[mythtv-users] Gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2H, 1080p problems?

Ronald Frazier ron at ronfrazier.net
Fri May 22 12:50:22 UTC 2009

> I'm considering a system using a Gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2H motherboard.  There
> seems to be a lot of people who have used this board.  I've found a lot
> positive remarks out there from people who have used it, but also a couple
> of comments about problems with 1080p (below) over HDMI and maybe DVI.
> Is anyone out there using this motherboard with a 1080p display at
> 1920x1080?  Have you had to deal with jitters? Is the image being cut off,
> as described below?  Were you able to solve these problems?

I've have 2 frontends built on this motherboard, both with Core 2
Duos. Both are using the onboard video, network, and audio, and are
doing a diskless boot from the backend server (which is also built on
the same motherbaord, but isn't actually hooked up to a display).

The one in my living room is running 1080p on a 46" Sharp LC-46D64U,
and has a Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz. 1080p is rock solid, no
glitches or anything. For 1080i content, I'm not sure which
deinterlacer it is using, but with a quick look in the database it
appear to be bob. I can doublecheck when I get home. If there is a
specific one you are interested in, I can give it a try and let you
know how it performs. As far that one user saying the edges were not
visible on screen, I had this problem when I first got my TV, but then
I discovered that the TV defaulted to a stretched view mode. I changed
the TV to dot-by-dot view mode and it's perfect.

The one in my bedroom is running on an Olevia TV at a 720ish
resolution (whatever oddball res it is a lot of 720p TVs run at
(1360x768, I think), with a slightly slower Core 2 Duo E4500 Allendale

The one in the bedroom is still using analog audio, but the living
room one I have recently upgraded to using HDMI audio (HDMI support
for this hardware was added to also sometime between 1.0.16 and
1.0.19) No problems there. It's worked reliably for me.

As I said, this is a diskless system. That's working pretty well. I'm
also doing a suspend-to-ram on this. Previously I had problems here.
The forcedeth driver for the nvidia network adapter had issues with
suspend to ram, in that the network wouldn't recover. The solution was
to unload the driver before suspending and reloading after resuming.
Of course, this presented a problem with a diskless system, since once
it was unloaded you had no access to the disk to reload it. Instead, I
ended up using a PCI network  card (one which had no such issues with
suspending) and disabling the onboard. However, about 2 months ago I
rebuilt the box and this time I used the forcedeth driver from the
2.6.28 kernel. It fixed all of the suspend bugs, so I'm back to using
the onboard network, and can suscessfully suspend to ram on a diskless
system. The network performs great. I've used iperf and gotten speeds
of about 950 Mb/s between my myth systems.

There are a few issues I've run into:

1) Sometimes when I resume from a suspend to ram state, it hangs and
doesn't resume properly (the power comes on, but it doesn't boot, and
I have do display and cannot ssh in or anything). I've never had this
problem with a normal boot from a regular shutdown state (only from
the S3 state, but I've never tried S4 suspend to disk, since this is
diskless). Normally when this happens, I just power it off and do a
full reboot. One time recently, I noticed that after it had been hung
on resume for almost a minute, I pressed several keys on the keyboard
and it finally woke up. I haven't figured out the cause for this.

2) When suspending to ram, if you are in xwindows with the nvidia
driver loaded, everything is fine when it resumes. However, if you
don't have the nvidia driver loaded (ex: you exited back to the
console before suspending) then the display state appears to get
corrupted and you need to reset the computer to get it back. I've
followed several tutorials and tried several apps to attempt to
save/restore the video state, but none of them worked. That's not an
issue for me, since my backend never shuts down, and my frontends
always have xwindows loaded, so the nvidia driver handles it fine when
I suspend

3) Very rarely, I'll lose audio in mythfrontend. Restarting
mythfrontend will get the audio back temporarily, but when I pause or
skip forward/back it goes away again. Exiting and reloading xwindows
solves the problem. I don't know if this has anything to do with the
hardware or is just an alsa problem, or a problem with something else
on my system

4) Even more rarely, all of the text in myth's main menu disappears. I
just see the background image. I can see text fine in the other
screens (recorded programs, upcoming recordings, schedule priorities,
etc). It's just the main menu that becomes invisible. I don't know if
this has anything to do with the display drivers, or the theme I use
(a slightly customized version of MePo, along with a custom menu theme
I've made) triggering a bug in myth's code. I'd try another theme, but
I typically go months without this happening, and I can't leave my
wife using some other strange theme for months at a time. A restart of
mythfrontend resolves it.

5) The program guide in livetv mode is sometimes slow to respond. This
appears to be a common problem I've heard a number of people complain
about. I've tried the common solutions ("Use Events" set to "True" in
xorg.conf, making sure all channel icons are there) with no luck.
Interestingly, the CPU isn't even maxed out when this happens (both
cores are more than 60% idle). Again, I don't know how much this has
to do with the hardware specifically (though it seems nvidia displays
in general have more problem with this).

Those are the only issues I experience with the system. And again,
several of those I don't even know if they are specific to this
motherboard. I just wanted to mention everything I could think of for
full disclosure...so you can't blame me if anything goes wrong :-)

Ronald Frazier Photography - http://www.ronfphoto.com/
Blogging About Photography - http://ronfrazier.blogspot.com/

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