[AppleTV] Broadcom Crystal HD stuttering playback on Apple TV?

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jingo_man Offline
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Post: #1
hi guys,

having researched the forum recently about the above device in an AppleTV, i made the plunge. the unit is installed, and i have verified its operational at boot time and selected it as the renderer in xbmx settings.

the source for the media is on a USB drive attached to my iMac. this is shared via an FTP share, across my 100Mbps LAN. i have verified that this is running at optimal throughputs with network traces. this causes no issues for SD content, or HD content played through native QuickTime player on the ATV (alot of my films have already been converted to .m4v, specifically for the ATV).

playback of HD sources through the Crystal HD unit is stuttering, quite badly. i am presuming that the fps is too low, though on this platform, i dont know how to bring up stream debug-type info at the top of the screen (on my linux box, this was the Enter button, but doesnt seem to be an equivalent on ATV)

the main test was against a sample file of the Inglorious Basterds film, as it was smaller to copy around, etc. below is the details from MediaInfo regarding the encoding of the film:

Quote:General
Complete name : /Volumes/JINGOmovies/Movies/m-isbs-1080p-sample.mkv
Format : Matroska
File size : 76.3 MiB
Duration : 58s 858ms
Overall bit rate : 10.9 Mbps
Encoded date : UTC 2009-11-18 21:23:54
Writing application : mkvmerge v2.9.8 ('C'est le bon') built on Aug 13 2009 12:49:06
Writing library : libebml v0.7.7 + libmatroska v0.8.1

Video
ID : 1
Format : AVC
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : High@L4.1
Format settings, CABAC : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames : 4 frames
Muxing mode : Container profile=Unknown@4.1
Codec ID : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration : 58s 792ms
Bit rate : 9 142 Kbps
Width : 1 920 pixels
Height : 800 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 2.40:1
Frame rate : 23.976 fps
Resolution : 8 bits
Colorimetry : 4:2:0
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.248
Stream size : 64.1 MiB (84%)
Language : English

Audio
ID : 2
Format : DTS
Format/Info : Digital Theater Systems
Codec ID : A_DTS
Duration : 58s 858ms
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 1 510 Kbps
Channel(s) : 6 channels
Channel positions : Front: L C R, Surround: L R, LFE
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Resolution : 24 bits
Video delay : 9ms
Stream size : 10.6 MiB (14%)
Language : English

Text
ID : 3
Format : UTF-8
Codec ID : S_TEXT/UTF8
Codec ID/Info : UTF-8 Plain Text
Language : English


instead, i have copied 2 xbmc.log files (normal & debugging), links here:
normal
debugging

if i attempt to watch a full blown film, it is forever buffering during playback, then few seconds of playback, before buffering again.

i wasnt aware of any other settings to apply, and thought this was relatively straight forward process. i am hoping someone maybe able to offer more insight into my issue(s)...

regards

jingo_man

ATV: 3.0.1
XBMC: followed thread for Crystal HD install, so running SVN r26841
(This post was last modified: 2010-01-16 13:28 by jingo_man.)
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superanima Offline
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Post: #2
HD over a 10/100 lan didn't work for me, the solution is a usb-key.

Maybe a 1000 Mps la would work, but I don't have that kind of hardware
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jingo_man Offline
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Post: #3
superanima, thanks for the suggestion

however, this isnt the underlying issue. even with straight blu-ray playback, its only likely to spike in the 50Mbps region. although many of the files i use are variable bitrates, most are around 10Mbps sort of region.

i have also seen direct postings by Davilla himself about how he is able to use AnyDVD HD to decrypt Blu-Ray content on his Windows PC, share this out, and then remotely connect to the SMB share from another XBMC client without issue.

in my situation, where i have files that are consistently buffering, if i play them through the native ATV video player, QuickTime, they play flawlessly. these files that are buffering were originally encoded for the ATV, so likely have something else causing the issue with XBMC. more recent files that i have, usually in other containers, simply seem to stutter their way through playback (in debug mode, can see 10-12fps) - which is a different issue...

cheers again though, any and all suggestions are helpful...

jingo_man
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Jimmer Offline
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Post: #4
jingo_man Wrote:superanima, thanks for the suggestion

however, this isnt the underlying issue. even with straight blu-ray playback, its only likely to spike in the 50Mbps region. although many of the files i use are variable bitrates, most are around 10Mbps sort of region.

i have also seen direct postings by Davilla himself about how he is able to use AnyDVD HD to decrypt Blu-Ray content on his Windows PC, share this out, and then remotely connect to the SMB share from another XBMC client without issue.

in my situation, where i have files that are consistently buffering, if i play them through the native ATV video player, QuickTime, they play flawlessly. these files that are buffering were originally encoded for the ATV, so likely have something else causing the issue with XBMC. more recent files that i have, usually in other containers, simply seem to stutter their way through playback (in debug mode, can see 10-12fps) - which is a different issue...

cheers again though, any and all suggestions are helpful...

jingo_man

It's the recent nightlies - it worked better last week (can't remember what build # - sorry!) Davilla says these are known issues (in another thread) and he's planning on ironing them out soon. Keep watching the skies!

Jim
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jingo_man Offline
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Post: #5
cheers jimmer

thats more promising news. well, so long as the fix is upcoming Laugh

if it helps anyone further, the 720p content seems quite stable, even on my svn version...

cheers again

jingo_man
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iscraigh Offline
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Post: #6
Using a broadcom hd card apple tv svn r26928

I am getting stuttering on 720p (debug says about 10 fps) content and green color with horizontal lines on 1080I content (I see by reading more that interlaced content is an issue.

Top while stuttering

[HTML]Processes: 36 total, 2 running, 1 stuck, 33 sleeping... 123 threads 09:51:01
Load Avg: 0.67, 0.65, 0.70 CPU usage: 7.3% user, 19.3% sys, 73.4% idle
SharedLibs: num = 145, resident = 16.6M code, 2.50M data, 5.84M LinkEdit
MemRegions: num = 2708, resident = 124M + 3.14M private, 45.3M shared
PhysMem: 91.8M wired, 106M active, 53.8M inactive, 252M used, 3.89M free
VM: 2.38G + 111M 36867(0) pageins, 19232(0) pageouts

PID COMMAND %CPU TIME #TH #PRTS #MREGS RPRVT RSHRD RSIZE VSIZE
310 sftp-serve 0.0% 0:00.10 1 16 18 264K 360K 752K 26.7M
309 dropbear 0.0% 0:00.09 1 11 17 196K 480K 404K 26.8M
302 XBMC 17.3% 21:53.92 12 170 611 70.8M- 34.7M 96.5M+ 304M+
209 top 6.3% 47:43.11 1 22 20 392K 364K 596K 27.0M
202 bash 0.0% 0:00.05 1 14 16 0B 760K 76.0K 27.1M
201 dropbear 0.0% 0:07.29 1 11 17 84.0K 480K 256K 26.8M
190 DiskManage 0.0% 0:00.19 1 41 46 436K 556K 624K 37.2M
186 airtunesd 0.0% 0:00.03 3 39 23 [/HTML]


Log while playing 720p recording made using a hauppauge hdpvr from a motorola hd dct set to output 720p

http://pastebin.com/m480628a0

any suggestions


Craig
(This post was last modified: 2010-01-17 20:13 by iscraigh.)
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jingo_man Offline
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Post: #7
i still seem to be having issues with slow frame rates...

i have updated to the latest svn release r27056, as of friday.

playback seems to be different each time i play the same clip aswell, although certain scenes will always cause issues, like quick movements, water scenes, amongst others.

i have uploaded a segment of the file which does have a few exerts of the frame rate issue, and what i think is classified as "tearing" (though i am not sure)
http://www.mediafire.com/?4zoqojzn5mn

the debug log file for the whole file's playback:
http://pastebin.com/m2742bde3

cheers

jingo_man
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runelind Offline
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Post: #8
I have the same issues with NFS, SMB and HTTP - hoping for a fix soon.
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jingo_man Offline
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Post: #9
i dont think it relates to the networking protocol being used to serve the file, more the decode of the file by the broadcom or how that is handing off the GPU or something. i dont know, but am hoping the devs do...

more likely that its related to the bleedin' edge nature of what is being achieved, but here's hoping it becomes more stable soon

p.s. if any devs are able to comment to put me, and others, at ease about fixes being found, patches being written... that'd be awesome Laugh

jingo_man
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Shoesy Offline
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Post: #10
I'm sure the devs are doing everything they can to get this working right for you and themselves, just be patient and donate what you can to help everybody out.

Check out my stationery blog- http://www.tailormadeinvites.co.uk
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davilla Offline
Team-XBMC Developer
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Post: #11
crystalhd is a volatile world right now. Many things being worked on. However, the crystalhd can and does provide hardware acceleration of video decode. Getting that to sing right with XBMC is the game we are playing. It's not easy or it would be done, there are many, many variables in play.

Nothing that I have seen even suggests that this work is a dead end, in fact right now XBMC is the only open source player (except for ArchDVD) that can do anything with the crystalhd. There are maybe two-threee devs working on it and more will follow.

So bottom line, chill. we know all about the issues and are working on them. Remember, I don't work 24/7 on XBMC, I have a real job and that takes priority.


MediaInfo : http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
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davilla Offline
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Post: #12
some crystalhd love in r27150 and r27152 Smile The a/v glitch when playing for a while (a/v jumps to a big positive number) is still there, a quick ff will fix it. Still tracking that one down.


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: 2010-01-25 09:56 by davilla.)
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douzer Offline
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Post: #13
what do you think about bounties to add specific features?
For example I would happily pay 150-200$ (price for a new htpc) to the person that enables us 1080p resolution in XBMC on the ATV within a certain timeframe. If others chip in we might get a decent amount of money together?

i should clarify, this is about XBMC being able to output native 1080p to the display on an Apple TV without scaling. Decoding, playback, a/v sync and so on is a different story.
(This post was last modified: 2010-01-25 13:00 by douzer.)
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Bobby Blixberg Offline
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Post: #14
douzer Wrote:what do you think about bounties to add specific features?
For example I would happily pay 150-200$ (price for a new htpc) to the person that enables us 1080p in XBMC on the ATV within a certain timeframe. If others chip in we might get a decent amount of money together?

1080p plays nearly perfect on my aTV with current svn build.
A few days before the Broadcom solution came across I bought a WD TV live (for ~ 120 $) for HD video, and I am very confident that I can sell it soon Wink

MIFcom Mini-ITX ASUS ION2 | 4GB RAM | 120 GB SSD | XBMCbuntu
Philips 42PFL8684
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douzer Offline
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Post: #15
Bobby Blixberg Wrote:1080p plays nearly perfect on my aTV with current svn build.
A few days before the Broadcom solution came across I bought a WD TV live (for ~ 120 $) for HD video, and I am very confident that I can sell it soon Wink

the atv with the crystal hd decodes 1080p fine but xbmc can’t play it back in its native resolution (without scaling)… yet.
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