Video has a mild stutter, streaming and some local files

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  1.    16 Feb 2016 #1

    Video has a mild stutter, streaming and some local files

    I posted about this elsewhere and got a lot of views, but no replies. I apologize if it's out of line to post a new thread, but by now I suspect the old one won't get any more views. There are other threads about stuttering or choppy video, but I haven't found answers there that solve the problem.

    I upgraded to Windows 10 in October 2015 (clean install on a new SSD) and until recently all video looked fine. But recently, sometime after the 10586 update, streaming video started stuttering. It's subtle, like random frames are missing, and audio is smooth, but the picture is annoying enough to be annoying.

    In a short while I found that many local files on my hard drive were stuttering, too. I tried every trick I could find and even replaced my onboard graphics with a new nvidia graphics card with 2gb of its own RAM, but nothing helped.

    Over the weekend, I found that the problem seems to be isolated to streaming files and, for some reason, local MP4 files created at 720p/30fps. Some of these local files were recorded on this PC with PlayOn, which records from streams, so I thought it was still a streaming issue. But a couple of 720p/30fps files I recorded with a Diamond GC2000 also stutter, and so do streams I recorded a year ago with PlayOn, which used to play back properly.

    Local files recorded on a standalone device at 1080p/30fps play well. So do files from that same device recorded at 720p/60fps. Local files play better with PotPlayer than with VLC or WMP

    Streams stutter with IE11, Edge, and Chrome. Flash is up to date, as are all drivers and Windows updates. For local files, PotPlayer works better than VLC, MPC-HC, or WMP, but video is still not right, and individual players don't help with streams.

    The internet connection is not a problem; download speeds are reliably above 200 Mbps, and the modem was replaced to ensure it's not the issue. Besides, my old BD player streams properly, and by today's standards it's a dinosaur.

    I'm running an Intel Core i5-3570K with 8gb RAM with Windows 10 Pro 64 on an SSD. Data files are on a high-speed spinning drive that I've set to not spin down, and I've set the PC to never sleep, hibernate, or turn off the monitor. I've even turned off the screen saver.

    Does anyone have any idea what's going on?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. philc43's Avatar
    Posts : 3,751
    64bit Win 10 Pro ver 1809 Build 17763.168 and W10 Insider Build 18290
       16 Feb 2016 #2


    I've just been looking at this and your previous thread. Not sure I can help but here is a suggestion that might help pinpoint what is going on.

    Can you try running Task Manager at the same time you are playing video and see if you can watch what else is running at the same time and using up resources or potentially interfering with playback.

    Also, you say you are using Avast. Did you ever uninstall this and try playing video without Avast and just using Windows defender? Again this might be worth trying.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    16 Feb 2016 #3

    Thank you for your reply and suggestions.

    I watched the Task Manager while playing two different streams, one each from and In both cases, resource usage was low, with IE CPU at 8-12% CPU, total CPU at 10-15%, and total RAM at 22%. (I had already disabled all startups and third-party services I don't need.)

    Then I uninstalled Avast, rebooted, and Defender started automatically (I checked), but videos still stutter. Resource usage is a tiny bit lower than with Avast, but only by 1-2%, if that much.

    EDIT: I just tested Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Netflix and Amazon both look better, but Hulu still stutters. It's most noticeable on slow pans and zooms. CPU and RAM use were about the same as before.

    What is especially puzzling is local video playback. MP4 files recorded at 720p/30 stutter at 3000 and 5000 Mbps. MP4 at SD at 1600 Mbps is rough but stutters less.

    But MP4 at 720p/50 and 1080p/30 are smooth, or at least smooth enough that I can't see any problems. So are MPEG-2 files (SD and HD) and MT2S (HD). Blu-rays and DVDs play smoothly.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. philc43's Avatar
    Posts : 3,751
    64bit Win 10 Pro ver 1809 Build 17763.168 and W10 Insider Build 18290
       16 Feb 2016 #4

    I think this is going beyond my level of expertise once we get into codecs and their ability to reproduce the different video formats. Just one more thought - have you ruled out any monitor effect, sometimes refresh rates and resolution and the way a monitor works might have an impact - if you have another monitor or can borrow one does it behave in the same way?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    16 Feb 2016 #5

    Thanks again. Codecs are beyond my knowledge too.

    My monitor is an HP Pavilion 22bw 1080p with a native resolution of 1920x1080. I've tried different settings in the nvidia control panel, including the refresh rate (doesn't go above 60Hz) and the resolution, to no avail. The only other monitor I have near the computer is a 720p HDTV, which automatically changes the output resolution but doesn't clear the stutter. The only other monitor is our main TV, a Hitachi 1080i plasma, which is on the other side of the house. I'll see if I can borrow a monitor from someone else to give it a try.

    FWIW, I tried using a DVI cable instead of HDMI, but it didn't make any difference.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    16 Feb 2016 #6

    Does YouTube stutter at all for you?

    Also, which codec bundle did you install?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    17 Feb 2016 #7

    invincibler said: View Post
    Does YouTube stutter at all for you?
    It did when I was working with Time Warner Cable to clear this up a couple of weeks ago. When nothing else seemed to be at the root of the issue they sent out a new modem on the chance that it was the cause, but it didn't make any difference.

    YouTube videos are playing well right now, at least in IE11, based on several HD clips that have the sort of slow pans and zooms with which the stutter is most noticeable.

    Also, which codec bundle did you install?
    I didn't install any codec bundle. I've read good and bad things about them (some sites warn against using any of them), and since I know next to nothing about codecs I didn't want to take any chances. Besides, I thought media players bring their own codecs; is that not the case?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    19 Feb 2016 #8

    Please download MPC-HC and try to play the problematic videos with that. Does it stutter then?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    19 Feb 2016 #9

    Thanks for the suggestion. MPC-HC does a little better than VLC and WMP with MP4 files recorded before this problem started, but there's still some stutter.

    However, that doesn't help with streaming video. As noted, streams play smoothly on an old Blu-ray player, and the internet connection is not the problem. I get the same thing with IE11, Edge, and Chrome.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    19 Feb 2016 #10

    As of last night my 10 installation seems to be infected with ransomware (some files were encrypted and could not be decrypted) so I've dropped back to my 7 installation. Unfortunately, it's plagued with the same video problem, so it appears that it's not rooted in 10 alone. I've still got some work to do.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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