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  1. Member Cole's Avatar
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    I use my laptop (Dell Inspiron 6400 - Intel Pentium Dual Core T1230 @ 1.88 Ghz : 2gb Ram - integrated graphics ram) if I want to download any programmes I missed from the BBC iPlayer. I then connect it to my Sony LCD television as a monitor and open the downloaded programme as fullscreen. So far so good.

    I have turned off all of the bells and whistles on my laptop (running Vista) i.e. setting is for best performance (and so is system restore).

    Now, watching any downloaded programme at normal size isn't a problem, but when viewed in full screen, on the laptop or using the telly, the playback is as if every other frame is missing. I have had some success with some shorter programmes (e.g. half an hour) but anything above this always has this stuttering problem.

    I have tried de-fragmenting the drive after download to no avail; all I can think of is making something like Media Player Classic my default player as it may be that WMP11 is too bloated and so is the iPlayer itself.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Cole
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  2. Member Krispy Kritter's Avatar
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    What file types are you trying to play? Length won't matter. It boils down to the type of file and using the correct codec for proper playback. This is especially try if you are trying to playback 720p/1080p files.
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  3. Member Cole's Avatar
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    The BBC iPlayer files are .wmv files but you have to download the iPlayer to be able to download the programmes.

    I can't get the file to open in Media Player Classic anyway; you can either play the files back in BBC iPlayer or the default media player.
    Cole
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  4. Member Krispy Kritter's Avatar
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    A quick Google search on "BBC iPlayer" turns up countless links about DRM. So what I imagine is happening is you don't have the cpu power power necessary for playback at the resolution you are trying to use because of the added load of interpreting the DRM within the files. Open task manager and watch the cpu usage during playback, it is likely spiking. Reducing the resolution should help resolve the issue.
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  5. I suspect the BBC iPlayer software doesn't use your graphics card's video overlay feature. When using graphics overlay the graphics card converts the YUV video to RGB and scales it from its native size to full screen as it's being drawn on the monitor. A player that doesn't use graphics overlay has to do both of these functions with the CPU.

    If this is the case, about the only thing you can do is set the display to a lower resolution. 800x600 or even 640x480.
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  6. Member Cole's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the help.

    I did a search on playback stutter and a lot of people have got this problem but there also seems to be just as many answers as to why this is occurring. However, a lot of the answers do seem to involve the CPU in one way or another.

    I shall just have to give up on using the laptop to the television as if I can't full-screen it isn't worth doing.

    Thanks again.
    Cole
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  7. Member Krispy Kritter's Avatar
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    You can verify cpu usage by watching Task Manager.
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  8. Member
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    Hi, I have a solution for you (a few months too late maybe!).

    I had the exact same problem on an Acer laptop - it wouldn't play anything in full screen (you just heard the sound
    with a black screen), whether it was in Youtube, iPlayer etc.

    The solution was to install the FireFox browser with the latest Flash player (the problem seems to be with IE and Flash on certain laptops). It works a treat - full smooth video on everything!

    I hope this works for you.

    Prof Utonium


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  9. Member Cole's Avatar
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    The trouble is with a downloaded television programme, not playing the streaming version. I already have Firefox and flash installed.

    But thanks for the suggestion, Prof.
    Cole
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  10. Can you play the files with MPC or MPCHC? Does that improve matters any?
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  11. Member
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    Can you play the files with MPC or MPCHC? Does that improve matters any?
    If they are DRM infested, they won't play in those, only WMP11
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  12. Member Cole's Avatar
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    They are very DRM infested!

    When the television programmes are downloaded there is a 30 day period that they have to be played by before it gets automatically removed.

    Furthermore, if you start to watch a programme, but then stop it, you only get 7 days to watch the whole thing.

    As poisondeathray says you are only able to watch them on WMP or on iPlayers own player.
    Cole
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  13. Sorry, I somehow missed/forgot the earlier post where you said MPC won't play the files. Can you play similar videos full screen without problem, with any player? Or is it just these BBC downloads and iPlayer and WMP?

    Make sure your graphics drivers are fully optimized. On the Troubleshoot tab of the Advanced settings dialog make sure Hardware Acceleration is turned all the up. If there is an Enable Write Combining option make sure it is ticked.



    Try turning off the Vista Aero interface.

    I hear you can remove the DRM with Fairuse4mw. That would allow you to use other media players.
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  14. Here's an interesting experience I went through, though you might like to hear..

    Another thing you can do (in case you are still considering it) is this: while in WMP, (small screen is fine) do a print-screen or screen capture (Alt+PrintScreen) and see if it pastes into anything (wordpad or ms paint, etc) --this is to see if your sw player is in fact using RGB vs. YUV.

    If you get an non-image (black) then it using YUV, else if you get a picture, then its in RGB color space and it prob contributing to the sluggish playback due to yuv->rgb conversion step. At least you will have narrowed it down some more, and maybe you can tweak your graphic cards setting (somewhere in the advance settings that jagabo posted) above.

    FWIW, in my experience (with bluray playback of h264 files I encoded w/ x264 cli tool) I could not get a decent image playback of some those files, and when I went into my sw player settings/configure box, I found a switch [x] hardware support, and I un-checked it (that correct) and all the sudden, the sw player could now play all those h264 encoded videos, fullscreen glory. Sometimes, (at least in my experience) you have to move in the opposite direction in these things to get them to work, as in my example: it was hardware assisted vs. non-hardware assisted, and I chose the non-assisted another -> go figure! example.

    -vhelp 5067

    VHELP's - Sample Clips [last: 12.29.06],
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  15. Originally Posted by vhelp
    Here's an interesting experience I went through, though you might like to hear..

    Another thing you can do (in case you are still considering it) is this: while in WMP, (small screen is fine) do a print-screen or screen capture (Alt+PrintScreen) and see if it pastes into anything (wordpad or ms paint, etc) --this is to see if your sw player is in fact using RGB vs. YUV.

    If you get an non-image (black) then it using YUV, else if you get a picture, then its in RGB color space and it prob contributing to the sluggish playback due to yuv->rgb conversion step. At least you will have narrowed it down some more, and maybe you can tweak your graphic cards setting (somewhere in the advance settings that jagabo posted) above.
    Vhelp is almost right. Print Screen tests for the use of Video Overlay, not necessarily whether the video is YUV or RGB. When a media player is using Video Overlay it creates a hole in the Desktop (usually a near-black hole but any color can be specified by the player). Then the graphics card's hardware displays the video through that hole. This allows the graphics chips to do any YUV to RGB conversion, scaling, and filtering (Video Overlay has proc amp controls separate from the Desktop). The video behind the black window can be in either YUV or RGB colorspace. The Desktop is always running in RGB. (The graphics chips will convert everything to YUV or RGB depending on which is necessary for the monitor or TV.) Using Video Overlay decreases the workload on the CPU, allowing it more time to decompress the audio and video if necessary.

    This is more easily understood if you know the origin of this technique. In the old days neither CPUs nor regular graphics cards were powerful enough to display full motion video. An expensive third device was needed to display video. You would run a short VGA cable from the graphics card to the video card. The media player would create a rectangular box of a specific color on the Desktop. The dedicated video card would locate that box and put the video within it. Then the image with both the Desktop and the video was sent from the video card to the monitor via another VGA cable.

    Lowering the Hardware Acceleration settings in the Graphics card's setup applet will disable Video Overlay. I have seen some drivers in with a specific Video Overlay option. Many players have the ability to select among output drivers including Video Overlay, Windows GDI (Desktop), VMRL (newer graphic chips), etc.

    In my experience online players like those used at YouTube and news sites do not use Video Overlay.
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  16. Member Cole's Avatar
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    Two quick points:

    - The option for hardware acceleration seems either not present in Vista (or in Dell's version) or it is well hidden.

    - It has just occured to me that WMP on my Dell laptop has an issue playing DVD-Rs. IIRC it stalls on chapters. This makes me wonder if it isn't entirely the iPlayer file that's at fault. Playing DVDs on Windows Media Centre is no problem.

    The playing of ordinary files with other players also isn't a problem but the ability to move Vista's default player away from WMP seems to elude me too.
    Cole
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  17. Originally Posted by Cole
    - The option for hardware acceleration seems either not present in Vista (or in Dell's version) or it is well hidden.
    Start -> Control Panel -> Personalization -> Display Settings -> Advanced Settings -> Troubleshoot -> Change Settings.

    Originally Posted by Cole
    - It has just occured to me that WMP on my Dell laptop has an issue playing DVD-Rs. IIRC it stalls on chapters. This makes me wonder if it isn't entirely the iPlayer file that's at fault.
    http://forum.videohelp.com/topic358176.html#1899430
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  18. Member Cole's Avatar
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    The latest drivers are present; so that's that then...



    BTW on full screen a playback has the CPU hovering at around 20%.
    Cole
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