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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

eo V7110 WinDVD fix

In a two man effort CarryPad and UltramobilePC Tips have been working together trying to find out why the CPU Utilization is so high in the eo V7110 and a possible solution for this issue. The results of my yesterday tests pointed to a poor use of the video chip by DirectX and Steve at CarryPad did some research trying to find some information about this issue. While doing that he found a web site that mentioned some registry keys that could be changed to enable in WinDVD DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA) and Hardware Motion Compensation (HWMC) through the registry. According to Channel 9 Wiki: DirectX Video Acceleration allows your GPU to process video files, relieving the CPU of some of the decoding duties. This allows a lower-specification computer to play high-quality videos when a DxVA-capable graphics card is installed.

Using the information passed to me by Steve, I changed the registry and configured Zoom Player to use WinDVD as Video Decoder and Audio Decoder and Overlay Mixer as Video Renderer.

Then I ran a few tests. The first result that shocked me was the CPU speed. For the first time I was getting a CPU speed of 400 MHz with just a few peaks to 1000 MHz with an almost perfect playback, previously in the same test the CPU speed was around 600 MHz going up to 800 and 1000 MHz very often.

The average CPU utilization was around 54% when previously WinDVD alone was getting an avarage of around 70% and the battery consumption went down from 18.869W to 17.79W (50% Brightness). And all this with very smooth performance. So this means that the VN800 is powerful enough to handle MPG-2 decodification and render with the processor running at 400 MHz.

I created a tool that can be downloaded here that will change the registry keys needed for this trick. The tool is freeware and need .NET Framework v2.

If you still using Windows Media Player 10 in your eo, I would recommend to install this patch released by Microsoft that enables DXVA in this program. I'm currently using WMP11 so I could not test this patch to see how it works. Another good tool that you may want to have around in your eo V7110 is the Microsoft Windows XP Video Decoder CheckUp Utility, this program allows you determine if an MPEG-2 video decoder (also called a DVD decoder) is installed on your Windows XP computer and whether or not the decoder is compatible with Windows Media Player.

Little by little we will get these babies back to maximum performance!