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WMC Playback of Recorded TV: Stutters. Add 2nd HDD?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey All, thanks for any input and suggestions regarding my wmc playback of recorded tv issue! Here's my HTPC setup so that you can have some info about what I'm dealing with.

Box: "Antec Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case:
Motherboard: foxconn A88GMV 880g AM3 R
HDD Samsung: "Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5 inch Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive HD103SJ"
CPU: "AMD Athlon II X2 255 Regor 3.1GHz 2 x 1 MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail ADX255OCGMBOX"
Video Card: "Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 PCI-Express Graphics Card 100287L"
BluRay: LG WH10ls30
Memory: MEM 2G|KHX KHX1333C7AD3/2G R + MEM 4Gx2|KST KVR1333D3N9K2/8G R (10 installed, frustratingly only 3.25gb usable!)
Tuner Card: Hauppauge Colossus connected to comcast pacer RNG110 cable tuner

OS: Windows 7 Prof. 32 bit sp1
Media Center Software: wmc


I would like to know what the best way to improve playback of recorded tv in WMC is from here. I love the WMC interface and functionality, so am not thinking of switching to another software option anytime soon.

I have a problem with stuttery playback, and occasionally freezing for some seconds. I added the video card to combat this. It helped but did not fix the problem. The issue is most evident when I use windows tv to watch something live and pausing for a little while so I can skip commercials. It's most apparent for example when watching sports.

I also notice the problem when watching one recorded program while another is being recorded.

Given my setup what modification will most help?

Right now I'm thinking of adding an ssd for the OS. Though adding a two or three gb HDD for storage is also tempting. I really dont want to spend more than somewhere around the $100 mark at this point. Other options I've considered: upgrade to quad core? change out my video/graphics card for something better?

Will adding an ssd versus a traditional hdd make much of a difference. Any key performance benchmarks I should look for in buying the second drive if that's the route I choose? Is the hdd I have installed sufficient for the OS and other software operations if I were to add another for recording and playback?

Thanks!
post #2 of 6
On one HTPC, I use a WD Black 1TB and don't have any issues with it. I've had it recording and watching a recorded show at the same time. I've also had it recording 3 separate shows at the same time without any problems. It's only got 4GB of ram in it. It's an older Core 2 machine with the same video card as yours.

I'd look more towards what protection software you are using and any programs and services running in the background. On my machine, I only have MS Security Essentials and Spybot running all the time (besides standard windows services). It could very well be your virus software not playing nice.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I just uninstalled avg and replaced with ms security essentials. I'll look at spybot too. Hopefully its as simple as that.

I often will have itunes, google music, and vexingly adobe updater running in the taskbar too. I guess I'll try to slim down the processes as much as possible.

Will something like AVG tend to create more media performance glitches than those programs?
post #4 of 6
I can't speak for AVG, I've never used it. Before MSE I used Nortons, but it was too much of a resource hog.

I would take things one step at a time, this will let you find the culprit. You've got different AV software now, see if the problem still exists. If not, nothing else to do unless you just want to stop some of those programs/services from running. You can use Spybot to clean up your programs that start with windows. If you're in doubt about something either Google it or don't change it's behavior. I do recommend making a restore point before making any changes to the start-up behavior.
post #5 of 6
If changing the AV does not work you can give try installing the AVIVO package from AMD. It provides Hardware Acceleration for playback in WMC using your ATI card. Then you install the program MCDU and select the ATI Codec under "Video".

The only side effect is that you loose thumbnails for Recorded TV.
Use at your own risk.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Wow. I've ben fooling around with the ATI settings and seem to have made a breakthrough. . .after literally months of ignorance and stuttering playback with unusable live tv.

Relinquishing control from the ATI driver software to WMC seems to be key. . . Will post when I sort this out.
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