Originally Posted by movd
Wow, so it sounds like the framerate/frame skip issue is most likely hardware, as seemingly all Realtek 1295 devices exhibit the same problem. However, it is fixed in the 1296 SOC. Is that your conclusion?
If the 1296 is using a new SDK and there will be a new SDK for the 1295, there is a chance there could be a fix the issue. Otherwise, there is no hope.
I've always thought it's a hardware issue but I've never been able to take any empirical measurements until I recently bought an HDFury Vertex, and assuming it's accurate (and I believe it to be so), it's a very useful tool.
All the 1295 players I have (Zappiti, Dune and Zidoo) exhibit frame repeats causing micro-stutter but not all under the same circumstances. Micro stutters only seem to show when the frame rate is just over 23.976 and not just under - I may be wrong, but I haven't seen them when the fps are say 23.973 or 23.974 but they are definitely there when it's 23.981 for example.
So the X9S on current firmware has a framerate of 23.978 and stutters in both 12-bit 422 and 444.
The Dune has a framerate of 23.981 at 12-bit 444 and stutters, but set to 12-bit 422 and it's 23.973, and I don't see stutter (same fps as Shield, Oppo and Panasonic players).
The problem with 12-bit 422 on both 1295 and 1296 hardware is they show chroma banding which may mean there's an 8-bit bottleneck in the conversion path or the conversion from 4:2:0 is simply done badly. Either way, it's there and I don't think it's fixable in firmware and makes 422 unusable.
So the Z9S seems to be more stable at 23.974 in 12-bit 422 and 10-bit 444 and I'm hoping stutter free - time will tell.
But it looks promising for both 1295 and 1296 because they are essentially the same as far as CPU and GPU go - the only difference being the IO and memory improvements in the 1296 - but it probably depends on Realtek for a fix and they may not do that for what is essentially 3 year old tech in the 1295.
So I'm going to hold of on an opinion as far as the Z9S goes until I've watched a few films and maybe seen a couple of firmware iterations, but it looks promising.