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veamon
November 29th, 2010, 06:52 PM
I'm running netflix through the boxee app, and the streaming is extremely slow and choppy. It works fine though if I go to netflix through firefox though.

Is there something else I can do to fix this? I'm wanting an all-in-one, and previously used XBMC but am going to move if I can get this working.

Ideas?

darcilicious
November 29th, 2010, 07:01 PM
Can you post your hardware specs? CPU cores/speed, GPU brand/model and OS?

veamon
November 29th, 2010, 07:48 PM
* Type AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ / 2.6 GHz
* Multi-Core Technology Dual-Core
* 64-bit Computing Yes
* Installed Qty 1.0
* Max Supported Qty 1.0
* Installed Size 3.0 GB / 4.0 GB (max)
* Technology DDR2 SDRAM
* Memory Speed 800.0 MHz
* Memory Specification Compliance PC2-6400
* Form Factor DIMM 240-pin
* Type Integrated
* Graphics Processor / Vendor NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE Shared video memory (UMA)
* Video Memory 128.0 MB / 1343.0 MB (max)


I know its a Boxee thing since it works fine just using Firefox

judgeschambers
November 29th, 2010, 08:02 PM
All good except that GF 6100 video card. It does not accept GPU acceleration.

You also gave no OS version. GPU acceleration works only with Vista and Win-7.

Comparison to FFox or IE is common here in the forums and seems at first a logical conclusion, but is not the same. Boxee uses more resources than a browser. So, it needs to lean HARD on the GPU. When the GPU does not offer acceleration, as in your case, the CPU now has to decode the video and run the intensive Boxee program...so lag happens in Silverlight (netflix) or any flash based content.

If you had a quad core with that GPU and ran boxee, it would play fine...as the CPU has enough horsepower to chug through it.

Lastly, Netflix defaults to HD in Boxee, which takes even more CPU and GPU power to process. Again, add a big program like boxee with that video card and lag occurs.

So, you'll need to step up to a GF 8XXX series card ($80 for AGP or PCI) and you should get very good playback on a Vista or Win-7 machine. Please read my First Stop sig and I have all the hardware minimums, drivers, flash ActiveX files needed to play well in Windows.

XBMC does not play flash or Netflix, that I recall, so not a similar comparison. ;)

Hope this helps out.

veamon
November 29th, 2010, 08:07 PM
Thanks, I'll take a look at your sig post. Probably not going to upgrade though, I'd rather just close it and open a regular browser if I have to. Oh well.

judgeschambers
November 29th, 2010, 08:10 PM
Thanks, I'll take a look at your sig post. Probably not going to upgrade though, I'd rather just close it and open a regular browser if I have to. Oh well.

Yeah, an $80 video card would wake the rig right up!

As more content goes high bitrate HD, you may have no choice but to do so anyway even with browser viewing. ;)

Let us know if you need anything else.

TE5LA
December 5th, 2010, 10:34 PM
All good except that GF 6100 video card. It does not accept GPU acceleration.

You also gave no OS version. GPU acceleration works only with Vista and Win-7.

Comparison to FFox or IE is common here in the forums and seems at first a logical conclusion, but is not the same. Boxee uses more resources than a browser. So, it needs to lean HARD on the GPU. When the GPU does not offer acceleration, as in your case, the CPU now has to decode the video and run the intensive Boxee program...so lag happens in Silverlight (netflix) or any flash based content.

If you had a quad core with that GPU and ran boxee, it would play fine...as the CPU has enough horsepower to chug through it.

Lastly, Netflix defaults to HD in Boxee, which takes even more CPU and GPU power to process. Again, add a big program like boxee with that video card and lag occurs.

So, you'll need to step up to a GF 8XXX series card ($80 for AGP or PCI) and you should get very good playback on a Vista or Win-7 machine. Please read my First Stop sig and I have all the hardware minimums, drivers, flash ActiveX files needed to play well in Windows.

XBMC does not play flash or Netflix, that I recall, so not a similar comparison. ;)

Hope this helps out.
Well, I have a quad-core cpu and an Nvidia GTX285 graphics card and Netflix still runs poorly in Boxee. I am running XP but have no problem with 1080p sources, even running over my wireless power line Internet adapter from a dual-core system in another room. 1080p is smooth as silk. Netflix is jerky even at 480.

judgeschambers
December 5th, 2010, 11:27 PM
Well, I have a quad-core cpu and an Nvidia GTX285 graphics card and Netflix still runs poorly in Boxee. I am running XP but have no problem with 1080p sources, even running over my wireless power line Internet adapter from a dual-core system in another room. 1080p is smooth as silk. Netflix is jerky even at 480.

NF in boxee defaults to HD stream. XP does not do GPU acceleration either. Add another CPU intensive program and lag.

Prospero424
December 5th, 2010, 11:44 PM
Hell, if you have an open PCIe (x8 or x16, preferably) slot, you can get a Radeon HD5450 for less than $50. It'll do everything you could possibly want it to do as far as HTPC (Boxee) capability.

TE5LA
December 6th, 2010, 08:26 PM
NF in boxee defaults to HD stream. XP does not do GPU acceleration either. Add another CPU intensive program and lag.
If that's HD, I'd hate to see SD, because their HD is super-pixelated. A 480 YouTube video looks better than NetFlix on Boxee.

What do you mean that XP doesn't do acceleration? You mean Boxee doesn't support it? Because XP certainly supports graphics hardware acceleration.

This is from elcomsoft.com, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner:

Q4: What versions of Windows are supported?

A4: GPU acceleration is supported on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are supported. However, we can recommend using multi-GPU configurations only on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 (because of better performance and reliability of video drivers for these systems).

Prospero424
December 6th, 2010, 09:44 PM
What do you mean that XP doesn't do acceleration?

DXVA acceleration isn't supported under XP because XP doesn't support DXVA 2.0 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DXVA#DXVA_on_Windows_Vista_and_later).

You mean Boxee doesn't support it? Because XP certainly supports graphics hardware acceleration.

It does for Flash, and it does for OpenGL rendering, but it does not for DXVA, which Boxee (along with ffdshow, VLC, etc) needs.

This is from elcomsoft.com, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner:

Well, Elcomsoft is only speaking for their software, which isn't really relevant, here.

TE5LA
December 6th, 2010, 10:47 PM
DXVA acceleration isn't supported under XP because XP doesn't support DXVA 2.0 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DXVA#DXVA_on_Windows_Vista_and_later).
Ok, I thought you meant acceleration in general.

So, does this have any effect on local sources? A 1080p local video uses about 25-30% of my CPU under XP. Is this just for streaming from the Net?

judgeschambers
December 6th, 2010, 11:30 PM
If that's HD, I'd hate to see SD, because their HD is super-pixelated. A 480 YouTube video looks better than NetFlix on Boxee.

What do you mean that XP doesn't do acceleration? You mean Boxee doesn't support it? Because XP certainly supports graphics hardware acceleration.

This is from elcomsoft.com, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner:

Comparing Flash to Silverlight to a generic 1080p item and all in XP? ......... You can't do it like that. EAch video format (flash, silverlight, DXVA, mp4, mkv etc) has its own requirements to trigger acceleration. So, stating that your "1080P video" works in XP does not really mean you're getting acceleration. And certainly does not mean by default that acceleration is occurring in XP with Flash, silverlight and DXVA and that it's a boxee issue.

XP as an OS does not support technically..the only way it does work is if the program playing the exact video type was designed to do so in the XP environment.

Meh, I've had this discussion way too many times......:eek:

Prospero424
December 6th, 2010, 11:50 PM
Ok, I thought you meant acceleration in general.

So, does this have any effect on local sources? A 1080p local video uses about 25-30% of my CPU under XP. Is this just for streaming from the Net?

Yes, DXVA is used for local video playback. With a modern video card and DVXA support, a 1080p local video file should use ~3-8% of your CPU.

I believe streaming Flash hardware acceleration is possible within Boxee under XP if the video card supports it (check Adobe's site) and you have the latest version of Flash installed for Firefox, but I did away with my last XP machine around 6 months ago, so I'm not 100% sure.

But this all assumes a best-case scenario. Bottom line is that Boxee (like most software currently being developed) has been designed with Vista and later in mind, so it's best to avoid XP whenever possible.

TE5LA
December 7th, 2010, 09:35 AM
Well, I'm just not sure what relevance acceleration has if you're able to play 1920x1080 material without any stutter and only use 25% of the CPU. What is the incentive to switch to Windows 7, which has much worse driver support for most hardware, slower gaming performance than XP, and is less compatible overall with software?

That's what I'm getting at.

Prospero424
December 7th, 2010, 08:57 PM
First off, just because Windows Task Manager SAYS your decoding process is "only" taking 25% of your CPU time doesn't mean that's really all it's taking. Video decoding is funny that way in (all versions of) Windows.

But look, I'm not gonna get involved in an OS flame war. I've come across these type of missives from diehard XP holdouts too many times to count, now, and I know how they inevitably end up.

If this were three to five years ago, I wouldn't blink at the suggestion of XP. But this is 2010, and XP is ten years old.

The bottom line is that while some types of hardware acceleration in some software does work under XP, more types of acceleration work under Vista and 7 and of the types of acceleration that both platforms have in common, a greater portion of overall decoding is offloaded onto the GPU under Vista and 7. This is true for Boxee just as it is for 90% of modern media platforms for Windows.

And that's just the decoding pipeline. The issue goes much, much further than that. The entire media subsystem of Windows has been redesigned since Windows XP. The world has moved on to Media Foundation, which offers inarguable and inherent advantages over the old DirectShow/DMO model. Do me a favor and read this overview (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_Foundation) from top to bottom, and you'll understand part of where I'm coming from.

And then there's networking, and security, and the fact that video and audio drivers have been moved from kernel mode in XP to user mode in Vista and Windows 7. This has compatibility and performance implications that go beyond raw frame rates in video games.

This argument was old a couple of years ago. Regardless of the feelings people still have for old operating systems, progress continues. I liked XP too, but there's nothing either of us can say that will change the fact that the world has moved on.

So unless any more concerns with direct relevance to this thread topic are brought up, I'm going to consider this line of argument closed for the time being. This just isn't the place for yet another rehash of the XP vs Vista/Win 7 debate. The multimedia community long ago reached a broad consensus on this topic. That's what the forum search tool is for.

TE5LA
December 7th, 2010, 09:53 PM
For one thing, I didn't get the info from Task Manager, I got it straight from ffdshow, the video codec being used. Secondly, people who really know computer software realize that Vista was a big step backward from XP and Win7 is just Vista with some of the bugs worked out. Sure Microsoft will always claim their new product is miles ahead of the old, but that's marketing hype. Just like when they claimed to have removed MsDOS from Windows, but in reality, it was still always there. All they did was attempt to hide DOS. My brother found it using Unix tools.

I have no intention of arguing OS's either, but it seems from many of the posts here, that every person complaining about poor video performance is told they should "upgrade" to Windows 7. Why is it that the same systems can run Media Center, MediaPortal, XBMC, or other programs and have no problem with video? I like some of Boxee's features, but it should actually use far less resources than something like MediaPortal, because it does so much less. MediaPortal is very graphic intensive, Boxee is very plain. MediaPortal can be used with cable television or satellite. Can Boxee? And I can stream 1080p with a wireless power line adapter to my primitive XP system with zero lag or stutter, even in Boxee. Maybe people need a better CPU or graphics card, not an OS downgrade.

I'd be happy if they could make the browser work even a little bit. Displaying a picture of a webpage just doesn't help me much. TV show episodes need to list oldest to newest by default and the last unseen episode should be highlighted automatically. Movie and TV libraries should scan automatically when starting up or at least immediately when you manually select "Scan Now", but they don't. They are scanned whenever Boxee feels like it. I don't like adding programs and waiting until they're scanned before showing up. Also, any movie in IMDB should be able to be recognized. They aren't.

I realize this may not be the place to post these things, but it's to make a point. I will conclude my rant.

darcilicious
December 7th, 2010, 10:07 PM
I'd be happy if they could make the browser work even a little bit. Displaying a picture of a webpage just doesn't help me much. TV show episodes need to list oldest to newest by default and the last unseen episode should be highlighted automatically. Movie and TV libraries should scan automatically when starting up or at least immediately when you manually select "Scan Now", but they don't. They are scanned whenever Boxee feels like it. I don't like adding programs and waiting until they're scanned before showing up. Also, any movie in IMDB should be able to be recognized. They aren't.
Most if not all these are being addressed in v1.0 (currently on the Boxee Box); should see a rollout of v1.0 for OS version in the Jan/Feb timeframe.

Prospero424
December 7th, 2010, 10:40 PM
For one thing, I didn't get the info from Task Manager, I got it straight from ffdshow, the video codec being used.

It doesn't matter, the same thing applies. If you don't believe me, try playing back, say, a 1080p .mkv file on a Pentium 4 processor without hardware acceleration. It will tell you it's using only ~60-70% of processor time even though it's actually completely choking on the bitrate.

Secondly, people who really know computer software realize that Vista was a big step backward from XP and Win7 is just Vista with some of the bugs worked out.

Actually, very few people who work in IT, professionally, would make that assertion these days. Go to every major technology site and look at their reviews and recommendations for things like system guides. ALL of them recommend Windows 7 for a Microsoft OS, at the moment. I'm sure the diehards will cite conspiracy theories ("M$ payed them to say that!"), but the fact remains that there are very, very good reasons that most independent experts recommend newer operating systems.

As far as I'm aware, the only technology enthusiasts who, as a group, still insist on XP are hardcore multiplayer gamers for whom framerates are everything and for whom XP's kernel-mode video driver model gives them that extra 5% that they just can't live without. Everyone else has moved on.

Why is it that the same systems can run Media Center, MediaPortal, XBMC, or other programs and have no problem with video?

Windows Media Center is a special case because it's integrated into the OS by Microsoft. Very few of these arguments apply to it for this reason, so I'm gonna skip over it other than to say that, again, the version of Media Center you can get on XP is older and less capable then the modern version.

XBMC used an OpenGL renderer under Windows XP, which is why it was more capable under XP. Boxee uses DirectX under Windows. DirectX offers performance and, more importantly, compatibility advantages in Windows while OpenGL allows cross-platform support (which Boxee manages for Linux and OSX, anyway). If you want to use Boxee with an OpenGL renderer, use Linux or OSX.

I like some of Boxee's features, but it should actually use far less resources than something like MediaPortal, because it does so much less. MediaPortal is very graphic intensive, Boxee is very plain. MediaPortal can be used with cable television or satellite. Can Boxee? And I can stream 1080p with a wireless power line adapter to my primitive XP system with zero lag or stutter, even in Boxee. Maybe people need a better CPU or graphics card, not an OS downgrade.

MediaPortal, like Boxee, was forked from XBMC but now uses DirectX for rendering. And just like Boxee, it needs Vista or 7 for hardware acceleration because of DXVA and EVR. Hell, just ask the MediaPortal team what OS they recommend. Go ahead. I can absolutely, 100% guarantee you that they will not say XP.

Also, MediaPortal is actually less graphics- and processor-intensive than Boxee with the notable exception of capture (PVR) capability. For playback, Boxee requires more power because it's more capable. This is simply because MediaPortal doesn't do Flash or Silverlight streaming, both of which are notorious resource pigs (although this is rapidly getting better), and it does not do media-based web page browsing. The current Flash and Silverlight engines being released by Adobe and Microsoft are optimized for Vista/7 rather than for XP.

The point is this: Boxee will work under XP, but like almost ALL media playback software for MS platforms - from Ffdshow with MPC to MediaPortal to MS Media Center to VLC to MPlayer distros - it will work better with Vista or Win 7 (preferably the latter). I've explained why this is the case thoroughly, now. You don't have to like this fact, but if you don't at least recognize it, you are being irrational. And I'm not going to argue against an irrational point of view no matter how much the person holding it obviously loves to argue ;)

Edit: And we're making it sound as if Boxee demands these horrendous hardware requirements. The fact is that Boxee can (with minimal tweaking) run fine under Win7 on a dual-core Atom at 1.5Ghz with an Ion graphics chipset (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856173004&cm_re=zotac_zbox-_-56-173-004-_-Product). That's a pretty damned low bar considering modern desktop-class hardware found in most computers. You put Boxee or MediaPortal or FFdshow/MPC or even Windows Media Center on there with Windows XP as your OS instead of Win 7 and I can guarantee you that you will not be playing back HD local content at watchable framerates.