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Video Streaming or DVD Playback is Choppy

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Last response: in Windows 7
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August 6, 2011 4:47:55 AM

Hello all.

We have an HP dv7-3180us Notebook computer with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit w/SP1. We have the nVidia GeForce GT 230M video card that has the latest drivers downloaded and installed. The latop is supposed to be an entertainment system but its far from it based on our issue.

Whenever we try playing a streaming movie from Netflix.com (on either Chrome or Firefox 4.0) our movie becomes choppy right away and freezes. We are sure that our wireless connection to our router is not a problem. We also can say that the Norton AntiVirus 5.1.0.29 software is not conflicting with the playback. The same problem is experienced when we play a DVD or Blu Ray in the drive.

We have read the following thread http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/259037-33-choppy-vide... but do not know how to disable Hardware Acceleration as it was suggested by one poster. The other thing is that we have DirectX 11 installed but the link for the latest version of DirectX is 9.29.1974 does this sound right ? What is the proper way to uninstall DirectX and reinstall it ? Another thing is that I have read it could be an overheating issue with the CPU or Video Card ? How can I check this ?

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displ...

Gladly accepting suggestions or ideas.

Thanks in advance
a b $ Windows 7
August 6, 2011 5:37:30 AM

Maybe your problem is your connection. You are describing streaming video.
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August 6, 2011 6:07:58 AM

FALC0N said:
Maybe your problem is your connection. You are describing streaming video.


Thanks it also happens it also when we play a DVD in the laptop. We also have a second wireless laptop that plays streaming movies from Netflix without any trouble. Appreciate the reply.
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August 6, 2011 6:27:14 AM

pepe2907 said:
You may use this to check your GPU temperature and other details on your hardware:
http://downloads.guru3d.com/Everest-Ultimate-Edition-4....


Thanks for the reply. I downloaded the program you have suggested. After downloading and installing I was able to get it up and running. But when I try selecting GPU from the list on the left hand side nothing shows up or is displayed on the right side. No data or information. The laptop is hot to the touch on the underneath of the notebook where the ventilation fins are located near the left corner of the laptop. If I stop playing the streaming movie for a short time like 5 minutes and then start the Netflix movie back again it seems to play fine for a short while. What should I do next to determine if its not the CPU or the GPU that could or might be overheating ?

Victor
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August 6, 2011 11:15:22 AM

Sometimes laptops are hot underneat. It's not a surprise. People even happen to buy special isolating pads to be more comforted when they use laptops seated on their legs.
The link I gave you is to an relatively older free version of the software I use, it's good but I don't know if there are newer free version. There are other like it like SISoft Sandra, AIDA. There is also this one: http://openhardwaremonitor.org/ which is with limited functionality but is opensource and newer/regularly updated and it will probably be able to recognise your hardware.
There are other ways to do this but they are more complicated.
For example you may check your events log to see if there are some warnings.
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August 6, 2011 3:35:13 PM

Thanks for the reply. pepe2907. I tried the opensource openhardware monitor and it shows the GPU Temperature running around 56C and the underneath of the Laptop is relatively hot to the touch. How does that temperature sound ? I will give a try to the other ones you have mentioned. Appreciate the reply.

Victor
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August 6, 2011 10:33:29 PM

With a little more testing we have discovered that the streaming video plays smoothly in Safemode with Networking but the sound service is stopped so no sound. We tried removing the Nvidia video drivers and then tried playing the streaming video and the sound came out perfectly no skipping but smoothly but the video stopped after the 5-6 minute mark.

Does anyone know how to disable Hardware Acceleration for our video card ? I am running out of ideas. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
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August 7, 2011 2:38:13 AM

To stop hardware acceleration; Start the video, right click on the screen, go to settings
and then un-check hardware acceleration.

Also, since the video worked fine in safe more, I'm assuming you have too many programs running in the background or something running that is interfering with Flash.

edit: I forgot to add this is for your streaming video problem.

the Prisoner
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August 7, 2011 6:48:33 AM

thee_prisoner said:
To stop hardware acceleration; Start the video, right click on the screen, go to settings
and then un-check hardware acceleration.

Also, since the video worked fine in safe more, I'm assuming you have too many programs running in the background or something running that is interfering with Flash.

edit: I forgot to add this is for your streaming video problem.

the Prisoner


Thanks for the reply. I agree with you that the issue is with either high CPU useage or high disk activity. I am unfortunately not able to determine which one. I was thinking toward the graphics drivers or perhaps an overheating issue but I have checked the operating temperatures are normal for both the CPU and GPU. I have reinstalled the NVidia drivers with the latest and the issue still persist. DirectX ran a update check and after this update this issue still persist. By the way the plugin used to stream Netflix movies is the silverlight even though flash movies are choppy too. Oh well. We will have to give it another day.
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August 7, 2011 7:47:33 AM

victor43 said:
Thanks for the reply. I agree with you that the issue is with either high CPU useage or high disk activity. I am unfortunately not able to determine which one. I was thinking toward the graphics drivers or perhaps an overheating issue but I have checked the operating temperatures are normal for both the CPU and GPU. I have reinstalled the NVidia drivers with the latest and the issue still persist. DirectX ran a update check and after this update this issue still persist. By the way the plugin used to stream Netflix movies is the silverlight even though flash movies are choppy too. Oh well. We will have to give it another day.


Oh yes, I forgot Netflix uses Silverlight. I assume you got rid of all the bloatware that came pre-installed on the computer.

The only suggestion I can give you at this point is to open Task Manager and shut down applications and processes to find the culprit that is causing the problems.

If it's still under warranty, I would call HP because that model laptop shouldn't be having problems watching movies.

the Prisoner.
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August 7, 2011 8:32:18 PM

Thanks again for the reply.

I will try out your suggestions. Hopefully that might tell us what is going on. As for HP our warranty ran out awhile back. But we may give them a call and see what would they charge to troubleshoot the issue. Good thinking. The other thing that comes to my mind is to check running a stress test on the video card to see if it has any issues ? I am not sure if we did run such a test whether it will tell us if the drivers for the card are working optimally and have no issues with them.

Last night we called Netflix to see if they could tell us something as to why this issue is happening and their response was that it could be our wireless or cable connection that is causing the issue. That sounds fair but we have a Blu Ray player that streams movies via our router using an ethernet cable and it streams just fine. We also have a IBM Thinkpad and it streams wirelessly without any issues at all. We have tried a direct connection to the cable modem from the HP laptop and we will get the choppiness back. Same with connecting using ethernet to the router same issue comes back.

We have noticed that when the streaming does becomes choppy the CPU utilization does increase somewhat like from 10-15% to about 20-30% or a bit higher.

Other then that I really do not know where to look.

Appreciate the help

Victor
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August 7, 2011 9:53:37 PM

You're getting choppiness while playing a movie from a disk, so it doesn't look like it has to do anything with the wireless. Since the video is fine in safe mode since safe mode only loads what it needs and uses a lower resolution. So it could be another program slowing things down.

20-30% is ok. The cpu in the laptop is good, the video card isn't great but should still play a movie. If it is playing ok for 5-6 minutes then gets choppy, like Pepe said it could be a heat problem. You could try cleaning the dust out of the laptop.

A stress test is a good idea and monitor the temps too.

IF it is a software problem, you might and even try using the recovery disks and go back to factory settings and get new drivers, MS updates and etc for everything. Just backup before you do that. Just don't install the HP bloatware if they give you an option not to install them.

That's about all I can think of so good luck.

the Prisoner
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August 7, 2011 11:07:07 PM

Thanks thee_prisoner.

Yes thats right we have checked the temperature with CPUID Monitoring which shows 63C for the CPU and 60C for the GPU. We stopped the movie at this point and the browsing is so slow. There is a typing lag in this windows that I ma typing in. CPU utilization shows 25-30% right now as I am typing. The lag is present in the keystrokes. No movie playing again stopped it. Trying the recovery disk is an idea but that is something my uncle has to decide since its his laptop. We may try contacting the store we bought the laptop from to see if they can replace this laptop or extend the warranty that has expired. I've tried terminating HP processes which are running in Task Manager but that did not help.

Would going back to an older version of the NVidia drivers by a good idea ?

Victor
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a b $ Windows 7
August 8, 2011 1:59:21 AM

Another possible culprit is security software. Over aggressive anti-virus and other security products have been known to cause this type of issue from time to time. It would explain why everything seems normal but the video is choppy. The scanner could be slowing playback by scanning files involved with the video stream or the playback program itself. Would also explain why it doesn't do it in safe mode.

So try disabling your security software and any other trey apps and see if it runs well then.

As for your driver question, you could roll back to an older driver. I don't think its the issue, but stranger things have happened.
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August 8, 2011 4:44:18 AM

Don't just terminate the HP processes but everything you can. Windows won't let you stop something if it needs the program to run the computer.

Sometimes using an older driver does fix things.

Has the computer always done this or is this a fairly recent problem? I should of asked that a long time ago! hehe.

The store isn't going to take back the computer but they may allow you to buy an extended warranty on it. If you do, make sure and find out what it covers(like an existing problem).

But really this laptop shouldn't have a problem playing the movies even with programs running in the background. You may want to check the memory.

Type "system information" in the windows search bar.(In start, the windows logo
on the bottom left). This model should have 6gbs of memory, if it shows less their might be some bad memory.

the Prisoner
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August 9, 2011 8:41:04 PM

Thanks to all who gave their suggestions and ideas. We tried shutting down uneccessary applications while experiencing the choppiness but made no difference the issue continued to exist. What has seemed to resolve the issue is reinstalling the video drivers over again and for some reason now everything is working perfectly. We have watched several steaming movies from Netflix.com and all played back without any choppiness only the occassional buffering which was fine. The computer appears to be running a bit quicker also.

For now the issue seems to be resolved. Really appreciate everyone's help.

Victor
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August 10, 2011 12:43:24 AM

Woot! Thanks for responding back and telling us everything is fine.

Dang drivers!

With all that tweaking, I'm not surprised it's running better. Hehe

Be seeing you, The Prisoner
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!