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Mpeg2 dropouts on PC box...what do I check??

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Anonymous
August 12, 2004 12:40:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

I'm having a heck of a time tracking down the source of dropouts on a
home-built video recording PC setup:

XP Pro w/SP1a
Celeron 2.6Ghz CPU
512 MB RAM
Abit IS-10 Motherboard
Two Maxtor UltraATA133 drives, each w/8MB cache and set up a master on
separate IDE interfaces (one with the system, one dedicated to
streaming).
AverMedia Ultra 550 PCI tuner/capture card/media center
ATI Radeon 9200SE video card
DLink 510 wirless network card

I create a thirty-second capture file as a test, and found at least
two dropouts. When I playback the source on a different machine, its
clear the dropout is encoded in the file, not being introduced at
playback because the dropout/artifact occurs at the same place.

I'm just not sure what to check; I know a Celeron CPU isn't ideal, but
should be adequate for my purposes, and a half-gig of RAM should be
sufficient as well. The drives, as noted, are masters on separate IDE
interfaces; each drive has a slave optical (CD or DVD-rw) on it, but
is idle when streaming is taking place. I've ensured indexing is
turned off on the streaming drive, and that Maxtor's acoustic
management is turned off. Is there drive cabling I should recheck or
verify? Is there a utility that can validate the performance I'm
expecting from my streaming drives?

Should I look for updates to the MPEG encoder from the video capture
board manufacturer? Is there possibly a video card issue I'm
overlooking? I discounted the latter because of the consistency of the
dropout on playback. I realize any or all of these could be a problem,
but I was hoping someone who has wandered down this road before might
have some insight to suggest "AHA, check THIS first..."

Any and all ideas appreciated.

-David
Anonymous
August 12, 2004 11:30:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

"David Whitney" <intrepid_dw@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:63563b00.0408111940.4ac69953@posting.google.com...
> I'm having a heck of a time tracking down the source of dropouts on a
> home-built video recording PC setup:
>
> XP Pro w/SP1a
> Celeron 2.6Ghz CPU
> 512 MB RAM
> Abit IS-10 Motherboard
> Two Maxtor UltraATA133 drives, each w/8MB cache and set up a master on
> separate IDE interfaces (one with the system, one dedicated to
> streaming).
> AverMedia Ultra 550 PCI tuner/capture card/media center
> ATI Radeon 9200SE video card
> DLink 510 wirless network card
>
> I create a thirty-second capture file as a test, and found at least
> two dropouts. When I playback the source on a different machine, its
> clear the dropout is encoded in the file, not being introduced at
> playback because the dropout/artifact occurs at the same place.
>
> I'm just not sure what to check; I know a Celeron CPU isn't ideal, but
> should be adequate for my purposes, and a half-gig of RAM should be
> sufficient as well. The drives, as noted, are masters on separate IDE
> interfaces; each drive has a slave optical (CD or DVD-rw) on it, but
> is idle when streaming is taking place. I've ensured indexing is
> turned off on the streaming drive, and that Maxtor's acoustic
> management is turned off. Is there drive cabling I should recheck or
> verify? Is there a utility that can validate the performance I'm
> expecting from my streaming drives?
>
> Should I look for updates to the MPEG encoder from the video capture
> board manufacturer? Is there possibly a video card issue I'm
> overlooking? I discounted the latter because of the consistency of the
> dropout on playback. I realize any or all of these could be a problem,
> but I was hoping someone who has wandered down this road before might
> have some insight to suggest "AHA, check THIS first..."
>
> Any and all ideas appreciated.
>
> -David

This may not be related to your issues, but both hard drives should be
attached to the primary IDE interface. Your optical drives are slower and
are probably limiting your data throughput.

regards

Esmond
Anonymous
August 12, 2004 11:30:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

Esmond:

It was my understanding that, particularly for streaming applications,
it was essential to keep your streaming drive on a phyiscally separate
interface, and specifically *not* on the same interface. It sounds as
though you're saying this isn't really true.

Is the throughput of the drive reduced to the slowest device on that
bus even if that device isn't active? That is, the DVD burner on the
streaming drive interface is doing nothing when the streaming is
taking place...

Thanks,
-David


"Esmond" <esmondb@nospam.btopenworld.com> wrote in message news:<2o0h40F4pfr3U1@uni-berlin.de>...
> "David Whitney" <intrepid_dw@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:63563b00.0408111940.4ac69953@posting.google.com...
> > I'm having a heck of a time tracking down the source of dropouts on a
> > home-built video recording PC setup:
> >
> > XP Pro w/SP1a
> > Celeron 2.6Ghz CPU
> > 512 MB RAM
> > Abit IS-10 Motherboard
> > Two Maxtor UltraATA133 drives, each w/8MB cache and set up a master on
> > separate IDE interfaces (one with the system, one dedicated to
> > streaming).
> > AverMedia Ultra 550 PCI tuner/capture card/media center
> > ATI Radeon 9200SE video card
> > DLink 510 wirless network card
> >
> > I create a thirty-second capture file as a test, and found at least
> > two dropouts. When I playback the source on a different machine, its
> > clear the dropout is encoded in the file, not being introduced at
> > playback because the dropout/artifact occurs at the same place.
> >
> > I'm just not sure what to check; I know a Celeron CPU isn't ideal, but
> > should be adequate for my purposes, and a half-gig of RAM should be
> > sufficient as well. The drives, as noted, are masters on separate IDE
> > interfaces; each drive has a slave optical (CD or DVD-rw) on it, but
> > is idle when streaming is taking place. I've ensured indexing is
> > turned off on the streaming drive, and that Maxtor's acoustic
> > management is turned off. Is there drive cabling I should recheck or
> > verify? Is there a utility that can validate the performance I'm
> > expecting from my streaming drives?
> >
> > Should I look for updates to the MPEG encoder from the video capture
> > board manufacturer? Is there possibly a video card issue I'm
> > overlooking? I discounted the latter because of the consistency of the
> > dropout on playback. I realize any or all of these could be a problem,
> > but I was hoping someone who has wandered down this road before might
> > have some insight to suggest "AHA, check THIS first..."
> >
> > Any and all ideas appreciated.
> >
> > -David
>
> This may not be related to your issues, but both hard drives should be
> attached to the primary IDE interface. Your optical drives are slower and
> are probably limiting your data throughput.
>
> regards
>
> Esmond
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Anonymous
August 12, 2004 11:06:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

intrepid_dw@hotmail.com (David Whitney) wrote in
news:63563b00.0408120515.259dce0b@posting.google.com:

> Esmond:
>
> It was my understanding that, particularly for streaming
> applications, it was essential to keep your streaming drive on a
> phyiscally separate interface, and specifically *not* on the same
> interface. It sounds as though you're saying this isn't really
> true.

I would agree.

> Is the throughput of the drive reduced to the slowest device on
> that bus even if that device isn't active? That is, the DVD burner
> on the streaming drive interface is doing nothing when the
> streaming is taking place...

No. Not in 2004...

I mix and match and get plenty of data transfer speed, and have done
so for years.

I have had much more trouble with two optical drives on the same IDE
controller, but I suspect that today's drives and controllers are
able to handle that OK.

Gino.

> Thanks,
> -David

<SNIP>

--
Gene E. Bloch (Gino) phone 650.966.8481
Call me letters find me at domain blochg whose dot is com
Anonymous
August 31, 2004 3:35:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

For anyone else that might have followed part of this thread, this
problem was resolved.

Thanks to very patient and thorough tech support assistance from
AverMedia (the manufacturer of the video capture/tuner card), we were
able to determine that the media clips I was recording were not losing
frames - they were intact and could be played on their lab machines
with no problem. That meant it had to be playback.

They sent me a different MPEG decoder to install on the box, and now
video plays back just fine.

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I really have a DVR-PC now!!

-David


"Gene E. Bloch" <hamburger@NOT_SPAM.invalid> wrote in message news:<Xns95437B291E19EAstrolabe@216.148.227.77>...
> intrepid_dw@hotmail.com (David Whitney) wrote in
> news:63563b00.0408120515.259dce0b@posting.google.com:
>
> > Esmond:
> >
> > It was my understanding that, particularly for streaming
> > applications, it was essential to keep your streaming drive on a
> > phyiscally separate interface, and specifically *not* on the same
> > interface. It sounds as though you're saying this isn't really
> > true.
>
> I would agree.
>
> > Is the throughput of the drive reduced to the slowest device on
> > that bus even if that device isn't active? That is, the DVD burner
> > on the streaming drive interface is doing nothing when the
> > streaming is taking place...
>
> No. Not in 2004...
>
> I mix and match and get plenty of data transfer speed, and have done
> so for years.
>
> I have had much more trouble with two optical drives on the same IDE
> controller, but I suspect that today's drives and controllers are
> able to handle that OK.
>
> Gino.
>
> > Thanks,
> > -David
>
> <SNIP>
!