Okay, so I did some random tests using some Fate Zero 720p between 2 group's releases. One was 10-bit and the other 8-bit. (Eps 4)
(Zotac ZBOX AD10 AMD E-350 Fusion, 2GB RAM, OpenElec 2.0 beta 4)
- CPU Usage: ~30%/core
- Everything plays smoothly.
- CPU Usage: ~60%/core
- Things play mostly smoothly except:
- It stutters somewhat while panning/zooming.
- It skips frames during "high action" scenes
The 10-bit woahs are noticeable although subtle. Some people may be able to live w/ that though if they have more problems w/ colours being completely off.
I haven't got any 10-bit and 8-bit 1080p Anime sources at the moment so I haven't tested that.
I think the CPU readings may be deceptive in the 10-bit case because 1) it seems to "average" the CPU readings over a short period and 2) I believe XBMC is built using ffmpeg-mt (or maybe it was after that got merged to trunk, not sure...)
Also, as far as I've been able to determine, the thing to note is that 10-bit decoding mostly happens in software currently -- which is why you need hefty CPUs.
Out of curiosity, I wanted to know if 10-bit decoding was possible at the hardware level (sorry, I don't know much about the decoding pipeline right now).http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=164684
(Talks about IONs, but nothing definitive...)http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=106051&page=2
I'm not sure if that means that current hardware will ever get 10-bit decoding unfortunately.So the verdict?
It's not a perfect solution. If you can afford more powerful CPUs, then you can have a perfect solution -- except maybe it'll cost you another $100 over this solution (so now you're at 7x the cost of a SoC solution).
So for now, if colour pisses you off in 10bit encodes (or that it just doesn't play), you can pick up an ION or FUSION APU box and put OpenElec (or something like that) on there at a premium. Eventually low-end CPUs will have enough grunt for the work, so at that point it will be a moot issue.
I don't know if that helps anyone.