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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently completed building a HTPC. One of the last things I did was install TheaterTek. I have had some success getting TT to work but encountered the following problems.


1. Video/Audio skips during DVD playback, on average once every 5 minutes or so. Its always a small skip like it may be dropping a frame (or several) but noticeable.

2. When I “Pause†the video and then “Playâ€, all Audio is dropped (gone). I have to restart TT to get it back.

3. When I have a monitor connected to the 9600 video connector, TT hangs whenever I start it up. Sometimes dies entirely (wanting to send a error report). I can disconnect the monitor, restart the PC and TT starts fine (via the TV S-Video) connector.


Any guidance?


Hardware/Drivers:

Antec P160 Case / Antec 480W "TRUE480BLUE" PS / Asus P4P800 Deluxe MB w/1014 BIOS

Intel Pentium 4, 2.6 Ghz / Hyperthreading enabled

2 X Corsair XMS 512MB DDR PC-3200 = 1MB total RAM

1 Seagate 18GB, 15K (SCSI Boot) & 1 Seagate 160GB (Serial) / LSI Ultra360 SCSI adapter

CDRom - Pioneer DVD 120S / DMA enabled

VideoCard - Sapphire Radeon 9600 (non-Pro), 256MB DDR, Catalyst 4.1 Drivers/Control Panel

Hauppauge PVR 250 (v1.7.21288 drivers) & WinTV Infared Remote

KB/Mouse - Logitech DiNovo Media Desktop / Logitech SetPoint v1.02 Drivers


Software:

OS - XP Pro w/SP1/Directx9

PVR Software - Sage Recorder 1.4.10

DVD Software = TheatherTek v1.5 w/1.5.56 applied, config mostly defaults

Hauppauge WinTV IR, WinTV2000, WinTV-PVR II PCI


HTPC Use:

DVD playback, PVR recording (using Home Automation IR Control) & playback

No Games, No Music media server, No long term storage of music/video

Pioneer Elite SX45 connected to P4P800 MB S/PDIF out

SX45 connected to 9600 S-Video TV / Currently No Monitor connected (use TightVNC)

Std Def NTSC (4X3) Proscan TV connected via S-Video to SX45
 

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Reclock is supposed to elliminate stuter and/or skip with TT (or ZP, or other software players) and I found it to be a big improvement. It is still not perfect, on my system, using zoomplayer, I had a regular stutter that reclock removed. However, now I get a momentary jump, very infrequently (abou8t every 15 min to 1/2 hour) that appears like the video is having to catch up to the audio. When it stuttered before installing reclock, the stutter would affect both audio and video, now the new problem only is noticeable in video, the sound is fine, even through the video jumps. The really strange thing is that it did not always stutter, when I first set up the software in my HTPC, DVDs played back smoothly with no problems. Somewhere along the lines of patching and installing a few things, it has started doing this. If anyone has any advice, it would be very helpful. I am running a P4, 3.06 Ghz, 1 GB RAM, 2 SATA drives in RAID, and a Radeon 9700pro, this should be way more than enough horsepower to play DVD smoothly.
 

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FWIW, I'm having a similar problem with TT. But the video skips much more frequently (every few seconds), almost as if it is fast-forwarding by itself.


Here is a quote of the post I made over at the TT forums (no real responses yet):

Quote:
Some things I've noticed about the problem:

- it usually happens AFTER I've paused playback or skipped ahead chapters

- it happens on harddrive playback over a network AND on DVD-ROM playback


System specs for additional diagnostic help:


HTPC Specs:

Case: Kanam Accent HTPC Case

Power Supply: 430W Antec TruePower (2 fans; quiet)

Motherboard: Asus P4PE motherboard

Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2.8MHz CPU

Memory: 512MB (not sure of type)

CPU Cooling: Thermaltake Copper

Case Cooling: Thermaltake Smart Case Fan

Hard Disk: Western Digital Caviar 10 GB IDE HDD (OS only)

Video Card: Radeon 9500 with Catalyst 3.6 drivers

Sound Card: M-Audio Delta 410 Card

HDTV Tuner Card: MyHD MDP-100 Card

Capture Card: FlyVideo 2000


Software:

Powerstrip 3.45 (resolution 848x480, 60 Hz vertical, 30 Hz horizontal)

TheaterTek 1.5.46

MyHD 1.62

Dscaler 4.18

MainLobby 2.5

DVDLobby 3

MusicLobby 1.80d

Music Lobby for PPC (Dell Axim)

Girder 3.31

Motherboard Monitor 5.5

LCD Smartie
Some questions re your problem and your setup:

- are you playing back from your harddrive, a network drive, or your DVD-ROM drive?

- what type of soundcard/drivers are you using?

- what sound/video options do you have enabled in TT?

- are you attempting to use any filters, like ffdshow?


I've read through the various stutter threads, and the stuff that people recommend have included:

1. Make sure that the controller for HDD or DVD-ROM is running in DMA mode (which we've both done).

2. Use the 0.31 beta drivers for M-Audio cards (I am; n/a to you)

3. Eliminate unnecessary services in WinXP by following various tweak guides (which I've done)

4. Try enabling/disabling various audio/video features in TT

5. Check for hardware IRQ conflicts among soundcard, NIC, video card, etc. (not done)

6. Check for CPU/memory incompatabilities (shouldn't be an issue for you; might be for me)

7. Some have found conflicts with filters running in DScaler (sharpen) (I have no idea how or why this would happen, or what you would do about it!)

8. Some have found conflicts with Girder (again, how or why wasn't explained).


These are just some of the things I've read about. Hopefully we'll get some help with working this issue.


- Ken
 

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I'm still putting my case together ( building from scratch, or rather from a completely dismembered Vectra HP PC ) but one thing I noticed was this:


VideoCard - Sapphire Radeon 9600 (non-Pro), 256MB DDR, Catalyst 4.1 Drivers/Control Panel


On the myhtpc.net forums this is on the list of hardware to avoid as people have had a lot of problem with the Saphire 9600 non-pro's specifically. If you have another card available might try swapping it..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Solarius, could you provide a link to the thread you reference? I am aware of some problems that folks have had booting with the 9600 when nothing is connected to the monitor connector, but nothing else.


K-Wood, I'm playing back from my DVD, using the Asus SoundMax drivers v5.12.01.3630, in TT mostly defaults but I have tried just about all the options for "SP/Dif Device". Per TT recommendation I have now left it "Default WaveOut Device". No difference with any that I have tried however. Not using any filters, that I am aware of, certainly not ffdshow.


TT Options:

General tab: True – Check DMA Enabled; False MultiDrive Enable; True Check Default Player

Video tab: Screen Saver = Off; Deinterlacing = Auto; True – Use DXMA; True – Correct Capture Aspect Ratio

Audio tab: Output = SP/Dif; No Preference; True = Dialog Normalization; Enable LFE is grayed.

Overlay tab: False = Keep Overlay On Top; True = Auto Aspect Ratio; True = Auto Blanking; Black = Blanking Color; Blanking Fine Tuning – all zero.


To be clear, are you only having the A/V stutter problem or do you lose audio on pause and “Next†as I do?


In my case the audio problem is more troublesome than the stutter (at least right now). I have discovered that the problem is not just with TT. I happens when I play a DVD using Windows Media Player as well. My receiver starts out showing the audio is DD, then when I do the Pause/Next thingy and lose audio, my receiver switches to DPLII. It looks like the sound card is trying to switch from the digital to the analog audio outputs and gets hung up in the process (just what it looks like to this novice). I’m beginning to wonder if maybe it has something to do with my Pioneer DVD. Any thoughts? Anybody?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Warren_G, thanks for the tip on ReClock. I downloaded v1.3 and will give it a try to see what effect it has. I naively hoped that using the “more simple†TT, I would not be forced to install a supporting cast of SW. Oh well, we do what we must. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not much guidance here, maybe I mislabeled the thread or something. Regarding the audio problem, at this point my feeling is the problem must either be the WMA SP/Dif incompatibility or the XP / SoundMax Driver conflict . Just not sure. I found where some have had good success with a different soundcard but what confuses me is if the Asus P4x800 MBs have problematic sound issues, why are they so popular? Is ANYONE getting satisfactory SP/Dif sound from one of the Asus SoundMax MBs?


Those of you who have given up and bought new soundcards, which (7.1) card did you end up with?


Regarding the stuttering video, as suggested above, I intend to try Reclock to see if that helps. I see where some have had mixed results with TT & Reclock , but I can't find where those with config's close to mine are totally stutter free. Any success stories out there?
 

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I had been having similar problems with DVD playback through TheaterTek. Based on a recommendation from TheaterTek, removing the Intel Application Accelerator solved the problem. If you installed it, remove it and see what happens.
 

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Gary:


My problems are continuing -- specifically, the video skip-aheads every few seconds AFTER doing a FF or chapter skip. I don't have the lost audio or audio droputs that you describe.


Last night I thought that the problem was being caused by a problem with some software causing 100% CPU usage on my server box, but after solving that problem, the DVD skipping problem has persisted on my HTPC.


I'll rolled back to a different M-Audio driver but the problem continued.


My next move was to go to the onboard SPDIF on my Asus P4PE (Soundmax) and see if that worked. But hearing your problems with it really has me nervous, and reading the unresolved thread in the TT forums makes me even more leary.


Will we be forced to go to a Soundblaster card (heaven forbid)? Or ditch TT altogether and go with Zoomplayer, which can take advantage of other audio & video codecs?


AFAIK, the M-Audio driver issues are a known problem over at the TT forum, and TT is working with M-Audio to try to resolve them. But your problem is clearly different.


I also will be trying reclock before completely giving up on TT.


- Ken
 

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gsr:

What is the Intel Application Accelerator and how does one unistall it?

Thanks,

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Geoffrey, that's interesting. If I remember right your using an Asus MB (of some kind). No I don't have the Intel Application Accelerator installed. In fact when I was configuring my HTPC with the Intel CD, The IAA was one of the options. When I clicked on it, it said I couldn't (or possibly shouldn't) install IAA. Are you using the Asus SP/Dif connection with Soundmax drivers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by K-Wood
gsr:

What is the Intel Application Accelerator and how does one uninstall it?
Ken try here for the IAA.


So if I understand you correctly, you are having (a severe) video stutter problem but you audio is fine, going through the MAudio card, right?


You know my video problem is worse with some DVDs than others. I was watchiing "Radio" the other night, and was getting stutters on average about every 5 minutes or so. I use Star Wars Attack of the Clones to test my audio, since it is a source for DD EX and the TT video playback on it stuttered much less frequently. Heck of a learning curve here, and I guess due to the different configurations nobody is seeing exactly the same things. Or else.. they don't want to talk to us. :)
 

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I use the Intel AA with no problems.

Your problems may be as simple as a bad DVD drive. Try ripping to the HD and see what happens. I had a bad Toshiba drive with many of the same symptoms.

There have been documented issues with Sound Max drivers as I remember reading, you may want to check the TT forums for more info.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Gary.ds
Geoffrey, that's interesting. If I remember right your using an Asus MB (of some kind). No I don't have the Intel Application Accelerator installed. In fact when I was configuring my HTPC with the Intel CD, The IAA was one of the options. When I clicked on it, it said I couldn't (or possibly shouldn't) install IAA. Are you using the Asus SP/Dif connection with Soundmax drivers?
MB is Asus P4PE

Soundcard is M-Audio Revolution


other cards are Immersive Holo3D-II and accessDTV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Karnis
I use the Intel AA with no problems.

Your problems may be as simple as a bad DVD drive. Try ripping to the HD and see what happens.
Thanks Karnis. Good point. My Pioneer 120S is new but that don't mean it isn't bad. I'll see if I can figure out how to rip a CD to HD :confused: and see what happens.
 

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My playback problems exist on both HD and DVD-ROM playback. I will not stop until it is solved! Next on the list of things to try, in no particular order (but never more than one thing at a time): (1) Reclock; (2) shut down all running apps on the HTPC except TT (Girder and MLServer typically run in the background); (3) install mobo SPDIF and use it instead of Delta 410; install/uninstall Intel Application Accelerator; (4) anything else I should try?
 

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K-Wood;


I still suspect the M-Audio drivers in your case. You said you rolled back. To which version? For the .27 you still need the QFE fix. Are you sure the "roll back" worked flawlessly, no "leftovers" from the previous driver? For TT only, the .31 BETA work fine for me.


I do not think you should need Reclock. This might help to cure the symptoms, but does not fix the root cause. I would start with (2), then (3).

____

Axel
 
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