Video Playback Problems

Discussion in '0.2.3.0 RC3 and SVN Builds' started by writersblock, October 22, 2007.

  1. writersblock

    writersblock Portal Member

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    Note: No specific configuration information given because problem exists on two different computers with different hardware and different installed programs. Further information is certainly availible upon request.

    I'm having issues which were absent in the 0.2.2.0 "stable" version: Being able to play back H264 content, or other video content. To be more precise, it's being able to continue playing video content. The video loads and at first plays just fine--but I lose video roughly 10-15 minutes into playback, while audio continues to play. I first noticed this problem while attempting to play back a file produced by Nero Recode AVC on my HTPC, and had assumed it to be a codec error since I also have Nero 6 installed on this system. I uninstalled Nero and shuffled through FFdshow to make sure that H264 is enabled, vowing to try again. Same thing happened.

    I loaded a DVD and allowed it to play when I decided to test the 0.2.3.0 build on my regular system. When my regular system did the same thing with an AVC file, I went to check on my HTPC. What I was rewarded with was a black screen while the AC3 track on the DVD continued to decode.

    Since I have very little to lose (I keep the bare minimum of files on my HTPC, opting to keep movie files on an external hard drive), I wiped the system hard drive and reinstalled Windows XP Media Center 2005 (which is the operating system I normally use for this system) along with the latest FFdshow tryout and 0.2.3.0. This was a "squeeky-clean" reinstall, since I had reformatted the hard drive and--other than Windows Update and system drivers--had no other software installed. The same behavior as noted above. I then uninstalled 0.2.3.0 in favor of the stable 0.2.2.0, and went ahead and reinstalled Nero 6. By choosing "Nero Video Decoder" as my codec, I've had no further problems playing back AVC content.

    Realizing that the information I've given so far is vague, here's a few details that might help.

    1) Both systems are AMD class, with my main system using a socket 939 4600+ dual core and 2Gb of PC400 memory. The HTPC uses a single core 3200+ socket AM2 with 1Gb of PC800 DDR2 memory.
    2) Both systems are running a version of Windows XP. The HTPC is using MCE 2005, while my main system is using XP Home. Both are fully current on updates and system drivers.
    3) Neither system is overclocked.
    4) The behavior exists on both machines, and disappears with 0.2.2.0 stable.
    5) The behavior exists under the newest FFdshow tryout... I admit that I haven't tried it with any other version of FFdshow.
    6) Nero is a normal part of either system's complete breakfast. My HTPC uses Nero 6, while my main system uses Nero 7. Both are as current as they can get via Nero updates. It's important to note, however, that this problem continued when I did the fresh reinstall of my HTPC and hadn't yet put Nero 6 back on there. The problem is not there using Mediaportal 0.2.2.0 with Nero installed. Now that I think about it, the version of FFdshow is the same as the one I used with 0.2.3.0.

    Other behavior I've noted--Hey! Still with me? I'm trying not to be overly dull! ;)

    1) Nero Video Decoder isn't an availible option with 0.2.3.0. Of course I know that I wouldn't see it with Nero not being installed... but upon installation of Nero 6, the option's still missing from the "My Videos" settings menu. I can only choose between FFdshow Decoder, FFdshow Raw, or FFdshow helper. The ability to select "Nero Video Decoder" is present in 0.2.2.0 stable--and is the codec I always choose to use, since I like Nero's playback quality for AVC.
    2) The ability to skip around using the chapter information is absent in 0.2.2.0. I like that this option exists in the release candidate... but about that video blackout...

    Has anyone else reported anything similiar? I can certainly provide more information if it's needed.



    :D :D :D
     
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  3. Paranoid Delusion
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    Paranoid Delusion Moderation Manager

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    Try useing filmerit to see if there are any codec issues.

    Have you got the decoders installed MPV\MPA as defaults, (yes FFDShow will override them anyway)

    The problems i have had with Nero screwing up my system, even when uninstalled are to numerous too mention but thats another story.
     
  4. writersblock

    writersblock Portal Member

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    Paranoid Delusion

    Thank you for your response! While I'm no stranger to codecs not playing nice with one another, the confusing thing about this to me is that the behavior was unchanged after doing a complete reformat and reinstall, and happened before I had even put Nero on the computer. I wasn't surprised when the behavior was unchanged before, when all I did was uninstall Nero; I'm aware that programs often leave nasty bits behind for (at least, it seems this way!) the soul purpose of messing with the programs we wish to keep.

    Currently, I'm using the 0.2.2.0 Stable version--with Nero installed--and have no problems. I honestly doubt it's a codec issue in light of all of this.

    I remember at one time stumbling on a link to an older version of FFdshow (I believe it was on the home page... but of course I'm sure it'll require digging to find again) that Mediaportal supposedly plays nice with... I may try it.

    I will also try filmerit (thanks for providing that link) just to see what it has to say.

    I also wonder... could it be MCE2005 playing hell with Mediaportal? I could try reformating and reinstalling putting JUST XP Pro on there to see what happens... Hmmm...

    But thanks for the suggestions and the link. I'll post back with results if I find a fix just in case someone else finds themselves watching a movie and saying, "What the hell?!?" when the lights go out. :)
     
  5. writersblock

    writersblock Portal Member

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    [Update]

    Well, I'm not really sure why this worked... but here's where I'm at right now. I reformatted and reinstalled Windows XP MCE 2005--only this time, I only installed XP Pro while ignoring the third disk (this one having the Media Center installation files). I installed the latest FFdshow as well as 0.2.3.0. RC3. I also placed Nero and Theatertek back on my system. I then selected FFdshow as my default h264 decoder, as well as selecting NVIDIA as my default MPEG2 codec. For whatever reason, everything works just fine now. I'm very hesitant to conclude that Media Center 2005 is the culprit, since the behavior was repeatable on my second system--which doesn't even have MCE 2005 on it. However, I was able to fix the problem on the second system by uninstalling everything, using CCcleaner to remove all the old registry entries and unused files, then reinstalling everything again. Likewise, I selected FFdshow as the default H264 codec and NVIDIA as my MPEG2 decoder. No further playback issues on either system.

    Except for one. On my HTPC (the system where this matters the most--wouldn't you know?), H264 playback is exceptionally dark using the FFdshow codec. Strangely, it looks just fine with the same settings on my second system. Now, of course, there's different video cards and monitors in play between the two systems... so I'm not *too* befuddled. My question, however, is how to fix the darkness issue on the HTPC. I could use FFdshow to brighten it... but since I'm also using FFdshow to process the NVIDIA output, I don't want to screw up the brightness of my DVD playback.

    Should I just purchase CoreAVC... or would that even fix it? I wish there was a way to use the Nero codecs (I loved their quality on 0.2.2.0 Stable--but won't return to using that version since I also like the fact that I can skip chapters using 0.2.3.0 RC3). Choppiness is also an issue with the FFshow codec--in short, I don't like FFdshow's codec! If there are options availible that will enable me to use Nero's codec again, I'd love to hear 'em.
     
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