A plea to the Foundation re. MPEG-2


 
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by opperpanter » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:48 pm
I only just found out about the MPEG2 left out.
What a bummer. Most of my videos are in DVD/MPEG2 format.
It's also being used everywhere, mainly because it's so widely accepted and compatible.
Except with the RPi.

Any suggestions for a good transcoding mediaserver?
I have NAS running anyway (Core i3 2100), which might be able to do it?
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by abishur » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:34 pm
I've found that my mpeg-2 videos (SD) seem to play just fine via xbmc

Otherwise, I've had a lot of success with a program called handbreak
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by opperpanter » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:48 pm
abishur wrote:I've found that my mpeg-2 videos (SD) seem to play just fine via xbmc

That mus mean you live in a parallel universe where RPi's do have a mpeg2 codec?
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by abishur » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:57 pm
opperpanter wrote:
abishur wrote:I've found that my mpeg-2 videos (SD) seem to play just fine via xbmc

That mus mean you live in a parallel universe where RPi's do have a mpeg2 codec?


Nope, it means that my SD video can be played by the software decoding provided by xbmc rather than a hardware decoder (which is what you're asking for and something I'd still like to see in the long term ;-)). It's not the ideal solution, as it means nothing else can be using the pi or else it will start stuttering, but at least it plays
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by dom » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:05 pm
@abishur
Can you post the mediainfo of the video you are playing?
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by robwriter » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:10 pm
abishur wrote:
opperpanter wrote:
abishur wrote:I've found that my mpeg-2 videos (SD) seem to play just fine via xbmc

That mus mean you live in a parallel universe where RPi's do have a mpeg2 codec?


Nope, it means that my SD video can be played by the software decoding provided by xbmc rather than a hardware decoder (which is what you're asking for and something I'd still like to see in the long term ;-)). It's not the ideal solution, as it means nothing else can be using the pi or else it will start stuttering, but at least it plays


Be good to know what video you're playing and with what build - I have found that MPEG2 recorded from a DVB-T tuner is unplayable on the Pi.
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by abishur » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:23 pm
Arg, you're right. You got me doubting myself so I went back and checked it. The file I was playing was using the DivxNetworks Divx v5 codec, the other file, which is Mpeg-1 for the record, does not play. Sorry bout that :oops:
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by bbb » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:18 pm
Jessie wrote:I personally don't get all the complaints about MPEG-2.  Yes I have heard that much stuff is still transmitted over the air MPEG-2, but how do you intend on getting that content to the R-Pi last time I checked there is no television reciever on the product. 

.....

Transcode people.


simple answer: PVR frontend (e.g. mythfrontend, XMBC with myth plugin, VDR etc ...) where the backend is hooked up to a DVB-S or DVB-T card, and in the UK all SD material is MPEG2. I think this applies to other regions too....

Whats the point of wasting watts transcoding something that is only going to be stored for a short period of time ? Re-encoding into h264 or divx/mpeg4 is a pretty heavy CPU operation.

Currently I have a Core2duo system with a Nvidia 9500GT card acting as a frontend and backend. I was thinking of replacing it with a low powered small atom system for the backend (about the cheapest way to get SATA and gigabyte Ethernet in the same package) and a Rasp-Pi as a frontend hooked up to a TV. Easy to expand too, just buy another Rasp-Pi, HDMI cable and a SD card ...
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by jamesh » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:38 pm
bbb wrote:
Jessie wrote:I personally don't get all the complaints about MPEG-2.  Yes I have heard that much stuff is still transmitted over the air MPEG-2, but how do you intend on getting that content to the R-Pi last time I checked there is no television reciever on the product. 

.....

Transcode people.


simple answer: PVR frontend (e.g. mythfrontend, XMBC with myth plugin, VDR etc ...) where the backend is hooked up to a DVB-S or DVB-T card, and in the UK all SD material is MPEG2. I think this applies to other regions too....

Whats the point of wasting watts transcoding something that is only going to be stored for a short period of time ? Re-encoding into h264 or divx/mpeg4 is a pretty heavy CPU operation.


A Raspi could, with the right software (not available - just an example), transcode SD MPEG2 to H264 in real time (if I worked the numbers out right!). With the right HW add on it can encode 1080p30 H264 from an HDMI video stream. Can't be that an expensive an operation...

I reckon there might be a market for a Raspi based real time transcoder.
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by annodomini2 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:46 pm
mole125 wrote:boarsblood said:





Yep, that's the issue. It seems to me that the board's stateless state (well, apart from the MAC, which can be spoofed) and unlicensed OS makes it nigh on impossible to tie an after market add-on license to the person who paid for it. That's why MPEGLA normally require licensing for a complete product line.


You've forgotten about the serial number which should be unique and in-volatile for every chip meaning it is something that can be keyed off - I'd assume that the GPU can access the value so the scheme I would do is:

1. User provides serial number to foundation server (and money)

2. Server creates hash of serial number using their private key.

3. User saves the key into their root partition - either as a separate file or into their config options.

4. GPU blob validates hash based upon serial number and public key and enables functions as necessary.

This approach should set the barrier of attack at the level of needing to modify the GPU blob which would be sufficiently difficult to allow the foundation to claim sufficiently robust protection. Any redistribution of hacked gpu blobs would fall foul of copyright and circumventing copy protection systems allowing the foundation to issue takedown notices and take legal action if they felt the need.

The biggest issue I imagine is working out what codecs they want to support, sorting out all the licensing deals, getting code sufficiently robust and merged into RPi gpu blob, getting broadcom approval and dealing with the lawyers. Oh and facing from criticism from the community for not including obscure codec XYZ.


Thing is, it would probably be cracked within a month, with blobs circulating in the wild.

Take down notices take time, once you take one down, 5 more will appear. Not to mention torrenting systems, which are much harder to enforce.

It would have to be done on a system wide level adding cost to something that is attempting to be as cheap as possible.

The thing is, there is no such thing as absolute security, the systems that are put in place are a deterrent to most people, but you get the occasional gifted few who see it as a challenge and no amount of barriers will deter them.

IMO, the only way you will get agreement from MPEGLA and Broadcom is a full system license.
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by Max » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:22 pm
annodomini2 wrote:IMO, the only way you will get agreement from MPEGLA and Broadcom is a full system license.


What agreement do other suppliers of commercial software decoder packs have then?

E.g.: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/extendin ... nents.html
by AndrewS » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:46 pm
annodomini2 wrote:Thing is, it would probably be cracked within a month, with blobs circulating in the wild.

Reverse-engineering the binary-blob (start.elf) which runs on the VideoCore IV GPU is going to be much much harder (if not impossible) than reverse-engineering your typical x86 executable. Nobody outside of Broadcom can even "forward-engineer" any code for the GPU. And it's not like you can attach any logic sniffers between the CPU and GPU!

All IMHO, naturally ;)
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by jamesh » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:41 pm
AndrewS wrote:
annodomini2 wrote:Thing is, it would probably be cracked within a month, with blobs circulating in the wild.

Reverse-engineering the binary-blob (start.elf) which runs on the VideoCore IV GPU is going to be much much harder (if not impossible) than reverse-engineering your typical x86 executable. Nobody outside of Broadcom can even "forward-engineer" any code for the GPU. And it's not like you can attach any logic sniffers between the CPU and GPU!

All IMHO, naturally ;)


That's quite correct. Difficult to reverse engineer a binary when you don't even know the instruction set. Also, the GPU has built in hardware for DRM stuff, so that a possible avenue for the required encryption.
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by thefrog » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:00 pm
jamesh wrote:
That's quite correct. Difficult to reverse engineer a binary when you don't even know the instruction set. Also, the GPU has built in hardware for DRM stuff, so that a possible avenue for the required encryption.


Is there anything uniquely identifiable on the RPi that could be used for a keyed license? I don't recall seeing anything.

Failing that, if you made a Media Edition of some kind, then a physical difference (say: 512meg of memory perhaps) could serve as an indicator that the product line is properly licensed and then the start.elf blob could be copy freely but only mpeg2 (and other licensed things) enabled on the correct version of the hardware.

If there is no need for a specific hw version, then what would the licensing plan look like? Does the SoC have TPM-like abilities?
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by itimpi » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:20 pm
Each processor has a unique serial number embedded in it. In fact I believe that this is used by the software when it generates the Mac address for a Pi as the last part of the Mac is based on the serial number.
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by M4rtinK » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:19 pm
So what about just collecting the money needed for the system-wide Mpeg-2 license from all the interested parties ? Might be done quite easily & transparently with Kickstarter or similar system.
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by abishur » Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:20 pm
M4rtinK wrote:So what about just collecting the money needed for the system-wide Mpeg-2 license from all the interested parties ? Might be done quite easily & transparently with Kickstarter or similar system.


Someone raised this question in another mpeg-2 thread. Basically, we're talking about 2 USD per pi, and with half a million of the pis hoping to be out in the wild over the next couple of months we're talking about raising a million dollars, and that would only cover the pis that would be out there a couple months from now. I don't think there are enough people who want mpeg-2 to fund getting mpeg-2 on every pi. ;-)
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by RaTTuS » Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:28 pm
http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/M2/ ... ement.aspx
^ this has the cost for Mpeg2 license
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by saintdev » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:39 pm
RaTTuS wrote:^ this has the cost for Mpeg2 license

You have to pay Broadcom for the binary blob that contains the decoder (and/or encoder).


I've been watching this thread and wanted to put in a few comments.

I understand this is not the Pi's intended use-case, but it makes an almost perfect PVR (mythtv) frontend. It's silent. It's cheap. It's small. It can (theoretically) decode 720p/1080i. Except for the lack of accelerated MPEG-2 decoding this is exactly what you want.

The suggestion to just transcode it to h.264 is not really valid in this case.
    You are ignoring one of the major uses of a PVR frontend (like mythtv), watching live TV. Encoding HD content to h.264 is slow, I highly doubt most backends would be able to handle this in real-time.
    There are also devices, like the HDHomeRun, that stream MPEG-2 directly over the network and do not have the capability to transcode to h.264.
    This is feasible for time-shifted recordings, but as stated above encoding HD h.264 is a slow process. Most likely you would be waiting hours before you could watch a show.

As to the license fee, personally, I would be willing to pay $10 JUST for MPEG-2 decoding. Actually, that's not true. I would be willing to pay more, at $10 I would immediately throw my money at the screen. Just look at what else is available on the market for $50 (nothing), $75 (nothing), $100 (you could MAYBE put together a cheap PC)....etc..
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by dom » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:14 am
saintdev wrote:You have to pay Broadcom for the binary blob that contains the decoder (and/or encoder).


No. Broadcom makes the codecs freely available. It's the mpegla that requires payment.
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by ghans » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 am
Does that mean Broadcom is not charging us for their implementations of h.264 , OpenMAX, OpenGL ES and other codecs/standards ?
:?

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by RaTTuS » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:34 am
I was just pointing out the license options that the foundation would have to pay, per device
to enable Mpeg2

that is $2 / per device for something that is not as useful as h.264 now what a better use of that money would be for encoding ..... but that is a subject for another thread
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by jamesh » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:52 am
ghans wrote:Does that mean Broadcom is not charging us for their implementations of h.264 , OpenMAX, OpenGL ES and other codecs/standards ?
:?

ghans


Well, those items are covered by the cost to the Foundation of the SoC.
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by Gert van Loo » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:02 pm
ghans wrote:Does that mean Broadcom is not charging us for their implementations of h.264 , OpenMAX, OpenGL ES and other codecs/standards ?
:?

ghans


No!
Not a penny/cent/dime/yen of that money goes to Broadcom.
It is all part of the SW package when you buy their silicon.
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by ghans » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:40 pm
So what about Theora and WebM GPU-accelerated encoding ? The best way to show off the VideoCore !
Couldn't you make your alpha efforts available (even if its not that fast) ?

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