Ubuntu 13.10 “Saucy” sound woes

My VDR box has gone another few years and now there’s been slight hints of pending hw-failure. I believe this is 5th hw upgrade now.

I installed the latest Ubuntu 13.10 and hoped the VDR transfer would be a breeze, even though the previous box was heavily hand modified and configured. Luckily there was not much problems; the X, lirc, vdr itself and iguanaIR were only things that had to be hand modified and/or compiled. I hoped there would be a way to remove the excess software the installation left, but it seems there’s no easy way.

After I got the vdr running – the sounds were terrible, metallic voices and echoes. I thought the tuners were malfunctioning with current drivers but the one DVB-T cards certainly to be functioning had the same problem.

A quick googling revealed the pulseaudio to cause this kind of anomalies -> removal of every pulseaudio package and reboot (and back to alsa) fixed the sounds.

This was curious, is it only happening with vdr or also with other “old” software too?

No, it was not the Pulseaudio. Lirc startup script is malfunctioning (known issue for Ubuntu) and it starts an extra irexec-process. When I used the irexec to start vde-sxfe, the extra process started another one, thus both vdr-sxfe processes were outputting audio -> echoes and metallic voices.

I’m not sure why the audio problem was not constant, it took a while to happen and seemed to depend on the chosen channel.


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