MCE Live TV Juttering 60hz Problem, help me solve please !

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dh140770

Guest
Ok

I've done a lot of googling and i'm getting no answers so I thought I would ask the experts ;-)

I've built a HTPC and it appears to work fine apart from an annoying 60hz stuttering issue i have on video playback (mostly recorded tv)

Video playback gives a blurred background because the video is 25fps and my LCD (Toshiba 37WLT58) will only accept a 60hz signal.

I am feeding the LCD with a VGA signal which seems to give the best quality. DVI is not an option as the HTPC does not have DVI out and S-video give appauling quality.

I understand that Reclock might be an option but it doesn't seem to be compatible with onboard 6150 graphics card that i have and HTPC doesn't have any free PCI slots (or AGP, PCI-Express) for a new graphics card.

Is there an alternative to Reclock (i don't mind paying) that will give me smooth video output at 60hz straight into my LCD ?

Thanks

Dave
 

nigelbb

Well-known Member
What drivers are you using? I was using the onboard 6150 on my motherboard. I wasn't bothered by juddering but for a variety of reasons found that the best drivers were not the latest but version 81.98.

Also what MPEG2/DVD decoder are you using?

What motherboard do you have that doesn't have an AGP, PCI or PCI-e slot?
 

16to9

Novice Member
dh140770 said:
Ok

I've built a HTPC and it appears to work fine apart from an annoying 60hz stuttering issue i have on video playback (mostly recorded tv)

Video playback gives a blurred background because the video is 25fps and my LCD (Toshiba 37WLT58) will only accept a 60hz signal.
Good luck... this was an issue for me when I went hunting for an LCD telly. I had to return a Sammy R74 because it wouldn't clock at 50Hz. In the end I got a Hyundai Q321 which does.

I use Powerstrip to get my nvidia 6200 down to 50Hz and all looks great. I wish you all the best - when I had the same problem it was a right royal PITA. I was, to be honest, lucky to fix it.
 
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dh140770

Guest
nigelbb said:
What drivers are you using? I was using the onboard 6150 on my motherboard. I wasn't bothered by juddering but for a variety of reasons found that the best drivers were not the latest but version 81.98.

Also what MPEG2/DVD decoder are you using?

What motherboard do you have that doesn't have an AGP, PCI or PCI-e slot?
I am using the Purevideo Decoder
I will check the driver version for the 6150 to see if I can maybe the WLT58 to accept something other than 60hz but i doubt it.

The machine i have built is based on the Asus Pundit P1-AH1
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=397067

It has 2 pci slots, but they are both used. Video is onboard 6150.

Is there any MCE and 6150 complient software i can use to re-sample the video so that it is output at 60hz (upscaling would be useful too !)
 

fraggle

Active Member
Doesn't matter what you use, the fact is if you're displaying a 50Hz image at 60Hz you will get stuttering on the image.

I've just changed motherboards to one that has a DVI output so I can connect to the plasma using DVI at 50Hz, cured the stuttering and I now have a gorgeous smooth image :)

Either use Powerstrip to set the output to 50Hz, or if your LCD won't accept 50Hz, get an add on GFX card with DVI output or change the motherboard.

Only choices I'm afraid :(
 
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dh140770

Guest
fraggle said:
Doesn't matter what you use, the fact is if you're displaying a 50Hz image at 60Hz you will get stuttering on the image.

I've just changed motherboards to one that has a DVI output so I can connect to the plasma using DVI at 50Hz, cured the stuttering and I now have a gorgeous smooth image :)

Either use Powerstrip to set the output to 50Hz, or if your LCD won't accept 50Hz, get an add on GFX card with DVI output or change the motherboard.

Only choices I'm afraid :(
Bugger, so there is no way of upsampling the video to 60hz ? I've heard of reclock but it seems to be incompatible with the 6150 chipset?

Any other options ? ... please !! The missus is gonna keep moaning if i don't get this fixed.
 

nigelbb

Well-known Member

kojak71

Novice Member
There are a couple of things things that could be causing the stutter which affects owners of MCE + nVidia 6150 + PureVideo.

  • A lot of 6150 owners have complained about stuttering. They tended to be people who only had one stick of RAM, or where running their matched pairs in SDR mode. Switching to matched pairs of RAM, and ensuring that they are running in DDR mode (via the mobo's BIOS) can cure this problem
  • PureVideo used to have a lot of stuttering/flickering issues, made even worse when Microsoft released the major update towards the end of 2005 (known as 'Emerald'). It's only with recent revisions to the drivers and purevideo that this problem has been resolved.
  • Displaying a LiveTV/RecordedTV can utilise a lot of your system's resource. CPU usage can be in the 30-40% region. Are you running other processes in the background (e.g. p2p, anti-virus scans, DiVX encoding, DVD recording, etc.)? These can impact your system's MCE ability. Does your system have enough RAM? Not enough RAM, and your hard-disk will be thrashed, and as it's also being used during the process of LiveTV/Recordings it can create a bottleneck which would result in a stutter. This would also be the case if your hard-drive is too slow.

The frequency thing can be a bit of a red herring, because with your particular hardware/software setup, the decoder should be frequency/resolution independent. My system certainly doesn't have a problem running at 60Hz. When I used to have stuttering issues switching to 50Hz didn't solve the problem at all.
 
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dh140770

Guest
nigelbb said:
The best driver that I have found for my onboard 6150 is 84.43 ftp://download.nvidia.com/Windows/84.43/84.43_forceware_winxp2k_english.exe
Thanks for tips everyone.

I am currently trying the version of the drivers above which seems better. The proof will be this evening when the wife starts viewing ;)

There was a newer version of the drivers
Version: 91.31

Is it worth trying this version or has this been proved to be worse ? To be honest if we are happy with 84.43 then we will stick with it.

For reference I am running 2 x 512mb in DDR mode on the motherboard.
 
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dh140770

Guest
kojak71 said:
There are a couple of things things that could be causing the stutter which affects owners of MCE + nVidia 6150 + PureVideo.

  • A lot of 6150 owners have complained about stuttering. They tended to be people who only had one stick of RAM, or where running their matched pairs in SDR mode. Switching to matched pairs of RAM, and ensuring that they are running in DDR mode (via the mobo's BIOS) can cure this problem
  • PureVideo used to have a lot of stuttering/flickering issues, made even worse when Microsoft released the major update towards the end of 2005 (known as 'Emerald'). It's only with recent revisions to the drivers and purevideo that this problem has been resolved.
  • Displaying a LiveTV/RecordedTV can utilise a lot of your system's resource. CPU usage can be in the 30-40% region. Are you running other processes in the background (e.g. p2p, anti-virus scans, DiVX encoding, DVD recording, etc.)? These can impact your system's MCE ability. Does your system have enough RAM? Not enough RAM, and your hard-disk will be thrashed, and as it's also being used during the process of LiveTV/Recordings it can create a bottleneck which would result in a stutter. This would also be the case if your hard-drive is too slow.

The frequency thing can be a bit of a red herring, because with your particular hardware/software setup, the decoder should be frequency/resolution independent. My system certainly doesn't have a problem running at 60Hz. When I used to have stuttering issues switching to 50Hz didn't solve the problem at all.
Just to cover this off, in terms of stuttering (picture stopping starting) we are getting very little, it's just the blurry nasty effect in the background which i thought was caused by the refresh rate 60hz that we are getting.

I have gone the sensible route the HTPC. Only the virus checker is loaded in addition to MCE itself and this is scheduled overnight. All encoding, downloading, etc is done on a seperate machine.

The machine is running a Samsung Spinpoint P120 250gb IDE. I considered SATA but PC Pro recommended using an IDE because of the limited space within the case which may break the connection. I think it's more than quick enough to be honest.
 

16to9

Novice Member
dh140770 said:
I am currently trying the version of the drivers above which seems better. The proof will be this evening when the wife starts viewing ;)

There was a newer version of the drivers
Version: 91.31

Is it worth trying this version or has this been proved to be worse ? To be honest if we are happy with 84.43 then we will stick with it.
Last week I upgraded to 9131 from 84xx and at first all was fine. After about 3 days I started to get some "SLI card missing" notification at boot, and also at random the display would completely corrupt itself.

I reinstalled the 84xx series last night and all is now fine.
 

16to9

Novice Member
kojak71 said:
The frequency thing can be a bit of a red herring, because with your particular hardware/software setup, the decoder should be frequency/resolution independent. My system certainly doesn't have a problem running at 60Hz. When I used to have stuttering issues switching to 50Hz didn't solve the problem at all.
I don't doubt your experience but I do wonder how you can marry a 50Hz Freeview video stream with a 60Hz display and NOT get stuttering issues? At worst you'll get stuttering; at best you're going to get tearing, surely?
 

fraggle

Active Member
16to9 said:
Last week I upgraded to 9131 from 84xx and at first all was fine. After about 3 days I started to get some "SLI card missing" notification at boot, and also at random the display would completely corrupt itself.

I reinstalled the 84xx series last night and all is now fine.
I get the corrupted screen occasionally, but only in Media Center, not had it (yet) on the Windows desktop.

I'll downgrade to the version suggested here (and wait for *another* release from NeverEndingUpdates-Vidia!! :) )
 

fraggle

Active Member
kojak71 said:
The frequency thing can be a bit of a red herring, because with your particular hardware/software setup, the decoder should be frequency/resolution independent. My system certainly doesn't have a problem running at 60Hz. When I used to have stuttering issues switching to 50Hz didn't solve the problem at all.
Sorry I should have explained better.

If the "stuttering" is occasional jerks, like once every second (or two or five or at random) then that is some other problem, nothing to do with the 50Hz/60Hz difference.

On the other hand if by "stuttering" you mean (for example) horizontally scrolling text isn't nice and smooth, or its blurred (BBC News or Sky News are good channels to see this on) then that is very likely to be a symptom of trying to show a 50Hz picture re-sampled to 60Hz.

Since a 60Hz display shows frames 60 times a second, and 50Hz 50 times a second, trying to fit a 50 frames a second picture into 60 FPS "slots" can only be done by showing some frames twice, and when a frame is shown twice the image appears to freeze for 2/60 of a second (AFAIK due to interlacing its actually 2/30ths of a second)

If you had stupendous processing power you could re-sample 60FPS upto 300FPS and then downsample to 50Hz and get a smooth image (apart from the fact that in that 300FPS video 4 out of 5 frames would have been "guessed" and so might be wrong!) but no PC built yet has the power to do that.

Anyway, a DVI connectin should sort out the second form of stuttering, if its the first form, let us know, thats a whole different ballgame :)
 

starfire

Active Member
When you say a DVI connection will sort out the second type of stuttering (ie. trying to display 50hz freeview for example on a VGA connection to an LCD running at 60hz), I presume you mean by running at 720p 50hz rather than native resolution of the LCD?

I don't know of any current LCD which allows 50hz at its native resolution so the LCD does no scaling, does anyone?

I tried 720p 50hz via component for my Samsung LE32 and while it makes the BBC News ticker etc. smooth the picture generally just ain't as good as running via VGA 1366x768 native (at 60hz).
 
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dh140770

Guest
fraggle said:
On the other hand if by "stuttering" you mean (for example) horizontally scrolling text isn't nice and smooth, or its blurred (BBC News or Sky News are good channels to see this on) then that is very likely to be a symptom of trying to show a 50Hz picture re-sampled to 60Hz.
Exactly this, and the opening sequence of eastenders. The background movement in some scenes is blurry

fraggle said:
Since a 60Hz display shows frames 60 times a second, and 50Hz 50 times a second, trying to fit a 50 frames a second picture into 60 FPS "slots" can only be done by showing some frames twice, and when a frame is shown twice the image appears to freeze for 2/60 of a second (AFAIK due to interlacing its actually 2/30ths of a second)

If you had stupendous processing power you could re-sample 60FPS upto 300FPS and then downsample to 50Hz and get a smooth image (apart from the fact that in that 300FPS video 4 out of 5 frames would have been "guessed" and so might be wrong!) but no PC built yet has the power to do that.
Maybe its time to dust off that Kray Supercomputer in the loft that i've been keeping for a rainy day :devil:

fraggle said:
Anyway, a DVI connectin should sort out the second form of stuttering, if its the first form, let us know, thats a whole different ballgame :)
We shall see, though as indicated there may be a quality tradeoff, but at least its another option to explore. There were always going to be issues so it's about finding the best compromise really.

Overall we are VERY pleased with MCE and Freeview especially the fact that it is going to save us 40 quid a month in Sky fees, the payback period is just over a year.
 

kojak71

Novice Member
16to9 said:
I don't doubt your experience but I do wonder how you can marry a 50Hz Freeview video stream with a 60Hz display and NOT get stuttering issues? At worst you'll get stuttering; at best you're going to get tearing, surely?
Without video processing you would be right. But the solution to this problem is derived from an age old process for showing film (24fps progressive scan) over NTSC (which is a 60Hz interlaced). Actually there are 2 proceses, the first is interlacing/de-interlacing (changing a source from progressive to interlaced or vice-versa) but we can ignore that for our discussion. The process I'm referring to is inverse telecine, and it's a process which computes and extrapolates the extra frames required for a display whose refresh rate differs from the source. In the example of a DVD, the decoding process must create an additional 6 frames per second to match NTSC's 30Hz requirements (the interlacing process will then convert it to a 60Hz interlaced signal). There's no reason why this process can also be used to display a PAL signal at a higher resolution. Hence my comment about the nVidia solution being frequency independent. (In fact I have a tuner on a desktop system which has a refresh rate of 125Hz and there is no stuttering).

This is by no means a trivial process, and nVidia's GPU + PureVideo solution can deal with this extremely well. Empirical evidence seems to suggest that having the 6150 running with RAM in SDR mode, will impede it's ability to do this process.

But as fraggle said, the term stutter can be rather misleading.
 

jaymz

Novice Member
I fixed my Live TV stutter problem by upgrading my audio drivers. This might be worth a try?
 

16to9

Novice Member
starfire said:
I don't know of any current LCD which allows 50hz at its native resolution so the LCD does no scaling, does anyone?

I tried 720p 50hz via component for my Samsung LE32 and while it makes the BBC News ticker etc. smooth the picture generally just ain't as good as running via VGA 1366x768 native (at 60hz).
My Hyundai Q321 will allow 50Hz at 1360x768 over DVI, which is so nearly native you can't tell when watching video (you can just about spot it on the desktop, but it's fine for me and I'm a fussy bugger). In fact the Q321 reports itself as being in 720p mode when run like this, even though the graphics card isn't specifically set that way.
 

starfire

Active Member
Its sounds as though your LCD may actually be running in 720p then?

The main issue with 720p 50hz on my Samsung LCD was the massive overscan though - yes, the Nvidia control panel has underscan settings to cope with this and you can resize it perfectly BUT when you do this it sets the output back to 720p 60hz :mad:

I can get a goot picture by adjusting the overscan down and running 720p 60hz but as I say whenever I try this at 50hz it just keeps losing the setting - seems to be a bug with the Nvidia drivers as far as I can see, and VERY annoying!

If anyone has cured this I would love to hear about it

ps. I was connecting DVI -> HDMI (no DVI input on LCD)
 

kojak71

Novice Member
starfire said:
ps. I was connecting DVI -> HDMI (no DVI input on LCD)
That could be the problem. There are hardly any TV's out there that don't apply overscan on HDMI. The Q321 with it's DVI port is supposed to avoid overscan. After yesterday's exchange of comments, I went home and noticed the stuttering problem that people are reporting with 60Hz (e.g. Sky News tickertape), so apologies if it seemed that my comments were dismissive (I was referring to a different stutter that was a know issue with PureVideo). So I used powerstrip to run the system at 50Hz, which resolved the ticker tape stuttering. The TV's info button does report that it's running in 720p mode, but it's not obvious to the naked eye that any overscan is being applied. But after what you've said, I'll double check that tonight.
 

fraggle

Active Member
starfire said:
When you say a DVI connection will sort out the second type of stuttering (ie. trying to display 50hz freeview for example on a VGA connection to an LCD running at 60hz), I presume you mean by running at 720p 50hz rather than native resolution of the LCD?
Indeed I do.

As you say, 720p isn't the native res of most panels, so the panel will be resampling from 720p to the native res (768 in my case) and also the picture has some overscan on it.

The Nvidia drivers allow you to set 720p and then shrink the visible image, so fitting the whole desktop into the part of the image you can see. Nice NVidia! :)

I tried 720p 50hz via component for my Samsung LE32 and while it makes the BBC News ticker etc. smooth the picture generally just ain't as good as running via VGA 1366x768 native (at 60hz).
Thats the trade off.

For me, unless I'm looking at the screen from 2 feet away, I don't notice the lowering of quality that you get with a 720p signal compared to 768 1:1 pixel mapping (well, I do on the Windows desktop, its obvious, but I didn't get the HTPC so I could use Windows on the plasma!

The jerky movement caused by showing it at 60Hz really does my head in! I like car and motorboke racing and those look downright nasty at 60Hz :(
 

fraggle

Active Member
starfire said:
The main issue with 720p 50hz on my Samsung LCD was the massive overscan though - yes, the Nvidia control panel has underscan settings to cope with this and you can resize it perfectly BUT when you do this it sets the output back to 720p 60hz :mad:
Does it?

I use the overscan feature and its still smooth.

Unfortunately there's no way I've found of telling what the signal is thats being fed into the HDMI socket on my 50PX600, I've just got to guess by using the news tickers on BBC News.
 

starfire

Active Member
fraggle said:
Does it?

I use the overscan feature and its still smooth.

Unfortunately there's no way I've found of telling what the signal is thats being fed into the HDMI socket on my 50PX600, I've just got to guess by using the news tickers on BBC News.
It does for me unfortunately;-

I select 720p50 in the Nvidia control panel and all is OK, TV reports 720p50 also, but I have big overscan. So, I then go and adjust this using the underscan and get it just right and click OK. When I return to the resolution screen in the control panel it then reports 60hz and so does my TV :mad: If I could make it stick at 720p50 with my chosen underscanning then I would be more happy and may choose this over native res @ 60.

I've tried custom resolutions etc. but just cannot get it to stick as I need it.

I assume its a Nvidia 50hz bug but maybe its also related to my TV and the DVI<>HDMI interface in some way?

If you have it smooth on the ticker then I'm sure your at 50hz, I can easily tell even without the TV reporting by switching to its internal Freeview receiver and comparing that with my HTPC.
 
D

dh140770

Guest
fraggle said:
Indeed I do.

As you say, 720p isn't the native res of most panels, so the panel will be resampling from 720p to the native res (768 in my case) and also the picture has some overscan on it.

The Nvidia drivers allow you to set 720p and then shrink the visible image, so fitting the whole desktop into the part of the image you can see. Nice NVidia! :)


Thats the trade off.

For me, unless I'm looking at the screen from 2 feet away, I don't notice the lowering of quality that you get with a 720p signal compared to 768 1:1 pixel mapping (well, I do on the Windows desktop, its obvious, but I didn't get the HTPC so I could use Windows on the plasma!

The jerky movement caused by showing it at 60Hz really does my head in! I like car and motorboke racing and those look downright nasty at 60Hz :(
Just to let you folks know the situation has been resolved my end.

We are running DVI->HDMI @ 50hz and adjusting the overscan with the NVIDIA Drivers to fill the screen completely.

As per the other users, there is a drop in quality on the windows desktop, no doubt due to the interlacing, but it is still usable for the odd occasion we use the windows desktop.

This machine is pretty much purely to drive the TV and spends 95% of its time doing just thst.

The improvement in the picture is incredible over 60hz with Live and Recorded TV, so much so, we will be cancelling Sky+ at the next opportunity.

Many thanks to everyone who responded to this thread and good luck with your respective projects.
 

starfire

Active Member
dh140770 said:
Just to let you folks know the situation has been resolved my end.

We are running DVI->HDMI @ 50hz and adjusting the overscan with the NVIDIA Drivers to fill the screen completely.
Can I ask what version of the Nvidia drivers you are running, and I presume you needed to reduce the overscan? Also, did you select 720p HDTV in the Nvidia driver as your resolution?

I would love to try and get this working but whenever I adjust overscan it sets my refresh rate back to 60hz :-(
 
D

dh140770

Guest
starfire said:
Can I ask what version of the Nvidia drivers you are running, and I presume you needed to reduce the overscan? Also, did you select 720p HDTV in the Nvidia driver as your resolution?

I would love to try and get this working but whenever I adjust overscan it sets my refresh rate back to 60hz :-(
84.43

They seem to work fine.

720p used and overscan adjusted using the NVIDIA tool supplied.

Are you using MCETweak to force MCE to not change the refresh rate when you go full screen ?
 

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