Choosing video card for Comcast DRM/H.264 issue

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Choosing video card for Comcast DRM/H.264 issue

Post#1 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:56 am

Since a lot of us are affected by Comcast's switch to H.264 and the associated issues with DRM channels, I though we should make note of what setups work.

So, how about telling us what card you use and how well it works with these concerns:

0. what OS, video card, driver version do you use?
1. can you watch DRM H.264?
2. can you switch from one DRM to another DRM? To a non-DRM?
3. can you skip forward and back on live TV, quickly without issue?
4. can you do the same with recorded DRM/H.264 material?
5. can you fast forward/backward smoothly on DRM recordings?

If you think there are issues to address let us know.

As for me:

0. Win7, Asus AMD HD5450, Catalyst 15.7.1, 2D driver 8.01.01.1500
1. yes
2. DRM-DRM, yes, mostly.When going from 800 region DRM channel to 200 region, video freezes with previous 800 region channel, audio continues with new channel. Need to switch to non-DRM channel and then back to 200 region DRM for it to work.

DRM-non DRM works fine.

3. mostly yes but freezes often. Need to close WMC window and reopen to recover. Slightly pausing between skipping button works fine.
4. same as #3
5. a bit choppy on fastest FF/RW but works
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Post#2 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:57 pm

0. Win7, Nvidia Quadro FX580, driver 331.82
1. yes
2. yes
3. yes
4. yes
5. yes backward, a bit jerky forward at highest speed

I need low power cards, 19-25W, as well as low profile, so these below fit the bill. It appears Nvidia is much better at resolving the skipping issue, n fact solving it, than AMD. There is still the #2 issue, but I can live with that. The skipping issue is more important to me so I'm switching from AMD 5450 to Nvidia GT710.

0. Win7, Zotac ZT-71301-20L, Nvidia GT710, driver 359.21
1. yes
2. DRM-DRM, yes, mostly.When going from 800 region DRM channel to 200 region, video freezes with previous 800 region channel, audio continues with new channel. Need to switch to non-DRM channel and then back to 200 region DRM for it to work.
3. yes
4. yes
5. yes backward, a bit jerky forward at highest speed

0. Win7, MSI GT710-1GD3HL, Nvidia GT710, driver 359.21
1. yes
2. DRM-DRM, yes, mostly.When going from 800 region DRM channel to 200 region, video freezes with previous 800 region channel, audio continues with new channel. Need to switch to non-DRM channel and then back to 200 region DRM for it to work.
3. yes
4. yes
5. yes backward, a bit jerky and skips too many frames forward at highest speed
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Post#3 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:32 pm

0. Win7, HIS 6570, latest available driver (which is old)
1. Sometimes "blocky"
2. not tested
3. mostly yes but freezes often. Need to close WMC window and reopen to recover. Slightly pausing between skipping button works fine.
4. same as #3
5. not sure

Also, on the hunt on an equivalent replacement for the AMD card - looking for ideas....
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Post#4 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:59 am

0. Win7 Ultimate, HD6770, Old driver 04/19/2011
1. No complaints whatsoever
2 I haven't been able to find a H.264 channel in zip 48103
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Post#5 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:13 pm

0. Win7 Home, GT730, 382.05
1, Yes, but often very blocky (credits are usually very bad)
2. Yes, no problems
3. Yes, no problems
4. Yes, though blocky, but doesn't change based on skips (it's recorded)
5. Yes, blockiness stays about the same

I would gladly replace my video card to fix this. I switched from internal video (i7 3770K) to the GT730 to get the DRM channels working, but action movies are nearly unwatchable. Tried an AMD card but it wouldn't do the HDCP handshake (AV receiver and Viewsonic projector) so nothing would show.

411-info shows that Comcast is sending H264 at about 3Mb/s which seems fine in nearly everything but action movies.
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Post#6 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:39 pm

I've given up trying to perfect this. Using GT710, only real issue is when switching from DRM (800 range) to DRM/not-DRM (200 range). I get no video and need to switch down 2 or 3 channels to recover. To me, this is not a real issue.

Fast forwarding not smoothly in the fastest setting (recorded or live) remains for H.264 channels only; MPEG is fine. Not a real issue for me.

I have noi issue with action movies.

Stay away form AMD, Nvidia will get you there much better. I'd like to say that more processing power will resolve this but I can't upgrade. If you can, go ahead and try out a current, fast Nvidia card. If that doesn't resolve everything, then I suspect that Comcast is not sending a standard signal, perhaps intentionally.

FYI, I also use an older Motorola from 4 years ago - basic, non-DVR, HD - and I have no issues with playback, switching. Surely there isn't a super video card in that! So, I believe more and more that Comcast is intentionally screwing us.
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Post#7 » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:09 am

artm wrote:I've given up trying to perfect this.....

FYI, I also use an older Motorola from 4 years ago - basic, non-DVR, HD - and I have no issues with playback, switching. Surely there isn't a super video card in that! So, I believe more and more that Comcast is intentionally screwing us.

And is that the black helicopters overhead I hear?

You give Comcast way to much credit. Yes, they have screwed something up, but it was most surely unintentional.
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Post#8 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:16 am

artm wrote:FYI, I also use an older Motorola from 4 years ago - basic, non-DVR, HD - and I have no issues with playback, switching. Surely there isn't a super video card in that! So, I believe more and more that Comcast is intentionally screwing us.


Maybe we should look at Windows Updates.

Just checked mine....Something slithered in to mine in June 2017. I'll have to look into that.
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Post#9 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:27 am

KB2999226 looks suspicious since the previous was 2014

Anybody heard anything on this one?

http://www.techvirals.com/2015/10/13/wh ... b-3083710/

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hel ... in-windows
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Post#10 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:18 am

Crash2009 wrote:Maybe we should look at Windows Updates.

Just checked mine....Something slithered in to mine in June 2017. I'll have to look into that.
Don't bother. It's directly related to when Comcast switches to H.264 that the problems begin.
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Post#11 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:29 am

Ken H wrote:
Crash2009 wrote:Maybe we should look at Windows Updates.

Just checked mine....Something slithered in to mine in June 2017. I'll have to look into that.
Don't bother. It's directly related to when Comcast switches to H.264 that the problems begin.


I guess H.264 has not arrived in zip 48103
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Post#12 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:44 pm

Crash2009 wrote:
I guess H.264 has not arrived in zip 48103

?

I'm confused. Do you have any of the issues that have been discussed in the other Comcast H.264 topic?


Also, to the OP, I do not believe there is any hardware that can avoid the issues. Which is why I've managed to get Comcast to buy an HDHomeRun to do some testing. I assume you've been reading here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10486
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Post#13 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:25 pm

Ken H: Yes, I'm aware of the other thread. What's the status of Comcast's testing the HDHR? When did they undertake this?
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Post#14 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:17 pm

artm wrote:Ken H: Yes, I'm aware of the other thread. What's the status of Comcast's testing the HDHR? When did they undertake this?

The status is I'm waiting to hear back from them. They told me they were going to do it about 10 days ago, and I haven't heard anything since. It will take time for everything to happen that needs to happen at their end and it may be another few weeks or a month before they get back to me. Who knows?
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Post#15 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:09 pm

Well, it's not an HDHR issue. It's HDHR , WMC and Win7+. Oh...and choice of video card.

Or not...maybe it's just Comcast screwing up by sending a non-standard signal. Today I'm getting pixelation on CNN, Ch 842 in Boston. no change on my end, just Comcast crap!

I've also been getting pixelation on 810, NBC, fro months. Don't watch it often so no big deal but it's there.
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Post#16 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:14 am

artm wrote:Well, it's not an HDHR issue. It's HDHR , WMC and Win7+. Oh...and choice of video card.
The issue is not with the HDHR, they are getting one to be able to test a PC based CableCARD system.

Or not...maybe it's just Comcast screwing up by sending a non-standard signal.
This is my considered opinion.
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Post#17 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:55 am

Ken H wrote:I'm confused.


I am recording something in H264 to test FF RW etc

totally uneffected by anything listed previously in the list.
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Post#18 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:06 am

artm wrote:0. Win7, Asus AMD HD5450, Catalyst 15.7.1, 2D driver 8.01.01.1500


Your first mistake is "Don't use Catalyst"

2nd is use an older driver. Get rid of all that crap, and let windows detect and install a driver from windows update.
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Post#19 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:22 am

1. which older driver then? I'm sure I tried several versions but can't recall right now - it was a traumatic experience that I'd like to forget.

2. I am a firm believer of "no crap". That's why I NEVER do Windows Updates. Are you sayign i can tell Windows to install the driver and it won't install anything else? Wouldn't it then install the latest driver?
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Post#20 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:36 am

uninstall the driver you are using right now. Do some reading on how to uninstall correctly. If you do a halfass job you get halfass result. After you get rid of all that AMD crap, pull the card out of the box and cold boot.

Start fresh and let Win7 do its job.

When you re-install the card click update driver, and let win7 choose for you. Read my first post, I am using driver from 2011. No Catalyst. works great.

The video adapter has always been the toughest part of a new build. Getting it right sometimes takes some time. My first HTPC took me a long time to get right (almost a year)

In my experience update driver installs the best...not necesarily the newest.
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