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Stuttering/jumpy display from HTPC


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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   triindiglo

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Posted September 11 2010 - 05:18 PM

Hi, this problem has been infuriating me for quite some time and I would appreciate any ideas someone can give me.

My HTPC "jumps" every couple seconds as though it is skipping frames, or perhaps pausing on a given frame for a split second. The time between the jumps is not consistent - it varies between about 1 second to 3 seconds. However, it never goes away completely.

This does not just affect movies on the hard drive - EVERYTHING displayed on the TV through the HTPC does this. Movies on disc, recorded TV, live TV, it is even noticeable by dragging a window across the desktop with no intensive programs open.

The weirdest thing (to me) is that I used to have a video card that worked flawlessly (I believe it was an ASUS EN8400GS Silent, but I could be wrong. It was similar to this in any case) but it burned out after a long life in a regular desktop + use in the HTPC. Now nothing I seem to try will get rid of the stuttering.

I have tried (none of which has worked):

-Different operating systems (Vista, and Win7 32bit and 64bit)
-Different/updating drivers to newest versions
-Even an entirely different computer
-Although I am 99% positive it is not a codec/software issue I have tried other players and codecs just to be sure
-Endlessly messing with the Nvidia settings for the card


Here is the current configuration:

TV: JVC HD-52G786 (The computer is connected with a DVI to HDMI cable)

CPU: AMD Athlon 64X2 4600+
Video Card: MSI NVIDIA GeForce 9400GT
Motherboard: ASUS M2N-E
RAM: mushkin 996529 SP2-6400 DDR2 (2x1GB)
Power Supply: Antec Earthwatts EA-500D

I have also tried an ASUS EN9800GT Matrix, and a cheap Biostar 8400GS card, to no effect.

I even tried hooking up a different computer to see if it stuttered as well (it did):

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
Video Card: EVGA GeForce 9800 GTX+
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P
RAM: G.SKILL DDR2 SDRAM (2 x 2GB)
Power Supply: OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W


It seems to me that these computers are at least sufficient if not WAY overpowered just to display video correctly.

My current theory is that my TV has some strange or very specific signal requirements that the video cards are not designed for. However, I do know it is possible to get it used to work fine.

If this is the case, I thought that a nice receiver may have some impact on the stuttering by running the video through it (i.e. if the signal coming from the HTPC is, in fact, fine and the TV is messing it up - then maybe a receiver would rectify the problem). No idea about this though, mostly just running out of ideas...

I greatly appreciate any help you can give!! Thanks!



#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted September 12 2010 - 01:49 AM

First off welcome to the forum.

 

I would eliminate the TV as the problem first. I would plug your HTPC into a computer monitor and watch everything on it for a day or two and see if the stuttering continues. If it does you know the problem is with your HTPC. If it doesn't then I would look at your video card and get one that has a built in HDMI that doesn't require that you use a DVI to HDMI dongle. It sounds to me like a handshaking issue between your HTPC and your TV.

 


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#3 of 7 ONLINE   mattCR

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Posted September 12 2010 - 09:58 AM

Remember too the 8400GS is not very much in the way of a card to offload to.  What resolution are you trying to push?  If it's 1080P, you might want to spend a small amount of money and get something like a 5450.  The 9800 should be perfect, so you might want to make sure the Nvidia driver is fine.

 

You also need to check your CODECs.


Does this happen with all file types?  Just certain filetypes?


Does it happen with AVI, MKV, DIVX, MOV?  Or none?

 


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#4 of 7 OFFLINE   triindiglo

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Posted September 12 2010 - 05:58 PM


 

Originally Posted by Parker Clack 

First off welcome to the forum.

 

I would eliminate the TV as the problem first. I would plug your HTPC into a computer monitor and watch everything on it for a day or two and see if the stuttering continues. If it does you know the problem is with your HTPC. If it doesn't then I would look at your video card and get one that has a built in HDMI that doesn't require that you use a DVI to HDMI dongle. It sounds to me like a handshaking issue between your HTPC and your TV.

 

Thanks, I tried hooking up a monitor and it was no longer noticeable, so the HTPC is apparently capable of outputting the correct signal. I have tried using a regular HDMI cable (the video card has an HDMI output), but that actually created even more problems with overscan and color issues. The DVI-HDMI cable is the best (in this regard) that I have tried. But now that you mention it, I do not remember if using a straight HDMI cable has the stuttering or not (it is basically unwatchable anyway, but it will be interesting to test this).



#5 of 7 OFFLINE   triindiglo

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Posted September 12 2010 - 06:01 PM



Originally Posted by mattCR 

Remember too the 8400GS is not very much in the way of a card to offload to.  What resolution are you trying to push?  If it's 1080P, you might want to spend a small amount of money and get something like a 5450.  The 9800 should be perfect, so you might want to make sure the Nvidia driver is fine.

 

You also need to check your CODECs.


Does this happen with all file types?  Just certain filetypes?


Does it happen with AVI, MKV, DIVX, MOV?  Or none?

 

I have checked for, and reinstalled, the newest Nvidia drivers several times, so I am pretty sure that it is not corrupt or anything.

 

The problem happens with every video type I have tried, and with every resolution. There is no noticeable difference in how much it stutters between 1080p or just a ripped dvd.
 



#6 of 7 ONLINE   mattCR

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Posted September 12 2010 - 07:09 PM

Ah.  I think I have realized your issue.


The overscan you mentioned when you use straight HDMI is -correct-.  You then need to use the video card to set the overscan rate (it's possible).  When you use a DVI to HDMI on an HDMI supporting card, you can get some odd results.  I would check that first and correct your overscan.  Since you seem to be fine when you run straight to a monitor, the issue is most likely the device handshake.  I would check that first.


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#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted September 15 2010 - 09:39 PM

When you plug in your HTPC to your JVC does the software for the Nvidia drivers tell you what monitor you have plugged in? I have an ATI with mine and when I plug my HPTC into my Panasonic it correctly identifies the Panasonic and the resolution of the panel. I am not sure how Nvidia does their setup in their software. I remember when I had a video card that required that I use a DVI to HDMI dongle I had to go into the ATI software and play around with the overscan. Once I used a card that had a HDMI out the software correctly identified my monitor and adjusted the overscan and the resolution was set to the panel.

 


"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."