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 Post subject: Testing HD
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:47 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:20 am
Posts: 355
Location: South New Jersey, USA
Is there an easy way to see how my system will handle HD before I make any investments? I downloaded some .mp4 and .ts files and watched them with MythVideo. Does that represent a good test of how HD recordings will look with my current CPU/Video card combo? Or is there a better way?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:07 pm
Posts: 116
The pcHDTV website has a file you can download to do just that.

Look on www.pcHDTV.com in the support/downloads section for that file. It's near the bottom of the list.

http://www.pchdtv.com/downloads/tst.tar

-Ben


Last edited by bkamen on Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:13 pm
Posts: 480
Location: IN
Based on the hardware in your sig I would say that you won't have any issues pushing HD on your combined BE/FE machine but I don't believe your FE only box could cut it without XVMC or VDPU.

As for you test files, it all depends on what the encoding and resolution of the video is. It takes more horsepower to decode H.264 than MPEG2 but of course decoding 480p or 720p is easier than decoding 1080p.

The best "real world" (ie. ATSC) test would be a 1080i MPEG2 file. Of course if your primary focus is videos then perhaps H.264 would be best.

Martian

EDIT: VLC should be able to tell you what the encoding and resolution of your test videos is if you are unsure.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:34 pm 
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Location: South New Jersey, USA
The FE only box is my big concern. It is on the TV that the wife normally watches and going HD without that FE working would cause real trouble. So I need a way to test that system first. To make matters worse, the FE is a diskless FE so it may strain further.

My plan is to go with a HD Homerun. That would mean I would wind up with 1080i mpeg2 files. Correct?

So what is the best way to test the file? I believe that MythVideo uses a different player then is used for recordings. If that is true, how do I get that player to play a test file. Can I just rename the test file to an existing recording file name in the tv directory? Any other ideas?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:42 pm
Posts: 321
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Big boy stan wrote:
My plan is to go with a HD Homerun. That would mean I would
wind up with 1080i mpeg2 files. Correct?

No, it means you'll end up with whatever the TV station or
Cable provider is sending. It will probably be 480i, 720p, or
1080i.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:37 pm 
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Location: IN
You just need to set the video player to "Internal" to use the built in player. I don't remember where exactly it is in settings. Actually I believe it is the default for most video file extensions.

That said, I don't think there is any way a 2.8 Ghz Celeron is going to provide acceptable playback short of XVMC (with all it's side effects and complications). I'm 99.9% certain that a system of that vintage doesn't have a new enough graphics chip to use VDAPU either.

Martian

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:12 am 
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Location: California
My old P4 2.8ghz with hyper threading was able to keep up with hidef playback, but with very little "headroom". With HT turned off, it was unable to keep up. Celeron's do not have HT -- I really doubt the 2.8ghz celeron will be able to deal with HD playback.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:47 am 
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Location: Arlington, MA
How capable is the built-in Nvidia chipset? If there is enough RAM and the chipset can provide XvMC support, it may be OK.

My production box runs an Athlon 64 3200+ which means single core, no HT, and only about a 2Ghz clock. Even with XvMC turned off due to the "CBS problem", it still plays back 1080i content without much trouble. So the Celeron might surprise you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 499
Location: Ft. Worth TX
One of my older boxes, which had been retired cuz it had little call for SD video anymore. I set it up to record HD from my network HDHRs as a backup backend...

Well, I was rather astounded to find it would display acceptable HD video when running on XvMC, (FX5200 video card) because it's only a 1.8 ghz P4.

It gets a little stuttery when the OSD (B&W) is displayed, but other than that it's livable with... (Especially since it's a back-up)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:29 am 
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Location: South New Jersey, USA
I did not get a chance to run the HD test last night. I pulled out the paper work from when I got the Dell and it actually has a mobile P4, 2.8GHz, 512K processor in it. The video is FX5200 GO with 32M.
I will give the test files a try on my SD TV tonight with XvMC disabled and enabled and let you all know what I find.

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FrontEnd - Dell Vostro 400 3.0GHz Core2Duo NVidia GeForce210. MCE Remote


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:32 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles
I used to have a Celeron D 336 (2.8GHz) in a frontend only box that did 720p and 1080i OTA HDTV with XvMC just fine. As stated above, I had no headroom to do anything else though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 2:07 am
Posts: 1530
Location: California
Big boy stan wrote:
I did not get a chance to run the HD test last night. I pulled out the paper work from when I got the Dell and it actually has a mobile P4, 2.8GHz, 512K processor in it. The video is FX5200 GO with 32M.
I will give the test files a try on my SD TV tonight with XvMC disabled and enabled and let you all know what I find.


If you can, run "top" in a putty/ssh window and see what your CPU utilization is when doing playback. It will be interesting to know how much headroom you have. You may be able to run without XVMC if that processor has HT. You'll know you have HT if your top 2-3 processes add up to over 100% utilization.

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Marc

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:23 pm 
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Location: South New Jersey, USA
I started with a 1080p file that I downloaded (no point in making this easy) and tried running with the Normal playback profile (no XvMC). The system actually plays back with about 1 hiccup per second. TOP reported about 125% (also at POST there is an Intel logo with HT on it).
I then tried a 1080i file which hiccuped about ever other second.

After fussing with some XvMC problems (which I think I got solved by modifying my xorg.conf) the 1080i actually viewed worse. This doesn't make much sense so maybe I still have some work to do with XvMC settings.

Also I noticed that I have the Intel SpeedStep disabled in my BIOS setup so I am not really sure what speed the CPU is running at. Enabling it caused the fan to turn on full blast but didn't make any difference in the quality of the video.

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LINHES 8.3 BE/FE - MSI K9N6SGM-V with AMD A64 X2 4600+, 1GB Ram. 1.5TB WD. HDHR Prime & PVR150. Nvidia GT210. Silver remote.
FrontEnd - Dell Vostro 400 3.0GHz Core2Duo NVidia GeForce210. MCE Remote


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:00 pm 
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Location: Arlington, MA
I've posted a bunch of info for getting XvMC working in the R5.5 Hints and in a couple other threads. Both of the most relevant ones are linked at the end of the R5.5 Hints thread.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 2:07 am
Posts: 1530
Location: California
What are you settings in the playback profile? Assuming you need to deinterlace your 1080i video, your best bet is to use the bob2x deinterlacer.

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Marc

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.


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