Solved Issue - 10-bit h264 (Hi10) Support?

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magao Offline
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Post: #61
alexrose1uk Wrote:My last post wasn't really fully aimed at you, and no argument or offence intended, only my own thoughts on the transition, and the comment which mentioned you could only reencode to retain the usual GUI whixh isn't 100% true on windows as you can use a Dsplayer build which'll give you the flexibility and at least is an option for windows users until the devs update dvdplayer to utilise a new version of mplayer with Hi10 support.

I didn't take offence, and I appreciated the bit about DSPlayer - it's useful info for those on Windows.

I admit I hadn't even noticed the [WINDOWS] bit in the title ... could a moderator change it since it's not windows-specific?
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alexrose1uk Offline
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Post: #62
@Ned
You say that but this is the same story as when the divx to h264 transition occurred, so it might be here to stay, although as always there will be groups doing reencodes etc

There were people bitching and whining about the hardware increase needed then too, which I remember even though I had get little to do with video encoding/decoding back then, but it became the defacto standard.

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(This post was last modified: 2011-10-01 10:48 by alexrose1uk.)
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #63
alexrose1uk Wrote:@Ned
You say that but this is the same story as when the divx to h264 transition occurred, so it might be here to stay, although as always there will be groups doing reencodes etc

There were people bitching and whining about the hardware increase needed then too, which I remember even though I had get little to do with video encoding/decoding back then, but it became the defacto standard.

It's not the same story. They're not transitioning to a new standard, they're transitioning to non-standard encodes. The same story would be back in the xvid/divx days when you had to update your codecs every week because the encoders didn't know what the heck they were doing and kept trying new things all the time. When groups started using h.264 a lot of things finally stabilized.

Most of the people who were bitching durning the transition to h.264 were wanting compatibility with old hardware and divx DVD players, but there was already a lot of hardware and software that could play back h.264 correctly. From what I've read so far, there are no hardware decoding/standalone/PMP options for using h.264 with Hi10. The only option is raw CPU power, which is fine for a modern, general use computer, but these days more and more people are using set-top boxes like the Boxee Box, ATV2, Popcorn Hour, GoogleTV/Android devices, phones, tablets, netbooks, ATOM powered HTPCs, etc.

Change in itself isn't bad, but a non-standard change that has no support is bad.
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alexrose1uk Offline
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Post: #64
I don't disagree that's frustrating, I have pcs that use hardware acceleration myself, but to say its non-standard seems a little unfair; its not part of the bluray spec which is what those devices are targeted at, but hi10 has been part of the h264/avc standard for quite some time, about 7 years if Wikipedia is to be believed, even if its not been implemented into things or widely used until relatively recently. Its not like this profile or standard has come from nowhere. Hell, loads of phones with hardware support don't even always support up to level4.1 or the full gamut of 8bit profiles either so its not like manufacturers and designers have always stuck to the one level of specification in thier decoders either.

It just seems like an inevitable part of progress, h265 or whatever it ends up called will also likely break all hardware compatibility, which is the danger of relying on hardware.

I've argued before on the benefits of hardware acceleration but this is one of the limits that accompanies it (same as how older hdmi systems or the original PS3 can't bitstream hd audio and have to use core/software decode), especially when in this case the hardware is seemingly based on the bluray adopted segments of the standard, and not the entirety.

It's not like there won't be groups (potentially some specifically for the purpose) reencoding these 10bit releases back to 8bit either, so I don't see there being a lack of options in the future.

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(This post was last modified: 2011-10-02 10:24 by alexrose1uk.)
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magao Offline
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Post: #65
Ned - you've commented that the Eden soft-freeze means that 10-bit will not be included in Eden. Given the fact that people are being affected by this now, and the upstream work has been done, what is the reasoning?

I would have thought that "10-bit encode support" would be a major selling point for Eden. Yes - it's only for people who have machines who can handle it. I personally built an HTPC that was capable of decoding H.264 high profile back in the day when XBMC didn't support hardware decoding of that. I'm more than willing to upgrade that very machine (if needed) to be able to play back 10-bit. If XBMC doesn't integrate 10-bit though then I don't have that option at all.

And it's not as though people are only just now bringing this up. We've been saying for months that most of the fansub groups are going to be moving to 10-bit only. It appears that we weren't believed ... that it would only be a small group of fansubbers changing ... that there would be "choice".

The last week has proved otherwise.

BTW, we've been arguing on those forums for months as well that the infrastructure isn't ready except in a few very specific cases. In every case the response has basically been "use the exact same setup as me or STFU".
(This post was last modified: 2011-10-02 10:46 by magao.)
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wsippel Offline
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Post: #66
Ned Scott Wrote:Change in itself isn't bad, but a non-standard change that has no support is bad.
I certainly agree in general, but on the other hand, if content providers use it (even if it's just a metric ton of fansub groups), it is supported and becomes a de facto standard. I would generally argue that anyone on the playback side of things has to follow the content, not the other way around. It's not really your problem if hardware decoders don't support the format. If end customers don't like it, they need to take their issues to the content providers or the hardware manufacturers.
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GreenEyez Offline
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Post: #67
magao Wrote:Ned - you've commented that the Eden soft-freeze means that 10-bit will not be included in Eden. Given the fact that people are being affected by this now, and the upstream work has been done, what is the reasoning?

I would have thought that "10-bit encode support" would be a major selling point for Eden. Yes - it's only for people who have machines who can handle it. I personally built an HTPC that was capable of decoding H.264 high profile back in the day when XBMC didn't support hardware decoding of that. I'm more than willing to upgrade that very machine (if needed) to be able to play back 10-bit. If XBMC doesn't integrate 10-bit though then I don't have that option at all.

And it's not as though people are only just now bringing this up. We've been saying for months that most of the fansub groups are going to be moving to 10-bit only. It appears that we weren't believed ... that it would only be a small group of fansubbers changing ... that there would be "choice".

The last week has proved otherwise.

BTW, we've been arguing on those forums for months as well that the infrastructure isn't ready except in a few very specific cases. In every case the response has basically been "use the exact same setup as me or STFU".

The reason is simple : XBMC devs probably have other stuff on their agenda, like getting the more important Audio Engine framework and DVR functionality working than banging their heads about some guys who have the nerve to call themselves encoders...No .Both Scene and non-Scene encoders have yet to release 10bit encodes, and don`t have any plans for it in the near future.
(This post was last modified: 2011-10-02 13:44 by GreenEyez.)
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #68
wsippel Wrote:I certainly agree in general, but on the other hand, if content providers use it (even if it's just a metric ton of fansub groups), it is supported and becomes a de facto standard. I would generally argue that anyone on the playback side of things has to follow the content, not the other way around. It's not really your problem if hardware decoders don't support the format. If end customers don't like it, they need to take their issues to the content providers or the hardware manufacturers.

The "metric ton" is actually the minority. The vast majority of consumers for video products/services through a computer are not even downloading content from torrents/IRC/whatever, but actually using paid services. The fact that Netflix is the single largest consumer of internet bandwidth says that, let alone all the other legit video services out there.

Then let's look at general TV/movie downloads (illegal/gray area/pirating/fair use/whatever you want to call it). Anime itself is a minority of these downloads, and live action video rip groups are not jumping on the Hi10 bandwagon like some anime groups are. (which is not to say that you won't find them, but then again you'd be surprised at how long Hi10 rips have been around in some form).

Then even within the anime scene this is still the minority. It took a while for there to be more downloaders of h.264 over divx, and there's still groups that offer divx. It's also a minority of subbers that are putting out Hi10 encodes (remember, Coal Girls, Commie, and a bunch of others are not subbers. They just repackage other people's subs with other video sources).

There are zero actual content providers serving up 10bit color depth content to consumers. All blurays and HD broadcasts are no greater than 8bit, so don't believe this hogwash about Hi10 being a higher quality (it can, however, retain a higher quality per megabyte since 10bit is a more advanced profile).

With all that in mind, I really don't think hardware venders are going to jump up and replace their hardware codec support, which has been stable for years. Now those venders are far more focused on other aspects of those hardware products, like energy usage.
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #69
Sorry that I'm replying to these comments backwards..

magao Wrote:Ned - you've commented that the Eden soft-freeze means that 10-bit will not be included in Eden. Given the fact that people are being affected by this now, and the upstream work has been done, what is the reasoning?

Just as a quick disclaimer, I'm not a programmer. My username might say "TeamXBMC" under it, but I'm only a support member. I help out on the forums and the XBMC Wiki, and sometimes with testing.

Bringing XBMC up to date with FFmpeg, which is where our Hi10 support would come from (and also brings a bunch of other great features) is a big task.

And let me be clear about this, Hi10 is a great feature. I welcome its inclusion in XBMC.

The Devs want to support Hi10 and all the other things this ffmpeg update would bring. They also want to support a ton of other things too, but it's crunch time for Eden and we are now in a feature freeze. Work still continues on all of these things, but they just won't be a part of the stable Eden release that most of the public uses.

Quote:I would have thought that "10-bit encode support" would be a major selling point for Eden. Yes - it's only for people who have machines who can handle it. I personally built an HTPC that was capable of decoding H.264 high profile back in the day when XBMC didn't support hardware decoding of that. I'm more than willing to upgrade that very machine (if needed) to be able to play back 10-bit. If XBMC doesn't integrate 10-bit though then I don't have that option at all.

From a technical standpoint, XBMC's playback abilities are not the best when you compare it to other software players. The ffmpeg component of DVDPlayer (the part of XBMC that plays back video) is quite dated, but because the demand for certain codecs/profiles has stabilized so much it probably hasn't been very noticeable.

I bring stay this because XBMC's real selling point is its rich features and 10-foot interface is second to none. Which doesn't mean video playback is bad at all, it just means XBMC isn't the cutting edge of a single raw feature that most people won't notice. (see here as well for how many people this will likely affect.)

You can also configure XBMC to use another video player. It just takes some tinkering, but you can have the XBMC interface and a Hi10 player in one. You do have options, and it will come to XBMC's built-in player, it just takes time when it's not the only feature waiting to be added.

Quote:And it's not as though people are only just now bringing this up. We've been saying for months that most of the fansub groups are going to be moving to 10-bit only. It appears that we weren't believed ... that it would only be a small group of fansubbers changing ... that there would be "choice".

The last week has proved otherwise.

Most of the fansub groups are not going to Hi10 only. I'm looking at tokyotosho's listings now. Don't believe the fear hype that some groups are using to force adoption, mostly out of their own fear that someone else put into them. You'll probably see some of these "Hi10 exclusive" groups suddenly supporting the previous h.264 profiles, too. It's easy for a group to get worked up about a new feature, especially when things haven't really changed in a long time. It's even easier for groups to go through encoders like paper cups.

Quote:BTW, we've been arguing on those forums for months as well that the infrastructure isn't ready except in a few very specific cases. In every case the response has basically been "use the exact same setup as me or STFU".

I am honestly sorry if that is how I made you feel. I'm not opposed to Hi10, I just think this hype around it is way overblown. I like new, better things. I like it when my anime looks its best. However, all Hi10 can do is save HDD space. No source content is in 10bit color depth. The only quality improvements is the quality per megabyte which is what results in those smaller file sizes. Even then some encoders still aren't using Hi10 correctly. When you see some saving only 30MB and some saving 100MB, someone's doing it wrong.

Again, it's not Hi10 that I oppose, it's just this hype. It's silly. It's not even a new profile, and there's a bunch of other h.264 profiles out there that will save even more space that no one even bats an eye at.

The trade off in compatibility is not worth the file size saved, which I'll go into further in my next reply. EDIT: I got my posts mixed up. I ended up blabbering on waay too long in the next reply and didn't even get to the actual technical numbers on Hi10. Give me a bit here and I'll post about that too.
(This post was last modified: 2011-10-02 15:53 by Ned Scott.)
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #70
alexrose1uk Wrote:I don't disagree that's frustrating, I have pcs that use hardware acceleration myself, but to say its non-standard seems a little unfair; its not part of the bluray spec which is what those devices are targeted at, but hi10 has been part of the h264/avc standard for quite some time, about 7 years if Wikipedia is to be believed, even if its not been implemented into things or widely used until relatively recently. Its not like this profile or standard has come from nowhere. Hell, loads of phones with hardware support don't even always support up to level4.1 or the full gamut of 8bit profiles either so its not like manufacturers and designers have always stuck to the one level of specification in thier decoders either.

You are correct in that I choose my wording there poorly. I'm actually somewhat familiar with these high-end profiles/formats that are mainly used in professional/studio situations, though I am far from being an expert. For example, most people don't know that the Beta Cassette didn't die. It stayed alive in the professional word and even got a digital version that some still use today.

Quote:It just seems like an inevitable part of progress, h265 or whatever it ends up called will also likely break all hardware compatibility, which is the danger of relying on hardware.

Yes and no. It's kind of like megapixels in cameras. For a while there it seemed like there was no end in sight, then camera manufacturers decided to stop pushing for more megapixels and instead focus on higher quality sensors with the existing number of megapixels. The high end line for most consumers now is about 14MP.

You are right that something will eventually come along and replace what we have now with something significantly better. Hi10 really isn't it, and hardware manufacturers aren't going to bother to support it. Most video usage on a computer isn't "pirated", it's from places like Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube. This is why .ogg never caught on, even though anime groups were singing it's praises and saying they were .ogg only. We've been down this road before.

The next format/codec/whatever will come, and we will have to buy new stuff, sure, but it's not even going to be Hi10. There's other formats in the works that we know about today that should beat the pants off of Hi10, but are just not ready to be deployed. Hardware video codec support is not really something that takes these companies by surprise.

Hi10 has been around for 7 years and no one gave a hoot until this season. Why? Because someone was finally able to drum up some hype. Probably because they finally got a consumer player that decided to throw in Hi10 support (not out of demand, though).

People are downloading archive quality rips and are worried about saving some HDD space? (some of the quoted numbers by some groups about how much space is really over blown, too).

That's not to say that we can't use it or enjoy it today. Hi10 is, in fact, a better profile. I really want to emphasize this. We can have our cake and eat it too, but exclusive Hi10 releases is absurd for a group to do. The entire point of fansubbing was to bring anime to viewers who didn't have access. It's not the next logical step for widespread support. We don't throw away our GPUs/computers for one spec bump here or one spec bump there.

Quote:I've argued before on the benefits of hardware acceleration but this is one of the limits that accompanies it (same as how older hdmi systems or the original PS3 can't bitstream hd audio and have to use core/software decode), especially when in this case the hardware is seemingly based on the bluray adopted segments of the standard, and not the entirety.

The PS3's limitation is not because of the hardware acceleration (which does exist in the PS3) or the CPU. It's just been locked away for so long, and even now is completely undocumented for the public. It's kind of like how the hacked ATV2 can support more codecs (in theory) than h.264, but it's all undocumented so it takes a ton of work to figure it out/reverse engineer/program for.

I do understand your point, which is why my original HTPC was built to handle BD 1080/High Profile from the CPU alone. Even that guy can't handle Hi10, though, because it takes more CPU decoding for Hi10 than CPU decoding of h.264 High Profile.

Quote:It's not like there won't be groups (potentially some specifically for the purpose) reencoding these 10bit releases back to 8bit either, so I don't see there being a lack of options in the future.

And thank god for that. I'm certainly not worried, but I do think these groups that are acting like Hi10 is the second coming need a reality check.
(This post was last modified: 2011-10-02 16:00 by Ned Scott.)
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davilla Offline
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Post: #71
10-bit h264 requires moving to FFmpeg head.
10-bit h264 is there but still being worked on by FFmpeg devs.
FFmpeg head will not compile for iOS.
FFmpeg has many corner decoder cases to check, verify, fix if broke.

Should we delay a release while we wait for 10-bit h264 in FFmpeg to complete ?

Should we delay a release while we deal with fallout from merging up FFmpeg ? It takes two-three months of such a major change running in nightlies before I'm convinced that it is stable.

10-bit h264 will effect a very small percentage of xbmc users, should we penalize the others (pushing out a stable release) while we wait ?

Inquiring minds want to know but it's been decided to freeze for a release and deal with FFmpeg (and other things) in the next cycle.


MediaInfo : http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
(This post was last modified: 2011-10-03 00:54 by davilla.)
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alexrose1uk Offline
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Post: #72
Ned Scott Wrote:You are correct in that I choose my wording there poorly. I'm actually somewhat familiar with these high-end profiles/formats that are mainly used in professional/studio situations, though I am far from being an expert. For example, most people don't know that the Beta Cassette didn't die. It stayed alive in the professional word and even got a digital version that some still use today.
Ironically I think I may have seen some of those pass through a few weeks ago, as I work for a company involved in broadcasting Smile

Quote:Hi10 has been around for 7 years and no one gave a hoot until this season. Why? Because someone was finally able to drum up some hype. Probably because they finally got a consumer player that decided to throw in Hi10 support (not out of demand, though).

People are downloading archive quality rips and are worried about saving some HDD space? (some of the quoted numbers by some groups about how much space is really over blown, too).

I tended to blame the increase in interest not so much on hype, but simply that it's supported by x264 now, and decoding has been incorporated into CCCP, which seems to be the rough guidepost that a lot of these groups go by loosely. I don't follow the encoding standards heavily except when it becomes necessary, but I have at least noticed that trend.

In terms of the efficiency, well I guess it depends on the encoder, the settings (and how anal they are) and the actual source material itself. It does seem to allow for smaller equivalent quality releases, or higher image quality at a given size. How much depends on whats thrown into it, but as far as it goes, this is always going to be one of the grails of video encoding, and in, perhaps even what could be a limited situation, it does seem to be making some moderate space savings.

Whilst the efficiency of the original encodes could be debated, the simple fact I've seen a few releases whilst looking into Hi10, that almost halved from the original release and yet people are reporting they look identical to the original, well I can't say that's not potential, even if it is caused by perhaps over sized originals or overt attention to things like film grain.

At the end of the day, even if you're creating archivable copies; the last thing you want to do is waste space unnecessarily (as simply put it's waste), if people didn't still want to save space we wouldn't reencode files, which we do, because we can often factor the size of the file down by 20%+ with no visible side affects.
Wasted space is still wasted space Smile If I can have my same file playback fine, but be stored in a file format that might save me another 20%...well, I'd be tempted to do so; it's less hard drives I need to buy etc etc

I guess the true question is, for the given show/medium/whatever, is the space saving or picture quality improvement, worth the increase in CPU requirements. I suspect for some media and shows it won't, but for other sources or media it might be; but again this sort of argument is always going to have an ounce of opinion Smile

Quote:The PS3's limitation is not because of the hardware acceleration (which does exist in the PS3) or the CPU. It's just been locked away for so long, and even now is completely undocumented for the public.

I'd always understood the reason the original model PS3 doesn't support HDA bitstream whereas the Slimline does, is because the original utilised a realtek HDMI chip which simply doesn't support the format; whereas the slim model used an updated chip, which was why I'd used it in an analogy to the hardware video decoding Smile Could be wrong but it seemed appropriate in this sense.



To be fair it seems we're not on a too dissimilar page with thoughts on this movement, I'd also rather for everyone's sake (it makes people's lives easier), that the groups would release both formats, rather than just one; but I also see why groups are moving now there is support in various players, CCCP etc, and in this case the target relevant source media benefits from the change in encoding standard, offering good potential bitrate savings whilst still retaining equivalent picture quality and reducing other artifacts.

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(This post was last modified: 2011-10-02 17:27 by alexrose1uk.)
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Ned Scott Offline
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alexrose1uk Wrote:I'd always understood the reason the original model PS3 doesn't support HDA bitstream whereas the Slimline does, is because the original utilised a realtek HDMI chip which simply doesn't support the format; whereas the slim model used an updated chip, which was why I'd used it in an analogy to the hardware video decoding Could be wrong but it seemed appropriate in this sense.

That's a brain fart on my part. I was thinking you were talking about video hardware decoding on the PS3. I must have glossed over the words "audio" and "bitstream".

I was hoping to make a post to dive more into what is really saved with Hi10. I've already read a few posts on some other sites where a lot of drastic comparisons (just about anything above 25% file size savings) had more to do with a bad original. One site that even calls itself something like hi10anime.com or whatever was using speed sub releases to compare with Hi10 releases. Speed subbers don't just rush translations.. they rush encodings too. However I don't really have much time left today (today-ish. I sleep mid day and work at night) to look more into it or do my own testing, but it sounds like I'm probably not giving you guys as much credit as I should have, and you're all already taking the drastic claims with a gain of salt :)

Though still, a 10-25% file savings is pretty good. I certainly don't shun the additional option to save on HDD space.

If I were an encoder for a group that wanted to support Hi10 I would either do two releases at once, or just do normal h.264 HP for the TV airings, then do Hi10 for the batch and/or BD version (depending on the group, since some don't bother doing a BD version for their subs directly). That way the version best suited for saving has the small file size, while the weekly TV broadcast has the compatibility. Although I do understand that download times and ISP data caps are a concern too.
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alexrose1uk Offline
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Post: #74
Ned Scott Wrote:If I were an encoder for a group that wanted to support Hi10 I would either do two releases at once, or just do normal h.264 HP for the TV airings, then do Hi10 for the batch and/or BD version (depending on the group, since some don't bother doing a BD version for their subs directly). That way the version best suited for saving has the small file size, while the weekly TV broadcast has the compatibility. Although I do understand that download times and ISP data caps are a concern too.

_ar of UTW seems to have gone for a half way position which is at least reasonable; he's stated that the 10bit release will be standard, and they'll also continue to release XVID compatibility files; however if they find the demand is still there, they will release 8bit files at a later date; although these will be post original release (likely because encoding takes time and these people must have jobs and lives away from the PC)


******

In terms of hardware requirements; I think the damage isn't going to be quite as bad as people expect unless computers are REALLY pushing it on the specification side.

To see what reasonably could be expected, this evening I threw a Hi10p 720 OP sequence through MPC-HC using LAV on an old AMD X2 3800+ machine (with subs enabled which causes higher CPU usage). It actually ran with no drops, CPU usage was a little on the high side (about 70-80%) at points but it was definately playable.

Now that X2 skt939 chip is EASILY 5-6+ years old, one of the first dual core chips on the market; if it can handle 720p Hi10p video reasonably with a decent video decoder (admittedly on a not overloaded PC, but then loads of ***** running can bring almost anything to it's knees eventually), then I'm perhaps not as worried as I was that this'll cause major issues for people; most people except those using netbooks/media boxes should have something more capable than that machine; and it's not like everyone NEEDS to be able to run 1080p feeds.

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(This post was last modified: 2011-10-02 23:36 by alexrose1uk.)
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magao Offline
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Post: #75
Ned Scott Wrote:
magao Wrote:BTW, we've been arguing on those forums for months as well that the infrastructure isn't ready except in a few very specific cases. In every case the response has basically been "use the exact same setup as me or STFU".

I am honestly sorry if that is how I made you feel.

Not you - I meant on the fansub sites. The response here has been more uninterested than hostile.

I might see if I can integrate the latest ffmpeg myself, but having no experience with the XBMC codebase or libffmpeg, and probably starting a new job in the next week or so ...
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