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View Full Version : Hardware Acceleration in Hulu through Boxee in XP?


jsl4980
January 7th, 2010, 06:46 PM
I read through the release notes that Boxee will support hardware acceleration for flash applications in Windows 7 and Vista. I want to know if that will apply to XP as well, or if it already applies to XP.

I have an Acer Aspire Revo 1600 (single core plus ION). Netflix and Youtube work great, but Hulu through Boxee does not work great yet. I'm using the Boxee beta just released today. If you need any other info please let me know. If I have to upgrade to Windows 7 I can do that as well but I'd rather stick to XP if I can.

judgeschambers
January 7th, 2010, 06:52 PM
You know, I've gotten conflicting info on this. First that post in the FAQ leaves out XP, so everyone thinks XP is not supported. I don't believe that xp and acceleration are not supported.

I'll ask and get a final answer.

Stand by................................................ ....

hipnetic
January 8th, 2010, 09:33 AM
Just bumping this because I have the exact same setup and question as the OP. I've got a Acer AspireRevo 1600 w/XP (and stock 1GB of RAM) and want to know if Boxee will support fluid Hulu, Netflix, and high-def movie playback on this configuration. I've been using XBMC for Windows for some time, launching MPC-HC as an external player, and it works great for my high-def movies. I haven't had a lot of success with Hulu or Netflix on their own (my HD TiVo does a great job with Netflix).

I got early access to the Boxee Beta but had no success with any of those things, but I'm not sure if my problem is that Boxee simply won't support it on my hardware with XP, or if I need to update some drivers, or if my box is too crudded up from having tried out various codecs, etc.

bradvido
February 3rd, 2010, 02:53 PM
bumping this again as I have the same exact issue.
From what i've seen, it seems like hardware gpu accelleration is not working with boxee beta on revo 1600 with XP

jsl4980
February 3rd, 2010, 03:05 PM
I've tried Windows XP and Windows 7 on my Acer Revo 1600. I had an extra gig of ram from previous upgrades so I've tested XP with 2GB and Windows 7 with 1GB and 2GB of RAM.

In Windows XP with 2GB RAM and all softawre updated - flash video sucks. (that means Hulu, NBC, ABC, CBS - they all suck). Netflix was good.

In XP I have changed up my system to use Hulu's desktop player. Boxee just isn't ready for very low powered XP systems.

In Windows 7 with 1GB of RAM and all software updated - video was good but if a virus scan kicked off it would turn into a slide show.

In Windows 7 with 2GB of RAM and all software updated - video playback was very good through Boxee.

"all software updated" means: Flash 10.1 beta 2p, Nvidia's latest 196.xx drivers, DirectX upgraded, latest Firefox, Move Networks player installed and all other relevant software installed.

To sum up: Boxee 0.9.20.10408 doesn't work on the Acer Aspire Revo 1600 with XP.

bradvido
February 3rd, 2010, 03:06 PM
were you using the latest beta version of flash? it's the only one that support HW accel

posnera
February 3rd, 2010, 03:25 PM
I have the same results. Revo 1600, 1gb ram, XP. Flash video is unwatchable in Boxee. Hulu Desktop plays the same videos quite well.

This is with the newest Nvidia drivers and latest Flash beta.

I've also found that 720p MKV files don't play properly in Boxee, but play fine in a different player.

I agree with the conclusion that Boxee does not support hardware acceleration in XP. I hope this gets rectified, I'd rather not have to buy Win 7.

jsl4980
February 3rd, 2010, 03:48 PM
I don't want to take the thread too off topic, but I would suggest trying Boxee in Linux before buying Windows 7. A friend of mine with a Revo 1600 uses XBMC in Linux and it plays HD mkv files very well. I can't speak for Flash video playback in Linux on the Revo. You could try running Ubuntu off a thumb drive or using Wubi (windows ubuntu installer) to run Ubuntu along side XP. The only downside that I'm aware of with Linux is no Netflix playback.

I will try this when I get a chance unless someone can chime in with any relevant experience with Linux + Boxee on a 1600.

dan1son
February 3rd, 2010, 04:17 PM
I've ran Boxee on Ubuntu 9.10. The VDPAU accelerated playback is as perfect as you'd think, but the DXVA2 stuff in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is just as good. It'll play back 1080p MKV H.264 files with ease in either OS.

The problems come around to flash. In Linux Flash playback is actually quite good for the few sites it supports (Hulu mainly). It doesn't support the Move player sites (like Fox, NBC...) or netflix. I find Hulu is incomparably better in Linux than Windows 7 even with Flash 10.1. I think boxee has some work to do on that front.

If you're only going to playback MKV files and such, run XBMC in Linux. If you want to use the social, apps, and streaming aspects of boxee I'd run it on Vista or 7.

judgeschambers
February 3rd, 2010, 07:48 PM
Well, the 1600 is underpowered with a single core CPU. Also, it has the ION LE chip, which will only support DirectX 10 no matter what on XP as it is a licensing deal with Microsoft and Nvidia. XP does support hardware acceleration on Boxee. But again, the single core and the Ion LE will cause issues with playback of HD MKV 720p or 1080P files and most any other file types.

Most users have not had great playback using the 1600 with Boxee as a result. Just too much hit to the CPU. Sure, there are some that were able to install Windows 7 and maybe got slightly better playback, but even then it is not that great. Issues are not a Windows 7 issue, it's a hardware, CPU and driver issue that takes the right mix to get to work well together. My 3610 could not be any better.

Lastly, multitasking the 1600 will severely lagg that machine. This includes AV scans, video and web browsing etc. Mileage may vary. No amount of ram or drivers or Linux seems to help. :( If possible, consider moving into the 3610 with the 330 dual core with Windows 7. I and most others have had mad success and been extremely happy with it. Flash 10.1=Flawless. Netflix silverlight=flawless. Hulu (flash)=Flawless. NBC, CBS, Fox (move networks)=so so as boxee is still working on the Move Plug In. DirectX in Boxee is not currently supporting acceleration, so 720p MKV's play flawless, but full 1080p MKVs are laggy.

There are a ton of posts here on Acer Revo 1600 and 3600. I've posted a bunch of help covering a lot of related topics. Poke around and search by Revo, ACER, and or 1600 3610. You should find some good reading and possible leads on small tweaks. :cool:

hipnetic
February 3rd, 2010, 08:56 PM
The 1600, XP or otherwise, is fully capable of handling 1080p content. I do this with my 1600 running XP and XBMC with MPC-HC as an external player, and I've recently been experimenting with XBMC Live, which also works great. This is with the stock 1GB of RAM.

The problem with Boxee and XP is that Boxee's implementation of GPU optimization relies on DXVA2 support, which requires Vista or Win 7. One Boxee dev who has participated in the XBMC forums indicated that their DXVA2 approach was not likely to change, so if you're using an ION PC with XP (e.g., the Revo 1600), Boxee isn't an option.

dan1son
February 3rd, 2010, 09:02 PM
XP does support hardware acceleration on Boxee.

This post from one of the boxee devs says otherwise.

http://blog.xbmc.org/forum/showthread.php?t=63605&page=2

Boxee might support flash acceleration in XP, but it won't support acceleration of local media.


The 1600 is inherently weak, but it's also super cheap. It'll playback local media at full 1080p in Linux, Vista, or 7 with the current builds of boxee due to the ION chip (I get 5-10% CPU usage with any H.264 content, even 1080p). Flash needs some work though... hopefully with the help of Adobe devs and boxee devs it'll get adequately fast as well. Both flash 10.1 with GPU acceleration and boxee are in beta, so there's plenty of time :).

judgeschambers
February 3rd, 2010, 09:04 PM
The 1600, XP or otherwise, is fully capable of handling 1080p content. I do this with my 1600 running XP and XBMC with MPC-HC as an external player, and I've recently been experimenting with XBMC Live, which also works great. This is with the stock 1GB of RAM.

The problem with Boxee and XP is that Boxee's implementation of GPU optimization relies on DXVA2 support, which requires Vista or Win 7. One Boxee dev who has participated in the XBMC forums indicated that their DXVA2 approach was not likely to change, so if you're using an ION PC with XP (e.g., the Revo 1600), Boxee isn't an option.

Sure, the 1600 will play 1080P content, MPC-HC, VLC and IE will work well.

But add another high CPU using program and/or Boxee and the XP ION LE/DX 10 limitation....now it's gonna lag. ;) Expectations with a single core unit must be in line with that fact. It's not a Boxee issue, it's a hardware limitation. :cool:

judgeschambers
February 3rd, 2010, 09:10 PM
This post from one of the boxee devs says otherwise.

http://blog.xbmc.org/forum/showthread.php?t=63605&page=2

Boxee might support flash acceleration in XP, but it won't support acceleration of local media.


Hmm, my contacts say otherwise on both those points.

dan1son
February 3rd, 2010, 09:35 PM
Hmm, my contacts say otherwise on both those points.

Well if the XBMC forum post wasn't enough... the release notes for boxee beta say the same thing.

I haven't tried it in XP personally, but I know the XBMC devs just merged in the boxee DXVA changes and it only supports Vista or 7.

http://www.boxee.tv/download/relnotes?ver=0.9.20

Read - Hardware Accelerated Video Decoding.


Judges,
You're definitely right about background tasks potentially smoking the CPU availability, but I think in the case of a dedicated HTPC type box you shouldn't run into that. Shut down the virus scanners, automatic updates, and other background apps and the machine should have plenty of juice to do whatever media stuff you need.

I know my Revo does nothing but boxee, xbmc, or video web surfing and only one of those at a time. It does them all quite well if you live within the limitations.

judgeschambers
February 4th, 2010, 07:05 AM
Yeah, I just read that. Been a while since I had. I,m gonna have to log in and update some of that info there as it's not complete and outdated. (Flash, Silverlight should be listed too).

I'll contact the devs and verify the XP thing again....and update accordingly.

I think we agree on the 1600 and it's intended usage. Many do not take into account all the factors and are upset when they can't play or do everything they wish. Trying to explain the ION LE & DX10 & XP & single core issues/limitations is a bit much for many, so I usually try to persuade potential buyers to just get the 3610 if they've got the extra $$. When they they get the 1600 anyway and rage on it's limitations, I just :rolleyes:.

Definitely must stay within the 1600's limitations and it will work well. :cool:

NomadDNA
February 4th, 2010, 10:26 AM
[From previous correspondence]:

Against Judgeschambers' best advice to purchase a Revo3610, last night I visited my local computer store and purchased a new AGP video accelerated card for my XP computer... My results?

Pretty crappy. I can't tell any difference between the laggy performance of Boxee on my GeFroce4 MX and my new ATI Radeon HD 4650 video card ($120!). I wasn't sure if it was my Pent 4 processor, DirectX 9, or XP...but from I hear, it looks like XP is to blame.

There is a way to upgrade XP to DirectX10 with some back-end modifications; would this solve any of the lagging problems?

System:
Windows XP Professional
Pentium 4 Processor - 2.8GHz
HIS ATI Radeon HD 4650 Video Card
DirectX9; Flash 10.1; Firefox 3.6
New 450W power supply
1.25GB RAM

dan1son
February 4th, 2010, 11:12 AM
[From previous correspondence]:
There is a way to upgrade XP to DirectX10 with some back-end modifications; would this solve any of the lagging problems?


No... I think you just proved XP DXVA acceleration is, in fact, NOT in boxee. They say it's not in the release notes... no reason to assume it does.

Just put Vista or 7 on it and you should be good to go. :)

judgeschambers
February 10th, 2010, 07:57 PM
GPU acceleration does not work at all in XP with Boxee or outside of Boxee.

NomadDNA tested it both ways. Plus, I verified with Marcel and he stated XP does not do Hardware GPU acceleration at all. Its a Windows Vista & 7 deal only.

hipnetic
February 10th, 2010, 09:40 PM
GPU acceleration does not work at all in XP with Boxee or outside of Boxee.

NomadDNA tested it both ways. Plus, I verified with Marcel and he stated XP does not do Hardware GPU acceleration at all. Its a Windows Vista & 7 deal only.What does "outside of Boxee" mean? GPU acceleration is dependent on the application. An XP application can be developed such that it takes advantage of the NVIDIA ION GPU. The XBMC/DSplayer build does so. MPC-HC does as well.

judgeschambers
February 11th, 2010, 07:11 AM
What does "outside of Boxee" mean? GPU acceleration is dependent on the application. An XP application can be developed such that it takes advantage of the NVIDIA ION GPU. The XBMC/DSplayer build does so. MPC-HC does as well.

What does "outside of Boxee"mean?= Any video player that is not boxee.

Hipnetic,

So, you're getting true GPU acceleration of video in MPC or XBMC or IE or FFOx on an XP machine? Really?

Yes, acceleration must be supported by the player and the OS. Everything I've read and tests run show it's not supported on XP no matter what player. Now, if XBMC has found a way to do this in XP, then great!. Many many people are hitting the boxee forums with this fact to rub it in it seems. :D

UPDATE:
Now, MPC-HC does list some details that says it works with XP under some specific settings. Sounds cool for XP useres. http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/DXVASupport.html

cogadh
February 11th, 2010, 08:58 AM
Hold on, now I'm even more confused. Yes, hardware acceleration within Boxee on XP is not supported, but outside of Boxee? I thought that only applied to DXVA, which technically requires DX10 or higher and is obviously not available on XP. However, hardware accelerated Flash shouldn't be a problem on XP, assuming you have the hardware and drivers that support it.

hipnetic
February 11th, 2010, 09:33 AM
<duplicate post removed>

dan1son
February 11th, 2010, 11:32 AM
Hold on, now I'm even more confused. Yes, hardware acceleration within Boxee on XP is not supported, but outside of Boxee? I thought that only applied to DXVA, which technically requires DX10 or higher and is obviously not available on XP. However, hardware accelerated Flash shouldn't be a problem on XP, assuming you have the hardware and drivers that support it.

DXVA is supported in XP (even Windows 2000 and 98) with supported video card drivers. DXVA2 is supported in Vista and 7 with Direct X 10 or later and support drivers.

Apps other than boxee chose to support the original DXVA API, while boxee chose to support DXVA2. Here's why http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc307941%28VS.85%29.aspx

DXVA2 supports direct API calls, while DXVA 1 has to use a video renderer first (XBMC has a DSPlayer branch which uses that).

XBMC now has boxee's DXVA2 support in their main trunk branch which requires Vista or 7, but you can choose to install the DSPlayer branch which will support XP.


It's as confusing as any other Microsoft technology. :)

NomadDNA
February 11th, 2010, 11:34 AM
nice. +1.

Very clutch post.

hipnetic
February 11th, 2010, 11:53 AM
Hold on, now I'm even more confused. Yes, hardware acceleration within Boxee on XP is not supported, but outside of Boxee? I thought that only applied to DXVA, which technically requires DX10 or higher and is obviously not available on XP. However, hardware accelerated Flash shouldn't be a problem on XP, assuming you have the hardware and drivers that support it.You all are confusing me. You suggest that "hardware accelerated Flash" is possible but that there's something mystical about any other software making use of a GPU just because the box is running XP? I honestly know very little about what's going on behind the scenes. All I can tell you is what I said already: The special DSPlayer build of XBMC (see here (http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=61355)) takes advantage of my NVIDIA ION GPU under XP. Also, MPC-HC (see here (http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/)) also takes advantage of my NVIDIA ION GPU under XP. And there are other codecs and apps which do as well (e.g., CoreCodec).

It is not my intention to post here on this subject so as to "rub anyone's noses in it". A Boxee dev commented in an XBMC.org thread (I believe it's referenced in another comment here) why Boxee will take advantage of the GPU in Vista and Win 7 and not in XP. It is my understanding that the approach taken is not doable with XP, and I can certainly appreciate that a company with finite resources would not want to spend a significant amount of time/effort/cost in developing for an essentially discontinued OS.

That said, MS appears to continue to license out XP and Acer started selling the Acer AspireRevo 1600 with XP for $200, which has become an extremely popular platform for media streaming. Because many of us want to keep the cost down to a minimum (especially if we're looking to put these in multiple rooms of the house), we have sought out ways to accomplish this without having to spend (significant) additional money on a Win 7 upgrade. So that means either finding solutions that work under XP or Linux.

Again, I think that Boxee has made things quite clear, and while I'm disappointed, I'm not going to beat that horse to death. If others want to press them to reconsider, that's great (because they make use of the open source XBMC code, they would be able to leverage the work that the DSPlayer devs are doing, should they so choose). My main reason for posting is simply to correct any misconceptions about what is or isn't possible under XP. Yes, I've used both DSPlayer/XBMC and MPC-HC and played 1080p content with low CPU usage.

posnera
February 11th, 2010, 02:04 PM
OK, I'm still pretty confused, so I'll try to ask as simple a question as possible:

On my Aspire Revo 1600 running XP, Hulu Desktop plays well. Netflix through firefox plays well. 720p MKV files through MPC-HC play well.

Through Boxee, none of these play well.

Is there any hope that Boxee will match the performance that the computer is clearly capable of?

cogadh
February 11th, 2010, 02:22 PM
Based on what we have been told, no... at least as long as that machine is still running Windows XP.

NomadDNA
February 11th, 2010, 02:38 PM
The ball is entirely in Boxee's court.

I've started a Get Satisfaction ticket here, requesting hardware acceleration in Boxee XP. Please vote in support for the idea.

http://getsatisfaction.com/boxee/topics/provide_hardware_acceleration_for_windows_xp

cogadh
February 11th, 2010, 02:41 PM
Already done.

dan1son
February 11th, 2010, 03:45 PM
Well... flash 10.1 beta does work with GPU acceleration in XP, so boxee "should" support that in XP, even if not DXVA2 acceleration for H.264 content.

Based on my continued to be open support ticket, boxee is still working on getting flash on low power machines (like the Revo) up to par. I'll be giving another build a go tonight to see what happens.

I'm optimistic that they'll figure it out and get it working like it does in the browser. When that happens... boxee might just stay running on my revo.

judgeschambers
February 11th, 2010, 06:53 PM
I'm not so sure it's boxee's fault on the Flash and (ION). A lot of people have told me the same issues and it's always been with the 1600 or 1600 + XP+Ion LE combo. My 3610 Ion works flawlessly with Flash in IE, FF or Boxee om 720p & 1080P full screen. I don't have proof of it not being Boxee or Flash, but it seems the common denominator is the 1600+xP+IonLE.

The rest of all this xp, dvxa1-2-20, inside, outside, this that debate,,,,I give up. You guys can sort it out...
I don't want to debate the tech, I just know what works and what doesn't in Boxee. I was trying to explain that, but it got way off track and twisted. :D

I ain't mad..LOL. ...I just quit. Uncle...:D

dan1son
February 11th, 2010, 08:07 PM
I'm not trying to debate anything, just throw the facts out there.

The biggest problem most people are seeing with the Revo 1600 and boxee is that the flash performance inside of boxee is no where near where it is outside of boxee with flash 10.1.

It's that simple. Flash in the browser is great, flash in boxee is not. I'm sure they're continuing to work on it, and subsequent flash releases will probably help as well.

NomadDNA
February 12th, 2010, 08:03 AM
Whatever the issue is, it exists:

Ergo, vote on getsatisfaction!
http://getsatisfaction.com/boxee/topics/provide_hardware_acceleration_for_windows_xp

I'm surprised there's only three people who've voted.