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'Laggy' movie playback GA-MA78GPM-DS2H with integrated ATI Radeon HD3200
Posted 20 October 2009 - 07:02 AM
I'm experiencing 'laggy' playback of a ripped copy of my kids' "Finding Nemo" DVD over my LAN using "my movies" app for VMC 32-bit on my HTPC with a GA-MA78GPM-DS2H mobo with integrated ATI Radeon HD3200 graphics card
The thing is - it didn't use to lag. But now it's does, and I'm be damned if I know what's changed in between.
By 'lag' I mean that the movie plays normally for a second or two, then slows down for perhaps half a second, and then plays normally for a second or two, etc. etc.
The files are being streamed from my Windows Home Server, which is under no load at the time.
The lagging effect appears generally to more pronounced when stream larger DVD rips (VOB files) as opposed to smaller DIVX files.
I've downloaded and installed the latest Radeon HD3200 drivers (after first uninstalling existing drivers), with no improvement.
My understanding is that the integrated Radeon HD3200 graphics card should be more than up to this task, but I'd buy a dedicated graphics card in a heartbeat if I thought this would fix it.
So I guess the purpose of this post is to go fishing for any suggestions as to what might be the root cause of this issue. Or is obviously the graphics card?? Any other diagnostics I could run to locate the root cause??
Thx very much for any help/guidance you can give
Posted 23 October 2009 - 06:09 PM
Note also that these are both pretty recent and clean install of both OS's.
So I'm thinking I've got 3 avenues of attack:
1. Work out what software (e.g. driver, codecs, etc.) issue is causing the problem.
2. Try a dedicated graphics card (but I really think that the onboard graphics card should be more than up to the task)
3. Upgrade the RAM. I've currently got 2 x 2Gb DDR2 800, so might try 4Gb or even 8Gb of DDR2 1066. Again, I'm led to believe that my current RAM situation should be ample, but if it works...
Hope to swing past my local computer store this morning to see what they think. Might even be able to borrow/rent RAM and/or video card in order to test my theories.
Posted 25 October 2009 - 04:44 AM
Another observation: some ripped DVDs play absolutely fine, others don't. Watching "Kipper - Classic Collection" with my kids now without any problems at all. Totally smooth playback.
But I'm using Pixar's "Cars" as the acid test of what I'm trying to solve this problem is working or not, and all efforts so far have failed to stop the playback of "Cars" being "laggy".
Both Kipper and Cars are both rips (VIDEO_TS folders and VOB files) from original DVDs we purchased and filed away (to stop little fingers smudging and scratching them!). So both streaming via My Movies from my Windows Home Server to my HTPC.
So does anyone have any ideas why one plays absolutely fine, and the other quite laggy? Visually, Cars is a lot "richer" than Kipper, i.e. heaps more action and movement filling every frame. I guess this is a factor? I assume DVDs stream at variable bit rates depending on the hectiness of the frames??
Posted 25 October 2009 - 06:40 AM
Did it ever play "Finding Nemo" without lag or is this the first rip which has caused the problem?
Does it make any difference if you play it from vmc's dvd library (bypass My Movies) ?
I would doubt ram is your problem I only have 2Gb of DDR2800 (with 512 assigned to the igpu) and I can play "Finding Nemo" with no problems on my htpc. Can you change the amount of ram assigned to your igpu in the bios? If so make sure it is set to the maximum allowed and see if that helps.
I am running the stock microsoft codecs, having too many packs/codecs installed can cause problems so maybe worth removing all third party packs/codecs and see if that helps.
Why not rule out the lan as the issue by copying the rip to the hdd on the htpc and play it from there, or play straight off the dvd (assuming your htpc has a dvd drive). If it doesn't lag then it may be time to have a look at your lan. Has windows update installed new drivers for the lan device by any chance?
Posted 25 October 2009 - 06:59 AM
Another couple of thoughts.
Have you tried disabling cool'n'quiet in the bios?
Try setting the Processor power management (both min and max state) to 100% in your power plan, from memory you can get away with 45-50% min for an amd cpu but I would try 100% for both while troubleshooting. The Processor power management is accessed via control panel>power options>change plan settings>change advanced power settings.
You could also try running the task manager (performance & networking tabs) while watching the rip and see if anything spikes at the time the movie lags, this may give an indication of what is causing the problem.
Posted 25 October 2009 - 08:12 AM
[QUOTE]Did it ever play "Finding Nemo" without lag or is this the first rip which has caused the problem?[/QUOTE]
Finding Nemo used to play fine before. Can't say exactly when it stopped streaming fine, can't say what I did or didn't do that stopped it streaming fine.
[QUOTE]Does it make any difference if you play it from vmc's dvd library (bypass My Movies) ?[/QUOTE]
Hmmm. fyi: I'm using (trialling?) Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 64-bit. In media center I've added the folder (on my Windows Home Server) where the DVD rips are, but then I go to Movies it doesn't show any of the (100+) DVD rips. Not sure why not.
[QUOTE]I would doubt ram is your problem I only have 2Gb of DDR2800 (with 512 assigned to the igpu) and I can play "Finding Nemo" with no problems on my htpc.[/QUOTE]
That's encouraging! I ran memtest just in case there was a problem with my ram, but everything checked out fine.
[QUOTE]Can you change the amount of ram assigned to your igpu in the bios? If so make sure it is set to the maximum allowed and see if that helps.[/QUOTE]
IGPU - not heard of that one before! I'm thinking that the answer is "no" on the basis that I searched the [URL="http://asia.giga-byte.com/FileList/Manual/motherboard_manual_ga-ma78gpm-ds2h_e.pdf"]pdf manual of my mobo[/URL] and there wasn't a single mention of IGPU.
I've also attached my PC's performance info, fyi.
[QUOTE]I am running the stock microsoft codecs, having too many packs/codecs installed can cause problems so maybe worth removing all third party packs/codecs and see if that helps.[/QUOTE]
I agree about the codecs. I actually only started installing codec packs as a last resort - but they made no difference to the lag issue.
[QUOTE]Why not rule out the lan as the issue by copying the rip to the hdd on the htpc and play it from there,
Good idea. I'm copying "Cars" over from the Windows Home Server now to a local drive on the HTPC. But... I notice that it's going to take about 4 hours to copy the 100+ files and 7.4Gb that make up the contents of the Cars DVD rip folder at approx 550 kb/s. Doesn't sound very fast! Does this speed give any clues about the speed (or lack thereof) of my LAN? I'm actually using an ethernet over power solution to connect my WHS to my HTPC: [URL="http://www.netgear.com/Products/PowerlineNetworking/PowerlineEthernetAdapters/XAVB101.aspx"]Netgear's XAVB101[/URL].
Thanks for your ideas and help!
Posted 25 October 2009 - 08:22 AM
Posted 25 October 2009 - 09:40 AM
I disabled the inbuilt MS codecs and installed latest ffdshow, haali media splitter
Posted 25 October 2009 - 10:18 AM
iGPU = integrated graphics processing unit (or integrated grapics card).
The memory allocated to the igpu is on page 45 of the manual "UMA Frame Buffer Size" it is set to auto by default but you can choose 128MB, 256MB or 512MB. The Cool&Quiet setting is on the same page.
It sounds like the ethernet over power is the culprit. I guess you'll know for sure if the rip plays fine from the local hdd.
If it is the ethernet over power I hope you have some luck sorting it out, I have never used it so cannot suggest anything on that front.
Let us know how you get on.
Posted 26 October 2009 - 05:58 AM
So relieved that I've got to the root cause of the problem, disappointed with my XAV101 (it's such a neat solution, in principal), and now will probably bite the bullet and pay to have my home professional cabled up!
Thanks to everyone for your ideas and support,
Posted 01 November 2009 - 04:00 AM
Netgear XAV101 - you are mostly forgiven!
Posted 01 November 2009 - 05:43 PM
Kinda like kicking the tyre to make the car start