Burn blurays from Lion Finder w/o toast + Stutter w/ HD HomeRun

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by maximini, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. maximini macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2011
    Hi everyone!

    I am back to the Mac with the purchase of a new mini 2011 i5 6630 4GB RAM stock 5400RPM drive Lion 10.7.1 (everything updated). Pretty happy with it. Only two problems so far:

    1/ Noticed stutter playing OTA channels in EyeTV 3.5.3 with their new HD HomeRun attached direct via Cat6 to the mini that is connected either to a Dell 2005FPW alone via TB->DVI (monoprice adapter), to a Pioneer Kuro Elite PRO-111FP via HDMI->HDMI (direct) or to both at the same time. The HD HomeRun has two tuners allowing concurrent display of two stations, which makes it evident after some time playing the same station that one of the two stations drifts (i.e. drops frames) over time. Setting the two tuners to the same station improves things but does not solve the problem. "Watchability" can be severely affected. Unclear as to whether this is the mini or my reception though the Pioneer plasma shows the same station with absolutely no drift and crystal clear picture (HD Home Run exhibits a less crystal clear picture - slightly snowy - but HD nonetheless and sharp). There seems to be more stutter on stations with less signal quality/strength yet the plasma continues showing a pixelated picture and drops nothing... How to get rid of the stutter (same in 10.7 and 10.7.1) is the question, wait for 10.7.2? I tried running the live TV buffer from RAM or disk with no change. I tried the various deinterlacing as well in vain.

    2/ After days browsing forums, I have found some evidence that one may burn data Blu-Rays (not talking HD movies, SD movies, ripping or handbraking at all here) directly from the Finder in Snow Leopard using either LG or Pioneer burners in USB 2.0 enclosure. Would love to hear from anyone who would have been successful at doing that from the Finder in Lion on a mini. Burning 50GB of data at archival quality (using either TDK, Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden discs) is definitely something I would love being able to do. Can the Finder in Lion be used to burn blurays directly without using Toast?

  2. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Maybe I just don't know enough about the subject but from what I have read, optical media is among the worst dorms of data archival in terms of reliability. The discs just don't have the kind of lasting power like were claimed, unless great care is taken to store them (and even then, they can degrade)
  3. maximini thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2011
    That is not my personal experience though leaving optical media at high temperatures, high humidity and not taking care of avoiding scratches will definitely damage it. This is the same for CDs, DVDs or BluRays (or even older media like tapes). Now you can buy discs dirt cheap and burn at max speeds, or use some of the brands I mentioned and burn at lower speeds, and if you do this plus take reasonable care of them (perhaps storing them in a dark spot in the coldest place of inhabitable space and adding to that some humidity absorbers) the data they store should be retrievable anywhere between 10 and 50 years if not more. I don't know what else would be better that would not cost more (i.e. swapping hard drives and replacing them before they fail would likely be more expensive, not to mention the high cost of cloud services once you go beyond a few GBs). Besides in the event of a magnetic storm, I don't think hard-drive based solutions would save anything, optical media however would likely be unaffected.

    But that's a side issue. My concern is to know whether those BDs can be created in Lion's Finder as Toast has really really bad reviews as far as I've seen.
  4. FredT2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2009
    I don't have an answer, but I'm trying out one of the new HDHomeruns myself and may be seeing some of what you're describing. Some questions:

    1. Can you describe the "stutter" further: does it appear like the video freezes briefly, does it pixelate, how long does it last, with what frequency does it appear?

    2. Do you see it with both recorded and live material, or just live?

    3. Do you see it when just one tuner is in use?

    4. What signal quality/strength readings are you seeing, both when you are seeing stuttering and when not?

    Years ago stuttering with EyeTV used to drive me crazy. I don't remember what combination of hardware and software it was, but with latest Hybrids and EyeTV 3.5 recording quality is very good. I think I saw some stuttering of the type where the picture freezes for an instant when I was just trying the HDHomerun out yesterday, but haven't seen it in recordings yet.
  5. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    And where on the planet do we experience magnetic storms??? The only thing I can think of that might be able to generate fields of sufficient strength would be a nuclear detonation, at which point I don't think you'll care too much about your lost data. If you have ever broken open a hard drive you will realize that there are some incredibly powerful magnets inside the casing itself, right next to the platters (they are used to control the movement of the read/write head) which do not adversely affect the data. External fields would have to be tremendously powerful to approach the relative field strength of those interior magnets.

    I suppose for long, long term specialty archival, optical media might make sense. But you also have to consider that 50 years from now, probably the only people able to actually read a blu-ray will be a museum.

    If you back up on HDs, and perodically move your data following current trends in storage, data integrity can be maintained (as it never sits on a single media long enough to degrade) and readability is preserved as well. It may cost more in the long run but the end result -preserving data integrity AND being able to read it- is arguably more useful.

  6. maximini thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2011
    Ruahrc, by magnetic storms, I was referring to solar flares (which aren't the same I understand)... but I have done some more reading and agree with you that even a HD would most likely not suffer from either. The more likely way it would be damaged is if it was inside a device connected to the grid and the grid suffers an outage or a surge... I am no physician or expert in the matter plus there is plenty of information out there for the details. So I won't expand. I agree with you that rotating HDs kept away from a backed-up device is a good way to back up data. I just like optical discs for they store vast amounts of information on a disc that is thin, lightweight and has no moving part. I would add that to a set of rotated HDs, flash drives and cloud storage for good measure. I would also make sure the data is readable as time passes: that applies to all types of storage.
  7. maximini, Sep 19, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011

    maximini thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2011

    It freezes for random amounts of time, most of the time they are brief periods, more rarely they can last around 10-30s. There is no pixelization. The frequency is random.

    With live for sure, haven't seen it on recorded yet but may have only recorded a non-stuttering program.

    With one or two tuners in use. If the two tuners are tuned to the same frequency/channel, they will loose synchronization after some time (confirming that at least one is dropping signal or that the signal is dropped somewhere else during processing).

    In my tests where the Kuro may get a 70/100 quality/strength, as far as I remember I got around 60 with the new HD HomeRun/Eye TV 3.5.3 combo. I say "as far as I remember" as I am away from my setup for a few days and cannot check live.

    I will try recording stuttering channels and report. I do believe setting the two tuners on the same channel helps somewhat. Picture quality is very good (both live and recorded) though the deinterlacing produces a picture slightly less beautiful than what my Kuro outputs. I think I experienced more stuttering on low-signal channels but need to reconfirm.

    I looked at every parameter I know of in my setup and it could be that the mini was busy processing something else: I suspect Spotlight could have been the culprit or some other high CPU power consuming process when I was experiencing the worse stuttering yet have seen stuttering also when the mini is doing nothing much of anything else... I don't know yet whether it is possible to augment the priority at which the EyeTV processes run in Lion :confused: I believe setting such process priority is possible and could help. Perhaps someone can point to a way of achieving this in Lion.

    I would like to see whether boosting the antenna signal with an amplifier may avoid stuttering further. I just don't know what amplifier to buy yet before testing. Perhaps Radioshack has one.

    What I hope is that only the signal or how much the mini is busy are the sources of the problem not something in Lion or the mini itself. I can tell you it does not look good when you demonstrate live TV on your brand new mini and all one can see is stuttering :mad:
  8. cdavis11 macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2009
    I'm glad i'm not alone on this.

    I've got the HDHomerun HDHR3 which is running with EyeTV 3.5.3. I'm experiencing the same pixelation and dropped frames on a few channels, both live and recorded.

    I've moved the box around my house to various cable drops with no change. I purchased and installed a Motorola Digital Amp and did see a big increase in signal strength and quality - but still seeing the stuttering/pixelation/dropout problems.

    This was occurring on 10.7.1 and now on 10.7.2.

    I've moved the EyeTV folder from a 2TB USB2.0 drive to my main HDD on an early 2009 iMac, and then back again with no change.

    I'm waiting for a firmware update for the HDHR3.
  9. maximini thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2011
    Thank you for sharing your experience. What model is the Motorola amp, any pointer? I might be interested. I saw RadioShack has amps too but haven't researched what could work, what would be needed.

    Make sure to post back here should you find a fix.


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