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J7N 19th August 2007 04:19 PM

H264 Bluray Playback
Let's touch the pet subject of BSForum: Hi Definition.

I've acquired a bluray release for testing. It has the main movie in H264, and a trailer in MPEG-2. Everything there has the resolution of 1920*1080 pixels. With the trailer and ffdshow configured with the fastest options my P4 2.66 GHz peaks at 95% but playback in principle could be possible. Now the actual movie of course can't be played.

What hardware is necessary to play this beast on a Personal Computer? For what damn purpose could they be using H264? Is it really to limit piracy?

adicoto 21st August 2007 05:51 AM

Recommended CPUs for playback of HD/BD

AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 (2.6 GHz)
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 (2.8 GHz)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (OC @ 2.4 GHz)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (2.2 GHz)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ (2.2 GHz)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (2.4 GHz)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ (2.4 GHz)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (2.6 GHz)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ (2.6 GHz)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ (2.8 GHz)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ (2.8 GHz)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (3.0 GHz)
AMD Opteron 175 (2.2GHz)
AMD Opteron 180 (2.4GHz)
AMD Opteron 185 (2.6GHz)
AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-60 (2 GHz)

Intel Pentium EE 840 (3.2 GHz)
Intel Pentium EE 955 (3.4 GHz)
Intel Pentium D 945 (3.4 GHz)
Intel Pentium D 950 (3.4 GHz)
Intel Pentium D 960 (3.6 GHz)
Intel Core Duo T2500 (2 GHz)
Intel Core Duo T2600 (2.16 GHz)
Intel Core Duo T2700 (2.33 GHz)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 (1.8 GHz)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (2.13 GHz)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.4 GHz)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (2.66 GHz)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6800 (2.93 GHz)

ATi Radeon X1600 series
ATi Radeon X1800 series
ATi Radeon X1900 series
ATi Radeon X1950 series
NVIDIA Geforce 7600 GT
NVIDIA Geforce 7800 GTX 512
NVIDIA Geforce 7900 GX2
NVIDIA Geforce 7900 GTX
NVIDIA Geforce 7950 GX2

J7N 21st August 2007 08:45 AM

Have you yourself played H264 content at typical BluRay bitrates?

adicoto 22nd August 2007 06:19 AM

Nope, I don't have such a powerful computer. CPU it's P4@2.6 GHz HT, far from the minimal specifications.

J7N 22nd August 2007 10:53 AM

It looks so, yeah. I supose H264 would require around 4 times the computing power of my processor for playback without a single interruption. I hope to get my hands on the lowest Core 2 Duo soon, and see how it compares in performance.

I got another movie called "Catch & Release". It's in MPEG-2. I carefully watched it at actual resolution 1:1 and didn't notice any artifacts from a too small bitrate. 40-45 gigs of a dual layer BluRay would enough for most movies in MPEG-2.

J7N 11th November 2007 04:52 PM

I noticed that most recent video adapters from ATI (the HD nnnn series) include a dedicated processor for H.264 and VC-1 decoding. The chip is called Unified Video Decoder. Marketing texts claim that it completely offloads decoding from the CPU and is capable of crunching extremely high bitrates.

Are there any tests verifying this? Is this processor freely accesible, or only certified brandname software can use it?

adicoto 11th November 2007 06:19 PM

The processing unit it's included into the GPU. So it can be accessed via ATI's drivers. But's too late, AMD canceled the production of those chips for now. Seems they will relaunch this feature with the new GPUs.

J7N 11th November 2007 10:30 PM

So do HD 2600 / HD 2400 based interfaces now come without the Unified Video Decoder? This would be major ripoff.

adicoto 12th November 2007 06:47 AM

2600 and 2400 do have this feature, 2900 don't. But will come back with the 3xxx series.

J7N 12th November 2007 05:54 PM

Then I'll order two HD2600's right away. :) I'm eager to see H.264 playback absolutely for free. Will post here once I'll get them installed.

adicoto 12th November 2007 06:17 PM

You can play H264 without those boards. But you won't play HD DVD or BD with BSPlayer as it has no support for this format. I also intend to buy an 2600 Pro with 512 MB, AGP version, as a last upgrade for my PC.

adicoto 14th November 2007 06:47 PM

Mine will be delivered tomorrow. Sapphire HD 2600 PRO, 512 MB/128 bit, AGP 8x. I can't wait to test it.

tobenary 21st November 2007 11:45 AM

I have the Gigabyte HD2600XT
But I see NO changes in playback.

AMD 64 3000+
1 GB Memory
Win XP
Gigabyte HD2600XT Grafix card (PCIE)

CPU 80-96% on 1080P resulution
NO change

maybe the programm itself doesn't suport Hardware Acceleration

I know that PowerDVD7.3 DOES it! ( from other forums )

I didn't find here any topic about BSPLAYeR support Hardware acceleration , and I don't know 4 sure - if there is acceleration with grfix card when LOADING SUBTITLES.........

ANY1 ?

J7N 21st November 2007 12:41 PM

Re: I have the Gigabyte HD2600XT
I hadn't the chance to take apart any one of my 2 computers yet to test the H/W acceleration. I sincerely hope that the Radeon drivers come with a simple DirectShow filter that eats H.264/VC-1 and sends it to the R600 core. If it is so, then you must disable any existing decoders such as libavcodec or CoreAVC. My main concern when I started this discussion was that perhaps a huge bloated app bundled with the Radeon is the only program allowed access to the UVD. In this case it makes this processor completely useless for both BS.Player and many other Windows users.

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