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Old 06-04-2011, 08:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Choppy, stuttering video playback?

I have an nvidea Geforce 8600GT and a Pentium 4 dual core (2 gigs of RAM) and yet when I play some videos they get choppy and start stuttering. The audio frequently goes out of sync. This generally happens with high resolution videos. I especially have problems when I try to seek with WMV and MP4 files. Sometimes it lags and sometimes it freezes. Pretty sure the main problem is high CPU demand.

I've tried all the usual recommendations. Including VLC. Works OK for most low resolution videos but anything that looks halfway decent pegs my CPU. Doesn't seem to matter what I'm doing or how many programs I'm running. Tried K-lite codec pack. Configuring that thing is a nightmare and I still have the same problems.

Is it just my system? The computer itself is an Emachines T5086. I know that's a low end computer from a few years ago but as far as I know it should be capable of playing these videos.

I've Googled it but it seems like people never just answer the questions and when they do, they often give advice that obviously don't address the question or doesn't work. Their response is usually to download VLC. Which is good in some ways but the interface is a nightmare. I have some VOB files that are interlaced. Sometimes when I turn deinterlacing on for these files, the screen goes black and I only get audio.

I know this is a rambling and vague post but any advice would be appreciated. I really can't afford a new computer so I'm hoping that isn't the problem.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Have you experimented with different video card drivers? Sometimes rolling back to a previous version can solve issues, or even trying one of the alternative drivers (not officially released by nVidia). I've personally experienced this with the 8600m under Linux. Other than that, it could be other devices causing the strain. I had to disable things on my DELL Inspiron laptop to get others working properly. I've never heard of Emachines, but it sounds like one of these DELL-like proprietary vendors.

Other than that, I've got nothing.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Emachines used to be it's own company but was bought by Gateway a while back I think.

Yes, I've tried other drivers with no luck. I've had this problem (to varying degrees) with every version of drivers I've used since I had this card. I had the same problem (but worse) with the onboard graphics before I got this add on card.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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it's an old computer for hd video
pentium 4 3.0 Ghz is slow for HD
I'm 100 percent sure about this.
coz it has only one core

here, http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=27479
one core cpu
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Russian Guy View Post
it's an old computer for hd video
pentium 4 3.0 Ghz is slow for HD
I'm 100 percent sure about this.
coz it has only one core

here, http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=27479
one core cpu
That's odd. My device manager shows 2 CPUs (I'm guessing that's supposed to mean there are two cores). The performance graph in the task manager also shows two charts for CPU usage. Is this just because there are two threads or what? I'm not good with this stuff. You very well could be right. It would explain a lot.

Anyway.....

I did some more searching on Google and found that VLC tries to deblock HD video by default. Which makes it look really nice but appears to eat the CPU power. You can turn it off completely but it looks pretty bad. I also found that my graphics driver was set to use inverse telecine by default. Once I disabled that and changed the deblocking setting (there are 4 choices, I think, including off) the CPU usage went down to about 54% (average). But it still spikes all the way up to 100% (at which point I get horizontal tearing and choppy playback) whenever I use the seek slider.

I know HD video is newer tech but really. 720p is on the lower end of HD, isn't it?
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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OK. So I did a diagnostic startup (The one that says to load only basic services at startup) and the performance for VLC was significantly better, with only about 35% CPU usage average with a 720P video.

Now what I'm wondering is which services are resource hogs that I can safely set not to start with Vista? I already have Aero turned off. There's a bunch of stuff running under services and processes but I have no idea what half of them are.
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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What i would do:

1. Uninstall all video codecs you have on your computer (K-lite codec pack and such)
2. download a video player with built in codecs (for example The KMPlayer is pretty lightweight, or MPC HC)
3. Turn on graphic card accelleration (if your GPU supports it, i reckon it does)

Generally though, i wouldnt be surprised if it still ****ters, the CPU seems to be a bottleneck.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Memory upgrade. 2GB of Ram is insufficient for HD video. This is why performance improved when you did the diagnostic start. Not as much being loaded into the memory so it ran better. Since you said you were getting pretty much the same problem when using the on board video card this would be the most likely. The On board video does not have it's own memory but shares a portion of the RAM.

I would suggest a minimum of 4 gb but preferably more.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Memory upgrade. 2GB of Ram is insufficient for HD video.
Unfortunately, I don't think this system can be upgraded higher than 2GB. I did the upgrade to 2GB about a year after I bought it and the guy at the store said 2GB was the max for this machine.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leave me alone View Post
What i would do:

1. Uninstall all video codecs you have on your computer (K-lite codec pack and such)
2. download a video player with built in codecs (for example The KMPlayer is pretty lightweight, or MPC HC)
3. Turn on graphic card accelleration (if your GPU supports it, i reckon it does)

Generally though, i wouldnt be surprised if it still ****ters, the CPU seems to be a bottleneck.
I don't think I've tried KMPlayer so I guess I'll do that. MPC seems to do OK with many files but it doesn't have color controls for a lot of them (and even the ones it does have color controls for, you have to go digging through menus to get to them). You'd think they'd be right there in the interface on every player.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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95% sure its your processor. its too old.

even if it is 2 cores, early days dual core processor technology like the celeron (iirc) and anything before the 'Core 2 Duo' line processors wasn't really optimized for running HD video.

you can check to see if it's your ram by looking at your resource manager and see if its maxing your ram when you play hd video. if its not maxing, then its not your ram. i have 2GB and even uncompressed HD video runs perfect, so i doubt it's the ram.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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There simply is no dual core Pentium 4.

Well, there is, but it's called Pentium D, not Pentium 4

Ok, let's see...

this is your computer on newegg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16883114029

it shows that cpu is Intel Pentium 4 631

to find out whether it's dual core or single core, all one has to do is to type Pentium 4 631 in google
and the first link we get, is a page on intel website

http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=27479

and if you look into the specs you will see: # of cores ---> 1

and there you have it
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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So what's the problem with the HD video? Is it the bitrate or the resolution?

It looks like my main option here would be to reencode the videos I'm having problems with but I need to know whether to lower the resolution, the bitrate or what? I really hate reencoding videos and I know it's going to kill some of the quality but I'd rather do that than not be able to watch them.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Russian Guy View Post
and if you look into the specs you will see: # of cores ---> 1

and there you have it
So why is it showing two charts under CPU on the task manager? Does that just mean there are two threads or what?
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Old 06-07-2011, 05:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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What exactly are you trying to watch?
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Ummm.....it probably wouldn't be a good idea to say it here. Let's just say it's adult entertainment. But the same thing happens whenever I try to play anything with any heft to it.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Alright, let me get this explained, this is all knowledge from being a computer enthusiast and working as a Computer Technician in a retail store. You have a Pentium 4 HT. HT stands for hyper threading and in Windows task manager the single core processor is seen as two cores. I have a six core processor, which also has hyper threading, and Windows sees twelve cores. Go to Wikipedia and read up on it if you want to know the specifics behind it. Basically if you look at your processor cores as pipes, hyper threading lets you send two things down the pipe at once. Still one physical core however.

Secondly, 2GB of RAM is plenty for Vista after it has been fully updated, and assuming you're not running a lot in the background. Having more RAM than you're using gets you nowhere. It's like having a box that all your stuff fits comfortably in. If you get a bigger box, your stuff still only takes up so much space.

It simply boils down to your processor not being able to run high resolution videos. There's nothing you can do to help it. I haven't looked into this, but unless there's a media player that can offload to your GPU, you need a new computer. (Or look at lower res porn.)
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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VLC has GPU acceleration (http://wiki.videolan.org/VLC_GPU_Decoding)

works very well here :



or you could try PowerDVD 10 or 11 . Worked for me too.





If everything fails, overclocking your CPU might be an option :

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...&aqi=&aql=&oq=
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:33 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PickleNose View Post
Ummm.....it probably wouldn't be a good idea to say it here. Let's just say it's adult entertainment. But the same thing happens whenever I try to play anything with any heft to it.
Haha thats cool. I was more interested in what format/resolution/source, eg. 1080p/720p, .mkv/.mp4/something else, bluray/hdtv/blurayrip etc.

As other posters pointed out though, your processor is most likely the bottleneck. And while you are at it, buy a new set of memories too, they are not that expensive now days
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:45 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianwarming View Post
VLC has GPU acceleration (http://wiki.videolan.org/VLC_GPU_Decoding)

works very well here :



or you could try PowerDVD 10 or 11 . Worked for me too.





If everything fails, overclocking your CPU might be an option :

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...&aqi=&aql=&oq=
That's weird. I'm pretty sure I tried running VLC with hardware acceleration turned on and my CPU was still at 70-80%.

Anyway, WMP wouldn't play any files at all so I figured something might be hopelessly screwed up somewhere. So I took the time to reinstall Vista. I'm kind of wary of installing any codecs or media players until I get a good backup image with everything working though.

Overclocking? I dunno. Sounds scary to me. For one thing, I don't think there are any settings in my BIOS I can tweak. Another thing...my PC already blows out a lot of heat. I'd really hate to ruin anything just to play a few videos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leave me alone View Post
Haha thats cool. I was more interested in what format/resolution/source, eg. 1080p/720p, .mkv/.mp4/something else, bluray/hdtv/blurayrip etc.
Some of it was 720p and some was 1080p. I couldn't get any of them to play smoothly.

Quote:
As other posters pointed out though, your processor is most likely the bottleneck. And while you are at it, buy a new set of memories too, they are not that expensive now days
Well, I don't think it's the memory. The memory usage only goes to around 800 MB with everything going. I don't think I've ever seen it go much higher than a GB.
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