I have been using the same dedicated media center computer with a ceton tuner card and cablecard for the last year or so and every thing was fine until 2 weeks ago when HBO HD only started severe flickering on white areas.
I have been able to discover that it is caused by the rapid switching between 29 and 59 frame rates in the incoming signal on HBO.
This has never happened before and the computer is unchanged, so the problem is due to some change you made in the encoding at the head end.
This can be fixed by unchecking the dynamic contrast in the video driver as it can't keep up with the rapid frame rate change, but it then makes other dark non HBO programs un-watchable.
I am both a Microsoft and Intel gold certified system builder and you can be assured that this is not an error on my end, this is a known problem and can be fixed with a change in the encoding at the source.
Could you please address this.
verizon isn't the source. HBO is. Email HBO Contact support
Verizon is one of the few providers that simply passes the signal from the operator to it's subscribers, so if it's a problem with the source, then you want to contact the source directly.
There is only one true solution to this problem: Encode the video with the correct metadata to begin with. The solution is the responsibility of the entity that encoded the video, which means contacting the broadcaster, cable network, or cable company that encoded the video and working with their engineers to resolve the issue. Additionally, Microsoft has acknowledged this issue in their Knowledge Base Article ID 2658140 with no known Windows Media Center resolution at this time.
In lieu of attempting the solution listed above, there is a workaround available. A number of GPUs have been identified as able to play back content with the bad metadata without stuttering or other adverse effects, provided there are no other issues with the system and the correct processing settings are applied. Note: Other issues and/or incorrect processing settings in the GPU software may contribute to stuttering and/or other adverse effects. It may be necessary to disable all post-processing in the GPU software to get smooth playback.
Note to wiki editors: Please ensure you have confirmed smooth playback with content that switches frame rates between 29.97 Hz and 59.9401 Hz before adding GPUs to this list.NVIDIA
GeForce 8600 GTS
GeForce 9400 (including ION platforms)
GeForce GT 425
GeForce GT 430
GeForce GT 440 (same core as 430)
GeForce GTS 250ATI
Radeon HD 4200
Radeon HD 4550
Radeon HD 4650
Radeon HD 5450 with Dynamic Contrast Adjustment turned off
Radeon HD 6450
Radeon HD 6850Intel
HBO (and other channels) rapid framerate changing – stuttering (Ceton)
Posted on 10 April 2011 01:41 PM
Unfortunately that is not an issue we can fix. It is a well known problem with Media Center and happens on all OCUR devices. It is only apparent on OCUR devices because it only seems to happen on HBO and only OCUR devices can receive HBO.
You can see a thread on Windows Experts Community about it here,
It's an incompatibility issue between Media Center's decoder and the HBO MPEG steam encoder. Obviously we have no control over either of these.
The incompatibility in Windows Media Center is when it receives video which does not properly indicate its framerate. We have seen some video encoders used by Cable Operators attempt to detect the framerate (they do this to attempt to minimize bandwidth) and get it wrong - they end up re-detecting this every few seconds, hence the rapid change between 29.97 and 59.94.
Unfortunately, each time the framerate changes, Windows Media Center must re-set the video pipeline - this is what results in the stuttering. You can verify whether this is your issue using the following steps:
1. In Windows Media Center, tune to the channel in question
2. Type "411" and hit CTRL-D on the keyboard (if using a Media Center remote, "411" then the INFO button)
3. Press the right arrow on the keyboard or remote to scroll through various info screens
4. The last screen, titled "DEBUG: Presentation," has Frame Rate at the bottom
If the stuttering video is caused by the 29/59 bug, you'll see the framerate jump between the two numbers whenever the video stutters. We do have a few ideas on possible solutions for you:
1. If it isn't the 29/59 bug, stuttering can be cause by other issues. See this article for more details.
2. Change your video card for another one
3. Watch TV through an extender
Unfortunately there isn't much more we can do about this issue.
This was a post I picked up somewhere and failed to document the source; [i5 2500k using the i5's GPU] I was able to "fix" it by going into Intel's graphics and media control panel: Media: Image Enhancement and un-checking "Adaptive Contrast Enhancement.".
Looks like there are a lot of little things you can try, as a work around, Google search
"The 29/59 Frame Rate Issue"
thanks for the info...so after trying lots of random fixes - i figured out a solution for my issue
i have the gtx 550 ti card and never had this issue until september of this year. i realized that my nvidea driver was recently updated - so i simply "rolled back" the driver and my problem is corrected!
the 29/59 frame rate issue still exists but i do not see the "flickering" anymore on hbo channels (only ones to be affected for me).
just thought id share in case helpful for anyone else.
thanks again for the quick response and info