Hi, I hope someone might be able to point me in the right direction as I don't seem to be able to get smooth MKV or MP4 playback on my HTPC.
The computer has an Intel 1st-gen i3 CPU and I'm using the onboard graphics, connecting via HDMI to a Samsung 1920x1080 60Hz LCD TV.
I'm currently using Windows 7 media centre as a PVR and playing DVDs, music etc stored on my Home Server. I have some ripped Blu-rays as MKVs and want to either stream these or if the network isn't up to it can store locally on the HTPC.
The MKVs are non-transcoded (i.e. 1080p/24p) and were created with MakeMKV or Pavtube Bytecopy.
I've tried a number of setups to get smooth playback, to no avail. With Windows Media Player or WMC in windowed mode and the refresh rate set to 24, 50 or 60Hz the MKVs have noticeable judder with Haali and FFDshow. In fullscreen WMC I can't seem to set a refresh rate other than 60z at 1920x1080 and again this is very juddery. Converting to MP4 with h264 at 1080p/23.976 with either native Win7 decoder or FFDshow is still juddery. Changing the FPS to 30 or 60 during transcoding doesn't noticeably help. I was going to put this down to telecining/pulldown effect and look for a new TV that properly supports 24Hz or some whole multiple thereof but then it occured to me that there is another cause for the judder as DVDs (25fps) playback smoothly at 60Hz, Arcsoft TMT3 plays back the BDMV folder and MKV smoothly, and if I transcode to WMV/VC-1 at 1080p/24p I again get smooth playback. Lastly, I have had the same issues with MKV and MP4 files on my Thinkpad W510 1920x1080 60Hz screen.
So, my conclusion is that I'm not seeing judder from a pulldown effect but from some other problem with decoding h264 and that if I can resolve the latter with a different filter or different FFDshow setup I should be able to enjoy smooth video...
Any advice on what to try next (?CoreAVC) or other tweaks that I should try would be much appreciated. I should say that while I'm happy to do some testing with other players like VLC or MPC, the final interface I use has to be WMC as other people in the house need an easy way of navigating TV/video/music etc. I guess one option would be to have TMT3 play all the MKVs but if at all possible I would rather native WMC controls.
Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by mrg155; 19th Dec 2011 at 06:09.
Thanks for the suggestion - I'll give LAV a try later. Didn't mention in the OP that subtitles are also important - I had these working OK as PGS titles in the MKV with FFDshow (though the video was juddering the titles were there!). It says 'rudimentary subtitle support' on the LAV download page - does it support PGS titles in the MKV file or .srt files in the same folder?
Another question related to the original post: where does the pulldown happen to match 24p to 60Hz refresh? Does the codec do it, the operating system, GPU driver, or GPU itself?
I'm using the onboard graphics, connecting via HDMI
Thanks Baldrick - I shall definitely try out LAV this evening.
Ranchhand - Initially I had the same thought as you i.e. that I'm either hitting a hardware limit, whether it is system RAM, GPU etc. or the effect of telecining is prominent to my eyes and I need a new TV. However, given that TMT3 can play 1080p/24p smoothly (and I don't think it even uses DXVA as it isn't compatible with the Intel GPU) and I can get 1080p/24p WMV/VC-1 files to play smoothly presumably the hardware combo is capable and in fact I don't perceive the telecining much at all (when done properly at least)
I think the issue is now choosing/setting up the right h264 codec. Whether a different combination of h264 decoder and Nvidia or ATI DXVA-enabled GPU might work better is still possible I guess. I would rather not use TMT3 for all MKV nor rencode everything to wmv so I'm striving to get MKVs/mp4s to play smoothly through the native WMC interface.