Hardware Accelerated Encoding of TV Server

Discussion in 'Watch / Listen Media' started by MrGrymReaper, January 8, 2019.

  1. MrGrymReaper
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    Hi,

    I was wondering whether the TV Server supports hardware accelerated encoding which combined with the changes coming in version 1.21. Could help improve the speed, quality and reliability of recordings?

    All that would be required is to check if hardware accelerated encoding is supported for the required graphics card and other requirements. Including based on the codec (quality level).

    Then cause it to dynamically send different switches to the command line ffmpeg which as of 4.02 (latest 4.1) supports hardware encoding.

    So for Nvidia's NVENC and ffmpeg this could be helpful: FFmpeg / libav.
    For all other hardware encoders: HWAccelIntro – FFmpeg



    The reason being I have in the past had problems with the picture quality and/or synchronisation of audio to video. Even then my graphics card always supported the possibility of hardware encoding.

    So if this could be present it really could help to reduce issues with problems like this and make the program more efficient. As well as with what ever has driven the changes to the encoding process for version 1.21.
     
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  3. Owlsroost
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    For normal recordings, TV Server doesn't do any encoding (unless it's analog TV input, which is all but dead now) - it just parses out the required digital video/audio/subtitle streams from the tuner and re-muxes them into a single-program/channel 'transport stream' (the .ts file). No re-encoding/re-compression happens. The MP client then plays the .ts files 'as is'.

    Are you thinking about TV Server plugins like MPExtended which do streaming to other devices?
     
  4. MrGrymReaper
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    No not in this case.

    Unfortunately that doesn't help when CPU's get busy, are lower specified and/or may be older! However if hardware encoding were used then the stream could essentially be offloaded into the GPU's video features. Modern graphics cards typically have 1000s of threaded cores running at fast speeds; and can have at least 2-4GB of video memory. Together they could reduce the load on the CPU significantly.

    Reducing or removing potentially the bottleneck of the CPU when recording or time shifting live television. Because even if you have fast memory and sufficient fast storage an overloaded CPU can cause problems. As well a fast network connection when watching on the LAN.

    DVBLogic updated TVMosaic with hardware encoding. This functionality has enabled the software to handle its television functions efficiently even on restricted specification systems. It's also ready and prepared for the 4K quality resolution television broadcasts that are incoming.
     
    Last edited: January 9, 2019
  5. MrGrymReaper
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    Take the following possible example into account:-
    • 3.0 to 4.0 Ghz Quad Core CPU
    • 16 GB to 32 GB Ram
    • 7TB or more Total Storage - SATA III (6.0 GB/s)
    • NVIDIA Geforce GTX 750 Ti 4GB or NVIDIA Geforce GTX 960 4GB
    • x4 SiliconDust HDHomerun Quattro (ATSC) or x4 SiliconDust HDHomerun Quattro (DVB-T2)
    • x2 PIP 4K 2 Hour Movie - Live TV Watching Concurrently
    • x3 4K 42 Minute TV Show Episodes Recording Concurrently
    Something like this would need the hardware encoding just to cope with the system load alone. Not to mention the high resolution of the 4K picture quality of such television broadcasts.

    Ofcom has a report on television consumption note the part about there being a majority of homes with the capacity to receive HD or UHUD broadcasts. So if MediaPortal isn't prepared for this then when a home makes the switch then they may jump ship to another software program or package.

    https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0040/95899/CN16-08.pdf

    Also other parts of the world already have 4K broadcasting services occurring in the relevant countries. We the United Kingdom have recently started preparing similar 4K services or are working on having them.
     
    Last edited: January 9, 2019
  6. Owlsroost
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    As I said before (relevant parts in bold):

    ...so where is hardware video encoding (as provided by Intel QuickSync/nVidia NVEnc etc.) going to be used in TV Server, when it doesn't do any anyway?
     
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  7. Owlsroost
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    ...as per: Live and Recorded TV for your Windows/Mac/Ubuntu desktop, Raspberry Pi and NAS!

    MP (desktop client) has supported hardware playback acceleration (via DXVA) for years.

    In MP, transcoding is only done by plugins like MPExtended (to allow low-bandwidth streaming to other devices) - this is not a core part of TV Server functionality, it's an add-on. There is no point in converting video to a lower-quality stream if you can play it full-quality in the client anyway (with low CPU usage).
     
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