I've been having a problem for a while, and I don't know where the problem lies. I first noticed it when I was playing back some mkv's with PowerDVD. What happens is the picture will freeze for a few seconds, then usually the audio will start back with the picture still frozen, and then the video will start back up, stuttering at first until it smooths out and is back in sync with the audio. This usually happens once per show. These files are stored on my file server so I am playing them over the network.
First, let me say that initially it only happened with mkv files because that was all I had played. But I have played mp4 and xvid and have noticed it during those too. Also, I noticed it happen once in Media Center when playing back an xvid file. This showed me that it wasn't confined only to PowerDVD which I had thought at first. However, I play tons of DVD movies stored on the server on the HTPC (with Media Center) and this problem never happens with those.
I'm thinking the problem lies somewhere within the network, but I'm not sure. The HTPC is connected to a TrendNet gigabit switch with Cat6; the server is also connected to the same switch with Cat6. The HTPC is about 75' away. The HTPC has onboard Intel LAN, and the server is an EVGA 7100/630i motherboard that I think uses an onboard Marvell LAN. I've updated the drivers on both PC's.
I don't know why it's doing it. Part of me thinks it has more to do on the HTPC side. Both my sons have PC's in their rooms, and I have not noticed this problem there. BUT, I don't watch very much in their rooms especially non-DVD files so I can't say for sure that it wouldn't happen. My 4 year old's PC uses wireless and I haven't seen any freezes.
Another problem I've had lately is internet issues. My computers all around the house will lose connection to the internet randomly. My son will be playing the 360 and then come to me saying it disconnected him. I don't know if it's a router problem or what. Could a router play a part in the video freezing even though the 2 devices (server and HTPC) are connected on the switch (which then goes to the router)? I guess my first step should be to try to play a few files locally on the HTPC instead of over the network and see if I still get the problem. Anyone have any other suggestions?