Stopping jittery playback of DVD

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Wallace, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. Wallace

    Wallace Guest

    I have a fairly old XP laptop computer running at about 1.5 GHz. Some DVDs
    play fine but some recent ones have been very juddery as if the processor
    hasn't sufficient power to decode the video so breaks up the picture. The
    sound quality is fine.

    Can I buy a PCMCIA card to speed things along? I can't find any display
    adaptor in System - Hardware under Sound, video and games controllers
    other than "Legacy Video Capture Devices", "Media Control Devices" and
    "Video Codecs".
    Wallace, Feb 3, 2007
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  2. Wallace

    G Hardy Guest

    Rip one of the jittery DVDs to your laptop's hard drive and play it from
    there. If the jitter persists, your CPU isn't beefy enough to play the
    content. If it plays fine, then your DVD drive isn't quick enough.

    I don't think an external PCMCIA drive will make a great deal of difference.
    I have a "cardbus" adapter for a DVD drive, and it still serves data slower
    than the built-in drive.
    G Hardy, Feb 3, 2007
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  3. Wallace

    Tony Morgan Guest

    I would have thought that a 1.5GHz PC would be plenty beefy enough for
    playing DVDs.

    I'd suggest to Wallace that he makes sure that he has no other programs
    running in the background [1], and maybe run EndItAll to close any
    unnecessary background tasks.

    [1] Some AV programs eat away at system resources,
    Norton in particular.
    Tony Morgan, Feb 3, 2007

  4. Something to check :

    Go to Control Panel, System, Hardware, Device Manager

    Now look for the IDE/ATA controllers, and view the settings for
    Primary IDE channel. It's likely your hard drives are connected to
    that channel. Under Advanced Settings, you should see current transfer
    mode listed as Ultra DMA mode, with the Transfer Mode dropdown set to
    "DMA if available".

    Repeat those steps for the secondary IDE channel. Now, if you see "PIO
    mode" selected for Transfer Mode, change that to "DMA if available"

    See if that change has any effect on your playback - many DVD drives
    after install, default to PIO mode (slow) when they should be set to
    DMA mode.

    You would need a modern PCI (not PCMCIA) or AGP graphics card which
    offers some benefit to video acceleration under windows. Usually a new
    AGP card is about $25, eg some of the NVidia 5200FX series.

    That's because the graphics card is listed under Display Adapters ;-)

    Cheers - Neil
    Neil Smith [MVP Digital Media], Feb 3, 2007
  5. Wallace

    Just D Guest

    The easiest way to check the DVD speed is to copy something from DVD disk to
    the hard drive. Although the better way could be to install a freeware DVD
    Shrink, order it to copy this DVD and watch how fast it works. I guess the
    real answer was in the original question when the author wrote that he
    doesn't see any good drivers for this laptop, but Legacy something. That
    means that already lost the whole possible speed of his machine using these
    fakes installed on his laptop. 1.5 is more than enough to watch a good
    movie. Also I briefly saw that someone recommended to check UDMA mode for
    his hard drives and especially for the DVD drive. Yes, that's maybe even
    more important than video drivers if they don't work correctly or just not
    properly installed.

    Regarding the external devices... That's funny but when I bought an external
    box for my internal DVD drive that I grabbed from my desktop system,
    inserted it into this NexStar DX box and connected to my USB port I got the
    speed from my DVD much higher than from the internal DVD drive. For example
    I can drab my CD disks for 3-4 minutes, it was usually taking 3-4 times
    longer with my internal DVD drive. Same for DVD disks, the external one
    grabs the whole DVD disk for 10-15 minutes (without compression), don't
    remember exactly, but can test it out if required, it's a double layer +/-
    Plextor, not even the latest one. The internal DVD drive (Philips) can grab
    the same disks for at least 52-55 minutes even working in UDMA mode.

    Just D.
    Just D, Feb 4, 2007
  6. Wallace

    G Hardy Guest

    Definitely. I occasionally get jitter playing back VOBs from the HDD on my
    500MHz PIII laptop, but it almost always happens when playing them through
    the cardbus DVD adapter. This leads me to believe that some DVDs present
    more of a burden to the decoding process, so it's worth ripping them if you
    get the jitter. If there's no jitter from the HDD, then the problem is with
    the DVD drive throughput. Otherwise, the problem is elsewhere (such as the
    CPU not being up to the job).

    I missed the "1.5GHz" thing in the original post, focusing instead on
    "laptop".. :eek:)
    G Hardy, Feb 4, 2007
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