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Glurp
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Topic # 171945 6-May-2015 13:51
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I am reaching the point of desperation. I bought a Pipo X7 to use as a streaming computer. From the beginning I have had problems. I have a fair bit of general computer knowledge but this is over my head. I cannot get any support from the Chinese supplier.

When I try to stream anything, it usually works normally for a period of time. I have even been able to stream complete films on occasion. But very often the video will soon become choppy and the sound will break up. This will continue to deteriorate until the screen fills with random garble and everything just stops. Sometimes the stream recovers and starts playing normally again for short periods but often it just ceases. When it stops so does everything else. I can’t open Task Manager or go to the desktop because it takes minutes for anything to respond to a mouse click. If I am able to exit the browser things sometimes return to normal and I can restart the stream.

I seem to have the worst problems with the ABC 24-hour news stream. This is low quality and streams at around 60 kilobytes a second. I have been using it to run tests. Usually it falls apart after just a few minutes, though if I let it run it seems to go up and down. I just made a test recording of one hour and most of it is an absolute mess. I had my speed monitor open in a window and it displayed normal download speeds of between 55 and 60 kilobytes a second, though at one point it did drop to 0 for a short time. As a check I then immediately ran the same stream on my desktop computer. It ran for an hour without any problem, also at around 60 kilobytes a second.

The Pipo runs a version of Windows 8.1 optimised for tablets. I have tweaked every setting I can find for maximum performance instead of energy efficiency. I have tried different browsers. I have installed every relevant Windows and driver update I can find. I have disabled unnecessary services. I just ran the Windows diagnostic and it says it can find no memory issues. I have also tried both Ethernet and wi-fi and that seems to make no difference.

I am running out of ideas. If anyone else has any, I would sure like to hear them.

[Edited to correct layout]




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  Reply # 1299095 6-May-2015 13:57
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Did you try disabling wifi while trying ethernet?



Glurp
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  Reply # 1299147 6-May-2015 15:03
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Thanks for the reply. Yes, I did that.





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  Reply # 1299149 6-May-2015 15:07
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Is it in a well ventilated space?  



Glurp
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  Reply # 1299207 6-May-2015 16:00
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Reasonable. Lots of space around it. I have been running a health monitor and the core temperatures never seem to go over 30 degrees. Most of the time they are under 20. I have never had a pc run so cool.





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  Reply # 1299210 6-May-2015 16:01
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If you only have to wait a few minutes to see problems then you can start Task Manager before you start streaming. Then you can watch and see what happens on the Performance tab. If you need more detail then you can load the Resource Monitor.

This is likely to be a useful first step but there are a number of issues which require other diagnostics e.g. overheating, incorrect drivers.






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  Reply # 1299298 6-May-2015 17:56
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It's not quite that consistent. The problem occurs frequently, but not every time and not always after the same interval. That is what makes it so frustrating. On a couple of occasions it went whole evenings without incident. When I was first trying to figure out what was going on, I did what you suggest and loaded Task Manager before streaming. There was nothing unusual at all, right up to the moment when everything stopped working. Processor load stayed under 100% (I don't recall exactly what it was) and memory was around 60%. All other values were low. However I suspect the displays froze at some point and I might not have been seeing the true readings. I intend to run this test again tomorrow. I have better insight now and I want to redo everything to make sure I didn't miss something.






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  Reply # 1299319 6-May-2015 18:20
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Ive seen on my other computer that after long time playing video the CPU multiplier was dropping down because of thermal stuff. Not sure what  you can look at for that on a SOC system since I was using the gigabyte software on the mobo in my tiny case.




Richard rich.ms



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  Reply # 1299464 6-May-2015 21:25
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I have just spent the whole evening recording a film with download speed and Task Manager in windows. Everything is perfect, all values in range, no stutters or other problems. Typical. This is really driving me crazy. I will scan the recording tomorrow but now I am seeing no sign of problems. If only it was like that all the time.





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  Reply # 1299826 7-May-2015 12:50
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Check your network traffic in the Task Manager - see if it dips n peaks whilst viewing, and if the dips coincide with the dropouts.

Task manager should auto-scale the traffic window. And also change the default update speed to high. Make sure you are looking at the correct traffic window - there's usually wireless, ethernet, bluetooth etc




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Glurp
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  Reply # 1299846 7-May-2015 13:36
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I set everything up for another test run yesterday evening and the streaming worked perfectly! Go figure. Earlier in the day I had the same problems again and I was able to record it but then I didn't have the Task Manager window open. I will keep trying different things but what makes this so maddening is the inconsistency. One time it works, another time it doesn't, and there doesn't seem to be any kind of pattern to it. There has to be something, of course, but so far I can't find it.





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  Reply # 1299854 7-May-2015 13:56
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Seeing as it is graphical and audio, both of which would be delivered through HDMI, maybe it is the gpu? It doesn't have much video memory and the GPU is pretty weak. 
Maybe try and run something like gpu-z and see if it reports anything odd during streaming. It has a log to file option too, so you could leave it running and the file should have data even if you are not looking at the tool as it crashes. 




Try Vultr using this link and get us both some credit:

 

http://www.vultr.com/?ref=7033587-3B




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  Reply # 1299862 7-May-2015 14:06
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Thanks for the suggestion. That is a good idea. I ran gpu-z before and it didn't find anything, but I didn't leave it running while streaming. There is in fact a problem with the HDMI audio, which is weak and only comes through the left channel.

For everyone's amusement, this is the response I got back from the 'support' site when I tried to submit a claim:

 

2015-05-05 02:51:31

 

 

Hi friend, sorry for the late reply, as to the holiday in our country, we rest for 3 days .now we came back to work.
We really tested the item before sending out, it should work well.
We have sent the User Manual to you, could you please kindly read it carefully and try it again?
Or you could ask you friends for help?
Or you could search some related information from the Internet?
Is this ok?
Christina

 





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  Reply # 1299884 7-May-2015 14:49
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Rikkitic:
richms: Been streaming netflix since my last post, in the windows 8.1 app.

No problems at all. No skips, no dropouts.


I don't know what to think. Something must be wrong but I have no idea what. I haven't tried Netflix but I have tried ABC iview, BBC iplayer and Hulu and I have the same problem with all of them. The streams are simply unwatchable. Yet today I also tried YouTube for the first time, a free film as a test at 360p, the highest resolution setting available, and it worked fine. I have tried to get support from the company I bought the computer from but so far all am I getting is Chinese babble that is just sending me around in circles.




Correct me if I'm wrong, but these are all Flash based video are they not?
Flash is an egg, I try to avoid it as I get a low framerate on my non-atom based home theatre PC system. I would gamble that Silverlight, h264 and HTML5 video work ok on your system?

Have you already installed these drivers?
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/24592/Intel-HD-Graphics-Driver-for-Windows-7-8-8-1-32-bit

Strange to lose an audio channel on HDMI, I would imagine it must be driver related not cable quality for that to happen.










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  Reply # 1299921 7-May-2015 15:08
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Also a very good point. I hadn't even thought about that. There is something strange about Flash on this computer. It is 'integrated' into the OS and cannot be separately updated. And yes, all the videos I have tried are Flash-based. I know on YouTube I can choose HTML5 but the sites I want to stream don't offer any other options. I did upgrade the graphics driver on the Intel site but it didn't make any difference. 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 




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  Reply # 1301168 9-May-2015 13:53
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For the first time I have been able to obtain a clear diagnostic of my problem. The computer slows down drastically at random intervals, and this also affects diagnostic software like Task Manager. This time I was able to run Intel Diagnostic Tool and it shows a Fail for CPU frequency. I was also able to check the frequency on Task Manager. It is supposed to be 1.33 ghz but it was going up and down. When the fail occurred it was 0.6 ghz.

Obviously there is something wrong here but I don't know enough about hardware to understand the full significance of this. Can anyone tell me anything more that I can use in my battle with the Chinese supplier? Is the frequency supposed to vary or should it be the same all the time? Why would it be dropping so low? The diagnostic did pass everything when the computer was working normally, both before and after the fail. 

I am hopefully finally getting somewhere with this. Any added insight will be much appreciated. My temperature monitor always says the core temperatures are running cool but that may be a false result. Please, what is actually going on here?







I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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