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Old 2009-06-24, 19:00   Link #1
Vagrant0
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Slow/stuttering playback on "decent" system

My system -
2.6 ghz dual core
XP
2gb ram

512mb Radeon X1600 pro

I've been using the CCCP, and have installed/updated all codecs.
I've updated my graphics drivers, Directx, and stopped most non-essential processes.
I've been using either zoomplayer or MPC.

But, video files which are 720 or most .mkv/mp4 formats always have visual problems. Either the sound starts getting ahead of the video, or the video starts getting choppy. I've already tried adjusting the settings within the haali splitter to increase the buffer, and use frame skipping, but that doesn't seem to solve the problem.

I don't care too much about having a crystal clear image, or even seeing it at such a high resolution. But as many fansubs are only supporting these types, I find myself frustrated with continually having to stop the player every 5 minutes or so, go back, and play through a scene piece by piece, or having to miss whole segments of the video.

I realize my system is crap by todays standards, but upgrading is not something I can afford. What I would like to know is if there is a way to help solve these playback issues, or if I can somehow degrade the quality so that it can play properly.

*edit* I've been looking through some older threads trying to find some answers, and the little that isn't a year or two old, and that I can make sense of doesn't seem to help any. CoreAVC is not freeware, a 14 day trial won't do me any good, so is not a possibility. I've tried using megui to re-encode files at smaller resolutions, with it crapping out as soon as it's done working on the avisynth script due to one error or another (5 hours for a single 30 minute file is also a bit excessive). Tried removing and re-adding CCCP, no help there. As more and more groups are encoding to these higher formats, and only those formats, I find myself wondering simply... "WTF!?". Is there any simple solution that isn't yet another expense I can't afford?

Last edited by Vagrant0; 2009-06-25 at 05:51.
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Old 2009-06-25, 10:02   Link #2
SeijiSensei
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Try smplayer and see if that helps. It uses mplayer with its self-contained decoders and should ignore the other codecs you have installed.
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Old 2009-06-25, 17:48   Link #3
sneaker
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The old versions of ffdshow are not as good in using multiple cores. Try a newer version of ffdshow or a beta of cccp. Open the ffdshow video settings and choose "ffmpeg-mt" as the decoder of "H.264 / AVC" under "codecs" and try again.
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Old 2009-06-25, 20:09   Link #4
Vagrant0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneaker View Post
The old versions of ffdshow are not as good in using multiple cores. Try a newer version of ffdshow or a beta of cccp. Open the ffdshow video settings and choose "ffmpeg-mt" as the decoder of "H.264 / AVC" under "codecs" and try again.
The newer ffdshow helps with the sync a little, but there is still some stuttering. I can't seem find that decoder under the codecs listing however, so that may be why it isn't completely better. As for CCCP, will look into the beta as soon as I have time to go through uninstalling all the codecs, then reinstalling.

Tried using msplayer, didn't help any, and seemed to be yet another player to have to jerk around with, so removed it soon after.
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Old 2009-06-25, 21:04   Link #5
Dark Shikari
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2.6Ghz dual core what? Kumquat?

Also, the DivX decoder is multithreaded and free.
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Old 2009-06-25, 22:45   Link #6
Vagrant0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Shikari View Post
2.6Ghz dual core what? Kumquat?

Also, the DivX decoder is multithreaded and free.
2.6ghz Pentium D, if it matters.

DivX, Xvid, Avi, or smaller resolutions are rarely ever a problem. As the problem seems to be more with h264, not sure how a new divx encoder would apply. The problem is that the higher resolutions are requiring more processing than my system can handle... Just so that I can count the number of eyelashes on a character in the background.

*Edit* Just reinstalled using the beta, and it's just as bad as when I first started. So that only made it worse, or removed whatever settings I had which were helping. System jumps between 40% and 100% during playback. The only decoder option for h.264 is libavcodec.

*Edit2* Installed the Beta again, after FFDshow. ffmpeg-mt is listed, and is used for h.264, but this does not seem to improve anything. And I'm certain that what I am viewing was downloaded properly, and is in this format.

Last edited by Vagrant0; 2009-06-26 at 02:36.
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Old 2009-06-26, 16:24   Link #7
sneaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant0 View Post
2.6ghz Pentium D, if it matters.
As the problem seems to be more with h264, not sure how a new divx encoder would apply.
He means the new DivX 7 which includes a H264 decoder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant0 View Post
*Edit2* Installed the Beta again, after FFDshow. ffmpeg-mt is listed, and is used for h.264, but this does not seem to improve anything. And I'm certain that what I am viewing was downloaded properly, and is in this format.
Is ffdshow listed in MPC under "filters" when playing a file? Maybe it's using a different decoder.
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Old 2009-06-26, 23:56   Link #8
Kazu-kun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant0 View Post
Tried using msplayer, didn't help any, and seemed to be yet another player to have to jerk around with, so removed it soon after.
smplayer can play 720p just find in my system, which isn't better than yours. Since this player doesn't use external codecs, and you still could't play correctly, that's mean the problem is not your codecs. Maybe some drivers or hardware issue?
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Old 2009-06-27, 00:02   Link #9
Vagrant0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneaker View Post
He means the new DivX 7 which includes a H264 decoder.
Tried it, only works for .mkv files, not mp4. Also seems to be much, much worse than anything so far, and half of that is probably because I need to use the DivX player to use those codecs. Used the Yuki sub of Haruhi2 1280x720.h264 to test the .mkv format, synch and skipping is so bad that I could swear I was looking at full color storyboards. It works better in zoomplayer, but the picture still ends up slowing down, pausing, or stuttering, making it rather hard to watch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneaker View Post
Is ffdshow listed in MPC under "filters" when playing a file? Maybe it's using a different decoder.
It's listed in MPC, the ffdshow icons also appear in the task bar whenever I start playing, so it is being used.

Last edited by Vagrant0; 2009-06-27 at 06:48.
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Old 2009-06-28, 13:09   Link #10
Dark Shikari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant0 View Post
2.6ghz Pentium D, if it matters.
Hence your problem. A 2.6Ghz Pentium 4 is not "decent" and cannot play 720p without a multithreaded decoder.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant0 View Post
Tried it, only works for .mkv files, not mp4. Also seems to be much, much worse than anything so far, and half of that is probably because I need to use the DivX player to use those codecs.
No you don't.
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Old 2009-06-29, 01:29   Link #11
Vagrant0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Shikari View Post
Hence your problem. A 2.6Ghz Pentium 4 is not "decent" and cannot play 720p without a multithreaded decoder.
It's as decent as I can get without having to build an entirely new system. And unless you're willing to donate to that cause, insulting my hardware isn't going to help me any. I am well aware that I need a new system, but it's not in my budget any time soon, and just being able to watch anime is not reason enough to upgrade at this time.

Even if the divx encoder can be used in other players with h.264 support, it seemed to make things much worse than anything so far, so unless the divx player is a resource hog on its own, won't help any.

What you're saying is that I need to either buy a new system, buy coreAVC (since it is the only codec with multithreading), or just avoid all h.264 releases (pretty much everything being made these days) like the plague. Not really the kind of solution I was looking for, there are no other alternatives?

*edit* Downloaded and installed the trial of CoreAVC. Double checked to make sure that it is being used and registered properly, but not noticing any improvement. If I pause when it starts going out of synch, wait a few seconds, it looks like it skips some frames to catch up, but still doesn't do it. It also seems to crap out a little sooner than CCCP, using the same files. So your guess is as good as mine.

Last edited by Vagrant0; 2009-06-29 at 04:47.
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Old 2009-06-29, 08:13   Link #12
Dark Shikari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant0 View Post
It's as decent as I can get without having to build an entirely new system. And unless you're willing to donate to that cause, insulting my hardware isn't going to help me any. I am well aware that I need a new system, but it's not in my budget any time soon, and just being able to watch anime is not reason enough to upgrade at this time.
It isn't a matter of insulting your system, it's a matter of being honest and providing proper information to people who are trying to help you. Stating that your system is decent when it is quite obviously not is just going to make it take longer for you to get your problems solved.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant0 View Post
Even if the divx encoder can be used in other players with h.264 support, it seemed to make things much worse than anything so far, so unless the divx player is a resource hog on its own, won't help any.
It's quite a bit faster than FFDshow and is multithreaded, so you should have no issue if your CPU really is a Pentium 4 D, thus dual core, you should get vastly faster decoding. If you don't, then there's probably a PEBKAC error here.
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Originally Posted by Vagrant0 View Post
What you're saying is that I need to either buy a new system, buy coreAVC (since it is the only codec with multithreading)
No it isn't.
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Old 2009-06-29, 09:43   Link #13
Vagrant0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Shikari View Post
It's quite a bit faster than FFDshow and is multithreaded, so you should have no issue if your CPU really is a Pentium 4 D, thus dual core, you should get vastly faster decoding. If you don't, then there's probably a PEBKAC error here.
Doesn't show it. I have not done anything unusual, and am reporting things exactly as they have been happening. I am also reporting my system as it is, and I should know what hardware I have since I was the one who bought and installed it. If there is a problem, it is only because what I have been told is incorrect, or have been given conflicting advice. Even with Core AVC, performance isn't improved on the "Haruhi 1280x720.h264" file, or any of the other files of similar format and size I have tried. So let's try working off that assumption instead of assuming that I'm incapable of following directions, or are lying about my system.

Yes, I don't understand what most of this is, or half of what I am doing... But that is the entire reason why I have even asked. Being condescending doesn't help anyone. Likewise, lying about what is and is not showing up under the list of filters when watching a file also doesn't help anyone. I need help, this is why the thread exists. Things suggested have made changes, but have not solved any of the problems. So how about instead of insulting me, telling me what I need to do.
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Old 2009-07-01, 13:52   Link #14
DmonHiro
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I'm very sorry, but my honest opinion is that your system will NOT play most 720p anime correctly, even with CoreAVC. You should download the SD h264 version where you can, but other then that, there's nothing much you can do. Upgrading you RAM will do nothing, upgrading your video card is useless unless you get a DXVA one, and that will not work on all files anyway. Getting a new system is the only way you're going to watch 720p anime. That's life.
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Old 2009-07-02, 12:17   Link #15
npcomplete
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Sorry but I do not agree with the assessment about his hardware. A dual core P4 2.6GHz will play 720p just fine, especially with CoreAVC. I know because I've tried with a 2x single core 2.66Ghz P4 based Xeons on superslow 266Mhz FSB and RAM. Heck, I can even play 1080p just fine

EDIT:
Can you give an example of a file that's giving you problems

Last edited by npcomplete; 2009-07-02 at 12:55.
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Old 2009-07-02, 13:24   Link #16
DmonHiro
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I don't know man...I had trouble with some 720p on a dual 2.97 ghz, 2 GB ram and 512 MB DDR2 Ati Radeon
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Old 2009-07-02, 13:59   Link #17
npcomplete
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Well I never had problems with any anime 720p h264 on that machine. I haven't tried the MT version of ffmpeg but I know with the old version I was not even close to doing 1080p. But with CoreAVC, it even plays the 1080p anime encodes fine surprisingly. I haven't tried any other, like huge bitrate BD files though and for those, I assume it wouldn't.
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Old 2009-07-05, 09:43   Link #18
Vagrant0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DmonHiro View Post
I'm very sorry, but my honest opinion is that your system will NOT play most 720p anime correctly, even with CoreAVC. You should download the SD h264 version where you can, but other then that, there's nothing much you can do. Upgrading you RAM will do nothing, upgrading your video card is useless unless you get a DXVA one, and that will not work on all files anyway. Getting a new system is the only way you're going to watch 720p anime. That's life.
Sorry, I just don't see how or why a recorded video would need better hardware than what most games, even newer ones, need. I'm only now starting to hit the limits of what my system can handle. What is it about h.264 releases which require so much processing? Why do something in a format that those with older systems cannot use, and requires much more system resources just to play? Even with regard to image resolution, xvid formats seem to play alot better. What is the advantage here if people will end up having to re-encode everything to play on their DvD, gamesystems, ect anyway?

I prefer to think that there is just some setting which is fouled up somewhere, or some sort of conflict than to think that people are choosing to use a format which seems, atleast to me, to offer few benefits with much higher requirements. With most .avi files, I can watch them fine while I have a MMO (in shop mode) open in the background (surely I can't be the only one). With these, I can't even watch them properly even if I terminate every non-essential system process, including kasparsky.

@npcomplete
In testing I was using the Yuki sub of Haruhi2 1280x720.h264 since I've seen it in a lower format previously, and knew what it was supposed to look like. I was using some other older files I had downloaded before as well which are no longer open for sharing. Will be testing out that player you PMed me when I get a chance to let you know if anything has improved.
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Old 2009-07-05, 22:40   Link #19
npcomplete
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If it still stutters, also check out the task manager and see how much CPU is being consumed. Both total cpu under "Performance" and per-process for your player.
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Old 2009-07-08, 00:42   Link #20
Vagrant0
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If it still stutters, also check out the task manager and see how much CPU is being consumed. Both total cpu under "Performance" and per-process for your player.
Tried playing the file in both players that came with. And tried with some of the other files I have of smaller resolutions that are h.264. In the case of the larger resolutions, either nothing gets shown, or only the first few frames of the video. In the case of smaller resolutions, get some video initially, but then it just stops, or starts stuttering.

When playing the larger resolution file, the system was working at around 85-90, with the player using between 50 and 85 or so, with the remainder being used mostly by the idle process. With other players it was capping out at 100, but the image was playing a bit better.
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