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HD Video Playback With A $20 CPU & $30 GPU On Linux

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  • #16
    Though if these were encrypted video files and using say a Blu-Ray disc, this likely wouldn't be possible since the processor would have a very hard time keeping up, but anyways Linux is currently lacking such a player.
    Yes, real-time AACS decrypting (and BD+ de-corrupting) will cause some additional load. But this doesn't need to be too high load for modern CPUs (especially with optimized implementation).

    Yes, currently open-source world lacks fully integrated player.

    But in practice these are no obstacles at all:
    Several open-source tools exist to decrypt AACS.
    For the minority of Blue-Ray releases having BD+ there is libbluray.
    There are also modified firmwares for some popular drives to access the full media without key exchange.

    Much of the relevant information and the history of hacking can be found at forum.doom9.org / Decrypting.

    The file-system is UDF2.5 and supported with kernel-2.6.26+
    Video files are *.TS. These are standard MPEG transport steam and readily playable with mplayer etc.
    (There is also recent support of those various HD audio codecs now.)

    So there isn't much stopping from watching Blue-Ray (or HD-DVD) on linux.
    (And these will work also with this low-end setup, because all decrypting is made before playback.)

    I bet there already is automated script to do this all with single click ...

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    • #17
      Has anyone come across AGP cards? Seems there arnt any at the moment. Funny though I could find PCI, must be cause MB only have PCIe and PCI slots now.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by PWMx View Post
        Yes, real-time AACS decrypting (and BD+ de-corrupting) will cause some additional load. But this doesn't need to be too high load for modern CPUs (especially with optimized implementation).

        Yes, currently open-source world lacks fully integrated player.

        But in practice these are no obstacles at all:
        Several open-source tools exist to decrypt AACS.
        For the minority of Blue-Ray releases having BD+ there is libbluray.
        There are also modified firmwares for some popular drives to access the full media without key exchange.

        Much of the relevant information and the history of hacking can be found at forum.doom9.org / Decrypting.

        The file-system is UDF2.5 and supported with kernel-2.6.26+
        Video files are *.TS. These are standard MPEG transport steam and readily playable with mplayer etc.
        (There is also recent support of those various HD audio codecs now.)

        So there isn't much stopping from watching Blue-Ray (or HD-DVD) on linux.
        (And these will work also with this low-end setup, because all decrypting is made before playback.)

        I bet there already is automated script to do this all with single click ...
        and only a matter of time before this is all supported directly by mplayer and friends

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Pickle View Post
          Has anyone come across AGP cards? Seems there arnt any at the moment. Funny though I could find PCI, must be cause MB only have PCIe and PCI slots now.
          You won't find a AGP card capable of doing vdpau. 8 series and greater do not come in AGP flavors.

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          • #20
            Application on the encode side of this GPU?

            Are there applications of either the tested hardware set or the tested software suite (VDPAU + FFMPEG & others) to H.264 encode in any way, or is this application set limited strictly to playback optimization?

            I would imagine that a number of the GPU primitives in the chip would allow to address both worlds to some extent, but I do not know if the VDPAU wouldbe effective glue. FFMPEG surely can do some tricks with H.264 encode, but I do not have any idea what if anything it can do a nice powerful low GPU like this one withou that right glue...

            Anyone set me straight?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by g-man View Post
              Are there applications of either the tested hardware set or the tested software suite (VDPAU + FFMPEG & others) to H.264 encode in any way, or is this application set limited strictly to playback optimization?
              VDPAU (and DXVA on Windows) is limited to decoding. The supported GPUs contain specialized hardware that is only suitable for video decoding. This also applies to ATI's UVD.

              I would imagine that a number of the GPU primitives in the chip would allow to address both worlds to some extent, but I do not know if the VDPAU wouldbe effective glue.
              Using the shaders or stream processors of a GPU for general purpose computing is getting easiear and there have been some attempts to both decode and encode using them. However, current GPU encoder implementations are still less efficient than good software encoders run on modern CPUs.

              This topic has been discussed more thoroughly (and many times over) at the Doom9 MPEG-4 AVC forum. This post links to some relevant threads: http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?p=1193278

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              • #22
                Big deal?

                I am using a Dell OptiPlex GX270 with an Intel Pentium 4 HT 3.06GHz, 1GB DDR RAM, 40GB SATA, 1000 Ethernet link to multiple NFS servers, nVidia GeForce 6200, Oxygen HD Audio connected to an 38" (unsure about the size) HDTV. My sound rus over TOS link to my Sony receiver. I have been watching 720p movies/tv shows on that HDTV for over a year. No problems at all, however the video card is unable to play 1080 stuff.
                The issue is I am unable to find a better half size AGP video card. Still... 720p is perfect. Besides that 1080 on that TV is pointless.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Cr0t daywalker View Post
                  I am using a Dell OptiPlex GX270 with an Intel Pentium 4 HT 3.06GHz, 1GB DDR RAM, 40GB SATA, 1000 Ethernet link to multiple NFS servers, nVidia GeForce 6200, Oxygen HD Audio connected to an 38" (unsure about the size) HDTV. My sound rus over TOS link to my Sony receiver. I have been watching 720p movies/tv shows on that HDTV for over a year. No problems at all, however the video card is unable to play 1080 stuff.
                  The issue is I am unable to find a better half size AGP video card. Still... 720p is perfect. Besides that 1080 on that TV is pointless.
                  My experience is the same as yours, can play 720p well but 1080p is too much for Linux (all the cards and drivers available under Linux), not counting these latest developments by Nvidia that is, still have yet to try them out.

                  That being said, I'm much more interested in Dirac and Vorbis acceleration right now, the patented and restricted codecs need to die ASAP as soon as Dirac gets adopted by more programs. Especially after VLC adopts Dirac encoding, that will really help the format out. Also, Firefox may add on Dirac to it's Vorbis out-of-the-box video playback capability that 3.1 has, getting those two codecs even more publicity.
                  Last edited by Yfrwlf; 12-13-2008, 11:10 PM.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Yfrwlf View Post
                    My experience is the same as yours, can play 720p well but 1080p is too much for Linux (all the cards and drivers available under Linux), not counting these latest developments by Nvidia that is, still have yet to try them out.

                    That being said, I'm much more interested in Dirac and Vorbis acceleration right now, the patented and restricted codecs need to die ASAP as soon as Dirac gets adopted by more programs. Especially after VLC adopts Dirac encoding, that will really help the format out. Also, Firefox may add on Dirac to it's Vorbis out-of-the-box video playback capability that 3.1 has, getting those two codecs even more publicity.
                    I very much doubt that Dirac will replace much. Too much has been invested in making devices and standards revolving around those standards ranging from satellites to handheld devices. Dirac other then being open does not offer anything that already established codecs have brought to the table for quite some time now. If dirac was to become a standard, it would have had to come out in it's present form 5+ years ago.

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                    • #25
                      @Yfrwlf and Cr0t daywalker:

                      1080 too much for the video card? Before this VPDAU business, the only GPU-accelerated video decoding you might have had was XvMC, which I could have sworn only did MPEG-2. Now, I don't know what you guys are watching, but none of the video content I have (that's at a greater resolution than 480p) is in MPEG-2. Seems like the different video output options in Mplayer (or what have you) boil down to "which output method will end up fighting the graphics card the least" rather than "which will have the graphics card helping more."

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                      • #26
                        1080p isn't too much for most graphic cards nor Linux, but for today's CPUs.

                        ffmpeg's terrible H.264 decoding performance (and lack of multi-threading support) doesn't help here either.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                          I very much doubt that Dirac will replace much. Too much has been invested in making devices and standards revolving around those standards ranging from satellites to handheld devices. Dirac other then being open does not offer anything that already established codecs have brought to the table for quite some time now. If dirac was to become a standard, it would have had to come out in it's present form 5+ years ago.
                          I think it has. Most people still relegate it to some kind of academic research project but it has been used in production at the BBC (their Olympic broadcast being the most well known example) and a growing number of places on the "backend". Dirac, like h.264 is suitable for the very low-end to the very high-end, much more so than h.264; but unlike h.264 it's also suitable as an intermediate codec with truly lossless and virtually lossless (after several re-encodings) options. Not many are aware of it's professional pedigree -- nor are they aware that it is used for VC-2. It's also planned to be supported for HTML5's video tag by Mozilla, which will hopefully bring it more towards the "frontend".

                          As far as hardware investment goes, this is what Numedia has to say:
                          Stuart Sommerville, managing director at Numedia Technology (Hampshire, the U.K.), described Dirac "very low complexity, simple to implement and it's readily adoptable." Numedia's DP 400, for example, uses only one FPGA, Xilinx' low power Virtex-5.

                          Further, Sommerville explained that Dirac Pro-based encoder/decoder makes a SD-to-full HD migration much lower cost and less painful for broadcasters. "Broadcast stations don't need to replace right away their already installed SDI-based studio equipment including routers, switchers and synchronizers."
                          coupled with the fact that
                          But the difference with Dirac is that "manufacturers don't have to pay us for the privilege of using Dirac," BBC said. "Nor, indeed, do they even have to ask us."
                          makes it very appealing to adopt it now especially since the Dirac and SMPTE VC-2 specs have been finalized.

                          http://www.videsignline.com/news/210601739

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                            I very much doubt that Dirac will replace much. Too much has been invested in making devices and standards revolving around those standards ranging from satellites to handheld devices. Dirac other then being open does not offer anything that already established codecs have brought to the table for quite some time now. If dirac was to become a standard, it would have had to come out in it's present form 5+ years ago.
                            Sure that would have been better, but the fact that it's completely open, unrestricted, and free in every way means it most likely will be adopted by most players for out of the box support, making it more common. It's supposed to be a better codec than the existing ones like H264 and such, so there's little reason not to use it, and if you want to stick with open source software you'll support it, and if developers are weary of law firms sending them royalty collection letters, they will care about supporting it as well. They did collect money on MP3s after all.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by deanjo View Post

                              EDIT: Here is a better feature list of the GPU''s/IGP's

                              http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_43029.html

                              what? 8600 playback VC-1? what core use 8600? not found info for this card (yes for old card, no for new card). is a new card release?

                              or this document is for windows playback...


                              sorry my english

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                              • #30
                                Hi!

                                You write "The GeForce 8400GS is available in a PCI model for those wanting to use this low-end graphics card on say an Intel Atom system"

                                Does this model have another name? I couldn't find such a model yet.

                                I have an intel board with an integrated Atom Dualcore processor and I am planning on making a little multimediaserver. Unfortunately this board has only one standard pci slot.

                                Greetings

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