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345 posts

Ultimate Geek


#34373 22-May-2009 17:19
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I was getting fed up with my HD 4830 with playing back interlaced video (of all types, but especially Freeview|HD), so I decided to stick a NVIDIA 9400GT in my server to turn it into a sorta hybrid server/HTPC.

The 9400GT is connected to my 24" 1920x1080@60Hz monitor via HDMI.

Audio is handled by my onboard realtek sound - output via coax S/PDIF to my Z-5500 speakers.

The other notable specs are as follows:
  -AMD sempron 2.2 GHz (single core)
  -1.5GB RAM
  -Vista Business (32 bit)
  -PowerDVD 8
  -Mediaportal 1.0.2

Yeah, I know, it's hardly a powerhouse, but it should be sufficient.

Preliminary testing suggests that the 9400GT does really nice deinterlacing, but its DVD upscaling is perhaps not quite as nice as the ATI cards I've used.

My main problem is TV3 in Freeview|HD (1080i H.264). Basically the audio is never in sync with the video. Sometomes it's a matter of milliseconds and ia therefore tolerable, but too much of the time the audio is several seconds ahead of the video - the video seems to take a couple of moments to get going smoothly (starts slowly), The audio never gets in sync with the video.

HW acceleration is definetly in use, as CPU usage is between 30%-50% (using AAC+ audio) which I assume is the right sort of figures for a single core sempron CPU.

Does anyone with more experience with NVIDIA graphics cards than I have any hints, tips and tricks I can can do get the best video playback experience possible? (This includes DVD's as well as Freeview|HD)

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204 posts

Master Geek

  #217067 22-May-2009 22:03
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are you running an AV with realtime scan? Any h/w software buffering settings likely to be causing the delay??

I would love to change the world, but they won't give me the source code


658 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #217070 22-May-2009 22:13
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- RivaTuner's a nifty tool every nVidia user should have.

- Did you try using XP instead of Vista? XP is well known to output better FPS than Vista.

- The other option is to tweak Vista. BlackViper's is a good place to start. If you have the time though, you should really create your own custom Vista disc.

- Not all TV Tuner cards are made equal, and you might consider upgrading to a better quality one.

21 posts


  #221898 5-Jun-2009 09:00
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Sorry about the length of this post - it's a complex topic you've raised. While I'm using GBPVR now, I've used MediaPortal in the past and I think they both use DirectX graphs to play media, so the followign will hopefully be relevant.

I couldn't see from your post whether your freeview was coming from a DVB-S or DVB-T capture device, internal or USB, or from an external tuner, and all of these can make some differences. So assuming it's a capture device, first I'd check your signal quality (not the signal strength, that's less relevant) as dropped frames in the signal can cause huge problems in how the Dx filters decode the stream and synch the audio and video. Also make sure youve got the latest stable drivers installed for your device.

Then, if it's a USB device, I've found it can really make a big difference which USB port / hub the device is plugged into, and what other USB devices are also on that internal hub. If it's a PCI device, then try it in a different PCI slot too, to see if that makes a difference. I think this is to do with IRQs, USB bandwidth and USB/PCI Bridge contention.

Assuming the signal coming in is good, and there aren't IRQ or USB bandwidth issues, then the problem is probably in your combination of Dx filters, and this can be a bit of a bugger to diagnose.

I've found sync issues can often be caused by which Audio renderer you select (I'm assuming from memory that MediaPortal does allow you to manually select Dx filters, rather than building the graph based on merit!). So start with that. Try using System Default, or Default DirectSound Device or Default WaveOut Device, and if those make no difference try the Realtek HD options. You could also try googling for Reclock, a Dx filter which can sometimes be used to resynch audio / video - I haven't found it works well on DVB-T streams but does sometimes fix recorded stream problems.

Are you watching live, or buffered recording? Does it shange if you press pause / resume? If it happens on one but not the other, it could be to do with your MPEG Demuxer (the filter that splits the .ts stream into its audio and video components before pushing it through the relevant filters).

Download a sample 1080 .ts stream (Geekzone has some links, I think) and try playing that - if it works and is (and stays) in synch, then it is more likely (but not certain) that the problem is with your capture device or its signal than with the filters.

Does MediaPortal allow you to save the Dx Graph, or connect remotely to it? If so, GraphEdt is a great (and free) tool for examining Dx graphs to see what filters are actually being used and how they are connecting.

A tip about the CyberLink H.264 decoder, which stores its configuration in the registry but stores a different configuration for each programme used to configure it. So if you configure itf rom a program other than the one that uses it to play the stream (for example, GBPVR has a separate "config" application for configuring) and the configuration gets stored against "config", rather than "pvrx2" ( the GBPVR executable). You can edit the registry (Regedit) and look under the HKCU/Software/Cyberlink.... tree, where you will find a key for each programme that has been used to configure the decoder, and you can change the key name appropriately (e.g. to "mediaportal").

Finally, for NVIDIA cards (I have a 9400GT too) I've found the best 3D settings are to leave everything at default, but make sure antialiasing and anisotropic filtering are set to "application controlled" or their minimum values (assuming you're not gaming), and force Vertical Sync to always on, to avoid tearing.

I've found the best video renderers in this mode are VRM9 Full Screen Exclusive (XP) or EVR (Vista) but I've always had slight stutter or tearing with EVR (the slightest issue is very noticeable on a 100" screen!) so even under Vista I've used VRM9-FSE.

Also I start my media software from a batch file at AboveNormal priority so it gets the lions share of the CPU, using the START command, e.g.:
START "{windowtitle}" /ABOVENORMAL {"...path & program..."} {parameters}

...but note that under Vista / EVR, sometimes this annoyingly doesn't give the program focus after it starts!

Hope some of the above helps, and if you can provide any more detail I might have some more ideas as I've struggled (but eventually succeeded) in getting super-smooth playback for most sources now. A lot of it is trial and error unfortunately.

21 posts


  #222960 9-Jun-2009 08:50
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{snip}Does MediaPortal allow you to save the Dx Graph, or connect remotely to it? If so, GraphEdt is a great (and free) tool for examining Dx graphs to see what filters are actually being used and how they are connecting.{/snip}

I installed MediaPortal last night, and it allows Graphedit to connect to its remote graph (File, Connect to remote Graph). The graph showed the Mediportal ts reader / stream buffer, with Video connecting to CyberLink H.264 (PDV7) to VMR Renderer, and Audio to Monogram AAC decoder to System Default audio renderer. Playback was smooth on all DVB-T channels, although there was perhaps a <50ms audio lag on HD and TV3 - almost unnoticeable unless specifically looking for it.

Good luck.


722 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #223245 9-Jun-2009 18:11
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I notice you have Mediaportal version 1.0.2 installed. There has been considerable issues with jitter/stuttering with 1080i broadcast files. It probably won't cause any synch issues like you are having, though, but not certain. XP is definitely affected. Not sure about Vista. Use shift+! whilst viewing FreeviewHD inside Mediaportal to see what FPS you are getting (should be around 49-51FPS), & jitter dropped frames, if any.

I would try installing MP 1.0 final, if you are being affected & see if that helps, to separate what could be caused by 1.0.2 instability.

Silverstone LC14 HTPC Case/Intel E4600 CPU/GA-EP35-DS3 MOBO/Asus EN9500GT graphics/2GB RAM/total 2TB HDD space/HVR-2200 & 2X 150MCE tuner cards/LG GGC-H20L BD Drive/MCE2005/Mediaportal/TVServer 1.1.0Final/LG 55"3D LED-TV/Denon AVR-1803 receiver/X1 projector

4025 posts

Uber Geek


  #223257 9-Jun-2009 18:40
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Personally i applied the same technique as i do for every computer. Make use of autoruns by sysinternals, helps remove things like automatic updaters, then troll through services.msc disabling unnecessary services. There are guides on whether a service should be left alone, set to manual or can be disabled.

2926 posts

Uber Geek

  #223732 10-Jun-2009 20:24
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I can suggest:

Change TVServer to above normal priority (under tv server config)
Change Mediaportal to high priority (under general configuration)
Use MP 1.0 Final instead of 1.0.2 (atleast for me TV3 DVBT H264 1080i has issues with 1.0.2)

Since you are using Vista you should enable Aero and use EVR rendering
XP users should use VMR9

HTPC / Home automation (home assistant) enthusiast.

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