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DXVA2 in XBMC Frodo

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
Direct X Video Acceleration

There is a lot of cross talk in different threads about using DXVA with intel graphics

Notably, every sandy/ivy bridge desktop processor (Celeron and up) can meet the minimum frame requirement for smooth playback of 1080p without graphics acceleration. I've read the old G550 could do this without reaching 60% utilization, and I've personally monitored an i3 2105 and never saw any average utilization above 30. I didn't graph anything, print screen, or even watch very long because it's really boring to watch diagnostics compared to watching the movie that was playing

SO . . . why would anyone care?

I'd like to see DXVA working successfully for efficiency reasons. If driving with the tailgate of my truck down was scientifically measured to give me 24mpg instead of 22 on the highway, I would do it. (It's never been proven to btw)

I feel the same with my computers. I have two intels, one with HD4000 (3570k) which I have been testing a lot of new things with. The majority of testing has been with XBMC 12, and I've noticed that enabling DXVA2 drops my CPU utilization down under 5%. This use to either cause macroblocking or some other bugginess that would make playback stutter. I'm not getting stutter anymore, but I also upgraded to Windows 8. When I went to install the latest graphics driver from the intel site, it mentioned the driver I was currently using was newer than the one I was attempting to install. I don't know which version I was on before, and I will update later with the version it's currently using

I'm not sure which is the reasoning, but a lot of other users here are still having the choppy playback issue with DXVA2 enabled so the simple solution of switching it off and upping your CPU utilization a little seems to be a perfectly acceptable mitigation. I'd just like to wrap my head around this

To further test, I pulled down the latest LAV splitter, video and audio decoders along with MPC-HC 64. I setup MPC-HC to playback using LAV with Quicksync HW acceleration enabled, and playback is snappy, smooth, and low on resources (CPU<10)

I’m keeping everything set this way until I experience a problem. The i3 I previously mentioned is running OpenElec, and I tried enabling DXVA under the video playback settings as well. It worked fine here as well.

The only “strange” issue I notice is during chapter skips on my mkv rips. They sometimes flash a quick green screen, but playback doesn’t interrupt (audio at least) and video keeps playing as smoothly as before after the weird screen flash. This doesn’t occur during FF/RW or typical library “Starts” or “Resume from ##:##” playbacks. I took some screenshots from the i5 running a full rip of Prometheus, but I didn’t take any with software decoding enabled. I monitored them, and they averaged about 20-24%


Edited by Dark_Slayer - 2/15/13 at 6:38am
post #2 of 46
So you're saying that a new Intel driver might have fixed this? It wasn't working for me for a driver I installed a few weeks ago. It doesn't really matter to me, as I just turn DXVA off, but there are certainly situations were DXVA acceleration would be nice. For instance, you may run other CPU intensive processes on your HTPC like Plex Media Server. In that case you would want Plex HT to use as little CPU as possible.

Let us know if the issue crops up again. For me some movies worked perfectly fine and others got weird artifacts. I also think this is Windows specific as OpenELEC seemed to work just fine.
post #3 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

So you're saying that a new Intel driver might have fixed this? It wasn't working for me for a driver I installed a few weeks ago. It doesn't really matter to me, as I just turn DXVA off, but there are certainly situations were DXVA acceleration would be nice. For instance, you may run other CPU intensive processes on your HTPC like Plex Media Server. In that case you would want Plex HT to use as little CPU as possible.

Let us know if the issue crops up again. For me some movies worked perfectly fine and others got weird artifacts. I also think this is Windows specific as OpenELEC seemed to work just fine.

With an i5 and i3 it doesn't really matter to me either, but if using a 5400 rpm drive instead of 7200 to lower "heat" in your machine has a valid place in the forums then so does using 4% CPU vs 24%. In fact, saving 20% cpu utilization is like removing an always running hard drive as far as heat is concerned, plus like you said it opens the door to have other things going on without affecting playback

Yes, either the driver Window 8 grabbed or the new Frodo video codecs seem to have successfully implemented quicksync decoding

Well, at the very least dxva2 in XBMC now asks no more from my HTPC than MPC-HC with LAV video and quicksync enabled


From what I'm trying to find in the XBMC forums it might also require the "fullscreen window" rather than true fullscreen to keep from defaulting back to software decode
post #4 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

From what I'm trying to find in the XBMC forums it might also require the "fullscreen window" rather than true fullscreen to keep from defaulting back to software decode

That's odd. Surely that's not the intentional behavior, right? Is that also only a problem with Intel?
post #5 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

That's odd. Surely that's not the intentional behavior, right? Is that also only a problem with Intel?

I don't even know if that's true, but I did read it over at the XBMC forum. I'll quote when I find it


Also, for reference my Intel Graphics driver is 9.17.10.2932 and dated 12/12/2012

Now that I'm reading further into the Intel page, I see that this is the latest

I wonder why they number them this way? 15.28.12.64.2932 (9.17.10.2932)

I hadn't updated to that driver before, but W8 pulled it in with the install and it might be what is making the difference
post #6 of 46
DXVA2 is not just decoding but it involves deinterlacing (both video and film mode) and rendering (in particular scaling). XBMC mixes various methods in a complicated way:



If "Allow hardware acceleration (DXVA2)" is on, then all subsequent rendering methods are only DXVA2 (i.e. the card vendor supplied driver's algorithm). If it is off, you can still use DXVA2 for deinterlacing and scaling. You can also choose hardware accelerated video scaling (Lanczos3 etc.) as well as crappy software scaling (Bilnear etc.), while deinterlacing is always software mode ("De-interlace" etc.) and the quality less than satisfactory.

DXVA2 video scaling:



AMD is the worst, NVIDIA is not so good (ES = Edge sharpening), Intel is the best among the three. Unfortunately, with Intel, DXVA2 decode is sometimes broken and "DXVA Best" deinterlacing never works in XBMC. So the best compromise would be:



The best deinterlacing method (DXVA2 Best) and the best video scaling method (Lanczos, except for Jinc) never work at the same time in XBMC internal player whatever card you use. If you care about the best PQ, you'd better use an external player with madVR (DXVA2 for Intel).
Edited by renethx - 2/11/13 at 6:30am
post #7 of 46
Thread Starter 
Thanks for sharing your knowledge of the topic renethx

Some feedback on practicality . . .

None of my content is interlaced except live TV, which is 1080i

Leaving dxva2 enabled I only have choice of auto/on/off for deinterlacing. While it is on or auto, the picture looks good. I've set dxva2 off and I don't notice a difference in pq for my 1080i streams

Certainly for my 1080p and 720p movies and TV shows this setting makes no difference correct

Further, there is no way to view live TV in an external player that I'm currently aware of

Do you know of a place where I can view before and after screenshots of 1080p with chroma upsampling. I've never bothered with madvr since I can't imagine the pq I'm used to being noticeably improved. Maybe if I had a lot more SD content, or maybe I just don't know what I don't know
post #8 of 46
Thread Starter 
Surely what Renethx mentions for best pq provides best pq

However, dxva used to cause either macro blocking or some other problem that made video playback stutter

At this point with the Intel driver I listed above, full screen window, dxva2 on, render method auto, deinterlace set auto . . . I get smooth playback in 720p, 1080i, and 1080p with less than 10% utilization (average of 5%)

Am I alone in this experience?
post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Surely what Renethx mentions for best pq provides best pq

However, dxva used to cause either macro blocking or some other problem that made video playback stutter

At this point with the Intel driver I listed above, full screen window, dxva2 on, render method auto, deinterlace set auto . . . I get smooth playback in 720p, 1080i, and 1080p with less than 10% utilization (average of 5%)

Am I alone in this experience?

Nope. Did some testing tonight on a build that I did with/for a friend. Played everything I threw at it in multiple modes including a few 1080i clips that I use for testing (used the HD4000 iGPU).
post #10 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Nope. Did some testing tonight on a build that I did with/for a friend. Played everything I threw at it in multiple modes including a few 1080i clips that I use for testing (used the HD4000 iGPU).

Fantastic smile.gif

Is this how you left things setup?

I think I need a better tv to notice the more advanced pq settings, but I don't doubt their possibility

I'll take the lower utilization since I can't perceive the other differences with my current display
post #11 of 46
I'm using HD4000 iGPU + Frodo + 2932 and the video has a lot of jaggies going horizontally across the screen. I was watching SD videos but they looked OK with Eden with Assassin's settings. I tried Assassin's guide settings and then Renethx's settings but still have jaggies.
post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Fantastic smile.gif

Is this how you left things setup?

I think I need a better tv to notice the more advanced pq settings, but I don't doubt their possibility

I'll take the lower utilization since I can't perceive the other differences with my current display

I left renderer set at auto. Its an i3 3225. I must give the caveat that I only had time to do about 5 minutes of actual fiddling with DXVA because I had a second appointment with another friend to help set up his....













Nanny cam. Yes, nanny cam.
post #13 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I left renderer set at auto. Its an i3 3225. I must give the caveat that I only had time to do about 5 minutes of actual fiddling with DXVA because I had a second appointment with another friend to help set up his....

Nanny cam?

Also, I was referring to the video playback on/off option for DXVA2
post #14 of 46
I messed around with this on my desktop last night. But I have video card.

Next stop 3570k in HTPC.

I'll let you know.

I've been trying to figure out how I want things before I do it in the actual HTPC.

I usually use my desktop as text bed.

The remote issue is my biggest task though. I need a good solution.
post #15 of 46
Actually, another reason it would be nice to have DXVA working in XBMC is because the new Celeron 847 boards with Intel 2000 HD graphics that have been coming out absolutely do not work with the XBMC internal render with DXVA turned off. It can handle Netflix HD without acceleration but no go on the XBMC internal renderer. If this is fixed it would be a huge win for the little guys.

If I ever can find the time I'll set up one of the Celeron 847 barebones I have with Windows 8 and XBMC 12 to see what happens. There'll be no doubt if it works or not smile.gif.
post #16 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

Actually, another reason it would be nice to have DXVA working in XBMC is because the new Celeron 847 boards with Intel 2000 HD graphics that have been coming out absolutely do not work with the XBMC internal render with DXVA turned off. It can handle Netflix HD without acceleration but no go on the XBMC internal renderer. If this is fixed it would be a huge win for the little guys.

If I ever can find the time I'll set up one of the Celeron 847 barebones I have with Windows 8 and XBMC 12 to see what happens. There'll be no doubt if it works or not smile.gif.

I'm leaning more towards it being a result of the 15.28.12.64.2932 (9.17.10.2932) driver than W8, but certainly welcome to try either way

I'm still trying to find more documentation and comparisons, because I've not really followed quicksync too well through it's growing years. I'm not familiar with how hd2000 gpu acceleration stacks up with and without quicksync, which could be a gamebreaker for celeron and pentium processors

I guess it makes sense that the 2.6 GHz dual core 550 could hit near 50% utilization in software renderings, so a 1.1 GHz dual core 847 wouldn't meet minimum frame rates?
post #17 of 46
Thread Starter 
Changing the default skin increased my utilization biggrin.gif

I need to stop checking diagnostics
post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

If I ever can find the time I'll set up one of the Celeron 847 barebones I have with Windows 8 and XBMC 12 to see what happens. There'll be no doubt if it works or not smile.gif.

Windows 8 + Eden was fine on my HTPC.
post #19 of 46
I thought xbmc got dxva2 working a long time ago? or did it get it's own kind of hardware acceleration?
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncola View Post

I thought xbmc got dxva2 working a long time ago? or did it get it's own kind of hardware acceleration?

They have with the exception of intel - wihch is what was being discussed here.
post #21 of 46
At least H.264 and MPEG-2 DXVA work generally fine for Intel (VC-1 is another matter), as you can see when you use DXVA2 in my LAV Video and MPC-HC, however XBMC may need a patch or two to make it work flawlessly. Maybe in the next version then.
post #22 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevcairiel View Post

At least H.264 and MPEG-2 DXVA work generally fine for Intel (VC-1 is another matter), as you can see when you use DXVA2 in my LAV Video and MPC-HC, however XBMC may need a patch or two to make it work flawlessly. Maybe in the next version then.

I never thought to test with VC-1. I'll have to go through my library looking for a vc1 rip

Nev is this h264 4% utilization with dxva2 indicative of quicksync support in the new xbmc decoders? Or would any intel hd(x)000 see just as much improvement? I don't know if this is the correct way to ask, I was just thinking of the desktop processors with hd graphics and quicksync disabled

I know I have some vc1 titles, what should we expect with LAV in MPC-HC using DXVA2?
post #23 of 46
Progressive VC-1 can be played back just fine whether DXVA2 is on or off. It's interlaced VC-1 (a short clip here: BBC Life - Plants) that can't play with XBMC, whether DXVA2 is on or off, whatever graphics card (not only Intel, but also AMD or NVIDIA) you use. But interlaced VC-1 is found only in BBC Blu-ray and a few others.

DXVA2 on means decoding is done by GPU, as well as deinterlacing and scaling. With DXVA2 off, decoding is done by CPU, but deinterlacing and scaling can be still done by GPU (set Render method = DXVA). GPU in any IVB processor behaves exactly the same way.

MPC-HC (or any DirectShow player)+LAV Video Decoder (with whatever video renderer) is just perfect.
Edited by renethx - 2/14/13 at 10:24am
post #24 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Progressive VC-1 can be played back just fine whether DXVA2 is on or off. It's interlaced VC-1 (a short clip here: BBC Life - Plants) that can't play with XBMC, whether DXVA2 is on or off, whatever graphics card (not only Intel, but also AMD or NVIDIA) you use. But interlaced VC-1 is found only in BBC Blu-ray and a few others

Thanks for clarifying that
post #25 of 46
Well, according to this guy who Googled it and theorized about it, you're all wrong: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=140534&pid=1336310#pid1336310 -- it will only play "fluently" on the HD4000 and Intel NUC. Sorry guys...
post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

Well, according to this guy who Googled it and theorized about it, you're all wrong: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=140534&pid=1336310#pid1336310 -- it will only play "fluently" on the HD4000 and Intel NUC. Sorry guys...

Fluently?

Ah, bluray.
post #27 of 46
He's never actually used any of them or for that matter it seems built anything but he knows more than everyone combined. You really want to get him going, tell him you've actually built it and tested it. He's got a theory and Google result to prove it wrong!

So, no DXVA for you!

Oh, and the G530 can't bitstream HD audio either -- according to bluray.
post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

He's never actually used any of them or for that matter it seems built anything but he knows more than everyone combined. You really want to get him going, tell him you've actually built it and tested it. He's got a theory and Google result to prove it wrong!

So, no DXVA for you!

Oh, and the G530 can't bitstream HD audio either -- according to bluray.

blurays are a dime a dozen on the internet.
post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

blurays are a dime a dozen on the internet.

TImes are tough, you can only get ten blurays for a dime now. The packaging is the same size, there's just a lot more filler inside.
post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

He's never actually used any of them or for that matter it seems built anything but he knows more than everyone combined. You really want to get him going, tell him you've actually built it and tested it. He's got a theory and Google result to prove it wrong!

So, no DXVA for you!

Oh, and the G530 can't bitstream HD audio either -- according to bluray.

"Fluently" or "flawless" his favourite words - due to a limited vocabulary and comprehension skills. He's a trumpet with a band-aid approach to troubleshooting - works for him so should work for everyone else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

TImes are tough, you can only get ten blurays for a dime now. The packaging is the same size, there's just a lot more filler inside.

lol
Edited by steelman1991 - 2/15/13 at 12:06am
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