Help topics in order of prevalence

“No sound”

Try LAV Audio Decoder for your MPEG2 and AC3 Audio decoder selections

Install LAV Filters, open its Audio Configuration Utility, enable mp2 and ac3 formats. Then in SichboPVR under Setup > Advanced, select LAV Audio Decoder for both MPEG2Audio and AC3Audio decoder preferences.

I'm using Microsoft DTV-DVD Audio Decoder on Windows 7

The decoder might be putting out a digital audio signal which your speakers cannot interpret. Switch to using LAV Filters.

“No video”

Try LAV Video Decoder for your MPEG2 and H264 Video decoder selections

Install LAV Filters, open its Video Configuration Utility, enable mpeg2 and h264 formats. Then in SichboPVR under Setup > Advanced, select LAV Video Decoder for both MPEG2Video and H264Video decoder preferences.

I'm using Microsoft DTV-DVD Video Decoder on Windows 8

The decoder will not work unless you buy Microsoft's Windows Media Center add-on. Try the default built-in DXVA2 decoder option if it's available, otherwise try LAV Filters.

“Something didn't record”

SichboPVR is non-invasive by default. It won't record unless it's actually running, and it won't run automatically unless you tell it to.

To configure SichboPVR to record things in the background, check out Setup > Advanced and enable:

If you think the app was running but it still didn't record, you can check the show's status under TV > Recordings > Schedule.

If a scheduled show has no status information, then odds are the app wasn't running at the time. You can confirm this by checking the %userprofile%\AppData\Local\SichboPVR\Log.txt file.

“Slow video or out of sync playback”

Make sure you're using DXVA2 decoding if available.

Video decoding is hard work for a CPU! Select DXVA2 as the MPEG2Video and H264Video decoders, if available. During full-screen video playback with no overlaid graphics, your CPU usage for SichboPVR.exe should be sitting at ~10% or 0-3% on newer hardware. If CPU is much higher than that, then you might be using software decoding, which is lame.

Are you watching on a second monitor?

Some graphics hardware will struggle to render full frame rate on an external monitor. Try “mirroring” the display, or lowering the resolution.

Are you using the latest video display drivers?

Intel, NVidia and AMD update their display drivers pretty frequently, and like any Direct3D video game, SichboPVR is also susceptible to changes in display driver behaviour. What's worse is sometimes NEW drivers break things - go figure.

Do you have an NVidia video card?

Check your NVidia driver settings under Video > Adjust video image settings and turn off Deinterlacing > Use inverse telecine.

It still lags... what now, dickhead?

As a last ditch effort try turn on force half interlace under Setup > Advanced > MFVideoMixerPrefs. If you still have laggy video, your computer might be a bit too shit.

“I get a device error, sometimes”

For USB devices

Simply unplugging and reinserting USB tuners will often work around buggy vendor drivers. Some drivers such as the ATI DVBT Digital Tuner will always fail to operate correctly after one use. You have to re-insert it prior to use.

For PCI/e devices

A system reboot may be required.

“I get a signal lock, but no channels or video.”

For HDHomeRun

Under HDHomeRun's Setup utility, configure it for either "Application Other: DVB-T/DVB-C" or "Media Portal" if the first option is absent from the list. If you have a firewall, you also need to unblock SichboPVR.exe. You can use Setup > Network > Add firewall rule to automatically configure the standard Windows firewall.

For all other devices

The TV tuner's BDA driver is probably non-compliant, buggy or both. Contact your vendor for updated drivers.

“I get some channels, but others are missing.”

You have a couple of options:

1. Manually add in a missing channel frequency, if know what it is or can find it online.
  1. Check out TV > Explorer, select your device at the top.
  2. With your device selected, choose your list on the left.
  3. Scroll to the far-right of the list and plug in a missing frequency.
  4. Hit "Try Lock". If you've got a signal, channels will show up immediately.
  5. Right-click on the channel buttons to add them to a guide list.
2. Scan an 'All Frequencies' list
  1. Setup > select your device.
  2. Select your existing list > scroll to the bottom and switch it to an 'All Frequencies' list.
  3. Hit the "rescan" button at the bottom.
  4. Go make a coffee.

“I get no signal locks, at all”

If the device works with other software

The TV tuner's BDA driver is probably non-compliant, buggy, or both. Contact your vendor for updated drivers.

If the device doesn't work with any software

Most likely your antenna signal is too weak. There are exceptions (such as the REALTEK 2832U Filter which as far as I can tell doesn't work on anything ever - instead there is an alternative REALTEK DTV Filter driver that functions perfectly.)

Are you using a "hybrid" device?

Hybrid devices can work in multiple regions, but you need to use the correct tuner instance for your region inside of SichboPVR. For example you might have an ATI tuner stick that offers:

Generally speaking:

CountryTuner type required
Canada
United States
ATSC (Over the Air)
QAM (Cable)
Australia & New Zealand
Europe
Most of the civilized world
DVB-T (Over the Air)
DVB-C (Cable)
Japan
South America
ISDB-T (Over the Air)

“My tuner doesn't lock anything or is causing a blue screen”

Particularly badly written drivers may blue screen your computer or just won't lock anything at all except under very specific circumstances, such as when running a vendor's own program.

If you're lucky

You can usually open Device Manager, right click the tuner listed under "Sound, video and game controllers" select Properties, then the Driver tab. Have a look at the version and date. Check your vendor's website and see if there's a different version available for download. You can use the SichboPVR device telemetry page to see which particular version other users have managed to get working.

If you can't find a driver through regular means, dig a bit deeper

Open Device Manager, right click the tuner listed under "Sound, video and game controllers" select Properties, then Details. Select "Hardware Id" and grab the USB\VID_xxxx&PID_xxxx value. You can select it in the list and Ctrl+C to copy it.

Paste the USB\VID_xxxx&PID_xxxx into your favourite search engine and see if you can navigate the minefield of ad farms and locate a driver that works. Once again device telemetry is useful for weeding out shit driver versions.

“How to configure multiple tuners”

You should only ever configure channels on one of your tuners.

An unlimited number of additional TV tuners can be linked to your configured one. Just go into Setup > select your extra tuner, then "Slave to" and pick your first tuner, which has all of the configured channels. The program will automatically use slaved tuners when necessary.

“Missing most or all channel logos”

Channel logos can be found automatically for some regions, but it depends on whether or not it's been added to the picons project.

Although you can manually specify logos inside SichboPVR, please make an effort to contribute to the picons project so that all SichboPVR users can benefit. Contributing is easy, commit your svg or png logo according to the project guidelines, including and adding an ID entry to the picons srindex file. The correct srindex value to add is available inside of SichboPVR by right-clicking any channel name in guide, and scrolling to the bottom where it says "PICON ID".

An automatic search for new logo matches is performed every 14 days, you can disable this under Setup > Advanced. It will search first by picon's srindex ID scheme which is based on Type, Original Network ID (ONID) and Service ID (SID), and then just by Call-Sign if no exact match was was found.

“Missing EPG”

Not all providers send EPG data in-band.

If you think yours does but it's not showing up, feel free to send me a transponder dump for the affected channel and I can take a look.

I'm using Freesat

Extended EPG data comes in on the 'Freesat Info' channel's transponder (11425 H 27500). In order to have it used during background EPG updates, make sure the channel is scanned in under TV > Explorer.

“I got an error during an update and the program no longer launches”

For ease of deployment, SichboPVR uses a thing written by Microsot called ClickOnce -- it's great when it works, but occasionally it can go a bit haywire.

Try these steps to fix a broken ClickOnce installation:

  1. Uninstall SichboPVR from Add/Remove programs.
  2. Open the %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Apps\2.0\ folder
  3. Search for "sich".
  4. Delete all of the found sub-folders that appear directly inside the \2.0\ or \2.0\Data folders.
  5. Then reinstall the app.

“I see rendering artifacts..”

SichboPVR is written more like a computer game than a traditional desktop application. This means your display driver does all of the work to produce the visuals. Unfortunately not all display drivers interpret commands exactly the same way, sometimes this causes errant rendering behaviour. Some things you can try:
  1. For NVidia cards, disable any and all "odd-ball" DirectX display driver functions such as "stereoscopic enhancement", as well as video "Deinterlacing - Use inverse telecine".
  2. For AMD, probably the same deal as NVidia above, although I don't have specific reports from people about it, or if I do I can't remember. Disable all "enhancement" features in your display driver control panel if you get weird rendering issues.
  3. For Intel turn off/disable video image enhancements such as "skin tone" and "contrast". They're complete garbage and severely degrade video quality.
  4. Upgrade your display driver to the latest version if there are still problems.

“Backing up settings”

All settings are located in the %userprofile%\AppData\Local\SichboPVR folder. You can zip up the folder if you need to move/backup settings, or you can completely delete the folder and the app will behave like a new install.

“Some useful hints...”

Press F1

To get a list of keyboard shortcuts and other status information.

F5 gives you a mini-mode

Which is suitable for multitasking, always on top. Click and drag bottom right-hand corner to resize, or click and drag the entire box to move it around etc. F5 again to get back to a normal window.

Streaming between PCs

Can be done by turn on the network server under Setup > Network. Install SichboPVR on another PC/tablet, then go into Setup > Network on it as well, and you should see the other instance show up as an option under its network sources list. Select it and you'll be able to live timeshift and get epg etc on your secondary PC. Your mileage may vary if using WiFi for streaming of HD content. Other DLNA compliant devices should also see the TV server, however most DLNA devices/software don't handle live timeshifting or EPG properly, if at all.

Make your own TV stations from downloaded videos

By going into TV > Folders. I call them "Folder Channels". The idea is you make a channel, point it to a few folders on your PC or network and it'll create a lineup automatically in the EPG. For example you might make a channel called "Cartoons" and point it to your private stash of animated shows. Play the channel from the guide and it'll keep cycling through episodes etc.

Adjust playback speed

By clicking + dragging the on play/pause button left and right (as of build 3.0.0.160.)

Play multiple channels at once

By clicking on a channel whilst holding Ctrl. If the channel(s) are on the same frequency you can do this with a single tuner, otherwise you'll need additional tuners slaved to your main device.

Quickly find a channel

By typing its name when you're on the guide screen.

Cycle through the EPG during full-screen video

By spinning your scroll wheel.

“I can't figure out how to Uninstall...”

All desktop applications on your PC (such as SichboPVR) uninstall via Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs. Note that if you're trying to fix a problem by re-installing it, it almost definitely will not help. Try instead deleting your settings (%userprofile%\AppData\Local\SichboPVR) which will make it behave like a brand new installation.

“I need to take a Transponder Dump. How do I... do that thing you said?”

Go into TV > Explorer. Click on the device name you're using. Select the source on the left. Underneath the desired channel's frequency, right-click on any channel's preview box. Select Transponder Dump... from the context menu. If you're sending it to me for a data sample, I generally only need about 15 MB worth. Hit stop once the the size reaches about that.

“I don't like the way it installs (ClickOnce) ...”

Due to the experimental nature of the program ClickOnce was chosen as the deployment and updating framework. To bypass ClickOnce you can copy & paste the app folder elsewhere on your PC and forego updates. You can find the binaries under:

Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Apps

Windows Vista/7/8/10:
%userprofile%\AppData\Local\Apps

“How to make a useful memory dump”

Because of compatibility with plugins and decoders the app ships as a 32 bit program, so a 32 bit dump is most useful for solving problems. If your windows installation is not 64 bit, you can skip the first two steps, just open your task manager normally.
 
  1. Close Task Manager if you have it running already
  2. Open the 32 bit edition of task manager under C:\Windows\SysWOW64\TaskMgr.exe
  3. Reproduce the freeze/problem in SichboPVR that makes it unresponsive.
  4. In the task manager, right-click the frozen/unresponsive SichboPVR.exe in the details tab and select "create dump file".
  5. Rar/7z/Zip or otherwise compress the dump file before sending to me. It will still be pretty large even after compressing, so use your favourite file sharing service such as OneDrive or whatever, or contact me for an FTP.
Regular Windows Error Reporting crash dumps are automatically sent to me by Microsoft, but take a couple of weeks to show up. If you want to send them to me directly, they're in the %LOCALAPPDATA%\CrashDumps folder (Win 10) or %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\WER\ReportQueue for Win 7.

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