why are the requirements so high?!?! (1 Viewer)

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xenon2000

Guest
Was wondering, other than TV software recording, why in the world is MP's requirements so high?!?!

With good programming, there is no reason why image viewing, MP3, weather, simple 2D menu scrolling, and many other features, no reason they should take much processing. Even on a 500Mhz computer with XP, all those features work fast without using MP. So why does MP need 1.4Ghz, it runs insanely slow on a 500Mhz.

I already know the answer, it's the programming. So my question is: Is there any plans to improve the speed of MP? The core functions like Menu scrolling and animation, MP3s, slideshows, etc should be much faster and 500mhz is plenty for those types of functions.

MP is still great on my AMD 2000 HTPC, but I also want to use it on my 500Mhz digital picture frame.
 

samuel337

Portal Pro
August 25, 2004
772
0
Melbourne, Australia
Other than TV recording, some of the devs have done some performance profiling, and have determined that it is the directx interface that takes up most of the CPU.

Keep in mind that the interface is rendered much like a game is. Try scrolling through the starting menu in any modern game (e.g. AOE, AOM, HL, Halo etc) on your 500Mhz box - I don't think it will scroll very well ;-)

I don't think its fair to ask the MP devs to move away from the directx interface - after all, many, many months of work has been done to create the interface as it is today. The very nature of directx and the MP interface means that it is not possible to run it on a 500mhz box. Making it run on that would probably require a total interface re-design.

my 2 cents...

Sam
 

htpcman

Portal Member
September 12, 2004
35
0
Frankfurt, Germany
Hi,

I would still like to join in asking for speed optimization. I have said this before but I would like to make my poit(s) again:

A htpc is supposed to be installed in the living room and run for many hours each day which means:

1) Low Noise in order to be able to enjoy the audio from the HT system

2) Low Power consumption (Maybe not such a high requirement in the US but here in Europe energy is ridiculously expensive)

Both requirements can only be achieved by using Box with low GHz.


I have a Celeron 1300 which runs very quiet but I have experienced the high CPU load when MP just has the focus and sitting there doing nothing. Even on my P4 2.8 GHz system with also a Radeon 9600 MP sometimes stops scrolling the text in the music view when I scroll through the Albums while playing a song. The general feeling is that the CPU is barely keeping up with the tasks assigned to it.

Just for comparison the same PC only runs at 30~40% CPU load when playing a High definition video file outside MP.

This is the second reason why I would like to ask for speed optimization. Guys teh age of High definition is coming soon and those files need the CPU for decoding if we want to use MP to play HDef it has to become faster.

I think in terms of functionality MP is great it just lacks speed and in Some functions like FF and REW in DVD playback; stability

Please developers take this as constructive critisizm I know you have spent endless hours programming this nice App. But please don't limit the number of users by being too restrictive in the area of hardware requirements.

For the next Beta 0.2 These two things Stability and Speed are my two favorites.

cheers

htpcman
 

samuel337

Portal Pro
August 25, 2004
772
0
Melbourne, Australia
I have an expensive proposition - use a notebook CPU instead as they support speed stepping and are designed to produce less heat.

Fair enough though - I understand your argument. I think the 1Ghz mark is a nice goal - anything beneath that is... well you can't even get them new anymore...

Sam
 

Frodo

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  • April 22, 2004
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    Many people dont realize that playing video, dvd and watching TV
    isnt a easy job for a PC. Playing a DVD really requires a decent PC and VGA card. Besides that most htpc's i see are 1.5GHz or higher
    Offcourse we'll do performance tuning to get MP faster but that wont change our requirements.
    I think a 1.4GHz and a normal directx 8/9 VGA card isnt that high. Its currently the bottom of the pc's you can buy!
    And.. take a look at Windows Media center 2005! did you see its requirements? well it has higher requirements than MP does, and this is not because microsoft did some sloppy coding. They too do realize that playing dvd,video,tv etc requires a decent pc

    And keep in mind. If you're connecting mediaportal to a normal (widescreen) NTSC/PAL television then all you need is 800x600
    I see most ppl running 1024x768 which is ridicoulous.
    Why? the tv can only display 768x576 for PAL and even less for NTSC
    so if you're running at 1024x768 then the video chip will scale down everything to 768x576 anyway!
    The higher the resolution, the more cpu% is needed. So keep that in mind


    frodo
     

    lar282

    Portal Pro
    July 11, 2004
    414
    2
    xenon2000 said:
    Was wondering, other than TV software recording, why in the world is MP's requirements so high?!?!

    With good programming, there is no reason why image viewing, MP3, weather, simple 2D menu scrolling, and many other features, no reason they should take much processing. Even on a 500Mhz computer with XP, all those features work fast without using MP. So why does MP need 1.4Ghz, it runs insanely slow on a 500Mhz.

    I already know the answer, it's the programming. So my question is: Is there any plans to improve the speed of MP? The core functions like Menu scrolling and animation, MP3s, slideshows, etc should be much faster and 500mhz is plenty for those types of functions.

    MP is still great on my AMD 2000 HTPC, but I also want to use it on my 500Mhz digital picture frame.

    MP:s req isn't that high. Have u looked at MCE2005:s req_s?


    //Lasse
     
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    xenon2000

    Guest
    frodo said:
    Many people dont realize that playing video, dvd and watching TV
    isnt a easy job for a PC. Playing a DVD really requires a decent PC and VGA card. Besides that most htpc's i see are 1.5GHz or higher
    Offcourse we'll do performance tuning to get MP faster but that wont change our requirements.
    I think a 1.4GHz and a normal directx 8/9 VGA card isnt that high. Its currently the bottom of the pc's you can buy!
    And.. take a look at Windows Media center 2005! did you see its requirements? well it has higher requirements than MP does, and this is not because microsoft did some sloppy coding. They too do realize that playing dvd,video,tv etc requires a decent pc

    And keep in mind. If you're connecting mediaportal to a normal (widescreen) NTSC/PAL television then all you need is 800x600
    I see most ppl running 1024x768 which is ridicoulous.
    Why? the tv can only display 768x576 for PAL and even less for NTSC
    so if you're running at 1024x768 then the video chip will scale down everything to 768x576 anyway!
    The higher the resolution, the more cpu% is needed. So keep that in mind

    frodo

    In regards to this quote and other comments made. I have played Direct X games in 3D that work just fine at 1024x768 on a 500mhz. There is a huge difference between 2d and 3D directx functions and CPU load.

    And as for the power to render things at scale on a 1024x768 display. I am using a 500Mhz laptop with 192Megs ram with Windows XP Pro SP2 with Direct X 9.0c with antivirus running in the background, and I can play HTDV resolution Divx and Xvid encoded video files with no problems or slow down. MP3s, picture viewing, etc... everything works great at the Windows OS level. And even games like Age of Empires 2 run great.

    There is no reason why a 2D directX rendered menu system can't be fast and responsive on a 500Mhz cpu running Windows XP. I have seen it done, so I know it can happen. I am not talking about software Video or Audio encoding of TV shows or music, etc.... I am talking about simple 2D menu and navigation. Picture loading with non-3D transitions, MP3 background playback while navigating menu or while running a slideshow... all those things run very fast and well on my 500Mhz XP picture frame using just windows, but as soon as I run MP, it's insanely slow to do anything.

    And arguing that most HTPC users have a 1.4Ghz or faster, is a poor way to discuss the issue of MP's resources. I just finished looking at about 12+ different Media "all-in-one" solutions, many PVR solutions, and many of them only require 450-800Mhz cpus. Very few of them required 1+ Ghz except to do software encoding in realtime, which is acceptable.

    Of course many solutions cost money and so they obviously have to optimize thier solutions to reach more costomers. But it's an interesting benchmark to look at.

    My main HTPC is an AMD 2000 with a Hauppauge PVR-150 which has hardware encoding MPEG2, so it is plenty fast for MP.

    But hard to justify buying a brandnew laptop to take apart and make a frame out of it just to do simple video, music and image playback only. Especially when a resource hog like XP runs these features plenty fast on 500mhz. I am just saying that it is obvious and undeniable that MP uses much more CPU power than most apps of it's kind.

    I am not complaining about the portions that are handled basically outside of MP, like what WMP 10 does, etc. I am only asking whether or not there are any plans to optimize the 2D rendering of the menu etc...

    The core of MP such as the menu and navigation, icon and thumbnail display, etc. Should not take much power at all. MP is obviously not optimised and I understand that it is a difficult task and that is way many applications are not free since they require more manpower to make it optimized.

    MP is great and the hard work is appriciated. But it's not perfect and the speed of the core can definately be improved and I am only curious if there are any future plans in improve on that.

    Even with my AMD 2000, I don't want 30% of my CPU going to just running MP while it's doing nothing. Thanks for all the comments so far.
     

    Scope

    Portal Member
    November 29, 2004
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    Keep in mind that the skin-interface comes from Xbox MediaCenter. Dont blame developers of MediaPortal for the slow interface.

    Edit: Twisted that one around a bit :)
     
    X

    xenon2000

    Guest
    Scope said:
    Keep in mind that the skin-interface comes from Xbox MediaPortal. Dont blame developers of MediaCenter for the slow interface.

    I don't remember anyone blaming anyone for the CPU hogging. I and several others just feel that it should be something to look into as MP progresses.

    MP is still an awesome project and on my higher powered PCs, it's a great addition. But even though it's an open source and free project, I think that the whole point of having a forum and open discussion in the Development section is to get feedback and make improvements. And one obvious improvement would be to find out how to optimize the code to run faster. I don't know how the project is setup, but it seems it would be easier to optimize the code now than later.

    And this thread was never meant to be an attack on MP or it's programmers, but to pointout another place that MP can be improved on as it progresses.

    And as for the comments about MCE 2005, I can't find the system requirements on the Microsoft website. Probably because it's not sold alone. But MCE is also a completely different beast compared to all the media apps that run in XP. Though I am still interested in what the specs are and how to get it for a custom box.
     

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