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Full Version: Zotac ION A (Atom 330) struggling with 720p -> 1080p upscaling
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Hi!

New in this forum and ready to do all things wrong on my first post but here you go Tongue

I built a small HTPC with the Zotac ION A (Atom 330) with 4 GB of RAM last week. It works pretty well, however struggles on 720p content.

My TV (Sony KDL X4500) runs in 1080p resolution and when viewing 1080p MKVs it runs perfectly smooth (using VDPAU), however on some 720p MKVs I have huge problems with jerky playback, it's just not smooth.

Now I figured that when I switch the video output during playback to the original 1280x720 (with huge black bars around the picture of course) it runs smoothly.

So I guess the problem comes from the upscaling of the image from 1280x720 to 1920x1080 - I guess VDPAU isn't used for that!?

I tried all options in settings, upscaling deactivated (still does upscale tho..) and bicubic, lanczos and the 3rd one, also this "use SD content" stuff. it's actually always the same. if i use "orginal" picture in video (with huge black bars around) it's smooth, if i go to the "normal" picture mode using full screen then it's jerky again.

also it seems to differ from MKV to MKV, movies and US TV show MKVs seem to work almost flawlessly, on 25/50 Hz PAL material it's very bad tho (for example I have some recording from Eurovision song contest converted to an 25 FPS MKV which runs jerky, same with an ORF HD recording that I play directly - for the latter one there is also a prob with the framerate as it doesn't even display 25 or 50 but smthg around 40 FPS, but I guess this is a different problem).

now question is what to do about it?

is it possible that in the future VDPAU is used for the upscaling?

or is there a way to make XBMC switch to an actual 720p output resolution for playback of 720p content (I tried this but it didn't seem to work, added some 720p modelines to xorg.conf but XBMC kept playing using 1920x1080 res, also tried the "upscaling deactivated" setting for that - no go). also I didn't find any modeline for [email protected] and/or 24p if that is even possible.

anyone else also experienced this problem with an ION based HTPC and maybe knows a way around it?

XBMC version is pre-9.10 r20830M btw
Nvidia driver is latest one (185....something)

also had it running with an XBMC version a few weeks older and an NVidia 180.... driver before and it was the same.

update: also checked CPU usage now and tried with and without hyperthreading (makes no difference):
XBMC seems to fully utilize one of the cores always even when not playing a video and just looking at the settings-hardware window. one of the CPUs is always at 100%, also the load switches between the CPUs from time to time - is that normal?
p1nky Wrote:update: also checked CPU usage now and tried with and without hyperthreading (makes no difference):
XBMC seems to fully utilize one of the cores always even when not playing a video and just looking at the settings-hardware window. one of the CPUs is always at 100%, also the load switches between the CPUs from time to time - is that normal?

it seems we have the real problem here... not much help to you, but even my revo with tiny A230 CPU has no problems scaling 720p material to 1080p

we have to find out what causes the improper CPU balancing
No atom CPU has any hopes of doing scaling in real time. You need to disable the "High Quality SW upscaling stuff entirely" so the GPU is doing all the work. Without a debug log on pastebin.com there isn't much help one can offer. It just sounds like normal 24p content to me. Find a video with the problem, pop up the codec info ('o' on the keyboard) and watch the aq, vq and cpu usage values. Report back with those results and the debug log.
here is the info from the o button:

D(Audio:mp2, 48000 Hz, stereo, s16), P(aq: 70% (changes all the time, between 30% and 90%), cpu 4%, bitrate around 125 KBit/s)

D(Video: h264, yuv420p, 1280x720), P(vq: 99% (constantly all the time), dc: ff-h264_vdpau, cpu: 1%, bitrate: anywhere between 3 and 12 MBit/s)

fps: 25.00 CPU1-4: all < 10% VBlanks missed: 11 (those misses only seem to occur when I jump forward or backward, not during normal playback) Clock speed: 100%

DVD player ad:-0.250, a/v: moves like crazy but is usually close to 0.050 (i think stays within 0.030 and 0.070 range), dropped: 7 (also only seems to occur during jumps), cpu: 0% or 1%, edl: n source bitrate: average around 8 MBit/s, anywhere between 3 and 12 MBit/s

for posting log i have to find out how to do that first Smile

update: a bit strange but playback was almost completely smooth while i recorded these stats and now i noticed that it did however miss a VBlank during normal playback now, also the fps jumped slightly from 25.00 to 24.98 and then 25.02 when this happened.
another update: now believe it or not but when the 'o' is activated and i have the info displayed on top of the picture on the top part of the screen then playback is PERFECT, but as soon as I press 'o' again and the info bar disappears I'm back at jerky playback - something must change when the info bar is displayed (even tho it is transparent and u can see the darker picture in the background)!

this behaviour is reproducable by the way, it happens every time - o on = perfect, o off = jerky
I don't mean to thread-jack but I was a little confused by your post.... It sounds to me like when you upscale PAL content, it's jerky and bad, but if you're playing US (24FPS) MKVs, it plays just fine?

The reason I ask is because I'm thinking of getting the zotac A as well, but all I play is NTSC videos, not PAL, so I want to make sure it'll be alright. Can you confirm?
well i haven't watched that much with it yet but 1080/24p material (bluray rips etc...) seems to play perfectly, 720p is also ok (for example i watched some 720p mkvs of Fringe and there was no or at most hardly any frame dropping/jerky playback) most of the time but sometimes not. maybe it is related to PAL 25 FPS, maybe it just happens that this eurovision song contest file is encoded a bit differently (maybe due to higher bitrate than the usual tv rip has).

and looking how even this file plays fine as long as the codec info is displayed i think it's pretty safe to say that the hardware is certainly able to do it, there might just be some issues that might not appear on a stronger CPU.

so in the end i'd say go for it, this issue i am having can certainly be resolved some way.
Thanks..I thought it would be ok but wasn't sure. Have you tried overclocking the atom to around 2 ghz? apparently you can up the FSB to 667 from 533, and that offers ~3FPS more in benchmarks, getting it to 2.0 ghz may just solve your issue.
Use mediainfo to qualify the video content that gives problems. google for mediainfo, there are app for all platforms.

It's better than guessing. And so far 4 post and not one of them with a pastebin URL of xbmc.log. That's the only way we can see what might be the issue.
here's mediainfo screenshot of the file in question:
Image

here is xbmc.log
http://pastebin.com/m58ea93b

video was playing 04:06:xx and 04:07:xx
"DEBUG: OnKey: 229 pressed, action is 27" was when i pressed the "o" button on and off - everytime it was on the playback was perfect, everytime it was off it was jerky
"DEBUG: OnKey: 11 pressed, action is 12" <- here i had to pause and unpause as the remote sometimes doesn't work unless i press the "ok" key (which maps to pause/unpause)
humm, this does not look good. I think I would svn up and run a build

Quote:04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: VDPAU Device Preempted - attempting recovery
04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: (VDPAU) Error: The display was pre-empted, or a fatal error occurred.(2) at VDPAU.cpp:767
04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:770
04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:773
04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:778
04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:778
04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:778
04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:778
04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:783
04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:789
04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:789
04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:789
04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:789
04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:789
04:05:25 T:3047806864 M:2930470912 ERROR: (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:725
so i built new one and same

http://pastebin.com/m495602de

Code:
#07:26:28 T:3046463376 M:2929872896   ERROR:  (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:767
#07:26:28 T:3046463376 M:2929872896   ERROR:  (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:770
#07:26:28 T:3046463376 M:2929872896   ERROR:  (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:773
#07:26:28 T:3046463376 M:2929872896   ERROR:  (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:778
#07:26:28 T:3046463376 M:2929872896   ERROR:  (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:778
#07:26:28 T:3046463376 M:2929872896   ERROR:  (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:778
#07:26:28 T:3046463376 M:2929872896   ERROR:  (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:778
#07:26:28 T:3046463376 M:2929872896   ERROR:  (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:783
#07:26:28 T:3046463376 M:2929872896   ERROR:  (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:789
#07:26:28 T:3046463376 M:2929872896   ERROR:  (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:789
#07:26:28 T:3046463376 M:2929872896   ERROR:  (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:789
#07:26:28 T:3046463376 M:2929872896   ERROR:  (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:789
#07:26:28 T:3046463376 M:2929872896   ERROR:  (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:789
#07:26:28 T:3046463376 M:2929872896   ERROR:  (VDPAU) Error: An invalid handle value was provided.(3) at VDPAU.cpp:725

again with o activated playback was smooth, without it activated jerky.

however this time there was one hickup during "o playback", it must have been when this appeared in log:
Code:
#07:26:37 T:3046463376 M:2890588160   DEBUG: Unloading: ImageLib-i486-linux.so
#07:26:40 T:3046463376 M:2889850880   DEBUG: Update - NEW at 69805:00000014ed180000 00 snapshot Medion_X10 (snapshot)
#07:26:40 T:3046463376 M:2889850880   DEBUG: OnKey: 229 pressed, action is 27
#07:26:41 T:3046463376 M:2889850880   DEBUG: Load black-back.png: 0.1ms (bundled)
[b][color=Red]#07:26:57 T:3046463376 M:2887073792   DEBUG: SECTION:UnloadDelayed(SECTION: LCODE)[/color][/b]
#07:26:59 T:2859510672 M:2887073792   DEBUG: CDVDPlayerAudio:: Discontinuty - was:2030033226.685931, should be:2030053684.026695, error:20457.340765
#07:27:14 T:3046463376 M:2886955008   DEBUG: Update - NEW at 102965:00000014ed180000 00 snapshot Medion_X10 (snapshot)
#07:27:14 T:3046463376 M:2886955008   DEBUG: OnKey: 229 pressed, action is 27
so does anyone else have this problem? is there any solution?
thanks a lot, works perfectly now with safefull enabled!
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