DVD Video stutters with LG GSA-4167B

vbimport

#1

I have a Media PC (one year old Shuttle XPC, P4, 1 GB Ram, NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GS, Win XP Pro) with an LG GSA-4167B DVD burner. It has been working well as a burner and data disc reader since I got it, but it has never been great at playing DVDs. Any DVD - especially rented DVDs, but also including fresh clean burned DVDs and brand new retail DVDs out of the box - seems to have a stutter every few minutes (the action will just freeze for a second and the audio will skip).

At first, I used WinDVD 7 to resolve this problem (it only seemed to happen in PowerDVD or Windows Media Player) but now it happens in that program too.

It’s a media PC so there is not many other programs on it. No games, just Beyond TV, Beyond Media Basic + Firefly remote software, WinDVD, iTunes, AnyDVD (have tried disabling it), Clone DVD, Nod32 (have tried disabling it).

What I have tried:

  • Updated LG firmware (ver. DL13)
  • Tried WinDVD 6, 7, 8, PowerDVD (new and old versions)
  • Tried running starting windows with other services disabled
  • Checked to make sure DMA is enabled
  • Changed screen resolution from 1366 x 768 (my default) to 800x600
  • Reformatting and reinstalling Windows XP

The full name in Windows Device Manager is:
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-4167B

Does anyone have any ideas where I can even start to debug this issue? Could it be the drive is too slow?

I am considering just going out and trying a new drive and seeing if that will fix the issue (if not I can return it). Is this a wise choice? Here are a couple drives that I have been looking at, if I do have to replace:

  • LG 18X Dual Layer Internal LightScribe DVD Rewriter (GSA-H22L)
  • Pioneer 16X Dual Layer Internal DVD Rewriter (PIDVRW710R)
  • Sony 16X Double Layer DVD Rewriter (DRU820A)
  • Philips 16X Internal DVD Rewriter With RAM (SPD2410BD)
  • Comstar 16X Double Layer Internal DVD+/-R Rewriter (CODVRW1616) (cheap option)

Any suggestions? Thanks!


#2

Welcome to cdfreaks :slight_smile:
Run a nero cdspeed burst rate test to check if DMA is really active, you should get at least 23 MB/s. Run a transfer rate test to check if there are reading problems with your drive. Also watch the task manager on the idle PC for a while to see if some background processes eat up CPU time from time to time.
Not to forget, you should use an 80-wire IDE cable and the original microsoft ide driver.


#3

Hi

Thanks for the advice, I tried the cdspeed test and indeed it did get over 23 MB/s. Here are the full results:

http://www.idsgn.org/temp/HL-DT-STDVDRAM_GSA-4167B_DL13.html

I checked the processes and my Beyond TV (DVR app) runs BTVTask.exe in the background which runs at low priority and up to 80% CPU when other tasks aren’t in use. I have tried booting without this program and my CPU usage is at a steady 0-5% but the skipping still happens.

My IDE Driver is: Microsoft 5.1.2600.0

Also, I’m not sure how to tell what pin my IDE cable is.

Does any of this help at all or are you just as confused as I am? :stuck_out_tongue:


#4

I just tested out playing a DVD while running the CPU Usage tool. I found that while playing the DVD, WinDVD runs at about 20-30% CPU and when a stutter happens it jumps to 100% instantly and then back down after a second, and video resumes smoothly.


#5

Does your PC support to slow down the CPU speed somehow ? Check you energy saving settings.


#6

I checked my engery settings and it is set to Always On. I watch a lot of HD TV (mpg/avi) in BeyondTV on this computer and I never get a stutter. I haven’t tried ripping a DVD to the HDD and then playing it from there, however. Do you think I should just try a new DVD drive?


#7

Not yet. Run a cdspeed transfer rate test and count the wires your IDE cable has. You have either a 40 or 80 wire cable. You should use a flat cable, not a round one.


#8

Hi thanks for answering my questions! I just took the hood off and yes it is an 80 pin flat cable. Here are the results from my cdspeed transfer test:

Transfer Rate

Start 3.44x
End 8.15x
Average 6.13x
Type CAV


#9

I just did another transfer rate test and I noticed there was a drop in the graph:

http://www.idsgn.org/temp/HL-DT-STDVDRAM_GSA-4167B_DL13-2.html


#10

I guess I am back to sqaure one, anyone have any other ideas? Thanks


#11

What model of XPC are you using? Have you recently installed or change some device such as a video card?


#12

I have the Shuttle SB83G5 with a Pentium 4 2.66 Ghz and 1 GB Ram. No hardware has changed (it has pretty much always been like this, but I was able to use different DVD software to fix it until recently).

Since I was getting no where, Today I decided to try a new drive so I bought a brand new LG GSA-H50N and gave it a try, but I had the same stuttering every 15 minutes or so. I also tried changing out my Nvidia 6800GS video card with a 7300GS card that I had around, but no difference there. Also tried the internal Intel card.

So it seems that it is not the DVD drive, not the video card, what else could it be?

I notice when the stutters happen the CPU usage spikes up from around 30% to 100% for a second and then back down. So could this be a CPU issue? I have a decent processor, I think - if a Core 2 Duo chip wasn’t so expensive I would try that. DVD video seems to run fine on every crappy computer, is it because I am trying to watch it at an HD resolution?

Would only having 1 GB of ram cause the CPU to spike like that? I could upgrade RAM for pretty cheap. Or maybe its due to the weak 250W PSU?

Again, any advice is VERY appreciated. Thanks!!


#13

Also, does anyone know if there is a good program out there to test my CPU?


#14

set audio output to stereo 2 channel and disable hardware video acceleration
update video and audio drivers
try the purevideo trial http://www.nvidia.com/object/dvd_decoder_1.02-223-trial.html (you’ll probably need to uninstall your other dvd players first, otherwise you’ll run into dshow filter conflicts)

you said you did a clean install of windows. did you try playing a dvd after only installing audio and video drivers and a dvd player?


#15

Thanks for the suggestion! I always have video accerlation off, but I tried installing this last night. And played the movie with Windows Media player with Purevideo running, and it was even worse - very choppy!

I am going to try removing everything from my computer - hardware and software - but the bare minimum and see if I still have this problem. But if you have any more suggestions let me know and I will try them. Thanks


#16

make sure the burner is set to master on the secondary ide cable, it usually is set to slave from the factory… i had a simular problem with the audio and video when i installed as a slave drive… good luck…