Extenders on RC (build 7100) - transcoding?!?

This is not DivX's problem, but I'm mentioning it here because I see a number of people have tested Windows 7 with their X-Boxes. I've got a D-Link DSM-750, which is a Media Center Extender (and it does support .mkv playback).

I loaded up Windows 7 and the DivX tech preview and tried playing an .mkv - and it started playing, but it was clearly being transcoded: pauses at regular intervals, 100% CPU load on the computer, and a noticeable loss of detail and increase in blocking artefacts. I then tried playing a DivX-encoded .avi and found the exact same thing - files that I stream with no problems in Vista are being transcoded in 7!

A google search informed me that other people have had this problem with XviD videos and X-Box 360s in Windows 7 as well - but that it didn't happen with older builds of 7 (including the 7000 beta). Is anyone else here having this experience with the Release Candidate? This is so disgustingly unnacceptable it's not funny...

Edit: ...I said this is this isn't DivX's problem - it's certainly not their fault, but it is as much a problem to them as it is to me, since a high-quality video experience is something they're trying to provide... so guys, if you could talk to Microsoft about this that would be great. Now that it's RC, they aren't listening to multimmedia-related Win7 feedback anymore.

Im first going to say that

Im first going to say that im a little bit of a noob at this so bear with me.

I installed the Win7RC 32bit and i can play .mkv fine with the Divx7 codec thingy.

When i saw you wanted to hear from anyone with an xbox how they fared i fired up mine and connected them together.

I when i try to play an .mkv that plays fine in windows it just sits there waiting for a while , then it pops up a 'you are missing files needed to play this format , restart xbox media center and try again' or something similar to that.

I am gonna do that later when i get some more time , in the meantime can i do anything else ? To get audio in Win7 from the .mkv above i had to install a codec pack: Win7codecs by Shark007 could this be interfering? Also i think the .mkv has DTS sound so maybe thats the culprit. As i said , i don't have the time right now to test it further. I'll come back tomorrow though.

So what is the best way to

So what is the best way to know if transcoding is going on? Just by CPU utilization or is there another way?

In a way I am glad I found this thread...with the last few builds of Windows 7 I have been getting these little "hiccups" in the video when streaming avis that used to play smooth as butter...at first I thought it was my router (hard-wired connection) so I reinstalled Vista x64 and those same files played perfectly again on my Xbox 360 so I knew it had to be my Windows 7 install...

This sucks because I stream stuff A LOT and the little "jerky" skipping in the video is driving me nuts...it doesn't help to know that it won't be fixed anytime soon either...

The surefire way of telling

The surefire way of telling is video quality. If you know what the original looks like on your computer, it should be pretty clear if it doesn't look as good on your extender. It will be blockier and lack detail, especially in faster-moving scenes. And yes, if your computer can't encode the video fast enough (which happened to me when I also had other things running) you'll see 100% CPU and short pauses at regular intervals on the TV. Is the "jerky" skipping happening at regular intervals? How does the video look compared to your computer?

...and just to add to the

...and just to add to the fun:
Yesterday it was transcoding my .mkvs and my .avis. Today it's transcoding my .mkvs, but not my .avis. Nothing has changed at all.

I am wondering if it has something to do with perceived bandwidth availability. Anyone else who is experiencing this, please state whether you are using wireless or not. My host comp is ethernet, my Extender is wireless-N. D-Link, maybe if you try wireless-n (or even better, wireless-g) you'll see transcoding as well...

Try Wired

Could you try it using a wired connection and see if it still transcodes?

I broke out the 50-foot

I broke out the 50-foot ethernet cable and redecorated my living room :P. Here are the results.

Today, wireless: streams avi, transcodes mkv
Today, wired: streams avi, transcodes mkv
Yesterday, wireless: transcodes avi, transcodes mkv

Nothing changed on the computer between yesterday and today. I've got no codec packs, splitters or extra software other than the DivX tech preview.

I'm 100%, absolutely, completely stumped. If there's anything else I can do to help isolate the problem, please let me know.

That is interesting that

That is interesting that your Windows 7 install is intermittently transcoding .AVI files as well. There must be some issue with how Windows 7 is detecting the capabilities of your Extender. Do MP4 files with H.264 video play without transcoding on your Extender?

Also, what firmware are you on? It looks like a new one came out back in December. http://support.dlink.com/products/view.asp?productid=DSM-750

I've done another test. I'll

I've done another test. I'll be as specific as I can be.
I am attempting to play the DivX Plus version of "Big Buck Bunny" from a 13" host laptop to a Media Center Extender. When I hit play, the word "buffering" appears for a second or two at the lower-right portion of the screen, and then the video begins playing - with no pauses this time, but noticeably blockier than it should be. When I lok at my computer I find that it is averaging 70% CPU usage, and that the process "ehshell.exe" is taking up ~55% of that. It is clearly, unquestionably, being transcoded.

I then try the same thing with a movie, encoded myself as an .avi with DivX/mp3 codecs. This is a video that streams flawlessly from Vista. This time, my CPU load is averageing 60%. "ehshell.exe" is only taking 15% of that. The onscreen video, however, is not only very poor quality (obviously transcoded), but it's being terribly distorted. The original file is 720x304. Onscreen, it's slightly taller than it is wide. So, only the middle third of the screen is being used, with giant black bars to the left and right. (It's being squished, not cropped.)

Before you go blaming my device, here are two links to other forums where people are having similar issues with both the Linksys 2100 Extender, and the Xbox 360. In particular, please look at the last post in the first link - an Xbox user reporting a 16:9 Xvid video playing back at 4:3, in poor quality.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itpromedia/thread/497d9f14-4841-4bb3-b9f5-0586b4178817

http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/thread/343659.aspx

The bottom line is, there is something very very wrong here. And now that Windows 7 has gone RC I can't file a bug report on this issue. I think I'm going to cry.

So, DivX team, if you have any way of using your Microsoft connections to bring this to their attention... This really, really needs attention.

UPnP

I believe this has been the case when the video is sent via UPnP, but when Windows Media Center sends it to a Windows Media Extender (e.g. Xbox 360), it lets the extender do a hardware decode thus freeing up the CPU on the Windows 7 PC. As you said, it's not something DivX really controls, but we understand what you're saying... why should something be transcoded if the [UPnP] client has the ability to hardware decode, hmmm?

Good question...

The device I'm using is an

The device I'm using is an Extender, and I'm using it as an Extender. Please do not mistake me: the Windows Media Center interface appears on my television screen. And, it's transcoding. And as I said, it is also happening with the XBox 360.

oooOOooh

Oh, so that DSM is a Windows Media Extender... yeah, that's pretty weird. Too bad we don't have one around her to play with. All we have is the Xbox 360, and in that case, we've seen low CPU usage for MKV/H.264.

I see transcoding on my Xbox

I see transcoding on my Xbox 360 as well.

Do you have any codec packs

Do you have any codec packs or other MKV splitters installed on your Windows 7 system?

I'll answer that as well, in

I'll answer that as well, in case it helps. I've got no other codec packs, splitters, or media software installed, not even the DivX 7 standard package. Just the tech preview.

Hmm... This is using the

Hmm... This is using the Media Center Extender interface, not the 360 dashboard/UPnP right?

I'm using the Media Center

I'm using the Media Center Extender interface, yes.

Have you tried it with the

Have you tried it with the latest (RC) Win7 release? If not, please do so right away and report back. People are having this problem with Xboxes too.

If the Release Candidate is working fine for you, then maybe try an all-wireless connection (as in, wireless host computer and wireless Xbox). It may be that Windows mistakenly thinks I don't have enough bandwidth to handle the stream... and of course try a higher bitrate file. Either way your experience will help narrow down where the problem is.

All wired connection here

All wired connection here with 7100 (RC) and still have the issue.

Whats worse is that I have the disconnects after 30 minute issue.