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  #1  
Old 01-02-2011, 01:27 AM
benjatelcom benjatelcom is offline
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making sagetv7 playback smooth

Greetings all,

Just migrated to SageTV7, and having a few video quality issues:

EVR and MPEG2 interlaced video get really angry at the SageUI, the UI flickers and sometimes the screen turns white. No problems with other content from R5000 like h.264 HD in this respect. If switch to VRM9 no issues like this. Using EVR I also see a green vertical band on mpeg2 interlaced programs on the left side of the video frame, outside of the video.

So, using VMR9, I get intermittent jerkieness to the video, especially with h.264 1080i content. CPU utilization is very high, around 60-70 percent. Same clips played in cyberlink 8 ultra's player give 8-10 percent util. Cyberlink is the selected h.264 and MPEG2 decoders. FFDshowTryouts is the audio decoder.

ATI 4650 is running DVI-D into 55" LCD monitor, and HDMI into Onkyo receiver. Displays are cloned and I only send LPCM into my receiver.

So my short list is:
Fix EVR playback
Get CPU utilization down to where it should be.

I thought that I saw a screen shot of some directshow manager for SageTV7... but can't find it anymore. Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2011, 10:57 PM
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hedly hedly is offline
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ben,
What about the video driver. I reinstalled my HTPC with win7x64 and the video sucked compared to before. I uninstalled the ATI driver (which I had installed without the Catalyst Control Center) and then reinstalled it so that CCC.exe would run. The results were immediately and noticeably better.

You have the horse power to run CCC without any problems and the 4650 should give you good results 'cause it, too is quite powerful. My system only has a 2600.

Cheers,
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  #3  
Old 01-04-2011, 03:23 PM
benjatelcom benjatelcom is offline
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Right... I should have included the video driver information.

I am running Catalyst 10.11 right now. Have also tried 10.7 since my clean install of win7x64 several months ago.

I see 14-20% utilization With MS DTV-decoder playing back a 1080p BD stream with DTS-MA audio, which isn't bad.

I see 8-15% utilization with MS DTV-decoder playing back 1080i R5000 H.264 streams with 2ch AC3, again not bad.

I seem to have EVR running reliably with MS DTV decoders now. The only thing that seems to be broken is multichannel PCM sound tracks kill video playback (jerky video and audio broken).
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  #4  
Old 01-09-2011, 09:19 PM
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hedly hedly is offline
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You might try AVSForum if no one here has an answer. There are many people there have have HTPC's with ATI cards and may have an answer.
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2011, 09:42 PM
benjatelcom benjatelcom is offline
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Thanks, I am on avs forum and will ping a few ideas off people there.

I just upgraded to an ATI 5450 and things are better already. EVR now works with all decoders, was stuck with VMR to avoid flickering OSD. System is using measurably less power.

I am struggling with some unreleated HDMI issues - good topics for AVS forum.

But I did want to confirm that a $50 video card fixed quite a few issues... am not pleased but the cost is small.
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2011, 03:32 PM
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hedly hedly is offline
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ben, good to hear. As I mentioned, I am using a 2600 and was considering moving up to a 5000 series. But that means I would "have" to upgrade my amplifier to make full use of the HDMI.
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2011, 03:56 AM
JmanGTA JmanGTA is offline
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To actually *use* the ATI hardware for mpeg2 you need the AVIVO package from AMD's site. This installs the ATI decoder. Then in CCC you go into video options and set deinterlacing type to Vector Adaptive, with pulldown enabled. I would suggest leaving the other filters off, such as denoising, mosquito noise filter, dynamic contrast (barf). None of them are needed with decent HD material and generally do more damage than good. Then in sage you will see the ATI decoder available for video.

You will flip when you see how much better the ATI/Nvidia hardware decoding is compared to the GARBAGE software decoders. I cannot stress the word GARBAGE enough. The software decoders do not do proper pulldown on film material, and they do crap deinterlacing on standard 1080i material.

Vector adaptive works as far back as 2600 cards (my 2nd htpc has a 2600xt). I believe Nvidia is equallly good when using Purevideo and hooking into their actual hardware decoding. I also have a 3870 and 5870 and vector adapative is still the best available deinterlacer i.e no real need for the newer cards if just playing video. However, if you want full hardware accel for h264 and such, then you will need to get an Nvidia 210 or ATI 4xxx series at the bare minimum.

The idiotic thing is that although both companies tought this technology, neither of them spend 3 seconds telling their customers how to take advantage of it.
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2011, 07:15 AM
pgman pgman is offline
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Quote:
The idiotic thing is that although both companies tought this technology, neither of them spend 3 seconds telling their customers how to take advantage of it.
That is the biggest complaint I have, too. I had a heck of a time getting my system to play HD video smoothly, and I finally learned about (and tried) the PureVideo decoder (I have an nVidia setup). What a huge difference with PureVideo. Night and day. My CPU load went way down and the PQ went way up. I have since moved to a newer (and more powerful) main board, but kept my old 8600GTS video board (to save money). Even with the new motherboard and drasitcally faster overall system performance, my HD video playback was not smooth until I re-loaded PureVideo. I also found that the CoreAVC codec helps tremendously. It is well worth the $13 download, in my opinion.
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2011, 10:21 PM
benjatelcom benjatelcom is offline
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according to ATI CCC installer, I have the AVIVO codecs installed, but they are not listed as possible MPEG2 decoders in my configuration. Do the AVIVO decoders handle H.264 also?
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2011, 12:08 AM
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GollyJer GollyJer is offline
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benjatelcom, can you try this and tell me how it goes?
4 Steps to Stutter Free Playback in SageTV

I've been trying to narrow down the number of steps it takes to get Sage playing back perfectly. That blog post is it. The instructions have worked great for three of my friends each with different setups.

The only caveat is you won't get hardware accelerated playback with subtitles. Until Sage fixes their problems with FFDShow DXVA decoder I'm unwilling to post how to get hardware acceleration with subtitles. It's too complicated.
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4 Steps to Perfect Stutter Free Playback for SageTV
Quick Guide: How to Bitstream Audio in Windows 7
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  #11  
Old 02-02-2011, 08:59 PM
jimz06 jimz06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GollyJer View Post
benjatelcom, can you try this and tell me how it goes?
4 Steps to Stutter Free Playback in SageTV

I've been trying to narrow down the number of steps it takes to get Sage playing back perfectly. That blog post is it. The instructions have worked great for three of my friends each with different setups.

The only caveat is you won't get hardware accelerated playback with subtitles. Until Sage fixes their problems with FFDShow DXVA decoder I'm unwilling to post how to get hardware acceleration with subtitles. It's too complicated.
GollyJer,
I may give this a shot. A couple questions though, there is a warning about breaking LiveTV playback...do these settings break it?...and it's difficult to tell from the settings...but does it support HD audio bitstreaming?
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Last edited by jimz06; 02-02-2011 at 10:06 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2011, 09:37 PM
JmanGTA JmanGTA is offline
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I don't agree with that blog post. It says use Powerdvd10 for mpeg2 decoding. Unless that somehow hooks into ATI/Nvidia hardware that is going to be the usual, dogcrap software decoding.
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2011, 06:15 PM
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GollyJer GollyJer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JmanGTA View Post
I don't agree with that blog post. It says use Powerdvd10 for mpeg2 decoding. Unless that somehow hooks into ATI/Nvidia hardware that is going to be the usual, dogcrap software decoding.
Sorry JmanGTA but can you back up your opinion with some facts or trial and error? Rather than blindly posting "I don't agree with that post" why don't you try it and see? The PowerDVD10 codec taps into the hardware acceleration of both the Nvidia and ATI chipsets and provides some of the best processing available. I'm a long time Sage user and have a very good understanding of what it takes to get DXVA working with Nvidia and ATI hardware. See this post on my first foray into DXVA when it was released for Nvidia 6xxx series cards 4 years ago. http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23853
And this post on DXVA and DXVA2. http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34610 It's one of the best compilations of hardware acceleration information on the web.

I hated the number of steps it used to take to get hardware accelerated playback working flawlessly and have been waiting for a time when it was dead simple. That time is now. My blog post is how.

benjatelcom, the Live TV setting is for Windows Media Center 7. It doesn't affect Sage AT ALL. As far as bitstreaming audio. It took a little bit of doing but I got it working perfectly a couple weeks ago. I'll take some time and put together a blog post sometime within the next few days. The process isn't much different but you need to add ReClock into the mix.
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Currently using SageTV Media Center Server on Windows 7, SageTV Client as an HTPC on Windows 7, and an HD Theater HD200. The server controls 3 Motorola DCH-3200 cable boxes and 3 Hauppauge HD-PVRs (all Rev F1) with HD audio and changes channels via firewire WITH NO LOCKUPS. It's awesome.
4 Steps to Perfect Stutter Free Playback for SageTV
Quick Guide: How to Bitstream Audio in Windows 7

Last edited by GollyJer; 02-03-2011 at 06:17 PM. Reason: Added DXVA2 link
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2011, 10:01 PM
jimz06 jimz06 is offline
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GollyJer,
Think you were answering my post on the LiveTV and bitstreaming, so thanks. Curious why it would take Reclock since I've got it working with ffdshow (without Shark installed) set to passthrough HD audio and it works with Sage. It looks like the settings in your blog post turned off ffdshow passthrough.
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  #15  
Old 02-04-2011, 01:08 AM
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GollyJer GollyJer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimz06 View Post
GollyJer,
Think you were answering my post on the LiveTV and bitstreaming, so thanks. Curious why it would take Reclock since I've got it working with ffdshow (without Shark installed) set to passthrough HD audio and it works with Sage. It looks like the settings in your blog post turned off ffdshow passthrough.
You're welcome. And yes, the setting in my blog post do shut off bitstreaming audio passthrough. To get it working again go into the Audio tab in Shark007 and select "Use pass-through (Digital Audio)". FFDShow Audio playback alone works perfectly to bitstream HD-PVR recorded AAC 5.1 Dolby Digital audio. If that's all you're doing you'll be good to go. Playing truly uncompressed HD Bluray audio is when FFDShow + Reclock is needed.
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Currently using SageTV Media Center Server on Windows 7, SageTV Client as an HTPC on Windows 7, and an HD Theater HD200. The server controls 3 Motorola DCH-3200 cable boxes and 3 Hauppauge HD-PVRs (all Rev F1) with HD audio and changes channels via firewire WITH NO LOCKUPS. It's awesome.
4 Steps to Perfect Stutter Free Playback for SageTV
Quick Guide: How to Bitstream Audio in Windows 7
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  #16  
Old 02-05-2011, 12:31 PM
texneus texneus is offline
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GollyJer, I'm very curious about your ReClock experiences. I tried it a while back but on live TV the audio lags the video quite significantly, worked reasonably well otherwise. The scuttlebutt at the time (a year ago) was ReClock could not be used with Sage. Has this been solved?
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  #17  
Old 02-05-2011, 04:43 PM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Their new H.264 decoder, the "Cyberlink Video Decoder (PDVD10), still doesn't know how to properly decode a 1080p video outside of PowerDVD.

While it is a good decoder I gave up on it a long time ago for transcoding. I discovered that outside of PowerDVD it would present the video as the true 1920x1088 but decode it properly to 1920x1080. As a result there would be 8 horizontal doubled lines in the video. It took the longest time for me to see this and when I did notice it I had to eliminate it.

The thing is that H.264 resolution is encoded in multiples of 16. If the resolution is not divisible by 16 it will automatically add however many rows or columns it needs to complete it. During playback those added rows are automatically clipped when the video is displayed as if they never existed.

Cyberlink's decoder is confused about how it wants to treat 1080p material because it reports the video has 1088 lines but only decodes 1080 so whatever application displays it must stretch the video, hence the 8 doubled lines.

I'm not sure why it does this. If this is a way to keep people from using their decoder outside of PowerDVD. I don't know. I know it's really annoying though.
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  #18  
Old 02-07-2011, 12:08 AM
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GollyJer GollyJer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texneus View Post
GollyJer, I'm very curious about your ReClock experiences. I tried it a while back but on live TV the audio lags the video quite significantly, worked reasonably well otherwise. The scuttlebutt at the time (a year ago) was ReClock could not be used with Sage. Has this been solved?
Hey tex. Here's my experience with ReClock. It's worked great to get bitstreaming support in WMP and SageTV. FYI, all the stuff I do with Shark007 can be done independently but Shark makes for simple one stop shopping. FYI, one of the bigger things for getting full bitstreaming support working is to "turn off" the Windows Media Foundation. The settings on the SWAP tab are the easiest way to get it done. Let me know how it goes!
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Currently using SageTV Media Center Server on Windows 7, SageTV Client as an HTPC on Windows 7, and an HD Theater HD200. The server controls 3 Motorola DCH-3200 cable boxes and 3 Hauppauge HD-PVRs (all Rev F1) with HD audio and changes channels via firewire WITH NO LOCKUPS. It's awesome.
4 Steps to Perfect Stutter Free Playback for SageTV
Quick Guide: How to Bitstream Audio in Windows 7
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  #19  
Old 02-07-2011, 06:08 AM
Spectrum Spectrum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GollyJer View Post
benjatelcom, can you try this and tell me how it goes?
4 Steps to Stutter Free Playback in SageTV

I've been trying to narrow down the number of steps it takes to get Sage playing back perfectly. That blog post is it. The instructions have worked great for three of my friends each with different setups.

The only caveat is you won't get hardware accelerated playback with subtitles. Until Sage fixes their problems with FFDShow DXVA decoder I'm unwilling to post how to get hardware acceleration with subtitles. It's too complicated.
I don't want to threadjack (too much) so we may need to jump out to a new thread. That said, this was not simple, painless, or effective for me. First, I had to track down the Bing crud and eradicate it even after I unchecked the box to install it. Second, Sage would not respect the directshow filter merits. The arcsoft h.264 decoder that was installed with TME would take precedence whenever I set Sage to default. I tried several times and whenever set to default the arcsoft decoder was used, and was then selected the next time the Sage properties were brought back up. I got around this by unregestering the decoder with regsrv32. That got the PowerDVD decoder to be used, but it was not using DXVA (CPU usage ~40-50% during playback) even though the property was checked in the Shark config tool. Of course playback using WMP worked fine. The arcsoft codec didn't get in the way and DXVA was being used, but I'm not using WMP for playback

The good news is I had the foresight to take an image of the system before I went down this rabbit hole. Creating and restoring the image took considerably less time than I spent jacking with the codec pack Thanks for the instructions, but lessons learned years ago are still valid: codec packs just aren't worth the trouble!
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  #20  
Old 02-07-2011, 08:11 PM
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GollyJer GollyJer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectrum View Post
I don't want to threadjack (too much) so we may need to jump out to a new thread. That said, this was not simple, painless, or effective for me. First, I had to track down the Bing crud and eradicate it even after I unchecked the box to install it. Second, Sage would not respect the directshow filter merits. The arcsoft h.264 decoder that was installed with TME would take precedence whenever I set Sage to default. I tried several times and whenever set to default the arcsoft decoder was used, and was then selected the next time the Sage properties were brought back up. I got around this by unregestering the decoder with regsrv32. That got the PowerDVD decoder to be used, but it was not using DXVA (CPU usage ~40-50% during playback) even though the property was checked in the Shark config tool. Of course playback using WMP worked fine. The arcsoft codec didn't get in the way and DXVA was being used, but I'm not using WMP for playback

The good news is I had the foresight to take an image of the system before I went down this rabbit hole. Creating and restoring the image took considerably less time than I spent jacking with the codec pack Thanks for the instructions, but lessons learned years ago are still valid: codec packs just aren't worth the trouble!
Yes. Also, Windows 7 makes system restore points by default now, so it's always easy to get back. Good thought on the separate image as well. Better safe than sorry.

That being said, did you read step #1?
Arcsoft wouldn't have been getting in the way if it wasn't installed.

In my experience Arcsoft hijacks the videoframe/video_decoder_filter= setting in the Sage(Client).properties file forcing itself to always be used regardless of it's place in the filter merit system in Windows 7.
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4 Steps to Perfect Stutter Free Playback for SageTV
Quick Guide: How to Bitstream Audio in Windows 7
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