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Thread: Curious about video accelartion

  1. #1
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    Default Curious about video accelartion

    Just wondering why it appears so many are complaining about lack of video accelaration? I have 2 systems here one has an Invidia GTX 560 running the closed src driver, the other has a 5870, the both systems are running Debian stable the later using the default Open Src driver. Both play HD 1920x1080 videos with no problems. Both take around the same CPU power that being around 30 to 45 % of a single CPU, 4 CPU's being present, the decoding process only taking aproc 10% of the totla power avaible.
    A staff member of one of the local computor shops here that has been in business with the same staff for nearly 20 years now said recently they are getting around 6 people a day, this in a country area total population 50,000 or so, asking for the fastest system possible JUST to play videos. Where did people get the idea that playing videos requires SO much steam.
    Last edited by Blacksmith; 06-13-2012 at 04:16 PM.

  2. #2
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    For debian stable you should try my fglrx script for your ati card. And for your nvidia card well maybe backport a new driver yourself or use the nvidia-installer. In case of fglrx you can then use xbmc xvba with xbmc fernet menta (i have got a script for that as well), for nvidia you can use mplayer or xbmc. vlc is possible for both via wrappers but it takes too much cpu load just for output. xvba does not support h264 l5.1 however.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacksmith View Post
    Just wondering why it appears so many are complaining about lack of video accelaration? I have 2 systems here one has an Invidia GTX 560 running the closed src driver, the other has a 5870, the both systems are running Debian stable the later using the default Open Src driver. Both play HD 1920x1080 videos with no problems. Both take around the same CPU power that being around 30 to 45 % of a single CPU, 4 CPU's being present, the decoding process only taking aproc 10% of the totla power avaible.
    A staff member of one of the local computor shops here that has been in business with the same staff for nearly 20 years now said recently they are getting around 6 people a day, this in a country area total population 50,000 or so, asking for the fastest system possible JUST to play videos. Where did people get the idea that playing videos requires SO much steam.
    It depends what you are decoding and rendering. H.264 can be rather CPU intensive. Also, deinterlacing and other post processing can hammer a system without appropriate hardware.

    I was using a R600 ATI card in my HTPC until about eight months ago. I was showing significant artifacts, not only with HD H.264, but with MPEG2 1080i trying to deinterlace and render video. Utilization on one core was hitting 100%. About eight months ago I lost patience with the ATI card and ditched it for a cheap NVIDIA GT520. Using the binary blob and VDPAU my CPU utilization dropped to about 5% while rendering 1080i. I really appreciate AMD's effort supporting the open source driver stack for Linux, but the lackluster driver support for GPU offload (e.g., VDPAU) is a show stopper. I use what works. Even cheap NVIDIA cards with VDPAU support provide excellent results when decoding and rendering.
    http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/VDPAU

    One does not need a fast system if you have a decent video card and driver.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacksmith View Post
    Just wondering why it appears so many are complaining about lack of video accelaration? I have 2 systems here one has an Invidia GTX 560 running the closed src driver, the other has a 5870, the both systems are running Debian stable the later using the default Open Src driver. Both play HD 1920x1080 videos with no problems. Both take around the same CPU power that being around 30 to 45 % of a single CPU, 4 CPU's being present, the decoding process only taking aproc 10% of the totla power avaible.
    A staff member of one of the local computor shops here that has been in business with the same staff for nearly 20 years now said recently they are getting around 6 people a day, this in a country area total population 50,000 or so, asking for the fastest system possible JUST to play videos. Where did people get the idea that playing videos requires SO much steam.
    Ok, so what encoding is that? Mpeg2? So you're sucking 30-45% of a single core to play back mpeg2, that means more than a whole core to play back h264 at the same resolution.
    Of course we have the *power* to decode videos, but you know what happens when you're running your CPU at full power?

    HEAT.

    One of the characteristics of a good HTPC is SILENCE. You don't want to be distracted by the sound of a vacuum cleaner on crack when you're trying to enjoy a movie.
    As a result, what you're really looking for is virtually ZERO CPU usage = no heat = silence.

    And if your nvidia system is running that much CPU for that, it is NOT using VDPAU. Either that, or it is a far far weaker processor.

  5. #5
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    Some more detail, I have tried this on three systems, Mplayer reports the following "Selected video codec: [ffh264] vfm: ffmpeg (FFmpeg H.264)". the video displays as 1920x1080. The details of the systems are....

    The first rwo are both ASUS P6X58D premium's one with and I940 the other an I960, both of these are running at around 30 to 45% CPU load, the third systems is an Gigabyte P35 DS03 with a Q8400 running at 2.66 ghz, when playing the video this takes two processors one running at around 85% the second running at 25%, so I would assume anything slower than this would have problems . All systems are configured the same.running Debian Stable using the FVWM window manager. As a live in an isolated area that gets hot in summer I have taken GREAT care in making the systems run cool without much noise, all cases being selected with great care I may say not very cheaply either but good cooling in a hot climate is critical.

    A point to mention here if your system is having trouble keeping cool when only
    one out of four cpus are loaded you in big trouble.

    The drivers are not an issue with me as the systems work OK as far as I am concerned, and IF ITS NOT BROKEN DO NOT FIX IT.

    Note, I spent 30 years as a complex systems technician, this exprience has left me with a profound distaste to touching anything thats working OK, this will only bring you trouble.

    The 3D development work is currently done on the Invidia system, almost all other work is done on the other systems.

    PS,to make a point clear the two ASUS systems the CPU load is 30 to 45 % of a single CPU, ie only 10% of the toatal CPU's processing power.
    Last edited by Blacksmith; 06-15-2012 at 05:03 PM.

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    Is there a reason why you use one player that only supports vdpau? I could not get a newer mplayer with vaapi to compile only a very old one. And even if you want to use vdpau for your nv card use that .mplayer/config:
    Code:
    vo=vdpau
    vc=ffh264vdpau,ffmpeg12vdpau,ffvc1vdpau,ffwmv3vdpau,
    In theory you should not even need to force vo=vdpau - this is the default now. You need the "," at the end of the vc line.

  7. #7
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    Not really, everything works OK when playing videos even right back into the early days, so there has never been any reason to change anything.
    One rarely does anything else when watching a video so high CPU usage never bothered me by itself, even then I have never had a system go over 50% total cpu usage even back in the days when DVD's first came out. A I said previously all my systems for many years now have had cooling that was well above average and I have never had major fan noise problems.

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    Let us just put this into perspective.
    My HTPC is running a single-core AMD Sempron 140, IGP Radeon 4200 on OSS driver, and a crystalHD 970015 decoder.
    While playing back a 1080P video in H.264 (i.e., typical downloaded BDRIP), CPU load is around 5%.

    Now, I built the thing for about $150 a couple of years ago. My CPU cooler is PASSIVE. The only noise makers in the system are the HDD and the power supply fan.
    I'm thinking of eliminating the HDD and swapping in just a simple USB flash disk since I'm finding that I don't actually use the HDD much -- media is across the network. That will bring me down to just the one fan, and reduce the power consumption and heat output considerably, so I should be able to turn down the power supply fan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacksmith View Post
    Not really, everything works OK when playing videos even right back into the early days, so there has never been any reason to change anything.
    One rarely does anything else when watching a video so high CPU usage never bothered me by itself, even then I have never had a system go over 50% total cpu usage even back in the days when DVD's first came out. A I said previously all my systems for many years now have had cooling that was well above average and I have never had major fan noise problems.
    I use a SFF system by Dell for htpc. If the cpu usage goes over 15% the fans spin up. So working video acceleration is essential.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by droidhacker View Post
    Let us just put this into perspective.
    My HTPC is running a single-core AMD Sempron 140, IGP Radeon 4200 on OSS driver, and a crystalHD 970015 decoder.
    While playing back a 1080P video in H.264 (i.e., typical downloaded BDRIP), CPU load is around 5%.

    Now, I built the thing for about $150 a couple of years ago. My CPU cooler is PASSIVE. The only noise makers in the system are the HDD and the power supply fan.
    I'm thinking of eliminating the HDD and swapping in just a simple USB flash disk since I'm finding that I don't actually use the HDD much -- media is across the network. That will bring me down to just the one fan, and reduce the power consumption and heat output considerably, so I should be able to turn down the power supply fan.
    you should probably look at replacing that large noisy (and power sucking making excess heat) PSU and get PicoPSU http://www.mini-box.com/DC-DC
    big enough to power the kit instead plus any old silent 12v laptop PSU to run power to it.

    oh and a laptop HD with external aluminium usb case put inside makes for a super quiet system if you do find a reason to keep a local HD around rather than boot a simple microSD or USB memory stick .

    it would seem that even though blacksmith spent 30 years as a complex systems technician hes still ONLY using inefficient power and CPU cycle sucking "software decoding" only instead of lower power "hardware decoding" like everyone else here wants to use hence his original curiosity question and main reason AMD have got away with zero UVD in house Linux support for so long
    Last edited by popper; 06-29-2012 at 08:09 PM.

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