keep the 
temperature down.

This has resulted in about 18 hours of trouble-free operation - no 
blinking bars at the top of the screen, no driver reloads.  So if you're 
still getting blinking bars at the top of the screen, my humble 
suggestion would be to revisit your assumptions about whether your card 
is getting enough cooling.

One thing that still remains from before, however, is image ghosting - I 
am still getting 2 faint ghost images to the right of the main image 
being shown on the screen.  If you're old enough to remember, it's just 
like what we used to see in analog television.  It's actually fainter 
than that, so it's not unwatchable, but you do notice after a minute or so.

So I have some replacement capacitors on order, to see if that helps the 
situation.  If not, the next thing I'll investigate is the heatsink and 
thermal compound - maybe it's dried out?

As a last resort, I'll move to an HD-PVR, but I want to make sure I've 
exhausted my options on the PVR-350.

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