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Upgraded from PowerDVD 10... dissapointed?
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Quick spec recap:
Windows 7 64-bit
Core 2 Duo E4300
Radeon 6570 (Catalyst 11.7)
USB Optical Out Card

So, originally, I was on PowerDVD 10. I could play Blu-Ray movies pretty smoothly. I have a pair of wireless headphones which only accept Dolby Digital, so I would set the audio output to "Dolby Digital Downmix" or whichever that option was and it played fine.

I got a notice to upgrade to PowerDVD 12 and it seemed like a good deal.

So I guess it was a waste of cash and I'll be downgrading back to 10. I've yet to make it through a ten-second stretch of any movie that played smoothly. At best, I'll get audio fuzziness (this is with the Dolby Digital conversion turned OFF). This is where the dissapointment comes from:

- Video Acceleration is enabled via my graphics card
- Audio is being passed through directly via optical
- CPU usage is 60-90% and I get constant stutters and audio glitches

What, exactly, is PowerDVD DOING when I'm trying to watch my film that requires this much of my CPU when it's essentially passing ALL the data onto other devices? Keep in mind, PowerDVD 10 gave me NONE of these issues with the ADDED strain of having to convert DTS to Dolby Digital on the fly.

I am a little aggravated, and I couldn't find anything online regarding this issue. I understand that new software can sometimes be slow than older software, but this is a little extreme.

Keep in mind also that my aggravation isn't entirely in Cyberlink's camp. A good half of that is from Ati/AMD, who managed to make 9 driver versions (from 11.8 to the current 12.4) STRAIGHT without a working video acceleration implementation (and trial-and-error on driver installations, each requiring a reboot, is a grief I wish upon no man).

But either way, this feels like a MASSIVE performance regression in versions. It's literally unusable. Is this just Wirth's law in effect, or is there some sort of workaround for this?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at May 19. 2012 19:05

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Jeff R 1 [Avatar]
Senior Member Private Message Joined: Jan 09, 2010 14:05 Messages: 176 Offline
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Things to try :
Make sure that DVD12 disables Windows Aero. Disable BD Live, and when you installed DVD 12 you would have gotten a prompt to let the software automatically scan your computer for movie, DVD/CD files to fill its library with.

Letting it do an automatic scan is not good if you chose that route, the more files you have the longer it takes. One guy here let it run for hours and it never finished. The software is really glitchy here.

Some times disabling BD live is not enough, you have to go into msconfig and disable anything in there to do with DVD 12.

I don't have DVD12 myself anymore for other issues.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at May 19. 2012 21:57

Ben Ryves [Avatar]
Member Private Message Joined: May 06, 2009 19:03 Messages: 61 Offline
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Which video card are you using? I ask as I've used relatively inexpensive AMD offerings (3450, 5770 and 6770) and Blu-ray video performance has never been an issue. My PC is pretty long in the tooth (2.13GHz Core 2 Duo from 2007) and Blu-ray playback in PowerDVD 12 hovers at around 15% CPU usage and doesn't seem to register at all on GPU usage (even on the 3450 I never saw it reach 10% when decoding Blu-ray).

I am, however, using AMD's Vista drivers - you mention that you need to reboot to install them, which makes me wonder if you're still using XP (due to radically different display driver models it could be that the XP drivers are rubbish).

Does the issue persist if you select a different audio device to rule out driver-specific issues there?

I do find PowerDVD 12's standard user interface pretty sluggish (there's a lengthy delay between clicking on user interface elements and the relevant action taking place) so prefer to use the Cinema UI as it is much snappier. Actual video performance seems to be the same between the two, though.
peleus [Avatar]
Member Private Message Joined: May 10, 2012 11:53 Messages: 58 Offline
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Hi MukiEX. Can you open up performance monitor and post a screenshot on the top processes which is eating up the CPU utilization? This is when PDVD is running.
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Okay, so you can call this topic closed, but not in the traditional manner. I still stand by my complaint (I already had Windows 7 set to the "basic" theme), but it's essentially a non-point now.

So a computer in my house got a major upgrade, and the entertainment PC got its processor/mobo as a hand-me-down (I get a personal kick out of rebuilding my home PCs, apparently). So it went from from:
Core 2 Duo E4300, 4GB DDR2 RAM
AMD Athlon II X2 240, 4GB DDR2 RAM (unganged)

Same HDD, graphics chip, software, everything. Basically, I was expecting lower power consumption and heat in exchange for an acceptable drop in performance.

Well, apparently I never really looked up a comparison of those two processors, because instead, I got a slight power jump (but the system runs cooler overall) and a MONUMENTAL increase in speed. As such:

- Dolby Digital mixing now works nearly flawlessly in every film. Moments where the audio pauses are VERY rare; I almost don't turn it back off. It's mainly for my wireless headphones, as their base unit only takes Dolby Digital as a digital input. My PC feeds both those and a surround system via optical.
- Next-to-ZERO performance issues, even in "TV Mode", which looks AMAZING (PowerDVD is assigned exclusively to 3D movie playback, so it's always set to a 3D interface). PowerDVD loads in SECONDS, and the horrifying customary startup delay is essentially GONE.

I am now an exceedingly satisfied customer. Given how much of a jump my Core 2 Duo was from the Pentium IV it replaced, I had no idea it was that low in the performance game overall. Guess you learn something new every day. Ready to go!
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