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686 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 57


  Reply # 604355 3-Apr-2012 10:18 Send private message

Rightio, so it was time to upgrade the main pc (now an i5 2500 :-D) so the HTPC is now an AM3 Phenom II x3 @ 2.8Ghz and 4Gb ram.  Cpu utilisation while streaming ESPN HD to the office and watching Sky Sport 1 HD is now at 30% max usage... Much better.  However the system is still dropping frames quite badly.  I'm using the LAV filters on the ATi 5450 but the block pixelation is still there and it stutters.  When the pixelation isn't there it is great, but again it still stutters.

The Office pc with a Radeon 5770 and the i5 is smooth as butter, but still suffers pixelation on the 1080i streams.  I can't imagine the HTPC is struggling for CPU horsepower now, so will the GPU be the bottle neck?

Shift-1 with LAV enabled shows massive frame drops but I don't know why the picture is sometimes pixelated and sometimes not.  It also happens with DVBlogic in Windows Media Centre using Acamd and DVBLogic TV Source.... Confused I am!  Any help would be appreciated!

Edit:  Forgot to say that I'm going to try the 5770 in the HTPC and see if that makes it smooth... Try and see if the GPU is the problem.



686 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 57


  Reply # 604433 3-Apr-2012 11:56 Send private message

Also forgot to say that ESPN HD is flawless on both machines, while streaming at the same time.  I don't think it is an MDAPI/ACAMD issue as SD is fine.  All codecs produce the same errors with pixelation on both machines, it is only the faster GPU which doesn't lose frames.  Could it simply be the ATi 5450 being rubbish and that an nVidia card would perform better?  I'm trying to avoid spending money, but will if another card will kill the pixelation and stutter.

13 posts

Geek


  Reply # 604610 3-Apr-2012 15:30 Send private message

Heya,
It's not possible it's a satellite/signal issue is it? My Sky decoder plays everything fine but my tuner cards don't get a high enough quality signal on some transponders which makes them channels pixelate/stutter/unwatchable and shows up in the logs as discontnuity errors. That could explain why one HD channel works but the others don't. Most likely not the issue in this case but it's worth questioning



686 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 57


  Reply # 604618 3-Apr-2012 15:42 Send private message

seenit: Heya,
It's not possible it's a satellite/signal issue is it? My Sky decoder plays everything fine but my tuner cards don't get a high enough quality signal on some transponders which makes them channels pixelate/stutter/unwatchable and shows up in the logs as discontnuity errors. That could explain why one HD channel works but the others don't. Most likely not the issue in this case but it's worth questioning


Hey Seenit,

I don't believe the signal is a problem.  The signal quality comes up at 90% and signal strength as 100% on mediaportal, WMC and for the record.  the sky installer recently stated it was one of the best he has seen.

I just find it really weird that ESPN HD play flawlessly yet all the Sky owned HD channels suffer.  Could that indicate a codec / decode issue?  Could Acamd be at fault here?  I say this because as far I as know, the satellite is decrypted before it is passed to the server through Acamd/Mdapi or Acamd/DVBLogic but two different machines suffer the same issues on the sky channels. 

Could it be an FFDecsa issue, or simply a 5000 series AMD issue? Both cards are from the 5000 series (5450 in the HTPC and 5770 in the Office). I might actually try the onboard Intel GPU from the i5 2500 and see if that has an issue.

13 posts

Geek


  Reply # 604752 3-Apr-2012 20:38 Send private message

Ah true, that is a good signal. My signal quality's down around around the 20% mark and that's as good as it's gonna get the sky fella says, so can only watch half of Sky's programming on the htpc.

Yeah, I'm guessing it could be your card. A couple years back when researching for a new htpc graphics card I do remember avoiding the 5000 series due to things I'd read regarding their htpc performance. I went with a 6450 and it's performed perfectly with everything I've thrown at it (Bluray/HDTV/1080p mkv).



686 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 57


  Reply # 604768 3-Apr-2012 21:01 Send private message

Hi Seenit,

So do you have sky hd running through your htpc? If so would you mind detailing the full spec for comparison?

I'm considering a new gpu and i am curious as to whether a newer ati would perform ok or if i should purchase an nvidia card.

20113 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 604772 3-Apr-2012 21:07 Send private message

Benoire: Hi Seenit,



So do you have sky hd running through your htpc? If so would you mind detailing the full spec for comparison?



I'm considering a new gpu and i am curious as to whether a newer ati would perform ok or if i should purchase an nvidia card.


If you need H.264 ATI simply doesn't perform as well as NVidia if you want to view interlaced H.264 content, particularly 1080i. I've tried many cards over the years, and ATI always continues to disappoint. I'm currently running a AMD M1 board for one of my machines and even with the latest Catalyst drivers it still can't match an old NVidia 8500.



686 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 57


  Reply # 604783 3-Apr-2012 21:19 Send private message

Hi sbiddle,

Yeah im slowly coming to that conclusion. I've read a large number of web pages over the past few weeks and realised that ATi might nite be through best.

Any recommendations? I've currently got a full atx htpc but would prefer a card that is passive or very quiet and perhaps might be able to go 1/2 height.

13 posts

Geek


  Reply # 604822 3-Apr-2012 22:11 Send private message

I currently only have sd sky through the htpc, until I find a cheap dvb-s2 card. FreeviewHD works perfectly though. I got the 6450 because it was cheap, silent and could bitstream hd audio. But yeah, my old nvidia 8500 was a nifty little number too. I've only had good experiences with both makers in my htpc's so I can't recommend one over the other, but the the little 6450 has been flawless.

The rest of my setup consists of an asus p5kc (full atx), e8400 cpu, 4gb ram and various hauppauge dvb-t/s cards and an omnikey 3121 for sky. About the same as you software-wise; MP, mdapi plus, oscam, acamd.
The only issue with my setup is the satellite signal one, which I just have to live with until I move. I'll hopefully have Sky HD through the htpc within a couple weeks though so can be more help then (assuming the HD channels are on transponders that my satellite doesn't have an aversion to)

880 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21

Trusted

  Reply # 604826 3-Apr-2012 22:22 Send private message

@Benoire
I don't think the LAV filters support h.264 decoding acceleration using ATI/AMD cards. Why not use the Microsoft DTV-DVD Video decoder? In any case, please post your logs. You can collect them easily using the watchdog. I'll be able to tell you if there is any corruption in the stream received from the tuner (which can be caused by things like real time scanners as well as signal problems), or whether the problem is with playback of the stream.

how to collect logs

Simply start MP in debug mode then start viewing a channel that you know has problems. Watch for about 30 seconds, then close MP. A zip file containing all the relevant log files will be created, and you can upload that to rapidshare or similar for me to check.

mm

[Edit: @sbiddle you seem to often post in similar threads saying ATI/AMD cards are just not as good as NVidia for HTPCs. My experience is different. Like seenit, I currently have a passive HD 6450 which handles 1080i very nicely. I also have an HD 4670 which also behaves very nicely. Latest drivers in both cases. With respect, if you buy low-powered gear then sometimes you will experience problems no matter which manufacturer makes it. Integrated GPUs do struggle with 1080i.]



686 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 57


  Reply # 604843 3-Apr-2012 23:05 Send private message

Hi mm,

The standard MS ones cause the same corruption on 1080i video as any of the others. I'll setup logging tomorrow and get the files together and post them here.

I've never had trouble with ATi before the HTPC, and I've only ever owned one nVidia card but I'm willing to try other cards should all other avenues have failed!



686 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 57


  Reply # 604863 4-Apr-2012 06:17 Send private message

So I took a gamble last night and bought CoreAVC set of decoders.  I had been reading a lot about using other decoders such as the PowerDVD etc ones and they seem to fix the corruption.  CoreAVC was available cheaply so I too a punt on it.  Worked a charm.  Removed all the artifacting/corruption from both ATi cards.  The office PC can now play everything at full speed and it also appears that the HTPC can to. 

Still got some testing to see whether the 5450 is powerful enough, but certianly the system can record multiple HD channels while streaming one and watching another on the HTPC with only 60% CPU used.  GPU I haven't checked yet.

I think it might be a simple ATi driver issue on the MS codecs that cause the real problem!  

165 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 13


  Reply # 604929 4-Apr-2012 09:52 Send private message

My 8500GT bit the dust last night in my play PC where I test HTPC software before upgrading the family one.

So off to Google. Seems the GT430 or GT520 are good HTPC Nvidia graphics chips. Off trying to find a nice single-slot, silent version..... Asus GeForce ENGT430 DC Silent/DI/1GD3 perhaps?

Will try re-seating the 8500GT again in the meantime.

Note that my main, day-to-day HTPC uses an onboard ATI 3200 chipset which, apart from the initial setup causing me to pull what little hair I have out, has been perfect for a couple of years, now.

Any comments on GT430 / GT520...?



686 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 57


  Reply # 604943 4-Apr-2012 10:18 Send private message

huckster: My 8500GT bit the dust last night in my play PC where I test HTPC software before upgrading the family one.

So off to Google. Seems the GT430 or GT520 are good HTPC Nvidia graphics chips. Off trying to find a nice single-slot, silent version..... Asus GeForce ENGT430 DC Silent/DI/1GD3 perhaps?

Will try re-seating the 8500GT again in the meantime.

Note that my main, day-to-day HTPC uses an onboard ATI 3200 chipset which, apart from the initial setup causing me to pull what little hair I have out, has been perfect for a couple of years, now.

Any comments on GT430 / GT520...?


The 430 seemed to be favoured by Anand in their HTPC review last year... 520 seemed to have pretty good decodign hardware, but suffered on the interlace options.  I'm looking possibly the same choice to replace the 5450 in my HTPC.

165 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 13


  Reply # 605678 5-Apr-2012 12:50 Send private message

Well, 8500GT seems to bite the dust whenever I stress it out, so I've order one of the ASUS cards mentioned previously.

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