Spec me HTPC

Associate
Joined
22 Jul 2010
Posts
532
Location
Huddersfield, W. Yorskhire
I recently bought a i3 Laptop as a HDMI media server - only to realise I have very slight stuttering on blu-ray sources.

I may sell the Laptop and go down the HTPC route.

I don't know what the recommended specs are for a non-gaming HTPC rig - this will be purely used as a Blu-ray/MKV/MP4 streamer device with Windows 7 and Internet access via wireless (I already have a spare wireless PCI card)

Cheers.
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
8,016
Are your "blu-ray sources" local to the machine, or are they on a separate machine/server and streamed over the network?

If so - your wireless network is probably the culprit - an i3 laptop would almost definitely be good enough to play back a blu-ray.
 
Associate
Joined
22 Jul 2010
Posts
532
Location
Huddersfield, W. Yorskhire

Thanks for the shopping list - I shall look into these.

Are your "blu-ray sources" local to the machine, or are they on a separate machine/server and streamed over the network?

If so - your wireless network is probably the culprit - an i3 laptop would almost definitely be good enough to play back a blu-ray.

The sources are local to the Laptop.

What format is the most demanding for a PC/Laptop to play over HDMI? I wonder if there is a FPS counter I can display to see if any frames are getting dropped?

Cheers
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
8,016
The stuttering may well be the fact that blu-rays are 23.97 frames per second, and you're likely not running at 23.97 Hz from the laptop to your TV.

If you're running at 50 Hz, or 60 Hz, you may notice very slight stuttering/juddering as the frames sync up.

I guess the best thing to do too is see whether your processor, or graphics card, are being utilised to their full when the stuttering occurs.

Check out some of the typical monitoring apps such as MSI Afterburner (for graphics) and even Task Manager for CPU - if these spike to 100% when it stutters, then you know you're running out of processing power.
 
Associate
Joined
22 Jul 2010
Posts
532
Location
Huddersfield, W. Yorskhire
The stuttering may well be the fact that blu-rays are 23.97 frames per second, and you're likely not running at 23.97 Hz from the laptop to your TV.

If you're running at 50 Hz, or 60 Hz, you may notice very slight stuttering/juddering as the frames sync up.

I guess the best thing to do too is see whether your processor, or graphics card, are being utilised to their full when the stuttering occurs.

Check out some of the typical monitoring apps such as MSI Afterburner (for graphics) and even Task Manager for CPU - if these spike to 100% when it stutters, then you know you're running out of processing power.

Cheers for the advice, I think it is all sorted now.

Looked at CPU usage while playing a DTS 1080p MKV and it was between 12 and 18% CPU load.

I can't use Afterburner on my integrated graphics as it is built into the i3 CPU.

What I did do though, was setup media player home cinema correctly though - found a guide to disabling all the internal codec/filters and running it all through FFDshow. Ran the same DTS 1080p MKV and now I get 0 jitter and only 4 dropped frames right at beginning of playback (due to GFX & TV sync)

Does the laptop have a dedicated GPU?

GPU is on the CPU (i3 CPU)
 
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