Boxee

Something must be _wrong_ with the DV-decoder.

Details

  • Boxee Build Number:
    1.0.3.17064
  • Operating System:
    Boxee Box
  • Number of attachments:
    0

Description

Hi,

this is about two different issues:

The first is related to issue 7716. There it's said that the CPU in Boxee Box is not powerful enough to handle DV-AVI content, even more so when it has to deinterlace it. I don't have any benchmarks for the CPU in the Boxee Box, but I feel that this most likely isn't true, and this is why: In order to see if my memory serves me right I fired up my old Xbox from 2001, the one with a Celeron-like P3 running at 733Mhz. That one, with XBMC, plays DV-AVI perfectly over the network, while bob-deinterlacing and upscaling to 720p at the same! Surely the CPU in Boxee Box can't be slower that that old thing on a single thread?

I might be WRONG in my last assumption. Am I?

This is a picture of the screen, running FFmpeg DV decoder and bob-deinterlacing: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8582653/2011-01-25%2000.41.36.jpg
Cpu around 80-85%, fps 49-50, as it should be when bob:ing.

I have played a full hour now, not a single frame dropped. It drops some frames the first second.

Now, issue two, that leads my to beleive that there must be something wrong with the dv decoder that's used. Sometimes a dv clip almost plays, until the audio stops and the whole thing freezes eventually. If you try to play that clip once again the Boxee GUI restarts. After that the GUI restarts just by highlighting the file in question. Sure, the CPU might not be powerful enough to handle it realtime, but it should be able to decode a single frame without crashing Boxee, shouldn't it?

I can provide both example files, aswell as a video showing the crashing. Would you like both?

I know I don't sound very humble in this text, but I am. I really, really like all the effort people put in to this project and I wish I could contribute with any coding, but I can't. I don't want to go back to my old Xbox in order to play the thing I'd like to play, and I can't seriously beleive that this wonderful thing shouldn't be able to handle this content if a ten year old video game can. :-/

Then again, I might very well be WRONG. If so, please hit me. ;)

Activity

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Lypsy Latex added a comment - 24/Jan/11 7:17 PM
In issue BOXEE-8044 the Boxee Box scored 37fps with a high bitrate mpeg4-file, the XBMC Xbox sometimes hits 14fps but mostly hoovers around 3-4fps. So surley the CPU in Boxee box is alot faster.
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Lypsy Latex added a comment - 24/Jan/11 7:17 PM In issue BOXEE-8044 the Boxee Box scored 37fps with a high bitrate mpeg4-file, the XBMC Xbox sometimes hits 14fps but mostly hoovers around 3-4fps. So surley the CPU in Boxee box is alot faster.
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Michael Gumprecht added a comment - 24/Jan/11 7:25 PM - edited
All of my DV files used to play PERFECTLY on Boxee Alpha using weak Apple TV as hardware -- the bitrate is 30.33 Mbit/s at 720x480. At some point after Boxee Beta was released, it stopped playing correctly on my hacked Apple TV. Something changed and ruined the playback but I didn't get an answer as to "what" changed when I opened:
http://jira.boxee.tv/browse/BOXEE-7716

I chalked it up to the weak power of the Apple TV so I was shocked to see the Boxee Box playing the same files in the same slow, choppy manner. It's rough to expect users to re-encode hundreds of hours of home video footage to H.264 this is the native, uncompressed format created by many old video cameras on Digital 8/MiniDV tapes.

I don't understand why "the CPU is too busy decoding the video" when the video doesn't truly need to be decoded since it's in a raw, uncompressed format without any codec to decode.
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Michael Gumprecht added a comment - 24/Jan/11 7:25 PM - edited All of my DV files used to play PERFECTLY on Boxee Alpha using weak Apple TV as hardware -- the bitrate is 30.33 Mbit/s at 720x480. At some point after Boxee Beta was released, it stopped playing correctly on my hacked Apple TV. Something changed and ruined the playback but I didn't get an answer as to "what" changed when I opened: http://jira.boxee.tv/browse/BOXEE-7716 I chalked it up to the weak power of the Apple TV so I was shocked to see the Boxee Box playing the same files in the same slow, choppy manner. It's rough to expect users to re-encode hundreds of hours of home video footage to H.264 this is the native, uncompressed format created by many old video cameras on Digital 8/MiniDV tapes. I don't understand why "the CPU is too busy decoding the video" when the video doesn't truly need to be decoded since it's in a raw, uncompressed format without any codec to decode.
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Lypsy Latex added a comment - 24/Jan/11 7:31 PM - edited
Michael, your last sentence isn't true. DV25 is a very compressed codec, just no way near as compressed as mpeg2/mpeg4 etc. Uncompressed PAL (720*576) is 1.2Gbyte per minute, DV is no way near that. It does take some oumph to decode DV, but a Pentium 3 can handle it just fine.

There is alot of information to handle when decoding DV25 since the bitrate is high, but Boxee Box can handle Blu-ray bitrates, so this shouldn't be a data bus issue.

Edit: Just to give you a hint of how compressed DV really is... uncompressed PAL (720x576) with RGBA color has a bitrate of somewhere around 165Mbit/s, and NTSC (720x480) is somewhere near that aswell. Compare that to the bitrates of DV. :) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncompressed_video
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Lypsy Latex added a comment - 24/Jan/11 7:31 PM - edited Michael, your last sentence isn't true. DV25 is a very compressed codec, just no way near as compressed as mpeg2/mpeg4 etc. Uncompressed PAL (720*576) is 1.2Gbyte per minute, DV is no way near that. It does take some oumph to decode DV, but a Pentium 3 can handle it just fine. There is alot of information to handle when decoding DV25 since the bitrate is high, but Boxee Box can handle Blu-ray bitrates, so this shouldn't be a data bus issue. Edit: Just to give you a hint of how compressed DV really is... uncompressed PAL (720x576) with RGBA color has a bitrate of somewhere around 165Mbit/s, and NTSC (720x480) is somewhere near that aswell. Compare that to the bitrates of DV. :) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncompressed_video
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Ami Ben-David [Boxee] added a comment - 25/Jan/11 3:30 AM
please upload a sample file of the dv video which freeze and crash boxee, this is the boxee ftp server:

ftp.boxee.tv

user: dropbox
pass: swA4EQAt

also, please name the file as BOXEE-8065.avi (or whatever format it is)

thanks.
Show
Ami Ben-David [Boxee] added a comment - 25/Jan/11 3:30 AM please upload a sample file of the dv video which freeze and crash boxee, this is the boxee ftp server: ftp.boxee.tv user: dropbox pass: swA4EQAt also, please name the file as BOXEE-8065.avi (or whatever format it is) thanks.
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Lypsy Latex added a comment - 25/Jan/11 6:48 AM
I will upload samples as soon as I found the common denominator. This does not happen to all DV-files or all file lengths. DV-AVI Type 2 seems to work slightly better than DV-AVI Type 1. It seems to matter what files that has been previewed as a thumbnail in the directory listing before choosing what file to play.

There's not a chance to play _anything_ in my regular DV-directory, but in the sample directory I made with a very small file it works. Will have time later today to seach for what situation that makes it into a mess.
Show
Lypsy Latex added a comment - 25/Jan/11 6:48 AM I will upload samples as soon as I found the common denominator. This does not happen to all DV-files or all file lengths. DV-AVI Type 2 seems to work slightly better than DV-AVI Type 1. It seems to matter what files that has been previewed as a thumbnail in the directory listing before choosing what file to play. There's not a chance to play _anything_ in my regular DV-directory, but in the sample directory I made with a very small file it works. Will have time later today to seach for what situation that makes it into a mess.
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Michael Gumprecht added a comment - 25/Jan/11 2:52 PM - edited
Thanks for clarifying Lypsy. I knew it was "compressed" in the sense you described I just didn't think of it as compressed along the same lines as a video requiring a mainstream codec.

On a Mac the very same DV file can play using a .AVI, .MOV or .DV file extension. However, Boxee may be confused by .AVI or .MOV extension since other non-DV codecs use that extension.

If DV video by itself is too hard on the CPU/hardware, there must be a built-in software decoding workaround that could treat the video file differently if Boxee saw that the video file extension was .DV and turned it on just for that file type.

I believe that will be a necessary element to creating/finding a solution to this problem.
Show
Michael Gumprecht added a comment - 25/Jan/11 2:52 PM - edited Thanks for clarifying Lypsy. I knew it was "compressed" in the sense you described I just didn't think of it as compressed along the same lines as a video requiring a mainstream codec. On a Mac the very same DV file can play using a .AVI, .MOV or .DV file extension. However, Boxee may be confused by .AVI or .MOV extension since other non-DV codecs use that extension. If DV video by itself is too hard on the CPU/hardware, there must be a built-in software decoding workaround that could treat the video file differently if Boxee saw that the video file extension was .DV and turned it on just for that file type. I believe that will be a necessary element to creating/finding a solution to this problem.
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Lypsy Latex added a comment - 25/Jan/11 5:03 PM
The avi-extension should not be a problem, the codec that is being used is identified inside the avi.

Anyhow, I haven't nailed this yet. It seems to have something to do with the size of the largest dv-file in the directory, or perhaps the totalt size of the directory. This even affects the dv-files in subfolders, since you navigate thru the main directory to get there. A test file didn't crash Boxee when there were nothing in it's parent directory. Nor did it it crash with a couple of gigabyte in the parent directory, but when the parent directory had a 47Gbyte DV-file the small DV-file crashed Boxee.
Show
Lypsy Latex added a comment - 25/Jan/11 5:03 PM The avi-extension should not be a problem, the codec that is being used is identified inside the avi. Anyhow, I haven't nailed this yet. It seems to have something to do with the size of the largest dv-file in the directory, or perhaps the totalt size of the directory. This even affects the dv-files in subfolders, since you navigate thru the main directory to get there. A test file didn't crash Boxee when there were nothing in it's parent directory. Nor did it it crash with a couple of gigabyte in the parent directory, but when the parent directory had a 47Gbyte DV-file the small DV-file crashed Boxee.
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Lypsy Latex added a comment - 16/May/11 3:42 PM - edited
Haven't yet been able to nail this down, beeing a single parent and all... not much time left for things like this. And most of the time Boxee Box is playing Teletubbies, so I can't do extended testing. ;)

I hope someone else might have a go. Anyhow, something is clearly wrong in the Boxee software when it comes to DV decoing.

A side note: Boxee Box has problems playing other files with bitrates around or above 30Mbit/s here on wired network aswell, but the network works perfectly otherwise. So this might both be an issue related to a network handling in the Box aswell as the DV decoder. See BOXEE-9176
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Lypsy Latex added a comment - 16/May/11 3:42 PM - edited Haven't yet been able to nail this down, beeing a single parent and all... not much time left for things like this. And most of the time Boxee Box is playing Teletubbies, so I can't do extended testing. ;) I hope someone else might have a go. Anyhow, something is clearly wrong in the Boxee software when it comes to DV decoing. A side note: Boxee Box has problems playing other files with bitrates around or above 30Mbit/s here on wired network aswell, but the network works perfectly otherwise. So this might both be an issue related to a network handling in the Box aswell as the DV decoder. See BOXEE-9176
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Lypsy Latex added a comment - 23/May/11 5:46 PM
In BOXEE-9176 other files with similar bitrates have problems. For me that problem is resolved with this new firmware, but only when playing from a native Windows-share. I will test if this has done any difference to the DV-playback.
Show
Lypsy Latex added a comment - 23/May/11 5:46 PM In BOXEE-9176 other files with similar bitrates have problems. For me that problem is resolved with this new firmware, but only when playing from a native Windows-share. I will test if this has done any difference to the DV-playback.

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Dates

  • Created:
    24/Jan/11 6:58 PM
    Updated:
    23/May/11 5:46 PM