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DAC



9 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 22768 7-Jun-2008 20:17
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Simple question (but likely a complex answer):
  Has anyone managed to get H.264 hardware acceleration working using an AGP card, especially the HD2600 ?

SmileANSWER: YES - (for the Primary Display) - Interim details later in thread.

OS: Windows XP Professional (Version 2002 SP3)
Video: Sapphire HD 2600 XT (ATI Radeon Graphics) AGP 8x
Digital Tuner: Hauppauge WinTV NOVA-T-500
Analogue Tuner: Hauppauge WinTV PVR-500
MBoard: Intel D865PERLL
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 (2.6 GHz)
RAM: 1Gb
Disk: 2Tb
Software: Power DVD 8 Ultra Edition + latest Patch (Version 8.0.1730.50)
              DirectX 10 (for XP)
Monitors: (Primary) DELL 2407WFP;
              (Secondary) Grundig 34" CRT;
              (Tertiary) Panasonic PT-AE700E HD Projector

Using DVBViewer (3.9.2) I am able to view the NZ Freeview channels reasonably well
  TV ONE,TV2 (1280x720 50fps) just acceptable video, good sound with about 40-75% CPU
  TVNZ 6,TVNZ 7,C4,Maori TV  (720x576 25fps) Good Video and Sound with about 25-30% CPU
  TV3 (AAC) (1920x1088 25ps) jerky video, ok sound but lip sync issues with about 50-75% CPU
Note that when DVBViewer uses 75% of the CPU, it typically means the overall system usage is 100% CPU.

Clearly I have not been able to get the H.264 hardware decoder on the Video Card to work, and take the load off the CPU.

Hence the question of "Has anyone managed to get a similar setup working ..."
else I guess I will just have to upgrade the mboard, cpu, memory and video card :(

Regards.


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351 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 136311 7-Jun-2008 21:54
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I spent ages trying to get it to work, I've since given up.


6445 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 136332 7-Jun-2008 23:36
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Definitely seems to be a big ask to get h.264 hardware acceleration via AGP.  Just keeps coming back to a mboard upgrade unless you go DVB-S only maybe.


 
 
 
 


80 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 136834 10-Jun-2008 04:51
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An AGP 8x bus and 2600 XT gfx card have the bandwidth and horsepower to handle a h.264 data stream just fine. AGP 8x has a maximum xfer rate of 2 GB/s and the h.264 streams used here in NZ top out at ~15 Mb/s. So, you've got plenty of headroom. Hell, even AGP 1x has a bandwidth of 266 MB/s. And, I personally have an 2600 XT card, although it's PCie, running under Vista that handles h.264 with around a 5% load on the CPU. So, it's definitely doing hardware decoding just fine. 

However, XP doesn't have an Enhanced Video Renderer, where the hardware acceleration hooks in, native to it. EVR is a feature that was introduced in Vista. Also, one will need the h.264 codecs from Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra 7+ as they support hardware acceleration on ATI and Nvidia gfx cards.

If one looks around the forum a bit, one will find a thread that discusses some workaround in XP to get EVR going - it involves .Net, if I'm not mistaken. Alternatively, one could upgrade to Vista; I suspect this would make the whole process much easier - if one has 2+ GB of RAM Vista runs just fine. Anything lower than that will make for a less than satisfactory Vista experience.

Good luck!

DAC



9 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 136838 10-Jun-2008 06:30
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Thanks for the advice/hope ...
I hadnt considered keeping the same hardware - yet upgrading to Vista - this is something I could/would definitely do if it would solve the problem.  I do still have the issue that it is my main PC (serves all household tasks, incl PVR) so and OS upgrade wont be easy ... as I am likely going to want to start from scratch just to get everything clean again :)
So, what I will extend my question to has anyone got an AGP card (H,64) hardware accelleration working under XP _or_ Vista ?
(Just not too keen going down the whole Vista install path, taking the PC out of action only to find I still need to change the hardware. I do only have 1Gb RAM, but guess that may be enough to at least try Vista, see if it works with AGP acelleration and purchase additionak RAM only if it does)
Thanx for another option to consider though .. it sounds quite promising.
Regards,
Dennis

80 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 136968 10-Jun-2008 12:01
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Hi DAC,

You're welcome. This thread might be useful to you: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=83&TopicId=22667

4025 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 137132 10-Jun-2008 19:36
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Not sure of your other specs but i wouldnt think vista would run that smooth on a p4 2.6, not as smooth as i would like anyway.

DAC



9 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 137151 10-Jun-2008 20:46
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I'm sure I can cut down a version of Vista to perform acceptably ... once I find a Vista install :)
I will try the XP .net 3.0 hack, else will find a copy of Vista, clear down a partition and dual boot the PC. That will let me play with Vista and see if it will work for me and my hardware.

80 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 137511 11-Jun-2008 23:00
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As Operating Systems go, Vista is actually more RAM intensive than it is CPU intensive. Therefore, I'd expect a 2.4 Ghz P4 to be able to cope with it just fine. Also, the 2.4 Ghz P4 has Hyperthreading, if I recall correctly. This makes it look like and perform similiarly to dual core CPU under Vista.

My wife's laptop has a lowly little 1.6 Ghz Turion X2 in it and it runs Vista respectably - I had to bump the RAM in it up to 2 GB though to achieve this.

Best

27 posts

Geek


  Reply # 137595 12-Jun-2008 12:31
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I have a 2600 XT AGP card (the Sapphire one) and am using it for a Vista-based Media Centre with highly-variable results. I _have_ managed to get hardware acceleration working for the card, but sadly I can't tell you how I did it as I've since broken it and can't seem to get it going again.


As regards the amount of memory you'll need, my machine only has 1Gb of RAM and I've never noticed any problems with maxing it out doing regular MCE-things. However, since my ASUS A8V-MX regularly mangles its PCI capabilities (for reasons that I still can't quite fathom) and dies on boot if any PCI cards (like my Hauppauge HVR3000) are plugged in, I've really only been watching avi's and listening to music.

I know that I have (at brief points between frantic fiddling trying to get the PCI bus to work) got hardware acceleration working for 1080p mkv video files, so I'm hopeful that I can get it to work for HD TV too. Assuming that Media Center update ever gets released anyway.

So, to get to the point, I'd give Vista a try as it is possible. It just might take a hair-wrenching amount of fiddling.



DAC



9 posts

Wannabe Geek


Reply # 137735 13-Jun-2008 02:47
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I've done it !! 
(well, its getting late so I'm going to continue later ...)
However tonight I performed the following tasks:

1) Installed Power DVD 8 (CyberLink_PowerDVD8_Ultra_080401.exe)
2) Installed Power DVD 8 latest patch (CyberLink.1730U(b)_Ultra_Patch_DVD080411-04.exe) - Not Required.
3) Installed hack DirectX 10 for XP (dx10_xp_www.area51warez.info_BY_MALIKhaijanab.rar)
reboot ...

Now I am able to play the TV3 HD sample file (04-15_09-31-44_TV3_.ts) with 3-5% CPU usage, Catalyst Control Center is reporting 34% GPU Activity.
Current restrictions I hope to overcome in the next few days ...

a) Currently only got DVB Viewer working
    ... really want to get GB-PVR working too
b) Currently only able to play video on my primary 24" LCD monitor (via DVI)
    ... really want the image on my secondary CRT TV monitor (via S-Video)

But in any case getting the HD2600XP AGP H.264 hardware acceleration working under XP  IS POSSIBLE, now for some fine-tuning!

FYI: My DVB Viewer DirectX options are:
   Video Renderer: Overlay Mixer
   Audio Renderer: CyberLink Audio Renderer (PDVD8)
   and all ... Decoders are set to "CyberLink ... (PDVD8)"

I will fine tune things over the next week and update this thread on required options (after experimentation) and how I get it working with other applications.

:)

80 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 137737 13-Jun-2008 03:19
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Hi DAC,

I'm glad it worked out for you! :)

 


6445 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 137752 13-Jun-2008 08:48
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Hey Well Done!

Keen to hear a bit more about how you pulled this off! 

Do you think this could work for the cheaper hd2400 AGP card as well?

DAC



9 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 137768 13-Jun-2008 10:16
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Jaxson: Hey Well Done!

Keen to hear a bit more about how you pulled this off! 

Do you think this could work for the cheaper hd2400 AGP card as well?

I dont see why not ... although I guess that would mean I wasted some money :) ... however I think when I was looking I didnt find a convenient hd2400 AGP to buy.
Don't worry, I will post details as I discover them ... I think I will also build a new XP dual boot partition so will hopefully compile a set of requirement from a base XP SP3 install.

6445 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 137786 13-Jun-2008 11:32
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Sounds good mate, Thanks for the write ups.
I'm one of a few that can't upgrade majorly just yet and who need to kick around in the XP and AGP zone for now.

7 posts

Wannabe Geek


Reply # 137905 14-Jun-2008 00:25
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I have got a Saphire HD2400 AGP [ bought from here: http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=362291 ] going fine on an old AMD Sempron 3000 based machine running Win MCE2005.  I use DVBviewer PRO, plus the normal Cyberlink codecs.  Before adding the HD 2400 I was using an ATI 9550, this worked fine on SD channels [ Maori etc ] but stuttered a bit on TV1 and TV2 [ 720P ], and fell to pieces with TV3s 1080i signal. CPU load was 100% most of the time. With the HD2400 installed and ATI drivers updated TV3 is perfect and CPU load is approx 17%. :-)
  BTW I got my DVB-T tuner from Dealextreme, cost was approx $NZ30 shipped!! Supplied software was no good [ apart from the Drivers ], but with DVBViewer it works great. check out : http://www.dealextreme.com/search.dx/search.dvb-t            

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