Hardware accelerate 1080p h264 .mkv file? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-06-2008, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I am trying to avoid having to do an extensive upgrade to an old system that I am converting into a HTPC. The system specs follow:

ECS nForce3-A 250 (Socket 754)
Athlon 64 3400+ (no OC)
1.5 GB DDR 400
ATI Radeon 9250 AGP
+other mandatory parts

My goal is to make this box plays 1080p h264 HD .mkv files, which it can not handle due to the CPU being underpowered. There seems to be no software currently that can decode a 1080p h264 .mkv file with hardware acceleration, which would be a Radeon HD 3650. This is within my budget and not too power hungry. It is HDCP ready for BD and HD-DVD play back.

Problem is that there is no guarantee that I can use the Radeon HD 3650 for hardware acceleration of 1080p h264 HD .mkv files. From two days of reading, it seems that the best bet is MPC-HC + CoreAVC for hardware acceleration of HD .mkv files. But this is not a sure thing.

So, my choices:

1. Buy a Sapphire Radeon HD 3650 AGP for $80 and see if I can get it to work.
2. Upgrade the Mobo + CPU + RAM to software accelerate 1080p h264 HD .mkv files. This would be in the form of M3A78-EM + Athlon 64 X2 6000+.

I want to keep this old system and just add the video card, but I don't see how it will play said .mkv files.

Any thought?

Thanks for your time.
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-06-2008, 05:10 AM
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If you encode your H.264 video correctly (using a Xbox/PS3/DXVA profile) then hardware accelleration/decoding will work just fine.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-06-2008, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

If you encode your H.264 video correctly (using a Xbox/PS3/DXVA profile) then hardware accelleration/decoding will work just fine.

This is an excellent and very respectable idea, but I've found that despite the best intentions of NV/ATI/Microsoft in creating HW accel & an API to use them, there's still a ton of content out there that is non-compliant (not to mention using DXVA limits your playback software choices).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelik View Post

I am trying to avoid having to do an extensive upgrade to an old system that I am converting into a HTPC. The system specs follow:

ECS nForce3-A 250 (Socket 754)
Athlon 64 3400+ (no OC)
1.5 GB DDR 400
ATI Radeon 9250 AGP
+other mandatory parts

My goal is to make this box plays 1080p h264 HD .mkv files, which it can not handle due to the CPU being underpowered. There seems to be no software currently that can decode a 1080p h264 .mkv file with hardware acceleration, which would be a Radeon HD 3650. This is within my budget and not too power hungry. It is HDCP ready for BD and HD-DVD play back.

Problem is that there is no guarantee that I can use the Radeon HD 3650 for hardware acceleration of 1080p h264 HD .mkv files. From two days of reading, it seems that the best bet is MPC-HC + CoreAVC for hardware acceleration of HD .mkv files. But this is not a sure thing.

So, my choices:

1. Buy a Sapphire Radeon HD 3650 AGP for $80 and see if I can get it to work.
2. Upgrade the Mobo + CPU + RAM to software accelerate 1080p h264 HD .mkv files. This would be in the form of M3A78-EM + Athlon 64 X2 6000+.

I want to keep this old system and just add the video card, but I don't see how it will play said .mkv files.

Any thought?

Thanks for your time.

Leading from my above comment, I would say #2. Unfortunately, I think all you could recycle would be case + PSU, but an upgrade to a cheap AM2+ would be enough to software decode even the dumbest encoded file (16 r-frames). You could probably even sell off some of your old parts to drive the cost down further.

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post #4 of 8 Old 11-06-2008, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movax View Post

This is an excellent and very respectable idea, but I've found that despite the best intentions of NV/ATI/Microsoft in creating HW accel & an API to use them, there's still a ton of content out there that is non-compliant (not to mention using DXVA limits your playback software choices).

Content from where? When I do (rarely) transcode to H.264, I always use a console/DXVA profile and they're all work fine with DXVA. Blu-ray, HD DVD, Quicktime, HD PVR recordings, DVB (to the best of my knowledge), all are "DXVA-compatible" H.264.

About the only way to get non-DXVA-compatible H.264 is to encode it with something like x264 with a non-compliant profile.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-06-2008, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Content from where? When I do (rarely) transcode to H.264, I always use a console/DXVA profile and they're all work fine with DXVA. Blu-ray, HD DVD, Quicktime, HD PVR recordings, DVB (to the best of my knowledge), all are "DXVA-compatible" H.264.

About the only way to get non-DXVA-compatible H.264 is to encode it with something like x264 with a non-compliant profile.

Oh, I know compliant profiles will work just fine - it's files from amateurs or those that don't know any better (or very silly "scene" groups) that break it. In a perfect world everyone would be able to use the tools at their disposal properly, and x264 is easily used improperly

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post #6 of 8 Old 11-06-2008, 02:20 PM
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But it's not that hard to learn how to use x264 properly (seems like most GUIs have DXVA-friendly profiles these days), so you can always fix your screw-ups, since you've got the original content, you can just re-encode it with a correct profile.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-07-2008, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
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To answer my own question and for future reference for those in similar situation as myself, it is possible to have HA for mkv file with the proper software. It can be done with K-Lite codec pack and MPC-HC.

Refer to this thread.
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-07-2008, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelik View Post

To answer my own question and for future reference for those in similar situation as myself, it is possible to have HA for mkv file with the proper software. It can be done with K-Lite codec pack and MPC-HC.

Refer to this thread.

You don't need k-lite at all, just download what you need: ie MPC-HC (sourceforge). If you want to use another player, haali also.

Codec packs = screwup waiting to happen.
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