Cinema Room HTPC Ongoing Issues

I have been “in the process” of building a dedicated home cinema room for some time now. I shall write about that in more detail some other time.

This post is a “progress” update which will make more sense in the fullness of time, after I have written about my progress up to now in more detail.

I have been having difficulty getting my HTPC to stream movies from my server reliably for quite a while now. Somewhere in the order of 4 months! This Friday just gone I decided to take adanage of my 2 year old son’s extra long sleep during the day and do a little experimentation with my network setup.

I use a gigabit wired ethernet network with a 24 port switch and wall plates wherever I can. I suspected the stuttering problems I was having was down to the network somehow. So I tried a few things to eliminate a few possibilities. As it turned out, when I moved my Drobo to a location other than my newly created cloakroom/server room it worked perfectly. Well the few tests I performed worked where they didn’t before. So, it would seem there is some kind of problem with either the network cabling I had pulled through to that room, or the sockets I’d installed in that room.

That was yesterday, today I came to watch a few things in the cinema room and I got stuttering. To a lesser extent than befofe, but still quite bad and certainly not watchable. So, I loaded up Graph Studio to see which decoders/filters/splitters were being used to play back my test movie. As it turned out the audio decoder being used was the MPC MPA Decoder, which I hadn’t set the SPDIF passthru on. So, I did that and it was instantly better, in fact it seemed pretty much perfect to me!

So, I decided to also switch the Media Portal settings back to the defaults for the SAF 6 package I’ve been using. Thecreason for doing that is that Graph Studio was telling me it was using decoders other than the ones I have configured in the Media Portal configuration, so I figured “what the hell!”

It, still seems fine to me. I’ll continue to perform “extensive testing” (ie – watching plenty of movies)

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