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liz
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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:07 pm

James is talking about libraries, codecs and OSS; there's also a very nice (new) photograph of one of his fingers. Enjoy!
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spamel
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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:18 pm

Interesting, I didn't understand a bit of it! lol

timgiles
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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:34 pm

Thanks James - a detailed post that will clear up some of the burning issues.

Not sure I can get quite as excited over your finger as Liz gets but the bits on your finger are SUPER

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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:45 pm


There are non-licensed Codecs such at VP8, Xvid etc, but for the moment they will not be accelerated by the GPU.


Hm, yeah, that kind of ruins the whole thing. That. Really. Sucks.

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liz
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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:48 pm

That's not to say that they won't *ever* be accelerated. They're just not at the moment.
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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:16 pm

WereCatf said:



There are non-licensed Codecs such at VP8, Xvid etc, but for the moment they will not be accelerated by the GPU.


Hm, yeah, that kind of ruins the whole thing. That. Really. Sucks.


Chin up WereCatf. As my old mum says hope for everything but expect nothing, then you'll never be dissapointed. So i'm sure before you know it the codecs you want will appear.
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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:28 pm

Please excuse me if I missed this in other threads (I did a quick search), but I'd love for someone more knowledgeable than me to break this down in terms of what we should expect out of XBMC based on what what we know about codec support.

Is it safe to assume:


MPEG4 and H264 are still good to 1080p because they are licensed for GPU acceleration.
Xvid and all other formats cannot be accelerated and likely won't go higher than SD resolution?

What does it mean for audio?  Are there any kind of licensing constraints around DD, DTS, and AAC that will impact XBMC performance?  I am assuming they don't require GPU decoding, but I have no idea what else is at play with getting them to work properly.  Ugh.

Thanks,

Aaron

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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:46 pm

Thanks for the clarificatons. I was wondering if the user space libraries (e.g. OpenGL) depend on the GNU libc. If so, are there any plans to release versions compiled against other C libraries (e.g. ulibc, bionic, etc...)?

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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:23 pm

From wikipedia

Xvid (formerly "XviD") is a video codec library following the MPEG-4 standard, specifically MPEG-4 Part 2 Advanced Simple Profile (ASP).

Similarly for DivX.

These follow the mpeg4 standard and our mpeg4 decoder will play these happily.

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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:40 pm

Nice post.

I love how many of the same questions in the comments section people put under that post.  I really should just stop reading them.

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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:57 pm

dom said:


From wikipedia

Xvid (formerly "XviD") is a video codec library following the MPEG-4 standard, specifically MPEG-4 Part 2 Advanced Simple Profile (ASP).

Similarly for DivX.

These follow the mpeg4 standard and our mpeg4 decoder will play these happily.


I guess this is why I'm confused.  In this blog post on the front page, it states very specifically that Xvid is not licenses and will not be accelerated.  That's why I asked my question above.  It would be great for someone to document exactly what will (and will not) play in a media player like XBMC.  I am not an expert in this area and posts like yours, which seem to contradict the main blog entry, just make it all the more confusing to me.

dom
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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:17 pm

Liz could you correct the blog post?

"There are non-licensed Codecs such at VP8, Xvid etc, but for the moment they will not be accelerated by the GPU."

These are bad examples. Firstly VP8 is license free. Xvid is not a codec, but an implmentation of mpeg4 part2, and we support it.

Change to:

"There are non-licensed Codecs such at MPEG2, VC1 etc, but for the moment they will not be accelerated by the GPU."

would be  more accurate.

As an aside, the GPU can hardware decode H264, MPEG1/2/4, VC1, AVS, MJPG at 1080p30. It can software (but still vector accelerated) decode VP6, VP7, VP8, RV, Theora, WMV9 at DVD resolutions. We are restricted due to licensing what we can support. We should be able to support VP8, MJPG and Theora, as I believe they are license free.

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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:32 pm

Will do - go and kick James in the ear for me!
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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:32 pm

Hi Dom, I was discussing this today with GS about why my VP8 etc. Eben basically said MPEG4 and H264 only, when I asked about the others he sort of said no. I was wondering about the licence free ones too. Are they defo. going to be in there? I don't see why not.

Sorry, my phrasing on non-licenced codecs isn't very good - I really meant licence free. And the xvid one is defo. a cockup by me. Soz, I'll get it updated.
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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:39 pm

Many thanks Dom, Liz and James for the clarification.  This sounds a lot more encouraging to me.

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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:50 pm

Even more information for those interested. Spoke to the guy responsible for VP8, and this is implemented  on the GPU but not hardware accelerated. This means you can do WVGA at 30fps, but won't quite reach 720p30 - not enough speed in the GPU without HW assistance.

The free licensed stuff is a bit confused at the moment - sorry, seems there are some crossed wires. And the blog post was meant to clarify things. Oh well.
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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:16 pm

This is going to sound really stupid (and it's quite possible that my common sense is taking a temporary holiday while I write this), but what's the status of MP3 playback?

I couldn't see anything in the blog post that cleared this up for me.

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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:20 pm

mp3 requires licensing (and is more expensive than h264), so no GPU decode.
But audio is easy enough for ARM to decode, so shouldn"t be a problem.

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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:41 pm

Actually, that blog post doesn't make things very clear to me. Probably because I'm not an expert in video formats. From what I gathered, one needs:

- a codec (h.264, MPEG4, MPEG2, VPx...)

- a container (mkv, avi...)

- a player

I'm still really unsure about which codecs and containers, at which rez (SD vs HD), will be playable on the Pi, I assume with xbmc which seems the one ported/optimized player ?

An exhaustive recap of all codecs, clarifying which ones are supported in HD, in SD, or not at all, would help ?

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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:41 pm

I must admit I'm a bit bummed about there not being MPEG-2 hardware decoding, though can understand perfectly as to why not. Is it on the road map at all and if not, will leaning/whinging/pleading/bribing help? I'm sure many would be willing to do the suggested and pay for an upgraded firmware to add extra codecs. DVD and DVB-T playback functionality are screaming out for this (or is it just me?). I really hope the team can work their magic and the Oofle dust doesn't run out.

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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:23 pm

toadstool said:


I must admit I"m a bit bummed about there not being MPEG-2 hardware decoding, though can understand perfectly as to why not. Is it on the road map at all and if not, will leaning/whinging/pleading/bribing help? I"m sure many would be willing to do the suggested and pay for an upgraded firmware to add extra codecs. DVD and DVB-T playback functionality are screaming out for this (or is it just me?). I really hope the team can work their magic and the Oofle dust doesn"t run out.


It is solely down to the very high cost of the licence. $2 or $2.50 per device - that 10% of the cost of the model A. To sell some devices with and some without (and then have to ensure that binaries with the codec cannot be copied to another machine where the licence wasn't paid for) would be nightmare.
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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:03 pm

All codecs running on the GPU require significant software (even the hardware accelerated ones).
We typically implement codecs as dlls (they have a .vll extension), so they can be loaded and unloaded as required. They live on the ARM file system, and we use a file daemon (vcfiled) to provide file access from the GPU.
As we are just shipping with support for two of these codecs, they will be statically linked into the GPU blob, which means no vlls need to be loaded and vcfiled is not required.
In due course we may release the "no license" codecs (e.g. VP8 or Theora).
I also hope (really hope) we sort out a codec pack to add support for the other video codecs (mpeg2 in particular), and the audio codecs. This might cost something like $20 (plus no doubt a huge amount of form filling, negotiating and legal stuff).
Whilst the arm can handle audio decode, offloading that work to the GPU gives extra headroom to cope with the really hard clips, to handle subtitles, on screen displays and keep the UI smooth.
Also note, the cost isn"t going to Broadcom - they charge for the chips, not the software. The codec licensing is between Raspberry Pi and the MPEGLA (a collective group of patent owners).

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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:57 pm

This is exactly the kind of stuff that really bothers me: there's a lot of stuff the hardware could do, but because it's closed off we can not actually use all of its potential and thus we are actually getting a lot less than we were led to believe we were getting.

mank0r
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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:24 am

WereCatf said:


This is exactly the kind of stuff that really bothers me: there's a lot of stuff the hardware could do, but because it's closed off we can not actually use all of its potential and thus we are actually getting a lot less than we were led to believe we were getting.


Except if it met everyones wants, it would stand no chance of coming in at the pricepoint, footprint, or power rating that its been designed for from the start. It's okay to be disappointed if it is no longer suitable for your projects, but i think you're being a bad sport complaining about it when the reasons behind almost all of the pointy design choices have been made clear.

The fact that we're all getting this amount of disclosure, honesty, and interaction with the "vendor" without any form of payment or contract seems to go unrecognised too often.

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Re: New blog post from JamesH on the main page

Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:30 am

WereCatf said:


This is exactly the kind of stuff that really bothers me: there's a lot of stuff the hardware could do, but because it's closed off we can not actually use all of its potential and thus we are actually getting a lot less than we were led to believe we were getting.


I think the phrase is "tough titties"! it is what it is, Liz has mentioned, I am sure, that more may become available later on, everyone will just have to be patient, or find an alternative product if this doesn't meet your requirements.  I still don't get why people bitch about things that will not be changed; if you wanted a car with three wheels, do you go to BMW and complain incessantly? No, you buy a Reliant Robin!

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