Causes for stuttering TV


Portal Member
March 8, 2006

Because I had so much problems with stuttering tv on my box, I thought it might be a good idea to post a checklist for everyone having problems with stuttering tv. Matching one of the conditions doesn't mean you will have problems, but if you've got problems you'll have a place to look for a solution.

1. Have you got a PCI tuner card which is connected to the pci bus via a riser card ?

I've got a Silverstonetek housing which is delivered with a PCI riser card. Using the riser card in my ASUS A8N-VM CSM with a Hauppauge Nova-T PCI Card (90003) gave me stuttering video while watching tv.
A Pinnacle PCTV-310i even refused to find stations while using the riser card.

2. Has your machine got more than one memory module ?

I 've had problems with five different dvb-t tuners. After removing one of my memory modules, leaving just one in solved my problem.
Now I've only got one 1 gig module and everything is ok.

3. Have you got an AMD processor and Cool'n'Quiet enabled ? (from ziphnor)

In some configurations CnQ could cause stutter on a very regular basis. To check if CnQ is the problem switch to another power profile than "Minimal Power Management".

If you've had problems and managed to get rid of them, please be so kind and post your solution, too.
I'll try to edit this post from time to time, to get the solutions easier to find.


Portal Pro
August 4, 2005
Hi Xeno, glad we got it sorted.

How did you troubleshoot the riser card as I've got a silverstone case as well, whilst mine is working and I'm still convinced it was the HDD I'm now wondering if that was the problem?

Mr Hipp

Retired Team Member
  • Premium Supporter
  • April 2, 2006
    Having enabled Cool'n'Quiet for AMD processors could also cause stuttering. Hope this help someone.

    Mr Hipp


    Portal Member
    March 8, 2006

    My risercard worked as well for everything but tv-cards. Maybe this happens because it doesn't fit very well in the only pci-slot that is possible to be used. At the moment I'm trying to get one from ASUS, because I've got an ASUS board and the ones from the boardmanufacturers seem to be a little better, I heard. I discovered a post in a different board where a couple of users complained about riser cards causing problems with pci-tv-cards. At the moment I'm using only one dvb-t tuner which is attached to one of the usb ports.

    When I've received the new riser I'll keep everybody updated.


    Portal Pro
    April 2, 2006
    Newcastle, Australia
    I dont know if these tricks are valid

    I have a single PCI DVB-T in a riser card
    I have 2 DDR sticks installed
    I dont run CoolnQuiet

    I think your issue with the riser card migth be one of resource conflicts. Or maybe the fact you are running two tuner cards and your configuration

    You may have some faulty RAM or some other conflict with that memory configuration.

    You may need to check for any other apps running on the node


    Portal Pro
    March 22, 2006
    I would add...

    [1] If you have a dual core processor and have not set things up correctly can also give problems.

    See this thread

    [2] Some tuner card drivers have known problems. Nova-T and Driver Build 23151 for example. Always ensure you have the latest drivers.

    [3] I've seen issues if you do not have enough memory. Either not enough for windows, or not enough for your graphics card. Remember that using onboard video means you share it out !

    BTW Its good to have a post to collect these "notes" in one place.

    - Dave


    Portal Member
    May 31, 2006
    I've had stuttering problems & "no signal messages", i use two dvico dvb-t plus cards, amd athlon 3500+ with 2x512 mb ram. I use dvi-hdmi connection from my radeon 9600 pro card to my lg plasma.
    I read lots of forum stuff, tried heaps of different tips but the only one that made a difference was to use the nvidia codec.
    I now have no problems and everything is running fantastic.


    Portal Pro
    January 10, 2005
    There are so many reasons for stuttering.

    First, ensure you're running with correct service packs and required patches. Search forums for the sticky. Apply normal optimisations - defrag disk, check DMA enabled on disks etc, don't on-demand virusscan movies etc.

    Some ideas for focussed testing:

    1/ Use your cards native PVR software, this will determine if there is a general hardware conflict issue.

    If this is working fine then it may be that it's because it's using
    non-BDA drivers (i.e. different driver stack to mediaportal) - see 2.

    Else, if this does show a problem:

    Check signal strength / stability using pvr sw or a settop box if possible.

    Try moving card to different slot (PCI).

    2/ If the cards native pvr software is working ok, but MediaPortal is not:

    Get winfast's pvr software (or some other 3rd party that
    uses BDA drivers). Using this it's possible to determine whether
    stuttering is particular to MediaPortal or to BDA drivers in general.

    3/ Get sysinternals processexplorer - grab a shot of the cpu graph.

    Note that it shows user + kernel CPU usage. If your driver is
    blocking then you may see the kernel spike.

    4/ Miscellaneous:

    Consider using sysinternals filemon to watch for unnecessary
    file transactions.



    Portal Pro
    January 23, 2006
    Anything that is causing persistent disk activity on the disk to which you are buffering TV can cause stuttering, e.g. virus scanners, torrenting, curiously desktop sidebar.


    Portal Pro
    June 15, 2006
    NE Lincs, UK
    wireless network card


    I found that when I was connected wirelessly to my network I was getting really bad stutters on live tv. I think the wireless lan signals were interfering with the TV reception. I bought another antenna with a 1 metre cable (for the lan card that is), sited the antenna away from the pc and solved the problem. It took me 4 weeks to solve, I was tearing my hair out. I couldn't find any help on this problem anywhere so maybe this will help someone out in the same situation.

    Hats off the team-mediaportal gang - the software is awesome, I love it, well done to all concerned!

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