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Comparing Win9x to WinXP for HTPC/Dscaler/TheaterTek/Music

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Rob.Screene, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    I just moved from a 1GHz Pentium3 HTPC to a 2GHz Pentium4.

    Because I assumed I'd have to re-install Windows because of the different Intel motherboiard chipset, I took this opportunity to jump from WindowsME to WindowsXP Home at the same time.

    I have to say, going from a 1GHz P3 WinME to a 2GHz P4 W?inXP Home makes surprinsingly little difference to a TheaterTek HTPC or DScaler. I don't bother running any PC games on a Radeon DDR on to a CRT projector because the frame rates aren't as good as the Geforce2 in the other desktop pc and with no orbiting, I'm afraid of burn-in wear.

    2GHz lets me run DScaler with TomsMoComp de-interlacing and sharpness, temporal comb and a noise filter, but I'm not even sure it that looks so much better than Video (Adaptive) de-interlacing and just Noise (Gradual)?

    Bootup is a little faster, but shutdown is slower (Girder 3.2 remote controlled). Perhaps this is also because I've set hard disks to spin-down after 5 minutes because my DIGN case lets out more noise than the old case. I'm currently using 3 hard discs in there!

    I only really went to WinXP because it allows an NTFS hard drive partition to allow working with captured AVI files over 2GB in size. I can only remember about two Win9X blue-screen crashes with in a year of HTPC use, so protected mode stability isn't really an issue if I'm only running TT or DScaler or WinAmp one at a time.

    Oh and m-audio drivers (for my Audiophile2496, and most WDM WinXP drivers apparently) don't output bit-perfect music, whereas the VXD ones I used on WindowsME did.

    There's a workaround, using an ASIO output plug-in for WinAmp, but I still suspect it doesn't sound as good as the WinME build.

    DD5.1 and DTS work from TheaterTek 1.5, as long as using the latest m-audio beta WindowsXP drivers.

    Even add/removing all components I don't need and disabling all services I don't think I need, WinXP feels heavier. It's about 800MB larger too at about 2.1GB system in total.

    I'm thinking of restoring my WindowsME ghost image onto the hard disk of this Pentium4 system.

    Booting Safe-mode and plug'n play auto-detect may allow me to get the new chipsets running on WinME without a re-build from scratch. I'm sure TheaterTek 1.2.8<mumble> will immediately need a new softId key (I've already got a new one for WinXP/P4 2GHz) before I can upgrade it to TheaterTek 1.5. I don't want to go through the hours of backing-up WinXP and resoring WinME if I can't get it running quickly, I don't want to spend time re-building WinME from scratch.

    Oh, and I was running Radeon 7075 drivers on WinMe. Anyone know if that's ok for TheaterTek 1.5?

    Any experience of this, comments and suggestions appreciated.

    regards,
    Rob.
     
  2. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Rob,

    If you look at the Adaptive deinterlaceings advanced settings you will see that it actually uses other methods depending on the source, for example you may see that adaptive deinterlaceing actually uses tomsmocomp as default with video based sources (It does on my version). So it should look about the same. At least you should be able to use the full pixel width without dropped frames. As for XP, I switched back to 98SE a while back. There maybe an advantage running XP with TT 1.5.

    Jeff

    PS I'm sticking with my PIII for a while yet
     
  3. Ken

    Ken
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    TT recomend the latest catalyst drivers with 1.5.
    Ken
     
  4. JohnS

    JohnS
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    I'm using the Microsoft cert driver which is a catalyst one available from windows update with xp pro and Theatretek 1.5, looks great to me.
     
  5. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Well I'm running W2K but I've similar spec P3 maudio 2496 TT radeon VE. Use Dscaler for other sources.

    It all runs nice and sweet. No glitches on TT playback and audio always works flawlessly regardless of format.
    And you know what as a result I'm not upgrading to the newer version of TT that will also call for a new driver for the maudio.

    If it ain't broke don't fix it.
     
  6. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    Thanks for the tip on Adaptive Jeff.

    I noticed DScaler in windowed mode Status bar shows Adaptive - Greedy HighMotion and the like on the old HTPC. I never noticed it saying Adaptive - TomsMoComp though. Perhaps it worked out I dodn't have the horsepower at some point!

    I watched Blade2 PAL last night, off hard disc, as I rented it last week and didn't get chance to watch it, so buffered it.

    I noticed a couple of micro-stutters during pans. I don't remember seeing suchthings on WinMe/P3 1GHz/TT1.2 for months, since I used 71.928Hz for NTSC in place of 72.

    Perhaps I was accidentally watching at 71.928Hz, not 75. DVDautorefresh doesn't notice the Z: driver appear when you do a SUBST Z: f:\Blade2 command to create a virtual drive letter on WinXP, where as it does on WinMe. I really doubt it though.

    I also suspect TT 15. it was slightly out of lip-sync by about chapter 9. I had to do a chapter back, chapter forward for my sanity. I'm running the latest m-audio WDM beta WinXP drivers, without these TT 1.5 with m-audio is a 5-second out bad joke.

    I think I'll retry WinMe just so that we know! I'll probably set-up a secondary dual-boot WinXP just to allow MPEG2 compression of 40GB AVI laserdisc captures using that useful P4 2.0GHz-2.7GHz capability.

    regards,
    Rob.
     
  7. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Rob,

    Sorry you are right, Greedy HighMotion is default, I got confused.
     
  8. Jenz

    Jenz
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    I think we are doin' waaaaaay to much tweaking and waaaaay to little viewing :D
     
  9. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    totally second Jenz. No way I'm tweaking to a new version for potentially marginal improvements that risk messing up a system I'm already 110% happy with.

    Upgraditis: no thanks this is my stop I believe.
     
  10. Couch Potato

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    I must admit once I've got my 808 in I think my HCPC will become a dedicated video processor on will stay 24/7 with the PC monitor disconected and just do its job.

    Steve
     
  11. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    Yeah, I hear you Jenz, although I read you went through the upgrade to TT 1.5 too. Did you run out of films to watch too?

    Jumping to anything faster than the 1GHz Pentium 3 I had required a new motherboard (or a dodgy upgradeware adapter to allow a Pentium 1.3GHz which cost more than the 2.0GHz P4!)

    DScaler 4.1's TomsMocomp deinterlacing alone warranted the need for extra horsepower.

    I assumed WinXP Home was ripe for ideal HTPC use and if rebuilding was necessary for the new cpu/mb then it was no extra time to try it out.

    I've now ghost'd WinXP and restored the previous system's WinME partition, rebooted with safe-mode and amazingly ran the latest Intel inf installer. I am awaiting a new softid code for TT 1.2 to allow an update to TT 1.5 to compare.

    TT 1.5 is definitely a significant improvement in picture quality. /I suspect the occasional stuttering was more WinXP than the new Soinic 1.5 MPEG2 decoder filters.

    cheers,
    Rob.
     

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