Is there any computer on earth that can play HDV/.M2T files like DV/.AVI? at DVinfo.net

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Old January 16th, 2006, 01:52 PM   #1
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Is there any computer on earth that can play HDV/.M2T files like DV/.AVI?

"You need a super computer"
"Your processor better have some gusto if you wanna play that 1080 HDV footage"
"In order to playback 720p HDV, you better have some real processing power"


we hear this time and time again.

Ok....tell me.....what computer can playback HDV footage without batting an eye?
Is it the Graphics card? is it the Processor? is it the RAM? is it the front side Bus?

What is it.....and more importanly...WHO IS IT? As of Monday January 16th, 2006, what computer can you go purchase this afternoon that will playback HDV .M2T files without sweat???

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Old January 16th, 2006, 02:10 PM   #2
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Old January 16th, 2006, 06:27 PM   #3
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1- According to others, Edius NX (with the hardware acceleration) can play back HDV really well.

2- Sony Vegas 6.0c on a dual core dual Opteron will be able to play back 1080i HDV at 29.97 fps or close to it. I saw this on DSE's machine (it's nice...). The AMD X2 processors should be able to do the same thing, but I haven't checked it out for myself.

And Sony Vegas is a very feature-packed editing program, so I'd probably get that over Edius.

3- The simpler solution is to use an intermediary codec or a proxy. I don't know of any editing system that doesn't support this (with a 3rd party tool if necessary).

4- Dan: Do you know if the Nvidia solution accelerates the decoding of M2T streams?
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Old January 16th, 2006, 06:47 PM   #4
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"Playback" of HDV isn't a problem for any reasonably fast computer with a P-IV 2.4Ghz processor or faster, as long as you have a decent piece of Media Player software.

The "preview playback" of HDV during editing is a problem if you let it get to you, although there's obviously solutions to that as well - although they cost a bit more.

As with many things these days - the use and missuse of the English language doesn't aid in understanding exactly what point is being made.

HDV is essentially the same as broadcast HD. If HDV (which has specs so close to broadcast HD it's basically identical) didn't "playback" easily and fluidly on a reasonably spec'd PC, then DVB-t PCI cards would be providing unwatchable HD to the many, many thousands of people who use them like I do - namely to watch, record and stream 1080i and 720p HD programs from the major broadcast networks.

Believing the naysayers of HDV about it's failings is a symptom of not checking the evidence for and against well enough. Knowing what HDV can and can't do - as well as the advances being made in providing RT Preview "playback" of HDV during editing regardless of the naysayers, is a far more informed and rational base for any decision making regarding it's usefullness or not.
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Old January 16th, 2006, 09:43 PM   #5
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>>"Playback" of HDV isn't a problem for any reasonably fast computer with a P-IV 2.4Ghz processor or faster, as long as you have a decent piece of Media Player software.

What Steve said ... my P4-2.8Ghz with its el-cheapo Radeon FX5200 card plays back .m2t files without sweating.
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Old January 16th, 2006, 11:21 PM   #6
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Interesting.

My Sony Vaio PCG-RX850 2.4ghz P4 "DESKTOP"with 1.5gigs of ram is not giving me full frame rate smooth playing like it does DV.

Me and wifey are building a theater at our house and at the back top row, will be an edit bay. I need to build or buy a super computer, but don't need to spend money I don't need to spend, nawmean?

Just wanted to know what can play a stream of M2T video without problems at full refresh, full frame rates. My 2.4ghz vaio can't if I got other things going on at the same time it seems.

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Last edited by Shannon Rawls; January 17th, 2006 at 09:29 AM.
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Old January 16th, 2006, 11:46 PM   #7
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I believe the RX850 laptop usually has a 5400rpm harddrive - if so that might be contributing to the problem (versus a 7200rpm or RAID drive).
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Old January 17th, 2006, 01:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
My Sony Vaio PCG-RX850 2.4ghz P4 with 1.5gigs of ram is not giving me full frame rate smooth playing like it does DV.
2.4 GHz is low end for playing HD resolution video reliably, and the amount of memory in your video card can also make a difference. If you end up building a new computer, the latest entry-level dual core chips from Intel and AMD should work fine, starting at around $300 or so for the processor. If you want a plug-and-play solution, look for the new "Viiv" multimedia computers.

P.S. What, a little short on cash after buying the XL-H1? :-)
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Old January 17th, 2006, 02:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
My 2.4ghz vaio can't if I got other things going on at the same time it seems.

- ShannonRawls.com
I haven't found any of my machines (P-IV 2.4Ghz, P-IV 3.2Ghz or Toshiba P-IV 3.2Ghz laptop) that can play HD/HDV smoothly with other applications or even other processes happening. The instant you break the memory/processing stream, you run the risk of having playback slow or become 'choppy' as memory and processing power get swapped from one action to another.

I don't know how you intend setting up your home theatre, but to keep expenses down a bit, I opted for a 10/100 hardwired network media player to stream any of the HD material (from recordings off my DVB-t PCI equiped 2.4Ghz machine, to HDV project previewing from the 3.2Ghz machines). My choice was for the Roku HD1000 Photobridge, which was the only HD capable network media Player available at the time.

Now that the Roku's PAL playback issues have been sorted with improved SMB network protocol support, it's easy and comfortable to just browse my network using my HDTV home theatre setup... select the m2t or MPEG2 that I'm after and hit play on the Roku's remote.

Even some projects that play like absolute dogs on any of my PCs (a combined NTSC 720 30p and PAL 1080i 50i project come to mind) play flawlessly via the Roku on the big HDTV screen, and with 5.1 audio added to the final projects as well... it's a much more enjoyable experience.

Despite the Roku being able to now play back PAL HD without it's previous hassles, I'm considering getting an XBox360. There's also the Avel Linkplayer that could provide similar capabilities, with the added bonus of an internal DVD drive for viewing WMV9 HD encoded DVDs...

There's plenty of options available now, as well as coming onto market that allow for greater flexibility in getting HD/HDV material to a HD home theatre screen. There's also the fact that they can also do so cheaper than a dedicated PC which has limited connectivity in itself.

Hope you end up with a cool theatre setup...
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Old January 17th, 2006, 05:56 AM   #10
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My g5 iMac, 2.1Ghz can easily play back PAL 1080i .m2t files, (camera files that is...). On VLC Player I can even set to "bob" de-interlace and get proper 50hz refresh rate (rather than 25hz de-interlace or with interlace jaggies.)

VLC is also available for PC, so a similarly powerful PC would be able to do this easily. I don't know if it's been compiled for the new Intel iMacs. I suspect not.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 06:23 AM   #11
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All of the above methods are inferior to this method:-

1) Get any P4 2GHz or higher.

2) Install PowerDVD 6.

3) Get an LCD Panel with DVI input (ideally the Dell 2405FPW).

4) Get a NVidia Video Card (more info below).

5) Install the latest drivers.

6) Go to "Advanced Timings" and set the refresh rate to 59.94 Hz.

Now see your m2t clips like never before. What you will see is 59.94 PROGESSIVE FRAMES per second! NOT 29.97 with "Bob" or "Weave".

NVidia's Pure Video converts the 59.94 fields into FRAMES. It is truly amazing. There is hardly any aliasing and in my opinion the de-interlacing is better than even a $15,000 Faroudja Scaler.

Now comes the tricky part. Which NVidia video card?

6600GT - Skips a few frames per second. Watchable but not fun.
7800GT - Awesome. Hardly any frames skipped. Just only on complex scenes.
7800GTX - Perfect. Can handle even complex scenes.
7800GTX 512 - Better than perfect :)

6200, 6600, etc - Forget it! No horsepower to de-interlace 1080i, instead it will resort to Bob or Weave and 29.97 Frames per second...
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Old January 17th, 2006, 07:08 AM   #12
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On my PC, I get the best m2t playback using the program Nero Showtime. It glitches once about a half second into the file but otherwise the playback is completely smooth. I can't get smooth playback with any other media player. It will bob deinterlace the playback on the fly (which looks wonderful) and scale the footage down slightly so that it just fills (instead of overshoots) the screen on my 21" monitor. I really like it. My PC is a 3.06 P4 with the older 533 bus.

For smooth playback of cineform codec avi, I just use Windows Media Player, but I have to use this registry playback optimizer:

http://www.cineform.com/downloads/PlaybackControls.zip

There are two options, one gives you full resolution playback that your computer might have trouble playing back, the other gives you smooth half resolution playback. Half resolution HDV looks like standard DV footage, so it makes for a nice way to preview your footage. I have the two registry programs in a folder where I can easily switch between these options.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 07:18 AM   #13
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My laptop with a pentium-m 1.6 Ghz and radeon 9700 plays back all hdv with VLC. It won't handle editing it, but it can play back just fine. 4200 rpm hard drive causes hiccups if i decide to do anything like save a file while playing something.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 07:37 AM   #14
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Do you realize that with Bob De-Interlacing you get not just 29.97 frames per second but also a resolution of only 1920x540 (half). Bob sucks big time...
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Old January 17th, 2006, 09:42 AM   #15
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WOW

do you guys realize for over a year, I have been using WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER (latest versions) to play all my .M2T files. And it has always sucked!

today

just now

I tried an .m2t file with that VLC media player.........they all played back as if I was watching regular TV! lol (shakin' my head) Yes, I feel like an idiot. I should have KNOWN that microsoft's media player wasn't up to snuff for playing HDV footage.

I have an old PCG-RX850 2.4ghz desktop computer, that I will install this VLC on. and I have an old PCG-GRT170 2.8ghz laptop computer that i just played it on. These are my personal babies. I always hire out an editor to cut the projects, and they always create proxy dv files to cut our projects, but now I'm going to hip everybody to this VLC player!

Now for "EDITING" it....vegas still plays it choppy on my desktop like windows media player did. That's why I never bothered to change the media player. I figured it was just a problem with the codec and needed a super computer. I wish vegas played it like the VLC does now! Oh well. I am now going to build my own personal editing super station with all the bells and whistles because I want one at my house that fits in a RACK MOUNT. not that I am going to become an editor, but well, you know....I just want one. *smile*....I will take your suggestions and build to specs above.

Thanks guys!

- ShannonRawls.com
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