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61 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 96835 4-Feb-2012 15:29 Send private message

Hi all

Ive been having troubles with my HTPC and any Freeview broadcast.

Im not too sure if its the broadcast, a hardware or codec problem.

Firstly, when watching Freeview (any program, on any channel) the audio starts to stutter and eventually goes silent (quite frequently). In order to get the sound back in sync I have to pause it and play again.

Secondly the picture goes pixelated then goes to a black screen with no audio or anything, once again the way to fix it is you have to press pause and play again.

Both of these things happen when watching live TV, but doesn't seem to happen on recorded or chase play.

The problems started when I was forced to upgrade my hardware as what I believe the PCI-E slot failed.

Both systems are running Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit and inbuilt Windows Media Center

My upgraded setup is:
- Intel i3-2100 3.1ghz processor
- Asus P8H61-M Pro motherboard
- 1 x 4gb Ram
- 550w PSU
- Shark007 codec 32 and 64 bit is installed for MKV playback
- Clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
- WPI of 4.9

Carry over components from previous system:
- Geforce 210 video card 512mb
- OEM SATA 160gb hard drive
- 2 x USB tv tuner sticks (AverTV a825 and PCTV 73e) to receive Freeview (3 x tuners)
- USB IR receiver
- OEM Compaq SR1925 case

When watching Freeview HD CPU usage is no more than 10%

My previous was a Compaq SR1925 home PC and have upgraded it with:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00760096&tmp_track_link=ot_faqs/top_issues/en_nz/c00760096/loc:5&cc=nz&dlc=en&lang=en&lc=en&product=3264569
- Athlon 64 X2 3800+ processor
- 1 x 512mb, 1 x 2gb, totaling 3gb Ram
- 2nd 320gb hard drive
- K-Lite codec pack and CoreAVC for MKV playback
- WPI 3.8

Other components in my system are:
- Sony 40" LCD TV (connected via HDMI)
- Pioneer VSX915 amp (connected via digital coaxial(old system) / optical (new system))
- Harmony One remote

I am willing to do another clean install if need be, but I want to try to get it sorted in the long weekend.

Thanks in advance

David

Edit:

I live in Wellington receive of the Mt. Kaukau tower and use an external UHF aerial

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  Reply # 577235 4-Feb-2012 15:42 Send private message

The Geforce 210 video card may be a little underspec.
I would be looking at a minimum of 128bit with 1gb DDR3.
However having said that I still get sound stutter occasionally on Prime with intermittent picture freezing and I have a GeForce GTS450 and Intel i5. As it only happens occasionally and in Summer I think it is a problem with their transmission/weather conditions now and then, even though I have line of site to the Waiatarua Tx at around 7km.

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  Reply # 577341 4-Feb-2012 20:56 Send private message

So it was OK on the previous hardware before the PCI-e failure? Also are you sure the video card was not damaged? Personally I went with the 220 rather then the 210 as there seemed to be some reviews that suggested the 210 was not quite enough for HD decoding but if it was working before then it should be OK now.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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  Reply # 577355 4-Feb-2012 21:36 Send private message

I have successfully watched Freeview|HD smoothly on something as crap as an Acer Aspire One netbook. The problem in this case was the antenna. Might want to check that it is aligned correctly, check the signal, etc.



61 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 577364 4-Feb-2012 22:14 Send private message

Hi

Thanks for the replies.

Everything was working mint, no problems what so ever, no stuttering sound descending to silence, no pixelation descending to black screen, played 1080p MKV files through media center.

The new setup is able to handle 1080p MKVs no problems, its just the Freeview aspect which is having major difficulties on pretty much any channel, HD 1,2,3 and even SD channels C4.

Signal strength is also good.

I did read an older an older topic saying that it could be the transmission but why would my old setup be mint and my new setup just such a let down?

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=83&topicid=77099



61 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 577434 5-Feb-2012 09:06 Send private message

Sorry it should have been 1080i MKVs

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 577435 5-Feb-2012 09:11 Send private message

Looks like a reception issue since your CPU is at <10% when watching freeview.  Has your aerial moved in the wind? I've had that happen to cause choppy reception.



61 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 577464 5-Feb-2012 10:29 Send private message

It seems to be more random than anything.

The TV has been on since Ive been up this morning (about 8.30am), it was fine for maybe 45mins - 1 hour then sound went choppy, pause/play and was fine for another 30 mins, then went choppy maybe 3 times in the last hour.

Even thou its Wellington the wind has been surprisingly still this morning.

Is there any other alternative codecs ie CoreAVC or monogram aac



61 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 577663 5-Feb-2012 21:38 Send private message

Iv caught the problem on video and have uploaded it to youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89CBFtryYRk&feature=youtu.be

Hope this can narrow it down the problem

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  Reply # 577665 5-Feb-2012 21:45 Send private message

The Windows 7 built in codec is the best option. I do wonder if the codec pack you have installed for MKV's is causing issues. Would be good to confirm which codec it is using. Personally I only install the minimum to run what I need. I have not used codec packs for years now as they always gave me grief.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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  Reply # 577667 5-Feb-2012 21:48 Send private message

Nety: The Windows 7 built in codec is the best option. I do wonder if the codec pack you have installed for MKV's is causing issues. Would be good to confirm which codec it is using. Personally I only install the minimum to run what I need. I have not used codec packs for years now as they always gave me grief.

Couldn't agree more. 

gzt

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  Reply # 577679 5-Feb-2012 22:25 Send private message

It is a long shot, but if you are using a USB tuner, try unplugging every single other USB device.

If you get no result from that, try a disable of intel speedstep - usually in bios. This is also a long shot.

There are also control panel options which affect speedstep, but I'm not sure exactly about those.

[more likely a reception problem or some kind of intermittent interference]



61 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 577797 6-Feb-2012 11:12 Send private message

Hi, Im trying the disable speedstep seeing what happens there, Iv also done a fresh install last night to clear out all the codecs etc.

Could there be the possibility that my hard drive sata setting is not on the best setting so it not buffering very well?

Im using the OEM Compaq SATA drive Samsung HD160JJ/P 160gb hard drive, and Im using it on SATA mode "AHCI" should I put it on "IDE" mode, doing a quick search says that its a SATA 2 drive.

Thoughts?

Thanks

BDFL
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  Reply # 577798 6-Feb-2012 11:19 Send private message

Check your antenna. You might not think is the problem, but get a professional to do it (you are in Wellington, ask Cyril7 about it).

We had a case where a Geekzone user we invited to try Freeview DVRs for a sponsored blog had an old Freeview box that worked "ok", and the new one didn't show anything, or when showing it would be breaking up.

After checking the antenna it was found terminals were corroded, and it wasn't aligned. Clearly one box was more prone to artifacts than the other based on signal quality.




gzt

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  Reply # 577803 6-Feb-2012 11:25 Send private message

AHCI is the correct mode.

Does the same thing happen with both receiver devices?



61 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 577864 6-Feb-2012 15:20 Send private message

It's a long story but I have had my signal strength, aerial and cabling checked back in November 2011 and everything was fine on all frequencies.

@gzt
-I did think that at first, both USB tuner sticks had the same problem so I'm just using my AverTV twin tuner at the moment.

-Also your long shot disable Speedstep suggestion may have worked, haven't had any audio stuttering yet, but it may take a few hours/days of watching mindless TV to try to replicate the problem

-Side question, the Speedstep, what will the effect be on the performance, if any, due to being a HTPC?

I've also watched a couple of programs I recorded last night and no stuttering or anything has been recorded.

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