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Sfor

Windows 98 as high quality video player

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loblo    23

I did an experiment with a 1920x1080 video clip with a little over 23fps. To get the best out of the computer I disabled the GOM Player internal filters, so the only available performance data were from FFDshow OSD filter. Still, the speed was changing so fast, I could not read the result. The first digit was 1 or 2, the second 0 or 6. So, the fps readouts could be anything between 10, 16, 20 or 26. On scene changes the video was often freezing with 9 or 8 fps on diplay.

You can use GraphStudio to do video decoders and renderers performance tests, it's under the view menu, or you can also use haali timecodec (requires to have the haali splitter installed).

Short video segments are recommended in both case since everything will be played back before results are given.

Edited by loblo

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TmEE    0
Interesting thought but nope, I forgot to say that this was only for decoding the video stream using null renderer so no video card involved.

An Mpeg-2 video of same dimension and a bit higher framerate plays almost normally and this includes rendering but AVC decoding is very demanding in terms of CPU, this is well known.

I think the video hardware I have can cope with the 150-200MB/s of decompressed video frames the playback of those videos require. If you think I am wrong about that, please let me know why.

I think that Sfor has somehow better results than me because I am on an AMD64 whose SSE/SSE2 performance is reportedly very poor.

In that case the generic driver is not the culprit, when you can play different kind video at same res without much problems. I mostly see poor performance from such drivers, but I guess some cards work better than others. I'm soon getting a 3.2GHz/800/1M CPU in mail, perhaps I can try some stuff out, but I think I will be limited by video bandwidth as my Radeon 9600XT is not performing too well on 1680x1050. I will get a Radeon X850XT in future and that runs circles around the 9600 I got right now. nVidia is not an option, I have had nothing but trouble with their cards/drivers, but Ati almost always works flawlessly.

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shae    6
I started from a 1GHz PIII CPU as well. I noticed, it plays video much more smoothly than the PIV does. But, at 1280x720 video data resolution it is not able to keep up.
That can't be. Strange and conflicting results on Pentium 3 and 4 must be due to software.

Anyway, other things to try in general:

CrystalPlayer, for its ability to buffer ahead and for letting you configure the behavior when it can't keep up. It also has pretty nice contrast control, and decent subtitles rendering (though it can't be positioned arbitrarily).

MPC is my secondary player when CrystalPlayer isn't sufficient (>2GB files mostly, but not only).

For h264 decoding, old/beta CoreAVC versions might be the fastest decoder that works on 9x.

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rilef    0

PotPlayer and MPlayer Lite, referenced above, both use MPlayer to play video. MPlayer is awesome in Linux, less so in XP and much less so in 98se/me.

I use SMPlayer, an MPlayer front-end, as my default video player in Linux. SMPlayer also runs in Windows 98SE, using a cygwin build of MPlayer. How to do this is explained here:

http://smplayer.berlios.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=21&sid=8140b2d378f191e9f8381f9e6562ec4a

A cygwin build of MPlayer is available here:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/smplayer/files/MPlayer%20for%20Windows/09_2008/

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Sfor    3

I've been playing with SMPlayer on Windows 98, some time ago. It worked, but I had no possibility to controll the playback with keyboard commands, then. On the other hand it works much better on Linux. I have a Ubuntu with SMPlayer installed on the same computer Windows 98 is installed on. The difference in speed between Ubutu + SMPlayer and Windows 98 + GOM Player is huge. To put it simply, Ubuntu + SMPlayer combo does not stand a chance when facing Windows 98 + GOM Player on a computer with a single core processor.

I noticed my ATI All in wonder 9000 is able to use AGPx4 only. I'm curious if the performance will be better, if I replace it with AGPx8 capable GeForce FX 5500.

Edited by Sfor

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PROBLEMCHYLD    45

MPlayer WW is the only current Mplayer based player that is fully working (must be used without skinned border as to avoid a resource leak when moving the window around).

http://sourceforge.net/projects/mplayer-ww/

Are you using the latest version?

https://sourceforge.net/projects/mplayer-ww/files/MPlayer_Release/

Edited by PROBLEMCHYLD

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loblo    23

I couldn't use Windows ME without KernelEx those days, I'd be losing out too much. ;)

Edited by loblo

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loblo    23

For h264 decoding, old/beta CoreAVC versions might be the fastest decoder that works on 9x.

Yes it seems like it. Here are some results made with haali timecodec using null renderer.

Video file used: http://e.dl.playstation.net/e/wipeouthd/assets/WipEoutHD_EN_1080p.zip (AVC - 1920x1080 - 59.940 FPS - 71s)

62s CoreAVC (CoreAVC.ax 2.0.0.0)

73s FFDSHow Video Decoder (ffdshow.ax 1.1.3984.0)

83s MPC Video Decoder (MPCVideoDec.ax 1.5.2.2993)

89s DivX H.264 Decoder (DivXDecH264.ax 9.0.1.21)

97s LAV Video Decoder (LAVVideo.ax 0.36)

112s MainConcept AVC/H.264 Decoder (mc_dec_avc_ds.ax 8.7.0.37256)

Edited by loblo

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Sfor    3

I did replace Ati Radeon 9000 AGPx4 with Nvidia GeForce FX 5500 AGPx8. There is a slight improvement in the performace, but it is not clearly visible.

Does anyone know the link to the Beta CoreAVC 2.0.0.0? The current version is a commercial software, apparently? Or, perhaps, the beta is the commercial software, as well.

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loblo    23
Does anyone know the link to the Beta CoreAVC 2.0.0.0? The current version is a commercial software, apparently? Or, perhaps, the beta is the commercial software, as well.

I found it in some codec pack, I doubt it's legit though.

http://codecpack.co/

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Sfor    3

I did some further research with the FFDShow. It does support buffering frames in advance, but this option is switched off, by default. Also, it does not do much good, when CPU is too slow.

When playing with FFDShow OSD filter, I found the most useful informations is CPU load and video stream delay. The OSD filter does increase the CPU load a bit, but it can give a very good understanding of what is going on. In my particular case the video stream delay is constantly rising. When it reaches a certain configurable amount (default is 1500ms) the decoder drops video frames and starts decoding from the current audio stream time. The video decoding frame drop point is configurable, but if it exceeds 5000ms the audio stream output starts to break (that's the standard effect for the GOM Player built in codec).

So, the freezing effect I was referring to in earlier posts is a situation, when video delay exceeds the default 1500ms and video decoder drops frames. Since the video delay is constantly rising with 100% CPU usage, it is obvious, the CPU can not keep up. Also, buffering in advance is useless, since the CPU is always occupied in 100%.

The FFDShow does have a few interesting features related to performance.

- buffering frames in advance

- skipping deblocking when video delay exceeds a certain point.

- configurable video frame drop point, preventing audio output interruptions

Currently I'm working with a 2.8/512/800 P4, but I will get a 3.0/512/800 CPU in a few days. According to my observations, the current CPU is about 15-30% too slow.

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technoid    0

Because audio is part of the stream and also goes through the CPU process, what happens if you disable audio from the movie, will the video able to keep up a little better? Sorry, I only quickly scanned through this thread, don't know if you've already done that. I realize audio is important when watching, but this is for testing purposes.

On a side note (somewhat off topic), I know FFDShow was very helpful for me, I needed something to sharpen the video quality. VLC had a sharpening tool, but it loaded my CPU (Pentium III 1.0 GHz) down to the point that the movies (DVD) started to slideshow a little bit. It was noticeable, framerate was less smooth, may be watchable for some ppl, but not for me. However, I switched to GOMPlayer attached to FFDShow and used the sharpener in FFDS and it played on the CPU like it was nothing. Smooth as ever. I discussed it in the VLC forum, but nothing became of it, the developers said there's nothing in their sharpening code that was any different, which I think is incorrect, without further research. This is on Win 2k, not 98se or other.

Edited by technoid

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loblo    23

On my system I can play H264/AVC up to 1280x720 at 60fps without any audio or video drop out and this uses about 97-98% of my 2.8Ghz Opteron 154 CPU time. Higher resolution at lower framerate are also possible obviously but there is no way I can decently play full H264/AVC HD video at 1920x1072 at 24/25 fps.

Using CoreAVC 2.0 without postpro btw.

Edited by loblo

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