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Topic # 60085 18-Apr-2010 23:45
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I seem to have an issue....but I don't know where to look, nor have spare components to test my hardware...

I am getting regular stuttering when watching video or TV on my HTPC....
Its been a long running issue that appears to have slowly gotten worse but is really frequent and noticable now...

Just the other day, I replaced my video card as my old one fried, complete toast...video went to crap so was obvious it was hardware, took it to a PC shop and got them to test it and replace it with a new video card....

So I thought maybe the old fried video card was causing the stuttering as well...but having now replaced that with a brand new one, the stuttering is still there and appears it was unrelated.....

What else could be causing my video to stutter like this?

Any help appreciated




HTPC: Silverstone LC16M | abit IP35 Pro | Intel Quad Q9400 2.5GHz | Corsair 520HX | Samsung SH-S203D DVD Writer | NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512MB RAM | 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar GP HDD | 4GB DDR800 RAM | D-Link DWA-547 Rangebooster N 650 Desktop | Blackgold BGT3540 | Microsoft Remote Control & Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center | Windows 7 64bit

Mobile: Nokia N97, Nokia N900, Samsung Galaxy S, HTC EVO 3D, iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III (current)

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  Reply # 320081 19-Apr-2010 00:17
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may not be of any help, but mine stuttering issue seemed to be related to the PC (see specs, very average) doing other stuff ESP downloading stuff for some reason (even though the CPU is not stressed and obviously downloading doesnt tax GPU either - or does it!). everytime it's downloading even MP3 playback stutters! weird ... i think it's just getting old - like arthritis to a human perhaps

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  Reply # 320109 19-Apr-2010 08:42
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Stuttering causes...


1) Video is recorded at a different frame rate to the TV.  This shows up as stuttering in long horizontal pans - like most establishing shots at the start of a movie - 50hz vs 60hz vs 24hz.  One frame will be held for too long, or not long enough. :)
2) Network is unable to support the video.  If you're transmitting data across a network, understand that 10mbps(802.11b) is usually not fast enough, and 54mbps (802.11g) may also not be fast enough.  I recommend 100mbps wired, not wireless.  This will show up as missed frames, and a slightly different "stutter".
3)  Video card is unaccelerated.  Your CPU may not be able to keep up with trying to decode the HD.  Make sure you've got drivers and software which will offload the decoding of HD H.264 (or other video) onto the graphics card.  VLC does not use accelerated drivers.  With Linux and XBMC and NVidia, you want to get VDPAU working.  This will show up as large numbers of dropped frames.
4) Laptop hard drives aren't necessarily fast enough to record and playback video at the same time.  The random access nature of bittorrent is especially hard on them.

With a local freeview tuner, it's more likely to be (3).

Hope this helps, good luck! 




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  Reply # 320170 19-Apr-2010 11:35
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Had one once where the I/O settings of the HDD had defaulted to DMA, which is the slowest data transfer from the HDD.
Wasn't generally noticeable until I did some video encoding / playback - ecch !

Had to delve quite deeply into device manager to change the settings back to what it is supposed to be. Was a couple of years ago and on Windows XP, so it may pay to google it to get the exact details as per your operating system.

You haven't run out of RAM or HDD space have you ? 1 gig min RAM, and at least 15% free HDD space.





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  Reply # 320298 19-Apr-2010 16:36
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Cheers for the help so far guys...

jpollock: 1) Video is recorded at a different frame rate to the TV.  This shows up as stuttering in long horizontal pans - like most establishing shots at the start of a movie - 50hz vs 60hz vs 24hz.  One frame will be held for too long, or not long enough. :)

I will have a play with these setings...although I don't see why this would be a problem now when it was not originally, nothings changed

jpollock: 2) Network is unable to support the video.  If you're transmitting data across a network, understand that 10mbps(802.11b) is usually not fast enough, and 54mbps (802.11g) may also not be fast enough.  I recommend 100mbps wired, not wireless.  This will show up as missed frames, and a slightly different "stutter".

Not using network for video, all videos stored on HTPC, and TV tuners cards within HTPC

jpollock: 3)  Video card is unaccelerated.  Your CPU may not be able to keep up with trying to decode the HD.  Make sure you've got drivers and software which will offload the decoding of HD H.264 (or other video) onto the graphics card.  VLC does not use accelerated drivers.  With Linux and XBMC and NVidia, you want to get VDPAU working.  This will show up as large numbers of dropped frames.

Currently no HD, using satalitte for TV/Freeview, which is SD, and most of my movies are divx...nor do I have a Blue Ray player.

Currently I have NVIDIA GeForce GT 240, with 512MB RAM

jpollock: 4) Laptop hard drives aren't necessarily fast enough to record and playback video at the same time.  The random access nature of bittorrent is especially hard on them.

My hard drives are PC drives, not laptop, and while my drives may be slower than the fastest out there (intentially as they are quieter for a HTPC) again, this was not an issue in the past so their speed should not be the problem. 

Another potential cause could be that all my HTPC hard drives are filled to the brim....what effect that has on PC perfeormance, in particular the video, I dont know, but its time I brought some more hard drives anyway, spread the load to lessen the burden/workload on each hard drive.



SepticSceptic: Had one once where the I/O settings of the HDD had defaulted to DMA, which is the slowest data transfer from the HDD.
Wasn't generally noticeable until I did some video encoding / playback - ecch !

Had to delve quite deeply into device manager to change the settings back to what it is supposed to be. Was a couple of years ago and on Windows XP, so it may pay to google it to get the exact details as per your operating system.

I will look into that.

SepticSceptic: You haven't run out of RAM or HDD space have you ? 1 gig min RAM, and at least 15% free HDD space.

Almost, yes....all my HTPC hard drives are filled to the brim....what effect that has on PC perfeormance, in particular the video, I dont know, but its time I brought some more hard drives anyway, spread the load to lessen the burden/workload on each hard drive.




HTPC: Silverstone LC16M | abit IP35 Pro | Intel Quad Q9400 2.5GHz | Corsair 520HX | Samsung SH-S203D DVD Writer | NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512MB RAM | 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar GP HDD | 4GB DDR800 RAM | D-Link DWA-547 Rangebooster N 650 Desktop | Blackgold BGT3540 | Microsoft Remote Control & Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center | Windows 7 64bit

Mobile: Nokia N97, Nokia N900, Samsung Galaxy S, HTC EVO 3D, iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III (current)

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  Reply # 320331 19-Apr-2010 17:06
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You haven't run out of RAM or HDD space have you ? 1 gig min RAM, and at least 15% free HDD space.


Almost, yes....all my HTPC hard drives are filled to the brim....what effect that has on PC perfeormance, in particular the video, I dont know, but its time I brought some more hard drives anyway, spread the load to lessen the burden/workload on each hard drive.


10-15% spare disk space is a general rule of thumb - there are quite a few refs on the interweb that mentions this figure and performance degradation when the free space falls below this level.

Try moving a few files off the drives until you get around 15% free, and then see what happens to the video playback.

 




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  Reply # 320336 19-Apr-2010 17:09
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"Windows 7 64bit"

There's your problem. If you Google this problem, you'll find many people are experiencing it; myself included. Microsoft even has a blog entry about it: http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/06/17/improving-audio-glitch-resilience-in-windows-7.aspx.

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  Reply # 320357 19-Apr-2010 17:46
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I have a variety of machines running Windows 7 64 bit and don't see a problem.

Euan, your drives are full. How fragmented are those files? Remember high fragmentation mean logical I/O and physical I/O, which means reduce throughput for the system overall. It can be almost as bad as low memory.






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  Reply # 320361 19-Apr-2010 17:57
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Just run a defrag and it says the system is 0% defragmented on all drives...which comes as no surprise as I dont move files arount alot...

I will dig out one of my old portable HD's and moves some files off to see if that makes a difference




HTPC: Silverstone LC16M | abit IP35 Pro | Intel Quad Q9400 2.5GHz | Corsair 520HX | Samsung SH-S203D DVD Writer | NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512MB RAM | 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar GP HDD | 4GB DDR800 RAM | D-Link DWA-547 Rangebooster N 650 Desktop | Blackgold BGT3540 | Microsoft Remote Control & Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center | Windows 7 64bit

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  Reply # 320527 20-Apr-2010 08:56
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GBristow: "Windows 7 64bit"

There's your problem. If you Google this problem, you'll find many people are experiencing it; myself included. Microsoft even has a blog entry about it: http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/06/17/improving-audio-glitch-resilience-in-windows-7.aspx.


This article is about AUDIO glitches. It is covering audio and video getting out of sync.

I can say that I have seen this issue and am running W7 x64 so thanks for the link but does not apply to this thread.







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 # 320636 20-Apr-2010 12:39
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Does this happen on all video (e.g. DVDs) or just on TV playback?

Have a look at Task Manager while playing back the video stream. Is the CPU usage at 100% (even for one core) ?

Check for updated drivers for the new video card and install them. Also check for updated mainboard/chipset drivers while you're at it.

What PVR software are you using? If it's GBPVR, what renderer have you selected in the config utility?

A GT240, 4Gb of RAM and a quad-core CPU should be able to keep up with Freeview|HD, and should certainly be able to handle SD and DVD video streams without breaking a sweat.



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  Reply # 320646 20-Apr-2010 12:51
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All video.....playing divx movies and TV playback




HTPC: Silverstone LC16M | abit IP35 Pro | Intel Quad Q9400 2.5GHz | Corsair 520HX | Samsung SH-S203D DVD Writer | NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512MB RAM | 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar GP HDD | 4GB DDR800 RAM | D-Link DWA-547 Rangebooster N 650 Desktop | Blackgold BGT3540 | Microsoft Remote Control & Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center | Windows 7 64bit

Mobile: Nokia N97, Nokia N900, Samsung Galaxy S, HTC EVO 3D, iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III (current)

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  Reply # 320929 20-Apr-2010 21:04
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Nety:
GBristow: "Windows 7 64bit"

There's your problem. If you Google this problem, you'll find many people are experiencing it; myself included. Microsoft even has a blog entry about it: http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/06/17/improving-audio-glitch-resilience-in-windows-7.aspx.


This article is about AUDIO glitches. It is covering audio and video getting out of sync.

I can say that I have seen this issue and am running W7 x64 so thanks for the link but does not apply to this thread.


That's right, but I think there's a good chance the issues have a similar cause. How do you know it doesn't apply if we don't know the cause? As I suggested earlier, I googled "Windows 7 video stutter" and came up with lots of hits. This one seemed right on the money, but no one has a solution. Another hit suggested installing third party codecs, since there are reports of the MPEG-4 decoder stuttering.

Personally, while my audio stuttering is far worse, video stutter is still noticeable. I've tried a variety of codecs, but none have improved it.



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  Reply # 325587 1-May-2010 15:27
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Hmmmm....

So, I have not resolved this issue....

I have moved all my movies off my HTPC, cleared all the drives, defraged.....no joy.

Wha I have actually noticed, is this video stuttering, is not restrained to just movies and TV....it is actually system wide!

I did not notice it elsewhere before as its not as easily noticable as other programs do not have moving pitcures like movies or TV....but I have seen it when opening programs (stutters while opening), when scrolling and loading webpages....it is systemwide.

I have opened the task manager and watched the system resources while this is happening, and the CPU never jumps up past 5% on any core, and there is plenty RAM available....so they aint the problem

What now?




HTPC: Silverstone LC16M | abit IP35 Pro | Intel Quad Q9400 2.5GHz | Corsair 520HX | Samsung SH-S203D DVD Writer | NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512MB RAM | 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar GP HDD | 4GB DDR800 RAM | D-Link DWA-547 Rangebooster N 650 Desktop | Blackgold BGT3540 | Microsoft Remote Control & Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center | Windows 7 64bit

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  Reply # 325613 1-May-2010 18:19
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My AMD machine does that all the time, cant even play a 360p youtube without stutters, less noticible in MPC playing stuff but still happens.

Even a fresh install does it on both vista and 7 x64 - an old 32 bit vista install from ages back is problem free with video stutters. It seems that rathar than sticking with a 2:3 ratio when playing it holds one frame for many more and then the next few flash past quickly till it has caught up.

Have given up, watch media on the i5 with the intel onboard video - faultless for freeviewHD and downloaded divx etc even with the screen at 120Hz since its a CRT. The ATI drivers never liked those rates with acceleration.




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  Reply # 325659 1-May-2010 21:42
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I would recommend a slightly different approach.

Firstly, we need to discern if the stuttering is due to codec issue(s), or whether it is due to the system itself.

download & open GraphStudio. Click 'file>render media file' & browse to one that is causing the problem.

This will open the codec chain. Basically, you should have, depending on media file type, the source file reader, then maybe a secondary splitter. This will be split into video & audio chains.

The video will have a decoder, then subtitle engine (if subs are present in source file), then to the video renderer eg. VMR.

the audio will go through an audio decoder, then to the audio renderer eg. DirectSound Device.

You can play back the file from within GraphStudio. Does it playback with, or without stutter? This is the first stage to determining which approach you need to take. If it is a codec issue, it could be easier to resolve. Try that, first off.

Don't have any experience with W7, of any variant: still on antiquated XP SP3 Laughing

Also, I prefer Process Explorer for trying to determine which processes are hogs, as it will show what each app is using as a %.Is better than the default task manager. At lest, that is the case with the earlier MS OSs. Maybe W7's one is superior.




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