[AppleTV] CrystalHD Driver for XBMC Launcher

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wrxtasy Offline
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Post: #436
(2015-10-25 16:07)VonMagnum Wrote:  I read bad things about OpenElec's functionality on AppleTV (how the GUI works with the remote, etc.) so I never tried it. OSMC has been under "coming soon" for a long time so I wrote it off, but if it comes out soon I'd give it a try with a USB stick at least and see how it does.

I'd actually prefer to just have Crystal decoding under Eden with the Frontrow interface if that were possible since I don't need any newer XBMC/KODI features and then I can come and go without having to pull the USB stick or reinstall.

Meanwhile, if FireCore can get an untethered jailbreak soon for AppleTV Gen2, I'll be using that instead (I have a Gen2 unit here). They just released a tethered version for its final firmware, but it doesn't seem to like El Capitan 10.11.1 too well. Even tethered final firmware would be better than a Gen1 machine, I think other than the on-board storage since you get Netflix and other players as well and it uses a lot less power.
The new OpenELEC 5.95.5 is nothing like the old one. It just works, new from the ground up.
Flash it to a usb stick and run it from there. Nothing is wiped on the HDD.

You are very unlikely to get Eden support on the ATV1. Far too much water under the bridge, since then.
You will have to search old forum posts and even then no one will be interested.

Sorry but just telling it like it is.
(This post was last modified: 2015-10-25 16:30 by wrxtasy.)
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VonMagnum Offline
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Post: #437
(2015-10-25 16:30)wrxtasy Wrote:  The new OpenELEC 5.95.5 is nothing like the old one. It just works, new from the ground up.
Flash it to a usb stick and run it from there. Nothing is wiped on the HDD.

I finally got around to installing the CrystalHD card on one of my 1st Gen AppleTVs after finding FireTV Stick to have odd stutters even with audio and since my WiFi card stopped working anyway on it, there was literally nothing to lose. I tried OpenElec 6.0 (Isengard 15.2 same as both FireTV sticks I have are running and moved my configuration/database/thumbnails over from the FireTV backup and that worked well. Some 1080p encodes won't work (e.g. Jurassic Park encode from Blu-Ray) that did work on FireTV. I get funky starts all the time (will stutter, but changing the audio track usually fixes it or it works better if I set it to sync the display to match, but that takes quite a bit longer to start the video. The GUI is noticeably slower than both FireTV Stick and the old Eden running within OS X on the AppleTV. I'm not entirely thrilled with it or the FireTV Stick at this point. But at least the AppleTV running OpenElec doesn't stutter playing music files (whatever is stuttering on the FireTV Stick it's independent of whatever is running somehow; the CPU meter will spike to 100% on a core for no obvious reason with nothing playing even every couple of minutes; Amazon's own Apps work fine, though).

Quote:You are very unlikely to get Eden support on the ATV1. Far too much water under the bridge, since then.
You will have to search old forum posts and even then no one will be interested.

Sorry but just telling it like it is.

I guess unlikely happens. I spent a LOT of time searching for the needed files (that Launcher downloads addition wouldn't work here for some reason) to do a manual install. I finally found a nice tutorial on a manual install of the CrystalHD drivers with SSH and got it working. XBMC Eden now has CrystalHD decoding enabled!

Yeah, it still doesn't like some of my 1080p encodes (Jurassic Park, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and who know how many more); they "buffer" often. But other encodes (The Matrix, Star Wars movies, etc. work 100% fine. I'm not sure what it doesn't like about some of them since I used the same basic settings for most. Some have DTS-HD on them, but Eden ignores that and Tron Legacy with it runs fine. It's not a perfect solution, but it works well on my 720P Plasma for most things and I have to say Eden's Interface is SOOOO much faster responding than OpenElec with Isengard (probably even faster than FireTV Stick running Isengard). There must be some serious bloat somewhere in Kodi since Eden or maybe Linux just sucks compared to OS X. Wink Plus I can just exit XBMC and there's Apple's interface in case I want to rent a movie on that TV or use the Apple interface for music or whatever (i.e. it still works with Airplay iOS8 and iOS9 devices, at least for music; I have a video plugin installed but I haven't tried it with iOS8/9 yet).

Now the question is whether I want to put a Broadcom card in the other unit (I'd need WiFi there, though so it's a bit more of a pain; I'd have to add a USB card and that seems so-so right now from what I've read about OpenElec 6.0 issues. (The other one is on Ethernet)
(This post was last modified: 2016-01-09 23:25 by VonMagnum.)
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wrxtasy Offline
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Post: #438
VM, as you seem to be an old school DIY OSX / ATV guy you might be interested in OSMC for the ATV1 as well:

OSMC DIY installs to the HDD start from this Post:
https://discourse.osmc.tv/t/hard-disk-in...10272/182?

A full Auto HDD install from USB is coming very soon.

BTW If you are getting buffering problems, maybe play around with the Video Cache advancedsettings.xml file:
HOW-TO:Modify_the_video_cache (wiki)

And one last thing, installing OpenELEC or OSMC to the ATV1's HDD will give you a faster interface and fix a lot of the playback problems you are experiencing. Using these OS's on the ATV1 from USB sticks sucks !

You can put Apple FrontRow back on to the HDD as well if your worried about that.
(This post was last modified: 2016-01-10 09:08 by wrxtasy.)
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VonMagnum Offline
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Post: #439
(2016-01-10 08:50)wrxtasy Wrote:  VM, as you seem to be an old school DIY OSX / ATV guy you might be interested in OSMC for the ATV1 as well:

OSMC DIY installs to the HDD start from this Post:
https://discourse.osmc.tv/t/hard-disk-in...10272/182?

How does it compare to OpenElec performance-wise? It seems to be a Kodi skin beyond that. Their Vero2 device does not impress me either (1GB of ram in 2015; Fast Ethernet when I had Gigabit on my PowerMac in 2001? Ack. I'm thinking the Nvidia Shield may be the only decent non-Apple box out there at this point (that isn't 100% proprietary like Roku).

I'll give that cache setting thing a try. Thanks.


Update: The cache settings didn't help anything, but I did discover that MOST of the files that won't play right were ones I added DTS passthrough tracks to them with Subler after encoding with Handbrake. The ones I had Handbrake passthrough the audio when I encoded them (instead of adding them later when I got FireTV that could make use of a newer Kodi that supported DTS in M4V files) work fine (well at least the DTS-HD MA ones do and regular DTS in SD video; I can't seem to find a single encode where I had "regular" DTS in HD up until now since there was no point at the time because I couldn't use them and I thought Subler could easily add them later. Apparently, Subler has a BUG in it (oddly the SD videos I added DTS later to seem OK). The bottom line is don't use Subler to add DTS to M4V files, at least if they're in HD resolutions.
(This post was last modified: 2016-01-10 18:40 by VonMagnum.)
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #440
(2016-01-10 15:15)VonMagnum Wrote:  How does it compare to OpenElec performance-wise? It seems to be a Kodi skin beyond that. Their Vero2 device does not impress me either (1GB of ram in 2015; Fast Ethernet when I had Gigabit on my PowerMac in 2001? Ack. I'm thinking the Nvidia Shield may be the only decent non-Apple box out there at this point (that isn't 100% proprietary like Roku).

You can't really compare ARM and x86 devices like that. 1GB of RAM is still considered normal in the ARM world. Most ARM set top boxes only support 100 meg ethernet, because there's no video standard that would require or benefit from a faster speed. That's not to say that the Vero2 is good or bad, but those specs are just fine for Kodi use.

Full disclosure: I work for WeTek. However, this is my personal account, and my words and opinion are my own.

HOW-TO: You can make easy links to the Kodi Wiki Manual using double brackets around common Kodi words: [[debug log]] = debug log (wiki), [[Video library]] = Video library (wiki), [[SMB]] = SMB (wiki) , etc
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wrxtasy Offline
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Post: #441
You really have to install either OS to the internal HDD to get semi decent performance. There are no two ways around it with the resource constrained ATV1.

OpenELEC runs nicely indeed on well sorted ARM AMLogic Hardware. You do not need massive resources for minimal OS Linux distros like OSMC or OpenELEC.
5.1 Audio and minor mpeg2 .vob limitations are well known on AML, there are no surprises.
How do I know ?
I develop and distribute OpenELEC for a $37 GigaE equipped S805 C1+
(WeTek Core as well)

These are good enough to use as an everyday 5.1 HEVC Kodi media player. Smile

If you need Apps and Kodi in an all in one device, then you move to an Android platform.
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VonMagnum Offline
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Post: #442
(2016-01-11 00:17)Ned Scott Wrote:  You can't really compare ARM and x86 devices like that. 1GB of RAM is still considered normal in the ARM world.

How is it any different if they're running the same Application? Does Kodi use less RAM just because it uses a different processor? I've got 1GB in my FireTV Stick, but only 500MB is available for Kodi and when all is said and done there's like 120-140MB free. Want to turn up the cache setting due to poor WiFi? Too bad. Only 8GB of space on the drive? You can't read ahead either. No Ethernet, so you're stuck with whatever WiFi gets you. On the other hand, none of those thing SHOULD be an issue with the FireTV Stick, but it "hiccups" or "stutters" every couple of minutes anyway for reasons unknown and it has 2 cores and hardware decoding. And I don't just mean videos; music stutters/skips as well. Watching the CPU meter, it pegs 100% on a core even when playing nothing every 2-3 minutes for no discernable reason. I don't know what Amazon's flavor of Android is doing in the background, but it's not helpful and makes me think twice about buying another Android-based platform.

There's also the future to consider if I'm going to spend beyond a certain amount. I figured why buy the new AppleTV 4 when it's $150 and can't do 4K and the $99 Amazon unit can do 4K. Then I figured, I don't need 4K right now, so why not just get a FireTV Stick for now and wait until 4K matures since they're so cheap (as little as $25 over the holidays). But because of the above strange "stutters", I'm finding myself already shopping for something else. Apple TV Gen1 + CrystalHD may not start as fast and the menus may not respond as fast and the audio sync is often "off" at first (until I switch audio tracks or enable/disable passthrough to force it to re-sync), but once it's playing, it appears smooth and stutter-free. Digital output is bit-accurate (e.g. DTS Audio CDs play correctly; on FireTV they play at a higher pitch because it's outputting it at 48kHz since it won't support any other rate). Those are all Android issues. Android doesn't impress me much so far.

Quote:Most ARM set top boxes only support 100 meg ethernet, because there's no video standard that would require or benefit from a faster speed.

From what I've read the new Bluray UHD (4K) discs will read at 82 Mbps, 108Mbps and 128Mbps for 50, 66 and 100GB discs respectively. If you want to stream one of these discs later this year (assuming they can rip them) without recompressing, you're going to be hard pressed to do it over 100Mbps Ethernet. You MIGHT be able to get away with the 50GB sized disc (overhead makes it close since 100Mbps is a theoretical speed only; real world usable speeds are typically 85-90% at most for Ethernet and that's assuming that's the only traffic across that branch. There's other uses for Gigabit as well, like moving files over to a media box that has good local storage. When I was still using a PowerPC server, I encoded movies on my Windows machine and Macbook Pro (at the same time) when I moved my DVD collection over and when one was done I sent to to the PowerMac server hard drive (1.5TB Barracuda Sata at the time capable of 120MB/sec write speeds so with the real world speed limits, it actually transferred files right around the 105-108MB/sec range (almost saturating the hard drive write speed). And that was in 2008-2012. In mid-2012, I moved to a Quad-i7 Mac Mini Server. It has RAID0 that can do 250-300MB/sec on rotational drives, which means that I'd need to use USB3 or Thunderbolt to saturate it for file transfers.

The point is that even Gigabit Ethernet is now outdated ancient technology (as I said, my PowerMac had Gigabit in 2001). There is simply no excuse to NOT have Gigabit. It's pennies on the dollar in 2015. WiFi is typically faster than 10/100 Ethernet even, even with a "so-so" connection. But then even the new ATV 4 only has 10/100 Ethernet. But let's glance at the specs comparisons there since they're the same price ($150 US). Vero2 has 1GB of ram (same as my $40 FireTV Stick). ATV4 has 2GB of ram. Vero2 has 8GB storage (same as my $40 FireTV Stick). ATV4 has 32GB (at $150) with 64GB available for $199). Vero2 has 802.11N WiFi. ATV4 has 802.11AC WiFi. Vero2 has a normal remote. ATV4 has a trackpad remote. There's a LOT of people saying the ATV4 is overpriced (e.g. compared to FireTV 4K), but it seems clear to me it's a bargain next to the Vero2. Now the Vero2 does support H265, which ATV4 does not officially (not sure what it can do unofficially with an App).


Quote:That's not to say that the Vero2 is good or bad, but those specs are just fine for Kodi use.

If I'm going to buy yet another device after this FireTV Stick issue, I don't want "just fine". I've got "just fine" in my FireTV Stick and some way, some how, it's not fine in everyday use (odd stutter). I'd rather have overkill and not ever have to worry about some task in the background interrupting the video with dropped frames than count on it being just enough to handle things, particularly if it's running Android since obviously something odd is going on in the background on that FireTV Stick. I'd feel better with Gigabit and 2-3GB of RAM. It's not like RAM is real expensive these days. 2GB is dirt cheap. A $150 box should have more than 1GB of ram is all I'm really saying since Apple is known for being overpriced and expensive and even their box has 2GB of ram in it and NVidia Shield (which is Android) has 3GB in it (and it was on sale over the holidays for $150 as well!)

Frankly, given it's giant App store, I'm thinking it's probably the most appealing option in the long run, given MrMC is on their App store and Kodi can be side-loaded (bugs being worked out now on that). Rumor is an Amazon Video app is forthcoming as well, which would mean Apple would have almost every major streaming source on their device at that point (any any remaining could be added). If they added 4K, it could be perfect.

(2016-01-11 05:08)wrxtasy Wrote:  You really have to install either OS to the internal HDD to get semi decent performance. There are no two ways around it with the resource constrained ATV1.

I've got an extra 2.5" drive sitting around here (200GB at that). I'll probably try installing it on that drive and save the other in case I don't like it. But really, it's behaving a lot better with the movies fixed (i.e. removed the Subler "add on" DTS soundtracks and re-encoded movies using DTS from Handbrake instead where I really want them).

If only it didn't mis-sync the audio half the time starting. Setting it to sync the display to the media avoids the problem, but takes forever to start even with SD video. It's the only remaining real issue (other than I'm having trouble getting the keymap to use my select button as a "pause" during slideshows in Kodi. The add-on for keymaps doesn't work at all with OpenElec as far as I can tell and thus far, my own manual edits haven't worked either. It's almost like it's not even looking at the file in the userdata directory. I've also noticed some add-ons that work with FireTV Stick Kodi don't work with OpenElec Kodi. I don't know if they're processor specific somehow or what (certainly seems that way for visualizers and screensavers, anyway). FireTV Stick is nice in that the remote is WiFi and doesn't need line of site like AppleTV's remote (but then I could use an iOS remote app).
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VonMagnum Offline
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Post: #443
I found the right settings to get this thing working full tilt, finally. Switching rendering over to Advanced Shaders (from Auto) got rid of the stuttery sync issue starts for almost all the videos I tried (one or two DTS-HD MA ones needed a second try and then worked). Setting the cache to use the hard drive (in this case a 64GB USB stick) instead of RAM and doubling the read ahead rate seemed to clear up the rest of the issues. Plus I noticed that full iOS8 and iOS9 video Airplay works with this thing! SWEET!

I also set up some remote changes (I can now move around zoomed images in the picture viewer). It's running pretty well now. I did have one crash after starting a half dozen 1080p videos testing, but otherwise....
(This post was last modified: 2016-01-12 02:32 by VonMagnum.)
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #444
(2016-01-11 16:15)VonMagnum Wrote:  How is it any different if they're running the same Application?

It doesn't. I have a Windows 10 box that only has 1GB of RAM soldered to the motherboard, and it runs Kodi perfectly.

Quote:I've got 1GB in my FireTV Stick, but only 500MB is available for Kodi and when all is said and done there's like 120-140MB free. Want to turn up the cache setting due to poor WiFi? Too bad. Only 8GB of space on the drive? You can't read ahead either. No Ethernet, so you're stuck with whatever WiFi gets you.

There's a good argument for not getting a box that only has wifi and no external memory options, yes. However, that really says nothing about the RAM, processor, and such.

Quote:There's also the future to consider if I'm going to spend beyond a certain amount. I figured why buy the new AppleTV 4 when it's $150 and can't do 4K and the $99 Amazon unit can do 4K.

It gets even more complicated than that, actually. The AFTV 2 locks out 4k from third party developers, so Kodi can't do 4k on there :(

Quote:Those are all Android issues. Android doesn't impress me much so far.

The audio stuff is getting figured out, slowly. It is very true that Android is the less mature platform for Kodi.

Quote:From what I've read the new Bluray UHD (4K) discs will read at 82 Mbps, 108Mbps and 128Mbps for 50, 66 and 100GB discs respectively. If you want to stream one of these discs later this year (assuming they can rip them) without recompressing, you're going to be hard pressed to do it over 100Mbps Ethernet.

Fair enough, such issues might happen, but I doubt that's a concern on a device that can't output 4k in the first place ;)

Quote:The point is that even Gigabit Ethernet is now outdated ancient technology (as I said, my PowerMac had Gigabit in 2001). There is simply no excuse to NOT have Gigabit. It's pennies on the dollar in 2015.

It doesn't exactly work like that with ARM. It's not always a cost issue, and again, anything that can support 4k is typically an SoC with gig ethernet. No one is going to worry about anything faster for a box that is designed for 1080.

Quote:But let's glance at the specs comparisons there since they're the same price ($150 US). Vero2 has 1GB of ram (same as my $40 FireTV Stick). ATV4 has 2GB of ram. Vero2 has 8GB storage (same as my $40 FireTV Stick). ATV4 has 32GB (at $150) with 64GB available for $199). Vero2 has 802.11N WiFi. ATV4 has 802.11AC WiFi. Vero2 has a normal remote. ATV4 has a trackpad remote. There's a LOT of people saying the ATV4 is overpriced (e.g. compared to FireTV 4K), but it seems clear to me it's a bargain next to the Vero2. Now the Vero2 does support H265, which ATV4 does not officially (not sure what it can do unofficially with an App).

With all due respect to OSMC and the Vero line, the price is a reflection of supporting a company that is starting out, and trying to give good support. It's not really a reflection of what the raw hardware can do. The ATV4 is also a hard one to nail down, because it offers Apple users certain things that you can't get with Android. If you are comparing specs, you can easily get something for $50 that will outperform both, but might not gain you certain features, support, or just taking advantage of sub-par quality from super cheap Chinese factories. So again, specs alone don't really mean much, and paying more doesn't mean more specs (but might still be worth it).


Quote:A $150 box should have more than 1GB of ram is all I'm really saying since Apple is known for being overpriced and expensive and even their box has 2GB of ram in it and NVidia Shield (which is Android) has 3GB in it (and it was on sale over the holidays for $150 as well!)

The point I'm trying to drive home is that these are purpose built devices. Desktop computers are general purpose, so they are designed to handle all sorts of situations. ARM boxes get a specific amount of RAM because, in theory, that's all they need. Adding more won't increase any real benefit. The only Kodi-benifit seems to be due to how Kodi handles video cache, but Kodi doesn't really deal with video cache in the best possible way. Only a minority of our users will benefit from increasing the video cache. I'm hard pressed to fault the box for Kodi shortcomings, which are only needed if the user has network shortcomings. Anyone actually worried about such things should just make sure there is a wired ethernet jack (at least as an option, if not built-in), and not worry about RAM.

The Nvidia Shield and ATV4 have a ton of RAM because they also play games.

It doesn't matter what year it is, there is no such thing as having too little or too much RAM. A purpose built device isn't going to just have a ton of RAM for video. A device that can only spit out 1080P isn't going to worry about having the fastest ethernet port. That is normal, and it has nothing to do with being cheap or being "outdated".

Full disclosure: I work for WeTek. However, this is my personal account, and my words and opinion are my own.

HOW-TO: You can make easy links to the Kodi Wiki Manual using double brackets around common Kodi words: [[debug log]] = debug log (wiki), [[Video library]] = Video library (wiki), [[SMB]] = SMB (wiki) , etc
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wrxtasy Offline
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Post: #445
@VonMagnum

As an Old time ATV1 user, hacker. You have actually discovered a magnificent Advanced Shaders Tweak for getting near instantaneous video playback on the ATV1 (SSD equipped) running OpenELEC. Even with video files as high as 60Mb/s.

Its the best performance tweak I have EVER seen for XBMC / Kodi on the 9 year old ATV1 !

Impressive !

For those that want to read about it, head over to the OpenELEC forums:
http://openelec.tv/forum/123-apple-atv-m...=90#155370

Thanks for your superb Sherlock work there mate !
(This post was last modified: 2016-01-12 06:45 by wrxtasy.)
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crashnburn Offline
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Post: #446
(2016-01-12 05:42)wrxtasy Wrote:  @VonMagnum

As an Old time ATV1 user, hacker. You have actually discovered a magnificent Advanced Shaders Tweak for getting near instantaneous video playback on the ATV1 (SSD equipped) running OpenELEC. Even with video files as high as 60Mb/s.

Its the best performance tweak I have EVER seen for XBMC / Kodi on the 9 year old ATV1 !

Impressive !

For those that want to read about it, head over to the OpenELEC forums:
http://openelec.tv/forum/123-apple-atv-m...=90#155370

Thanks for your superb Sherlock work there mate !

Is this still applicable? On OpenELEC as well as OSMC? for ATV1?
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