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Thread: convert mkv to mp4

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgeschambers View Post
    Still confused as both show the 17.28
    ?

    I see ~17% in the bottom screenshot and ~1.5% in the top one. Edit: Oh, you're looking at the process ID rather than the CPU usage. My fault; the column labels aren't visible.

    I'm gonna make some new (much better) screenshots soon. I'll post them to this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by judgeschambers View Post
    I'm wondering if that's boxee only and not including the BXPlayer too.
    No, BXfplayer is only invoked when streaming Flash-based content. This is a standalone .mkv file.

    The Boxee.exe is the only Boxee-related application running during playback of these file types.

    Quote Originally Posted by judgeschambers View Post
    In my screen shot of a flash video, you will see Boxee is 8% cpu
    BXFplayer is 22%
    Then everything else (had a browser running too.)
    Total CPU usage of 41%

    Also, the smaller the boxee window the less CPU it will use. I did mine at full screen.
    That seems about right. FYI, streaming Flash playback (either in Boxee or in a browser) doesn't leverage the hardware scaling capability of modern graphics cards (since, oh, about 1999 or so), so yes, the larger a playback window with streaming Flash video is, the more CPU time it will take up. However, this isn't true for playback of most local media files.

    Boxee (and almost every other software media player) will use the same amount of CPU time for local file playback regardless of whether you're playing in a small window or full-screen because that scaling work is being done by the video card. Incidentally, this holds true for .flv files stored locally rather than streamed, as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by judgeschambers View Post
    My server is off for servicing today. So, I'll test later today with a 720P MKV I have encoded with H264 and test for CPU % like you did to compare individual processes more accurately than using a flash stream.
    Ah, good stuff. I went ahead and did a Handbrake (for Windows) encode using the same source .ts and the same encoder settings for x264 that I did in HDConvertToX. Boxee accelerates playback for it just fine. Boxee again uses ~1% of the CPU when acceleration is enabled and ~15% when it's disabled. So Handbrake AVC .mkv encodes work just fine on this hardware.

    And the thing is that I choose my x264 settings for quality more than I do for compatibility with hardware decoders. There are certain steps you can take when encoding AVC video to ensure that it plays back on the largest number of hardware devices possible, but there's a trade-off to be made in quality. For example, most popular podcasts do this to ensure maximum compatibility. But as I said: I'm not doing this, and Boxee still accelerates them just fine!

    I'm now trying to find an AVC .mkv that WON'T accelerate, but I haven't had any luck. If you're aware of any other encoders people have had trouble with as far as hardware acceleration of their output files, please let me know. I'd like to try them for myself.
    Last edited by Prospero424; July 18th, 2010 at 11:12 PM.

  2. #22
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    Here we go, this should be much better. I didn't use Boxee's built-in playback statistics utility because it only gives total CPU usage, which isn't as useful in this context.

    Ignore the fact that Handbrake is running in the background. Boxee's CPU usage remains the same regardless of its presence.





    Mediainfo dump for this file is attached to this post.

    Update: I went ahead and tested a couple of 1080p files as well, just to make sure they worked the same 720p files do. I got roughly equivalent results. With DXVA enabled, Boxee's CPU usage was about 3-4%. With DXVA disabled, Boxee's CPU usage was about 24%.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Prospero424; July 21st, 2010 at 08:54 PM.

  3. #23
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    Prospero424,,

    Good stuff there!

    Yeah, I've not looked at .avi or .mp4 file playback in taskmanager to see what player was/not being used...LOL. Sooo much time testing Flash as the later works flawlessly.

    I'll try to test some on my Revo this week and post some results.

    The only encoder I've had issue with is Handbrake. It gives my H264 mkv's a funky twisted oil on water affect. Only HDConvertToX has worked for me.
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  4. #24
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    If you're having trouble with Handbrake, it may be the settings being used. I wish to GOD that it would let you export encoding profiles in the Windows version so I could just attach it here, but alas...

    This is for Handbrake for Windows version 0.9.4

    Here are the settings that worked for me for both excellent quality and working acceleration in Boxee:

    Click on "High Profile" under the "Regular" presets. Set the container under "Output settings" to "MKV File". Leave the "Large File Size", "Web Optimized", and "iPod 5G support" options unchecked.

    Resizing and cropping and filters under the "Picture" tab should have no effect on compatibility and can get complicated, so I'll skip past them.

    Under the "Video" tab, make sure it's set to "H.264(x264)", I usually use the same framerate as the source file, and under "Quality" I either use a Constant Quality of 59.8% RF:20.5 when the exact file size isn't important or, when I do need to hit an exact file size, I enter that size in the "Target Size" field and check "2-Pass Encoding" while leaving "Turbo First Pass" unchecked.

    I'll skip the audio, subtitles, and chapters tabs.

    Under the "Advanced" tab, I set the reference frames to 11 if I'm creating an SD (480p) file, to 9 if I'm creating a 720p file, and to 5 if I'm creating a 1080p file. Make sure "Mixed References" is checked. Set the Motion Estimation Method to "Uneven Multi-Hexagon", change the Subpixel Motion Estimation setting to 10, check the box next to "No Fast P-Skip", leave the "No DCT-Decimate" setting unchecked if you're doing a bitrate- or filesize-based encode but check the box if you're doing a constant quality encode. Leave the Deblocking settings on default unless you know what you're doing with them.

    Moving on to B-Frames, I usually set it to 6. Leave the "Adaptive B-Frames" setting on "Optimal" , the "Direct Prediction" on Default, and check the boxes next to both "Weighted B-Frames" and "Pyramidal B-Frames". Make sure the box next to "CABAC Entropy Coding" is checked, and I usually set the "Trellis" to 2.

    Set the "Analysis" to "All", make sure the "8x8 DCT" option is checked, and leave the "Psychovisual Rate Distortion" slider all of the way to the right, and the "Psychovisual Trellis" slider all of the way to the left unless, again, you know what you're doing with them.

    Try an encode with these settings and let me know if Boxee accelerates it, if you would. These work fine for me.

    These settings will give you very good quality results at file sizes and bit rates that are more or less standard in the encoding community, but they may not work for mobile devices and the like. So don't use them if you're making a podcast or need STRICT hardware compatibility. This is for archival quality. The encodes will be SLOW, but they'll give you just about the best quality you can get (for the size) with hardware decode compatibility retained.

    If you want to do a bitrate-based encode, I use 1000-1500Kbps for SD, 3800-5500Kbps for 720p, and anywhere from 8000-13500Kbps for 1080p.
    Last edited by Prospero424; April 4th, 2011 at 10:07 PM.

  5. #25
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    Excellent, these may be the keys to getting handbrake rips to play properly on Boxee. Thanks.
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  6. #26
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    My only concern is that this may only hold true for this generation of Nvidia GPUs. My Geforce 260 is based upon the G200 design, which implements Purevideo version VP2. Most other newer cards and even many in the 200 series (like the Geforce 210) implement Nvidia Purevideo version VP3 or 4, which have alterations and improvements on the way they handle hardware video decoding.

    If anyone reading this thread is still having trouble with AVC .mkv file acceleration after going through the above, please, PLEASE let us know by posting your hardware specs; especially the video card.

    Thanks!

  7. #27
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    Ok. I have a few questions. i just spent the weekend setting up a Revo3610 to run dedicated Boxee. I have a bunch of HD movies as well as alot of regular DVD rips, in both VOB and ISO format. All of my HD content is in MKV format. What I want to understand here is the X264 and mp4 audio issue that is required to trigger the offhandling of data to the GPU. Hopefully these questions make sense.

    1. Are my regular ripped VOB files that are in SD not taking advangage of the cpu to gpu acceleration? Or is it simply not needed for SD DVD rips?

    2. Are the MKV files that I have which I'm pretty sure are already x264, not utilizing the acceleration if they do not have the extension of .mp4? And if that is the case should I be remuxing them so that they are x264 with AAC audio with an .mp4 container? (hope I'm asking that correctly) I'm ripping my DVDs now using MakeMKV but I don't have any way to specify anything except what video and audio streams I want in the completed .MKV file.

    I just want to make sure that all of my videos are taking advantage of the offloading acceleration which is the primary reason I went with the Aspire Revo.

    Thanks for any and all info you can throw my way.
    Last edited by brian7907; July 26th, 2010 at 02:05 PM.

  8. #28
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    1. I don't believe Boxee does hardware decoding of MPEG2 (DVD .vob files), although it is certainly theoretically possible. But yeah, it's not really needed for SD content. Even really old/underpowered computers have plenty of horsepower to decode 480p MPEG2 streams.

    2. If your hardware supports Boxee's DXVA acceleration, then your .mkv files should be accelerated if they use AVC (h/x264) for video. Mp4 files are also accelerated if they contain AVC video, but the .mp4 container is a bit less flexible than .mkv; it can contain fewer types of streams (AC3, DTS, VC-1, etc).

    To find out for sure what format your .mkv files use, open them up with a tool like Mediainfo. It will tell you exactly what they are and how they were created. I suspect that, since you're using Makemkv to rip directly from DVD, your mkv files contain the same MPEG2 video that your DVDs do. Makemkv is essentially a remuxer rather than a transcoder. It's just dumping the media in your DVDs into a single mkv file for convenience.

    If you want to convert your DVDs to AVC (h/x264) .mkv files, you'll have to use a transcoding program like HDConvertToX or Handbrake (which I discuss in detail above). For guides and help with this, check out Videohelp.com and/or Doom9.org.

    If you remux to .mp4 needlessly, you'll be losing surround sound (unless you use various hacks to use AC3 sound in a .mp4 container, but this is fairly unreliable).

    But the only way to know for sure if hardware acceleration works with AVC .mkv files on your hardware is to test it the way I did above. Put Boxee in windowed mode, then start up a process/resource monitor and compare the CPU usage while playing a file with acceleration disabled and then again with it enabled from within the Boxee options menu.

    Please, please let us know here what your results are. I'm really interested in how this works on nettops and the like.
    Last edited by Prospero424; July 26th, 2010 at 09:14 PM.
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  9. #29
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    Thanks for the reply. That makes perfect sense. I just finished watching the clash of the titans. It was a 1080p x264 MKV, and Boxee on the Revo played it perfectly. I checked the CPU usage and it bounced around between 5-14%. Does that sound about normal? I dont' think that is much usage for that type of file, but I thought I saw elsewhere that if the hardware acceleration was working that the CPU usage was down to like 2-4%. Are those numbers realistic?

  10. #30
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    For a Revo (1.6Ghz Atom processor), 5-14% sounds excellent to me.

    Remember that the 2-4% I quoted earlier in the thread was on a monster (by comparison) quad-core Intel desktop chip.

    That's great news.
    Video encoding guide for compatibility\maximum quality

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