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Old October 14th, 2007, 03:56 PM   #1
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H264 Quickime? Windows media? HW acceleration

Hi,

I have recently built me a HTPC - hooked up to my 42" Plasma TV. I have a Geforce 8500 with full h264 HW acceleration.

As usual, things aren't as clear as one could wish :-)

1. H264 is that the same as MPEG4 AVC?
2. Can I only create it with Quicktime pro?
3. Are .wmv files coded with WME/vista using H264?
4. Do I need some special player to activate my HW on the GFX card?
5. Can I somehow see that the GFX card is doing something? Accept looking at the CPU meter?

The reason I began to investigate H264 is that when I play HD-DVD/Blu-ray/DVD on my HTPC it looks fine, but when I play files from my camera I get interlacing problems/wide,4:3 - problems and some tearing(box like). I have tried some different codecs(and FFDShow). Vista MCE does the best job of playing files - but lacks all controls.

As always, you input is most welcome!

// Lazze
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Old October 14th, 2007, 08:27 PM   #2
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  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. No
  4. Yes
  5. Do you mean in regards to using acceleration or not?
nVidia's HWA software should be called PureVideo, but I do not see this as an issue because modern CPUs can easily decode H264 except maybe at HD.

Can you say more about your camera problems? What model is it, and what type of file does it produce? You can find out with gspot.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 01:38 AM   #3
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Emre, It is a Canon HV20 HD camera. Producing 1080i at 25fps(50 interlaced, PAL).

It feels like a codec-problem - since I get different results on different players. One thing that I have also noticed is that on my 24" LCD computer screen I don't have the "tearing" problems - It makes me wonder if the GFX card somehow behaves differently when connected to a HDTV/HDMI. It is connected at 720p(1280x720).

PureVideo - I have that - but will all software use it? Or is it only PowerDVD?

// Lazze

ps. If I connect the cam directly to the Plasma TV via HDMI I get 100% perfect picture ds.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 08:15 AM   #4
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Can you show what you mean by tearing? It's not interlacing, is it? Could it be because the HD can not keep up with the bit rate?
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Old October 17th, 2007, 06:57 AM   #5
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It is more like blocks, sice 4x3" (12x10cm). I've seen in other forums that people have the same artefacts when displaying on LCD/Plasma. I guess it is a codec issue. There are an overwhelming number of codecs to test though!

// Lazze
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Old October 17th, 2007, 08:25 AM   #6
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The Canon HV20 records in the HDV format, which is based on MPEG2 rather than MPEG4. Try using the VLC media player, which is more efficient than the Windows Media Player for HDV playback: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

P.S. How are you capturing your source video to your computer?
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Old October 17th, 2007, 03:29 PM   #7
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Kevin,

I have PPro CS3 to capture with and I have also tried HDVsplit(?).

VLC player relies on FFDshow if I'm correct - and there you have quite a number of options to fiddle with!

Currently, MCE in Vista gives me the best quality. I have also noticed that "DScaler" that comes with Zoomplayer/ffdshow is bad for Vista.

I have a E6750 CPU with a Geforce 8500 card(supposedly 100% HW on h264) so the machine should be able to handle what ever I put at it!

Right now I'm trying to figure what tools to use when converting. PPro works fine, but the "conforming" issue is boring(takes forever on large HD MPEGs).

I'm also testing Microsoft Expression Encoder(60day trial) - It looks nice but I haven't figured out all options yet. It was there I created the 720p movie(VC-1) - using their default profile.

// Lazze
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