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Sound Advice?

K

Keir

Guest
Hi there,

I've built an HTPC recently and for the most part I'm pretty pleased, but I am having some sound issues on DVD playback.
I fitted an XCard/Sweetspot combo, and fortunately this gives flawless DVD playback, but most software players give me trouble.

My system is an ASUS P4P800-VM motherboard, with a P4 3Ghz processor, and 512Mb RAM, running Windows XP. I'm using the onboard sound, feeding my amps through the S/PDIF.

I started out with Theater Tek, as it seems to be the player of choice, but got a refund after the 7 days as it simply wouldn't play movies smoothly - which seems a bit daft given my spec.
I have since been messing around with Zoomplayer and Sonic filters (and Power DVD, and Win DVD...), with basically exactly the same results - I get stuttering on pans and should I pause the movie, the sound drops out completely when you unpause, and you have to stop and start to get it back again!

I downloaded Reclock today, to see if that made any difference, but I get no sound at all when I use it! (Picture looks great with no sign of any stuttering though!)

I assume the onboard sound is the culprit, but has anyone else managed to solve this? I can't be the only person running this kind of setup surely?

Thanks for any help,

Keir.
 

KraGorn

Novice Member
Have you used the "Performance" tab in Task Manager to try to see where your CPU is being used, sounds very much something's soaking up CPU cycles.

Have you tried disabling the sound to see if the pan problem goes away?

Hard to say why the on-board sound would cause problems using SPD/IF, sure, if you were using an PC-based decoding then there's scope for problems but pumping out a simply demuxed byte stream should tax a 2Ghz system, let alone yours. My HTPC uses an Athlon 2000 with on-board nForce2 and TheaterTek barely consumed more than 25% CPU at any time .. I had more problems using D-Scaler which would overload regularly and made play-back using Sweetspot and X-Card a non-starter.
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
My HCPC has a similar spec to yours incl an X-Card,and with the exception of processors(mine's an AMD)....the only problems I've had with stuttering on audio have come when some background process or something like a visualisation is running on Winamp or Media player inadvertently.
 
K

Keir

Guest
Originally posted by KraGorn
Have you used the "Performance" tab in Task Manager to try to see where your CPU is being used, sounds very much something's soaking up CPU cycles.
It's a fresh Windows install (well, completely fresh build actually...) and there is nothing running in the background that could be causing problems. CPU load is less than 2% at all times.

Have you tried disabling the sound to see if the pan problem goes away?
Yup, when there's no sound, pans are fine and the picture looks great...but there's no sound ;)
If I disable S/PDIF and go with good old analogue sound then there's not a problem either.
That's why I think it's probably down to the onboard sound. I'm on the verge of just sticking in a soundcard now, although I really don't see why that should be necessary!

I had more problems using D-Scaler which would overload regularly and made play-back using Sweetspot and X-Card a non-starter.
With DScaler running my CPU load can get up to 50%, but even that is fine - and the S/PDIF out of the XCard gives me no problems!

Keir
 
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