MP2 - V2.3.1 MP2 - V2.3 HEVC playback stutter in MP2.3 and 2.3.1 (2 Viewers)

Man Pang

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May 25, 2015
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In previous versions of MP2, I experienced black screen during HEVC playback. Versions 2.3 and 2.3.1 appears to have addressed this but I experience stutter and audio breaking up. Task Manager shows the CPU usage is fine. MP1 plays HEVC encoded media with aplomb using the same LAV decoders that are being used in MP2. The LAV decoders have been set to use native DXVA2 hardware acceleration in both MP1 and MP2. The only difference I have gleaned is that MP1 is using an EVR renderer but with MP2, I am not sure which renderer is being used. Could the renderer be the issue?

The PC that is being used is based on Apollo Lake J4205 chipset and is hardware HEVC enabled.
 

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ge2301

Lead Design MP2
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  • January 11, 2014
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    In previous versions of MP2, I experienced black screen during HEVC playback. Versions 2.3 and 2.3.1 appears to have addressed this but I experience stutter and audio breaking up. Task Manager shows the CPU usage is fine. MP1 plays HEVC encoded media with aplomb using the same LAV decoders that are being used in MP2. The LAV decoders have been set to use native DXVA2 hardware acceleration in both MP1 and MP2. The only difference I have gleaned is that MP1 is using an EVR renderer but with MP2, I am not sure which renderer is being used. Could the renderer be the issue?

    The PC that is being used is based on Apollo Lake J4205 chipset and is hardware HEVC enabled.
    I've no issues with any HEVC playback since years and can only see from your logs, that you tried to change the refresh rate, nothing else.
    Can you try following settings to see, if it has any positive effect?
    • Set all player options to LAV (Audio, Video, Splitter)
    • Set hardware accelaration to "Automatically"
    • Disable video effect changer
    • Disable refresh rate change
     

    Man Pang

    Portal Pro
    May 25, 2015
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    I've no issues with any HEVC playback since years and can only see from your logs, that you tried to change the refresh rate, nothing else.
    Can you try following settings to see, if it has any positive effect?
    • Set all player options to LAV (Audio, Video, Splitter)
    • Set hardware accelaration to "Automatically"
    • Disable video effect changer
    • Disable refresh rate change

    Thanks for the suggestions. Changed settings and still the same problem. I don't see Hardware Acceleration setting but I am sure hardware accelerated decoding is being used due to the low CPU usage. This problem only occurs on my J4205 system. Slightly higher performance systems using J4105 and i3 CPUs are fine. I'm happy to continue with MP1 - the lack of the PIP feature in MP1 was the reason for trying MP2 but I can live without that.
     

    ge2301

    Lead Design MP2
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    Thanks for the suggestions. Changed settings and still the same problem. I don't see Hardware Acceleration setting but I am sure hardware accelerated decoding is being used due to the low CPU usage. This problem only occurs on my J4205 system. Slightly higher performance systems using J4105 and i3 CPUs are fine. I'm happy to continue with MP1 - the lack of the PIP feature in MP1 was the reason for trying MP2 but I can live without that.
    The hardware should be absolutely enough for stable playback und generally MP2 should demand less resources compared to MP1. But there might be a driver issue or something hardware specific, just it will be hard to find out I fear. Maybe somebody else has an idea.
     

    Man Pang

    Portal Pro
    May 25, 2015
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    The hardware should be absolutely enough for stable playback und generally MP2 should demand less resources compared to MP1. But there might be a driver issue or something hardware specific, just it will be hard to find out I fear. Maybe somebody else has an idea.

    Absolutely - the hardware is more than capable since the more power hungry MP1 plays back HEVC content with ease. Not content with this situation, I had a think and eventually resolved the issue. As this may be useful to some and possibly a misunderstanding of the usage of the Home Server on my part or possibly a flaw in the design of the Home Server, I will explain below the resolution.

    1. I have an HTPC in the living room running MP2 and it plays HEVC video fine. I will call this HTPC1
    2. The HTPC in bedroom (which I will call HTPC2) was configured to use the HTPC1 as the Home Server. My understanding was that HTPC1 would be serving the video stream to HTPC2.
    3. I looked at my video sources and saw they were configured as SMB sources (on HTPC1) and my thinking was that the Home Server at HTPC1 could not possibly be serving video streams because the video sources appear as though they are directly played from an SMB location. Consequently, this led to number 4 below.
    4. I changed the Home Server of HTPC2 to point to localhost rather than HTPC1 but with the video sources still pointing to the same SMB locations (on HTPC1).
    5. Played back an HEVC video which had been problematic and lo and behold, the stutter was no longer present! Well, there was initial stutter for a few frames but once it settled down, playback was fine.

    So this begs the question, when I was connected to HTPC1 as the Home Server, what in the World was MP2 doing that caused the performance issues? The problem I now have is that I have no TV service on HTPC2. HTPC1 is the machine that has TV tuners connected to it!
     

    ge2301

    Lead Design MP2
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  • January 11, 2014
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    Absolutely - the hardware is more than capable since the more power hungry MP1 plays back HEVC content with ease. Not content with this situation, I had a think and eventually resolved the issue. As this may be useful to some and possibly a misunderstanding of the usage of the Home Server on my part or possibly a flaw in the design of the Home Server, I will explain below the resolution.

    1. I have an HTPC in the living room running MP2 and it plays HEVC video fine. I will call this HTPC1
    2. The HTPC in bedroom (which I will call HTPC2) was configured to use the HTPC1 as the Home Server. My understanding was that HTPC1 would be serving the video stream to HTPC2.
    3. I looked at my video sources and saw they were configured as SMB sources (on HTPC1) and my thinking was that the Home Server at HTPC1 could not possibly be serving video streams because the video sources appear as though they are directly played from an SMB location. Consequently, this led to number 4 below.
    4. I changed the Home Server of HTPC2 to point to localhost rather than HTPC1 but with the video sources still pointing to the same SMB locations (on HTPC1).
    5. Played back an HEVC video which had been problematic and lo and behold, the stutter was no longer present! Well, there was initial stutter for a few frames but once it settled down, playback was fine.

    So this begs the question, when I was connected to HTPC1 as the Home Server, what in the World was MP2 doing that caused the performance issues? The problem I now have is that I have no TV service on HTPC2. HTPC1 is the machine that has TV tuners connected to it!
    Thanks for bringing your results here. I tag @henso, who might take some conclusions out of your explannation and maybe will come back with some specific questions to find out more.
     

    Lehmden

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    Hi.
    For me this sounds like an network issue. On HTPC1 the sever and client are on the same machine, so only one network access is needed to play media (the MP2 server accesses the media via SMB). On HTPC2 there are two network operations needed. First is the same as on HTPC1. The MP2 server on HTPC1 accesses the media via SMB and send it to the client. But for HTPC2 the media is not locally played but transported via Dokan over the network. Dokan is a virtual file system that can be used for any kind of "media", incl zip or iso files. So in this case you have two concurrent network operations, reading the media from SMB drive and sending the media via Dokan to the client. This has to be done at the same time. If your network isn't proper configured (e.g. no full duplex operation) there can be the bottleneck. Especially as you've encountered UPnP issues (MP2 is communicating via UPnP), I see this most likely as the reason...
     

    Man Pang

    Portal Pro
    May 25, 2015
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    45
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    Hi.
    For me this sounds like an network issue. On HTPC1 the sever and client are on the same machine, so only one network access is needed to play media (the MP2 server accesses the media via SMB). On HTPC2 there are two network operations needed. First is the same as on HTPC1. The MP2 server on HTPC1 accesses the media via SMB and send it to the client. But for HTPC2 the media is not locally played but transported via Dokan over the network. Dokan is a virtual file system that can be used for any kind of "media", incl zip or iso files. So in this case you have two concurrent network operations, reading the media from SMB drive and sending the media via Dokan to the client. This has to be done at the same time. If your network isn't proper configured (e.g. no full duplex operation) there can be the bottleneck. Especially as you've encountered UPnP issues (MP2 is communicating via UPnP), I see this most likely as the reason...

    Thank you for taking the time to digest the information provided and to give me a sensible answer! Given the evidence, it does appear to be a network issue, having ruled out many other factors. I will try various network configurations. If I find a solution, I will post here.
     

    Man Pang

    Portal Pro
    May 25, 2015
    74
    45
    Home Country
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Hi.
    For me this sounds like an network issue. On HTPC1 the sever and client are on the same machine, so only one network access is needed to play media (the MP2 server accesses the media via SMB). On HTPC2 there are two network operations needed. First is the same as on HTPC1. The MP2 server on HTPC1 accesses the media via SMB and send it to the client. But for HTPC2 the media is not locally played but transported via Dokan over the network. Dokan is a virtual file system that can be used for any kind of "media", incl zip or iso files. So in this case you have two concurrent network operations, reading the media from SMB drive and sending the media via Dokan to the client. This has to be done at the same time. If your network isn't proper configured (e.g. no full duplex operation) there can be the bottleneck. Especially as you've encountered UPnP issues (MP2 is communicating via UPnP), I see this most likely as the reason...

    I checked the home network and everything is fine. Speeds are good and full duplex is turned on. All the enrgy saving settings had been turned off. The issue still exists. I tried another network and still the same problem.

    One other thing I discovered is that when HTPC2 is using the HTPC1 as the Home Server, playback of HEVC encoded video not only stutters but captions and subtitles do not appear when selected. When using the localhost as the Home Server (and therefore, playback is not through Dokan), not only is HEVC encoded video is played smoothly but I can view the captions and subtitles. I repeated this using an HTPC3 (which is my laptop) and exactly the same issues were seen.
     

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