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Advice: Drivers for AMD780G with HD3200 + Intrepid + MythTV

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  • #16
    I'm running the same mb and gpu (HD 3200). By default, everything works - but I have no hardware video acceleration - the CPU is struggling to keep up when I view HD video (720p usually - haven't tried throwing 1080 at it yet).

    So I tried doing the built-in ubuntu method of installing restricted drivers (fglrx). This resulted in the 3cm border around my image, as well as much of the bottom and right of my desktop out of view. I tried running a fix posted by one of the AMD users, but it failed saying I needed to run "aticontrol --initial" first. When I run that, I get the following message:

    Code:
    Found fglrx primary device section
     Unable to find any supported Screen sections
    This is my xorg.conf file which is generated when the fglrx driver is activated using the 'restricted drivers' control panel:
    Code:
    Section "Screen"
        Identifier  "Default Screen"
        DefaultDepth    24
    EndSection
    
    Section "Module"
        Load    "glx"
    EndSection
    
    Section "Device"
        Identifier  "Default Device"
        Driver  "fglrx"
    EndSection
    I'm running video thru the DVI connection, but that just goes to HDMI on the other end. Eventually I'll go HDMI on both ends. Right now I am trying to get VLC to play a video and use the GPU instead of the CPU.

    Also, I tried playing a video while running fglrx to see if this was a worthy goal. The video was flickering so bad it was unwatchable. Moving the player window left the video behind and it took a while to catch up. This does not look good. However, I'm wondering if one of these fixes for the border issue will also resolve the flicker?

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    • #17
      If you're running the right bits (radeon or radeonhd from master, drm from 6xx-7xx branch of mesa/drm or from drm-next) you should have good Xv acceleration with the open drivers. The versions of the open drivers that ship with Ubuntu today don't include EXA or Xv acceleration for your GPU.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by bridgman View Post
        If you're running the right bits (radeon or radeonhd from master, drm from 6xx-7xx branch of mesa/drm or from drm-next) you should have good Xv acceleration with the open drivers. The versions of the open drivers that ship with Ubuntu today don't include EXA or Xv acceleration for your GPU.
        Hi bridgman, I am messing around with xorg 1.6 with a 780g chipset and while i believe i have the correct drivers installed i have an empty xorg.conf file. Any idea on how i can see which driver i'm using?

        xvinfo
        X-Video Extension version 2.2
        screen #0
        no adaptors present


        01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon HD 3200 Graphics

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        • #19
          Take a look in your X log file.

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          • #20
            I installed radeonhd 1.2.4 which does support my card. However, I see no difference from vesa in performance. There is still no hardware acceleration for my HD 3200.

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            • #21
              The 1.2.4 release supports your GPU for modesetting only.

              You need the latest code from git plus a drm driver from the 6xx-7xx branch of drm (or Dave's drm-next tree) in order to get acceleration.

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              • #22
                I hope it's not inappropriate to revive this ancient thread. It struck a chord with me because the OP had a h/w setup almost identical to mine, and asked very clearly the very same questions I have been struggling to answer via Google for nearly 4 months now. It would seem that if these questions could be answered anywhere, this would be the place, but it's unclear that he ever received satisfaction either, nor can I find anywhere else where these questions are answered unequivocally.

                I too have a Gigabyte Socket AM2+, GA-MA78GPM-DS2H, AMD780G with HD3200 IGP + 128Mb Sideport memory, 4 GB RAM but with an AMD 505E CPU(my goal was to minimize power draw, temp. and fan noise and everything I read led me to believe this would be plenty powerful enough for what I wanted to do). I have a single 640GB internal HDD(I also have a 750GB eSATA external that I haven't even gotten around to hooking up yet). I have a couple of tuner cards, one Hauppauge HVR-1600, and one Pinnacle 800i. My interest is in using this as a PVR and DVD player primarily, no interest in gaming. I also want to be able to run play videos through Firefox. I have a 42-inch 1080P television and wish to playback SD and HD smoothly without artifacts at up to 1920x1080 resolution through the HDMI.

                I'm running a 9.04 Mythbuntu installation with upgrades to Catalyst 9.8(with trials of virtually every version in between). I ran an early version of the open source ATI drivers briefly but the performance was unbearably slow. Of course I'm not sure I had it configured properly, and for that matter the same goes for the proprietary drivers. I'm pretty much happy with the audio setup after some struggles. I get audio and video through HDMI using mythtv, Firefox, mplayer, and vlc. However, the video performance is unacceptable(lots of jerkiness), very inconsistent, and furthermore very unstable. I've read hundreds(if not thousands) of related posts at this and other sites. I've tried dozens of configuration changes and numerous software versions. What I'm wondering is whether I'm on a wild goose chase. I haven't seen anyone come right out and say so in so many words.

                In short, before I start asking more narrow and focused questions and providing more details about my exact current s/w versions and symptoms, etc. I would first like some answers to the following, preferably from someone with direct experience with a somewhat similar configuration (at a minimum the onboard HD3200 GPU which I believe is the biggest issue).

                1. Do I have a prayer of accomplishing my goals with my current hardware and the best linux-based distribution software currently available, period? With all the posts I've read on this and other sites, the best answer I can seem to find is a definite maybe, followed by a seemingly endless cycle of "try this, try that", and "wait for the next version of XXX".

                2. Being optimistic for the moment that my goals are theoretically possible, am I more likely to get there taking the proprietary or open source route, and in either case which configuration options are the keys to success? I would at least try to limit the universe of options that I experiment with to those that stand a chance of working.

                I got involved in this whole endeavor expecting a challenge. In fact that was a big part of the attraction. I thought I might learn a bit in the process. However, here lately I'm beginning to think I should just change my name to Sisyphus.

                Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

                Comment


                • #23
                  I have MythTV running on my HD3200. For the open source drivers, you will need a recent kernel ( >= 2.6.30 ), recent xf86-video-ati ( at least 6.12, I think ), and if running 64 bit Xserver 1.5 or better.

                  This will get you EXA and XV acceleration. For me, it plays SD and HD fairly well* at 720P. I have the same software on my desktop running a 1080P monitor from a HD2600 pro, and it is struggling to keep the HD video smooth, so you might be ok, or the video might be just a little choppy (especially when the OSD is up).

                  * By fairly well, I mean I don't have the fancier de-interlacers running for 1080i content, so fast motion is a little blurred.

                  You can always try it and see what you get.

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                  • #24
                    I guess the main question is whether you have tried any of the multithreaded decoder options - either ffmpeg-mt (available in mplayer-mt) or CoreAVC ? I don't think you will be able to reliably decode HD video on a single CPU core (which is all the standard players/decoders are able to use) but with both cores running I think you should be OK. Decoding HD seems to need somewhere between 1.25 and 1.5 cores on a modern CPU.

                    The multithreaded ffmpeg/mplayer is considered experimental but does seem to work well for a lot of people. There are ppa's available for mplayer-mt, so that should probably be the first thing you try. I would start with the open source drivers that *ubuntu 9.04 installs by default, and Xv output from the player. If you are using the Catalyst drivers you'll want to use -vo gl2 (OpenGL output with multitexturing) and make sure sync-to-vblank is enabled in the Catalyst control center.

                    CoreAVC is a commercial decoder, only officially available for Windows but there is a CoreAVC-for-linux patch set which appears to make it work on Linux.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by octoberblu3 View Post
                      I have MythTV running on my HD3200. For the open source drivers, you will need a recent kernel ( >= 2.6.30 ), recent xf86-video-ati ( at least 6.12, I think ), and if running 64 bit Xserver 1.5 or better.

                      This will get you EXA and XV acceleration. For me, it plays SD and HD fairly well* at 720P. I have the same software on my desktop running a 1080P monitor from a HD2600 pro, and it is struggling to keep the HD video smooth, so you might be ok, or the video might be just a little choppy (especially when the OSD is up).

                      * By fairly well, I mean I don't have the fancier de-interlacers running for 1080i content, so fast motion is a little blurred.

                      You can always try it and see what you get.
                      Thanks. Since I'm already running fglrx I think I'll first exhaust my options with it before trying to switch to the open source driver again. I didn't have very good luck with it last time. By the way, what CPU are you using?

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                        I guess the main question is whether you have tried any of the multithreaded decoder options - either ffmpeg-mt (available in mplayer-mt) or CoreAVC ? I don't think you will be able to reliably decode HD video on a single CPU core (which is all the standard players/decoders are able to use) but with both cores running I think you should be OK. Decoding HD seems to need somewhere between 1.25 and 1.5 cores on a modern CPU.

                        The multithreaded ffmpeg/mplayer is considered experimental but does seem to work well for a lot of people. There are ppa's available for mplayer-mt, so that should probably be the first thing you try. I would start with the open source drivers that *ubuntu 9.04 installs by default, and Xv output from the player. If you are using the Catalyst drivers you'll want to use -vo gl2 (OpenGL output with multitexturing) and make sure sync-to-vblank is enabled in the Catalyst control center.

                        CoreAVC is a commercial decoder, only officially available for Windows but there is a CoreAVC-for-linux patch set which appears to make it work on Linux.
                        Thanks, definitely some new angles here that I've been woefully unaware of and did not come across in all my searching. I must have been looking in all the wrong places. I found and installed the multi-threaded mplayer and ffmpeg as you suggested by following the instructions here:

                        http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...5&postcount=38

                        which worked brilliantly for me.

                        The smplayer UI is much better than the one I was using before and the playback is much smoother though still just shy of ideal. It is at least watchable. Even before this my playback in mplayer was better than in mythtv but now it's definitely improved. I still haven't figured out how and where to apply the "-vo gl2" option.

                        I also changed mythtv to use opengl output for playback, though I'm not sure I did this optimally, or even correctly. I get bad stuttering and audio and video artifacts for 2-3 seconds every time I change channels, which is new. I also get an annoying audio pop about 20% of the time on channel changes. After that video plays much smoother than it used to, with similar results to what I get in mplayer. Yet another problem was introduced however in that some of the OSD displays, like the GUIDE no longer work properly, they flash on very quickly and then disappear. Other OSD displays, like MENU are unaffected. I verified that the problem goes away if I return to the original mythtv playback profile.

                        These improvements are encouraging enough for me to keep on struggling with it for a while longer since for the first time I'm getting the sense that it might actually be possible to get this thing working to the point where my wife will accept it. The key it seems is learning how to toss the bones just so, or preferably finding someone else who does.

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                        • #27
                          Well, still no joy on this end unfortunately and my initial optimism has given way to pessimism. Mplayer is a little improved but still not really smooth. Furthermore it's been somewhat unstable and generally unreliable.

                          I didn't realize at first that the ffmpeg-mt wouldn't impact Mythtv at all since it evidently has the ffmpeg functionality built-in, and this is what I need to work properly above all. Selecting OpenGL instead of xv-blit in Mythtv results in the Guide display problem I mentioned before, and it doesn't really result in smoother playback as I had thought at first, so I switched back to xv-blit.

                          It would seem that my only option now is to wait for more proprietary driver updates with the hope that things eventually improve enough, or try switching to the open source driver, which if I understand correctly doesn't support HDMI audio. This is a bit of a PITA since I've had that working pretty well for a while now, and only after much initial difficulty.

                          Any other thoughts on what I may be doing wrong?

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                          • #28
                            Something sounds wrong here.

                            If mythtv can't make use of an external software decoder then it won't be able to make use of an external hardware decoder (eg VDPAU, VA-API, XvBA) either... and that seems really unlikely. I suspect we just need to find a Mythtv guru.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                              Something sounds wrong here.

                              If mythtv can't make use of an external software decoder then it won't be able to make use of an external hardware decoder (eg VDPAU, VA-API, XvBA) either... and that seems really unlikely. I suspect we just need to find a Mythtv guru.
                              Hmm, I could be wrong, but I thought I read this somewhere. Then again it may not have been a reliable source. The comment was specific to ffmpeg being built-in, not hardware decoders generally. I'll do some more digging as I may be completely off base.

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                              • #30
                                I did a quick search; looks like the multithread version of ffmpeg is a compile time option, not a run time option :

                                http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/dev/387505

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