v17 Pulling hair out w/ 4K and I'm already bald!
#1
Ok all, I've been googling for a while now, searching through various Kodi posts and even dabbled over at Reddit. I'm at a loss here.

I have this Samsung 4K TV hooked up to this GTX 1050 video card passing through this Sony AVR

I have the TV set to [email protected] for the Kodi GUI because Kodi forums said to not have it run natively at 4K because you can't downscale to 1080p, you can only go up! I was watching a video last night via Kodi in what I thought was 4K. Apparently, it was not. I guess you have to enable Adjust Refresh rate to match video on start / stop in Kodi (from what I've read via Google) to get the TV to switch to the 4K resolution of the video file, I never had that enabled.
Once I did enable it, I was greeted with nothing but dropped frames, audio out-of-sync, stuttering and all sort of other wonderful things.

The video card is HDMI 2.0 complaint. I am running 4K HDMI cables to all the devices. The HDMI cable is connected into HDMI 3 which is ARC. I've also just recently discovered that you have to manually set the AVR (located on page 32) of the User Manual to enhanced HDMI to get video formats such as 4K/60p 4:4:4, 4:2:2 and 4K/60p 4:2:0 10 bit. I changed that to no avail. I'm still getting stuttering and frame drops.

I've hit the O key while watching a 4K video file and sometimes it will say "Hardware decode" and other times it will say "Software decode". When it's on "Software Decode", my CPU is @ 100% and my CPU fan is screaming for help. When it's using "Hardware Decode", my CPU is about 5%.

I'm out of stuff to check here because there are too many freaking variables and I've been tinkering, changing, stuff on the TV, stuff in Kodi, etc...etc..etc. I don't know where I started or where I left off now.
I'm fried, confused, and at a loss here. If anyone need any other information, feel free to ask, I'll send you whatever you need.

If I load up the TV's "Smart Apps" and launch Netflix or YouTube and watch 4K content, I don't have an issue. So it's got to be some setting or something in Kodi, right?!?

I just dropped some serious $$$ and time getting to 4K, I'd like to be able to actually use it.
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#2
Yes, 4k can get very confusing at first and you find many conflicting answers from many different sources.
In your case, I suggest you start as lean as possible and work your way up from there. Take your AVR out of the equation for starters. Once you have good communication from your pc to your tv, add the avr in.

Plug your GPU into your tv. I suggest a non-arc port. Make sure the port you select is hdmi 2.0 on your tv. Edit the Device Type for that HDMI source input to 'Bluray'.
Turn on HDMI UHD Color for that port in your tv.
Set HDMI Black level to auto and Auto Motion Plus to smooth.

Set the resolution for your Nvidia GPU to 2160p at RGB Full, 12 bit.

Set resolution in Kodi to 2160p with Adjust Refresh rate to match video on start / stop. Sync playback to display off. Render method auto. Hardware acceleration on. Use fullscreen window on. Use limited color range off.

Play your video. If everything is good, add the avr back into the system using the avr output to the same HDMI input you just used on your tv.
This should get you started.
HOW TO - Kodi 2D - 3D - UHD (4k) HDR Guide Internal & External Players
W10/1903 MPC-BE\HC PDVD19 DVDFab3 KODI 19 PotPlayer 960-4GB/RGB 4:4:4/Desktop=60Hz/Video=Matched Refresh rates 8bit/65JS8500 UHD HDR 3D
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#3
One thing you did miss was a proper debug log link in that message. I'm sure that anyone who could help you would want to see the log playing one of those 4K videos, I suspect that it may come down to the graphics engine, a quick search doesn't recommend 4K games with this card, yes I know that isn't just 4K video.

Quote:in full-HD 1080p setups, with 1440p and 4K gaming to be out of the question, unless you favour sub 20fps gaming (definitely not recommended).

[edit] I do like @brazen1 view point and methodology for getting into the essence of the issue.
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#4
I don't even see you mention which operating system!
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#5
Well I typed out a response to this thread already but, for whatever reason, it didn't populate. Trying again:

(2017-01-27, 19:47)brazen1 Wrote: Yes, 4k can get very confusing at first and you find many conflicting answers from many different sources.
In your case, I suggest you start as lean as possible and work your way up from there. Take your AVR out of the equation for starters. Once you have good communication from your pc to your tv, add the avr in.

Plug your GPU into your tv. I suggest a non-arc port. Make sure the port you select is hdmi 2.0 on your tv. Edit the Device Type for that HDMI source input to 'Bluray'.
Turn on HDMI UHD Color for that port in your tv.
Set HDMI Black level to auto and Auto Motion Plus to smooth.

Set the resolution for your Nvidia GPU to 2160p at RGB Full, 12 bit.

Set resolution in Kodi to 2160p with Adjust Refresh rate to match video on start / stop. Sync playback to display off. Render method auto. Hardware acceleration on. Use fullscreen window on. Use limited color range off.

Play your video. If everything is good, add the avr back into the system using the avr output to the same HDMI input you just used on your tv.
This should get you started.
Thanks. You're the second person to suggest that I should go directly from GPU to TV taking the AVR out of the equation.I'll try that when I get back 'stateside'.

"Set resolution in Kodi to 2160p" <--- confused by that statement. Are you telling me to set my TV to that resolution via the GPU and then launch Kodi? I read somewhere that it was specifically a "NO" to run Kodi in anything other then 1080p...


(2017-01-27, 19:57)PatK Wrote: One thing you did miss was a proper debug log link in that message. I'm sure that anyone who could help you would want to see the log playing one of those 4K videos, I suspect that it may come down to the graphics engine, a quick search doesn't recommend 4K games with this card, yes I know that isn't just 4K video.

Quote:in full-HD 1080p setups, with 1440p and 4K gaming to be out of the question, unless you favour sub 20fps gaming (definitely not recommended).

I was specifically told to purchase that video card for its 4K + HEVC decoding ability over on Reddit /r/HTPC. This is strictly a HTPC and no gaming done on it. Are you suggesting that the GPU isn't sufficient for the task? If so, let me know so I can return it to NewEgg and buy a more appropriate GPU with your recommendation....

I know I failed miserably by not providing a debug log. I had to catch a flight to Germany for work and was pressed for time. I was just hoping that there would be someone that said "you're doing it wrong stupid! You're supposed to have X, Y & Z enabled for 4K" Smile

(2017-01-28, 00:54)nickr Wrote: I don't even see you mention which operating system!

Sorry, was running out the door to get to work and left that out: Win7 x64
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#6
Tell you what, try libreelec from a USB stick when you get home. At least see whether your GPU handles your files in linux.
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#7
Windows 7 does not have HW-decoding support for HEVC Main10 because of the limitation FL 9.x. You need Windows 8 or above, if you plan to stay in Windows and move the decoding task of these typically bitrate heavy 10-bit material from CPU to GPU. Especially important, as the 32-bit nature of Kodi in Windows is not very efficient in SW-decoding.

Otherwise GTX 1050 is more than capable for the task. Most of the bugs have been ironed out from the Kodi for 4K-HEVC -playing. As having a 4K Windows 10 x64 -setup with GTX 1050 Ti I can confirm that it can work.
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#8
(2017-01-28, 07:24)nickr Wrote: Tell you what, try libreelec from a USB stick when you get home. At least see whether your GPU handles your files in linux.

Not a good idea on this occasion as there is no HEVC hardware acceleration for Nvidia cards in Linux at the moment.
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#9
My GTX 960 plays everything in the wiki perfectly and then some. Your 1050 will out perform it because it is HDMI 2.0b. Even though your 1050 is an entry level card, it should work well for you now and be somewhat future proof.

Your Windows 7 is antiquated. Despite what you read here and elsewhere, W10 is a perfectly capable HTPC platform that will outperform any other platforms imo. HDR video support is coming to W10 very soon. Be ready. It is not the simple plug and play appliance many desire but is versatile, customizable, constantly upgrading, and state of the art. I would upgrade if I was you just to eliminate another potential culprit.

You've posted because you're not getting smooth playback. We are. We can tell you the differences in our hardware/software that helped us achieve this. You are using a Samsung. Me too. It's not your panel. We are obviously using Kodi. It's not that. I'm using an older GPU than you are. It's not that. I can't help you with your AVR. I use a Denon. Take it out of the chain so we can eliminate that as the problem and deal with it once everything else is shaking hands correctly.

If you're getting playback and the audio/video is just not smooth, it's going to be conflicting software settings assuming your GPU is not flat out broken somehow such as old faulty driver installation. Start by upgrading to W10. It's designed for 4k and 2k. W7 is a perfectly good 2k platform but you are entering the 4k world now. W7 tweaks to enable 4k capabilities are Band-Aids for what W10..... does. It will not perform like W10 and it never will so future proofing is out of the question.

Use Kodi v.17. Use the settings I posted. Same with your panel and GPU. As I wrote, you will find many alternatives here and elsewhere. This is what works for me.

I've read to set Kodi resolution at 1080 because the panel will upscale much better. Makes perfect sense except in the real world, I had zero success with that. The GUI looks like a VCR recording from an antenna during an electrical storm. The resolution just isn't happening for me and as far as the panel upscaling, it doesn't. Even if I decide to live with the undesirable GUI front end and concentrate on playback, it too looks like a damaged VCR recording. The panel reports my 1080p is playing at 1080p just as I told Kodi to feed it. It looks terrible. Worse than my circa 2009 Samsung 1080 ever looked. Not to mention, my new panel thinks it's being fed a 1080 3D and tries to switch every single time even though its a 2D. So I fixed it. Run Kodi at 2160. I don't know who's upscaling, I don't care. The GUI sparkles and playback always switches to 2160, up scales, and amazes everyone's eyeballs. The audio sync is spot on, no video micro stutters, nothing abnormal. Yes, set Kodi to 2160 unless someone else shows you otherwise. That may be using a display port to HDMI adapter [email protected], something I have not tried. Our GPU's have the port. I just use the HDMI. Perhaps using the DP with an adapter would switch a Kodi 1080 resolution to 2160 at the panel. I don't know?

Set your GPU resolution to 2160. Windows will perform perfectly and interact correctly with Kodi at the same time. At 1080, you are going to sacrifice Windows performance such as youtube streams and many other quirks. Set everything you've got to RGB full even though sources are always limited and on paper it's a conflict. Too many details why. Calibrate your panel for each source you feed it. It will remember different settings for different sources but these are a bit more advanced settings and we should concentrate on your basics to get you going smoothly. Just sayin'.

Lastly, use the highest bitrate title you have and play it local. Don't try to stream from a NAS or anything. Use the KISS (keep it simple stupid) method for everything you do and work your way up.

Report back with what you have done and your findings. We like success stories : )
HOW TO - Kodi 2D - 3D - UHD (4k) HDR Guide Internal & External Players
W10/1903 MPC-BE\HC PDVD19 DVDFab3 KODI 19 PotPlayer 960-4GB/RGB 4:4:4/Desktop=60Hz/Video=Matched Refresh rates 8bit/65JS8500 UHD HDR 3D
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#10
@ brazen1 : Well spoken Smile
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#11
Ok, I tried all the suggestions that were laid out for me last night with the exception of upgrading the OS. I can't because there is no real viable Cablecard solution for Win10. The S.O. uses the HTPC as a DVR and Time Warner/Spectrum has pretty much every channel labeled as "copy once". So, I'm stuck on Win7 until someone comes out with a DRM solution for Win10.

The results are as follows:

When setting the resolution to [email protected], I can not go any higher then 8bit Output Color Depth on the GPU. 12 is not select able for me. I'm using the current drivers because I downloaded them from the Nvidia website when I put the card into the HTPC. Previously I was watching videos via the Intel HD4000 HDMI.

When taking the AVR out of the equation, the TV will turn on to its "native resolution" of 4096x2160. (When the AVR is back in the equation, the TV turns on to it's "Native resolution" of 1080p. Odd?) Attempting play a .mkv that played fine with the AVR into the scenario results in the same, no issue. Attempting to play a video file that was giving me issues with dropped frames, still the same result, dropped frames and the CPU filling up to 100% and Kodi reporting it to be a "software decode" instead of "hardware decode". Tried another 4k file, same result, Kodi reporting back 100% CPU, software decoding and dropped frames. So out of the three 4K video files I have, only one works, the one that worked before without an issue.

These are the containers for the video files, the one on the left of the screenshot will not play properly, the one on the right does:
Image

Kodi process info for 4K video file that has no issue playing:
Image

Kodi process info for 4K video file that will not play:
Image

Now if I select "Adjust refresh rate to match on Start/Stop" within Kodi, NONE of my 4K files will play nor will 1080p play. Not sure what causes this but I've never been able to have that adjustment "on", even before I upgraded to the new TV + GPU.
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#12
@Usafle : Your video test is a fine example of this Windows 7 -limitation for 10-bit HEVC-playing. The left one is Main10-file, which is not supported from HW-decoding standpoint in Win7, that's why it will be SW-decoded and will choke your CPU. The right one will be HW-decoded an will run easily with your setup as being Main-level file supporting max. 8-bit 4:2:0. In Windows 8 and above both examples will be HW-decoded.

What is strange, that in your case the Adjust Refresh Rate To Match does not work as this a very critical setting for judder-free playing for files with different FPS. By the way, from resourcing point of view the True Fullscreen is better than Windowed Fullscreen, which I think is the default setting in Kodi. I would also test that setting in your case.

EDIT: Might sound strange but even the latest HDMI-2.0b -spec, which your GTX 1050 also supports, has a bandwidth limit = 18Gbps. In practice combination of 4K-resolution, 60 Hz, full RGB or 4:4:4 and 10-bit output is not possible. So a compromise is needed. You have couple of options, use 8-bit output or use those compressed 4:2:2- or 4:2:0-formats with 10-bit. In theory you could also drop your desktop FPS to somewhere 48 Hz or below to decrease the bandwidth needed.
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#13
Ok so we have deduced that so far, the issue is with the OS, which I am "stuck on" until some company can replace WMC. To upgrade from Win7 to Win 8 (the last official support for WMC from MS) is kind of time consuming if I can just go from Win7 to Win10 when a company gets DRM approval, if ever?

The adjust refresh rate to match has never worked. Never in any version of Kodi, and not on any hardware, past or present, 1080p or 4K. It just "chokes" when I enable that setting. When I enable that setting it looks like when I try to play one of those 4K files that wont play.

You've confused me on the "true fullscreen / windowed fullscreen" statement. It was running in a "window" because I had to hit the WIN key to get to my screenshot program (Greenshot) and then get the mouse back up to grab the area I wanted to upload here. I think that is what you are asking?


(2017-01-30, 18:24)goodton Wrote: @Usafle : Your video test is a fine example of this Windows 7 -limitation for 10-bit HEVC-playing. The left one is Main10-file, which is not supported from HW-decoding standpoint in Win7, that's why it will be SW-decoded and will choke your CPU. The right one will be HW-decoded an will run easily with your setup as being Main-level file supporting max. 8-bit 4:2:0. In Windows 8 and above both examples will be HW-decoded.

What is strange, that in your case the Adjust Refresh Rate To Match does not work as this a very critical setting for judder-free playing for files with different FPS. By the way, from resourcing point of view the True Fullscreen is better than Windowed Fullscreen, which I think is the default setting in Kodi. I would also test that setting in your case.
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#14
Expect judder. http://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/samsung/ku6300

You cannot use [email protected] Your native resolution is 3840x2160 just like the rest of us and your Nvidia control panel resolution should report that. 3840x2160 in your GPU setting and in Kodi setting is what you want.

You're trying to play high bit rate HEVC on W7. W7 is going to offload the work to your CPU and it spikes because it's too weak software decoding it and as such it's going to fumble your playback. W10 will offload the work to your GPU and hardware decode it with ease. I suggest you make a system image of your W7 install, then install W10 and see if your problems cure. If so, you have a choice to make. Maybe you could speak with Spectrum and ask them what to do about their DVR copy once DRM issue?

Work with files from the Kodi wiki. The last file in this list is your goal as far as HEVC goes. http://jell.yfish.us/

You definitely want Adjust refresh rate to match on Start/Stop ON. Why that does not allow you to playback anything makes no sense? You're just matching resolution with source.
HOW TO - Kodi 2D - 3D - UHD (4k) HDR Guide Internal & External Players
W10/1903 MPC-BE\HC PDVD19 DVDFab3 KODI 19 PotPlayer 960-4GB/RGB 4:4:4/Desktop=60Hz/Video=Matched Refresh rates 8bit/65JS8500 UHD HDR 3D
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#15
@usafle: True Fullscreen is enabled by toggling OFF the 'Use Fullscreen Windows' -setting in System -> Display -> General.
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