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Powerstrip and ReClock

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by chuckalicious, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    I built an MCE 2005 machine a few nights ago using the following speC:

    Athlon XP3000+ (400Mhz version)
    512Mb 3200 Ram
    200Gb 7200Rpm IDE HDD
    Radeon 9550SE
    Black Gold DVB-T TV Card
    HDA Mystique 7.1 Sound Card
    Power DVD 6.0
    Powerstrip using VGA-Scart cable with custom res (true 16:9 and TV refresh rate)

    So here's my problem. I can watch live tv fine, but after a while, it begins to stutter every 10 seconds or so, getting worse all the time. This applies to recorded videos too and DVDs. However, if I watch the same DVD in Power DVD outwith the MCE interface, it plays fine.

    No-one has been able to help in the other MCE forums, but I read somewhere that I can try using something called ReClock and/or FDDShow to fix this stutter.

    If this is the case, will it work with Powerstrip just fine? If I can't get this stutter fixed, the whole thing is a waste of time and money. I have tried replacing the DVD decoder software with WinDVD and I just get the same problem

    Any advice would be fantastic. Cheers
     
  2. hebawom

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    It could be that your powerstrip settings are not right. If you watching English (PAL) DVD's then your screen resolution should be 50Hz, same as TV too. Apart from that I'm not sure.
     
  3. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    Well, I'm using what is basically a standard Powerstrip setup, which many many people use with MCE and their CRT TVs.

    As far as I know, it's set to run at 50Hz, so I would have thought recorded freeview tv would also be at 50Hz.....
     
  4. Dunkwho

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    i suspect its not something that reclock can help with - thats more for coping with the 60hz \ 50hz problems that can appear when playing back the wrong refresh rate on a particular device.

    My hunch its a memory issue. Have you checked your mem use\commit charge when the stuttering is going on? This is probably easiest to do if you window MCE (presume the stutter would apply just the same when windowed ... try it and see!) - get your mce windowed, right click the clock in the task bar and select task manager, then view the performance tab. I reckon you'll see the page file graph ramp majorly between when its not stuttering and when it is ... the more page file needed the more the system will rely on the HD to help out with mem use ... slower mem performance could = stuttering.

    Duncan
     
  5. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    Yeah, I agree, it could be a memory issue, however I'm nowhere near the only person having this issue in the UK, some of whom are using plasmas, lcds, s-video out etc.... my TV is a 100Hz tv, Powerstrip is set to output at 25Hz interlaced (so 50Hz) and all input is UK Pal.

    If it was a memory issue, what could be causing it? It's a totally clean system, nothing but hardware drivers and MCE on it plus the decoder software. Nothing else is installed at all.

    I have seen much lower spec machines, and much higher spec machines all be quoted as having similar problems. Seems odd that it's that flaky really.

    I hope for my sanity you're wrong :) I'm going to test it tonight, so I'll post to let you know how I got on.
     
  6. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    Dunkwho, I take it you must be using Powerstrip too as you're using a CRT and a VGA-RGB cable.

    How do you find it?
     
  7. Dunkwho

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    its great. i use a slightly odd res created using the powerstrip tool to get a best fit for my screen without overscan. I'm a little concerned about the colours I get, sometimes I think it looks like everyone is a bit green\yellow like they're ill :), move tint 1 level up and they're a bit rosey ... I've put that down to the nvidia level of control tho.

    nvidia is one of the few other differences between our systems - maybe that'll help out some? I can't explain the strangeness of intermittent stuttering = memory, i do know I get inexplicable use ... even with 1gb physical i've seen my commit charge in the 1.5gb area without really being able to pin down which process is hogging it all from the processes tab.

    FWIW my previous htpc setup only ran with 512 and was fine ... never really looked at the task manager back in them days tho ! :) infact the only time i saw stuttering was the time i tried to pay with reclock - doesn't (didn't?) work well with MCE at all !!! :(
     
  8. chuckalicious

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    Well, as far as I was aware, the VGA-RGB Scart thing only worked with ATI cards, so I've learned osmething new :)

    What I did find, and this is an interesting one, although I'm not sure if Powerstrip does the same job, but I found a post on here about changing a resgisrty setting to stop MCE from being allowed to change refresh rates. Maybe this will help. It apparently forces it to stay at 50Hz. I will give that a shot before I try ReClock.....

    This is so bloody complicated!!
     
  9. Dunkwho

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    oh yeah ... i've made that reg change I think - didn't do it to fix the type of stuttering problem you've questioned tho, was fine before too.

    nvidia decoder ... just an app, works on all gfx cards not just nvidia cards. I too run the vga-scart lead on an ati (a radeon 9600 as shown in my sig), as I understand it nvidia cards won't give the interlaced output that a radeon will that requried for the scart lead to work (looked into this just yesterday :) ).

    you won't need reclock unless you want to run 60hz dvds on a 50hz tv without judder - or vice versa (tho even then most people live with the very minor judder). notice judder ... not stutter. reclock will help remove a very regular jump due to the 50\60hz missmatch, not a stutter that builds gradually like you're reporting. ffdshow can't (easily) be used with mce either unless you start ripping your dvds to HD, use the mymovies pluggin, and config that to use the theatretek decoder (complicated ... you want complicated !!!??? he he :) ).
     
  10. monopole

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  11. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    So it does :) I didn't read that far in your sig.

    Funny you should mention judder and not stutter. I suppose as well as the tv getting worse, when I was watching a recorded show (Ricky Gervais, in case you're interested) it did have a very regular jump, every maybe 10 seconds or so, where everything just jumped a second or so ahead. Is that what you're talking about?

    Do you think ReClock will help with that?
     
  12. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    Cheers monopole, that was the thread I found the reg hack in. I'll give it a whirl. If it doesn't help, I'll try ReClock. If that doesn't help..... well, I'm a dead man. I promised my wife this would be a stunning investement for the living room, much better than the DVD player and analogue TV signal :eek:
     
  13. Dunkwho

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    before you get to reclock try the nvidia decoder (dload the trial from their website) even if its just to satisfy my curiosity !! :)
     
  14. chuckalicious

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    Will do. I wasn't aware I could use it on a non nVidia card. I assume I can install it alongside PowerDVD and just use the Microsoft Decoder checker to set it to the preferred one?
     
  15. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    Well, here's the story....

    I did the reg edit. No change
    I installed nVidia decoder, and ensured it was the default decoder. I think it may have been worse....
    Installed ReClock. No different.

    So here's the situation, in case I didn't describe it well the first time.

    I put a DVD in (a region 2), in MCE within about 10 seconds in the menu, any sound will playing will jump. If I leave it, it can get to the stage where the audio almost sounds like an old modem as it stutters.
    If I play the same thing in Power DVD outwith MCE, it plays perfectly. I've tried this on 3 dvds, all the same.
    Live TV is similar, but not as bad, the jump in audio may be tiny.

    There is no jump in CPU or memory usage. The CPU hovers around 11% and memory does not spike at all.

    Temps are also fine as this occurs within say 5 minutes of the PC being on from cold.

    So nothing has worked :(
     
  16. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    Even more info. I can play the DVR-MS files of recorded shows in Media Player too, and they are fine. Play it in MCE, you get the jarring sound (like the sound is in a loop) and the picture jars with it, then carries on.
     
  17. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    Okay, you're all sick of this by now!!!

    It's my sound card.

    I removed it, used the onboard (Realtec) and it was flawless, albeit in stereo instead of DD :(

    So, I put the card back in, same problems.

    I've uninstalled it, moved PCI slots, and now I'm trying the older drivers which came on the CD. Let's see how that goes.....
     
  18. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    Didn't help.

    Now, when I go to run a DVD, as soon as it gets to the first track that is Dolby Digital, the whole system reboots.

    At least I'm getting to the bottom of the problem :) Kind of
     
  19. ilkand

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    Does it help if you disable the realtec in the bios? I had a similar problem.

    Andy
     
  20. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    The Realtec has been disabled from the start.....

    I only enabled it to try it without the card......
     
  21. ilkand

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    Are you running from the spdif on the soundcard? What if you try the analogue outputs? Got the very very latest drivers? Any soundcard specific forums?

    Andy
     
  22. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    Funnily enough I thought of the analogue thing this morning. I will try it when I get home tonight. I've only ever tried using the spdif, because that's the whole reason I bought it. At least it'll help narrow down the problem

    I have the very latest drivers from their website, and have mailed their support (who are a bit thick to be honest!) to ask what's up.

    I also tried the slightly older ones on the CD that came with the card.

    I haven't even thought of looking on sound card specific forums, do you know of any?

    I think the problem is this card is pretty new, but seeing as MS haven't specified any specs for sound cards, you would have thought it'd be okay.

    Do you have any idea what is different between Power DVD/Media Player and the MCe front end? I just do not understand why one works and the other doesn't
     
  23. chuckalicious

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  24. ilkand

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    I think MCE is basically windows media player in disguise, so it is odd. Have you checked TOOLS OPTIONS in media player, and the control panel sound applet, just to double check?
    The thing is Powerdvd might use other settings that MCE doesn't, even with the powerdvd codec. Do you have CLEV running (i think that is what it is called) under MCE? It may be that you are (or aren't) using hardware decoding and that is annoying the spdif. There are powerdvd settings in the MORE PROGRAMS tab in MCE.
    Have you checked the AVSFORUM, that site is much bigger.

    Andy
     
  25. chuckalicious

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    It would seem no-one is having the same problem as me :(

    I did have a look on the TurtleBeach website as one of their cards uses the same chip as mine. Typically the one card that does doesn't have any drivers to download, but it did have a useful FAQ about checking PCI slots etc, it says don't use the one next to the AGP slot, and don't use the one at the end. That's a bit difficult as I only have 3 slots :)
    It also mentioned the best way of finding IRQ conflicts. I wonder if it's something to do with that. I imagine a conflict would cause a reboot, such as the one I'm seeing.
    I'll try and look at that tonight and see what's going on.
     
  26. drummerjohn

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    I had the same problem as you with MCE. It would play 50Hz fine for about 1 minute and then its stuttered. Doing these things fixed it for DVD playback.

    Try changing the latencies of your sound card and Gfx card using Powerstrip. Adapter information - Bring GFx down from 248 to 128 and increase sound card from 32 to 96.

    Use Reclock (down side is that it fubars the TV side of MCE).
     
  27. chuckalicious

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    Interesting....

    I'm giving that a shot right now. It is an odd one, I've now tried the analogue connections and they do exactly the same thing.

    I've tried playing one of the WMA HD files and it plays fine, from within MCE. So, I'm asuming it's something to do with MPEGII files....

    I tried pausing live tv and then pressing play, worked fine. Really confsed
     
  28. chuckalicious

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    That made no diference at all sadly.

    Really am at my wits end. The pc can do 1 of the 3 things it should. I can watch tv and that's it.

    This system really sucks.
     
  29. ilkand

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    Did you check to see if hardware decoding was checked in Powerdvd when it was working correctly? It may be that the spdif reacts badly to this and prefers software mode. In MCe when watching the TV or music, you are using the MS codec, but for DVD it is the powerdvd codec.


    Andy
     
  30. chuckalicious

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    It just gets stranger and stranger.

    I played about with some settings in ATI COntrol Centre, not sure why. MCE just freaked. Flashing screens and everything. Set it al back to the way it was and then went back into MCE. No stuttering.....

    No idea what I've done. Mid way through a DVD I set the nVidai decoders (I tried them again, but they were stuttering too) to use SPDIF and then when I went to stop the DVD, the system rebooted. I'm now using analogue again, I haven't tried to use SDPIF, and it's all working. How odd. Great, but odd.

    Wonder if I need some osrt of patch for the spdif to work then. Oh well, I can cop eiwith this for the time being.

    Typing is *****, must go to bed :)
     

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