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Processor power & ATSC resolution
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:17 pm Reply with quote
lucidity
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 5




I'm having a bit of trouble getting smooth playback with my 5500. I've tried it with two machine configs:

I'll start with the specs:
Distro: Slackware 10.2
Kernel: 2.6.16.20
CPU: P-4 2.2Ghz and Celeron 2.4Ghz
Video: NVidia Ti 4400 (using the proprietary drivers) with Xv
and ATI Radeon 9800 Pro (kinda craptastic X11 support with Xv)
-The NVidia (to the best of my knowledge) doesn't support XvMC
-The ATI if i'm not mistaken would support XvMC if only the drivers were written for it
Both of these are AGP 4x 128Mb

All but one of the OTA HD stations that i can recieve broadcast in 1080i (the other is 720p), and i can't get smooth playback with either.

I have MythTV up and running with my Hauppauge, but i haven't recompiled it with DVB support until i can get some success with Xine or MPlayer.

With the ATI card i tried Xv and xvidix, but to no avail, and similarly with the NV i tried Xv and OpenGL.

The command that gives me the most success is:

mplayer -vo xv -ao alsa -vf scale=1024:576 -sws 5 -framedrop dvb://<station>

(though i've tried just about every permutation i can think of)

If i don't scale on the command line, i get these wide horizontal bars during motion that make the video unwatchable.

i'm not as familiar with Xine so i have just been running that the standard way. (xine dvb://<station>) which kinda freaks out on the 1080 stuff.

I've tried this both direct from the card and from a .TS file that was dumped from the card with identical results.

Is there any mplayer option that will cut CPU usage without a dramatic reduction in quality? I've kinda hit a dead-end as far as i know.

Football season is just around the corner, and recording, transcoding, and then playing back isn't really an option, so short of purchasing a card that supports XvMC is there anything i should try?
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:22 pm Reply with quote
Scott Larson
 
Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 713
Location: Portland, OR




I think I had a 4400 before getting an FX5200. If that's the card I'm thinking of, it does support XvMC but since it's only 4X AGP, it really sucked up the CPU. The 8X FX5200 was a serious improvement and not expensive at all.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:49 am Reply with quote
lucidity
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 5




I may be wrong (as i oftem am), but i think there are multiple 4400s. I'm thinking of the MX vs. the Ti. The Ti (which is what i have currently) is more advanced in terms of 3D acceleration, but the MX has the full MPEG2 offload. Do you know which it was that you had? Unfortunately my P-4 only has a 4x AGP slot, so i'm kinda screwed there, and my Celeron has integrated and thus is unupgradable. My suspicion is that the P-4 is still more powerful dispite it's slightly slower clock speed, and slightly suckier memory (it's about 4 years old now, believe it or not), so what i'm wondering now is whether it's even going to be able to play smoothly if i get the MX so that i can offload the decoding. As you pointed out though, the 4X AGP slot may render the MPEG decoding moot. Do you think it's even worth trying? It seems like it's ALMOST able to do it with what i'm using, but it's not quite there. What do you think Question
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:13 pm Reply with quote
Scott Larson
 
Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 713
Location: Portland, OR




Then I must have had the MX4400.

It's definitely worth trying a different video card, especially if you can get a cheap old 4X card with XvMC. It did work with my old system and I did get perfect video but it took nearly all of the CPU. I couldn't even move the mouse without frames dropping!
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:28 am Reply with quote
lucidity
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 5




update: Okay, i purchased a NVidia MX 440 (4x APG 128M). Things have gotten weirder. mplayer with :


mplayer -vo xvmc -ao alsa -vc ffmpeg12mc -framedrop -fs dvb://<channel>

(uses about 60% CPU, whereas with -vo xv it is 100%)

is basically perfect with non-interlaced video, but all but one digital station in my area are 1080i, and the codec ffmpeg12mc doesn't support de-interlacing, (I should mention i'm using a Dell 15" LCD display 1024x768). Consequently, it looks terrible. My understanding is that the only way around this is to use Xine which does support de-interlacing through xvmc.

Anyway, i've now installed the xvmc wrapper and recompiled xine with xxmc and the older xvmc support .

Using:

xine -V xxmc dvb://<station>

With non-interlaced video it's pertty good (about 8-10% CPU). With the interlaced video, however it's a constant stutter and freeze frame, it's unwatchable, the buffering OSD jumps back and forth between 0-100% with only intermittant sound. I thought that my system might not be able to handle it, but the CPU usage is only ~60% all the while. Also if i use the xvmc_more_frames setting, xine for some reason falls back to xv. Are there any settings i may have missed? Should i turn buffering completely off? How? Any optimizations? Anything?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:53 pm Reply with quote
Scott Larson
 
Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 713
Location: Portland, OR




lucidity wrote:
mplayer -vo xvmc -ao alsa -vc ffmpeg12mc -framedrop -fs dvb://<channel>

(uses about 60% CPU, whereas with -vo xv it is 100%)

is basically perfect with non-interlaced video, but all but one digital station in my area are 1080i, and the codec ffmpeg12mc doesn't support de-interlacing,

There is a bob-deinterlacing patch for mplayer I wrote that works pretty well. It does use a little more CPU but mostly relies on XvMC to do the work so your system might be able to handle it. I'll post a link to it.

Quote:
(I should mention i'm using a Dell 15" LCD display 1024x768). Consequently, it looks terrible. My understanding is that the only way around this is to use Xine which does support de-interlacing through xvmc.

The deinterlacing that xine uses with XvMC isn't really deinterlacing -- it just displays one field and throws the other away so you get half the vertical resolution and half the frame rate.

Quote:
xine -V xxmc dvb://<station>

Shouldn't you be using -V xvmc? I thought xxmc was for Via cards.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:57 pm Reply with quote
Scott Larson
 
Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 713
Location: Portland, OR




The bob-deinterlace patch for mplayer is available here.

A very brave man (not me) has been trying very hard for months to get a similar patch included into the mplayer code base but so far he hasn't had any luck persuading the maintainers.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 11:18 am Reply with quote
lucidity
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 5




Resolved: Well i had a bit of trouble compiling mplayer after applying the patch. It did apply cleanly, but i had to remove the modifications to ldt_keeper.c, everything appears to work perfectly now, so i'm kinda wondering what the implications of this are. Anyway, now it looks great (except for the occasional dropped frame or two) and works like a charm, so just wanted to say thanks Scott, keep up the great work.

Also, i wanted to mention one other thing that seems to make things run a little bit more smoothly. Instead of having mplayer demux the ts stream, i am running azap while having mplayer play off /dev/dvb/adaptor0/dvr0. I'm not sure why this works better, but for some reason it seems to, so i just wanted to mention that, maybe it'll work for others as well.[/b]
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Processor power & ATSC resolution
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