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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


I've built my second HTPC and I'm having difficulty with the navigation of menus on several discs. I'm running Win2K/sp2 in an Asus P4B intel system. I'm using an ATI retail 7200 card with 6025 driver and I've got an AP 24/96 audio card. I'm using a Toshiba DVD, Barracuda HDD and 512 megs of Crucial RAM. I tried to cut no corners on cheapo stuff. For software, I've got TheaterTek, Girder and the OS/drivers. That's just about it.


Despite my attempt to build a better HTPC, it's not reliable yet. I get frequent lock-ups when trying to navigate certain DVD menus.


I've found that I can access *some* of the Avia menu items *some* of the time if I disable hardware acceleration. But, in either HW or SW accel mode I have troubles with the menus in other discs too. I can't, for example, select the DTS audio track in Jurasic Park 3 - this is the only disc I've had this trouble with, though. I also have continued problems with my Santana Live DVD - it locks up TT in different places each time. When I say lock-up, I mean that TT freezes and not even ctl-alt-del works (but, oddly, the mouse curser is still movable). The only way to end this is to pull the plug. Not really wife friendly... :)


I've check the registry to make sure the DXVA entries are "0" and my HW accel does seem to be working.


I posted a similar question in the TT forum, but I'm not convinced this is a TT issue so I'm looking for some expertise here. Here's the concise question, then:


What should I be looking into for a possible cause/s of menu navigation troubles?


Thanks much,


Ross (frustrated, but hopeful...)


(Edited to change the title so you know I need help!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Bump for help.


Tonight, for example, I watched American Outlaw (a surprisingly fun western) with my son. While trying to select a soundtrack, and later while accessing the main menu, the player froze. The mouse cursor is still active, but the computer won't respond - even to the three finger salute.


I've got DirectX 8.1 and I'm using a resolution of 1024X768 into my LT155. I was running a refresh rate of 60hz, but changed to 72hz.


I'm back in HW acceleration mode, since SW doesn't seem to improve the frequent menu lock-ups. All SW does is let me get a few layers farther in the Avia disc.


Even my son's frustrated! "Oh no, not again."


Any suggestions?


Ross
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
TTT for *any* input! I hate to sound whiney, but you don't know how frustrating this is. I'm certainly not impressing my family with my HTPC. "Why can't we just use the DVD player?" is a familiar phrase in my home...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mouw,


Thanks for the offer of help. I was getting concerned, after four days and over 100 views, that nobody had any ideas. That thought was not comforting! :0


Does anyone have any input? I would think this would raise some flags, but I can't find the answer yet.
 

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If you were using a stand alone I could help you, I own 713 DVD discs some in 2 Sony 300 and 200 mega changers. But I am computer illiterate. In the *dislay* mode we have several menu selections from video to audio and bit rate but I would be wrong to try to answer a computer DVD-ROM question.



I am mostly on Direct Tube, DVD software, Hardware, and Home Theatre computers to learn from this forum what I have learned from the other forums. Try to give back from what I have received from the best of the best including our hard working moderators and our owner David Bott.:)
 

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No Problems navigating AVIA or getting DTS from JP3

My system: W2k/SP2

P4 1.6a / Soyo P4i FireDragon / 512megDDR / 80gig Barracuda / ATI7500aiw / CMI8738 sound S/PDIF

Very similar 2 URs.... Looks like U did ur HomeWork


I use WinDVD 3.1 w/Remote Bcuz it was the least amount hassels 4 me

Tried PowerDVDxp / TheaterTek / Zoom250 / ATIdvd

But for EASE of use and the SOUND just works DD/DTS its WinDVD

Really, try another PLAYER first (WinDVD or PowerDVDxp)


If UR locking up it's probably either a MEMORY conflict or Driver...

Be sure NOTHING else is running in the BackGround - Stop the Girder

like VIRUS checkers, Real Player, OSA, Screen Savers, etc (clean-up the tray)

PowerOptions should be ALWAYS ON... NEVER/NEVER/NEVER

in the BIOS the PowerManager should be OFF too

Make sure you are NOT shadowing anything to RAM especially the VIDEO

Also if U installed ATI's mmc or DVDplayer it might be ENGAGING...

so UNINSTALL it for now


I am running the 6043 ATI driver... works OK 4 me


Last thing it could B.... HARDWARE->Toshiba DVD-Rom (I got this puppy 2)

This DVD should B on the Secondary IDE cable as Master

U only want the FAST drives on Primary IDE cable

But CD/DVD drives are mechanical and NEW things SCREWUP once in awhile

So if U can SWAP it out...(first try a NEW cable)


Hope the SOLUTION is CLOSE BY..

good LUCK
 

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I work on the PowerPlay DVD Management System for Escient. We ran into the problems you see on the Avia DVD and it turns out the problem is the DVD is authored wrong. The first two levels of menus are correct and the DVD identifies its domain as 4 which is the menu domain. The third level down in the menus, Avia changes domain to 5 which is the Playing Domain.


We have seen several DVDs that report the wrong domain when the DVD is in a Menu. We had to build in a manual override the customer could use to force the system back to doamin 4 for menu movement.


FYI


// Name Value Domain

// ----------- -------- -------------

// STOP_STATE 0x01 Stop

// FP_DOM 0x02 FirstPlay

// VMGM_DOM 0x03 VideoManager

// VTSM_DOM 0x04 VideoTitleSet

// TT_DOM 0x05 Title
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the input, all.


I've got no screen saver or power management functions active, no virus software, in fact I don't even have my NIC card installed. This is just about as bare as I can make it.


If it was just the AVIA disc, then it'd be no big deal. But this has happened with lots of discs. I rent from Netflix and go through a lot of movies. But, the Santana's a consistent problem.


So, I'm reading into this that I'm unique in my troubles? That's comforting, I guess, but I'd almost rather it was common and someone could just say "Oh, you need to change...."


I still have the DVD drive from my prior HTPC so I'll give that a try.


Thanks again,


Ross
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tonight, I swapped my old Hitachi DVD drive for my Toshiba and tried to watch Bandits (not really worth the effort, but I digress...). I froze up TheaterTek three times trying to navigate through the menu to get to the trailer. I also noted, on this movie, that the DVD main menu never came up on its own. The intro played, with music, but the music just kept playing and I had to manually pull up the main menu.


So, it appears it's not the DVD drive. Any other suggestions for me?
 

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When you installed the Win2K, did you do a straight install or did you install it as a standard PC (turns off ACPI). My Win2K works a lot better with it off and manual selection of IRQs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
jkaiser,


I did a straight install. Actually, I'm on install number two. I've checked for shared or conflicting IRQs and I've moved my audio card around a bit, but I see no issues and this doesn't seem to have cured the problem.


Playback, once started, is flawless. I've got no stutters and no audio troubles. Just menu navigation.


Ross
 

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Ross,


Did you ever get anywhere with TheaterTek and the Avia DVD navigation problem?


-Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Mark,


I did get reliable menu navigation on all discs *except* for the Video Test Patterns on the AVIA disc.


I found that my main trouble was caused by the Logitech cordless keyboard and mouse I was using. I was using the USB receiver for these and this seemed to cause some issues. I'll spend more time diagnosing this later, since I'd really like to position the keyboard and mouse near my seating (through the USB hub there). But, right now, my HT room is under construction so all the equipment is packed up.


I thought I'd read in the theatertek.com forum that a user had installed a patch that fixed this very issue (allowing him to reach the video resolution screens), but I just tried a search there and didn't find it. If I find that info, I'll let you know.


Ross
 

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Thanks for the FAST reply - I've been searching around, and I can find lots of references to trouble with the Avia DVD, but have not seen the fix.


If you run across the solution, I would appreciate hearing about it, and of course I will post it here if I figure it out.


-Mark
 

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RossVTaylor


Thanks BTW for the offer in my thread. I will be getting a similar system. Give us some more titles, and exact examples of where it is locking up. Once I get my system up and running, I will try them out.


If you don't want to wait for that. you can always try a few more things.


The first thing that I would try is taking out everything that is not necessary. Take the audio card out, any unnecessary hard drives out, any CD/CDR/RW drives. Reseat the memory, and IDE connectors. Try it out. If the problem persists I would look at your temps, maybe you didn't seat the heatsink correctly. A program that I use to monitor my system is CPUcool. If the temps look hot, reseat the heatsink and try again. One more hardware issue you might want to try. If you have two sticks of ddr, try switching between them. If you only have one stick, try some new ram.


I would then start to eliminate program issues. get it down to the OS and TT. If that doesn't work update to catalyst driver set 6094. Including updating all your drivers for all your devises.


IF all hardware and software alterations fail. I would reinstall windows. IMHO XP is much better than 2k. you can pick up an OEM version at Frys for $100 with any purchase of a piece of hardware. I would custom install. But before you install, I would put the entire windows CD on my hard drive along with all your drivers. Create a partition for the operating system using something like Partition Magic(4gb minimum). All this will save you time. Install your OS and make sure that you install your devises in correct order. Installing Graphics, sound card, then nic. Make sure that the sound card is on the second slot. the first PCI slot and AGP slot share bandwidth.


Have fun. If ya need any help (since I have no idea your computer skills). PM me and maybe I can talk you thru it over the phone.
 
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