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jaswolf
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-27-2011
Location: San Antonio, TX
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q180 hd playback

Has anyone played with HD playback on the Q180?  I have mine currently connected to a 40" samsung TV via HDMI and the playback of any recorded HD tv show skips/jumps constantly.  Playback of movies is fine.  Any configuration settings that may have worked for someone would be appreciated.  I've tried several settings in the catalyst control center with no success.

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1994mgoblue
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎01-01-2012
Location: Columbus, OH
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Re: q180 hd playback

What are you using to playback the HD TV?  I have a Q180 with a Ceton USB InfiniTV4 attached to a 47" LG TV via HDMI.  I'm using Windows Media Center to do TV recording, etc.  Just about everything I record is in HD.  Note that I did upgrade the unit from 2GB to 4GB RAM, it made a noticeable difference in performance overall.

 

That all said, it's been working okay for me, but far from perfect.  Honestly, playing back recorded HD TV via Windows Media Center is probably one of the better aspects thus far.  

 

I've tried Hulu Desktop and it's not very good - it improved a *little* when I disabled Flash hardware acceleration (which baffles and angers me since this new machine is supposed has great GPU abilities).  I would generally say Flash and the Q180 currently don't play nice, it is suboptimal at best.

 

Bring up Task Manager and see how your CPU is performing, several of us using wired connections are seeing ~25% CPU when totally idle.  Refer to this posting: http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/IdeaCentre-Desktops-Home-Servers/Q180-High-CPU-Usage-Problem/m-p/642291

 

I've switched from wired to wireless and CPU has calmed down, but now, kinda as expected, the XBox360's I'm using as extenders are starting to stutter/choke due to the Q180 being wifi.  (XBox's are wired.  My whole intention was nothing wireless for media).

 

 

 

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tc321
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎01-12-2012
Location: Los Angeles
0

Re: q180 hd playback

On weaker CPU and GPU, the right software decoder will make a lot of difference.  Not sure what type of HD file format you have or the software you use to play them, try use MPC-HC with the following guides and see which combination of decoder and settings will play your content smoothly and at lower CPU usage.  Sometime lower the subtitle resolution will solve the problems.  It take only few MB of harddrive space and shound not impact the software you use now to play the files.

http://imouto.my/watching-h264-videos-using-dxva/
http://haruhichan.com/wpblog/?p=205

 

Try monitor CPU and GPU usage with Process Explorer, it offer more info than Task Manager.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653

 

 

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jaswolf
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-27-2011
Location: San Antonio, TX
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Re: q180 hd playback

I'm using Windows MC.  I'm actually using my Q180 as a sudo-extender.  I have all my movies and recorded tv on a network drive and then play them from Q180.  I've tried both wired and wireless playback (and even copying the file to the local drive) and it's still stuttering.  I don't really see too much going on for the CPU.  

 

On a side note, I'm trying to replace my bigger dell boxes (Inspiron 540s and ZinoHD) with this.  Those systems have no problem playing the video, and the specs aren't all that much higher.

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tc321
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎01-12-2012
Location: Los Angeles
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Re: q180 hd playback

I think your expectation of the Atom D2700 CPU is a bit too high.  Your Q180 consumes less power and have updated technologies, but it may pale in comparison on computational capability with the CPU in your Inspiron 540s.  My 5+ yrs old Pentium 4 CPU runs circle around the 1 yr old Atom D525 CPU.  General specs are not that useful.

As for the Windows MC, try the software and the links I posted earlier and compare the results.  If you have success with it, that means one of the decoder used in Windows MC is not running well with D2700 or on Q180.  Maybe there are updates for it somewhere.

As for stuttering, I have no clue since you indicate the CPU has not much going on (when you play the HD file).  Usually I find that stuttering occurs when CPU is running over 90% and simply can't keep up.  I would check for any updated sound and video drivers first from the original manufacturer, not lenovo.

Good luck!

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1994mgoblue
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎01-01-2012
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: q180 hd playback

I'm not sure if this will help you, but I can tell you for certain that it has improved some of the TV playback on my Q180.

 

Apparently this will relatively well known as the 29/59 bug... it was news to me.  The symptom is flicker (for me it was like the brightness/contrast were being changed every couple seconds).

 

To see if a video source has this issue, in Media Center enter 4-1-1 then press the Info button (I think Ctl+D works).  A diagnostic page comes up.  Go right several times until you see a page that has the Frame Rate.  I knew USA Network flickered for me, so I brought up that channel and the diagnosic page and definitely saw the Frame Rates swapping from 29.xx to 59.xx, it was also flickering or strobing annoyingly.

 

The Video Card in the Q180 (AMD 6450) appears to be one of the few that can handle this if configured properly.  You need to turn off Dynamic Contrast in the AMD Control Center.

 

This is a decent write-up with a Youtube example that really illustrates the issue.  http://htpc.pharmnerd.com/wmc-framerate-bug

 

This is where folks are reporting that the 6450 can overcome this:  http://experts.windows.com/w/experts_wiki/71.aspx

 

I made the change and the flicker appears to be gone.

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Paulcz
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-10-2012
Location: Czech Republic
0

Re: q180 hd playback

Hi,

 

well guys if you fix all bad things with network driver, McAfee antivirus, turn off dynamic contrast in AMD Control and use player/codecs with DXVA acceleration.. can play q180 bigger 1080p mkv files (>8GB] without problems ?

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maciupiciu
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-06-2012
Location: Romania

Re: q180 hd playback

I was able to find a reasonable solution for HD playback. It is a chinese media player named pot player. It works with DXVA and performs excellent. of course i installed all the updated drivers from Lenovo site.

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catalin
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-18-2012
Location: Romania
0

Re: q180 hd playback

Hi !

My q180 works fine in hd playback. When playing two hd movies on TV and the screen, the procesor works at 25-30%.

But I want to upgrade HDD with SDD, and 4 Gb memory. Two questions.

1. How can I open the device?

2. In bios does not exist AHCI mode for SATA controler !!!!

Somebody can help me?

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Paulcz
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-10-2012
Location: Czech Republic
0

Re: q180 hd playback

1) Probably lose warranty. You must slowly remove right three rubber pads on the bottom of the device and unscrew the screws + two on the VGA connector. After it remove the cover.. and unscrew the white HDD bracket, one screw is hidden under the battery or what is it..