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VDPAU issues wih ASUS AT3N7A-I

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
Hey,

I have been unable to get MPlayer working with VDPAU output on this ASUS AT3N7A-I motherboard. It skips and loses frames and is no where near as fluid as my P4 with my Geforce 8600. I am using Xfce with no desktop effects with infinityOS (which should be identical to Ubuntu in terms of instructions and troubleshooting) with the NVidia VDPAU 195.36.15 drivers from: https://launchpad.net/~nvidia-vdpau/+archive/ppa

I am using SMPlayer, 0.6.9 from rvm's PPA, with post-processing off and ALSA used as the audio output (switching to OSS or null did not make a difference and PulseAudio is not installed). Enabled or disabling the loop back filter (though I set it to apply only to HD vids) did not make make a difference. Oddly, it works perfectly in XBMC.

I've tried about every thing under the sun at this point, including:

- The rvm build at: https://launchpad.net/~rvm/+archive/mplayer

> With this build, the video barely plays at all and skips a massive amount of frames.

- The VDPAU build at: https://launchpad.net/~nvidia-vdpau/...dge-multimedia

> Same as the rvm build.

- A custom complied "git branch" build of MPlayer built using the instructions given on: http://www.linuxtech.net/tips+tricks...er_Branch.html (Thanks tux99)

> The first time I built this, I did not install all the dependencies and was left without any audio output. The 2nd time, I had audio output but the video was noticeably choppier, though better than the rvm and VDPAU builds.

I'm at a loss here, so I would appreciate any help I can get

Thanks,
Ryan

Note: I also can't set the resolution to be more than 640 x 480 in any GUI, including XBMC. On my Geforce 8600, the resolution is detected automatically when I install the binary drivers. I haven't fooled around with the xorg.conf much yet though, as I have been trying to get VDPAU to work in MPlayer.
post #2 of 49
Maybe try the XBMC Live CD to see if it's just an issue with your current install or a general issue.

The fact that you can't set the resolution to be more than 640 x 480 in any GUI sounds weird to me, it makes me think that there is something wrong with your Nvidia driver install which would also explain the reason why VDPAU isn't working.
post #3 of 49
Thread Starter 
Hmm, I tried two installations, and still no dice.

I have never had any of these problems with my P4 and Geforce 8600. In fact, one of the installs was the same install I used with my P4 and Geforce 8600.

I'm going to make a Live USB and see if I can get it working on that. I've tried infinityOS on about 20 different computers, most with Nvidia or Intel chips and none of them have had these problems. I'll try XBMC Live like you said as well.

I'm starting to think the mobo is a dud. I was having problems with it not coming back up after a restart before I reflashed the BIOS.
post #4 of 49
Thread Starter 
On the USB install of infinityOS, with the latest Nvidia VDPAU drivers, MPlayer still skips frames. As XBMC works perfectly with the HD install and the Live USB, I'm not going to test XBMC Live, as it will likely work too.

Deleting the xorg.conf file and reinstalling the drivers and *not* running "sudo nvidia-xconfig" fixed the resolution problem.

This seems to be an MPlayer problem. I'm going to try out Lucid to see if it persists there too.
post #5 of 49
This might help when you're using Mplayer that you compiled: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post16471096

If you run Mplayer from the command line then you can see better what's causing the frame-skipping.
post #6 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post

I'm starting to think the mobo is a dud. I was having problems with it not coming back up after a restart before I reflashed the BIOS.

It could be that the mobo you got is defective, although considering that it works fine with XBMC I doubt so, but the AT3N7A-I in general is known to work fine with Linux.

Try mythmaster's mplayer config (at least the video part), that should definitely work, I use a very similar one.
post #7 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post

...

I'm starting to think the mobo is a dud. I was having problems with it not coming back up after a restart before I reflashed the BIOS.


Maybe it's time to try a Win7 install just to attempt to determine if it's really a MB problem or not. Unfortunately, it's a lot of effort...
post #8 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac The Knife View Post

Maybe it's time to try a Win7 install just to attempt to determine if it's really a MB problem or not. Unfortunately, it's a lot of effort...

*shudders*

Ya, that's the last resort before it gets sent back.
post #9 of 49
I hope that you aren't just reading the last post...
post #10 of 49
Thread Starter 
I'll get around to debugging MPlayer later today. BTW thanks for the advice. I'll likely try it on both the rvm and git builds.
post #11 of 49
Thread Starter 
I ran the rvm build of MPlayer with the following .config (thanks mythmaster) on the Live USB install:

Code:
vo=vdpau
vc=ffmpeg12vdpau,ffh264vdpau,ffvc1vdpau,ffwmv3vdpau,
ao=alsa
fs=yes
It worked perfectly as I'm not noticing any frame skipping. I guess the issue must be SMPlayer. I'm going to try the SMPlayer builds from the Nvidia VDPAU PPA and see if I still have issues.
post #12 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post

I ran the rvm build of MPlayer with the following .config (thanks mythmaster) on the Live USB install:

Code:
vo=vdpau
vc=ffmpeg12vdpau,ffh264vdpau,ffvc1vdpau,ffwmv3vdpau,
ao=alsa
fs=yes
It worked perfectly as I'm not noticing any frame skipping. I guess the issue must be SMPlayer. I'm going to try the SMPlayer builds from the Nvidia VDPAU PPA and see if I still have issues.

I think that you can tell SMplayer which Mplayer binary to use which in turn will use your custom config and override SMplayer's settings. I'm not 100% on this, though, because I've only used SMplayer a couple of times.
post #13 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mythmaster View Post

I think that you can tell SMplayer which Mplayer binary to use which in turn will use your custom config and override SMplayer's settings. I'm not 100% on this, though, because I've only used SMplayer a couple of times.

I think I've narrowed it down to a setting.

I told SMPlayer to keep a cache of 2000KB when playing local files. This may be too much for the Atom I/O. Changing to 0KB seems to fix the frame skipping.

Thank GOD!

Thanks of all your help,
Ryan
post #14 of 49
Thread Starter 
Hmm, all of XMBC, MPlayer and SMPlayer have trouble playing my 10 Mb/s+ 1080p Blu-ray rips (Live Free or Die Hard, for example, is 13 GB large). It seems I/O is a very serious problem with the Atom as I don't hear the CPU fan going off.

It's odd that I/O is the bottleneck with the Atom, not CPU/GPU power.

-----

Yep, I/O is definitely the problem as my 8GB 1080p copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy plays fine. Seems it just can't read the data off the hard drive fast enough to play my full quality Blu-ray rips.
post #15 of 49
Are you playing them from a cassette drive? Because that would explain the I/O problems.

We've had many accounts here where the ION works just fine with bluray material in the above-mentioned software, so I'm guessing that you don't quite have it configured properly.

And that's all I'm saying because I have no need for an Atom.

Best of luck to you.
post #16 of 49
Thread Starter 
Nah, Western Digital Green 7200 rpm drives with 32 MB of cache (it may be 16 MB on one of them).

It plays *some* of my 1080p videos fine, but I seem to hit a bottleneck when playing video with a bitrate over around 10 Mb/s. I/O seems to be the issue as the CPU is nowhere near maxed.
post #17 of 49
I wouldn't think that I/O was the problem here...I would blame decompression -- which means that you need to re-examine your settings.

That's all that I'm saying.

Goodnight.
post #18 of 49
Thread Starter 
I used the same settings I posted above in MPlayer and got the same result, a bottleneck at around 10Mb/s video.

Good night. :P
post #19 of 49
Your HD could be crappy then, I agree. Who knows? It could be anything, but the ION's have been reported to work with HD video in each of those software programs. That's all I'm saying.

P.S. I feel like I am in a burning building:

post #20 of 49
Thread Starter 
It plays fine on my P4 with a Geforce 8600 with the same HD.

It doesn't seem to be a decompression issue as it can play most 1080p vids fine, just not my 13 GB ones.

I went and reenabled the postprocessing and uped the upscaling and the 8GB videos still played fine. Only when I enabled the cache again did it start skipping on the 8GB vids. Which is pure I/O.
post #21 of 49
What are you saying? That they played fine until you enabled cache? Sounds like CPU to me.

I'm not trying to diss you, I'm just saying that there is a fine line between I/O and CPU, and you have to find that balance in any system.

Maybe I'm wrong, but maybe I'm not.

Also, if I post videos then you know that I have a buzz. This doesn't affect my judgment, but it does make things more fun.

post #22 of 49
Thread Starter 
Well, I don't think it's necessarily a CPU problem as much as a chipset problem. I think the specs on my P4 and the Atom are comparable in terms of L1 and L2 cache (P4 has 1MB of L2 cache and the Atom has 512KB of L2 cache on each core). The P4 is a single core Prescott with 64-bit capability (and man am I sick of hearing the fan on that thing). The chips even have the same bus speeds (both 533 MHz).

The Atom/Ion gets around 7500 frames on glxgears as well (as useless as a stat that is). I think my dual-core MacBook with Intel video got around 4500 frames and my friends vanilla netbook with an Atom and Intel video got around 2000 frames.

Hehe, I love it when I find something that can't be well explained except by something crazy. :P
post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mythmaster View Post

are you playing them from a cassette drive? Because that would explain the i/o problems.

ROTFLMAO , you made my day!
post #24 of 49
Thread Starter 
After a bit of thought, I think this might be a NTFS-3G issue. The video was on a NTFS partition, so this may have caused it.

The version of NTFS-3G included with Karmic is extremely resource heavy. I've seen the driver take up more CPU then the video decoding before. Hell, my friend got it to go to 100% when "dd"ing a drive.

I'm going to try to and make a proper Debian package of the newest NTFS-3G driver to see if it fixes it.
post #25 of 49
Thread Starter 
Running the video files off a ext4 partition did not make a difference.

I'm beginning to think that that is a bus speed or memory speed issue. I/O is definitely not a problem as I was able to copy a file onto the HD at 30 MB/s (should have did more testing before I thought of that crazy theory :P). I went down to a 533 MHz stick of RAM, which seemed to make video playback impossible. Going back up to the 800 MHz stick got the 720p and 1080p 8GB vids working again.

I'm getting a "Too many objects in video buffer" when playing the 1080p 13 GB file. I'm going to build the git brach of MPlayer to see if I can get it working.

If not, I give up as there's not much I can do. :P
post #26 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkphoenix22 View Post

Running the video files off a ext4 partition did not make a difference.

I'm beginning to think that that is a bus speed or memory speed issue. I/O is definitely not a problem as I was able to copy a file onto the HD at 30 MB/s (should have did more testing before I thought of that crazy theory :P). I went down to a 533 MHz stick of RAM, which seemed to make video playback impossible. Going back up to the 800 MHz stick got the 720p and 1080p 8GB vids working again.

I'm getting a "Too many objects in video buffer" when playing the 1080p 13 GB file. I'm going to build the git brach of MPlayer to see if I can get it working.

If not, I give up as there's not much I can do. :P

I'd double-check the BIOS settings, too. You might be able to tweak some stuff in there.
post #27 of 49
Thread Starter 
The 1080p 13GB still skipped frames with the MPlayer git build, even with 2 threads enabled. Like with the rvm build, it would suddenly spike to 100% periodically, even when staying stable at 14% CPU. It would also go out of sync by about "0.200 ct" in the command-line during those spikes.

The MPlayer git build certianly ran better though. It used about half as much CPU as the rvm build in every test case. Even when it spiked, it only went out of sync by half as much. I'm going to look into packaging it after I release 1.0.

Perhaps, I'll look at the BIOS now to see if there's anything I can do there (maybe OC the memory?).
post #28 of 49
Thread Starter 
On 2nd thought, I'm not going to mess around with the OC settings as I'm making this for a prof. :P

----

Hmm, it seems like the audio equalizer was causing frameskipping in SMPlayer, although it's noticeable only really in the 8GB 1080p video. I enable it and it starts to skip. Disable it (or disable sound) and it stops.

The caching fix might only apply to playing off the NTFS-3G partition.

Still no dice with the 13GB 1080p video. Oh well...
post #29 of 49
No I didn't mean to OC anything -- sometimes you can crank up the PCIe bus speed, etc. I wouldn't mess with the RAM/CPU speeds.
post #30 of 49
Thread Starter 
Summary: It seems like I had three problems:

- The combination of Linux/NTFS-3G and the Atom/Ion PC seem to hate my 1.5 TB Western Digital Hard Drive. The same files worked when I copied them over the network to another HD in the Atom PC but didn't work when I ran them off the original 1.5 TB drive, both before and after the copy. This was persistent over the USB and HD installs, which is odd because my P4 never had a problem playing off of this drive. The Atom also doen't have a problem with my other WD media drive, as files on its NTFS partition play fine. Caching may have just seemed to fix the problem as I may have just played a file on another HD.

- The 512 MB 533MHz RAM stick I was using was too low speed for the video chip to work properly. Even SD stuff didn't fine play until I switched to a 800 MHz stick.

- The audio equalizer in SMPlayer seems to mess with the timing on the Atom PC. Disabling it fixes the additional skipping problems once the other two factors were removed. I overlooked this as I had sound output disabled in SMPlayer and didn't have proper speakers hooked up to the Atom PC.

Three separate issues resulting in the same problem. I think this is officially a worst case scenario. :P

I hope it's finally solved.
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