Troubles with High Definition playback with Nvidia Codec (1 Viewer)

htpcoz

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July 25, 2005
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Area: My TV
MP Version: CVS build 13/12/2005 (but has done it since I can remember)
Skin: BlueTwo
Windows Version: Windows XP SP2, .NET 2.0
CPU Type: Intel P4 2.8Ghz
Memory: 512MB, DualChannel
Motherboard Chipset: ? (Intel 865)
Video Card: Radeon X700
Video Card Driver: Catalyst 5.12
Video Card Resolution: 1920x1080i
Video Render Type: VMR9
Video Codec Type & Version: Nvidia
Audio Codec Type & Version: Nvidia
TV Card: DNTV
TV Card: Haup 150MCE
Optional Log: N/A
Optional References:N/A



Synopsis:

Is anyone successful at HD playback using Nvidia codecs?

I've been interested in viewing HD channels for some time now, and while most other things I find are exceptionally stable, one thing I've not been able to get going successfully is HD (1080i or 576p) playback.

What I find is that when attempting to use my Nvidia codec on HD channels, the playback is not smooth, it is very jumpy.

The display statistics are not showing any dropped frames, but the playback shows continuous jerkyness. At this time CPU is showing around 30-40% (on a HT processor so that is realistically closer to 70 percent or more), but it is certainly not maxing out on CPU.

The Nvidia codec is flawless on SD channels, with CPU around 15%

If I move to another codec (eg the DNTV Live codec that comes bundled with the card's software) then the playback of HD channels is fine, although there are other issues with the zoom not being set correctly between my digital and analog cards (probably an issue with the codec being specifically developed for the digital playback).

The Nvidia seems to me to be generally the best in terms of quality, but does appear to have issues with the HD material. Is anyone successfully playing HD material through the Nvidia codec.

I know there are a few settings that can be applied on the property page of the Nvidia codec, and I'm wondering if one of my settings is imposing too high a load on the codec for the greater bandwidth HD material.

Any thoughts?
 

knutinh

Portal Pro
September 4, 2005
558
2
Use of NVidia codecs are discussed here:

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/

What version do you have of:
mediaplayer
mediaportal
nvidia codec
nvidia drivers

What nvidia card do you use?

Check the "yellow nvidia eye" in the taskbar to see if hardware acceleration is enabled.

regards
Knut Inge
 

Commodore 64

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    Your rig isn't up to the task, especially if you are using VMR 9. I couldn't get VMR 9 to run smoothly with a 9700pro or nV6200. You need a 6600GT or 7800 series card to get smooth HD playback with the nV codecs and VMR 9.

    Once you get it though, it is fantastic.

    I went through r8500-->r9600pro-->r9700pro-->nV6200-->6600gt before I got it to run in VMR 9 smoothly.
     

    htpcoz

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    July 25, 2005
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    Thanks for the replies...

    The interesting thing with this is, the problem is specific to the Nvidia Codec, the DNTV live codec I have doesn't have the stuttering issue (although it has other issues with inconsistent handling of the aspect ratio).

    Also, the interesting point is that the CPU when playing HD channels with the Nvidia codec stays around 30-40%, so I'm never maxing out the CPU.

    If I have a look at the Nvidia codec properties, it shows all the various codec properties as hardware, not software.

    I am running 0.20RC1 with the latest CVS patches (although the problem has been the same since back at 0.1.3)

    I am running the Nvidia PureVideo decoder version 1.02.185 (latest).

    I do not have an Nvidia video card, it is a Radeon X700, but looking at the Nvidia codec properties I can see that there is no software decoding being performed. But perhaps that is a part of the problem, perhaps the GPU just doesn't have enough grunt to do all the Nvidia processing (although I would have thought that the X700 should have enough, decoding HD material isn't entirely rocket science :) ).

    Commodore 64, did you find that you had your main CPU maxing out when you had the smothness issues? I'm avoiding the Nvidia hardware at the moment, as I had an Nvidia 6200 card before my Radeon (which replaced a Radeon 9200), and I had no end of stability and performance issues, I'd have to say it was the worst card I've ever owned.

    knutinh, Interesting thing is that I cannot get the nvidia toolbar icon to display when MP is using the Nvidia Codec. If I use a DVD player program, then the icon displays, and I can access the codec settings. With MP the icon doesn't display and I can only access the settings through graphedit (very painful). I'll check the other forum you provided to see what I can find, thanks for the pointer.
     

    SiLenTYL

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    if u cannot see the nvida toolbar icon, then the nvidia codecs are not active..use graphedit to check whether or not its is really being used when u use MP

    if it definitely not being used by MP, even when the MP settings say so...then use radlight filter manager to change the merit of your nvidia video decoder to a higher setting....so that it is chosen in preference to other codecs(whatever is currently used)

    also...regarding the 6200....i was interested in getting one ..specifically for MP on my HTPC....u say its no good, huh? i looked around for cards with advanced de-interlacing and found the 6600GT is the lowest card with "advanced spacial temporal de-interlacing" ...which is nvidia's most recent deinterlacing solution ...which sucks for me..as i just recently got a 6600 (non GT) ..DOH!
     

    htpcoz

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    That is the really strange thing, I've never been able to see the nvidia icon when MP is using the nvidia codec. But if I fire up graphedit and connect to the remote graph, it is definitely using the nvidia codec, and shows the bitrate graph moving, and changes to the settings result in changes to the video/audio behaviour. Very strange.

    I came across a listing of the various "hack" registry entries for the nvidia codec at some point (I think there might actually be a posting here somewhere) that showed a key that controlled the display of the icon, but I cannot track it down for the moment.

    at the moment, HD is the only thing that I'm really missing out on, as MP sotherwise is pretty well fully featured, and even in the CVS build quite stable. I don't think that MP is to blame as the problem appears to be specifically related to the nvidia codec.

    As for the card, I had major issues with it. One of the reasons I bought the card was that it supported HDTV output via a component cable. That was useless in Australia, as the sync rates supported for the 1080i that I wanted to use only supported 30Hz not 25. All the playing around with the settings there, and with powerstrip were fruitless, and actually caused the driver to bluescreen and intermittently lock up, very frustrating. I also found that when I enabled the various pure video features with the nvidia decoder, I would get intermittent lockups.

    The old Radeon card I had and the new X700 I now have, have NEVER ONCE given me the lockup issues that the Nvidia gave me. HDTV output (with the assistance of powerstrip) has always been perfect.

    YMMV, but I will never buy an Nvidia product again, perhaps it was my system, but it's instability was extremely annoying.

    Perhaps this is the reason I cannot get HD playback to work for the nvidia codec, ie it requires the "specicial" hardware accel only provided by Nvidia hardware. That said, the Radeon doco (marketing blurb anyhow) talk about hardware accel HD decoding, but without a matching ATI software product it is hard to know if you are getting the most out of what you have in the hardware.
     

    htpcoz

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    July 25, 2005
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    After a little more investigation I've found that if I disable hardware acceleration in the Nvidia codec properties, then my HD smooths out perfectly, although I start to see some tearing, which is related to the CPU usage getting a little too high I'd say.

    So from my testing it appears that the Nvidia codec just doesn't work properly with HD material when used on the ATI hardware (I suppose not entirely surprising :)

    I'm trying to track down some other codecs that may do the job better.

    I've seen discussion on some other forums about the ATI MPEG decoder. My thinking is that perhaps the ATI decoder better supports the ATI hardware. Has anyone used the ATI decoder? If so what is your opinion on it's performance?
     

    s3070416

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    December 8, 2005
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    For the record, I have a Radeon 9600XT with an AMD 2600+ CPU and have also noticed subtle frame dropping when viewing HD with the Purevideo codec running with hardware acceleration enabled.

    My assumption was that the GPU just can't handle the load of processing the HD (rather than being anything ATI specific). If so, the question is which video cards can handle the load?

    Cheers
     

    mzemina

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    htpcoz said:
    After a little more investigation I've found that if I disable hardware acceleration in the Nvidia codec properties, then my HD smooths out perfectly, although I start to see some tearing, which is related to the CPU usage getting a little too high I'd say.

    So from my testing it appears that the Nvidia codec just doesn't work properly with HD material when used on the ATI hardware (I suppose not entirely surprising :)

    I'm trying to track down some other codecs that may do the job better.

    I've seen discussion on some other forums about the ATI MPEG decoder. My thinking is that perhaps the ATI decoder better supports the ATI hardware. Has anyone used the ATI decoder? If so what is your opinion on it's performance?

    I'm going to give a post from someone that wasn't liked very well, but I thought the info he gave regarding GPU encoding was very interesting. If open source developers could just get their hands (maybe I should say if HW vendors would just open up source code to their cads then maybe some fantastic work would be seen) on the SDK of the latest and greatest graphics cards and what the GPU is suppose to be able to handle (besides giving a great display in today's world).

    That all said to give this post. The thing I thought was interesting was the link he gave in his post. I think it is great when hardware can be manipulated by s/w developers!

    What had me thinking back on his post was the ref to ATI decoder. The article which was supplied is ref an encoder but to encode takes more CPU than to decode. I was thinking it would be totally cool when these GPU chips can use s/w algorithms to enhance and filter the video streams!

    Mike
     

    htpcoz

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    It seems that any codec that uses hardware accel exhibits the same issues for me. I have also tried the latest Cyberlink, codec (supposedly ATI friendly) and it is a no-go either, also exhibits the same jumpy video.

    It appears to me like the problem may be related to the hardware deinterlaace, as I can watch channel 7 HD (which is only 576P rther than 1080i) without a problem. However any of the interlace channels are jumpy whenever hardware accel is used (this may also be related to the greater bandwidth).

    So long as the codec doesn't use hardware accel HD is fine (eg. Dscaler codec is near perfect, although is much more sensitive to stream errors).

    It looks to me like the old X700 is a bit of a dud for HD decoding (which is strange given the marketing blurb talks about "HD Videoshader"), but hey I guess HD is just another marketing lie :)

    I'll keep an eye out for any other improvements, but for the moment I think I'm stuck with a (relatively expensive) version of my old Radeon 9200 :(
     

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