Subtitles causing video stutter
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Posted 4/14/10
I've seen this issue mentioned before but I haven't yet found a satisfactory solution. I'm hoping someone on here can help me get it straightened out.

I recently bought an Acer Aspire Revo AR3610 to use as an HTPC so I can view my Internet videos on the big screen. It has a dual-core Atom 330 CPU, Nvidia ION graphics, and 2GB of RAM. I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium, the latest ION drivers from Nvidia, Flash 10.1 RC, and Google Chrome as my browser. It works well for this purpose. The only site giving me problems is, unfortunately, Crunchyroll.

I'm seeing a lot of jumps/stuttering in the video playback. The thing is, it's not the video itself that is causing this problem. This problem is being caused specifically by the soft subtitles the Crunchyroll player uses. Every time it renders a new line of subtitles on the screen there's a visible stutter in the video. If I play the same scene with the subtitles turned off the video plays back silky smooth, without a hitch, even at 720P. Obviously the hardware acceleration is working.

Given that this is an Atom based PC, my first thought was that the Atom CPU was just too underpowered to handle this. I started up the resource monitor in the background and played a few minutes of full screen video with subtitles. I expected to see big spikes in CPU usage when the subtitles were being rendered. Surprisingly this was not the case. This is a dual-core CPU with each core capable of two threads, so it shows up as four CPUs in the resource monitor. During playback two of the CPUs were right around the middle (40-50% usually), with the other two showing low usage. There were no big usage spikes during playback and no signs of the CPU maxing out. Memory also seemed fine. It didn't look like a system resources issue.

Next I tried different quality streams. Whether it was SD, 480P, or 720P they all showed the exact same video stutter when the subtitles came up on the screen. I double-checked to make sure that subtitle smoothing was off, which it was. I even turned video smoothing off, which didn't make a difference. An SD video, with subtitle and video smoothing both turned off still showed the same stuttering video as the 720P with video smoothing on, so it's not like the ION is being pushed past its limits either. Once again this casts doubt on my initial thoughts that this was a system resources issue.

I've tried running at different screen resolutions. I've tried both hard wired and through WiFi. I've tried both IE and Chrome. None of this makes a difference. I don't really know what else to try at this point. I'm hoping somebody on here with a better understanding of the inner-workings of the CR video player can help shed some light on the subject. All my other video sites play fine, and CR's video plays beautifully when there aren't any subtitles. I really hope we can get this playback issue resolved.

Thanks
Posted 4/14/10
goggle chrome?? found your problem bro also are you watching in 720p or 420p if your card is not hd compatible with hd videos then it will stutter and show correctly .
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Posted 4/15/10 , edited 4/15/10
AH-HA! I knew I wasn't the only only one who's encountered this! I've read about this issue on numerous other forums too, Chrome is not the culprit here. It affects Firefox and Opera as well. I've checked this on an nVidia and an ATI setup, same thing... at CR there is a little jerk in playback every time a new set of subs is rendered.

It's extremely annoying and it affects all resolutions whether subtitle smoothing is on or off, video smoothing is on or off, or even of hardware acceleration is on or off. Same end result. Now, when checking out other sites that stream anime vids with subs like Anime Network, Anime News Network, Hulu, FUNimation, or even Netflix, everything is totally smooth without a single hitch. I too would like to know what's causing this little hang-up that seems to only effect the CR player. My CPU usage during playback is like... 2%.

Yes, I've already read the video playback faq and I've already tried everything mentioned in previous posts to no avail so any other insight would be helpful. So, uh... MrOctopusWiener (*chuckle*, good one), I know *exactly* what you mean.
Ronin
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Posted 4/15/10

MrOctopusWiener wrote:



Please right-click on any video after it starts playing and see whether or not Subtitle Smoothing is enabled. I believe Subtitle Smoothing could cause stuttering problems.

If it says "Enable Subtitle Smoothing (slower)", that means Subtitle Smoothing is currently disabled and if it says "Disable Subtitle Smoothing (faster)", it's currently enabled.

I haven't used a computer with an Atom processor myself so I do not know if our service is able to fully support it at this point in time. If there is a problem with rendering the subtitles on an Atom processor, I'll see if it can provide better support for it in the future.

Endosanity wrote:

AH-HA! I knew I wasn't the only only one who's encountered this! I've read about this issue on numerous other forums too, Chrome is not the culprit here. It affects Firefox and Opera as well. I've checked this on an nVidia and an ATI setup, same thing... at CR there is a little jerk in playback every time a new set of subs is rendered.

It's extremely annoying and it affects all resolutions whether subtitle smoothing is on or off, video smoothing is on or off, or even of hardware acceleration is on or off. Same end result. Now, when checking out other sites that stream anime vids with subs like Anime Network, Anime News Network, Hulu, FUNimation, or even Netflix, everything is totally smooth without a single hitch. I too would like to know what's causing this little hang-up that seems to only effect the CR player. My CPU usage during playback is like... 2%.

Yes, I've already read the video playback faq and I've already tried everything mentioned in previous posts to no avail so any other insight would be helpful. So, uh... MrOctopusWiener (*chuckle*, good one), I know *exactly* what you mean.


I've used all of these services and have seen that The Anime Network, Anime News Network (aside from the videos they stream from us), Hulu, FUNimation, and Netflix all use Hard subtitles so they can't be directly compared to a soft subtitle service like ours. Hardsubbed videos render the same as videos that don't have subtitles so there is no added stress to the system.
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Posted 4/15/10
I've checked the subtitle smoothing option when playing videos but it was already off by default. It would've been nice if it was something that simple. I wonder if this really is being caused by the low-powered Atom CPU. I've been watching CR videos on my main desktop (a Core i7 box) for a year now and I never really noticed this subtitle problem on it. I didn't notice it until I set up my HTPC last week. On the other hand, as I mentioned in my first post the CPU usage didn't seem excessive and I saw no big spikes that would indicate it was being pushed too hard. I'm still not sure what is going on.

If the CR player really can be made to better support low powered CPUs like the Atom then that would be great. I'm sure I'm not the only person who's tried to watch CR videos on this type of setup.

If there's anything else you think I should try please let me know.

Thanks
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Posted 4/15/10

Endosanity wrote:

AH-HA! I knew I wasn't the only only one who's encountered this! I've read about this issue on numerous other forums too, Chrome is not the culprit here. It affects Firefox and Opera as well. I've checked this on an nVidia and an ATI setup, same thing... at CR there is a little jerk in playback every time a new set of subs is rendered.

It's extremely annoying and it affects all resolutions whether subtitle smoothing is on or off, video smoothing is on or off, or even of hardware acceleration is on or off. Same end result. Now, when checking out other sites that stream anime vids with subs like Anime Network, Anime News Network, Hulu, FUNimation, or even Netflix, everything is totally smooth without a single hitch. I too would like to know what's causing this little hang-up that seems to only effect the CR player. My CPU usage during playback is like... 2%.

Yes, I've already read the video playback faq and I've already tried everything mentioned in previous posts to no avail so any other insight would be helpful. So, uh... MrOctopusWiener (*chuckle*, good one), I know *exactly* what you mean.


Good to see I'm not the only person on here who's noticed this. I was just wondering what kind of hardware you're having this problem on. The problem is clearly evident on my Atom/ION HTPC, but isn't really noticeable on my main Core i7 desktop. I'd be interested to know if systems running processors substantially more powerful than an Atom were still showing the same problem. What are the specs of the machine you've tried this on?
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Posted 4/17/10

MrOctopusWiener wrote:Good to see I'm not the only person on here who's noticed this. I was just wondering what kind of hardware you're having this problem on. The problem is clearly evident on my Atom/ION HTPC, but isn't really noticeable on my main Core i7 desktop. I'd be interested to know if systems running processors substantially more powerful than an Atom were still showing the same problem. What are the specs of the machine you've tried this on?


I have a few different systems both new and old but they all do the same thing. I wish there was a way to "pre-bufer" the subs too. I remember there used to be this "switch to old video player" (or something like that) option that I selected that made playback much more bearable but that was removed a while ago. I've tried every tip out there I could find but to no avail, I'm at a loss now.

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Posted 5/26/11
I'm experiencing this exact issue as well. I wrote to Crunchyroll support, so I hope something can be done. I use the same system setup (except with 3GB of RAM) as my HTPC for my TV. The ION chipset works beautifully for every other service or media center software I use, even 1080p content.

I imagine the issue has to do with something weird with this particular system or combination of hardware. I hope Crunchyroll doesn't write it off as "unfixable" because it's "low-end" hardware. :-\ I'd love to keep using this setup and enjoy Crunchyroll on my big-screen TV.
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Posted 5/29/11 , edited 5/29/11

LucasTizma wrote:

I'm experiencing this exact issue as well. I wrote to Crunchyroll support, so I hope something can be done. I use the same system setup (except with 3GB of RAM) as my HTPC for my TV. The ION chipset works beautifully for every other service or media center software I use, even 1080p content.

I imagine the issue has to do with something weird with this particular system or combination of hardware. I hope Crunchyroll doesn't write it off as "unfixable" because it's "low-end" hardware. :-\ I'd love to keep using this setup and enjoy Crunchyroll on my big-screen TV. :)


Unfortunately, that's probably the reply you'd get if there was one. But here's something strange, when watching the videos (when they work that is) on the Roku player the video is totally fine and there is zero stutter from the subtitles. So it probably has something to do with the way things are encoded since you wouldn't think a tiny little set-top box should be more powerful than an HTPC.
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