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Thread: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

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    Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    Hi all!

    I know this is probably a shot in the dark but I was wondering whether anyone had any similar problems with skipping on their Vista Media Center setup? Basically, whenever I'm watching live TV, or playing a video or even watching a DVD and then I have a menu overlay on I get a stutter on the image. This occurs either when I'm looking at the full menu (with TV/video playing behind) or just if I adjust the volume and the little volume box comes up. After I'm back on plain TV with no overlay, the stutter continues for 5-6 seconds then the playback is smooth again.

    Annoyingly, it only seems to happen when Media Center is full screen. It doesn't seem to happen (or at least it's alot less noticeable) when Media Center is windowed over the normal Vista desktop.

    Here's my spec below:

    Windows Vista
    E2160 1.6MHz @ 2.2 GHz
    Gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2H / Nvidia nForce 630i Chipset / NVidia GeForce 7100 GPU
    2GB PC6400 DDR2 RAM
    500GB HD (1 x 100GB partition, 1 x 400GB partition)
    Edimax EW-7618Ug USB Wireless adapter
    Hauppauge Nova T-500 dual tuner

    Running a 32" AOC LCD TV @ 720P resolution via HDMI.

    Things I've already tried:

    Updating Vista with all updates and the NVidia recommended hotfixes.
    Updating chipset drivers (version 16.08)
    Updating graphics drivers (Forceware 169.25)
    Updating motherboard BIOS (to F4)
    Trying different MPEG decoder (tried NVidia and Nero decoders)
    Making sure resolutions / refresh rates are the same from within Media Center and Windows Control Panel (720P & 60Hz)
    Making sure TV Tuner drivers are up to date (version 4.3.25080)
    Making sure wireless adapter drivers are up to date (off website, can't remember version)
    Unplugging the wireless adapter (helped a little I think)
    ...and that's all I can think of right now.

    Initially I thought it was the TV tuner, but as I have the problem on recorded stuff as well I guess that can only leave the graphics or chipset. I know Vista SP1 RC is out, but I'm reluctant to install SP1 until it's out properly.

    So, any ideas people?

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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    Since I changed my HTPC board I get the exact same issue! Whenever the menu is up or I even change the volume it gives the picture a slight stutter. Its not too bad really so Ive never bother to work out whats wrong but I do know its there!!

    My old HTPC never stuttered and it was a much lower spec than the new one I set up. It does it when playing a DVD too, only very slightly mind.

    New HTPC (Vista Ultimate):
    AMDx2 4000
    2Gb DDR2
    Abit ANM2-HD / Nvidia nForce 630a Chipset / NVidia GeForce 7050 GPU
    Pinnacle Dual DVB-T
    Belkin USB wifi dongle

    Old HTPC (Vista Ultimate):
    P4 3Ghz
    1Gb DDR
    MSI mobo
    128mb ATi 9250SE
    Pinnacle Dual DVB-T
    Belkin USB wifi dongle

    My old HTPC worked absolutely fine and it was connected to my 32" LCD via VGA, the new HTPC connects via HDMI. It stutters using with HDMI or VGA on the new HTPC. We have a very similar board, so I wonder if thats got something to do with it. Mobo or GPU drivers?
    Last edited by s_kinton; 08-01-2008 at 02:07 PM.

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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    Its not possibly the onboard gpu to blame is it? I'd personally would prefer a dedicated graphics card over an onboard one for a media center. I'd get a cheap radeon hd 2600XT, might solve your issues?

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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by digit View Post
    Its not possibly the onboard gpu to blame is it? I'd personally would prefer a dedicated graphics card over an onboard one for a media center. I'd get a cheap radeon hd 2600XT, might solve your issues?
    I hear what you're saying, but it shouldnt take a dedicated card to just playback a DVD or freeview without stuttering when in the menu. Our boards have some of the best onboard GPUs available. My old ATi 9250SE was capable and this onboard GPU is much better.

    I do think that a dedicated card would probably solve it though. It shouldnt need it though. I might try a low end PCI-E card in it and see what happens.

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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    My dedicated 7100GS can't handle 1920x1200 in MCE, XP or Vista - stutters and tears too. It's getting dumped for a HD2400 or one of ATis new budget cards if they're out by the time I order. It's worse than a 9250SE by the way. The 9250 would be closer to the 7300(GS I guess) - the 7100GS is the lowest rung of any ladder I've ever had the misfortune or owning.

    Made no difference what settings I used, which drivers, what OS or whether or not I used PureVideo, the card just can't handle 1920x1200 mpegs.

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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    I think this is just an NVidia specific problem, and I'm now resigned to the fact that I'll have to get a HD2600. I'll need to get one anyway if I want to get Bluray, I guess it'll just have to come a little earlier.

    I suppose this issue will be sorted by new drivers eventually, but I can't be bothered to wait for that.

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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    Just picked up a ATI Radeon HD3450 card and as thought, no stuttering whatsoever. They're only about £30 so it's worth the dosh.

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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    Thanks for taking the time to update the thread. I may well search for a cheap card in that case.

    I need low profile though which limits my options a little.I might also grab one of those LG multi drives from Scan for£170. Not a bad price for a blu-ray writer and HD-DVD ROM combi....

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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by s_kinton View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to update the thread. I may well search for a cheap card in that case.

    I need low profile though which limits my options a little.I might also grab one of those LG multi drives from Scan for£170. Not a bad price for a blu-ray writer and HD-DVD ROM combi....

    I was browsing for same myself yesterday. IIRC Scan do a passive 3450 by Asus which also is low profile and also cheap!

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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Methanoid View Post
    I was browsing for same myself yesterday. IIRC Scan do a passive 3450 by Asus which also is low profile and also cheap!
    None of the HD3450s at Scan are low profile. I've got the ASUS and that certainly isn't and the neither the Powercolor or Sapphire ones are either (shame, as they're millimeters off ). Those wanting low profile cards need to wait on the Club 3D or MSI cards to become available here (Club 3D one looks like it's going to be in stock in a few places imminently).

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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    Could be that MS Media Centers are a bit pants. I've seen a lot of set ups on identical systems. Some stutter and some don't. reintslls often fix it, as so new drivers, as do signal strengths of TV reception. good luck
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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    None of the HD3450s at Scan are low profile. I've got the ASUS and that certainly isn't and the neither the Powercolor or Sapphire ones are either (shame, as they're millimeters off ). Those wanting low profile cards need to wait on the Club 3D or MSI cards to become available here (Club 3D one looks like it's going to be in stock in a few places imminently).
    I'm waiting for the Club 3d one also. Its a shame because i have read a couple of reviews like this one I4U News - ATI Radeon HD 3450 HTPC Video Card Review which have a true low profile Sapphire card. It also reports that it includes the dvi-to-hdmi adaptor but no details of the exact model numbers to make sure you get the one with the small heatsink. Pixmania seem to be advertising this low profile version here SAPPHIRE TECHNOLOGY RADEON HD 3450 256 MB DDR2 PCI-E 2.0 review cheap prices RADEON HD 3450 256 MB DDR2 PCI-E 2.0 SAPPHIRE TECHNOLOGY best buy discount online uk shop but i never really trust them!

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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Midas View Post
    Could be that MS Media Centers are a bit pants. I've seen a lot of set ups on identical systems. Some stutter and some don't. reintslls often fix it, as so new drivers, as do signal strengths of TV reception. good luck
    It's driver issues - do some research and you'll see various drivers have caused all sorts of mayhem with playback. nVidia have a (well founded) reputation for it in fact, but for those using nVidia drivers try the following:

    Go to your nvidia control panel then "adjust video colour settings" and crank up your edge enhancement and noise reduction between 15 and 25 percent. This seems to work well for a lot of people using some of the very latest drivers. I have no stutter issues with the 174.16 drivers currently.

    Not everything can be laid as MS' door.. Codec and driver issues are almost always to blame.
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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by colincliff View Post
    I'm waiting for the Club 3d one also.
    Komplett have just got it in stock (wasn't in yesterday). Hopefully it will include the low-profile bracket, but if not I fully expect my XFX ones to fit (they would have fit the ASUS 3450 had the heatsink been half-height). //edit: If you want to grab the XFX low profile bracket kit thing on the off-chance, they also stock that.

    /me orders.
    Last edited by this_is_gav; 04-03-2008 at 12:41 PM.

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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    My passive HD3450 Club 3D card came today and I can confirm it comes with a low-profile bracket (2, one for DVI and a second to use VGA in an adjacent slot) as well as the full bracket (installed by default) and fully low-profile heatsink. I'll likely install it over the weekend.

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    Re: Vista Media Center stuttering!!!

    thanks gav, i also ordered one and will likely get it in on the weeknd.

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