Does Kodi transcode the movies?
#1
Hello!

Sorry if this is a noob question. I just want to make sure, does Kodi transcode the video when we're watching a movie? or is it a direct play? Because TBH, i don't need the player to transcode the movie. I just want a movie player that play the movie directly without transcoding it. 

Thanks!
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#2
Kodi does not transcode on any supported platform. It always plays the original quality
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#3
(2018-02-12, 15:57)da-anda Wrote: Kodi does not transcode on any supported platform. It always plays the original quality
 Thank you for your answer! Smile
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#4
I'm not sure if this will help, but for future info transcoding like how you are describing would only happen when the video player and the video server are in separate locations, and it would only happen on the server side. So, for example, if you are using one instance of Kodi on your computer to serve content to another instance of Kodi on your Raspberry Pi, that's when the server side Kodi would theoretically transcode. If you only have one instance of Kodi acting as a player on your Pi or Android device, then there is no opportunity for transcoding to happen, so the question doesn't really make sense.

With that said, even if you did have the setup I described, with two instances of Kodi, Kodi still wouldn't transcode, because we haven't built Kodi to have the ability to transcode and because in most cases the version of Kodi acting as the player would have all the same powers as the version of Kodi acting as the server, so there would be no need to transcode.

I assume you are asking this question because Plex server transcodes. They had to build that into Plex server, because Plex players are a lot weaker than Kodi is, so Plex server had to make up for them. This has so far not been necessary for Kodi.
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#5
(2018-02-12, 20:55)natethomas Wrote: I'm not sure if this will help, but for future info transcoding like how you are describing would only happen when the video player and the video server are in separate locations, and it would only happen on the server side. So, for example, if you are using one instance of Kodi on your computer to serve content to another instance of Kodi on your Raspberry Pi, that's when the server side Kodi would theoretically transcode. If you only have one instance of Kodi acting as a player on your Pi or Android device, then there is no opportunity for transcoding to happen, so the question doesn't really make sense.

With that said, even if you did have the setup I described, with two instances of Kodi, Kodi still wouldn't transcode, because we haven't built Kodi to have the ability to transcode and because in most cases the version of Kodi acting as the player would have all the same powers as the version of Kodi acting as the server, so there would be no need to transcode.

I assume you are asking this question because Plex server transcodes. They had to build that into Plex server, because Plex players are a lot weaker than Kodi is, so Plex server had to make up for them. This has so far not been necessary for Kodi.

Yes, you're right, because i'm an ex-Plex user. In Plex, my video is transcoded on the fly, but actually what i need is just a media player that could play my video (movies) in my home network with original quality. Your answer convince me that i already choose a right media player, that is Kodi!!! Thanks!!!
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#6
Greetings!

Does the same apply to 4K content, i.e. no transcoding is used?

The reason I'm asking is because there's a discussion in one of the foreign forums where some people are unsure about the ability of Kodi to handle 4K content. Some say that Kodi transcodes 4K into 1080p. This sounds a bit odd, and we decided to clarify this here.

Configuration:
Tanix TX8 with Kodi v.17.6 and Philips 6000-series Android TV 2017

If a 4K video is played using Kodi, do we see real 4K or downscaled (transcoded) 1080p?

I would highly appreciate any inputs that would help shed more light on this. Thank you in advance, and apologies, if the matter has already been discussed.
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#7
I think natethomas' post above already covered it " we haven't built Kodi to have the ability to transcode "
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#8
FXB78, yes, his reply looks pretty clear to me. Yet some people continue insisting that Kodi cannot properly handle 4K and outputs 1080p instead. They keep asking for logs that would serve as proof. Screenshots aren't enough. That's why I am asking this question here, on behalf of a friend.
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#9
(2018-02-16, 11:54)supshow Wrote: Some say that Kodi transcodes 4K into 1080p. This sounds a bit odd, and we decided to clarify this here.

If it's purely a resolution change being talked about then that is downscaling NOT transcoding.

Transcoding is where you modify the format of the file to be streamed into a format that the receiving device is capable of decoding, so in a Kodi context transcoding would only be useful if a device is not capable of hardware decoding certain formats and are not powerful enough to software decode.

Upscaling/downscaling happens after the video has been decoded and it's purely for changing the resolution of video sent to the display.

What I bet you're talking about is people with Android devices not knowing what they are doing, the Kodi skin and UI elelments are made in 1080p, so if you have a 4K display the 1080p UI has to either be upscaled by Kodi to 4K or sent as 1080p for the display to upscale to 4K. Since low powered devices can struggle upscaling to 4K in software we limit the resolution we send for only the GUI to 1080p since the display will handle the upscaling better, however when video playing which will likely be using hardware decoding you will get the full 4K.
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#10
jjd-uk, now that makes sense. So the GUI may be in 1080p - in order not to tap system resources - whereas the video itself will be full 4K. Thank you!

P.S. I understand the difference between up-/downscaling and transcoding, but some forum users insisted on "transcoding". Again, thank you for your help.
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#11
Yeah for the GUI upscaling or even downscaling is a CPU software process which can't make use of any hardware help from the GPU, so trying to upscale maybe simply too much. What some struggle to understand that if a device is listed as 4K capable then this normally refers to it's ability to handle 4K video, which will be making use of hardware acceleration on the GPU so doesn't place any demand on the CPU. So there are plenty of devices that can play 4K video perfectly because that is handled by the GPU, but if asked to software upscale on the CPU will struggle.

The only time it might affect video (although I'm not 100% sure) is if you open a menu or other GUI element over top of the video, then video may drop down to 1080p, however when there is full screen video with no GUI element showing then it will certainly be 4K. See https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=261768 using those test images to see if you can read the purple text will 100% tell if 4K or not.
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#12
I should perhaps also make clear, that restricting output while GUI is active to 1080p is done on Android only (I'm not aware of any other platform which does this).
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#13
(2018-02-12, 20:55)natethomas Wrote: With that said, even if you did have the setup I described, with two instances of Kodi, Kodi still wouldn't transcode, because we haven't built Kodi to have the ability to transcode and because in most cases the version of Kodi acting as the player would have all the same powers as the version of Kodi acting as the server, so there would be no need to transcode.
This is not true anymore. Kodi's architecture is running though a transformation that finally makes transcoding on-the-fly possible by a headless server component. Still a long way to go but I wanted to stress that Kodi is (re)built with the abiltiy to transcode..
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#14
@jjd-uk I'm also not 100% sure, but from what I understood the UI on Android is drawn (on some devices) onto a 1080p framebuffer and will have some kind of "opaque" area where the video layer will be filled in by the HW-decoder of the Android box in full 4K resolution. So while the UI might be rendered internally to the 1080 framebuffer (which will be upscaled to 4K by the OS), the video in the background will always have full resolution, regardless of UI is visible or not. But IIRC the previously hardcoded limit to the 1080p framebuffer has been droped in nightlies (at least for some devices), so a native 4K UI should be possible with Kodi 18 on according devices.
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#15
jjd-uk, thank you! Several people tried playing that video in Kodi, and they all can read the purple text. Seems like they have full 4K after all.

FernetMenta, this is good news indeed. When the transcoding option will be introduced? In Kodi v.18 or later on?
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