DScaler performance issues using filters with WinXP - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-23-2001, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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It's hard to beleive that it's been almost exactly a year since I put together my HTPC. Since then I've been through a half dozen or so alpha, beta, and stable releases of dTV/DScaler--each better that the previous. Up until approx 3 weeks ago I was running WinME. I decided to take the plunge and upgrade to XP Pro. The upgrade went reasonably smoothly and in the process I had to upgrade my GeForce2 GTS drivers with the latest Nvidia 23.1.1 drivers and my Pinnacle PCTV capture card to the German Pinnacle drivers (V4.02).

Since installing WinXP I have been unable to use DScaler's noise or sharpness filters without experiencing all sorts of motion stutters. At forst glance it would appear that DScaler is dropping a significant percentage of frames. Oddly the OSD statistics screen indicates no dropped frames. I'm using Auto Pull Down, Revert to video on bad pull down, with adaptive deinterlace mode. I've reinstalled Dscaler a half dozen times and the symptoms are always the same; sooth motion until either the sharpness or temporal noise filters are enabled. Afterwhich motion has a distinct strobe-like effect.

As a side note: if I enable Judder Terminator and display Dish's programming guide, the picture bounces up and down (approx 10 pixels??) a couple of times a second. Displaying the Stats OSD shows 8-10 dropped FPS. If I Turn off JT the image is stable regardless of what filters are enabled. OSD indicates 0 DFPS with JT disabled. I've tried lowering pixel width, chaging to manual pulldown, every conceivable deinterlace mode, etc, all to no avail.

Needless to say I never had this issue running WinME. My system particulars are as follows:

Athlon 900 (Slot A)
ASUS K7V mobo
512 mb SDRAM
Pinnacle PCTV Studio (V4.02 drivers)
GeForce2 GTS (23.1.1 Nvidia core drivers) running at 1064 X 600 using PowerStrip
MAudio 2496 (5.10.0.5026 drivers)
DScaler 3.10
Philips 64pp9751 64" HD RPTV
Dish Networks 6000 IRD

Any thoughts/suggestions/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Happy Christmas/Merry Holidays!!
Steve
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-23-2001, 10:18 PM
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The symptoms you are describing sound like you have run out of horsepower. If you can overclock your system you might try it briefly to determine if your DFS count drops or disappears.

I had this same problem using a 600MHz P3 running Win2k. When I overclocked to 750MHz, I could enable Judder Terminator without stutters.

See if you can enable JT without stutters when watching film-based programming ,which only requires 3:2 pulldown processing.

-Dylan

I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-23-2001, 10:39 PM
 
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if you are seeing video stutter and yet no dropped frames, doesn't that indicate that the video capture isn't smooth?

are you using ACPI, in other words, are all your devices on one IRQ? if not, what devices are sharing IRQs?

and also do a search here (or look real hard) for "via chipsets" and see what you find rcently.
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post #4 of 14 Old 12-24-2001, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
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dahester,

I'm running an Athlon 900 so I don't think HP is an issue. Also, this is the same HW I was running with WinME and never had an issue.


Hugh,

RE IRQ's: good idea--I never thought to check and just assumed XP would do something reasonable. Silly me. I checked system info and found that XP is using one irq for everything :mad:

IRQ 9 Microsoft ACPI-Compliant System OK
IRQ 9 NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS/GeForce2 Pro OK
IRQ 9 VIA Rev 5 or later USB Universal Host Controller OK
IRQ 9 VIA Rev 5 or later USB Universal Host Controller OK
IRQ 9 VIA AC'97 Audio Controller (WDM) OK
IRQ 9 M Audio Delta Audiophile OK
IRQ 9 SMC EZ Card 10/100 PCI (SMC1211TX) OK
IRQ 9 Studio PCTV OK

Thanks -- Steve
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-24-2001, 08:30 AM
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Hi SteveV:

___Windows 2000 and XP will try and force all peripheral devices to a single irq if you have ACPI enabled. If you disable it, everything will be redetected (new HW and driver install) and will separate as far as IRQ’s are concerned. This however is not usually a problem on Intel based systems but on VIA setups, it has been known to cause problems. Just make sure you have all of your driver disc’s/driver downloads ready for anything Win XP w/ ACPI disabled does not find on its own.

___Another suggestion although this is not a requirement is that you split your partitions and dual boot. You can install Win XP over Millennium using the Advanced setup function to place Win XP onto the new ( D: ) partition. It is not as hard as you might think … Installing Millennium over Windows 2000 or vice versa as well as a Windows 2000 over 98 SE or NT was a no brainer but installing Millennium or Windows 2000 over XP may render Win XP unbootable. Just run the installation of the target OS to the proper partition again and you are set. It is not recommended that you install two OS’s to the same partition. It works (I was a masochist once w/ a 4.3 GB drive ;)) but you can receive all kinds of conflicts from both the OS and the apps run from the same directories afterwards.

___I just yesterday reinstalled a long forgotten Windows 2000 partition and install (for Windows 2000 tech support) to my Win Millennium/Win XP build by creating and resizing partitions and installing Windows 2000. Afterwards, I had to reinstall Win XP Pro and run through that darn MS activation but everything is up and running sweetly indeed. Anyway, I thought you might consider this as an option until you figure out what is the best setup for your particular build.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___Waynegerdes@earthlink.net
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-24-2001, 11:32 AM
 
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I also now remember a thread of a very similar theme a couple of weeks back (or less). The member had been using dscaler for a long time like yourself and found it strange that now he couldn't push it under XP.

You might want to check that out.... It could be a little hard to find the thread since you can't search for XP here, but a dscaler search should bring it up.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-25-2001, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Excel,

Thanks for the dual boot suggestion. I'm actually already setup that way. I used Partition Magic 7 before installing XP Pro and have WinME and Win XP on seperate partitions. Unfortunately, this isn't particularly family friendly. My hope was to migrate entirely over to XP and avoid the dual boot altogether.

Anyway, I disabled ACPI and IRQ assignments appear fine:

IRQ 5 VIA AC'97 Audio Controller (WDM) OK
IRQ 5 SMC EZ Card 10/100 PCI (SMC1211TX) #2 OK
IRQ 6 Standard floppy disk controller OK
IRQ 8 System CMOS/real time clock OK
IRQ 9 VIA Rev 5 or later USB Universal Host Controller OK
IRQ 9 VIA Rev 5 or later USB Universal Host Controller OK
IRQ 9 M Audio Delta Audiophile OK
IRQ 10 Studio PCTV OK
IRQ 11 NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS/GeForce2 Pro OK

I also installed the latest VIA 4-in-1 driver (4.37) and the latest PowerStrip (3.12 Build 245). After all this I see a very slight improvement :(

I'm still getting a good bit of image stutter when ANY of the filters are enabled despite the fact that DScaler reports 0 dropped FPS.

Enabling Judder Terminator results in 9-12 DFPS on all material. CPU utilization looks OK:

No Filters enabled: 21 - 45%
Sharpness filter enabled: 49-53%
Sharpness and Noise filters enabled: 50-61%

Again, 0 DFPS regardless of which/how many filters I have enabled yet display is still jerky.

Hugh,

I'm assuming you meant this thread. I haven't had a chance to try trbarry's suggestions yet but will post results once I have.

If anyone else has any suggestions please don't be shy :)

Thanks and Merry Christmas everyone -- Steve
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-25-2001, 02:42 PM
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Did you control cpu usage on the task manager ?

I had only 50 % cpu allowed at first, you have to put sleepinterval to 0 in dscaler.ini if i remember correctly.


Happy Christmas

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post #9 of 14 Old 12-25-2001, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by dubmaster
Did you control cpu usage on the task manager ?

I had only 50 % cpu allowed at first, you have to put sleepinterval to 0 in dscaler.ini if i remember correctly.


Happy Christmas
No, I haven't done anything with it. For that matter I didn't know you could set a cpu utilization cap for an application.

Good news however: I've had a chance to try trbarry's suggestions from an earlier post:

Quote:
...
1) Set Sleep_Interval=0 in the .ini file

2) Set Back_Buffers=2 in the .ini file...
It worked! I'm not sure which one did the trick and if I spend any more time on this porblem today the family is going to revolt ;)

Initial results look good. With Sharpness and Noise filters applied no more image stutter--with Judder Terminator turned on 0 DPFS!!! :) I haven't spent more then 10 minutes watching so I hope this report isn't premature.

Thanks everyone -- Steve
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-25-2001, 08:07 PM
 
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Hi Dubmaster,

I know that your english is better than my Italian, but by this phrase:
Quote:
Did you control cpu usage on the task manager ?
do you mean -->"did you use the task manager to monitor the cpu usage?" or something like that.

because if you mean that limits can be set in the task manger, then I would like to know how, because I have no clue.

thanks..
and Happy Christmas to you as well.
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post #11 of 14 Old 12-26-2001, 05:28 AM
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Yes i exactly meant that, anyway it's possible to control thread priorities in the advanced menu of Dscaler. I never heard of task priority managers in task manager.

bye

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post #12 of 14 Old 01-06-2002, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, it's been a couple of weeks since my last post on this topic. At the time I thought I had the problem fixed--wishful thinking I'm afraid :(

For posterity's sake here's what I've tried:

1.) Nuke XP upgrade install and do clean install on multi-partiiton drive (WinME and Win XP). I disabled ACPI *after* the fact--bad idea as this caused some bizare APM issues and even stranger missing autoplay problems.

2.) Nuke multi-partitions, reformat HD, do clean XP install using "special" and nearly undocument <F7> switch.

This :mad: highly intuitive :mad: method involves pressing <F7> at the *"Press <F6> to install third party SCSI and host controller drivers..."* prompt early in the XP install. Irritatingly, there is no confirmation that the setup program has seen the keypress or that XP is being installed without ACPI. I aborted and restarted the installed a dozen times thinking setup hadn't seen my <F7> keypress. I finally gave up after pressing <F7> repeatedly during the "Press <F6>..." prompt. After 40 minutes, XP had finished installing without ACPI :).

3.) Install lastest VIA 4-in-1's (4.37) and AGP driver (AGP410). For good measure I also installed George Breese's PCI latency patch (0.19).

4.) Install NVidia 23.11 video drivers.

5.) Install MAudio 2496 drivers (5.10.0.26)

6.) Install Pinnacle Studio PCTV PCI drivers (4.02a from German Pinnacle site).

7.) Install latest PowerStrip 3 (3.12)

8.) Install DScaler 3.10

9.) Install TheaterTek DVD player and patch

10.) Install Girder 3.024 pre7

11.) Install XP PowerToys TweakUI

12.) Disable all but essential XP services:

COM+ Event System
Computer Browser
DHCP Client
Event Log
Help and Support
InteractiveLogon
Logical Disk Manager
Network Connections
Network Location Awareness (NLA)
Plug and Play
Protected Storage
Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
Secondary Logon
Server
Shell Hardware Detection
System Event Notification
TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
Terminal Services
Windows Audio


Results: Nice clean install but DScaler does exactly the same thing it did in my original post: jerky motion if either the Sharpness of Noise filter are enabled.

With Girder and PowerStrip the only running app running, CPU utilization is 1-2% as reported by XP's task manager. When I'm running Girder, PowerStrip AND Dscaler (adaptive deinterlace, auto pulldown detect, 720 pixel width, SleepInterval=0, BackBuffers=2 ) cpu utilization varies from approx 25-50% with no filters enabled. Oddly, it sometimes peaks at 100% for several seconds for no apparent reason :( . When this happens, task manager shows all other processes as using minimal cpu cycles (0-2%). I see similar behaviour when I enable filters, with baseline DScaler cpu utilization running approx: 50 60% depending on what/how many filters are enabled.

What's interesting is that under ME I NEVER had these issues. Unfortunately ME relibility sucked so moving backwards from XP to ME is not an option for me.

Also, interesting is the fact the TT DVD playback is super smooth with no video or audio playback glitches.

Looks like it might be time to give the kids the Athlon 900 / ASUS K7V and upgrade to an Intel solution :(

Regards -- Steve
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post #13 of 14 Old 01-06-2002, 08:43 AM
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Really, make sure sleepinterval is set to 0 and backbuffers are set to 2! I "thought" I had done this by adding lines to the ini file but to my surprise looking back through the file, there were already default settings in there before my entries so my entries weren't sticking. Once I took care of this...Shazaam.....all fixed. No problems running BOTH the noise and sharpness filters (and I can run one more filter at the same time as long as its not the comb filter) at 754 pixel width. If you see that the CPU is only at 50% in the perf meter then this IS your problem. Once setting sleepinterval to 0(I'm not really convinced that backbuffers had anything to do with it actually) perf meter shows 100% CPU utilization. I was sooooooooo frustrated with dscaler before I fixed this that I wanted to cry, especially since I 'thought' I had set sleepinterval correctly and the dscaler team didn't have anymore input for me on how to fix it (and likely thought I was crazy). Now I am one happy guy and gonna watch football in greedy2 with noise and sharpness filters on at 1pm and I know I ain't gonna have any dropped frames :D I kept thinking I fixed it because I'd turn on a source that DScaler could do film pulldown on and it wouldn't drop a single frame, then adaptive or one of the other deinterlacing methods would kick in and of course, bang, dropped frames. Also, when you set sleepinterval, make sure your thread priorites are at normal or getting back into the menus and doing other things with dscaler running is almost impossible. This really works and I bet you just don't have it set in your ini file!
FWIW, this is an Athlon 1GHz/100Mhz FSB system running XP...just about what you're running and I never had a problem before going to XP.
-Trouble
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-06-2002, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Trouble,

Thanks fo rthe suggestion. As it turns out I had sleepinterval set to 0 but backbuffers was set to the default value of -1. I changed it to 2 but won't have a chance to check if it has helped until tonight--I'll post a report within the next day or so.

Thanks -- Steve
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