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infocus13 06-17-2008 04:48 PM

WMV HD files stuttering on the HD100
Hey guys

First off some system specs. HD100 connected to an AMD X2 4200 server pc (2gb ram, 5xdisks with 2TB total), onboard video. Connected to the HD100 via a wired lan/switch. HD100 is connected to a 720p (max res is 1080i) CRT TV via HDMI. Resolution is 720p.

Everything about the HD100 is working fine except when I try to play my HD WMV video clips from the server on it (most of the clips are the ones from the Microsoft HD gallery/site, the 1080p "Coral Reef" clip is the one exhibiting the most problems) . The clips are stuttering badly. Whilst the clips are playing, the server CPU is sitting at around 50-60%, indicating that Sage is transcoding the clips and sending them across. Most of the clips are 1080i/p or 720p. My network usage meter indicates that only 3% of the bandwidth is being used.

If I change the video conversion quality in SageTV server properties from High to Standard, the stuttering mainly goes away (still a little bit let though). What could be the problem here??

1. Is my CPU just not powerful enough to transcode these files? Note that my usage is at 50-60%, not 100%.

2. When I had the server working as a dedicated HTPC, I had a 2600pro video card in it (which I removed when I got the HD100). All these clips played perfectly in that configuration. Should I put the card back into the server to help with the WMV transcoding?

3. I have a cheapo 8-port switch (non gigabit) which connects the server and the hd100. Could this be the problem? I read in one of the other posts on here that somene had a similar issue, which was fixed by replacing the cheap switch with a quality one...

4. I've also removed all video codecs (ffdshow) and decoders (cyberlink) from the server. Do I maybe need to install these back to assist with the transcoding?

Note I'm using the latest beta of Sage and hd100 firmware.

Any ideas guys?

Thanks in advance.

infocus13 06-17-2008 07:21 PM

I noticed this thread got moved to Beta Software forum.

I should note that I was having this same problem with Sage 6.3 stable and the stock stable firmware that came with the HD100.

infocus13 06-19-2008 09:42 PM

Hmm, no one has any suggestions?

Razillian 06-19-2008 10:17 PM

WMV files use the WMV codec for playback. I am going to assume that the HD100 does not natively support WMV format, hence the reason you are seeing it get transcoded. Is that 50-60% CPU utilization for the single transcoder process or in total?

Seeing that WMV uses its own codec, I don't think there are decoders that will offload processing to the GPU, so putting back your old video card would likely not amount to anything (although I could be wrong, I don't know how all the decoders out there work).

The decoders you mentioned are all for MPEG, etc; and not WMV so I doubt adding those back would help either. Although I *DO* think the cyberlink powerdvd player can play WMV files, so it might have different decoders that could work better (shot in the dark, but if you have the software give it a go)

More CPU horsepower, more memory, and (possibly) increasing the Javaheap size (not sure if that is used for transcoding).

Razillian 06-19-2008 10:27 PM

One other thing, assuming Cyberlink has its own decoder that works with WMV files, you might have to tell Sage to use that decoder.

Take a look here for info on setting those properties:

I believe the video codec type for those files you linked to are "WMV9".

infocus13 06-19-2008 11:57 PM

Thanks Raz.

Only thing is that these recordings play 100% perfectly on the server (even with the built-in video). When I play them on the HD100, they stutter & there is no audio!

I was under the impression that video card & decoders/codecs make absolutely no difference to the HD100.

Razillian 06-20-2008 08:00 AM

Normally you are correct, the server just sends the file as is to the HD100 and it plays the file on its own. I am guessing that the HD100 can not natively play WMV files, so instead of sending the file straight to the HD100 it must convert it to a playable format, which would mean it would have to use the codecs on the server to read the file and then rewrite it using another codec before sending (or while sending).

You might try opening a support ticket with Sage to confirm all this, and to put it on their radar.

EDIT: I jsut read this FAQ: It lists WMV9 as one of the built in codec for the HD100, so my theory is out the window it appears. I would definitely recommend opening a bug submission with Sage.

sorrowstyr 10-08-2008 01:13 AM

Bump, any resolution to the no audio wmv's ?

sorrowstyr 10-09-2008 12:09 PM

Follow up for the bug report will be posted here:

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