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Windows 7: Video playback a little choppy in Win 7 Media Center.

09 Dec 2009   #1
musiclover7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 
Video playback a little choppy in Win 7 Media Center.

Amy playing video files on this system that I am piecing together for my parents as a Christmas present. It is an older machine, 2.2ghz pentium 4, with 1gb onboard ram, and I bought a new PCI Nvidia Geforce 8400gs vid card with 256 mb of ram. The trouble is, as I play videos in Media center, even with the latest drivers, playback is a little choppy on the video side.. Stutters every now and then...

I am wondering if there are some services I can disable on this machine, which is going to be simply a media center machine, to potentially improve performance. What are the unnecessary procs, and what else can I do to improve video performance in Media Center? Thanks!!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Dec 2009   #2
hlnkay

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

It depends a lot on what type of media content you are trying to play.

High Definition videos (with resolutions like 1280x720 or 1920x1080) are a really heavy load for your cpu/gpu because of the high resolution and bitrate.

It can be a driver issue too, if you started experiencing problems with video after upgrading to the geforce 8400 (which is suposed to be optimized to play HD content)

I've seen people experiencing choppy playback in Windows 7's media center, a problem which some have fixed reseting the configuration, there's even an application to do this but can't remember the link sorry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Dec 2009   #3
Tews

64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

You will need to add at least 1gb of ram... one gb just wont cut it....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Dec 2009   #4
musiclover7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

This box maxes out at 1gb of ram unfortunately... Is there no way to reduce ram use-age.. I have read about folks on these forums putting just 512mb of ram to good use, unfortunately, they do not say how they did it.. Just a blurb about disabling un-necessary procs, etc... What if I was to add a 2gb usb jump drive as a cache drive to improve performance? Would that help?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Dec 2009   #5
Tews

64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

You need to remember that Windows 7 is going to use half of your memory right off the bat for caching. In your case, leaving only 512mb of usable memory .. even less if you share memory with your graphics card... That is why you are getting such poor performance viewing movies... Adding the jump drive will help with caching, but I doubt that its going to solve your video problems....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Dec 2009   #6
musiclover7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Going to try it...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Dec 2009   #7
Tews

64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

Best of luck to you...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2009   #8
ddeen

Windows 7 RC 7100
 
 

Your problem is not your RAM it is your processor, a P4 2.2 Ghz is not going to cut it with Win7 playing compressed video. The P4 would be fine in XP but with Win7, even with Aero turned off it will most likely rail your P4 to 100% usage and cause the video to be a stuttering mess, especially with any High Def content. You can check this in Task Manager. Even a new low power Celeron is much better than your P4 and will play video fine in Win7, in case you want to upgrade.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2009   #9
musiclover7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Here is what I found.. The problem seems relegated to just those videos that are played across the network. IE.. I tapped into some home videos on my wife's computer from this machine, and they played back with stutter. Online services like Hulu, are a no go on this machine.. Video play back is a bit choppy.. Local movies play back just fine.. Not sure why the network is a factor, but it definitely is..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2009   #10
FliGi7

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

My guess is that when you play a file locally, it can read from the HDD fast enough to not need to cache/buffer much into memory, so you get a straight shot (HDD to display) and thus smooth performance. When you're streaming across the network, it will need to buffer it first, then play it to you, so you've got an additional buffer operation that may be causing excessive CPU and memory usage, thus causing degraded performance as it catches up/thrashes back and forth.

Or not. Just a guess.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Video playback a little choppy in Win 7 Media Center.




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