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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having some trouble with my DVD playback on the new HTPC I built. DVDs now have a tendency to stutter from time to time (maybe 2-6 times per disc), sometimes very instantaneously, sometimes for several seconds. It had frozen on one or two occasions.


I did not have this problem with my previous setup, which was:

Dell Dimension 1800:

P4 1.8ghz w/ Intel chipset

Geforce 3 (1440x480p)

TheaterTek v. 1.5 (with FFDShow but not ReClock)

Turtle Beach Santa Cruz

Whatever stock DVD drive Dell used


My current setup is:

Asus A7N8X Dexluxe nForce 2 board

AMD Athlon XP 2800

Soundstorm embedded audio (Dolby Digital Encoding disabled)

Sapphire Radeon 9600 w/ Catalyst 3.4 at 1440x960i in 480p timings

Newest version of Theater Tek v.1.5 (With FFDShow and ReClock)

Pioneer DVD120SB slot-load DVD drive



Any input as to why this is happening and what I may have to do to fix it would be appreciated. I can answer any questions that would make the problem make more sense.



Thanks,

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
bump
 

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If you have an AMD chipset, make sure you have downloaded and installed the latest 4n1 drivers from the AMD support website.


Tim Huey
 

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I've had this happen with some of the newer DVDs. I have pretty much the same setup you have. All of my old DVDs run flawlessly. The new DVDs that just started coming out this summer seem to have some kind of "play on a PC" problem. They ALL work fine on my stand alone DVD player but they sometimes hic-up on the HTPC. Funny thing is if you go back and replay that part, it doesn't do it. In fact the LOTR TT DVD wouldn't play past a certain point on the HTPC until I installed an OLD DVD reader that I had lying around. Weird. Almost like they're secretly making the new DVDs "anti-computer capable" like they're doing with music CDs.
 

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See two recent posts on this topic. I increased priority of DVD playback thread above normal in XP task manager and that took care of the problem.
 

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Go with your mouse to taskbar (bottom of your screen between start button on the left and icons on the right) and right click. It opens up menu and go to task manager. In task manager choose "processes" tabs. Righ click on .exe type file that is your DVD player (I use Zomplayer so I choose Zoomplayer.exe) and go to "set priority" and choose "above normal". If that does not work go up the priority chain until you get it right. However, running it beyond "above normal" or "high" might couse system instability.
 

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You have an nforce2 mobo. Do not get the VIA 4in1 drivers as previously suggested unless you want to destroy your install!!!


Drivers: Do not use the Nvidia IDE drivers - use the MS ones. SOundstaorm panel - only have digital out ticked - not analogue.


PCI latency - adjust as stated in previous threads, not convinced you can change latency of the onboard audio though.


Create a new OS partition just for DVD playback and dont install loadsa crap on it. Disable most of the services using Admin tools.
 

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Defective DVD drives are the kiss of death. I have used Toshiba drives for several years. I recently upgraded to a 1712, and had increasing skips, pauses and freezes. It was defective...the replacement has worked flawlessly.

When troubleshooting, if you can't figure out what the problem is, determine what the problem isn't. First, take ffdshow and reclock out of the mix.

TheaterTek automatically sets the process priority to "high".
 

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Good topic. I've had this occasionally with my nForce2 based HTPC. I'll try some of the suggestions and see if I can't eliminate this issue from my system.
 

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When I upgraded from PowerDVD 4 to 5 I got exactly the same trouble while using SPDIF

Patching with the latest patch helped some bits (Stuttering less), but it's still quite bad...

Could not find any solution yet (It works when I dont use Spdif though... However the last patch introduces scratches in the sound... Again i dont know why...)
 

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Some audiocards eat up system resources. Try taking the card out and seeing what happens.
 

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There is no audiocard on the Asus - its onboard.


PowerDVD 4 & 5 are more prone to stuttering than any other player I have used. I used PowerDVD for almost 2 years with the occasional problem. Then looked at every other player out there - ALL OF THEM (Spdif on & off) - and PowerDVD was the worst sufferer of stuttering both on the nforce2 board (Epox 8RDA+) and an Intel board (Abit BH7).


NVDVD seemed to take most discs in its stride and gave the smoothest playback.


Nforce2 chipset is just as good/better as Intel - just do not use the SW IDE Drivers included in the Unified Driver Package - they are a disaster.
 

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not sure if this is related, but my dvd/cdrw samsung drive wouldn't function normally if i use standard 40 pin ide ribbon even thought it's not UDMA 66+


i had to use 80 pin ide instead otherwise it randomly read certain dvd/cd.


and yeah, enable dma too if u haven't in both windows and bios
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Okay, I did some poking around on my computer and have some questions.


1. how do i make sure my dvd drive is in dma mode?


2. where do i download the ms ide drivers, and which ones do i get?


3. i looked in the a7n8x deluxe's bios, and saw nothing resembling "pci latency" adjustment. there was something for "agp cacheing" which was disabled and another for "agp size" (or something like that) set to 64 on a list ranging from 32 to over 128....


4. you all know it's not just audio stuttering i'm experiencing, right? the video skips along with it, and it happens a few times per movie. incidentally, i watched lotr tt today and it happened only twice or so in the three hour movie. it did play the whole way though, though.


5. i do have powerstrip set to boost the process priority, so that can't be it.


6. what is the likelihood it's my dvd drive? it's a pioneer 120S with slot loading and a black bezel from digital connection. i know a lot of people use this drive. is there a high incidence of problems with this one? what's the likelihood of my being able to get it replaced months after the fact if it turns out to be the problem? .... also.... where can i find region free drivers for it?


answers to any of the above would be much appreciated. thanks.



dan
 

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I've seen similar problems with certain DVD's. I found that I was able to get a big improvement by disabling both DXVA and Dialog Normalization for problem DVD's.


Also, you might want to consider posting your issue on the TT forum, if you haven't already:

http://forums.theatertek.com/forumd...p?s=&forumid=92


Best regards,
 

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Dan, what OS are you now using? This would help with finding out if DMA is turned on and how to turn it on if needed.

Also, disable onboard sound in the bios to see if that maybe what is causing the stuttering.

I also agree with Karnis that more likely than not it might be the actual DVD drive (the tracking on the laser might be a little off).
 
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