Author Topic: 710 or 810???  (Read 2539 times)

sdsnyr94

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710 or 810???
« on: March 09, 2009, 09:49:36 pm »
Hey Guys-   Let me first say Thank You for all the hard work that you guys put into this project. I have just started playing with Linux in general about 6 months ago, and I wish I knew enough about it to help out... but for now (and probably a while) I'm just an average user reaping the benefits of your hard work. I am going to apologize ahead of time if this has been asked in another thread...

I currently have a 710 Core and diskless MD in my apartment. Being an apartment, I am of course just using the Media portions of the project... and I love it.  This build was just setup on temporary hardware while I was testing to see if this fit my purposes. I was previously tinkering with Mythbuntu but was getting random playback issues, which I do not have with LinuxMCE 710.  I have now purchased my own home, and have the hardware to build my new core. Before I install 710, I am curious about 810 which is now in alpha.

- When 810 goes to beta, will there be direct downloads that will keep the system up to date/update to release candidate, etc..
- If there will be, any idea on how long until beta?
-Will there be an upgrade path from 710 to 810 (final) when it is released.

I would like to have to install this system only once. Should I install 710 now, or wait until 810 is released and use the setup I currently have until then?

Thanks for your input on this.


Now for a suggestion that may get me yelled at, and please take this as suggestion not criticism.    In searching through posts, I have seen a few times that the developers have stated that this project is more geared toward the "Home Automation" and not a "Media Center".   Wouldn't you say that the name LinuxMCE is a little misleading then?  I would think something along the lines of Linux Home Automation would give a better description. Also, have you ever thought of splitting the project. Maybe something like LinuxMCE being an install that only installs the video/ audio portions of the project and "LinuxHA" installing the entire thing?   

Thanks again guys...

colinjones

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Re: 710 or 810???
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2009, 10:51:20 pm »
The 0810 version will have the "auto update" functions enabled, so yes it will keep up to date - this is a major step forward...

How long is a piece of string? There are still numerous issues that mean a beta is not realistic at this stage, it has to be reasonable to use for a user not a developer. It is imminent, but that could still be several weeks or more away...

710-810, I think it is unlikely, but one of the devs can advise... it would be nice just to install, but I think you may find you will reinstall several times anyway before you are completely happy with your system.

If you can hold off for several weeks, maybe wait, but if you are ready to go now, use 0710.. the effort of reinstalling is reasonably trivial compared with having to wait an undefined number of weeks before you can install anything!

Yes it is misleading, most agree and this has been discussed several times. However, the marketing advantage of making it a clear alternative to Windows MCE is probably too great. After all, its misleading but not deceptive.... it IS LinuxMCE, but has many other functions as well... at worst this is underselling it, but as I say the marketing advantages are great. (ironically)

sdsnyr94

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Re: 710 or 810???
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2009, 01:25:17 pm »
Thanks... I was afraid that I would install 710 and in a month or so 810 would be ready. This does not sound like it is the case so I will stick with 710 for now, since we know that it is stable.

One more quick question. On my existing setup I get slightly jittery video on playback. It's not dropped frames (That is the issue I had with Mythbuntu), as you can read the lips of the actors.... and you only really notice it on slower scenes, high action sequences seem to be fine. I have an Nvidia 8800GS Video adapter and the latest drivers installed on the MD connected to the TV using an S-Video cable to an old 27" CRT TV, but will be purchasing a Plasma TV in the coming weeks. Could this be caused by the older model TV, and should a newer Plasma resolve the issue?

Once I get this Core installed in my new house, it will then be time to play with the lighting aspect of the project. Any suggestions on supported products that won't break the bank? Funds will be getting a little tight, and I'd like to try doing it piece by piece.

If 810 will support better options in that aspect, then I hold off until 810 is ready.

Thanks again for your advise.

wombiroller

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Re: 710 or 810???
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2009, 02:24:03 pm »
Hi sdsnyr94,

Are you using UI2 with masking or alpha blending? Alpha blending doesn't work 100% currently and you will get some tearing (for reasons you will find easy enough if you search these forums).

If you are on Alpha try switching to Masking (re-run the Video Res & Audio Setup from the advanced menu) and you'll find this tearing should go away.

Rgds,
WR.

sdsnyr94

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Re: 710 or 810???
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2009, 04:40:20 pm »
Sorry.. I should of mentioned that I switched to UI1 a while back to see if this resolved the issue but it has not. It's not really tearing... it's hard to describe... Imagine dropping every other frame, and how choppy it would be. This looks like it would if it dropped a small fraction of each frame... just barely noticeable to the naked eye, but annoying once you start looking for it. I've played with the refresh rates a bit, but that hasn't really done much.

Could there be any issues using an older TV? 

Could it be the Nvidia card having issues with the TV on S-Video?

As I mentioned, I'm replacing the TV as soon as NewEgg gets the new Panasonic Plasma in stock that I want. With that in mind, I'm only looking to see if there is a quick "we know about that and the answer is...." fix since my current setup is temporary, and if the issue resumes on the new equipment then I will dig into it deeper.

Thanks again.

colinjones

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Re: 710 or 810???
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2009, 09:09:45 pm »
You never actually said what the source of the video was.... is this only on video media files, or also on DVD's and Live TV?

sdsnyr94

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Re: 710 or 810???
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2009, 04:52:19 am »
I am not using the Live TV feature yet, it is just when playing a DVD or a Ripped DVD. I rip my DVD's with DVDfab5 so that I can remove some of the features and keep the file size down, but I believe that I have the same issue on movies I ripped with the internal feature to LinuxMCE also.

All of my movies are also on a Freenas box and not directly on the Core, but this issue also occurs when I move them onto the Core.

As I said.. I don't believe it is "tearing" unless I misunderstand the term. When I think of tearing, I think of when I play a First Person Shooter and you move side to side you will get vertical lines that "tear" the screen into sections that seem to respond at different rates. This is a consistent jitter through the entire video.

I also saw a posting about a Newer Nvidia driver that seams to resolve alot of issues. I apparently do not have the "latest" drivers as I incorrectly stated and will try those tomorrow if I get an opportunity. I will let you know if that helps the issue.

Thanks again to everyone for their suggestions.

colinjones

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Re: 710 or 810???
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2009, 06:13:53 am »
Your understanding of 'tearing' is correct, I understood what you meant in your description of jitter from the outset...

I haven't an explanation or solution for you, rather an expansion on why I asked which sources you saw this behaviour. In many media files, you will see the exact behaviour you are describing - on LMCE or on a general purpose computer. How pronounced the effect is on a specific platform with a specific media file can vary. But the point is, this effect can easily be an artifact of compression, variation of frame rates, etc. It will often be erratic, sometimes happening a couple of times per second, then going for several seconds before you get another 'jerk' in the screen motion. If the source is the file, then there is little you can do about it as the effect is essentially "recorded into" the file.

Now to define what we mean by a media file. Typically, something like an .avi, .wmv, .ogg, .mkv, etc of the type you might typically downloaded from the Internet. It is quiet common for this to happen with this type of source.... you get used to it. However, if the source is a genuine DVD, that is more troubling. Its not that DVD's cannot experience the exact same artifacts, its just that professionally produced ones usually don't except in the most demanding of scenes. The same goes for a DVD ripped by LMCE - the response will be identical to the DVD original. Any other method of ripping a DVD the question of recompression or transcoding has to be asked. If the result is a smaller file than the original then some form of processing has gone on, and all bets are off, it might as well be a "media file" you downloaded from the Internet for all you can say about whether the effect is encoded in the file, or some issue to do with your system.

Hopefully this info will help you make comparison's - but try not to get too hung up on it unless it is really pronounced. Mild effects like this happen all the time, even on boradcast Digital TV, its when you really focus on them that it becomes noticable and annoying.

Also, de-interlacing settings can cause jittering due to the load, particularly if not done in hardware. Try turning off de-interlace if you have it on, and see if that changes anything.

Your graphics card is already massive overkill, so don't bother upgrading that!

Finally, the only other comment I would make is, if the frame rate of the media is different from the refresh rate that your screen mode is configured at, then inevitably you will see some jerkiness in pan/zoom situations as the frames will not match up 1:1, with vsync'ing this will mean eventually one frame will fall over the edge, so to speak, and miss a refresh on the screen making the motion appear to jerk. Again, not much you can do about that ... its the nature of the beast that media sources are all sorts of frame rates, so its bound to happen at some point.

sdsnyr94

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Re: 710 or 810???
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2009, 03:35:22 pm »
Thank you so much for such a descriptive answer. This is something I'm not so concerned about today, but very concerned that it may appear more noticeable when I upgrade to a larger TV.   Now there are just a couple more quick questions and then we will let this subject rest until I get my new setup installed.

- I am going to switch the video card to one with an HDMI connection to the new TV... will 720p or 1080p make a difference in the jitter?

- On a DVD Ripped on LinuxMCE, is there a way to rip just the movie itself. I would hate to have to keep buying hard drives because I have Gb's of useless special features and previews. If not, is it something the developers are looking at for the future?

 

totallymaxed

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Re: 710 or 810???
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2009, 03:40:49 pm »
The 0810 version will have the "auto update" functions enabled, so yes it will keep up to date - this is a major step forward...
<Snip....>

Well the 'update mechanism' is there in LinuxMCE-0710... its just that there have never been any updates made available for the release as these were guided and managed by Pluto (the current release of Dianemo is based on LinuxMCE-0710 and we do push updates to our users).

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Dale_K

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Re: 710 or 810???
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2009, 04:42:40 pm »
- On a DVD Ripped on LinuxMCE, is there a way to rip just the movie itself. I would hate to have to keep buying hard drives because I have Gb's of useless special features and previews. If not, is it something the developers are looking at for the future?

As I understand it, this cannot be done due to copyright laws or some such (the man keeping you down) issue.  You mentioned using DVDFab earlier, that's a program you can use to achieve what you want, but again, be aware of the legal issues.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong here.

tschak909

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Re: 710 or 810???
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2009, 04:58:36 pm »
Let me get this straight,

In an age where I can get a terabyte for $100.. You're complaining about wasting storage space?!

REALLY?

-Thom

sdsnyr94

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Re: 710 or 810???
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2009, 05:50:01 pm »
Let me get this straight,

In an age where I can get a terabyte for $100.. You're complaining about wasting storage space?!

REALLY?

-Thom


Which is very true.... but I don't have a lot of cash to throw around buying drives, so if I can trim the fat off the files I would prefer to do that.

If ripping the DVD internally will prevent some of the jitter issue, then I'll sacrifice the storage space.





 

« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 07:28:58 pm by sdsnyr94 »

colinjones

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Re: 710 or 810???
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2009, 08:49:33 pm »
Thom - it is still very inefficient on space. sdsnyr94 - getting something to rip only the main title will not save you any real space as typically this title will still be at least 90% of the whole size. You need to use something to transcode the main title to a more efficient codec and possibly a lower bit rate. You can easily get a full movie into 700MB with reasonable quality instead of 4-7GB... there are plenty of 3rd party programs to do this for you, it is unlikely to be a priority for LMCE.... although I have thought about a batch transcode system that I may look at in the future using the transcode or mencode tools.

Dale - transcoding software does not present legal issues, it is the encryption cracking software (libdvdcss) that does that.

Andrew - understood, I was more thinking of the OS updates being locked down, and soon to be turned back on, but assumed this would go hand in hand with the LMCE updates as well...

sdsnyr94 - no, using HDMI won't make any real difference to the jitter.

krys

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Re: 710 or 810???
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2009, 08:57:18 pm »
Colin is correct for about 80% of the movies out there, but I have ripped some from DVD that were in the 7Gb range, once I pulled all the extras and junk off they were just over 3Gb. So in that case it was definitely worth using DVD shrink to remove the extras (not compress the video).