Optimising my HTPC experience.

skull_bone

Active Member
Okay. Hello everyone. I've been a member here for about a year now, but haven't really been posting much, just reading.
I have a self built HTPC based on the Asus P5E VM HDMI board, with a Q9450 CPU @3.4ghz, and 2x 1gb of DDR2 PC6400 Ram, and a 1gb Xpert Vision 9600GT with HDMI output and SPDIF passthrough (to the HDMI out). This is hooked up to my Toshiba Regza 37XV503 HD telly. I have a 300gb and a 500gb hdd and a DVD burner and an LG BD Rom drive. This is all in an Antec case, and snuggled away in a hall cupboard, so as not to disturb the peace of the living room. The Sky+HD box lives above this HTPC, so theres no annoying fan noise at all in the room. Both are connected to the TV via seperate HDMI cables.

The HTPC currently runs Windows 7 RC1 Build 7100, and i've been using PowerDVD 7.3 (OEM copy from the LG BDRom) to view my collection of HDDVD's and Blu Rays.

Now, aside from PDVD7 deciding to stop playing HDDVD's since the OS upgrade from Vista Ultimate, i've not really had any bother with it. Picture quality in blu ray playback is rich and crisp. But i have a couple of things i want to iron out, seeing as having all this HD capable kit is addictive.

I want to make panning shots more smooth. For instance, when i last managed to watch my copy of Planet Earth (HDDVD), there were a couple of long moving shots, above forests and the like, where the picture would stutter. I felt a bit miffed, as my spec is probably more than ample to cope with playback of HD discs of both formats. I also notice that the same kind of thing occurs when playing back Blu Ray. One example is when things are moving across screen, like in Wall-E, when he's following EVE through the scrapyard of earth, near the beginning of the film, or any of the other moving shots, that theres a kind of dithering(?) of the objects that arent being followed by the camera. Am i explaining this properly?

I want to be able to maintain the detail and integrity of elements in the shot, despite the movement of the camera.

Now, should i be investing in some software to rip my HDDVD and Blu Ray collection to HDD? Or should i change my player? And if i need to change, should i upgrade? Are these format of HD media more fluent when played from an HDD>? Or is this some artefact of a poorly setup between TV and HTPC?

Also, i miss being able to watch HDDVD's. Any Windows 7 compatible players that can do both formats/? I'd love to have my movie collection as a browsable library, with movie synopsis and full screen backgrounds from the films.

Advice anyone?:hiya:
 

bryanchicken

Novice Member
what is your refresh rate set to? And how many frames per second is the source material?

I think blu-ray is 24fps, so it's best to match the refresh rates to this (eg, 24hz) if you can. I know my toshiba can handle 24hz.

If not, try and set it to multiples of the fps (eg, 48hz), again if this is possible.

If the refresh rates are not "sync'd" then what happens is some frames are repeated 3 times and others 2 (3:2 pulldown or something) which can result in a slight stutter on slow moving pans as some frames are being shown on screen for longer than others.

Hope that makes sense. I don't understand it 100% myself.
 

skull_bone

Active Member
Thats the closest its come to making sense, thanks :D I'll try for 24hz. I think it's set to 60hz. I was thinking like a PC user, and setting it to the highest that the TV can handle.

Many thanks ;)
 

bryanchicken

Novice Member
No worries, that could well be your problem then. As it will definitely be doing the 3:2 thing for 60hz.
3:2 is for converting 24fps to 30fps. Then for 60hz each frame will then be refreshed twice on screen.

I haven't noticed any flickering or anything since changing to 24hz, and i was kinda expecting to. Again, i don't fully understand :rolleyes:

All i know is that 24hz fixed a couple of issues i was having (slight stutter on pans and hardware acceleration on my graphics card).

Best of luck
 

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