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HTPC STUTTER PLAYBACK BLU RAY MPEG-4 AVC HIGH BITRATE VIA NETWORK?


thevolt5
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Hi everyone im having a little bit of trouble with a recent HTPC build I can’t seem to solve the issue with certain full Bluray movies that are a Higher bitrate MPEG-4 AVC usually over 32 Mbps and up I get stutter jump of audio and video playback now and again throughout the film at different places in the movie each time. What tips and tricks can I use to help resolve this issue to help improve smooth playback?

 

All movies are being played pulled via server machine that runs WHS2011 via CAT6 RJ45 Ethernet cable all network cards NIC are set to gigabit speed .see builds and specs below of both machines.

 

I’m not too sure if it’s a Hardware issue or software or which machine? So im a little stuck :(

 

Is there anything that I can improve in the Network Card NIC settings Flow Control etc...?

 

I’ve tried the following below with no joy ;( could someone please help who has a similar setup or playback Bluray movies with a High bitrate thank you.

 

http://www.thehtpc.net/htpc-tips-and-tweaks/network-tips-and-tweaks/improve-vista-and-windows-7-network-performance/

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948066

 

Is there anything that I can improve in the Network Card NIC settings Flow Control etc...?

 

Everything is hard wired NO streaming.

 

Video Playback software codecs: Windows Media Centre/ My Movies.dk plugin with arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 with hardware acceleration is turned on.

 

My spec machines -

 

SERVER MACHINE

 

OS: WHS2011

Hard Drives SATA II : X6 2TB Western Digital WD20EARS

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.10GHz LGA1155 3MB / BX80623I32100

Motherboards: Asus P8H67-M LE REV 3.0 / P8H67-M LE REV 3.0

Memory: Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) HyperX DDR3 1333MHz DIMM 240-pin CL9 Blu / KHX1333C9D3B1K2/8G

 

HTPC MACHINE

 

OS: Windows 7 x64

Hard Drive: OCZ 90GB Agility 3 SSD SATA-III 6Gb/s

CPU:Intel Core i5 2500K

Motherboards: ASROCK Z68M-ITX/HT MoBo

Graphics Card HDMI: ASUS NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti

Memory: Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) HyperX DDR3 1333MHz DIMM 240-pin CL9 Blu / KHX1333C9D3B1K2/8G

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  • pcdoc

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The first question to answer is whether or not your content plays locally, Copy some content to a USB drive or hard drive attached to the system and see if it plays back. If it does you problem is networking, Benchmark you network copying speed and see what your throughput is. If it is under 40 MB/s you and issue. Just having gig nic cards and cat 6 does not mean there is not an issue somewhere. I would also under the suggestion that where made in the reference articles you posted. My guess is that it is in your network somewhere but run these tests first.

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Okay thank you I will double check to see how this fairs via playback on the local HTPC machine. I am getting copying speeds over 70MB/s last time I checked ,,which benchmark tool can I use to check the throughput? thank you.:)

 

Is there anything that I may need to change within the registry to enable or disable etc..?

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As pcdoc intimated, the best approach is to isolate the issue. Divide the problem in half, find out which half still has the issue, then divide that half in half again until you've found the problem. In this case, running the content locally determines if the issue is on your HTPC, or it's elsewhere (if could still be on the HTPC if it has a bad NIC or its IP stack is not performing well, but let's not get ahead of ourselves).

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Both NICs are on board Realtek Network Cards ,,Ive heard that they can be a issue when streaming transfer HD content?

 

After more reading I came across this I was woundering if this is nessary in WHS2011 ? ,,Shutting Off Demigrator.exe In Windows Home Server?

 

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010/12/09/guide-shutting-off-demigrator-exe-in-windows-home-server/

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Both NICs are on board Realtek Network Cards ,,Ive heard that they can be a issue when streaming transfer HD content?

 

After more reading I came across this I was woundering if this is nessary in WHS2011 ? ,,Shutting Off Demigrator.exe In Windows Home Server?

 

http://www.mediasmar...ws-home-server/

 

There are no issues with two realtec cards. 8 of the 9 systems I have use realtec with no issues. The problem lies somewhere else in your setup. Again, try playback on the local PC before going any further.

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Hi again thanks for the quick reply much appreciated,, after a little more testing over the weekend I may have found the culprit its something I total ruled out as I thought my new switch would have the muscle to handle the HD video content im using a Cisco SG200-08, I disconnected this and connected the RJ45 Ethernet cable direct in to the HTPC from the server and all seemed fine with no stutter, so it seems that its something to do with the switch and passing through this.?

 

I’m sure my switch Cisco SG200-08 is just an un-managed switch so I can’t attempt to configure it anyway? :(

 

Which options of switches would work well with this configuration? I only need a few ports I’ve heard that the Packet buffer size needs to be above 512?

 

http://www.cisco.com...78-19516-01.pdf

Edited by thevolt5
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Hi again thanks for the quick reply much appreciated,, after a little more testing over the weekend I may have found the culprit its something I total ruled out as I thought my new switch would have the muscle to handle the HD video content im using a Cisco SG200-08, I disconnected this and connected the RJ45 Ethernet cable direct in to the HTPC from the server and all seemed fine with no stutter, so it seems that its something to do with the switch and passing through this.?

 

I’m sure my switch Cisco SG200-08 is just an un-managed switch so I can’t attempt to configure it anyway? :(

 

Which options of switches would work well with this configuration? I only need a few ports I’ve heard that the Packet buffer size needs to be above 512?

 

http://www.cisco.com...78-19516-01.pdf

 

OK, you're a step ahead. After verifying content played well locally, this is where I (and I bet pcdoc too) would have gone next - that is, eliminate the network hardware. Since you've already done that, you now know where your issue is, I had a similar issue in that I had too many switches between my server and my HTPC. I changed to a single, central switch and my problems vanished.

 

From that PDF it appears you need to consult the Cisco Small Business Smart Switch Administration Guide (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/switches/lan/csbss/sf20x_sg20x/administration_guide/OL-22849-01.pdf). It may give you the features you want to configure QoS for you video streaming.

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