Windows Media HD video requirements?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by BrianShort, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    My current pc is an AMD Athlon XP 3000+ with a gig of ram and a GeForce 6600GT video card. I have onboard sound at the moment (DFI LanBoy motherboard). I have a few clips and trailers from the Windows Media HD site, and they run pretty well, but the video still isn't completely smooth. Since my PC meets (and exceeds) the requirements for HD video, might the culprit be the onboard sound stealing CPU power? I should probably add a stand alone video card anyway, but will this improve smoothness of video playback?

    Brian
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Try using Zoom Player or WMP10.

    I think it's just your CPU is feeling its age. 3000+ is 2.16ghz? They recommend at least a 2.4ghz cpu. I know Athlons are more efficient than Pentiums but processing video requires raw clock cycles, which is why until the dual core chips, P4's were the best for handling video.

    If you know how to do it, go into your motherboard's BIOS and overclock a bit.
     
  3. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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    scott is exactly right, at least about the overclock bit. [​IMG]

    i have a amd 2500 mobile and a asus a7n8x-deluxe and 1 gig of corsair ram. my chip is stock at 1.83ghz and 333mhz fsb but I have it overclocked to 2.405ghz with a 200mhz fsb with inexpensive air cooling. i can overclock it higher but it is not necessary for what i need to do.

    amd 2500 mobile oc'ed @ 12x200.5 / vcore @1.7
    a7n8x-e deluxe running win xp pro sp2
    2x512 of 3200 in dual channel (corsair)
    timings 2.5-3-3-8 volt@2.7
    ati 9800 pro - oc'ed 413/363
    400 watt power supply
    cpu air cooling, intake and exhaust case fans

    with my setup i can run any hd flawlessly and do so while multi-tasking even video encoding.


    [​IMG]
     
  4. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, I think I should have opted for a faster CPU when I built this machine. I only built it at the beginning of the year, and was trying to keep costs down here and there. [​IMG]

    Any quick tips on overclocking? I'm using stock cooling and don't really want to try some aftermarket setup if I don't have to.

    Brian
     
  5. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    For some reason it's not letting me edit my above post... I see Newegg has some 3700+ Athlon 64 Socket 754 processors... maybe I'll just get one of those... clock speed of 2.4 ghz... mine is 1.8 or so.

    I think I made a few mistakes when I built my PC (which runs everything fine, BTW. HD video is just not completely smooth)... Went with Socket 754 instead of 939, and bought and AGP board instead of PCI Express. Oh well, live and learn. I'll probably do a complete upgrade of the internals in a year or so)

    On the topic of HD video... are there any new DVDs in the pipeline with a WMV-HD version? Seems like it's mostly documentaries, and IMAX films (at least from what I see on Microsofts website).
     
  6. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    Are you using WMP10, and is hardware acceleration (aka DXVA) enabled? Not only does your computer exceed the requirements, but that 6600GT has built-in WMV-HD acceleration, so you should be getting smooth video. I'm running a S754 Athlon 3200+ with a 6800GT (which has broken WMV-HD acceleration), and both 720p and 1080p clips run smooth, even from the Windows MCE frontend. I'd try shutting down services like anti-virus and CPU monitoring programs and see if that helps.
     
  7. ClintS

    ClintS Stunt Coordinator

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    I run a Athalon 3200+ and a NVIDIA 6200, 1GB system ram and have smooth WMV-HD playback. Have you run performance tests? Could be something like a slow hard drive, I had DVI video capture problems before upgrading my drives to SATA w/Raid 0. I doubt seriously that the sound makes any difference whether onboard or seperate for video performance. My sound is onboard Realtek.
     
  8. rob-h

    rob-h Second Unit

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    Yeah, you should be able to run smooth with those specs. If this is a dedicated HTPC, I would not overclock it at all. There is no need for it and overclocking produces more heat. That means the fans have to turn faster and that makes them louder.
     
  9. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    Not a HTPC... I'm not at home now, but I'll check to make sure the WMV-HD accelleration stuff is turned on when I get a chance. It's not herky jerky or anything, it just doesn't seem quite as smooth as it should be.

    Is this stuff on by default?
     
  10. Matt Wright

    Matt Wright Stunt Coordinator

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  11. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    Those seem to have worked. It's smooth as buttah now [​IMG]

    Now I just need a VGA cable and coax cable that are about 15 feet long, so I don't have to move my PC, and a receiver with more than one coax digital input. [​IMG] And some more HD stuff to watch!

    Brian
     
  12. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    Hooked my main PC up to my TV again, and hooked the S/PDIF on the motherboard to my receiver. Watched the few WMV-HD clips I have. They look great, and I got sound, but it was only in stereo. I thought most of those samples from the MS website were supposed to be 5.1. I also tried Half Life 2, which is supposedly set to 5.1 sound, but it also came out in stereo only. What do I need to do to configure my PC for 5.1 sound through the S/PDIF?

    Brian
     
  13. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Glad to hear you got it to work without any upgrades! Nice info as always, Matt.

    As for your 5.1 question, it's kinda complex. Here are some points:

    a) The audio in WMV-HD clips is encoded in WMA 5.1, your receiver only decodes DD and DTS

    b) PC Games can easily create 5.1 sound, but to digitally send that multichannel stream to your receiver you have to put it in a language your receiver can understand and decode (again DD or DTS)

    c) You can get a sound card with 5.1 analog outputs and send about 3 headphone -> RCA cables to your receiver. Your PC card/software does any audio decoding and DAC's the stream within the card. (but the DACs in your receiver are better)

    d) You can get the X-Mystique sound card which encodes to DD 5.1 in real-time. Use one digital cable from your PC to your receiver for clean 5.1 sound. I think Turtle Beach now has a card with the same chipset.

    Until then you're just going to keep spitting out a 2-channel stream from your motherboard's digital coax output.

    edit- forgot to mention AC3Filter may be able to take the audio from WMV-HD movies and convert it in software to DD 5.1. It only works with direct show applications though, so it won't connect to a game's multichannel stream.
     
  14. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    Ok, thanks for the info. I'll look into the cards that can convert to DD 5.1

    Ordered the Lewis & Clark DVD from National Geographic, and I'll probably pick up Step into Liquid, and certainly T2 UE. Do the built in players these titles come with use Media Player, so the HD acceleration will still work? I also read about some problems with the licenses on some of these titles expiring, and people not being able to view them anymore. Anyone know anything about this?

    Brian
     

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