s-video vertical bands

Gigabyte / Geforce fx 5900xt
October 1, 2009 at 14:29:46
Specs: Windows XP SP2
Hi, I'm trying to resurrect an old PC for use as an HTPC and file server. It's about 5 years old, and AMD Athlon 2500XP with a DFI LanParty NFII Ultra B mobo and a Gigabyte GeForce FX-5900XT AGP graphics card. Not flash by todays standards, and struggles a bit with high bitrate h.264 video, but is generally OK.

My TV is also at least as old, and only supports component (480p signal only), s-video and composite. I don't think I can get component out from that card without some expensive signal converter, so I'm stuck with s-video for now. Which I can live with.

The picture I get from the s-video is OK for the most part - as good as I can expect from the hardware. But the problem I have is that I get one or two vertical bands on the screen, a few inches wide. It looks like a translucent white overlay that fades away to either side of the centre of each band.

I can't figure out what's causing this or how to fix it. I'm pretty sure it's my graphics card as the same cable works OK from my laptop.

I'm guessing some kind of electrical interference from inside the computer since when I restart the bands move around horizontally until Windows boots and after that they are fairly stable.

I've tried changing the output resolution but that has little effect.

Anyone have any advice for better diagnosing this problem - or better yet offer any hope of fixing it? I don't want to buy a new card since doing so would likely require replacing the entire system.


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#1
October 1, 2009 at 14:36:20
Got another card you can try? The FX series pretty much sucked.

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#2
October 1, 2009 at 14:42:14
Unfortunately no. I did find one in my bits box but it was VGA only and I couldn't even identify the bus - it wasn't AGP or PCI and definitely not PCIe...

Maybe I'll track down an old Radeon 9800 or something on eBay.


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#3
October 1, 2009 at 16:51:47
"It's about 5 years old, and AMD Athlon 2500XP with a DFI LanParty NFII Ultra B mobo.... "

I looked at the manual for that mboard - Copyright 2007 - it might have been made in late 2006, but it wouldn't be any older than that.

Software probably can't cause what you're seeing, but a poor connection in the AGP slot could.

You could try removing the AC power to the case, removing the card, cleaning it's contacts, installing the card, make sure it's all the way down in it's slot, install the screw that holds it down, restoring AC power, trying the computer.
......

"I did find one in my bits box but it was VGA only and I couldn't even identify the bus - it wasn't AGP or PCI and definitely not PCIe..."

AGP Pro cards were made for a short time. The contacts have two levels of staggered contacts like regular AGP cards, except there are more contacts. You can install regular AGP cards in a AGP Pro slot, but you can't install an AGP Pro card in anything but an AGP Pro slot.
E.g. AGP vs AGP Pro
http://www.evga.com/articles/public...

"Maybe I'll track down an old Radeon 9800 or something "

Why would you want to install a card with a chipset that's a lot older than the mboard? Even if you don't want to spend much money you can get a new video card with a lot newer chipset than that.
The AGP slot only supports 4X/8X cards.


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Related Solutions

#4
October 1, 2009 at 17:09:53
Actually the mobo is from 2004, around the same time the Radeon 9800XT was THE card to have.

I did try reseating the card. In fact one of the first things I did was to give the inside of the case a good cleaning. I used that green goo computer cleaning stuff to get as much dust out of hard to reach places as I could.

I'm kind of tempted to buy a new gfx card with h.264 hardware acceleration, but I would have to get an AGP one, then if I upgraded my system I wouldn't be able to use that card since AGP is pretty much history on recent mobos.

Actually I read that modern AGP cards are actually PCIe cards adapted to fit AGP. Would it be possible to re-adapt one back to PCIe at a later date? I haven't seen any info to suggest anyone has done so.


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#5
October 1, 2009 at 18:43:58
"I'm kind of tempted to buy a new gfx card with h.264 hardware acceleration"

You could do that, but you may be able to fix the problem with software, depending on how much it's struggling with video. How are you decoding H.264 now? If you're using anything other than CoreAVC, then I recommend that you stop using your current decoder and try CoreAVC. It's THE fastest software decoder around. It lets my single-core HTPC (a Pentium M overclocked to 2.82GHz) play 30-40 mbps 1080p H.264 streams without any help from the video card. Couldn't do that with the ffdshow decoder!

The Athlon XP is quite a bit slower, but if you're currently using ffdshow and having just a bit of trouble with 720p video, for example, then an upgrade to CoreAVC should do the trick. But if it's really choking (say, 10 fps), then you have no choice but to add additional hardware. CoreAVC can't fix everything (yet). :)

"Actually I read that modern AGP cards are actually PCIe cards adapted to fit AGP. Would it be possible to re-adapt one back to PCIe at a later date?"

A bridge chip on the video card lets the PCIe GPU talk to an AGP motherboard. Unfortunately, you can't reverse the process--you'll have to buy a new PCIe video card if you upgrade your motherboard later on.


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#6
October 1, 2009 at 23:01:27
"Actually the mobo is from 2004..."

Oops. I looked at the manual pdf again. In Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.x it displays the pages at 52% of their original size by default. It looks like "Copyright 2007", but when you zoom in on it it's "Copyright 2003" .

In any case, you can install a much better video card than a Radeon 9800 for starting at not much money.

If you want to get a lot better than that, you may need to get a power supply with more capacity.

Your power supply must have at least the minumum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD!)
You can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements. Some power supplies have two or more +12v ratings - in that case, add those ratings to determine the total +12v current capacity.


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