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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay guys I need some help. I already have a HTPC which is currently hooked up to a 36" CRT TV. I have home theater though with a 92" screen that I would like to connect my HTPC to since I will be getting rid of the TV probably.


The thing is that the projector is an HD projector (720p). I would like to view x.264 encodes that have been encoded from Blue-ray or HD-DVD. MY question is, will I be able to do this smoothly by streaming from my server by just changing out the video card on my HTPC? Here are my specs:


AMD Socket A Athlon XP mobile 2400+ XP overclocked to 2.1ghz.

Abit NF7 mobo.

1 Gig of RAM

Nvidia FX5700 video card (I will need to upgrade of course to get HD out). I believe thew mobo only has AGP so it will need to be an AGP video card.


So any suggestions? Will I be able to decode HD encodes of x.264? Thanks.


*EDIT* I just realized that the video card has DVI output while my projector (Sanyo Z4) has HDMI in, so I can just get a DVI -->HDMI cable and I will be able to have HDTV out of this card... So could anyone tell me if this system will be sufficient for what I want to do? Thanks.
 

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I think you should just forget about it and upgrade to a core2duo or quad. I had a similar system - 2800XP over clocked to 2.1ghz, A7N8X MB and ATI 9600XT AGP videocard.


I couldn't get it to play any of the BBC Planet Earth H264 encoded series smoothly - sound keep cutting in/out or out of synch with the video after a while. I then upgraded the videocard to ATI 1650XT hoping that HW acceleration would allow it to play smoothly, but no matter what I tried, I just couldn't get HW acceleration to enable. I tried using both PowerDVD and Nero decoders. I then tried ATI 1950XT, but it did not make any difference.


If you do a search on this forum or Google search, you will find that HW acceleration for H264 just does not seems to work with the Athlon XP using either ATI 1900 series or Nvidia 7600+. Even if you can get HW acceleration to enable, it will only unload about 10 or 15% from the CPU so that is just not enough to play H264 encoded video smoothly.
 

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Max... you should be able to use CoreAVC as the decoder. You will not be able to throw in any Hardware acceleration with FFDSHOW....


You'll find more than enough information on this site and via google on the topic CoreAVC h264 playback.
 

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Don't waste your time trying Max... your system just does not cut it. I forgot to mention it, but I also tried CoreAVC as well as FFDShow. CoreAVC gave the smoothest playback when using Overplay mixer and deblocking/deinterlacing turned off in CoreAVC, but still drop frames and the audio go out of synch after a while. But if you still want to try anyway, then get one of the newest gen ATI R600 based card - hopefully, it allows HW acceleration for H264 with the Athlon XP and better at decoding H264 then the older gen card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks guys. That's why I love this place



I guess I'm going to have to build another PC but it will have to wait then while I plan this out. I would much rather get an xbox360 if it is hacked like the first one...


Anyway I have a karaoke system going through a mixer etc... at the home theater so if I do build another HTPC I would have to figure out how to make it store my favorite clips (since I have the songs on DVDs with background videos) that I will rip from the DVD, create lists so people can select etc.. Im not even sure any of this is possible so it will take some time. Thanks again everyone.
 

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My old HTPC was a P4 2.8e, 1GB DDR, P4P800E Deluxe mobo, and 6600GT video card and I had no problem playing 720p H.264 with ffdshow in MCE streaming from my multimedia server. I did have to turn off most of the stuff I typically did to other files (scale, denoise, sharpen), but they would play.


My system I believe was just about the prefect minimum requirement, as another poster once had an identical setup except for a video card that did not support H.264 acceleration and his would not play at all. He was also wondering if simply buying a 6600GT or better would fix his problem but I can't remember what he decided to do or if he ever got it to work. Mine played pretty consistently at 100% CPU utilization, so I think anything less would have choked.


Anyway, I don't know how your setup directly compares to mine, but it sounds like other posters have experience that says yours won't work.


On a brighter note, even the cheapest C2D is plenty for an HTPC. I now have an E4300 at 2.97GHz and the highest I've ever seen it is about 30% with the strongest ffdshow settings. Even at the default clock rate it would have been fine and stayed under 50%.
 

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Max, the only thing you need is a new ATI/AMD X2400- or X2600-graphicscards. A saw some benchmarks yesterday where a AMD Sempron 2800+ had a cpuload of about 5% when playing Blu-ray h.264 1080p using the new X2400- and X2600-series.
 

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Sorry for the tripple post, but I couldn't post any links until I had made 5 posts.


Anyway, since some people might think it sounds a bit insane that a Sempron 2800+ has a cpuload of 5% when playing Blu-ray h.264 1080p, check it out for yourselfs: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...post10597647


Even better is that these cards will come in AGP-versions. See Sapphires new lineup: http://www.sapphiretech.com/sn/produ...cts.php?pcat=3


Max, with one of these cards you're good to go for Blu-ray/HD-DVD and pretty much everything else you throw at it.
 

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Hmm, I have an Athlon XP 2700, and with CoreAVC (which admittedly isn't quite as accurate a decoder as ffdshow) I can run any 720p x264 content I throw at it. Its the 1080p stuff that has issues. FYI though, CoreAVC does NOT support hardware acceleration.


I should note though that I'd guess a mobile version like the OP has wouldn't be powerful enough, though I'm not quite sure.
 

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


Max, the only thing you need is a new ATI/AMD X2400- or X2600-graphicscards. A saw some benchmarks yesterday where a AMD Sempron 2800+ had a cpuload of about 5% when playing Blu-ray h.264 1080p using the new X2400- and X2600-series.

That'll never be built for AGP
 

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if they make a 8500 or 8600 for AGP then I think you might be able to get away with your current specs... h.264 is almost completely offloaded to GPU with the cards mentioned above.... however I can't get mine to do it yet so if I ever figure it out that would be great. I'm running the X2 3800 though but by itself it gets crushed by HD h.264 material and won't play things smoothly... thus I bought a 8600GT passively cooled card so I get HDCP and h.264 decoding while keeping my power consumption low. My CPU is the 65watt version, the 8600GT is low watt and no extra power connection so I can keep things very low power but use it to do the big jobs.
 

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that setup should absolutely run 1280x720p files and output if things are setup using coreavc or another x264 decoder. forget FFDshow total waste of time and CPU.


now if you're talking h264 1080p output that probably won't work with that setup, although i'm not that famiiar with the video card i'd say no.
 

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I need another gallon of coffee!!! I had to look at that webpage three times before finally finding the AGP info...........Hope whoever has read my post here inbetween my edits doesn't think I'm too crazy!!


I want one of these cards!!!!!


grusome
 

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


That'll never be built for AGP

Probably wrong, ATI spent a lot of money developing the Rialto bridge chip, which basically can make any PCI-E card into an AGP card relatively easily. Its Nvidia who needs to do a lot more work to make things AGP.
 
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