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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 5:28 am
Posts: 696
Location: Germany
For those in Europe, Astra 19.2 is broadcasting test programs on EinsFestival HD:

http://www.broadbandtvnews.com/?p=15592

I've played 720p and 1080i test files on my box without (too much) problem. However, unfortunately, my box won't keep up with this channel and crashes after about 30s of playing a recording of it. I see a lot of fixes that have gone into ffmpeg etc. for H.264. Has anyone had better luck? (edit: I just tried "ffmpeg -i input.mpg output.mpg" crashes, so the problem is deeper than just slow HW).

If I read this correctly, they are broadcasting H.264 720p at 50fps. (maybe it is the 50fps that is killing my box???):
Code:
  Duration: 01:11:03.7, start: 3351.013467, bitrate: 8852 kb/s
  Program 1
    Stream #0.0[0x642](ger): Audio: mp2, 48000 Hz, stereo, 192 kb/s
    Stream #0.1[0x646](ger): Audio: liba52, 48000 Hz, stereo, 256 kb/s
    Stream #0.2[0x641]: Video: h264, yuv420p, 1280x720 [PAR 1:1 DAR 16:9], 50.00 tb(r)

FYI: I had to rescan my channels to get it. I think they have changed frequency since the tests last year.

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 3:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 5:28 am
Posts: 696
Location: Germany
Just to update. I found out after some searches that my box doesn't have a hope of playing this. The decoding requirements of H.264 are massive.

HOWEVER: I found I could transcode with ffmpeg to mpeg2 HD quality and play the recording. Not the best solution, but better than having a 100 watt monster in my living room. Since I can't play the original, I can't tell how much quality I lost in the transcode. However, it is definitely not SD anymore :)

Note: ffmpeg needs to be upgraded to the latest version to transcode. This was causing the crashes.

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 3:50 pm
Posts: 1013
Location: Los Angeles
alien,

If you have a spare drive, you can install LinHES and then use pacman to install the mythtv 0.21-fixes patched with VDPAU support. Assuming you have a VDPAU capable video card. Your hardware should be able to handle the h264 decoding with a VDPAU-capable video card.

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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 2:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 5:28 am
Posts: 696
Location: Germany
Interesting, last time I googled it it didn't look very promising. Seems things have changed quickly.

Unfortunately, my video card is too old. However, this brings my dream of an atom based replacement for my old box that much closer :D

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 1:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2004 3:23 am
Posts: 159
Location: Friesland, The Netherlands
VDPAU is definately worth looking into. Yesterday I bought a 8400GS graphics adapter for 15 euros (second hand), so hardware wise it doesn't have to be expensive to get started. It is my second VDPAU capable card. I have succesfully used my 9400GT with BBC-HD recordings.

Not sure if the Atom platform is very capable of HD decoding. If the bitrate is not too high, it can keep up, but lots of sources are too taxing it seems. This is not my experience but what I have read in a Dutch forum where users shared their experiences on building HD capable HTPCs.

There may be more reasons of course to opt for Atom CPUs, but I thought I'd let you know so you can use this as you choose your upgraded platform.


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:00 pm
Posts: 24
Zotac's Ion platform = HD decoding for Atom. :D

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3562&p=1


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:48 pm
Posts: 264
Location: Perth, Australia
These zotac ion things look the business... are they for sale yet?

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:00 pm
Posts: 24
nmcaullay wrote:
These zotac ion things look the business... are they for sale yet?


I believe Zotac supposed to have 4 variants of the Atom board, and they were aiming for general availability in June.


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