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Which software player will play HD? Help!

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Old 11-24-2005, 08:27 AM   #1
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Default Which software player will play HD? Help!

OK, so it's like this. After extensive experimentation, I am roughly a hundred percent positive that the reason I am unable to watch HD video on my computer is that none of the players (PowerDVD, WinDVD, etc.) are capable of accomplishing it, for one reason. I do not believe my hardward is the issue. I have a Dell Dimension 4700 with a 3.4GHz P4, 2GB RAM, an nVidia GeForce 6800 video card and a Raptor 10,000 RPM hard drive. In all, a pretty darn fast computer.
The latest version of PowerDVD is the only player I've seen that is capable of displaying the dazzling color richness, texture and high resolution of HD video. The problem? The video will not stop jerking--stuttering if you will. Then there's the latest edition of WinDVD. It plays HD video files relatively smoothly--with just one caveat. It appears to first strip the video of all that dazzling color richness, texture and sundry qualities that make HD HD, the result being video that looks no different from SVCD. I have tried Windows Media Player and Media Player Classic, and once again, they will play the video, but it doesn't look any better than SVCD,
If someone out there knows of a player that will do the trick, or if I am overlooking something else entirely, please let me know. I didn't spend all that money on that super Dimension only to not be able to watch HD.

Thanks,

Robert
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Old 11-24-2005, 04:48 PM   #2
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All of those players can play HD fine, even on lesser systems than yours, but they've got to be setup right. One problem with timing can be caused by other processes with higher priority than the player... shut down all uneeded tasks, and make sure to clean out any SpyWare that robs cycles... Make sure you have the latest drivers, have the latest version of DirectX, and have a display that can handle HDTV formats - at least 1280 x 720 @ 60 Hz, in 24 or 32 bit color depth.
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Old 12-07-2005, 05:40 PM   #3
3D hi def. When?
 
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I have a Dvico HDTV card in my desktop computer and therefore have a number of recorded files that I would like to be able to watch on trips on my laptop. I recently discovered I could do this using Windows Media Player 10 if ...

How to view HDTV transport stream (.ts or .tp) files. This will work in Windows XP only.

1. Install Windows Media Encoder 9.

2. Install Windows Media Player 10 (or upgrade to it).

3. Install the NVIDIA PureVideo Decoder (30 day trial).
ftp://download1.nvidia.com/Windows/d...l_1.02-185.exe

4. Reboot.

5. Double click a .tp or .ts file and select Windows Media Player to open it. Windows Media Player may give a message that the file type is not recognized but go ahead and play it anyway.

6. This works great on a Dell 2.8 Ghz laptop with 512MB RAM and Windows XP Home. I was able to watch any of the .tp files I recorded using my Dvico FusionHDTV 5 Gold PCI card.

7. After this I installed the freeware DVBPortal HDTV Pump Filter (www.dvbportal.de) and that fixed the last problem which was that 2 of the HDTV samples I downloaded from the Dvico ftp server played with no sound.

The 30 day trial of the NVIDIA PureVideo Decoder is not over yet so I don't know if the DVBPortal HDTV Pump Filter will let me keep viewing HDTV files afterward.

HD files sample download location:
ftp.cmf.nrl.navy.mil - login as user mpeg with password mpeg. The files are in /pub/iHDTV/MPG/. Get the dreamtime.mpg file and change the extension from mpg to ts.

Also see the sample HD files at http://www.fusionhdtv.co.kr/Eng/Download/Demo.aspx. The Australia2.tp file is really British Columbia. This is one of the ones with no sound before the DVBPortal HDTV Pump.
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Old 12-07-2005, 06:21 PM   #4
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Also note that the 6800's agp cards did have a non working mpg2 decoder, or at least a partially working vpu. So I don't think the Nvidia decoder will do him much good. There was a big deal about the borked vpu on the NV4 agp cards when they firast came out, some people filed a class action suit but I doubt it ever made it to court. It's hard to sue over technology that hasn't matured. I assume hyper theading is enabled and your cpu isn't pegged. On my 8INXP Intel rig with a 256 9800 pro running 1 gig of dual channel PC 3200 PL ram and a 2.4 NW even though my cpu is pegged, it still plays my HD .ts files mind you when this card came out there was no mpg2 hardware built into the cards at the time so in my case the cpu is doing most if not all the work. Even with HT enabled I'm pegged at 100% but video still plays fine.

If I were you go into your bios and see if you can tighten up the ram timmings. It really does make a huge difference in video playback performance. Also check your temps you could be overheating and the video card may be throttling.
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Last edited by smurfer; 12-07-2005 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:03 AM   #5
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Easier and cheaper! Just download VLC (Google it). It will play and convert a wide variety of MPEG files - and it's free! Once you install it with its decoders, Windows media player (9 or better) will also play MPEGs.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:39 AM   #6
What is HD?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Kennett
Easier and cheaper! Just download VLC (Google it). It will play and convert a wide variety of MPEG files - and it's free! Once you install it with its decoders, Windows media player (9 or better) will also play MPEGs.
Well i dont think so.
I also Downloaded Windows Media 10, Some Codecs, VLC, MediaPlayer Classic and all the stuff that SHOULD MAKE HDTV
Movies run fine on a System. But its not gonna happend. My
System: AMD 64 3500+, 1GB Ram, Radeon 9800 Pro (256MB)
720p Videos run fine. But 1080 Videos i get many stripes. VLC
"clean" these Stripes if i set the Deinterlaced Mode to "Middle" but
the Performance REALY SUCKs and go down ... i dont know why ..
Watching Videos like that? I cant enjoy. Try to handle that Problem
now over 2 Month and reg me in some other Forums. But no Help.
4 example the "LG" Video (45mbit ,TS, DD5.1). Ah end before you
ask: Newest DirectX, Newest GPU Version, Newest Bios Version and
Newest SoundCard Version (thats what i take from other boards
with me ... sometimes guys realy think a Driverupdate can handle
all Errors ... damn ^^).

Last edited by BlackFlower; 12-15-2005 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 12-28-2005, 05:04 AM   #7
3D hi def. When?
 
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I discovered my 2.66Ghz computer wasn't fast enough to play some of the wmvhd 1080p samples at

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...tshowcase.aspx

So I did what was recommended on another thread here and downloaded the Zoom Player at http://www.inmatrix.com/ Now I only have 1 wmvhd file that doesn't play right, the audio stutters on Step_into_Liquid_1080.wmv. I guess the Zoom Player is just enough faster than Windows Media Player 10 to make a difference on the others. I looked at my performance and the CPU is pegged at 100% in both Zoom and WMP10 for some of these 1080p wmvhd files. All the 720p files play fine. All the 1080i files I've recorded from broadcast TV play fine.

So I am not quite ready for blue-ray, yet.

Dell 4550 Desktop
2.66Ghz P4
768 MB RAM
160GB + 250GB ATA100 IDE hard drives
(because each football game is ~18GB)
DVICO FusionHDTV 5 Gold tuner card
ATI Radeon 9600 Pro 256MB graphics card
Gateway VX1100 21" CRT monitor
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Old 12-30-2005, 08:11 AM   #8
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Blackflower:
I have a similar system to yours, and have no problem playing all the WMVHD and DivX HD files except for the "Step into liquid 1080p" on my PC screen with only very rare skips on one or two and no audio problems. I mention this only because I just started playing with this, and have a very NON optimized system for playing HD video... the specs:
AMD Athlon (Barton) 3500+
Gigabyte 7N400p motherboard
1GB (2x512MB) memory in dual-channel configuration (only effort made for electronic optimization on my system)
Default BIOS settings for everything
Windows Media Player 9 (not 10)
VLC, ATI, other media players, all working normally
No BIOS tweaks, no software tweaks, several resident programs running, a bog-standard day-to-day PC with normal resident apps (Systray has Roxio CD apps, AOL kickstart, Quicktime kickstart, ATI display, ATI remote wonder, APC Powerchute manager, Spybot S&D, and WinVNC, all running all the time).

This might be the only place where I get my speed difference:
13GB 7200 RPM system drive (applications ONLY)
4.3GB 10,000 RPM UltraII SCSI swapfile drive (if you don't have a separate swap drive (equal or faster to your system drive), you are killing your performance on ANY PC.
Dual 36GB 10k UltraII SCSI video capture drives (for my video capturing, not used for playback)
80GB storage drive 7200RPM
300GB storage drive 7200RPM

Bottom line, the only speed difference I really have (considering most of my system is SLOWER and less optimized than yours Blackflower) might be the fact that I have a separate applications, swap, and storage drive configuration (and all are 7200RPM minimum, 5400RPM won't do at all for a quick system)

If you have a single drive system, look for a small drive (as small as remains cost-efficient) for a swap drive that is as fast as you can support (if not SCSI, a 10k Western Digital Raptor is ideal)... it only has to be 2.5 to 4 times the system memory, but of course nothing is that small.
Then look for another "storage" drive, (7200RPM or better, 10k ideal), of course at this point you may/will need more IDE channels if you have both IDE 0 and IDE 1 channels full, but that's for another discussion, assuming you have an IDE raid type motherboard (or a SCSI card is ideal for such applications). This is the drive you'll use for active storage (if you have a large, fast, system drive, get a smaller "system drive" and rearrange your system appropriately).
On a single drive system, your system is trying to read application modules from the drive (whatever isn't kept in active memory at any given time), page to and from the drive (swapfile), AND playback the file, so it's doing 3 things instead of ideally just the one you want (playing the file back).
A single hard drive rate maxes out (for sustained rate, not burst) around the following:
5400RPM - 30MB/s
7200RPM - 50MB/s
10k RPM - 80MB/s
15k RPM - 100MB/s

These are approximations, and are irrespective of interface ratings (it doesn't matter how fast the controller is, the drive can physical only retrieve so fast based on spindle speed, sector density, and location on the drive), but good enough for illustrative purposes... a 1080p video stream is around 27MB/s, so if you have a 5400 RPM, it can do NOTHING but play that stream back without incurring a performance drop. If it's also handling system operations and swapfile operations... you can see the point. If all 3 operations are needed (retrieving system data, reading/writing swapfile data, and playing a video stream), you are looking at 30/3 = 10MB/s (if divided equally, system calls obviously will take priority though), or dropping 2 out of 3 frames (and related audio dropouts) on playback just to keep up. On a 7200 RPM drive, it would be around 16.7, to hit the magical 27MB/s on a single drive system, you'll need a drive of 81MB/s (a 10k minimum) assuming equal division of requests, but since the system requests during playback are probably minimal (<1MB/s), divide it equally between swap and file retrieval, so a FAST 7200RPM drive on a fast interface (ATA-100, SATA) might do the tricl.... but that's only a single video playback stream, if you decide to capture also, playback multiple streams, or do anything else application wise, it drops again....
Compare that to an ideal separate (3-drive) setup, each drive has it's own full-bandwidth access to the related tasks, so a 7200RPM drive is more than enough to play back 2 or even 3 (if it's a high-end one) streams without breakup.
If you HAVE to share drives (a 2-drive setup), put the swapfile and system on the same drive (normally the opposite is recommended (swap and system on separate drives), but that is for optimum system responsiveness (snappy applications, shorter load times, at the expense of file loading/unloading performance (with the swap and file storage on the same drive)), it doesn't relate well to video playback however, where we want file transfer to be as quick as possible, and don't care as much how long the media player loads or how fast switching between applications is. You can't have both optimized on a 2-drive setup, you either sacrifice OS/application performance (putting swapfile on the system/application drive), or sacrifice file transfer (video playback) performance (putting swapfile on the main file storage drive).

There is much more of course, but that's way freaking long enough to hopefully get the point across if it applies to anyone out there.
Chris
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Old 12-30-2005, 09:56 AM   #9
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Oops, slight error in my previous post (and it won't let me edit for some reason)... after doing more research, the encoded bitrate (read from the source drive) is probably 1-2MB/s for MPEG4 type compression (verified against some of the files on WMVHD using total size/time division). However this data still has to be unencoded, and if the vidcard GPU cannot keep up with the processing (or handle it at all), then it falls back to the system to handle, which again will flood working storage (RAM and HD) resulting in the same problem, a multi-megabyte per second load streaming to and from the swapfile HD, and a resultant performance hit on a single drive system. Sorry for any misinformation, I'd have edited the post if it would let me.

Last edited by christexan; 12-30-2005 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 01-01-2006, 12:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klrfz1
I discovered my 2.66Ghz computer wasn't fast enough to play some of the wmvhd 1080p samples at

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...tshowcase.aspx

So I did what was recommended on another thread here and downloaded the Zoom Player at http://www.inmatrix.com/ Now I only have 1 wmvhd file that doesn't play right, the audio stutters on Step_into_Liquid_1080.wmv. I guess the Zoom Player is just enough faster than Windows Media Player 10 to make a difference on the others. I looked at my performance and the CPU is pegged at 100% in both Zoom and WMP10 for some of these 1080p wmvhd files. All the 720p files play fine. All the 1080i files I've recorded from broadcast TV play fine.
A few other advantages with Zoom player is the ease of colour/brightness/gamma/contrast and aspect setting... not to mention zooming on the mouse wheel, fwd/rev. One of the best full featured players around.
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Old 01-02-2006, 09:30 AM   #11
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Okay - this is a general response to help those out there who are not complete techies and want to play with what they can get.

First steps should be the basics before attempting to follow Chris advice:
to test if using XP go to start, run and type msconfig. On the start up tab untick everything (this will stop everything initiating on boot which will include you firewall/virus protection SO ONLY TO TEST and retick the ones you require after)

Like VLC player myself - it works well across platforms and is swift

Make sure your Hard Disk Drive is defragg'd

Concur with Chris that system Performance can be increased by moving the swap file to another Hard Disk Drive - although ignore Chris's guestimations where he is comparing theortical sustained rate on IDE based drives whilst he is using SCSI (Chris IDE can outburst SCSI on a like for like spec but not yet sustain and your SCSI means you are l also splitting the PCI bus which brings a totally different situation into the equation)

You will get a performance increase by placing the swap file onto a faster dedicated drive that is not using the same channel
This drive only requires the size of the swap file (for performance systems Microsoft recommend 1.5 times your computers memory size set statically (although you should keep the minimum size possible on your original disk - 2MB I believe - or you may encounter known application issues - check microsoft knowledgebase if you want to know what issues you will encounter) - this leaves the rest of the disk usable to yourself (making the raptor 10,000 RPM not a complete waste).

Disagree on Chris quote for 1080p bandwidth - this is closer to 1080i which is transmitting half the information - 1080P is sending nearly twice this and hence why it is struggling to retrieve from the HDD (RAID 0 may be considering in this example).

If you are not confident altering you memory timings - then don't do it - you may introduce alot more instability/problems into your system - overclockers do enjoy playing with these but also incur the additional cost involved in buying the most expensive memory that can deal with these tolerances before frying (top class memory costs 2 to 3 times standard spec) and give at most a 1 to 2 percent performance increase (not considered cost effective by most).

Chris do not know what you meant by the statement below but it makes no sense what so ever - if your GPU can not keep up with it then it falls back to your general CPU - so you believe that the specific CPU that is purely designed to crunch graphic algorithms can not keep up your generic CPU it is going to have a chance? further this increases load on the RAM, swap file and HDD (rather than them staying roughly the same and saturating the bandwidth over the north bridge).

"However this data still has to be unencoded, and if the vidcard GPU cannot keep up with the processing (or handle it at all), then it falls back to the system to handle, which again will flood working storage (RAM and HD) resulting in the same problem, a multi-megabyte per second load streaming to and from the swapfile HD, and a resultant performance hit on a single drive system."

Anyway good luck all and help this helps a bit - and apologies for those that know this already.
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