Problems with some movies on one mac, fine on another... VDADecoder issue?

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Rachel Offline
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Post: #1
Edit. Damn, I wrote a huge post describing my problem and being unable to see why it was happening, and at the last minute tried something that was revealing.

It looks like there may be VDADecoder issues with machines that have an NVIDIA GeForce 320M (ie: the new Mac Minis)

This is a problem I'm encountering running the latest XBMC nightly (svn31542) on a new mid-2010 Mac Mini Server, plugged into a Panasonic HD TV using HDMI.

*Some* movies (encoded by HandBrake using Normal preset from BluRay sources) play back on one mac with the video slowed down. ie: reduced frame-rate but instead of skipping frames to stay in sync, the video lags behind the audio which plays on at the correct speed.

Meanwhile on another mac (mid-2009 Macbook Pro on its own screen, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M) all movies played back fine.

But on the problem-Mac when I turned off System->Video->Playback->Allow hardware acceleration (VDADecoder) the movies showing the problem now played back at their correct frame rate. (But struggled sometimes; there's a reason we want hardware acceleration to work!)

Also, because the Mini is running OSX *Server* I tried booting the Macbook Pro into the 64-bit kernel to see if that produced the same fault and it didn't; everything still played back fine (with VDADecoder on).

Pasted are the xbmc.log files from playing two movies on each machine with VDADecoder *on*. Cars.m4v plays back fine on both machines. Ratatouille.m4v plays back with slow video on the Mac Mini but fine on the Macbook pro.

The xbmc.log from the mac mini: http://xbmc.pastebin.com/pF1kW1JD

The xbmc.log from the macbook pro: http://xbmc.pastebin.com/TVMBLzLD

BTW this isn't just affecting one file, but many apparently at random. While many other files are just fine.

Also BTW, QuickTime and VLC play Ratatouille.m4v fine on the Mac Mini - in QuickTime's case, presumably using hardware acceleration.
(This post was last modified: 2010-07-04 13:33 by Rachel.)
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snowdrift Offline
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Post: #2
I'm not sure this actually is your problem, so I apologize in advance :o but I do see from the logs that you're getting the error message:

ERROR: CDVDPlayerVideo::OpenStream - Invalid framerate 1000, using forced 25fps and just trust timestamps

I used to get this error when encoding blu-ray's to .m4v format using Handbrake. As blu-ray's are encoded at 24fps (23.976 fps) I was noticing glitches with my movies (your mileage may vary, of course). My solution was to re-encode as .mkv which doesn't appear to suffer from the same issue.

Might be worth a try? I accept this may be a red herring as its wierd that the movies play fine with the VDADecoder disabled as both seem to suffer from the same issue. However, I'd be also interested in the cause/solution, as I'm thinking of buying a new Mac Mini with the GeForce 320M card in it!
(This post was last modified: 2010-07-05 22:19 by snowdrift.)
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Rachel Offline
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snowdrift Wrote:I'm not sure this actually is your problem, so I apologize in advance :o but I do see from the logs that you're getting the error message:

ERROR: CDVDPlayerVideo::OpenStream - Invalid framerate 1000, using forced 25fps and just trust timestamps

I used to get this error when encoding blu-ray's to .m4v format using Handbrake. As blu-ray's are encoded at 24fps (23.976 fps) I was noticing glitches with my movies (your mileage may vary, of course). My solution was to re-encode as .mkv which doesn't appear to suffer from the same issue.

Might be worth a try? I accept this may be a red herring as its wierd that the movies play fine with the VDADecoder disabled as both seem to suffer from the same issue. However, I'd be also interested in the cause/solution, as I'm thinking of buying a new Mac Mini with the GeForce 320M card in it!

I did notice that line; but I also noticed it in the logs of the machine that was playing it correctly. :-)

Besides, I'm afraid I am seeing the same problem on another rip that *is* in mkv format (in order to have a DTS passthru track). So in this case (unlike another I reported recently) the container format doesn't seem to be the issue.

In fact for the time being I've had to plug my Aspire Revo with Linux-XBMC back into my TV. :-( Even once this problem gets fixed there's the refresh-rate issue which seems to be on everyone's back-burner. It's not acceptable to have to quit XBMC and change the refresh rate in display prefs every time I want to play a different file, so it's probably going to be a long time before Mac-XBMC is up to parity with Linux when actually plugged into a TV. Using the Mac now for EyeTV and iTunes-content playback (I note iTunes doesn't auto-switch refresh rate either when it - really - needs to).
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Rachel Offline
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Post: #4
One thing I did notice when playing these movies is that even though VDADecoder was enabled, the CPU usage was rather high - hovering around between 90% and 140% (dual-core, I guess 200% is maximum); and it seemed to be higher in the movies where it was showing the problem, but still high even when managing OK. Probably a sign that VDADecoder isn't *finished* yet; but I think we knew that already. :-)
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davilla Offline
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Post: #5
Rachel Wrote:One thing I did notice when playing these movies is that even though VDADecoder was enabled, the CPU usage was rather high - hovering around between 90% and 140% (dual-core, I guess 200% is maximum); and it seemed to be higher in the movies where it was showing the problem, but still high even when managing OK. Probably a sign that VDADecoder isn't *finished* yet; but I think we knew that already. :-)

Type 'o' to bring up the decoder OSD. Then look for vda-xxx. That will tell you if VDADecoder is actually being used as the decoder.

EDIT: You might also use MediaInfo to qualify what's different about the files that work vs the ones that have problems.


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: 2010-07-06 18:05 by davilla.)
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Rachel Offline
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Post: #6
davilla Wrote:Type 'o' to bring up the decoder OSD. Then look for vda-xxx. That will tell you if VDADecoder is actually being used as the decoder.

I did, and it was. I can't remember the exact string but it was different to the (iirc) ff-h264 that i got when i turned VDADecoder off in prefs. :-) I'll get some screenshots to confirm that when i decamp to the living room for the evening. (I'm in the UK and it's 6pm, so that's almost now...)

Quote:EDIT: You might also use MediaInfo to qualify what's different about the files that work vs the ones that have problems.

I'll look that up; I have been frustrated trying to find a way to just query what the file is made of.
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Rachel Offline
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Post: #7
OK, just to contradict myself, you know when I said earlier that some movies were playing OK on this mac and others weren't...

Well, none of them are playing right now. It was probably only luck that some of them did for a while.

Anyway, here's a screenshot of one of them trying to play with the info "O" display showing that it's barely breaking 11fps. And it is definitely using vda...

http://electronpusher.org/~rachel/cars-slow-info.png

This is the MediaInfo output for the movie file being played:


Code:
General
Complete name                    : /Volumes/Catacomb/Movies/Pixar/Cars.m4v
Format                           : MPEG-4
Format profile                   : Base Media / Version 2
Codec ID                         : mp42
File size                        : 5.00 GiB
Duration                         : 1h 56mn
Overall bit rate                 : 6 134 Kbps
Encoded date                     : UTC 2010-05-28 16:51:37
Tagged date                      : UTC 2010-05-28 21:03:55
Writing application              : HandBrake svn3329 2010052801

Video
ID                               : 1
Format                           : AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                   : Main@L4.0
Format settings, CABAC           : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames        : 2 frames
Codec ID                         : avc1
Codec ID/Info                    : Advanced Video Coding
Duration                         : 1h 56mn
Bit rate mode                    : Variable
Bit rate                         : 5 351 Kbps
Width                            : 1 920 pixels
Height                           : 802 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 2.35:1
Frame rate mode                  : Variable
Frame rate                       : 23.976 fps
Minimum frame rate               : 23.810 fps
Maximum frame rate               : 1 000.000 fps
Color space                      : YUV
Chroma subsampling               : 4:2:0
Bit depth                        : 8 bits
Scan type                        : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.145
Stream size                      : 4.36 GiB (87%)
Writing library                  : x264 core 95 r1592 95aacc4
Encoding settings                : cabac=1 / ref=2 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x1:0x111 / me=hex / subme=6 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=0 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=0 / 8x8dct=0 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=3 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=2 / b_pyramid=0 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / weightb=0 / weightp=2 / keyint=240 / keyint_min=24 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=40 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=20.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
Encoded date                     : UTC 2010-05-28 16:51:37
Tagged date                      : UTC 2010-05-28 21:03:55
Color primaries                  : BT.709-5, BT.1361, IEC 61966-2-4, SMPTE RP177
Transfer characteristics         : BT.709-5, BT.1361
Matrix coefficients              : BT.709-5, BT.1361, IEC 61966-2-4 709, SMPTE RP177

Audio #1
ID                               : 2
Format                           : AAC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Audio Codec
Format version                   : Version 4
Format profile                   : LC
Format settings, SBR             : No
Codec ID                         : 40
Duration                         : 1h 56mn
Bit rate mode                    : Variable
Bit rate                         : 138 Kbps
Maximum bit rate                 : 223 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 2 channels
Channel positions                : Front: L R
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Stream size                      : 115 MiB (2%)
Language                         : English
Encoded date                     : UTC 2010-05-28 16:51:37
Tagged date                      : UTC 2010-05-28 21:03:55

Audio #2
ID                               : 3
Format                           : AC-3
Format/Info                      : Audio Coding 3
Mode extension                   : CM (complete main)
Codec ID                         : ac-3
Duration                         : 1h 56mn
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 640 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 6 channels
Channel positions                : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth                        : 16 bits
Stream size                      : 534 MiB (10%)
Language                         : English
Encoded date                     : UTC 2010-05-28 16:51:37
Tagged date                      : UTC 2010-05-28 21:03:55

Text
ID                               : 4
Format                           : Apple text
Codec ID                         : text
Duration                         : 1h 56mn
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 1 bps
Stream size                      : 768 Bytes (0%)
Encoded date                     : UTC 2010-05-28 16:51:37
Tagged date                      : UTC 2010-05-28 21:03:55

And remember, these files play fine on a: XBMC of the same version on a VDPAU-based Linux Atom/ION box, and b: on a Macbook Pro, using VDADecoder, on an nVidia 9400M; and c: on this machine when VDADecoder is off. (but is pushing the CPU of that machine, so don't want to depend on that.)
(This post was last modified: 2010-07-06 21:52 by Rachel.)
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Rachel Offline
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Post: #8
For completion's sake; the same file being played on the macbook, with no issues:

http://electronpusher.org/~rachel/cars-macbook-info.png

And in Linux:

http://electronpusher.org/~rachel/cars-linux-info.png
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