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Lite-On iHES208 - Blu-Ray movies freeze

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May 20, 2010 10:36:25 PM

Hello,
I built a system for my girlfriend, and everything was flawless - or so we thought. For her optical solution, based on good reviews and previous satisfaction with Lite-On products, I installed an iHES208.

The first Blu-Ray movie we watched on it was The Vampire's Assistant, and it played perfectly. The second Blu-Ray was New Moon, and at least half a dozen times throughout the movie, PowerDVD froze, and I was forced to bring up Task Manager to get out of PowerDVD. I later learned that if we just waited it out, it would eventually resume, albeit with glitches in the sync between video and sound. Since then, it's continued to behave that way with every movie I've tried, INCLUDING The Vampire's Assistant, and it also does it with ArcSoft Total Media Theater. It does it whether I'm running the BD player software through Windows Media Center or on its own. Also, while the movie is playing, the HDD activity light will only occasionally flicker, but I've noticed that every time playback freezes, the HDD activity LED comes on and stays lit until approximately the same time playback resumes.

The system consists of an Athlon II X4 620, a Radeon 5750, 4GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, and a 500GB WD Caviar Green for the primary HDD. The system is well ventilated in a Rosewill R901-P BK case, with no noticeable warm pockets.

Has anyone else had problems with BD playback with this drive under Win7 64-bit? Is the HDD activity LED a clue? I don't know a lot about the "Green" WD drives, but could changing power states or spindle speed be somehow affecting playback from the BD drive? (Doesn't make much sense to me, but everything I've tried has failed, so I'm grasping at straws at this point.) Could Windows be mistakenly seeing the system as "idle," and deciding it's a good time to index the HDDs? Any ideas at all about what could be causing this?

FWIW, I updated the firmware today from 8L05 to 8L0C, but have not tested it since doing so, as the trials for PowerDVD and Total Media Theater have both expired. I'm in the process of installing the OEM version of PowerDVD that was included, but I don't hold high hopes of the updated firmware making a difference.

Thank you in advance for any assistance anyone can provide!

Edit (Update): No, updating the drive to the most current firmware did NOT end the problem.
a b G Storage
May 21, 2010 2:53:00 PM

The most likely sources of problems are:

1) The BluRay disc

2) The BluRay reader

3) Software BluRay player

You may need to watch several BluRay discs in case you just have issues with that one. Your hard drive has nothing to do with stuttering.

Leave the Task Manager running in the background to make sure that the CPU isn't hitting 100% (very unlikely). Open it by CTRL-ALT-DEL (enable "hide when minimized" and "low update speed").

How to clean fingerprints:
Hold the disc under running water and move your finger from the center to the outside repeatedly. Do not use tissue or towels as they scratch. Shake to remove excess water or ideally blow it off with a hair dryer (using COLD AIR only).

Other troubleshooting:
Get a program to rip the disc to your hard drive. Find the main video file (Avatar`s was a single 43GB file surrounded by many small files) and try playing it with different players.

I watched my ripped AVATAR movie (no menus) using the following software and hardware:
1) Boxee (Beta version ,for Windows)
2) Windows 7
3) USB hard drive (file was called 00002.m2ts and was in the BDMV, STREAM folder of my ripped Avatar disc. Just look for a huge file of many Gigabytes.)
4) ATI HD3870 (hardware video decoding)
5) AMD X2-4800+ CPU

As you can see, my computer is a few years old (except Windows). It used about 20% of my CPU by offloading the video so your CPU usage should be even lower.
a b G Storage
May 21, 2010 3:07:32 PM

Also:
Boxee is pretty awesome. It`s still Beta. I ripped a DVD as an ISO file (Google for software that does that). Boxee made an ICON for it and added in a description. The only current issue was that I couldn`t get to the MENU once the movie started, but if I clicked the movie icon and waited it went to the menu and my Media Center Remote could navigate then to PLAY it. Hopefully this gets sorted out.

I`m using my PC, but I may buy a Tegra 2 device and put Boxee on it. The only thing stopping this from being ideal is that it may not have enough power to play BluRay. If the ISO DVD issue is perfected, I`ll buy my sister one just to play all her DVD collection from the hard drive (simply rip all DVD`s as ISO to a single folder, then have Boxee download the appropriate details from IMDB).

One option is to get a Tablet based on Tegra 2 and hook it up to a USB hard drive or Wi-Fi etc. This way you can use the Tablet to run things very quietly but you get a device that can do many other things similar to the Apple iPad. Just some ideas.
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May 21, 2010 10:44:40 PM

photonboy said:
The most likely sources of problems are:

1) The BluRay disc

2) The BluRay reader

3) Software BluRay player

You may need to watch several BluRay discs in case you just have issues with that one. Your hard drive has nothing to do with stuttering.

Leave the Task Manager running in the background to make sure that the CPU isn't hitting 100% (very unlikely). Open it by CTRL-ALT-DEL (enable "hide when minimized" and "low update speed").

How to clean fingerprints:
Hold the disc under running water and move your finger from the center to the outside repeatedly. Do not use tissue or towels as they scratch. Shake to remove excess water or ideally blow it off with a hair dryer (using COLD AIR only).

Other troubleshooting:
Get a program to rip the disc to your hard drive. Find the main video file (Avatar`s was a single 43GB file surrounded by many small files) and try playing it with different players.

I watched my ripped AVATAR movie (no menus) using the following software and hardware:
1) Boxee (Beta version ,for Windows)
2) Windows 7
3) USB hard drive (file was called 00002.m2ts and was in the BDMV, STREAM folder of my ripped Avatar disc. Just look for a huge file of many Gigabytes.)
4) ATI HD3870 (hardware video decoding)
5) AMD X2-4800+ CPU

As you can see, my computer is a few years old (except Windows). It used about 20% of my CPU by offloading the video so your CPU usage should be even lower.


First, as I stated, it's FREEZING (as in "stops for 5-10 minutes"), not STUTTERING, and I also stated that it's doing it with every movie we try to watch, not just one (or even two). With the exception of The Men Who Stare at Goats, which was a Netflix rental, the rest of the movies we've tried to watch have been brand new, fresh out of the package, and I'm practically obsessive-compulsive when it comes to caring for CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray discs, so no, it's not fingerprints or scratches on brand new discs.

I also stated in my initial post that I've tried it with both CyberLink's PowerDVD (version 7.something AND version 10) and ArcSoft TotalMedia Theater 3, and they both do the same thing. It was also pointed out that it happens whether the software is running on its own or through Windows Media Center.

Finally, yes, I could find software to rip the movie to the hard drive, but that shouldn't be necessary, and doesn't solve the problem I'm trying to address.

I really do appreciate your taking the time to reply to my post, but I would appreciate it more if you had taken the time to actually read for content before replying. That way, if you have nothing potentially helpful to add, it would have saved you the time of replying, and me the time of reading it and restating information that has already been presented.

Best solution

July 22, 2010 4:21:06 AM
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Open up your case and switch the SATA data and power cables between the HDD and the BR Drive and plug the BR Drive into a different sata port on your motherboard. This will help eliminate not only problems with a potentially loose connection, but also with a potentially bad cable or port. It is a good next step to take. I am recommending taking the cables from the HDD first because you know they are working properly.
July 26, 2010 12:53:16 PM

Loder333 said:
Open up your case and switch the SATA data and power cables between the HDD and the BR Drive and plug the BR Drive into a different sata port on your motherboard. This will help eliminate not only problems with a potentially loose connection, but also with a potentially bad cable or port. It is a good next step to take. I am recommending taking the cables from the HDD first because you know they are working properly.


Thank you for your reply! I don't know why, but I don't think it ever occurred to me to check the connections/cables. I will do that the next opportunity I get, and post my results.
August 4, 2010 9:27:41 PM

Only had one chance to watch a movie so far since switching cables around, but that time, it worked flawlessly. However, I noticed that if we started the computer with a BD in the drive, Winblows would frequently hang while loading. Anyway, if playing the movie flawlessly this second time turns out to be a fluke, I'll reply to this thread again, but for now, I'm going to assume that that did the trick.
August 4, 2010 9:27:49 PM

Best answer selected by NastyPope.
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