Mac mini and 23.976Hz

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jingai Offline
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Post: #16
(2013-02-16 04:01)Scott R Wrote:  The projector reported getting a 24Hz signal (whatever that really means) and the short sample looked really smooth to me, so I was pleasantly surprised.

Just an FYI, my TV actually reports a 24Hz mode as well and the Mac will hook that up easily by default, but 24Hz media isn't 24Hz. It's 23.976Hz. If that bothers you, you'll at a minimum need SwitchResX to get closer to 23.976Hz on the Mac. If you didn't notice an issue then, well.. ignore it and move on.. but that's what this thread was about Smile

(2013-02-16 04:01)Scott R Wrote:  My other concern would be around the audio getting out of sync, which I thought I read might have been a problem in the past with the Macs and 24Hz.

It's not an issue. What can be an issue is the delay between audio (to the amplifier) and video (to the TV), but you can adjust that in the advancedsettings. For my TV, it's 125ms, and around 150ms seems to be pretty typical for LCD TVs. Not sure for projectors, but it's adjustable.

(2013-02-16 04:01)Scott R Wrote:  Memphiz, just to be clear...if I don't care about lossless audio, and am running under 10.8 (10.8.2 as of this moment), what issues do I need to be concerned about?

You didn't ask me, but.. IMHO nothing. It works fine. The official XBMC 12.0 has an issue with Intel chipsets (green line on bottom and right of screen or frame drops) but that's since been solved if you don't mind installing a nightly build >= 2 days ago.
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Scott R Offline
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Post: #17
(2013-02-16 04:10)jingai Wrote:  Just an FYI, my TV actually reports a 24Hz mode as well and the Mac will hook that up easily by default, but 24Hz media isn't 24Hz. It's 23.976Hz. If that bothers you, you'll at a minimum need SwitchResX to get closer to 23.976Hz on the Mac. If you didn't notice an issue then, well.. ignore it and move on.. but that's what this thread was about Smile
Thanks. Just did a quick search on SwitchResX and see that it's a Mac utility. If I was to want to integrate that, does it involve kicking off an external player or does it all work automatically (using the internal XBMC video player) and just require the xml file settings you mention in your early posts? In the past I remember trying to optimize my .mkv quality on an Acer Revo 1600 nettop (ATOM/ION) under Windows XP and spent a lot of time trying to get things working well launching an external player (MPC-HC) from XBMC, and I'd really like to avoid that sort of thing. That said, worst case, I'm not opposed to going the Bootcamp route and installing Windows 7, if it will provide a better experience. I'm not intending on using this Mac as a desktop PC for anything. It would be strictly as an HTPC, and possibly as a DVR server and Plex server.

(2013-02-16 04:10)jingai Wrote:  You didn't ask me, but.. IMHO nothing. It works fine. The official XBMC 12.0 has an issue with Intel chipsets (green line on bottom and right of screen or frame drops) but that's since been solved if you don't mind installing a nightly build >= 2 days ago.
Thanks for the heads up on that. I think I spotted that issue on my MacBook Air (2011 model w/HD3000 graphics) when playing around with XBMC and the Netflix plug-in. Turning off graphics acceleration solved it, but it's great to hear that it's been fixed.

I started out saying that I wasn't sure if I should return the Mini. I got it as an open box at Best Buy and paid about $460. I don't know that it's really going to offer me anything that I don't already get with my current setup, but it's a beautiful piece of hardware and I thought the power savings might be nice. Right now I've got an HP i7-2600 tower in my bedroom acting as my WMC (server and client) and Plex Media Server. I like that the tower has a super-powered i7 which should make Plex's on-the-fly transcoding a breeze, but I honestly don't know that I'll have a need for on-the-fly transcoding very often, as most of my content will be watched either in the bedroom (where my tower is) or in my living room (on the projector) which currently has that Revo 1600 I mentioned (now running Windows 7). The living room also has an XBox 360 which I use as an extender for live TV / DVR.

So I have to decide whether I should put that $460 back in my pocket and return the Mini, or: a) Use the Mini as my new server, and either sell my i7 tower, or dedicate it to converting my Blu-ray rips to .mp4 files just to save some extra disk space and allow for them to be easily streamed to my daughter's ATV or laptop over Wi-Fi (getting ethernet to her room would be a pain), or b) Keep the power-hungry i7 tower operational as my server and use the Mini as my new living room streamer. For the living room, since I'm plugging this into my projector, I do want the PQ to be as good as possible. My Revo 1600 is usually great, but sometimes acts a bit quirky.
(This post was last modified: 2013-02-16 04:53 by Scott R.)
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jingai Offline
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Post: #18
(2013-02-16 04:42)Scott R Wrote:  Thanks. Just did a quick search on SwitchResX and see that it's a Mac utility. If I was to want to integrate that, does it involve kicking off a script or external player or does it all work automatically?

No external player needed. You do need to (within the SwitchResX app) redirect the 'standard' 24Hz res to the one you made that more closely matches your source material, but it's pretty easy to do. The only downside here (besides the precision issues I already mentioned) is that the app costs money.

(2013-02-16 04:42)Scott R Wrote:  That said, worst case, I'm not opposed to going the Bootcamp route and installing Windows 7, if it will provide a better experience. I'm not intending on using this Mac as a desktop PC for anything. It would be strictly as an HTPC, and possibly as a DVR server and Plex server.

I'd say do whatever works for you then. Just saying that MacOSX 10.8 isn't necessarily as broken it might seem by browsing the forums here. It works fine, but OSX has (and had, all along) some limiting factors, like what I mentioned about the precision of the refresh rate. I don't know if Windows has the same issues or not. Linux, I suspect, likely doesn't, unless there is also a hardware limitation in the Intel chipsets.

(2013-02-16 04:42)Scott R Wrote:  I started out saying that I wasn't sure if I should return the Mini. I got it as an open box at Best Buy and paid about $460. I don't know that it's really going to offer me anything that I don't already get with my current setup, but it's a beautiful piece of hardware and I thought the power savings might be nice. Right now I've got an HP i7-2600 tower in my bedroom acting as my WMC (server and client) and Plex Media Server. I like that the tower has a super-powered i7 which should make Plex's on-the-fly transcoding a breeze, but I honestly don't know that I'll have a need for on-the-fly transcoding very often, as most of my content will be watched either in the bedroom (where my tower is) or in my living room (on the projector) which currently has that Revo 1600 I mentioned (now running Windows 7). The living room also has an XBox 360 which I use as an extender for live TV / DVR.

To be honest, I think you bought something at a time that is maybe overkill for what you want. You don't really (anymore) need a full-blown PC to do this stuff. Have a look at the Android and Raspberry Pi stuff, for instance.

I've only still got a Mac mini in the living room for exactly two reasons:

1) I use it to serve the home automation stuff as I mentioned before, with Indigo, and
2) I play emulated games on it (using XBMC and Advanced Launcher as an interface for it).

#1 requires a specific OS, so I'm limited to what Apple offers for it. #2 requires some computational power, so I can't go Android/rbp (yet, or.. I guess, more correctly, easily).

As a new buyer though, you've got many options if neither of those things (or anything else requiring CPU cycles) are important to you.

(2013-02-16 04:42)Scott R Wrote:  So I have to decide whether I should put that $460 back in my pocket and return the Mini, or: a) Use the Mini as my new server, and either sell my i7 tower, or dedicate it to converting my Blu-ray rips to .mp4 files just to save some extra disk space and allow for them to be easily streamed to my daughter's ATV

If I didn't need the i7 for anything else, I'd do this if I were you. Not sure I'd use OSX for the job (likely Linux, personally, but that's what I'm used to).

As far as recompressing the BR discs, not sure what to tell you. Guess you still need something in the house with some oomph for that, or just be patient with whatever hardware you do have Smile
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jingai Offline
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Post: #19
(2013-02-16 03:00)Memphiz Wrote:  mac mini 2012 is restricted to mountain lion (which is full of strange behaviour). I have this setup and it works ok as long as you are not trying to passthrough audio and having the automated refreshrate adaption turned on.

Just have to ask, are you still seeing this with the latest nightlies? My Mac mini is from 2011, but as of a couple days ago we sorted this out, for my machine at least. I have both refresh rate adjustment and passthrough enabled and it's golden now Smile
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Memphiz Offline
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Post: #20
I am the dev who tries to fix this and i can close my eyes - because After Playback started an the refreshrate gets switched the audio via HDMI is gone until restarting xbmc - so yes that Problem is there and there is a trac Ticket for it. For me the Mini Works best with ubuntu...

I guess the used tv and Avr Plays a role too - just read the 1h2min thread - alot of Users are not Able to watch a Movie without Beeing disturbed After One Hour.

But if the op aleady has the Mini - he should just give it a Shot for his use Case and decide on his own.

AppleTV2/iPhone/iPod: HowTo find debug logs and everything else which the devs like so much: click here
HowTo setup NFS for XBMC: Wiki NFS
HowTo configure avahi (zeroconf): Wiki Avahi
READ THE IOS FAQ!: iOS FAQ
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MeesterD Offline
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Post: #21
Hi jingai,

I'm a little confused - when I originally moved to Frodo I was getting the bad frame drops when hardware encoding was enabled, obviously this has been fixed now :-). However I am seeing occasional drops - every minute maybe - with hardware encoding enabled or disabled.

The only thing that has change here is moving from Eden to Frodo.

Am what I'm seeing what you're explaining here? I'm using a Mac Mini (mid 2011) with Lion running the Intel Integrated graphics. If my only option is to get the switchresx app, then so be it - but are you happily getting smooth playback?

Up till now I've left my Mac running at 1920x1080@24p

Thanks in advance.
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jingai Offline
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Post: #22
I'm personally getting smooth playback now. I use thunderbolt->HDMI for video, optical for audio with passthrough enabled. I've got refresh rate switching enabled and am redirecting (via SwitchResX) 24Hz to a 23.977Hz resolution I made (also in SwitchResX). VDA enabled, renderer set to auto. All this is on a 2011 Mac mini i5 with Intel HD 3000 connected to a Panasonic LCD TV.

Not sure what else to say. I'm definitely not denying that others are having issues still, but with the above configuration, I'm currently not.
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Scott R Offline
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Post: #23
So are you purposely avoiding the built-in HDMI port?
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jingai Offline
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Post: #24
No, lol. Just happened to already have a TB->HDMI cable. No idea at all if it makes any difference though.
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beemarp Offline
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Post: #25
jingai, which build are you currently using? Do you have a custom resolution setup for 60fps (59.94)?

I have the same Mac Mini with Intel HD3000. I setup custom resolutions for 23.977hz and 59.943hz (I think?)
I get pretty smooth playback, but I do see the occasional stutter, especially on 60fps material.

I haven't adjusted my advancedsettings. Is it important that I set a delay? My setup is Mac Mini HDMI --> Yamaha receiver --> Sony HX950.

What do the fpsmin and fpsmax parameters do? Limits fluctuation?
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jingai Offline
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Post: #26
I'm using stock Frodo 12.1 at the moment. I don't have a custom resolution for 59.94, but I do for 23.976.

I do also set the delay -- it's noticably (to me) out of sync without setting the proper delay. I don't do anything with fpsmin/fpsmax.
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beemarp Offline
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Post: #27
(2013-10-02 17:14)jingai Wrote:  I'm using stock Frodo 12.1 at the moment. I don't have a custom resolution for 59.94, but I do for 23.976.

I do also set the delay -- it's noticably (to me) out of sync without setting the proper delay. I don't do anything with fpsmin/fpsmax.

Thanks for the quick reply.

With 12.1 do you notice any bugs? Like the green line issue or unwatchable stutter about an hour into a movie?

Why in the world are certain graphics cards not designed to output 23.976? Did they just lazily round up...or is there a complex technical reason?

To me theres no reason why it should be so hard to achieve smooth playback that is identical to my ps3 playing a bluray.
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beemarp Offline
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Post: #28
(2013-02-16 12:05)Memphiz Wrote:  I am the dev who tries to fix this and i can close my eyes - because After Playback started an the refreshrate gets switched the audio via HDMI is gone until restarting xbmc - so yes that Problem is there and there is a trac Ticket for it. For me the Mini Works best with ubuntu...

I guess the used tv and Avr Plays a role too - just read the 1h2min thread - alot of Users are not Able to watch a Movie without Beeing disturbed After One Hour.

But if the op aleady has the Mini - he should just give it a Shot for his use Case and decide on his own.
Never could resolve my issue with OP's suggestion of manually adjusting the refresh rates. Anything I may have been seeing at first had to have been a placebo on my setup...

I am now dual booting Ubuntu on my mini and haven't noticed any issues with it.

Looks like I'll be slowly converting my setup to Ubuntu. I spent a whole evening a few days ago getting my bluetooth apple keyboard and magic trackpad to share the pair between OSX & Ubuntu. Previously I had to re-pair the devices every time I changed operating systems.

All else seems to be working great. I've definitely been forced to learn my way around Terminal...

Thanks for the suggestion of switching to Ubuntu.
(This post was last modified: 2013-10-10 19:40 by beemarp.)
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beemarp Offline
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Post: #29
Playback is great in Ubuntu, but too many hurdles to overcome...can't get my Harmony remote to work, Magic trackpad is awkward to use, random crashes, etc.

I'm stuck with OSX I guess.

So why does XBMC playback seem more fluid on Ubuntu than OSX? Any ideas? Does Ubuntu support 23.976fps natively and OSX doesn't?
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jingai Offline
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Post: #30
(2013-10-24 18:34)beemarp Wrote:  So why does XBMC playback seem more fluid on Ubuntu than OSX? Any ideas? Does Ubuntu support 23.976fps natively and OSX doesn't?

Basically, yes. It's a matter of precision -- OSX only supports 2 decimal places of precision for the framerate, so the best you can get is 23.97 or 23.98. That said, it seems smooth enough for me at 23.97, and I generally notice that kind of thing.

Not sure if this changed in Mavericks, though.
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