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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have built a pc dedicated as a home theater PC (HTPC) running Vista Premium and media center (32bit). Here is the list of all the hardware:


Intel D945GCCR Motherboard - Vista Certified

Intel Pentium D running at 2.8

1 Gig Ram (533)

Hauppauge 1600 Tuner - Vista Certified

ATI Radeon X1650 Pro (512M) - Vista Certified

SATA Hard Drive

Antec 350W SmartPower 2.0 Power Supply


Since it's a dedicated HTPC, I am not running any other software other than the very basics (Adobe reader, Flash player, etc.). No anti-virus or spyware at all. All drivers are the latest. I only have the Hauppauge drivers installed, not the full application as I don't use WinTV, but Windows Media Center (not running the new Beta drivers that support QAM). The ATSC input of the Hauppauge is hooked up to an OTR and the cable input is hooked up to the analog cable line.


Initially, everything worked great. I could watch and record channels in HD without any problems. But lately, I'm getting choppy video on the HD channels only. For example, I recorded Saturday Night Live last night. The first 5 minutes is not watchable as the choppiness is severe. Then the next 10 minutes are fine. Then it turns choppy again.


I was watching 24 in HD last week and the same thing happened, except it was mostly choppy. I have tried a few "fixes" on the net, such as putting the processor to 100% all the time, and enabling advanced performance in my hard drives, but that hasn't helped. I have also monitored the processor and memory and neither were pegged during the choppiness times.


I have no idea what else to try. Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, the OTA signal is excellent. I have split the signal and the other end is going directly into the TV. The picture is perfect in HD while watching on the TV. But when I switch to my computer, it's choppy.


Originally, I thought it may be my signal as well, that's why I split it to see if it works when going into the TV's tuner directly.
 

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I just recently built my PC as well. It's using the Hauppauge PVR-500. I'm not tuning HD because my area sucks and has no free HD channels, but I have noticed that performance suffers on my system unless the only thing it is doing is tuning TV. Even if I bring up the guide the video will get choppy and skip a lot. Try letting it just do its thing without any other load and see how it reacts.


If that doesn't help, try running a process utiltity like Process Explorer to see if there are any services bogging your computer down during these times. You may need to strip down your background processes in order to get the best performance.


EDIT: You will definitely need to minimize background processes if you're only running Vista with 1GB of RAM as well. It's a bit of a resource hog.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardV /forum/post/0


I have built a pc dedicated as a home theater PC (HTPC) running Vista Premium and media center (32bit). Here is the list of all the hardware:


Intel D945GCCR Motherboard - Vista Certified

Intel Pentium D running at 2.8

1 Gig Ram (533)

Hauppauge 1600 Tuner - Vista Certified

ATI Radeon X1650 Pro (512M) - Vista Certified

SATA Hard Drive

Antec 350W SmartPower 2.0 Power Supply


Since it's a dedicated HTPC, I am not running any other software other than the very basics (Adobe reader, Flash player, etc.). No anti-virus or spyware at all. All drivers are the latest. I only have the Hauppauge drivers installed, not the full application as I don't use WinTV, but Windows Media Center (not running the new Beta drivers that support QAM). The ATSC input of the Hauppauge is hooked up to an OTR and the cable input is hooked up to the analog cable line.


Initially, everything worked great. I could watch and record channels in HD without any problems. But lately, I'm getting choppy video on the HD channels only. For example, I recorded Saturday Night Live last night. The first 5 minutes is not watchable as the choppiness is severe. Then the next 10 minutes are fine. Then it turns choppy again.


I was watching 24 in HD last week and the same thing happened, except it was mostly choppy. I have tried a few "fixes" on the net, such as putting the processor to 100% all the time, and enabling advanced performance in my hard drives, but that hasn't helped. I have also monitored the processor and memory and neither were pegged during the choppiness times.


I have no idea what else to try. Any ideas?

i had constant chop using fusion5lite, getting the hauppauge1600 solved my issue under vista. maybe try the card in a different slot. i know with XP fusion was smooth in one slot and choppy in the other (under vista it was choppy no matter what combo i tried). oh seem to recall seeing somewhere that vista released a special patch (not listed with the main update, why? don't know) for people getting chop with interlaced hi-def in MCE, perhaps that will fix it for you? i forget how to get to the link (for me it did not solve issue with fusion and seemed to make no differnce with hauppauge which already worked fine for me).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by walford /forum/post/0


With Vista you are probably using the MS default MPEG2 decoder whch is probably not taking using the hardware acceleration capbiligte of your ATI card correctly.

Walford, yes, I am using the default MPEG2 with Vista. What do you recommend?


All channels come in perfect except for the HD. Last night, it started working fine again. It's very intermitent, that's why I don't think it's a processor or memory issue. I know 1 GIG of memory is not "alot" for Vista Premium, but it should be enough as it sometimes works flawlessly. And I don't have any non-essential services running in the background, I've checked several times. Heck, I don't even have an anti-virus loaded! I like to live dangerously!



I appreciate everyones feedback.
 

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Does it make a difference if you are watching a 720p HD channel (ABC and FOX) or a 1080i HD channel (CBS, NBC and the rest)?

If you have Aero enabled you might try disabling it since you only have 1GB of ram.

Check you Cagalyst driver settings to see if hardware accelertion is enabled. And if you have a choice between Bob and Weave de-interlacing you might try Bob since it uses less graphics card power if only 1080i programs are a problem.

Also make sure you have DMA disk transfers enabled.

Do you also have problems it you play a previously recorded HD program?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The problem appears to be happening all 720 and 1080 channels. Since my last post, I have disalbed Aero, Sidebar, and tuned the PC for performance. DMA is enabled, but Vista doesn't give access to graphics accelerator. Trying playing wiht the Bob & Weave in ATI, but to no avail. The problem exists in both pre-recorded and live TV. Performance monitor shows CPU at 30% and memory at about 60% utilization.


What I can't figure out is that it used to work perfect for a few weeks. No stuttering at all. I even tried the new drivers released by Hauppauge for QAM (beta), but it didn't make a difference.


Beating my head on the table by now. Just can't figure it out! And the problem is intermitent!
 

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What resolution are you using over what interface to what type of dispplay?

Are you connected to the internet?

What are your virtual memory settings?

Any events in the error logs that might suggest the cause?

Is the audio also choppy?

If your SATA drive supports NCQ (Native Command Queueing), is it disabled?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just to keep this thread updated:


Walford, I really appreciate your help. But I just got frustrated troubleshooting as nothing seemed to work. So I picked up another gig or RAM today and installed it. Made no difference. I then proceeded to reformat my drive and start with Vista installation process all over again. I stuck to a mimial configeration of drivers. I didn't even install ATI Catalyst this time, just the ATI drivers. I also only installed the Hauppauge drivers (latest non-beta) without WinTV. I did install the IR controller.


Everything is working perfectly. No choppiness on any HD channels. Wondering how long this will last! I'll make sure not to mess with any other software :)


I appreciate everyones help. I'll post back here if it stops working again.
 
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