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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I use my PC to play hi-def video files (mostly recorded off the air). These videos are at 30fps.No matter what I try they are always slightly juttery, noticeable mostly on pans (my girlfriend doesn't even notice but it is clearly there).


My Accessdtv card plays them back very smoothly, but I don't like to use that because I can only hook it up to my HS10 via component and there's a ton of overscan. I'd rather play back over DVI via Zoomplayer to avoid this.


I am using the Elecard decoder, although I've tried several others and none seem to help. Note also that I am setting my refresh to 60hz, and have also tried reclock which doesn't seem to help (I have a lot of problems with it and always end up uninstalling).


It seems weird to me that my 3.2ghz P4 and ATI X800XT can't handle smooth decoding. Darnit, I want silky smooth like I get with the Accessdtv card (which is in a second, slower PC by the way... its where I record from). Any suggestions? Thanks,

-Chris
 

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In my experience, one can get very nice, but not totally smooth playback via software. Hardware devices (including PC-based) always seem to have the last bit of smoothness.


I have heard good things about the MyHD card.


Personally I make do with a very detailed, sharp and punchy image with a 6600GT and the Nvidia decoders (aka PureVideo) in full-screen exclusive renderless VMR9. However there is the last trace of jerkiness that someone very observant and spoiled by quality hardware will notice.


My other system uses an ATI card and Nvidia or Dscaler decoders. Same thing.


Around 25% cpu utilization with several 1080i test clips with either system.


Both are acceptable. But, the reason for your post just seems to be par for the course with software playback.


I find that using HDTVPump or the Nero source/splitter filters with the Nvidia decoder gives the best result in ZoomPlayer. I'm sure the Dscaler5 decoder would work just as well, however (freeware).


I always prune down the services XP runs, strip down Windows to the bare minimum to boot and do what I need (I run a 170mb WinXP Pro SP2 install - nope, not a typo... but don't try this at home), and do not run anything in the background. It is important to use the most current, most stable drivers available as well. Also, do not overclock anything, and disable all power-saving features. Religiously followed, these rules will generally give the best possible results with software playback.
 

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My XP3000+/9800pro/fusion2 setup does smooth and sharp playback of 1080i files recorded or downloaded. Using Nvidia or Fusion codecs. There is nothing wrong w/ software decoding and the image is better w/ ZP than the Fusion software.

W/ Nvidia codec; DXVA/pixel adaptive/smart deinterlace/VMR9 windowless.

Search this forum for microstutters. You may have to juggle splitters/decoders/renderers w/

ZP for best results....
 

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Ben_Tech,

Have you tried using TheatreTek?

I use a 6600GT, in a P4 3.8G system and get perfectly smooth playback of 1080i, but ONLY with TT in DXVA VMR9 full screen exclusive renderless mode.

The Nvidia decoders in Zoom Player 4.5, or any other player for that matter, are NOT perfectly smooth, even with DXVA VMR9 full screen exclusive renderless mode.

Dscaler decoder is also not perfectly smooth in any player for 1080i.


The same system with a Radeon 9600Pro was also unable to play true interlaced 1080i video smoothly with any player or decoder.


Film based (progressive sourced 1080i) generally plays well on both systems with Zoom Player and Dscaler, however true interlaced 1080i (from a HD video camera) is a big problem, and only the TT 6600GT combination works perfectly for me.
 

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Hi Owen - Yes, I have tried the latest Theatertek in the recommended mode and it is very smooth at a glance. I have the feeling that it is smoother than the Zoom Player solution, but I am not certain without further testing.


However, the original poster has an ATI card, so I was attempting to work within that framework from my experience (I have two different ATI 9xxx series cards in other systems).


For me, the only downside to Theatertek is that it cannot play music and other file types, and I enjoy having an all-in-one solution. As Zoom Player can play *all* media file types, a small compromise might be worth it for me and others that think the same way. I use ZP as my WMP replacement.


For me, software playback (other than *perhaps* the Theatertek hardware/software/settings combination that Owen mentioned) is only as smooth as the best hardware 99% of the time. When a particularly wicked pan shows up, the difference becomes apparent in an A-B comparison. I have lived with devices such as the Iscan, Holo3dgraph, various decent stb's - and even the Xcard to make the distinction. These proprietary chip-based devices are just more consistent.


Some of the advice I gave above (in my first post) did help me to reach the 'almost as good' status. And, on the other hand, the downside to the hardware is that the picture just does not appear to be as detailed or depthful. I wager that high-end stb's remedy even that issue on at least displays with high-quality internal scalers (admittedly very expensive).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen
I use a 6600GT, in a P4 3.8G system and get perfectly smooth playback of 1080i, but ONLY with TT in DXVA VMR9 full screen exclusive renderless mode.
Owen, you report good result for 1080i playback on a 6600GT. Is there any advantage or inconvenient to get the new 7800 GTX instead?

Many thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben_Tech
In my experience, one can get very nice, but not totally smooth playback via software. Hardware devices (including PC-based) always seem to have the last bit of smoothness.


Thanks for the response. Maybe this is ignorance, but I find it hard to believe that my 3.2ghz P4 just can't render smooth 1080i and that microstutters are unavoidable. I was thinking maybe it was a refresh or aligning the fps with the refresh or something (although running 30fps video at 60hz should be ok). Or something with 3:2 pulldown or something like that.


I wish I could try the Theatertek filters, but $69 is a little harsh to try as it might not help anyway.


Oh well... have to live with it for now I guess. I just wish my HS10 didn't have such extreme (and totally unnecessary IMO) overscan so I could go component from my AccessDTV card.
 

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Unfortunately, processor power has nothing to do with eliminating a case of the microstutters, as this content only uses a fraction of even a modest processor.


As an experiment, you could try connecting your HTPC to a CRT computer monitor at 72hz or 71.928hz with Powerstrip.


Another experiment would be to disable hyperthreading.


Other than that, my advice about background processes and so on is the usual drill. I have even seen a BIOS update solve one case of stuttering, but that was more severe, rather than run-of-the-mill microstuttering.


Have you considered capturing the component output from the AccessDTV card and outputting the signal via DVI? I have not researched this for you, but perhaps Dscaler4 and the appropriate capture card could solve this.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by avsmja
Owen, you report good result for 1080i playback on a 6600GT. Is there any advantage or inconvenient to get the new 7800 GTX instead?

Many thanks.
Yes the 6600GT is excellent in DXVA VMR9 full screen exclusive renderless mode with 1080i.


Over the next few days I will build a AMD 64 X2 4600 system with a 7800GT, so I will get back to you on the 7800 performance issue.


I normally run 1712x1080i resolution over Component and disable deinterlacing for 1080i video, but I will test the 7800's 1080i deinterlacing performance on a 720p resolution desktop, just to see how well it works.
 

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You mentioned that you are using a Sony HS10. The symptoms you are describing sound like what you would have trying to playback 30hz material on the HS10's native resolution 56hz output. What resolution and refresh is your PC set to display?



Kerry W
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerry W
You mentioned that you are using a Sony HS10. The symptoms you are describing sound like what you would have trying to playback 30hz material on the HS10's native resolution 56hz output. What resolution and refresh is your PC set to display?



Kerry W
Kerry,

Actually I am playing the video in 1080i mode on the PJ (so 60hz). Also same thing on my 24" LCD monitor at 60hz. Since the video is 30fps, I would think that would work ok.


I did used to run at 56hz (then I knew why it was a bit choppy), but ATI broke Powerstrip in version 5.4 and up I think.
 
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