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Topic # 25776 1-Sep-2008 12:14
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Hi all

I'm having a reasonably specific problem trying to use the FFDShow h.264 (rev2079 SSE) codec to decode Freeview DVB-T signals. When I select FFDShow as my h.264 decoder, TV appears to start but there is no picture and no audio (note, I do not use the FFDShow audio decoder). I can use CoreAVC or a Cyberlink codec quite happily, however I'd rather use FFDShow since its free and open source. The problem seems to be that FFDShow is trying to use its mpeg2 decoder to try and decode the h.264 stream. I say this because when I disable the mpeg2 decoder in FFDShow video configuration, the FFDShow decoder icon no longer pops up in my taskbar when attempting to start watching tv and the actual tv stream will not start (no error, just no "playback" - I assume for lack of the video decoder). Is there anything I can do to force FFDShow to use the correct decoder (h.264 instead of mpeg2) ?

Thanks for your help


TV-Server Version: 1 RC2
MediaPortal Version: 1 RC2
MediaPortal Skin: Blue (default)
Windows Version: XP SP3 (all updates installed)
CPU Type: Intel E6600 (not overclocked)
HDD: 4 x Samsung 750GB, 1 x Samsung 640GB (some RAID, but N/A)
Memory: 2 x 1GB Corsair 6400C4 (800MHz) ddr2
Motherboard: Asus P5W DH Deluxe
Video Card: Sparkle 6600GT 128MB
Video Card Driver: Forceware 175.19
Sound Card: Creative Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum
Sound Card Driver: (latest official)
1. TV Card: DigitalNow DNTV Live! Quattro S-T
1. TV Card Type: DVB-S, DVB-T, Analog, FM Tuner
1. TV Card Driver: (latest official)
MPEG2 Video Codec: Cyberlink
MPEG2 Audio Codec: Cyberlink
h.264 Video Codec: FFDShow/CoreAVC
Satelite/CableTV Provider: FTA Optus D2, FTA NZ Freeview (DVB-T), FTA Analog
Power Supply: Coolermaster Realpower 850W
TV: 17" Philips 170B6 LCD
TV - HTPC Connection: VGA

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Biddle Corp
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  Reply # 161236 1-Sep-2008 12:33
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I'll be completely frank and honest and say that you are are simply wasting your time using FFDshow. The reality is that software based decoding of H.264 content is a lost cause and you need a GPU capable of H.244 hardware acceleration and a codec that supports H.264 hardware acceleration if you want to get a decent picture.

You can spend all the time you want playing with CoreAVC or FFDShow but will not get an acceptible picture quality, particularly with 1080i content. At present your options are PowerDVD7/8 or Arcsoft Total Media Theatre.

You also need a video card capable of H.264 hardware acceleration and your 6600 isn't quite up to the job, an NVidia 8500 or greater (using the series 8 or 9 chips) is the minimum requirement.

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  Reply # 161272 1-Sep-2008 14:24
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Hi sbiddle

I understand what you're saying. In fact I have been seriously thinking about buying a 38* or 48* series AMD/ATI card - its just that these things cost money, and the silent ones I have found don't look like they're going to fit my mobo! (I take it that the AMD cards would support hardware decoding right?) Realistically though, if you consider picture quality on my current setup, how much of a difference would it really make to have hardware decoding? I mean, the picture seems great to me. No pixelation, smooth, detailed etc. etc... Obviously my cpu is handling a reasonable workload to achieve this - it tends to be working around 40-50% on tv3 and 30-40% on other channels. I would have thought that I would be max'ing out the cpu (or at least getting up there) before I'd start having picture quality affected. Maybe it is just the fact that I'm only sitting on a 17" monitor at 1280x1024 so I either don't see the picture quality issues, or this res doesn't stress the cpu enough to require dedicated hardware decoding. Let me know your thoughts on this...

Ignoring these issues ("for the sake of science and experimentation", if you will), I'm still wanting to try to get ffdshow going. Is there anyone who can help?


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  Reply # 161276 1-Sep-2008 14:35
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allstarnz posted in your other thread on this subject that he has this working - perhaps PM him.

In my experince FFDSHOW use more CPU then core when decoding .264 content, but I'm guessing you have a pretty fast CPU to only be hitting 50% on TV3.

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  Reply # 161278 1-Sep-2008 14:39
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Hi Geekiegeekie

CPU is as above - E6600. Stock speed, passive heatsink...

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  Reply # 161286 1-Sep-2008 15:09
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mm1352000: Hi Geekiegeekie

CPU is as above - E6600. Stock speed, passive heatsink...

Hello -Yes, I was going to say your E6600 should be easily able to handle software decoding.

Have you tried coreavc?  While not free, it is not exacly expensive either..

FWIW, I can get coreavc running perfectly fine (ie. excellent picture/stable frame-rates) with a e4700 cpu + a AGP HD3850 ATI

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  Reply # 161298 1-Sep-2008 15:43
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Hi Quidam

Sorry I should have been a little clearer...

I can get MediaPortal to work fine with both CoreAVC and [an unknown version of] the Cyberlink h.264 decoder [which came free with Twinhan's DigitalTV app].

Out of interest, I would like to see if I can get FFDShow working.

The background is that I am currently trying to find a way to edit the ads out of .ts files I have accumulated from recordings. A lot of the programs I have tried have been unable to recognise the video and/or audio stream correctly. This seems to be due to the fact that there is no system-wide h.264/he-aac decoders available. I want to see if I can get the FFDShow decoder to work to see if it will allow apps to recognise the ts streams properly.

The best program I've found for editing so far has been TS Packet Editor...

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  Reply # 161307 1-Sep-2008 16:07
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Hi there,
Are you using the old FFDshow builds or FFDshow Tryouts? Tryouts is an updated fork of the original, and is actively developed unlike the original.

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  Reply # 161316 1-Sep-2008 16:33
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Hi eXDee

I believe I'm using a derivative of the tryouts. I didn't get it direct from Sourceforge though - I got it from I use the SSE variant (because my cpu supports sse). Is this version okay? I have to confess that the sourceforge download page confuses me - I have no idea which version I should be using if I take it from there...

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  Reply # 161340 1-Sep-2008 17:43
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I'd suggest either getting the latest SVN if you want the newst or getting the official release. That offical one is simply one of clsid's SVN builds that is confirmed to have no issues, im running the latest SVN one with seemingly no problems, shouldnt be much difference between the two.

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