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Discussion Starter #1
I've been investigating why my E4500 + 8600GTS HTPC is struggling to play a 720p .mkv video file. Most of the video plays pretty well, but there are times during high action/panning where the video slows down. The average bitrate for the file is only 3685kbps, but viewing the stats in VLC, I see that the bitrate can jump into the 10000kbps range. The strange thing is that my CPUs never goes above 70% even during these high bitrate sections.


Does anyone have any idea of what might be going on here? I've also tried playing the file on my E4300 + 7600GS media server with similar results. I have the CCCP codec pack installed (yeah, yeah, I know) and my display for the HTPC is a 47" Philips 1080p LCD via DVI-HDMI.


Thanks,

jawgee
 

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What is the video and what are you actually decoding with? Cpu % isn't the only indicator. There are test encodes of 2160p content and though my quad core doesn't go above 50% on all 4 cores, it plays as a slideshow.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawgee /forum/post/14291369


I've been investigating why my E4500 + 8600GTS HTPC is struggling to play a 720p .mkv video file. Most of the video plays pretty well, but there are times during high action/panning where the video slows down. The average bitrate for the file is only 3685kbps, but viewing the stats in VLC, I see that the bitrate can jump into the 10000kbps range. The strange thing is that my CPUs never goes above 70% even during these high bitrate sections.


Does anyone have any idea of what might be going on here? I've also tried playing the file on my E4300 + 7600GS media server with similar results. I have the CCCP codec pack installed (yeah, yeah, I know) and my display for the HTPC is a 47" Philips 1080p LCD via DVI-HDMI.


Thanks,

jawgee

Since you have a 8600GTS, why don't you try the DXVA decoder from Cyberlink or Media Player Classic - Homecinema . I am not familar with CCCP, but for pure software codec, I would recommend CoreAVC, which is the most compatible one in my experience.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse S /forum/post/14291392


There are test encodes of 2160p content and though my quad core doesn't go above 50% on all 4 cores, it plays as a slideshow.

even if you set the priority as realtime?
 

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I had some trouble with CCCP and 1080p stuff and my 9600gt. I switched to the Vista codec pack and the issues went away. I've since changed over to just ffdshow with haali and I've been fine.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawgee /forum/post/14291369


I've been investigating why my E4500 + 8600GTS HTPC is struggling to play a 720p .mkv video file. Most of the video plays pretty well, but there are times during high action/panning where the video slows down. The average bitrate for the file is only 3685kbps, but viewing the stats in VLC, I see that the bitrate can jump into the 10000kbps range. .......


That's fairly normal, you'll get some files that peak at 20mbit or more. That's not even close to stressing the card (I've accelerated 60mbit through a 2400pro, and I'd be surprised if yours couldn't do more). Likely what's going on is either:



1) sound-related, ie the audio is screwed up and/or is being screwed up by your decoder/hardware. This then messes with the video as it tries to keep them in sync


2) some hardware decoding issue. For example, the infamous 20fps bug. If it still does it with software decoders (ffdshow, coreavc etc) then you know this isn't the issue.
 

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You have a video card capable of HA, you should be using that feature.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse S /forum/post/14291392


What is the video and what are you actually decoding with? Cpu % isn't the only indicator. There are test encodes of 2160p content and though my quad core doesn't go above 50% on all 4 cores, it plays as a slideshow.

It's a broadcast of Toy Story 2 from ABC encoded to an x264 .mkv file. Right after the Pixar lamp intro, the opening Walt Disney credits in outer space will slow down as they approach the screen. There are many other spots of slowdown in that opening scene as well.


Thanks,

jawgee
 

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Discussion Starter #9

Quote:
Originally Posted by cychou /forum/post/14291486


Since you have a 8600GTS, why don't you try the DXVA decoder from Cyberlink or Media Player Classic - Homecinema . I am not familar with CCCP, but for pure software codec, I would recommend CoreAVC, which is the most compatible one in my experience.

I have CoreAVC 1.7 installed on my media server and I'm still running into the slowdown behavior. My media server only has a 7600GS, so I don't believe I can get any HW acceleration from it + MPC-HC. I double-check with my HTPC later, but I'm pretty sure it's also using CoreAVC 1.7 and not HA. Should CoreAVC have this much difficulty playing a 720p file on an E4300/E4500?


If the HTPC responds favorably to MPC-HC then I'll be happy. If it doesn't, would mildly OC'ing the CPUs to 2.4-2.6GHz from their stock speeds get rid of the slowdown?


Thanks,

jawgee
 

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Discussion Starter #10

Quote:
Originally Posted by arfster /forum/post/14293528


That's fairly normal, you'll get some files that peak at 20mbit or more. That's not even close to stressing the card (I've accelerated 60mbit through a 2400pro, and I'd be surprised if yours couldn't do more). Likely what's going on is either:



1) sound-related, ie the audio is screwed up and/or is being screwed up by your decoder/hardware. This then messes with the video as it tries to keep them in sync


2) some hardware decoding issue. For example, the infamous 20fps bug. If it still does it with software decoders (ffdshow, coreavc etc) then you know this isn't the issue.

I think I can rule out the second issue as CoreAVC is choking on this file. How do I know if #1 is the culprit? I don't hear any audio dropouts or glitches. I'm using AC3Filter 1.45b. I'll upgrade to the latest to see if it makes any difference.


Thanks for all the suggestions!


Regards,

jawgee
 

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CoreAVC is the absolute best you can use if software decoding is your only option. I have an E4400 and it works fine.


I also use AC3filter. I just need to pass the audio straight out to my receiver and it works well for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, archer. I just upgraded my AC3Filter to the latest version on my media server and there's no change. I'm wondering if the video was encoded this way? Hmm...


Thanks,

jawgee
 

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Discussion Starter #13
An update to my situation...I downloaded MPC-HC onto my HTPC. I noticed that it doesn't actually install; it's just a single .exe. Anyways, it brought my CPU levels down from 30-60% to 2-6% which is great except that it didn't fixed my video slowdown problem with Toy Story 2. In fact, the video as a whole seemed to slow down a bit even though the CPU levels dropped significantly. I had Meedio running at the same time, so that its memory usage could be affecting it, but I doubt it.


I have a couple of questions from this experience:


1. Is there a way to enable hardware acceleration of my 8600GTS within other video players? I see mentions of PureVideo, but is PureVideo necessary to be able to have HA in Zoom Player or within Meedio?


2. I suspect maybe the actual encode is to blame for the video slowdown. Would anyone be willing to test out a small clip to see if the same slowdown can be seen with other systems?


Thanks,

jawgee
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think that's it, DraZtik. I know that it's an encode from a network broadcast.


Thanks,

jawgee
 
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