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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,


I'm at my wit's end and could use some help with my new HTPC build. When I play Blu-Ray ISO files, it will randomly pause/skip/stutter for 2-5 seconds. It will do this every 5-10 minutes when watching a movie. First, here's my HTPC specs:
  • Motherboard Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H (integrated Nvidia 9400 HDMI output to my 1080P projector at 24 hz))
  • Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Running Vista Home Premium (fresh install as of last weekend)


Software I'm using to play the ISO files:
  • Arcsoft TotalMediaTheater 3.0 (with latest patch .140) via MyMovies thru Vista Media Center



All of my ISO files are stored on an UNRAID server running the 4.5-beta6 operating system.


Here's a simple diagram of how the HTPC is connected to the UNRAID server. NOTE, I do have numerous other PC's and devices connected to both the router and the switch. I believe everything is Gigabit, not 100 Mbit.




Things that I've tried to isolate the issue:
  • I have played an ISO file directly off the home drive of the HTPC, and it plays fine. This makes me think it is a network issue.
  • I searched the avsforums and haven't found a clear solution for figuring out my network. I did run the vista network performance monitor while watching an ISO movie. There is a definite hiccup that occurs on the graph when the skip occurs don't know if this is just a symptom or maybe can help determine the root cause? My network troubleshooting knowledge is close to zero. Below is the graph. From what I can tell the Bytes Total per Second and the Packets Sent per Second pretty much drop to zero when the skip occurs.




I've found numerous references on the internet that Vista tends to play games with network throughput and priority when playing multimedia files. I tried numerous recommended fixes, but no help.


Please, I just want to enjoy my HTPC.
I leave it to the AVS geniuses - what other things can I do to troubleshoot? THANKS
 

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Y'all blame the network, the network piece is actually quite reliable and idiot proof, it always turn out to be something else.


At the moment of hiccup, I want u to look at the media server and tell me whether the occasional brink-brink LED has turned solidly lit.
 

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Have you tried forcing the port to Gigabit Full Duplex? OR Auto - and what is it detecting it as?

Have you disabled auto tuning for the network?

Have you TURNED OFF large packet?

What protocol are you using to connect? Windows Share is always best or HTTP or NFS..

Have you tried streaming the ISO from another PC?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, these are the kind of ideas I'm looking for, will investigate and report back.
 

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I just upgraded my router and occasionally I seem to loose my connection now. I've had a early G belkin router for five years and wanted to move to N so I got a netgear with N, though the HTPC's are wired. Since then I seem to get drop outs. I've got two systems that I watch movies on. One in the office and one downstairs in the theater setup. On the system in the office sometimes the file I'm playing just freezes, then I have to stop and restart it. Then It plays fine. I haven't had any problems with the other system playing movies but it doesn't get used as much. I've seen evidence of problems with my other computers also. I'm really irritated because I like some of the features of the router so I don't want to go back so I'm stuck in limbo till I can come up with enough to buy the router I want.


Anyway the gist is might be the router. Don't know how you would be able to test it though without other systems or another router. I gave you a little history on my situation since the problem was really subtle. If I wasn't used to my old setup and looking for problems I probably wouldn't have known anything was out of the ordinary. Good luck.
 

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B..B...,

Unless your Projector is capable of accepting 1080p/24 content and displaying it at 48fps, 72 fps 96 fps or 120 fps then there is absolutly no reason for you to be trying to send it 1080p/24 or 1080p/23. If your PJ has a native resolution which is based on a 60 fps refresh rate then you should be sending it a 60fps refresh rate such as 720p or 1080i.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I tried playing an ISO file through my network from another PC (NOT the unraid server) and what do you know... silky smooth playback. So now I'm thinking there might be something fishy with my Unraid server. I searched and found some people with similar issues on AVS and also on the Unraid forums. Will be looking into that next.
 

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Do you use Virtual Clonedrive to mount the ISO? If yes, select 'Buffered I/O' and see if that helps any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by --Sclaws /forum/post/17036621


Do you use Virtual Clonedrive to mount the ISO? If yes, select 'Buffered I/O' and see if that helps any.

Yup I use Virtual Clonedrive. Thanks for the tip, tried it, but no luck. I think I'll try rolling back my unraid version to 4.4.2 from the current beta version I'm using and give that a shot. Others have said this version may be more stable...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I switched my Unraid server software to 4.4.2. Same exact performance. Blu-Ray ISO's skip every 3-5 minutes. I found that others have had this issue, but no clear solution that I've found, see:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post17041460


Still at a loss - I do have PowerDVD 8 that I think I'll try next. Anyone know if generally PowerDVD or Arcsoft TMT is more stable for playing ISO's over a network from Unraid?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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I was considering going the ISO route for my ripped disks then I found out how easy it was to rip to MKV's once setup. Then play with a light weight non-bloated player like MPC-HC. Saves a considerable amount of drive space too without the extras I seldom watch.


No FBI warning, No endless stream of the same trailers; just the movie. I double click on the movie file in explorer and it plays.


I do it all over 100MB network too...Watched about 30 hours on the current setup...The only time I had a glich was when I tried to watch a movie while ripping...That was more then it could handle.


Mike
 
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