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XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25

 

 

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robert.mcnamara at gmail

Dec 2, 2010, 11:05 AM

Post #1 of 61 (7216 views)
Permalink
XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25

We'd like to warn users that we are planning to drop XvMC and libmpeg2
decoding support from forthcoming MythTV releases. MythTV 0.25 will be
the first release without these features, so you still have several
months to upgrade hardware if you wish to continue running the latest
MythTV releases. Of course the newly released 0.24 will remain
available if either XvMC or libmpeg2 are important to you.
Why are we doing this?

XvMC - The primary reason is that the XvMC code is very hard to
maintain. It requires a lot special handling and does not support the
features which many of our other video rendering methods provide. Far
superior alternative hardware decoders such as Nvidia's VDPAU are now
supported. Crystal HD, ATI and Intel support are also on the MythTV
roadmap.

libmpeg2 - A high proportion of problems reported to us can be traced
back to libmpeg2, we want MythTV to be as stable as possible and the
advantages of libmpeg2 are outweighed by the negatives. Like XvMC, it
complicates the code in ways that make it harder to maintain.

Both - Additionally, the need for both features is largely gone. Even
the lowest cost CPUs which have been available in recent years can
easily manage playback of Standard and High-Definition mpeg2. Low
power CPUs such Intel's atom are usually supplied with Nvidia's ION
platform or can be used with discrete hardware decoding solutions such
as Crystal HD.

We believe that leaving these features behind will allow us to focus
our time more productively, making the improvements and adding the
features that a majority of users want to see.

N.B At some point in time, beyond 0.25, we'd like to drop XVideo
support in favour of OpenGL rendering. There will be more on that
subject when we have finalised our plans. Rest assured that we are
considering embedded platforms and work on supporting OpenGL ES is
already underway.

Robert
MythTV
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mythtv-users mailing list
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dargllun at googlemail

Dec 2, 2010, 11:18 AM

Post #2 of 61 (7094 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

Am 02.12.2010 20:05, schrieb Robert McNamara:
> We'd like to warn users that we are planning to drop XvMC and libmpeg2

Thanks for these heads up.

> N.B At some point in time, beyond 0.25, we'd like to drop XVideo
> support in favour of OpenGL rendering. There will be more on that
> subject when we have finalised our plans. Rest assured that we are
> considering embedded platforms and work on supporting OpenGL ES is
> already underway.

Let's hope that by that time the OSS radeon OpenGL support has improved.
Currently, on r600 radeon hw, there is no alternative to using Xv. It
yields excellent performance, and completely stutter-free and tear-free
rendering. OSS OpenGL is not as good. As I said, let's hope this changes
so there can be a smooth transition.

>
> Robert
> MythTV
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users [at] mythtv
> http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users

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beww at beww

Dec 2, 2010, 11:52 AM

Post #3 of 61 (7107 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On Thursday, December 02, 2010 12:05:44 pm Robert McNamara wrote:
> We'd like to warn users that we are planning to drop XvMC and
> libmpeg2 decoding support from forthcoming MythTV releases. MythTV
> 0.25 will be the first release without these features, so you still
> have several months to upgrade hardware if you wish to continue
> running the latest MythTV releases. Of course the newly released
> 0.24 will remain available if either XvMC or libmpeg2 are important
> to you.
> Why are we doing this?
>
> XvMC - The primary reason is that the XvMC code is very hard to
> maintain. It requires a lot special handling and does not support the
> features which many of our other video rendering methods provide. Far
> superior alternative hardware decoders such as Nvidia's VDPAU are now
> supported. Crystal HD, ATI and Intel support are also on the MythTV
> roadmap.
>
> libmpeg2 - A high proportion of problems reported to us can be traced
> back to libmpeg2, we want MythTV to be as stable as possible and the
> advantages of libmpeg2 are outweighed by the negatives. Like XvMC, it
> complicates the code in ways that make it harder to maintain.
>
> Both - Additionally, the need for both features is largely gone. Even
> the lowest cost CPUs which have been available in recent years can
> easily manage playback of Standard and High-Definition mpeg2. Low
> power CPUs such Intel's atom are usually supplied with Nvidia's ION
> platform or can be used with discrete hardware decoding solutions
> such as Crystal HD.
>
> We believe that leaving these features behind will allow us to focus
> our time more productively, making the improvements and adding the
> features that a majority of users want to see.
>
> N.B At some point in time, beyond 0.25, we'd like to drop XVideo
> support in favour of OpenGL rendering. There will be more on that
> subject when we have finalised our plans. Rest assured that we are
> considering embedded platforms and work on supporting OpenGL ES is
> already underway.

These moves are quite understandable.

The problem with VDPAU is with older AGP motherboards, for which the
only alternative to XvMC for hardware acceleration is to use a PCI card
supporting VDPAU, but in that case you are screwed if you have a codec
not supported by VDPAU, but of course XvMC only helps with MPEG2 in any
case,

CrystalHD support would be great (since I own a couple of the modules).

I've seen a lot of Atom platforms with Intel graphics, not ION, that
problem has caused me to pass up several hardware options. Being able to
use Intel graphics hardware would nice, especially as a lot of laptops
use it.

But, as I said, your moves make sense, and the long warning time is
greatly appreciated. I also understand that trying to continue to
support "legacy" hardware will delay other improvements to Myth in
general.

Thanks again for the heads up.
_______________________________________________
mythtv-users mailing list
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pickle136 at sbcglobal

Dec 2, 2010, 11:55 AM

Post #4 of 61 (7112 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

Robert,

Glad I just upgraded from a 6200 to 430 for vdpau :-) Although if I would have
still been running my AGP system HD would have been skippy without XVMC. But it
also had negatives like the slow grey OSD.

But what has taken my interest is your comment about supporting opengl-es. I
have access to very ideal hardware for this target being the pandora.
Who/what/where can i go to get more information on the development of this
feature? Do you know what ES version is being targeted?

Scott




________________________________
From: Robert McNamara <robert.mcnamara [at] gmail>
To: Discussion about mythtv <mythtv-users [at] mythtv>
Sent: Thu, December 2, 2010 2:05:44 PM
Subject: [mythtv-users] XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25

We'd like to warn users that we are planning to drop XvMC and libmpeg2
decoding support from forthcoming MythTV releases. MythTV 0.25 will be
the first release without these features, so you still have several
months to upgrade hardware if you wish to continue running the latest
MythTV releases. Of course the newly released 0.24 will remain
available if either XvMC or libmpeg2 are important to you.
Why are we doing this?

XvMC - The primary reason is that the XvMC code is very hard to
maintain. It requires a lot special handling and does not support the
features which many of our other video rendering methods provide. Far
superior alternative hardware decoders such as Nvidia's VDPAU are now
supported. Crystal HD, ATI and Intel support are also on the MythTV
roadmap.

libmpeg2 - A high proportion of problems reported to us can be traced
back to libmpeg2, we want MythTV to be as stable as possible and the
advantages of libmpeg2 are outweighed by the negatives. Like XvMC, it
complicates the code in ways that make it harder to maintain.

Both - Additionally, the need for both features is largely gone. Even
the lowest cost CPUs which have been available in recent years can
easily manage playback of Standard and High-Definition mpeg2. Low
power CPUs such Intel's atom are usually supplied with Nvidia's ION
platform or can be used with discrete hardware decoding solutions such
as Crystal HD.

We believe that leaving these features behind will allow us to focus
our time more productively, making the improvements and adding the
features that a majority of users want to see.

N.B At some point in time, beyond 0.25, we'd like to drop XVideo
support in favour of OpenGL rendering. There will be more on that
subject when we have finalised our plans. Rest assured that we are
considering embedded platforms and work on supporting OpenGL ES is
already underway.

Robert
MythTV
_______________________________________________
mythtv-users mailing list
mythtv-users [at] mythtv
http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users


adeffs.mythtv at gmail

Dec 3, 2010, 9:34 AM

Post #5 of 61 (7054 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 2:52 PM, Brian Wood <beww [at] beww> wrote:
> The problem with VDPAU is with older AGP motherboards, for which the
> only alternative to XvMC for hardware acceleration is to use a PCI card
> supporting VDPAU, but in that case you are screwed if you have a codec
> not supported by VDPAU, but of course XvMC only helps with MPEG2 in any
> case,
>
> CrystalHD support would be great (since I own a couple of the modules).
>
> I've seen a lot of Atom platforms with Intel graphics, not ION, that
> problem has caused me to pass up several hardware options. Being able to
> use Intel graphics hardware would nice, especially as a lot of laptops
> use it.
>
> But, as I said, your moves make sense, and the long warning time is
> greatly appreciated. I also understand that trying to continue to
> support "legacy" hardware will delay other improvements to Myth in
> general.
>
> Thanks again for the heads up.

Legacy hardware is an issue, but I wonder how many people are still
using it? My headaches with XvMC led me to suck it up and buy better
CPU's, then when VDPAU arrived, to buy hardware that supported that.

Since then, I've recently purchased 3 ION systems, two for my house
and one for my parents. All three cost me $200(US$ in the US) each and
all three play back my HDPVR 1080i content with Temporal 2x perfectly.
I've noticed the price on the Atom330 based ION's have dropped
considerably since the ION2 platform was released. Actually, the one
my parents got was a single core, for $218US (taxes), the two I got
later, for my house, are dual core (330) and came in slightly under
$200US. Of course, you have to add your own remote control device, but
I figure as an upgrade path those are already being used, and can be
had for under $20US as well

Hopefully VA-API will be supported soon in some fashion and this will
allow the intel graphics hardware to accelerate playback, especially
on laptops that have it and no ability to support the CrystalHD
miniPCI devices.


--
Steve
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/User:Steveadeff
Before you ask, read the FAQ!
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Frequently_Asked_Questions
then search the Wiki, and this list,
http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/
Mailinglist etiquette -
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Mailing_List_etiquette
_______________________________________________
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beww at beww

Dec 3, 2010, 10:04 AM

Post #6 of 61 (7049 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On Friday, December 03, 2010 10:34:14 am Steven Adeff wrote:

>
> Legacy hardware is an issue, but I wonder how many people are still
> using it? My headaches with XvMC led me to suck it up and buy better
> CPU's, then when VDPAU arrived, to buy hardware that supported that.
>
> Since then, I've recently purchased 3 ION systems, two for my house
> and one for my parents. All three cost me $200(US$ in the US) each
> and all three play back my HDPVR 1080i content with Temporal 2x
> perfectly. I've noticed the price on the Atom330 based ION's have
> dropped considerably since the ION2 platform was released. Actually,
> the one my parents got was a single core, for $218US (taxes), the
> two I got later, for my house, are dual core (330) and came in
> slightly under $200US. Of course, you have to add your own remote
> control device, but I figure as an upgrade path those are already
> being used, and can be had for under $20US as well
>
> Hopefully VA-API will be supported soon in some fashion and this will
> allow the intel graphics hardware to accelerate playback, especially
> on laptops that have it and no ability to support the CrystalHD
> miniPCI devices.

I suspect many folks are like me, I keep pretty up to date with the main
backend machine, but I still have a couple of AGP boxes in use as
frontends. I've replaced one of them with a Revo (very happy with that),
but I don't want to spend $400 to make everything VDPAU capable right
now.

Have you noticed any advantages to dual-core Atoms for frontend use? I
figure if you're not doing commflagging or transcoding a single core is
enough, unless of course you run into something the ION can't help with.

Now that Flash can be helped by VDPAU, that situation is a lot better.

I'd really like to see Intel graphics become usable, I've passed on a
few hardware options because they have Intel GPUs. Making old laptops,
perhaps with broken screens, become usable frontends would be nice, only
the newest ones seem to have mini-PCI slots for a CrystalHD module.




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nospam312 at gmail

Dec 3, 2010, 10:12 AM

Post #7 of 61 (7046 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

> libmpeg2 - A high proportion of problems reported to us can be traced
> back to libmpeg2, we want MythTV to be as stable as possible and the
> advantages of libmpeg2 are outweighed by the negatives. Like XvMC, it
> complicates the code in ways that make it harder to maintain.

If you remove libmpeg2 does that mean we can't playback any mpeg2
based recording - e.g. Freeview in the UK?

It seems you are removing a core feature of MythTV?

Can you explain what libmpeg2 does?

If I have an oldish machine without VDPAU does this mean I can no
longer playback any recordings?

TIA
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adeffs.mythtv at gmail

Dec 3, 2010, 10:16 AM

Post #8 of 61 (7047 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 1:04 PM, Brian Wood <beww [at] beww> wrote:
> On Friday, December 03, 2010 10:34:14 am Steven Adeff wrote:
>> Legacy hardware is an issue, but I wonder how many people are still
>> using it? My headaches with XvMC led me to suck it up and buy better
>> CPU's, then when VDPAU arrived, to buy hardware that supported that.
>>
>> Since then, I've recently purchased 3 ION systems, two for my house
>> and one for my parents. All three cost me $200(US$ in the US) each
>> and all three play back my HDPVR 1080i content with Temporal 2x
>> perfectly. I've noticed the price on the Atom330 based ION's have
>> dropped considerably since the ION2 platform was released. Actually,
>> the one my parents got was a single core, for $218US (taxes), the
>> two I got later, for my house, are dual core (330) and came in
>> slightly under $200US. Of course, you have to add your own remote
>> control device, but I figure as an upgrade path those are already
>> being used, and can be had for under $20US as well
>>
>> Hopefully VA-API will be supported soon in some fashion and this will
>> allow the intel graphics hardware to accelerate playback, especially
>> on laptops that have it and no ability to support the CrystalHD
>> miniPCI devices.
>
> I suspect many folks are like me, I keep pretty up to date with the main
> backend machine, but I still have a couple of AGP boxes in use as
> frontends. I've replaced one of them with a Revo (very happy with that),
> but I don't want to spend $400 to make everything VDPAU capable right
> now.
>
> Have you noticed any advantages to dual-core Atoms for frontend use? I
> figure if you're not doing commflagging or transcoding a single core is
> enough, unless of course you run into something the ION can't help with.
>
> Now that Flash can be helped by VDPAU, that situation is a lot better.
>
> I'd really like to see Intel graphics become usable, I've passed on a
> few hardware options because they have Intel GPUs. Making old laptops,
> perhaps with broken screens, become usable frontends would be nice, only
> the newest ones seem to have mini-PCI slots for a CrystalHD module.

the dual cores are peppier in the menu and loading up MythVideo and
MythMusic, not by a whole lot, but definitely noticeable.

I got the dual cores because I got the systems on sale through Newegg,
who seems to put them on sale at least twice a month. For playback,
VDPAU handles everything, but the OSD fade needs to be disabled or you
get visual stutter, with the single core getting occasional audio
stutter as well for higher bitrate streams.

I get the feeling that, by the time 0.25 comes out, you should be able
to get a 230 (single core) based ION system for even cheaper.

all my commflagging is done by my backend which is a Pentium E2160 and
plenty fast to flag a couple streams real-time. transcoding I don't
really use myth, so I can do it on my backend or my laptop.

--
Steve
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/User:Steveadeff
Before you ask, read the FAQ!
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Frequently_Asked_Questions
then search the Wiki, and this list,
http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/
Mailinglist etiquette -
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Mailing_List_etiquette
_______________________________________________
mythtv-users mailing list
mythtv-users [at] mythtv
http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users


adeffs.mythtv at gmail

Dec 3, 2010, 10:17 AM

Post #9 of 61 (7048 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 1:12 PM, nospam312 <nospam312 [at] gmail> wrote:
>> libmpeg2 - A high proportion of problems reported to us can be traced
>> back to libmpeg2, we want MythTV to be as stable as possible and the
>> advantages of libmpeg2 are outweighed by the negatives. Like XvMC, it
>> complicates the code in ways that make it harder to maintain.
>
> If you remove libmpeg2 does that mean we can't playback any mpeg2
> based recording - e.g. Freeview in the UK?
>
> It seems you are removing a core feature of MythTV?
>
> Can you explain what libmpeg2 does?
>
> If I have an oldish machine without VDPAU does this mean I can no
> longer playback any recordings?

libmpeg2 is just a decoding library for mpeg2, it has basically been
replaced by the use of ffmpeg, but from what I understand was left in
as a just-in-case for when ffmpeg may have issues on certain user
hardware, or with certain users files.


--
Steve
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/User:Steveadeff
Before you ask, read the FAQ!
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Frequently_Asked_Questions
then search the Wiki, and this list,
http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/
Mailinglist etiquette -
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Mailing_List_etiquette
_______________________________________________
mythtv-users mailing list
mythtv-users [at] mythtv
http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users


jarod at wilsonet

Dec 3, 2010, 10:19 AM

Post #10 of 61 (7054 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On Dec 3, 2010, at 1:12 PM, nospam312 wrote:

>> libmpeg2 - A high proportion of problems reported to us can be traced
>> back to libmpeg2, we want MythTV to be as stable as possible and the
>> advantages of libmpeg2 are outweighed by the negatives. Like XvMC, it
>> complicates the code in ways that make it harder to maintain.
>
> If you remove libmpeg2 does that mean we can't playback any mpeg2
> based recording - e.g. Freeview in the UK?
>
> It seems you are removing a core feature of MythTV?

We're not that insane.


> Can you explain what libmpeg2 does?

Its an alternative mpeg2 decoding engine to the primary ffmpeg one.


> If I have an oldish machine without VDPAU does this mean I can no
> longer playback any recordings?

No. The ffmpeg decoding engine will continue to work just fine.


--
Jarod Wilson
jarod [at] wilsonet



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beww at beww

Dec 3, 2010, 10:22 AM

Post #11 of 61 (7042 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On Friday, December 03, 2010 11:17:50 am Steven Adeff wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 1:12 PM, nospam312 <nospam312 [at] gmail> wrote:
> >> libmpeg2 - A high proportion of problems reported to us can be
> >> traced back to libmpeg2, we want MythTV to be as stable as
> >> possible and the advantages of libmpeg2 are outweighed by the
> >> negatives. Like XvMC, it complicates the code in ways that make
> >> it harder to maintain.
> >
> > If you remove libmpeg2 does that mean we can't playback any mpeg2
> > based recording - e.g. Freeview in the UK?
> >
> > It seems you are removing a core feature of MythTV?
> >
> > Can you explain what libmpeg2 does?
> >
> > If I have an oldish machine without VDPAU does this mean I can no
> > longer playback any recordings?
>
> libmpeg2 is just a decoding library for mpeg2, it has basically been
> replaced by the use of ffmpeg, but from what I understand was left in
> as a just-in-case for when ffmpeg may have issues on certain user
> hardware, or with certain users files.

All OTA television in the USA is MPEG2, I wouldn't worry about Myth
dropping support for the codec.

They are just dropping support for an older method of decoding mpeg2,
most everyone uses ffmpeg these days.

XvMC is an older hardware support method for mpeg2, it's pretty well
been replaced by VDPAU, and decoding mpeg2 in software is not all that
CPU intensive (pretty much anything over 500 Mhz. can handle it at SD
resolutions).



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raymond at wagnerrp

Dec 3, 2010, 11:55 AM

Post #12 of 61 (7058 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On 12/3/2010 13:04, Brian Wood wrote:
> On Friday, December 03, 2010 10:34:14 am Steven Adeff wrote
>> Hopefully VA-API will be supported soon in some fashion and this will
>> allow the intel graphics hardware to accelerate playback, especially
>> on laptops that have it and no ability to support the CrystalHD
>> miniPCI devices.
> I'd really like to see Intel graphics become usable, I've passed on a
> few hardware options because they have Intel GPUs. Making old laptops,
> perhaps with broken screens, become usable frontends would be nice, only
> the newest ones seem to have mini-PCI slots for a CrystalHD module.

Intel graphics are perfectly usable. If benchmark websites are to be
believed, the X4500s should have plenty of power to use the OpenGL
renderer, and the GMA HD units in i3 and i5 processors are actually
comparable to the nVidia chips in ION systems.

VA-API is only supported for the X4500HD/MHD, GMA HD and GMA 500
chipsets. Most people with existing Intel systems will have GMA 950,
X3100, or X4500 (non-HD) chipsets. None of these are supported by
VA-API. Of the systems that are supported, the X4500HD and GMA HD
chipsets are only found in high end systems, which are likely to already
be able to decode everything using the software decoders, making VA-API
nice but unnecessary. The only systems that will be made usable through
VA-API are low end GMA 500 based ones.
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mtdean at thirdcontact

Dec 3, 2010, 1:00 PM

Post #13 of 61 (7035 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On 12/03/2010 01:19 PM, Jarod Wilson wrote:
> On Dec 3, 2010, at 1:12 PM, nospam312 wrote:
>> Can you explain what libmpeg2 does?
> Its an alternative mpeg2 decoding engine to the primary ffmpeg one.

that hasn't been updated for years, that doesn't successfully decode
many MPEG-2 streams that exist today, and that has always broken
captions/subtitles (meaning you can't get them with libmpeg2).

It's what people who flip switches without understanding them may use,
but anyone with a working MythTV uses ffmpeg for decoding MPEG-2. :)

At one point the description said "faster", so some users chose it (then
reported bugs when things, like captions, didn't work). Here's what the
MythTV help text for the option now says:

libmpeg2 is slower on almost all processors than ffmpeg and breaks
caption decoding. Use at your own risk!

(So, anyone now using it needs to not.)

Mike
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peloy at chapus

Dec 5, 2010, 5:52 AM

Post #14 of 61 (7002 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On Fri, Dec 03, 2010 at 11:04:57AM -0700, Brian Wood wrote:

> On Friday, December 03, 2010 10:34:14 am Steven Adeff wrote:
>
> > Legacy hardware is an issue, but I wonder how many people are still
> > using it? My headaches with XvMC led me to suck it up and buy better
> > CPU's, then when VDPAU arrived, to buy hardware that supported that.

[...]

> I suspect many folks are like me, I keep pretty up to date with the main
> backend machine, but I still have a couple of AGP boxes in use as
> frontends. I've replaced one of them with a Revo (very happy with that),
> but I don't want to spend $400 to make everything VDPAU capable right
> now.

This pretty much summarizes my situation -- I am (was, see below)
depending on XvMC for one frontend that has an AGP bus and cannot decode
HD in software.

The XvMC migration has already started for some people -- Mythbuntu
disabled compile-time XvMC support in the latest auto-build packages
because of the number of crash reports that are apparently attributed
to XvMC. There was no heads up of this change in the Mythbuntu packages
because Mythbuntu developers assumed that there are few users using
XvMC. I found out that XvMC support was gone when my frontend wouldn't
playback anything.

At this point, given this situation, my options are:

- Build my own packages. Cons: there's a reason I use binary packages.
I don't really want to go and setup my own auto-build infrastructure to
keep on top of a -fixes branch.

- Try to find the last version of the Mythbuntu packages that have XvMC
support. Cons: I'll be running an old version that does not get fixes
from the -fixes branch.

- Buy a new frontend. Cons: was not planning on making the $$$
investment right now.

- Buy a PCI card that can do VDPAU. Cons: any negative downside to using
a PCI card to play HD? Based on the VDPAU in the wiki it seems like it
works. This seems like the best option I have right now.

Cheers,

Eloy Paris.-
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james.dutton at gmail

Dec 5, 2010, 6:33 AM

Post #15 of 61 (6995 views)
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Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On 2 December 2010 19:05, Robert McNamara <robert.mcnamara [at] gmail> wrote:
> We'd like to warn users that we are planning to drop XvMC and libmpeg2
> decoding support from forthcoming MythTV releases. MythTV 0.25 will be
> the first release without these features, so you still have several
> months to upgrade hardware if you wish to continue running the latest
> MythTV releases. Of course the newly released 0.24 will remain
> available if either XvMC or libmpeg2 are important to you.
> Why are we doing this?
>
> XvMC - The primary reason is that the XvMC code is very hard to
> maintain. It requires a lot special handling and does not support the
> features which many of our other video rendering methods provide. Far
> superior alternative hardware decoders such as Nvidia's VDPAU are now
> supported. Crystal HD, ATI and Intel support are also on the MythTV
> roadmap.
>
> libmpeg2 - A high proportion of problems reported to us can be traced
> back to libmpeg2, we want MythTV to be as stable as possible and the
> advantages of libmpeg2 are outweighed by the negatives. Like XvMC, it
> complicates the code in ways that make it harder to maintain.
>

You say that you wish to use ffmpeg for mpeg2 decoding instead of libmpeg2.
Although I have not looked at ffmpeg mpeg2 support recently, it was
way behind libmpeg2 performance wise and feature wise.
For example, there was no way to get ffmpeg to play DVD still menus,
it did not have the api required for that.
For example, sending a single I-frame to libmpeg2, libmpeg2 is able to
display it onto the screen immediately, ffmpeg only does this after
other frames have arrived in the buffer.
So, I am only highlighting some issues you might not be aware of,
particularly if myth is able to play DVDs.

Regarding XvMC, it is a very simple protocol. Surely ffmpeg could be
made to support it.
XvMC is still used by a lot of people to play SD content using older
STBs. Maybe the way forward is to make a VDPAU API to XvMC converter,
whereby software does a lot of the VDPAU API, and it uses XvMC where
it can. I think the difficulty might be in the fact that XvMC is MPEG2
specific, and cannot handle any MPEG4 media.

I agree that VDPAU (and similar) and OpenGL are the way forward for HD
content, but Xv and XvMC are still perfectly good for SD content.
For example, I have a small TV in the Kitchen. There is no sensible
reason for me to purchase a HD capable STB when the TV is only 17
inches and has no HDMI connector.

But, I then have a problem, keep the STB mythfrontend in the kitchen
at 0.24, and have .26 in the Lounge, but .26 might upgrade the backend
database, making it incompatible with 0.24 mythfrontend in the
kitchen.

I would also like to point out that although HDMI has been around for
a long time, I only got my first HDMI capable PC last week.
I do not think I am alone in this. Many other people will not be ready
to upgrade their hardware.

Kind Regards

James
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raymond at wagnerrp

Dec 5, 2010, 8:16 AM

Post #16 of 61 (6992 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On 12/5/2010 08:52, Eloy Paris wrote:
> - Buy a PCI card that can do VDPAU. Cons: any negative downside to using
> a PCI card to play HD? Based on the VDPAU in the wiki it seems like it
> works. This seems like the best option I have right now.

If you're playing content usable through VDPAU, you're only going to be
sending a few MB/s, not a problem for PCI. The other UI bits are not
active enough to cause any problems wither. Any HD content that can't
be played through VDPAU will likely require too much bandwidth to
realistically be used.
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raymond at wagnerrp

Dec 5, 2010, 8:28 AM

Post #17 of 61 (6984 views)
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Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On 12/5/2010 09:33, James Courtier-Dutton wrote:
> I agree that VDPAU (and similar) and OpenGL are the way forward for HD
> content, but Xv and XvMC are still perfectly good for SD content.
> For example, I have a small TV in the Kitchen. There is no sensible
> reason for me to purchase a HD capable STB when the TV is only 17
> inches and has no HDMI connector.

It has nothing to do with the content it is usable with, and everything
to do with the direction we want to take the presentation of MythTV. Xv
has no OSD support to speak of. Any overlays must be rendered to the
size of the video, converted to YUV, and baked into the video. XvMC has
OSD support, but it is very primitive, and ends up being more limiting
than Xv. The fact that XvMC has been unnecessary for any desktop
processor made in the past five years, and $25 gets you a video card
plenty capable of handling the OpenGL painter, has just made the
decision an easier one.
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lists at qucae

Dec 5, 2010, 11:26 AM

Post #18 of 61 (6986 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

James Courtier-Dutton wrote:

> For example, I have a small TV in the Kitchen. There is no sensible
> reason for me to purchase a HD capable STB when the TV is only 17
> inches and has no HDMI connector.
>

>
> I would also like to point out that although HDMI has been around for
> a long time, I only got my first HDMI capable PC last week.
> I do not think I am alone in this. Many other people will not be ready
> to upgrade their hardware.
>

I think you're a bit confused. HDMI has nothing to do with any of this.
It's just a connector type. I've been running HD for years over VGA,
DVI and Component connections. Also, VDPAU is not HD specific.

A cheap Atom based computer should be able to decode SD content without
GPU assistance. How old is your hardware in that it cannot decode SD
content with the CPU? Even seven years ago when I was running .11 I
didn't require XvMC for any SD content. I think I was using an Athlon
XP 2500 at that time.

Perhaps when you state "XvMC is still used by a lot of people to play SD
content using older STBs", there is a distinct difference between "used"
and "needed".

Regardless, I don't think it's too much of a stretch by the developers
to target new releases of MythTV to hardware which is at most two to
three years old. It lessons the effort required, reduces complexity and
allows them more freedom to add features. .24 has a very impressive
feature set which should be able to carry people with a taste for
ancient hardware for quite some time.
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beww at beww

Dec 5, 2010, 11:43 AM

Post #19 of 61 (6980 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On Sunday, December 05, 2010 12:26:57 pm BP wrote:

> A cheap Atom based computer should be able to decode SD content
> without GPU assistance. How old is your hardware in that it cannot
> decode SD content with the CPU? Even seven years ago when I was
> running .11 I didn't require XvMC for any SD content. I think I was
> using an Athlon XP 2500 at that time.

As a datapoint, Dell stopped putting hardware mpeg decoders in their
DVD-equipped laptops at the time their CPUs hit 500Mhz.

Of course they were using highly-optimized code for the DVD player, so
it might be better to say that 750 Mhz. is required to decode SD mpeg2
in software. Myth does more than just play the file, so it would need a
little more than just decoding would require.

So anything you can buy now, or even 5-7 years ago, should be able to
cope with SD mpeg2 decoding by the CPU.

Of course h264 is an entirely different story.

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jrauti at iki

Dec 5, 2010, 12:00 PM

Post #20 of 61 (6990 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On Sun, 5 Dec 2010, Brian Wood wrote:

> Of course they were using highly-optimized code for the DVD player, so
> it might be better to say that 750 Mhz. is required to decode SD mpeg2
> in software. Myth does more than just play the file, so it would need a
> little more than just decoding would require.

I'm using ffmpeg decoding in playback and it consumes 25-30% of Pentium-M
running at 800 MHz (which can scale up to 1.73 GHz). Even when recording
with one channel with DVB-C and doing simultaneous playback and
commercial detection it seldom went over 800 MHz in 0.23-fixes. With
0.24-fixes CPU goes to 1.73 GHz and commercial detection ends almost same
time as recording.

> Of course h264 is an entirely different story.

My machine can't handle this at all. That's why I'm looking passive single
slot VPDAU card. But atleast in Finland they are hard to find:(.

Juhani
--
Juhani Rautiainen jrauti [at] iki
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beww at beww

Dec 5, 2010, 12:09 PM

Post #21 of 61 (6985 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On Sunday, December 05, 2010 01:00:26 pm Juhani Rautiainen wrote:
> On Sun, 5 Dec 2010, Brian Wood wrote:
> > Of course they were using highly-optimized code for the DVD player,
> > so it might be better to say that 750 Mhz. is required to decode
> > SD mpeg2 in software. Myth does more than just play the file, so
> > it would need a little more than just decoding would require.
>
> I'm using ffmpeg decoding in playback and it consumes 25-30% of
> Pentium-M running at 800 MHz (which can scale up to 1.73 GHz). Even
> when recording with one channel with DVB-C and doing simultaneous
> playback and commercial detection it seldom went over 800 MHz in
> 0.23-fixes. With 0.24-fixes CPU goes to 1.73 GHz and commercial
> detection ends almost same time as recording.

A good datapoint, thanks.

>
> > Of course h264 is an entirely different story.
>
> My machine can't handle this at all. That's why I'm looking passive
> single slot VPDAU card. But atleast in Finland they are hard to
> find:(.

If by "single slot" you mean "doesn't block the adjacent slot" you may
have problems. Most (make that every) fanless VDPAU card I have seen
will block the adjacent slot to some degree.

I have an EVGA 8400GS card with a fan that can barely be heard (just
put it into service last night in fact), I have also seen some
replacement GPU fans on the market that might be quieter than some
standard ones.

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newbury at mandamus

Dec 5, 2010, 12:50 PM

Post #22 of 61 (6981 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

Sent from my iPhone

On 2010-12-05, at 11:28, Raymond Wagner <raymond [at] wagnerrp> wrote:

> On 12/5/2010 09:33, James Courtier-Dutton wrote:
>> I agree that VDPAU (and similar) and OpenGL are the way forward for
>> HD
>> content, but Xv and XvMC are still perfectly good for SD content.
>> For example, I have a small TV in the Kitchen. There is no sensible
>> reason for me to purchase a HD capable STB when the TV is only 17
>> inches and has no HDMI connector.
>
> It has nothing to do with the content it is usable with, and
> everything to do with the direction we want to take the presentation
> of MythTV. Xv has no OSD support to speak of. Any overlays must be
> rendered to the size of the video, converted to YUV, and baked into
> the video. XvMC has OSD support, but it is very primitive, and ends
> up being more limiting than Xv. The fact that XvMC has been
> unnecessary for any desktop processor made in the past five years,
> and $25 gets you a video card plenty capable of handling the OpenGL
> painter, has just made the decision an easier one.

This cuts off anyone using a laptop with an Intel video chipset. For
quite a while ( versions 2.5 through 2.8) XvMC was turned off. In
2.9.1 it works reaonably making my 1.8Ghz X-61tablet a reasonable myth
platform.

I would hate to lose that. And Lenovo does seem to make laptops with
nvidia chipsets and Lenovo is the only maker offering the trackpoint.
A Venn diagram of nvidia and trackpoint has no intersection!
Geoff
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beww at beww

Dec 5, 2010, 1:00 PM

Post #23 of 61 (6970 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On Sunday, December 05, 2010 01:50:56 pm Newbury wrote:
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On 2010-12-05, at 11:28, Raymond Wagner <raymond [at] wagnerrp> wrote:
> > On 12/5/2010 09:33, James Courtier-Dutton wrote:
> >> I agree that VDPAU (and similar) and OpenGL are the way forward
> >> for HD
> >> content, but Xv and XvMC are still perfectly good for SD content.
> >> For example, I have a small TV in the Kitchen. There is no
> >> sensible reason for me to purchase a HD capable STB when the TV
> >> is only 17 inches and has no HDMI connector.
> >
> > It has nothing to do with the content it is usable with, and
> > everything to do with the direction we want to take the
> > presentation of MythTV. Xv has no OSD support to speak of. Any
> > overlays must be rendered to the size of the video, converted to
> > YUV, and baked into the video. XvMC has OSD support, but it is
> > very primitive, and ends up being more limiting than Xv. The fact
> > that XvMC has been unnecessary for any desktop processor made in
> > the past five years, and $25 gets you a video card plenty capable
> > of handling the OpenGL painter, has just made the decision an
> > easier one.
>
> This cuts off anyone using a laptop with an Intel video chipset. For
> quite a while ( versions 2.5 through 2.8) XvMC was turned off. In
> 2.9.1 it works reaonably making my 1.8Ghz X-61tablet a reasonable
> myth platform.
>
> I would hate to lose that. And Lenovo does seem to make laptops with
> nvidia chipsets and Lenovo is the only maker offering the trackpoint.
> A Venn diagram of nvidia and trackpoint has no intersection!
> Geoff

Yeah. Many Myth users have "secondary" machines that might not meet
today's standards.

It's like in the TV business, we all figured that everyone had a color
set, and so we didn't worry too much about how things would look in B+W,
forgetting that a lot of monochrome sets still existed in bedrooms,
kitchens, kid's rooms etc.

Backwards compatibility is always desirable. Perhaps there should be a
stripped down version of Myth's frontend that would still support the
latest database schema and other protocols, but would run on minimal
hardware, even without the latest bells and whistles, but still usable
with a reduced feature set.

Myth is not just a Living Room experience anymore.


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nick.rout at gmail

Dec 5, 2010, 1:29 PM

Post #24 of 61 (6971 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On Mon, Dec 6, 2010 at 10:00 AM, Brian Wood <beww [at] beww> wrote:
> On Sunday, December 05, 2010 01:50:56 pm Newbury wrote:
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>> On 2010-12-05, at 11:28, Raymond Wagner <raymond [at] wagnerrp> wrote:
>> > On 12/5/2010 09:33, James Courtier-Dutton wrote:
>> >> I agree that VDPAU (and similar) and OpenGL are the way forward
>> >> for HD
>> >> content, but Xv and XvMC are still perfectly good for SD content.
>> >> For example, I have a small TV in the Kitchen. There is no
>> >> sensible reason for me to purchase a HD capable STB when the TV
>> >> is only 17 inches and has no HDMI connector.
>> >
>> > It has nothing to do with the content it is usable with, and
>> > everything to do with the direction we want to take the
>> > presentation of MythTV.  Xv has no OSD support to speak of.  Any
>> > overlays must be rendered to the size of the video, converted to
>> > YUV, and baked into the video.  XvMC has OSD support, but it is
>> > very primitive, and ends up being more limiting than Xv.  The fact
>> > that XvMC has been unnecessary for any desktop processor made in
>> > the past five years, and $25 gets you a video card plenty capable
>> > of handling the OpenGL painter, has just made the decision an
>> > easier one.
>>
>> This cuts off anyone using a laptop with an Intel video chipset. For
>> quite a while ( versions 2.5 through 2.8) XvMC was turned off. In
>> 2.9.1 it works reaonably making my 1.8Ghz X-61tablet a reasonable
>> myth platform.
>>
>> I would hate to lose that. And Lenovo does seem to make laptops with
>> nvidia chipsets and Lenovo is the only maker offering the trackpoint.
>> A Venn diagram of nvidia and trackpoint has no intersection!
>> Geoff
>
> Yeah. Many Myth users have "secondary" machines that might not meet
> today's standards.
>
> It's like in the TV business, we all figured that everyone had a color
> set, and so we didn't worry too much about how things would look in B+W,
> forgetting that a lot of monochrome sets still existed in bedrooms,
> kitchens, kid's rooms etc.
>
> Backwards compatibility is always desirable. Perhaps there should be a
> stripped down version of Myth's frontend that would still support the
> latest database schema and other protocols, but would run on minimal
> hardware, even without the latest bells and whistles, but still usable
> with a reduced feature set.

I guess one of the promises of upnp is the abilty for any client with
a upnp stack and a media player to watch recordings and videos, using
whatever player is efficient on that client. Other players may still
support xvmc.

There is also the flash streaming available in mythweb.

No you don't get a full frontend, but if these are not the main living
room experience, you may be able to live with that.

Come to think of it xvmc has a usable front end, i don't know if they
still (or ever) support xvmc, but it could be worth exploring.
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jedi at mishnet

Dec 5, 2010, 1:29 PM

Post #25 of 61 (6977 views)
Permalink
Re: XvMC and libmpeg2 to be dropped in 0.25 [In reply to]

On Sun, Dec 05, 2010 at 11:26:57AM -0800, BP wrote:
> James Courtier-Dutton wrote:
>
> >For example, I have a small TV in the Kitchen. There is no sensible
> >reason for me to purchase a HD capable STB when the TV is only 17
> >inches and has no HDMI connector.
> >
>
> >
> >I would also like to point out that although HDMI has been around for
> >a long time, I only got my first HDMI capable PC last week.
> >I do not think I am alone in this. Many other people will not be ready
> >to upgrade their hardware.
> >
>
> I think you're a bit confused. HDMI has nothing to do with any of
> this. It's just a connector type. I've been running HD for years
> over VGA, DVI and Component connections. Also, VDPAU is not HD
> specific.
>
> A cheap Atom based computer should be able to decode SD content
> without GPU assistance. How old is your hardware in that it cannot

Well, an Atom will certainly do well enough for MPEG2. It will manage
to "squeak by" for DIVX. So it probably has no hope of coping with h264.
So it's paramount that whatever acceleration features are available on the
GPU are supported (whatever they are).

[deletia]
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