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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I thought it best not to clog up the main thread with these musings...

So I’ve spent a few days with the Solo now, making it jump through some Dolby Vision hoops.

I’ve created several FEL tests, in MP4 (DTDL), MKV (STDL), M2TS (DTDL), ISO and BDMV. These are muxed with Dolby’s own MP4 Muxer and then converted to the individual formats with the latest TSMuxer or MakeMKV where needed.

Since the latest Dune firmware says it will now play straight M2TS files in DV, the first file I tried was obviously going to be an M2TS FEL test.

This file is made up of a static greyscale HDR10 layer (from the excellent Mehanik HDR test patterns) with a FEL layer showing the animated Universal logo, credits and the start of Mortal Engines. The RPU causes flashes so you can see separately if the RPU is being used and if the FEL is being used - you can easily see the animated Universal logo as a “ghost” image over the top followed by the opening scene of the movie – all very clear to see.

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HDR10 Base Layer
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Full Enhancement Layer
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Full Enhancement Layer

Unfortunately the M2TS or the ISO/BDMV versions of this file just wouldn’t play. It switches resolution/refresh to match the file, but just plays a black screen with an hourglass (in HDR10 according to the Vertex). After a few seconds it crashes back to the root of the main menu. But the big problem then is that once it’s crashed like that, nothing will play.

No HDR, no SDR, no DV – resolution/refresh rate change correctly, but it just outputs a black screen with the hourglass. You need a hard reboot to reset it. It seems that whatever is happening here, this file crashes the player beyond recovery.

By comparison, The M2TS and the MP4 versions of this file play perfectly on a Sony X700 displaying correct RPU response and FEL video overlaid.

The MKV version plays fine on a Shield Pro showing correct RPU response but obviously no FEL response.

Just as a side note, if I try to play the FEL tests that have been previously posted on the MakeMKV forums, it’s a similar story. None of them play properly, with a combination of playing EL only (MP4 DTDL) to crashing out after a few seconds of an entertaining psychedelic display (M2TS) to requiring a hard restart (BDMV). They will however play fine on the Sony.

Moving onto a second set of files this time made with the HDR10 base layer from the start of Mortal Engines and enhancement layers (both FEL and MEL) from the Spears and Munsil DV test footage.

These files are great to demonstrate RPU response since the enhancement layers from the Spears & Munsil footage exhibits rapid scene by scene tone mapping, so it’s very easy to see the effect of the RPU as changes in brightness of the base layer. The FEL video essence has so little information that it is barely discernible, so this is an ideal RPU test.

Again, these files play perfectly on the Sony X700 (FEL + RPU) and Shield (RPU only) when presented in the appropriate format.

This time, the files will play on the Dune and although in both cases, while you can see the RPU being used (changes in brightness), there is also a lot of disturbance in the picture when that happens – similar to bad encoding artifacts.

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The effect of the RPU is the same with both MEL and FEL versions of these files and obviously there is no evidence of the video essence of the enhancement layer in the case of FEL.

I was hoping that, as with the Sony and the Shield, these files would play nicely with the Dune to allow us to finally ascertain whether the RPU is being used correctly, but because of the artifacts, seemingly caused by the RPU, I’m unable to make that determination.

All I can say from these results, is that based on the fact that the Sony and Shield handle the RPU correctly, with these particular (albeit home brewed) files, the Dune does not.

A final set of files was made with everything swapped around - the HDR10 base layer from the Spears & Munsil DV demo and FEL from Mortal Engines.

In this case we have detailed motion footage in the base layer and detailed motion footage in the enhancement layer. Also, the enhancement layer is presented in 2.35:1 and the base layer in 1.78:1 so there is absolutely no doubt when the the FEL is being presented correctly as you can see below in shots from the Sony. You can see the outline of the girl and the top and bottom 2.35 masks very clearly:
(ok - maybe not so much in the first pic - the face is in the steam, but the masks are clear!!)

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Again, with the Dune, we can see the RPU changing the tone mapping but again there is heavy artifacting and there is absolutely no evidence of the FEL video essence being present.

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What can be said however is that the Dune does behave well in playing rips of commercial discs so I can’t be too harsh about how it copes with home grown Dolby Vision test files as they don’t make for a great movie night in the cinema...

MKV MEL DV rips are handled as DV and MKV FEL rips as HDR10 as expected. We have to at this point assume that the RPU is being used for MEL rips, but unlike the Zidoos, unfortunately there is nothing onscreen to tell you that.

Where there is a big departure from the Zidoos is in handling of ISO and BDMV rips of commercial DV discs where both MEL and FEL content are output in Dolby Vision.

Again, we have to at this point assume that the RPU is being used, but again there is no on screen confirmation of this and Dune have very strangely been rather cagey about this, just stating “Dolby Vision extended information from the second video track is used” rather than stating explicitly that only the RPU is used.

I find this kind of obfuscation rather frustrating since they seem to be trying to make implications so people will draw their own conclusions regarding DV handling, or at least be confused over it.

The conclusion I draw from these tests is that the Dune does not process the video essence of the FEL but it does use the metadata information from the RPU in both MEL and FEL content in the case of ISO/BDMV/M2TS and in MEL content in the case of MKV although there are circumstances where this process falls over.

What’s also interesting is that the Dune suffers from the same black floor issues in VS10 HDR and VS10 SDR that the Zidoo suffers from, indicating that the issue is more endemic to the VS10 engine rather that how the SDK is handled – doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed (personally I think it’s to do with HDMI level handling), but as I say – interesting.

Something else in common with the Zidoo is that the Dune also suffers from the same 76 minute DV freeze issue: With MKV playback, certain DV titles will 100% reliably freeze at between 76 and 77 minutes.

From debug logs, this seems to be caused by an overflow due to checksum errors in the Dolby VES Splitter which comes after the demuxer before the demuxed streams hit Composer.

2001 A Space Odyssey (MKV ripped from the disc using MakeMKV) is my favourite to test this and it froze at 1 hour 16 minutes – exactly the same as the Zidoo. Other DV movies that do this (confirmed by me and other users) are all the LOTR movies and Gemini Man.

It should be noted that in my tests this doesn’t happen using a ISO/BDMV so as I’ve previously stated elsewhere, this may be down to a problem in the way MakeMKV is handling these particular rips since most are ok, but that really is just a guess.

What I really like about the Dune is the ecosystem – once you’ve taken the time to create a nice skin, it’s a really nice box to use.

Except for the Jukebox. That’s abysmal. But I believe that’s being worked on and I’d expect big things.

One big issue I’ve found is that the Dune needlessly resyncs the HDMI.

So for example, if you set the GUI to output permanent LLDV at 4K23 and start a 4K23 movie, although the movie is output in 4K23 LLDV (exactly the same mode as the GUI), the HDMI resyncs.

Probably not a huge issue for some TV owners, just a minor annoyance, but for projectors, with notoriously long resync times, it’s a deal breaker. Zidoo had the same problem in the early beta days, but that was fixed very quickly.

And one more comment before I step off my soapbox.

It’s absolutely bloody enormous!! I do hope Dune are planning a Pro 4K sized version with this SOC.

UPDATE JUNE 2021

A fair amount has changed with these boxes now (and Zidoo) so they now play these home grown test files which definitively allows you to see RPU response and of course as we all now know, no FEL video essence.

So they play MEL content in exactly the same manner as any UHD BluRay player and for FEL content it's only the difference signal between the 12-bit and 10-bit video that's missing - the dynamic tone mapping is still processed and used correctly, so no big deal.
 

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Excellent insights my friend!
Very weird behavior with the artifacts.

From debug logs, this seems to be caused by an overflow due to checksum errors in the Dolby VES Splitter which comes after the demuxer before the demuxed streams hit Composer.
Maybe it should be posted on makeMKV forum as well? Could be introduced by it.
 

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Where there is a big departure from the Zidoos is in handling of ISO and BDMV rips of commercial DV discs where both MEL and FEL content are output in Dolby Vision.

does that mean that iso and bdmv dolby vision movies are output in full true dv?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Where there is a big departure from the Zidoos is in handling of ISO and BDMV rips of commercial DV discs where both MEL and FEL content are output in Dolby Vision.
The Zidoo currently only processes Dolby Vision Profile 7 in an MKV wrapper.

does that mean that iso and bdmv dolby vision movies are output in full true dv?
To quote myself:

"The conclusion I draw from these tests is that the Dune does not process the video essence of the FEL but it does use the metadata information from the RPU in both MEL and FEL content in the case of ISO/BDMV/M2TS and in MEL content in the case of MKV although there are circumstances where this process falls over."
 
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The Zidoo currently only processes Dolby Vision Profile 7 in an MKV wrapper.



To quote myself:

"The conclusion I draw from these tests is that the Dune does not process the video essence of the FEL but it does use the metadata information from the RPU in both MEL and FEL content in the case of ISO/BDMV/M2TS and in MEL content in the case of MKV although there are circumstances where this process falls over."
So if im reading this correctly... the dune will report to the display that the signal is DV since it reads the DV metadata and passes it along to the display... but visually, the DV layers are not properly processed and thus visually is not truly DV.

Just a placebo at this point based on your testing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So if im reading this correctly... the dune will report to the display that the signal is DV since it reads the DV metadata and passes it along to the display... but visually, the DV layers are not properly processed and thus visually is not truly DV.

Just a placebo at this point based on your testing.


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Placebo is probably a bit harsh - It's a matter of perspective - with any DV presentation the vast majority of the video information is in the HDR10(+) base layer. With a MEL title, all the video content is in the base layer.

The FEL is only the compressed residual signal between the 12-bit master and the 10-bit master. No biggie unless you believe the hyperbole.

The RPU is the important bit since that defines the tone mapping.

So as far as I can tell, the Dune plays both MEL & FEL titles with RPU, but certainly no FEL video information.

If my test files played ok on the Dune, as they do on the Sony 700, I'd be able to say for sure, and I'm not sure why they don't. They play fine on the Shield as well - showing RPU processing but no FEL video.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Can you upload test files somewhere?
I'm struggling a bit with this since they contain video from the Spears and Munsil disc and I don't to piss anybody off unnecessarily..

If anyone can point me to a 4K HDR demo file at 23.976fps I could produce a sample with that... needs to be full frame, ie 1.85:1 or 1.78:1 and at least 2 minutes.

I can find loads of 60fps ones, but not 23.976...
 

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DV considerations aside, does the player play non-HDR BDMV efficiently?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Can you upload test files somewhere?
Right - try these:


These are based on a Mehanik rotating banding HDR10 test pattern (freeware) as a base layer with an easily discernible FEL layer.

The control is called "Mehanik_Rotating_Banding_Test(BL).mkv and is an HDR10 file showing 4 rotating orbs in magenta, blue, yellow and green taken directly from the Mehanik test pattern suite:

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There are then 4 Dolby Vision files in ISO, m2ts, mkv and mp4 which have a very obvious enhancement layer and very obvious RPU response.

If the device you play these files on supports the RPU, you will see the orbs flash and change colour quite dramatically from around 27 seconds until about 65 seconds when it calms down a bit:

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If the device supports FEL, you will immediately see the masking bars top and bottom superimposed on the base layer (since the FEL is 2.35:1).

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You'll then see the Universal logo followed by the MRC logo at about 35 seconds:

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And then, very clearly at about 70 seconds, the start of the movie:

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The FEL and RPU response from my DV devices are as follows:

1. Sony X700 UHD BluRay Player (MP4, BDMV) - Dolby Vision BL+FEL+RPU

2. Nvidia Shield (MKV via Kodi) - Dolby Vision BL+RPU

3. Zidoo Z9X (MKV) - HDR10 only Dolby Vision BL+RPU

4. Dune HD Pro Vision 4K Solo (M2TS, ISO) - Will not play and crashes the box (!) Dolby Vision BL+RPU
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Anyone have an Oppo 203 or 205 to test? If not, ill test when my 203 arrives.


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I'd be really interested to hear how these files play on the Oppos - presumably the same as my Sony although I think the Oppo supports more wrappers (Sony only does MP4 and BDMV from files).
 

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I'd be really interested to hear how these files play on the Oppos - presumably the same as my Sony although I think the Oppo supports more wrappers (Sony only does MP4 and BDMV from files).
The sony can play bdmv structure from files( USB)? i didn't know that
FYI the x700 can also do DV in TS and M2TS container... You just have to remux your bluray with tsmuxer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The sony can play bdmv structure from files( USB)? i didn't know that
FYI the x700 can also do DV in TS and M2TS container... You just have to remux your bluray with tsmuxer.
Yes, it'll do BDMV if it's on a USB root. Not if it's on the network. I'm just using the 700 for testing so I tend to stick with Dolby MP4 since that plays from anywhere.
 

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Yes, it'll do BDMV if it's on a USB root. Not if it's on the network. I'm just using the 700 for testing so I tend to stick with Dolby MP4 since that plays from anywhere.
thank you.
So I just copied a bluray structure to the root of my USB drive. How do you play it ?
the only files playable are the m2ts one in the stream folder and those will only trigger fake DV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thank you.
So I just copied a bluray structure to the root of my USB drive. How do you play it ?
the only files playable are the m2ts one in the stream folder and those will only trigger fake DV.
If I create a BDMV and CERTIFICATE folder of my test files with TSMuxer ticking "Blu-Ray Folder" and plug it into the 700, I get this:

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Obviously it's not AVCHD, but if I click on that folder it plays the playist, which in this case is just the one file.

Must admit I haven't tried it with a commercial rip.

(The buda folder is created by the player - it's to do with BD-Live)
 
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Ah I see thank you... Yep, it works with commercial bluray disc too, I just tried.

 

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Tested on Oppo UDP-205 USB drive w/ LG C9

FEL_test_for_AVS_M2TS = video gets stuck loading @ 100%
FEL_test_for_AVS_MKV = HDR10
FEL_test_for_AVS_MP4 = Dolby Vision BL+FEL+RPU
 

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Tested on Oppo UDP-205 USB drive w/ LG C9

FEL_test_for_AVS_M2TS = video gets stuck loading @ 100%
FEL_test_for_AVS_MKV = HDR10
FEL_test_for_AVS_MP4 = Dolby Vision BL+FEL+RPU
Hi, you will only ever get HDR10 from MKV on Oppo, no matter how it is constructed, Oppo won’t even apply Dolby Tone Mapping to MKV.
 
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