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Full Version: HOW TO - Kodi 2D - 3D - UHD (4k) HDR Guide Internal & External Players
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(2018-07-17, 22:18)brazen1 Wrote: [ -> ]Fab is not the only player to experience the PCF.xml problem.  All players do including KODI VideoPlayer.  What ever player you first use, be it the assigned player obeying PCF.xml rules, or a manually selected player via 'play using' menu, is going to be the only player available for any subsequent playback.  Yes, restarting KODI allows another player to be used but the problem just starts over again.  Once you use a player, no other player can be utilized in any way unless you restart KODI.  Again, v.18 only, not 17.6.  Something has broken the playercorefactory.xml usage in v.18 as we used to know it and in all the months v.18 nightlies have been released, it still has not received any attention.  I currently need and use 5 players so v.18 is out of the question.
I understand the need in your case. I too would not be able to use v18 if I had your scenario. 

However, my case is different and less complex then yours. I'm only using 2 external players - PDVD & DVDFab. 3 total players if you include Kodi's internal player. I have zero issues with the Kodi internal player. Everything works, no matter how many times the player is launched or if an external player was called or not. 3D is not involved in this setup, so my setup is essentially:

BD ISO: PDVD
4K HDR: DVD Fab
Everything else: Kodi

I'm not clear what you mean by "including Kodi VideoPlayer". I'm not experiencing any issues with Kodi's internal video player. I can launch a BD ISO successfully with PDVD as external player. Stop and close PDVD, return to KODI interface, and play any non-ISO, non-4K media in Kodi. No issues. 

What broke in v18, as far as I have experienced, is launching 2 different external players in the same session. If I use PDVD, I cannot play DVDFab unless I quit Kodi. Or vice versa.

The reason this was never an issue (and still isn't), is because it would be an extreme rarity for me to use PDVD and then DVDFab in the same session. And for that extreme rarity, I don't really mind quitting Kodi and restarting. Just two clicks on the remote. 

The reason for my Post #655 above this morning was because something seems to have changed - gone further wrong - since I installed Leia Alpha 2. 

What works:
- Kodi internal player is working, no issues. Whether or not I launch an external player
- PDVD is working, no issues. All BD ISO's open in PDVD. No need to restart Kodi

What changed:
- DVDFab stopped launching no matter what. Even if I launch Kodi fresh - use no other player - launching a 4K title (which is by rules associated to DVDFab) will not launch DVDFab. I get a window on top saying "External Player Active" with an "Ok" button. Nothing else happens. I stay in Kodi's interface. This is not AFTER launching PDVD or Kodi internal player. This is launching DVDFab only on a fresh Kodi start. 

Hope that clarifies.

___________________________________

Edit:

On a side-note, I was just on PowerDVD's website to review the change log for the latest build, and I noticed something under the 4K playback. As we've always noted, for the "4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Playback", PowerDVD requires 7th Generation Intel processors (Kaby Lake). My understanding was that it required the hardware to play any kind of 4K. However, I saw this below on the same page:

Image

Image

Is this implying that for 4K MKV playback (not full UHD ISO), it does not require Kaby Lake, but can playback using Skylake for up to 8bits and GTX 1060 for up to 10bits?

Reason I ask is because I don't have any 4K UHD ISO media - I don't require menus (at the moment). I was only using DVDFab for 4K UHD MKV playback. I'm also going to either upgrade my Primary HTPC/Gaming Rig (GTX 1080) with either the upcoming GTX 11 Series, or a GTX 1080Ti (in case there is a major drop in price for Ti when 11 series releases) --- either of which would bring my current GTX 1080 into this secondary HTPC. Which would then qualify:

"H.265/HEVC (10bits): Nvidia GTX 1060"

I was under the impression only Kaby Lake or above can play 4K UHD in PowerDVD, which I'm not willing to entertain for the secondary HTPC as I would need to upgrade CPU, Motherboard & RAM.

Thanks!
Just a quick update - you were spot on about DVDFab's version changes. I tried a few different v5 builds and none of them would activate HDR. Switched back down to v3 and HDR comes on flawlessly. So v3 it will have to be. 

Now I just need to resolve my Kodi + DVDFab "External Player is Active" issue.
(2018-07-18, 16:05)luci5r Wrote: [ -> ]Just a quick update - you were spot on about DVDFab's version changes. I tried a few different v5 builds and none of them would activate HDR. Switched back down to v3 and HDR comes on flawlessly. So v3 it will have to be. 

Now I just need to resolve my Kodi + DVDFab "External Player is Active" issue.
 luci5r,

If you are using Kodi Leia ninghtly, there is an issue with the playercorefactory.xml.  It has been acknowledged by the Kodi devs (PatK in the External Players thread) and is not solved yet.  In my case, the issue I have is that once I play a movie with any external player, all movies are played with that external player until i restart Kodi.  That is the main reason I switched back to Kodi 17.6, where the playercorefactory.xml works as intended.  I bring this up in case it is related to the issue you are having.

Regards,

Bart
(2018-07-18, 16:09)bsoriano Wrote: [ -> ]
(2018-07-18, 16:05)luci5r Wrote: [ -> ]Just a quick update - you were spot on about DVDFab's version changes. I tried a few different v5 builds and none of them would activate HDR. Switched back down to v3 and HDR comes on flawlessly. So v3 it will have to be. 

Now I just need to resolve my Kodi + DVDFab "External Player is Active" issue.
 luci5r,

If you are using Kodi Leia ninghtly, there is an issue with the playercorefactory.xml.  It has been acknowledged by the Kodi devs (PatK in the External Players thread) and is not solved yet.  In my case, the issue I have is that once I play a movie with any external player, all movies are played with that external player until i restart Kodi.  That is the main reason I switched back to Kodi 17.6, where the playercorefactory.xml works as intended.  I bring this up in case it is related to the issue you are having.

Regards,

Bart 
 Hi Bart,

Yes, I'm aware of that issue - that happens on my end also. The thing of it is, It's just not very common for us to watch a movie in an external player, and then in another player. It's a rarity. If it perchance we do need to watch something after watching a movie in PowerDVD, in a different media player, all it takes is 2 button-presses on the remote. Close kodi. Restart kodi.

So to be honest with you, it hasn't amount to be an issue where I would need to downgrade v18 to v17.6. Outside of this PCF issue, I'm actually quite happy with Leia. For me, personally, it seems to work better then 17.6. 

My problem - as of day before yesterday (I didn't get a chance to test last night w/ DVDFab v3) - is that Kodi is absolutely refusing to open anything in DVDFab. Even if after a fresh start of Kodi I try to play something in DVDFab (without launching PowerDVD or anything else). I get a "External Player Active" notification on top and an "Ok" button, but DVDFab never launches. 

If I can resolve that, I actually don't see the need to switch v17.6 right now. I don't mind quitting & starting Kodi after an external player launch to watch a second title. It just doesn't happen very often.

Thanks!!
Quote:ImageFwiw, my observations:

UHD HDR using PowerDVD requires specialized hardware else I think it's supposed to convert HDR to SDR but that is problematic for me.  DVDFab Player v.5 converts HDR to SDR but I'm not sure if special hardware would let it passthrough.  I just reinstalled todays update to 5.0.1.6 to confirm if that had changed things.  It didn't.  DVDFab Player v.3 remains an HDR passthrough player regardless of CPU and motherboard used and instead switches correctly via proper GPU using private API's.  Not sure if you meet specific requirements or not when doing your SBS comparisons?  Understand, this is an mkv test matching your source tested.

I also tried an hdr.mkv and an ISO 10bit/BT2020 using FAB and PDVD and determined: 

PDVD does not engage HDR mode with an mkv but it does play back and of course does not look correct.  For some reason, it does not prompt me to convert HDR to SDR, since I don't meet its requirements for HDR playback, again probably because it is an mkv.  ISO's are prompted to convert HDR to SDR but then met with a do not meet requirements prompt and there is no playback. 

FAB v.5 does the mkv HDR to SDR conversion without prompting and playback looks decent but of course we'd prefer to keep it HDR passthrough which it doesn't.  An iso does not work at all.  It crashes the GPU drivers requiring a restart.  Updating to current drivers made no difference.  FAB v.3 on the other hand works perfectly no matter if it's an mkv or an iso and playback quality is very good.  I prefer DVDFab v.3 over madVR players for remastered UHD HDR titles.  Older remastered titles look very grainy and overly sharpened to me.  For what ever reason (algo's used) FAB just produces a better picture imo.  This includes banding.  However, I still prefer madVR players for native UHD HDR titles that are not remastered to UHD specs banding and all.

I am mainly interested in IF you are truly engaging HDR using either player and that you are certain.  If so, please list a bit about your hardware.  TIA.

*Edit*.  I feel like I'm intruding especially with all the external player talk in a DSPlayer thread and in no way trying to hijack it.  I know it's already offended a visitor here recently and respect their wishes.  Probably best to move the conversation to the link in my signature if you don't mind.
Brazen, All I can tell you is that the picture looks fantastic in DVDfab 5 on my set. Not sure how to verify that it is truly a 4k image being displayed. Will have to check tv manual on how to see if this info is able to be displayed. Viewing on Sony XBR75Z9D with passthrough from my HTPC with Nvidia 960 through Nakamichi Shockwafe via ARC.

Mark

EDIT*** I can confirm that FAB5 and PWRDVD are both sending 3840x2160 to Sony. Shot a couple pictures with my iphone to show what a drastic differnce in picture quality between the 2. Powerdvd looks completely washed out.

Image
Very interestingly, switching back from DVDFab v5 to DVDFab v3 seems to have resolved my "Kodi won't launch DVDFab no matter" problem!!! I haven't the faintest idea why! No longer does the "External player active" notification pops up. In fact, Kodi v18 Leia is now properly launching DVDFab v3 when I chose any media matching the rule defined in PCF.

Of course, the issue with 'Only one external player per session' still remains with Leia, but as I've mentioned, it's a non-issue for me. 

It seems to be, against all understanding, not only did the private APIs to toggle HDR break in DVDFab v5, but something else was changed also. DVDFab v3 seems to be performing flawlessly!!! I'll be sticking to DVDFab v3 for sure. 

One Last Query -- Just wondering, because I came across something yesterday -- The whole MPC-BE/MadVR combo defined in this thread, can MadVR also be used with Kodi's internal video player (I believe it's called DSPlayer but I'm not sure)? In other words, if you don't use MPC-BE at all and just use Kodi, can MadVR and all it's capability be affected into Kodi's internal video player?

Thanks!!
(2018-07-19, 16:52)luci5r Wrote: [ -> ]Very interestingly, switching back from DVDFab v5 to DVDFab v3 seems to have resolved my "Kodi won't launch DVDFab no matter" problem!!! I haven't the faintest idea why! No longer does the "External player active" notification pops up. In fact, Kodi v18 Leia is now properly launching DVDFab v3 when I chose any media matching the rule defined in PCF.

Of course, the issue with 'Only one external player per session' still remains with Leia, but as I've mentioned, it's a non-issue for me. 

It seems to be, against all understanding, not only did the private APIs to toggle HDR break in DVDFab v5, but something else was changed also. DVDFab v3 seems to be performing flawlessly!!! I'll be sticking to DVDFab v3 for sure. 

One Last Query -- Just wondering, because I came across something yesterday -- The whole MPC-BE/MadVR combo defined in this thread, can MadVR also be used with Kodi's internal video player (I believe it's called DSPlayer but I'm not sure)? In other words, if you don't use MPC-BE at all and just use Kodi, can MadVR and all it's capability be affected into Kodi's internal video player?

Thanks!!
luci5r,

Unfortunately, no to Kodi and madVR.  The DSPlayer version, which does use madVR, is Krypton, not Leia, and I am not sure if it will be ported to Leia, as there is only one developer that works on DSPlayer, on his own time, and it's not an official Kodi thing, or officially supported by Team Kodi.  

Regards,

Bart
(2018-07-18, 16:05)luci5r Wrote: [ -> ]Just a quick update - you were spot on about DVDFab's version changes. I tried a few different v5 builds and none of them would activate HDR. Switched back down to v3 and HDR comes on flawlessly. So v3 it will have to be. 

Now I just need to resolve my Kodi + DVDFab "External Player is Active" issue.
 Would like to know how you are sure HDR is activating? Are you talking just about resolution or is there some other way to tell in Win10. Thanks
(2018-07-19, 16:59)bsoriano Wrote: [ -> ]
(2018-07-19, 16:52)luci5r Wrote: [ -> ]Very interestingly, switching back from DVDFab v5 to DVDFab v3 seems to have resolved my "Kodi won't launch DVDFab no matter" problem!!! I haven't the faintest idea why! No longer does the "External player active" notification pops up. In fact, Kodi v18 Leia is now properly launching DVDFab v3 when I chose any media matching the rule defined in PCF.

Of course, the issue with 'Only one external player per session' still remains with Leia, but as I've mentioned, it's a non-issue for me. 

It seems to be, against all understanding, not only did the private APIs to toggle HDR break in DVDFab v5, but something else was changed also. DVDFab v3 seems to be performing flawlessly!!! I'll be sticking to DVDFab v3 for sure. 

One Last Query -- Just wondering, because I came across something yesterday -- The whole MPC-BE/MadVR combo defined in this thread, can MadVR also be used with Kodi's internal video player (I believe it's called DSPlayer but I'm not sure)? In other words, if you don't use MPC-BE at all and just use Kodi, can MadVR and all it's capability be affected into Kodi's internal video player?

Thanks!!
luci5r,

Unfortunately, no to Kodi and madVR.  The DSPlayer version, which does use madVR, is Krypton, not Leia, and I am not sure if it will be ported to Leia, as there is only one developer that works on DSPlayer, on his own time, and it's not an official Kodi thing, or officially supported by Team Kodi.  

Regards,

Bart   

Ah! Thanks so much for the response & explanation, Bart. I don't expect that support will come in with Leia either. That's alright, I think I'm good for right now. Thanks again.
 
(2018-07-19, 21:49)acemt Wrote: [ -> ]
(2018-07-18, 16:05)luci5r Wrote: [ -> ]Just a quick update - you were spot on about DVDFab's version changes. I tried a few different v5 builds and none of them would activate HDR. Switched back down to v3 and HDR comes on flawlessly. So v3 it will have to be. 

Now I just need to resolve my Kodi + DVDFab "External Player is Active" issue.
 Would like to know how you are sure HDR is activating? Are you talking just about resolution or is there some other way to tell in Win10. Thanks   

HDR actually has nothing to do with Resolution, as far as I know. Well, I don't know about "Windows 10", however, my Television Set tells me when HDR is activate or not. On my Samsung TV, if you press the 'Info' button, it displays in the top right corner a nice HDR band whenever it's receiving & displaying HDR signal. That band only appears if HDR is active. Isn't that how everyone tells whether HDR is active or not? Using the TV Info?

Also, on my new TCL 6 Series set (Which I mainly use exclusively for PC & XBOX One X Gaming only), "HDR" or "Dolby Vision" pops up on the top left of the screen for just a second as soon as any HDR or Dolby Vision content begins to play. 

Thanks!
@brazen1,

I noticed that with the latest Windows 10 RS5 (17713) and the latest nVidia drivers, when I set in the NCP RGB Full 12 bits for 23Hz, or 24Hz, it stays that way and does not go back to 60Hz 8 bit like I was used to seeing. The Windows desktop still looks fine, as well as the Kodi GUI.

Should I leave like that? If so, should I leave it at 23Hz, 24Hz? Should I leave it at 60Hz, 8 bit? Thank you for your advice in this regard.

Bart
The best "switchback" setting for your monitor is what your monitor is capable of. Most monitors are 8bit. And if it's maximum refresh rate is 60Hz, than it's the best for the Windows GUI (otherwise it will be sluggish on i.e. 24Hz). If your question was regarding the TV, and it's 10bit than I guess that 10bit (sometimes stated multiplied as 30bit) /60Hz would be just fine for the TV (or even the 12bit). Tho' don't know for sure if i.e. games would need different optimal settings when started.
After setting RGB Full 12bit at 23/24Hz, change to 60Hz and the bit depth field will be blank.  It is dithering down to 8bit at 60Hz.  That's because Windows is only compliant at 8bit when anything higher than 30Hz.  23/24Hz you can use 12bit because it's under 30Hz but as stated, this introduces lag and makes everything sluggish.  Unfortunately, we have to select 12bit and let it dither down to 10bit.  nVidia doesn't offer a 10bit setting using RGB Full.  Maybe one day they will correct that in a driver update.  So, when using Windows Desktop or in KODI, your NCP should show 60Hz with a blank bit depth setting (it's at 8bit).  When you start a video, it should match refresh rate (commonly 24Hz) and output 8bit or 10bit depending if it's SDR or HDR.  NCP will show 12bit but later in the processing this will dither down accordingly.  You'll have to window what ever player you're using to check in NCP.  With an MPC player, you can bring up the madVR OSD by pressing Ctrl+J and see what is being output as well.  I use 385.28 and these settings survive a reboot.  Newer drivers probably won't.  I wouldn't get too hung up on bit depth.  You could be doing more harm than good by introducing banding and everything at 8bit would be fine with little to unnoticeable difference vs 10/12bit.  Your main concern should be RGB Full and auto frame rate matching always returning to a 60Hz Desktop or GUI.
Ok, so sorry if I've missundercept something regarding the actual complains, or if i would be somewhat inexact or mistaken in these technical phrases and specific options,  specially regarding NVidia-side possibilities, but I have to add:
Quote:That's because Windows is only compliant at 8bit when anything higher than 30Hz.
-> Are you sure that's some PC/Windows standard regulation and not just caused by the (buggy) NVidia drivers? See: https://www.extron.com/company/article.aspx?id=hdmi2faq
Quote:NCP will show 12bit but later in the processing this will dither down accordingly.
-> "Dither" to what, 10bit or 8bit? Cause 10 bit -may- just would be fine, but as it's stated as "dither" and as preferably it would be better to stick to stock 10bit anyways, i guess what you name "dithering" should evolve some post-processing resulting a not-so-much-native PQ. Am i right on this one? So the 10 bit -even- in this case would be much better than 8bit, but why not just set the native output to 10 bit as the wast majority of the 4K sources jet would make it self-evident as they are also mostly 10bit. 
Quote:I wouldn't get too hung up on bit depth.  You could be doing more harm than good by introducing banding and everything at 8bit would be fine with little to unnoticeable difference vs 10/12bit. ->
I guess you din't see much 10bit vs 8bit bitdepth PQ comparison samples. There can be a HUGE PQ effecting difference in how color banding is detailed and refined between 10 and 8bit, with much and undeniable advantage for the 10bit side (sometimes may also be dependent on the source video, but many recent true 10bit videos will show this difference undeniably even for the most sceptic or verdant typed eyes). -> This all effects of course if you have also a proper 10 bit display to the do these "final" task.
(2018-07-21, 16:13)brazen1 Wrote: [ -> ]After setting RGB Full 12bit at 23/24Hz, change to 60Hz and the bit depth field will be blank.  It is dithering down to 8bit at 60Hz.  That's because Windows is only compliant at 8bit when anything higher than 30Hz.  23/24Hz you can use 12bit because it's under 30Hz but as stated, this introduces lag and makes everything sluggish.  Unfortunately, we have to select 12bit and let it dither down to 10bit.  nVidia doesn't offer a 10bit setting using RGB Full.  Maybe one day they will correct that in a driver update.  So, when using Windows Desktop or in KODI, your NCP should show 60Hz with a blank bit depth setting (it's at 8bit).  When you start a video, it should match refresh rate (commonly 24Hz) and output 8bit or 10bit depending if it's SDR or HDR.  NCP will show 12bit but later in the processing this will dither down accordingly.  You'll have to window what ever player you're using to check in NCP.  With an MPC player, you can bring up the madVR OSD by pressing Ctrl+J and see what is being output as well.  I use 385.28 and these settings survive a reboot.  Newer drivers probably won't.  I wouldn't get too hung up on bit depth.  You could be doing more harm than good by introducing banding and everything at 8bit would be fine with little to unnoticeable difference vs 10/12bit.  Your main concern should be RGB Full and auto frame rate matching always returning to a 60Hz Desktop or GUI.
Thanks!

I left it at RGB Full 8 bits 60Hz for the desktop, and confirmed with madVR windowed and a video paused that is changes to RGB Full 12 bits 23 Hz, so I think I am OK.

I also recently started testing Kodi Leia nightly, and the image quality for 4K with the internal player is surprisingly good.  When a 4K HDR title plays my Sony TV does not go black and do the mode change/refresh rate change, so I don't think I am getting 10 bit HDR output from Kodi, but I don't know of a way to test it.

One issue I have found, at least in my setup, is that I have to turn off DXVA2 hardware acceleration in Kodi playback settings.  If I leave it on, not title, no matter the resolution, will play correctly, showing these thick green bands all over the video image.  I don't know if this is just a Leia issue with nVidia, or if there is something else going on with my setup.  If I turn it off, all titles play.

Any ideas as to what might be going on there? I am also using two new settings in the advancedsettings.xml file, try10bitoutput, and allowdiscretedecoder.

Regards,

Bart
(2018-07-21, 18:22)Mount81 Wrote: [ -> ]Ok, so sorry if I've missundercept something regarding the actual complains, or if i would be somewhat inexact or mistaken in these technical phrases and specific options,  specially regarding NVidia-side possibilities, but I have to add:
Quote:That's because Windows is only compliant at 8bit when anything higher than 30Hz.
-> Are you sure that's some PC/Windows standard regulation and not just caused by the (buggy) NVidia drivers? See: https://www.extron.com/company/article.aspx?id=hdmi2faq
Yes, I'm sure.  When using RGB Full (4:4:4) the best you're ever going to do is 8bit at anything over 30Hz.  Your link clearly shows that.  Has nothing to do with your blame that this limitation is due to buggy nVidia drivers?  It's the specification standard.

Quote:NCP will show 12bit but later in the processing this will dither down accordingly.
-> "Dither" to what, 10bit or 8bit? Thought it was explained clearly?  When set to 12bit, dithering to render what it is.  SDR is 8bit.  HDR is 10bit.  Cause 10 bit -may- just would be fine, but as it's stated as "dither" and as preferably it would be better to stick to stock 10bit anyways, i guess what you name "dithering" should evolve some post-processing resulting a not-so-much-native PQ. Am i right on this one?  I don't understand what you mean here?  So the 10 bit -even- in this case would be much better than 8bit, but why not just set the native output to 10 bit as the wast majority of the 4K sources jet would make it self-evident as they are also mostly 10bit.  Explain to me how to set 10bit?  As I stated, nVidia has no 10bit setting when using RGB 4:4:4.  Only 8/12.  This is where you can interject your dislike of nVidia and its buggy drivers.   Instead I set to 12bit which dithers down to match the bit depth of what ever source is played.  You can't magically convert an 8bit source to 10bit by using a 10/12bit setting?  It's going to dither down.  Also, while your only concern may be what you consider the vast majority is 4k 10bit sources, personally, I have many others and tailor to accommodate ALL of them especially the Windows Desktop which requires 8bit at best at 60Hz.  If you want to set your settings different because you think they work better for the limited playback you require, have at it.
Quote:I wouldn't get too hung up on bit depth.  You could be doing more harm than good by introducing banding and everything at 8bit would be fine with little to unnoticeable difference vs 10/12bit. ->
I guess you din't see much 10bit vs 8bit bitdepth PQ comparison samples. There can be a HUGE PQ effecting difference in how color banding is detailed and refined between 10 and 8bit, with much and undeniable advantage for the 10bit side (sometimes may also be dependent on the source video, but many recent true 10bit videos will show this difference undeniably even for the most sceptic or verdant typed eyes). -> This all effects of course if you have also a proper 10 bit display to the do these "final" task.  Yes, I have a native 10bit display.  A very nice one.  Yes I have many UHD HDR unaltered titles and I play them all at the maximum bit depth they were mastered in.... 10bit.  At times I prefer 8bit.  Reducing my GPU settings to output 8bit and matching that setting in madVR doesn't leave much on the table.  What it does do is lessen (not eliminate) banding so many times 8bit with less banding is preferred over what ever you think you are visibly gaining using 10bit.  A highly compressed altered and butchered rip might benefit but personally I use untouched 1:1 rips.  Not sure how you see such a phenomenal difference but you should present your findings at doom9 forum where experts will evaluate with you.  Imo, when it comes to HDR and bit depth, more concern should be placed on chroma upscaling instead.