AVS Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


I built a new HTPC based around the Asus M3N78VM HDMI mboard. I'm running WinXP, and use an Athlon Phenom X4 9550 as my CPU.


I'm getting both audio and video over the onboard HDMI connector - everything seems to be working OK....but....


I've watched a total of 8 hidef (i.e. Blu-ray or HD-DVD) movies on this thing and I've found that HALF of them exhibit some kind of pixelation issues at some points during the movie. Some only exhibit these pixelation issues in a few places and others are REALLY nasty! The 4 that have NO problems at all are Cars, Casino Royale, Oceans Eleven and Hidalgo. The 4 that have exhibited pixelation in some scenes include Batman Begins, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Dark Knight. Of these, Batman Begins is DEFINITELY the worst offender with the first problem scene appearing within the first 30-40 seconds, but it gets MUCH worse later on with some scenes being virtually unwatchable.


I'm trying to identify a pattern, but I haven't had much luck yet. The problems seem to occur in faster-moving scenes (but not always), and darker passages seem to be more prone to the problem.


I've done some testing to try to isolate the problem - I've copied the movie to the local drive and played it from there (just to ensure it's not the board's NIC causing some issues) but the problem still existed.


My main player is Theatertek - I mux the movies into mkv format and use graphedit to play back the files. Theatertek exhibits the problem, the internal player within Graphedit exhibits the problem, and Zoomplayer exhibits the problem. Also, when I monitor the CPU usage during playback the CPU never goes past 40% (remember I'm not using HA) so it's not a CPU overworking issue. Also, these movies playback FINE using my older (non HDMI-audio) HTPC, so I don't believe it's an issue with the mkv files themselves.


My guess is there's a setting or two within either the BIOS or the Control Panel somewhere that needs to be set, but I'm unsure of what settings might be causing the issue and there's not a lot of documentation around for these kind of boards.


BTW....there is an SLI memory sharing setting (can't recall exactly what it's called) in the BIOS, and I've currently got it set to it's maximum value of 512Mb. Initially it was set to 256Mb, but changing this value hasn't made any difference.


What I'd like to know is if anyone else is using this mboard, and it's playing back any of these movies without any pixelation issues, I'd love to know what your BIOS / relevant control panel settings are.


OR, if you've suffered from these occasional pixelation issues and you've SOLVED the problem, I'd love to hear from you too!


Any help is definitely appreciated! I feel I'm now SO CLOSE to getting this board working really well, but this issue is killing the enjoyment factor!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,297 Posts
I have seen exactly what you're talking about and trust me, people here are going to discount what you're saying and tell you it's something it's not. (or that you're nuts). It seems to me that the higher quality the BR Disk, the worse the pixelation gets. I watched this very thing at a Best Buy for HOURS when looking to pick up a BR player and eventually gave up. Asking here, unfortunately, most if not all these people have never seen what you're talking about and will say you're just complaining about BR. If any of these folks did see what you're seeing, the only comment they could make is, "Something's wrong". And they'd be right.


To this day, I have never found out exactly what the problem was at Best Buy. The only thing I can think of is a faulty, or low quality, HDMI Cable. The one cable we used there moved from TV to TV, from player to player. It was the only consistent part of the setup and every setup we tried had that horrible pixelation. As you say, unwatchable. We only had one disk to try and it was a reference quality BD.


Try a new HDMI Cable from monoprice.com or someone like that. They won't break the bank and it's about the only thing I can think of that remotely stands to fix the issue. Monoprice has really nice quality cables for very little cash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
K-Spaz,


Thanks for the reply, however, all of these movies played back perfectly over the same HDMI cable (NOT a cheap one BTW), when it was connected to my old HTPC. I still think the issue is likely to be either (hopefully) a setting somewhere or, in the worst case scenario, a fault with the chipset itself.


The only reason I went with a new HTPC based on the 8200 board was to get 8 channel LPCM over HDMI - the one thing I was missing on my old unit.


I'm still hopeful there are other owners out there who can help - even if it's just to confirm they have the same board and are not experiencing any issues with these movies.


Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,297 Posts
FWIW, I saw this with standalones and a PS3, though since, I've seen perfect playback from my own HTPC, and a friends PS3 (new at xmas).


I feel for you in this. It still can't hurt to try a new cable. Even if you have to borrow one. It might eliminate one possibility. If you can, please do, cause I'd love to know for certain that you've tried this. I didn't ever get back to BB to have them try diff cables cause I got my own equip first and just didn't want to waste the gas and time.


Just for the record, were these BR Disks you were having success with on the last PC, or were you playing back SDVDs then?


My buddy called last night and may be bringing his PS3 to my house tonight to try on my TV. We've tried my stuff at his house already. In no case have I seen the troubles I saw at BestBuy. Not to keep using their name in vain or anything. I was there to begin with because I like the store.


FYI, the memory setting on the video ram sharing I do believe is only important for 3D gaming and texture storage. That ram is never used during Video Playback. Well, not >256MB anyhow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi there,


I had another thought while I was on my way to work this morning. There are actually TWO HDMI cables involved in this chain - 1 from the HTPC to the Pre/pro, and the second from the pre/pro to the projector. The second one was common to the old HTPC, but the 1st one is different. Both are reasonably high quality, but the cable connecting the old HTPC is only around 3 feet, whereas the cable connecting the new HTPC to the pre/pro is 12-15 feet. It SHOULDN'T make a difference, but it's certainly not going to hurt to switch it out and see if it makes a difference.


The movie files are common to both HTPC's - they're both BR backups - SD is fairly easy in comparison.


Also, I hear what you're saying about the video ram sharing, but you'll find that made a fairly major difference to a number of people in the main 8200 board thread. I thought I'd try it to see if it made a difference in my situation, but it didn't.


Here's hoping the shorter cable makes a difference! I'll post back when I've had a chance to test it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,056 Posts
Roscoe, you've got a beefy enough CPU, why don't you try just shutting down hardware acceleration.


It sounds like you are getting data corruption from the IGP. I know when the IGP runs out of juice it just gets choppy.


I have an 8200, and it's working fine for me, so I'm thinking you either have a heat problem or a deffective board.


If it works with hardware acceleration off, it's definitely the shader engine on the IGP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sotti,


thanks for the reply. Ermm.....HOW does one turn OFF hardware acceleration on these boards? Is it on by default?


Heat *may* be an issue (it's in a hardware closet) but there are a few things I can try to drop the heat down - what's the easiest way to measure the temp on this board? I installed CoreTemp, but it doesn't seem to like the Phenom CPU.


I'm REALLY hoping it's NOT a defective board.


Again, any info you can provide is appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,056 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoe62 /forum/post/15467336


Sotti,


thanks for the reply. Ermm.....HOW does one turn OFF hardware acceleration on these boards? Is it on by default?


Heat *may* be an issue (it's in a hardware closet) but there are a few things I can try to drop the heat down - what's the easiest way to measure the temp on this board? I installed CoreTemp, but it doesn't seem to like the Phenom CPU.


I'm REALLY hoping it's NOT a defective board.


Again, any info you can provide is appreciated!

Hardware accel is entirely dependant on the software/codec that's being used.


The easiest way to do this would be in one of the commercial apps (TMT/powerDVD/ect..) . In those app in the config there is just a check box for it. With things like zoomplayer, mpc-hc, ffdshow it's all burried in different places.



You can install the nTune tool from nvidia (free on nvidia's site) to get tempratures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Sotti,


Again, thank you for your response.


I don't believe I'm currently using any hardware acceleration. Theatertek requires a .grf file in order to play back my HD files and the filters I use (as far as I know) don't support HA. I always use Haali as the splitter, then either CoreAVC for h264 video (which doesn't support HA at the moment), or the WM DMO Microsoft filter for VC1 video (I don't know whether that supports HA or not, but I doubt it). Alternatively, if I use Zoom, I just tell zoom which filters to use for what codecs - and I just happen to use the same filters.


I will definitely try out nTune to see whether heat is an issue or not but, other than that, I'm really starting to run out of ideas. The board supports adding an additional nVidia card in SLI mode, but would there be any benefit in trying this out? Also, if I tried this, could I still use the onboard HDMI connection for both Audio and Video?


One last question - do you have any of the problem movies I mentioned above? As stated above only HALF of the movies I've tried so far exhibit any problems at all - the others play back without any issues at all. Batman Begins is definitely the worst offender I've struck so far. If you can confirm you can play that title back without any issues then I will know it's a problem specifically for my m/board - not the 8200 in general.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,056 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoe62 /forum/post/15475825


Hi Sotti,


Again, thank you for your response.


I don't believe I'm currently using any hardware acceleration. Theatertek requires a .grf file in order to play back my HD files and the filters I use (as far as I know) don't support HA. I always use Haali as the splitter, then either CoreAVC for h264 video (which doesn't support HA at the moment), or the WM DMO Microsoft filter for VC1 video (I don't know whether that supports HA or not, but I doubt it). Alternatively, if I use Zoom, I just tell zoom which filters to use for what codecs - and I just happen to use the same filters.


I will definitely try out nTune to see whether heat is an issue or not but, other than that, I'm really starting to run out of ideas. The board supports adding an additional nVidia card in SLI mode, but would there be any benefit in trying this out? Also, if I tried this, could I still use the onboard HDMI connection for both Audio and Video?

I'm currently running dual monitors w/ an 8600GTS. I've got the GTS running to the TV directly and the 8200 piped to my reciever. You have to have both displays active in windows for the HDMI to work (well that's not entirely accurate if you turn the display on you can setup HDMI audio, then you can turn it off, but it's generally easier to just turn it on and leave it on).


Honestly I think your board is bad, I'd try and RMA it.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top