Recommended way to convert VC1 to H264? - AVS Forum
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I have several HDDVD rips (and a few BD) that are VC1. Those won't play well on my HTPCs (Raspberry Pi and Acer Revo 1600) running XBMC.

I'm using MakeMkv to do the initial rip, which so far has worked very well.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I know it's not possible to do a 1:1 conversion, but as close to that as possible would be ideal.

Thanks!

loving my completed home theater. :)
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:38 PM
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Before you go through the trouble to transcode the videos, I have to ask:

Have you purchased the VC-1 hardware codec from Raspberry Pi and it's still poor?

What OS are you using for both? (I know OpenELEC just had a major update for the Pi)

That said, Handbrake (free & open source) works great for transcoding.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I have purchased the codec. Without it, it won't even play.

I'm using the linux distro of XBMC on the Revo, and Raspbmc on the Pi.

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Old 09-19-2013, 01:55 PM
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I have an Atom/Ion HTPC with same hardware as Revo1600 and I have not run into any problems with VC-1 Blurays. I use OpenElec

Have you got dual-channel ram installed and 512MB allocated to the GPU?
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elario View Post

I have an Atom/Ion HTPC with same hardware as Revo1600 and I have not run into any problems with VC-1 Blurays. I use OpenElec
This.

I don't have a Pi (or a Revo---I use an Intel NUC) but the Pi owners are raving about the performance improvement with the latest version of OpenELEC on its forum. Since OpenELEC can boot off of a fast USB drive it seems like it'd make sense to try it and keep the VC1 videos in their native format on both units before resorting to transcoding everything. If it doesn't work, the only thing lost is a few minutes of time and one can still transcode the videos.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:21 AM
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last I heard MakeMKV does not rip HD-DVD's properly, cant recall the exact problem but some sort of pulldown issue that causes stuttering playback.

It's best done manually and if that does not work then try Openelec (though I'd be surprised if thats any different).

If it's still bad after that use Handbrake or BDtoAVCHD which is what I prefer, click open video file and point at mkv
then set
target media = mkv crf
crf = 18
target audio = untouched
click add to queue and start when it asks select full recode.

That should give you a high quality H.264/mkv video with original audio, you can push the quality even higher if you want to mess with the speed vs quality setting putting it on a slower mode but conversion will take longer.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I will try OpenElec.

Is it necessary to boot off of a USB? Is there one that's recommended? I have a very fast SD card in there, in the Pi.

Also, in XBMC on the Revo, I don't think I can allocate the Ram to the GPU (at least I don't see where). I did upgrade it, and I believe it's dual channel.

If that fails, I will try ripping with another program.

Thanks!

loving my completed home theater. :)
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie97L View Post


Is it necessary to boot off of a USB?
Nope, and it might not even be an option for the Pi. (The Pi, not surprisingly, has a totally different install procedure.) The USB boot is simply handy because 1) it's inexpensive and 2) allows one to easily play with it before installing it permanently.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie97L View Post

Also, in XBMC on the Revo, I don't think I can allocate the Ram to the GPU (at least I don't see where). I did upgrade it, and I believe it's dual channel.
Settings for GPU memory are done within BIOS and not XBMC.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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OK!

i set UMA frame buffer to 512 in the bios.

i also installed openelec. seems much snappier off the bat.

this fixed about half of my 9 hddvd rips and some of the blurays. I guess I will attempt to do it manually via that guide and see if I get any better results there.

Thanks!

I will update the thread when I can install the Pi later today.

loving my completed home theater. :)
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Should my VC1 blurays be stuttering

Also, I'm running this off of a Synology NAS over the network, not locally. Could there be issues there to troubleshoot?

Thank you guys so much!

loving my completed home theater. :)
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright, another update. OpenELEC is hanging on the REVO for no apparent reason, usually after I input a command.

Non-responsive.

I chose the 32 bit installer, and while I was installing it said it was a beta. Is that true? The file is from 2011, so I figured it was a stable build.

Any tips? I'm just in the Confluence skin, it's happened all over the interface. I tried a re-install as well, same problem.

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Old 09-24-2013, 03:45 AM
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Where you using XBMCBuntu provided by XBMC team before Openelec, if no then give that a try it might be more stable. You could try asking over on Openelec forums for help specific to it but I've found Openelec to be very unhelpful and they have a reputation for that.

Another alternative to Openelec is the little known GeeXbox.

Lastly try enabling NFS shares on the Synology though Synology NFS can be a picky beast to get working
1) Go into DSM control panel Win/Mac/NFS and enable NFS service.
2) Go to shared folder NFS privileges and set
Hostname or IP = *
Privilege = read/write
Root Squash = no mapping
Enable asynchronous
Enable allow connections from non-priviledged hosts

You must have latest DSM to have some of those options for NFS.

Then try accessing via NFS shares on XBMC, if NFS works that should help with buffering (unless of course the problem is the source video).
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I was.

Can I run 64 bit openelec on the revo?

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Old 09-24-2013, 06:19 AM
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If it's the original Revo with Intel Atom 230 CPU then that does support 64-bit.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Cool that's likely the issue. I will switch to that.

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Old 09-24-2013, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie97L View Post

Cool that's likely the issue. I will switch to that.
FWIW, start with the ION build version 3.2 (64 bit) as that was just released and is the most current non-beta version.

Ditto for the Pi---use 3.2.

http://openelec.tv/get-openelec/download
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok. I just loaded that up.

The VC1 blurays are playing a bit better. Still some issues with some of the Harry Potter ones.

The VC1 HDDVDs are a total slideshow, which means I guess they were badly ripped.

Should I re-rip the VC1 blurays as well? H264 blurays are much better, but still some mild stuttering.

Are there any video settings I should change?

I have render = auto
vdpau enabled
and everything else off

or audio setttings? i have it running straight into my TV, but i know dts decoding can be a bitch. i'm not sure how to set it to pass the signal and let my tv deal.

Thanks!

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Old 09-24-2013, 09:27 AM
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Try from the NFS shares if you haven't yet for the BD stuttering.

The VC1 HD-DVD will likely have to be re-ripped.

Your settings in XBMC are fine. Your TV would need DTS decoding support in order to handle that & it may not have it, under system settings you can control audio.

Did you take regular audio or HD audio, if HD audio try re-ripping with regular Dolby/DTS and see if those play okay.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm running a Synology share through a gigabit ASUS switch off the synology 4 disk 413j wtih WD Red 3TB drives.

NFS is active.

TV is Samsung UN50ES6100 and doesn't seem like it has DTS.

I'm not using HD audio it's all standard DD/DTS

Should I have it set as "output stereo to all speakers?"

The stuttering appears to be DTS related. I just loaded up Brave, which is H264/Dolby, and it's butter.

EDIT: scratch that...

Guh. All the files play fine on my main PC on VLC. This is frustrating.

I appreciate you guys helping me with this. I'd really like to get this working, without having to buy a new htpc.

if it can't handle it, it can't handle it... but people have this and the Pi working, so it's frustrating.

Could my rips just be messed up? I haven't heard of MakeMKV doing that.

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Old 09-24-2013, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie97L View Post

Should I have it set as "output stereo to all speakers?
Not really needed for a 2 channel TV.

In XBMC System==>System==>Audio Output have you tried?

Audio Output = HDMI
Speaker Configuration = 2.0
Boost Audio = Off
Output stereo to all Speakers = Off
- Dolby Digital (Ac3) = Off
- DTS = Off
- AAC = Off
- Multichannel LPCM = Off
- TrueHD = Off
- DTS-HD = Off

In theory, this should down-mix a 2.0 LPCM signal to your TV in the event that multichannel conversion is taxing the system.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:25 AM
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Also....

On the Settings==>Video (while playing) verify that you have set:

Deinterlace Video = Auto
Deinterlace Method = VDPAU Auto (or Auto--I can't remember the Nvidia options)
Video Scaling Method = Auto

And in the main System==>System==>Video Output:

Display Mode = Full Screen
Resolution = 1920x1080
Refresh Rate = 23.98 or 24.0 or 59.94 or 60 (whichever is best for your TV)
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:35 PM
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Cut a small sample using MKVMerge and I will test it on my Atom230/Ion machine if you want.
In MKVMerge go to Global > Enable Splitting > Split by size (pick a reasonable size like 100MB)
and then abort after a few iterations

Also please confirm for sure that you have dual channel ram (ie two matched sticks). VDPAU needs the bandwidth
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks. My in-movie settings were WAY off. DeInterlace was off.

It is much improved. cracking open to double check the RAM now.

Do you have sticks that you recommend in case I have to replace?

Thanks!

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Old 09-24-2013, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like the RAM might be the culprit.

I have one stick labelled "Transcend" 1G DDR2 800 SO-DIMM
and the second is Kington KVR800D2SO/1GR

Should I match either of those or just get 2 new sticks (I bought it used and the RAM had already been upgraded and I didn't think to check.

Thanks!

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Old 09-24-2013, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie97L View Post

Looks like the RAM might be the culprit.

I have one stick labelled "Transcend" 1G DDR2 800 SO-DIMM
and the second is Kington KVR800D2SO/1GR

Should I match either of those or just get 2 new sticks (I bought it used and the RAM had already been upgraded and I didn't think to check.

Thanks!
Matched is usually best, but there's no way to tell the exact Transcend memory used--other than the speed and size that match the Kingston.

FWIW, that particular Kingston memory is still available online if you want to try to grab another stick to go with the one you have.

I would also seriously consider trying something other than MakeMKV for rippping a sample HD-DVD and see if that makes a difference. A quick internet search confirms what Alx330 suggested above and there are known issues with MakeMKV and HD-DVD which can cause....wait for it......stuttering or choppiness.

Edit: And yes, VLC handles the issue with MakeMKV just fine.
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I ordered that one.

Had better luck with the Pi.

Threw OpenElec on there, set it up, forced passthrough in the config file, and a *lot* works. It doesn't seem to like to passthrough DDP as much, still some stutters. DTS 1080p was playing almost flawlessly.

you think i will need te re rip the vc1 blurays as well?

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Old 09-24-2013, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie97L View Post

you think i will need te re rip the vc1 blurays as well?
It can't hurt to try re-ripping one using something other than MakeMKV. Even a chapter on a disc with known difficulties would be enough to provide some feedback for troubleshooting.

By any chance are you having problems with 1080i VC-1 discs but 1080p VC-1 works OK?
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Sure. Will give that a try tomorrow.

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Old 09-24-2013, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh I didn't even think to check that. I will look at the disc boxes. I thought they were all 1080p but maybe not!

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Old 09-25-2013, 03:43 AM
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Disable 'sync playback to display' if it is enabled. We want to narrow down if your stutter is related to dropped frames or a sync issue.
You can re-enable it once you solve your problems but if you choose to re-enable it it is important to consider the sync method.

Then in XBMC press 'o' during playback to bring up the playback statistics.

Observe the dropped frame count. Does it rise according to the stutters?
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