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Xbox 360 Extender Playback - Low Quality

extender mp4 low quality h.264 + acc

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#41 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 08:57 PM

Oh!  I have a Win7 Professional 64-bit laptop that has no codecs on it.  I will uninstall an extender from the HTPC and attach it to that.  And do some testing, also.  Unfortunately, I have to wait for my wife to go to bed.  She gets angry wen I mess with her ability to watch TV on the extenders!



#42 BAS OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 08:33 PM

Oh!  I have a Win7 Professional 64-bit laptop that has no codecs on it.  I will uninstall an extender from the HTPC and attach it to that.  And do some testing, also.  Unfortunately, I have to wait for my wife to go to bed.  She gets angry wen I mess with her ability to watch TV on the extenders!

 

I know that feeling all to well.


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#43 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 11:58 PM

Good or Bad news depending on how you look at it.

 

When I connect the 360 to the Win7 Professional 64-bit (that has no codecs on it) and play the file it looks much better!  It looks almost as good as on the PC, but the slight variation may be due to the not as nice TV as on the HTPC or just the Xbox itself.  But it is DEFINITELY way better than when connected to the HTPC with LAV installed.  CPU load does go from about 7-8% to 17-18% though?  Is it still transcoding or is that just overhead to stream the direct feed?  Is there a way to tell on the PC if it is transcoding a file or not?

545af09b2e80d_cleanwin7.png

 

edit: removed the stuff about the extenders connection (not relevant to this thread)


Edited by Wilky13, 07 November 2014 - 03:20 PM.


#44 BAS OFFLINE  

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 09:48 PM

Good or Bad news depending on how you look at it.

 

When I connect the 360 to the Win7 Professional 64-bit (that has no codecs on it) and play the file it looks much better!  It looks almost as good as on the PC, but the slight variation may be due to the not as nice TV as on the HTPC or just the Xbox itself.  But it is DEFINITELY way better than when connected to the HTPC with LAV installed.  CPU load does go from about 7-8% to 17-18% though?  Is it still transcoding or is that just overhead to stream the direct feed?  Is there a way to tell on the PC if it is transcoding a file or not?

 

Bad news is the Extender keeps disconnecting from the PC every 2-3 minutes (whether it is playing something or just sitting at the main screen).  It gives this error for some reason (I even rebooted the PC and left it at the logon screen and the extender still connects to WMC but then looses connection):

 

 

Very interesting I've been suffering from some major hardware issues over here lately so I'm currently in the middle of a complete rebuild and low level format on my ssd. I will be attempting no codecs to see if all my file formats play, I'm sure i have stuff that will require codecs and break stuff though but obviously taken the lazy way with LAV filters is not what I need for extenders I still have in use. I would imagine the disconnect to be a properly shared path, or sleep setting on the pc somewhere.

 

I haven't really done no codecs in a long time, but for my needs it would be fantastic from this pc as its not a playback unit. The old trusted thing for me back in the day was the divx codec pack with ac3 filter but tried a ton of other solutions its all a matter of sacrificing one thing for another it always felt. We shall see what path I take, I have mp4 h264 with 2 ch aac, m2ts h264 with 5.1 ac3, and a ton of avi xvid with 2ch mp3. If I can play all this without codecs then that's where Ill stop.

 

Thanks for looking into it. As for if its transcoding or not, I would watch the CPU load on wmplayer, wmpnetwork as well, if they eventually subside if thats the case then i would say yes it is transcoding. You should also be able to check in windows media player for settings related to the transcode path and quality settings. Once i get back up and running I'll check back in.


Edited by BAS, 06 November 2014 - 04:00 PM.

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#45 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 09:23 PM

This is year 4 since I was introduced to HTPC's and built my own in early 2011... and been tweaking ever since!

 

Originally I used MKV files because it was an easy container to deal with (you can put anything in a MKV)!  And installed Shark007 codec pack and was done (I even wrote some guides for Assassin'a blog).

 

But then I got 2 Xbox 360's for less than $99 each to use as extenders and the fun began!

 

MKV's don't play well on the extenders.  So I remuxed what I could and transcoded the rest (400+ movies in all) to M2TS.  M2TS works better on the 360's but on the main HTPC you can't play subtitles nor get Windows to give up control of audio to bitstream (I eventually did with a lot of tweaking).

 

Somewhere along the way I got Plex and like that for streaming to my iPhone while I am at the gym.  Then the MB team released MB3 (I had used MB2 from the beginning).  

 

Then last year I got a 2008 Mac Pro from a friend for $500 and the adventure began again to make everything "Mac Friendly"!  My wife and I already had iPads and iPhones and the kids have iPods so it made sense.  So I've spent the past months remuxing the H.264 M2TS movies to MP4 and transcoding the non-H.264 to MP4.  Dump them all into iTunes on the Mac and now they are available on the AppleTV3 (got that for Christmas).  Half way through I realized I should also add AAC Stereo tracks to every movie so I can easily drop it to the iPads/iPods/iPhones and go.

 

I had just moved so I decided to do a clean install (I'm sure all the tweaking had broken a lot) on my Win7 HTPC and just install LAV instead of the full Shark007 pack and used Win7DSFiletTweaker to allow LAV to control MP4 containers vice Windows.  I also installed MBS, MBC and RecordedTVHD (great program BTW for seamlessly integrated recorded TV, downloaded TV, converted TV in one place).  I thought I was finally done, but then that's when I noticed the really poor video quality when watching the movies on the extenders, and thus this thread was born.

 

I still have about 2TB of TV Shows in MKV format.  But for now I want to solve the Movies issue.

 

As I said before all the movies are now in a MP4 container with H.264 video and 2-ch AAC audio (the majority of them also have a 2nd 5.1 AC-3 track and a few have a 3rd 5.1 DTS track).

 

So far we have confirmed that the HTPC is transcoding the movie resulting in the poor video quality on the Xbox 360 in WMC (files play fine in the Video App).

 

Connecting the 360 to a 'clean' PC with no codecs revealed the movie will direct play in WMC thus providing good video quality.

 

So the question is what has been added on the HTPC, as compared to the clean PC, to break this?  It must be either LAV or the changing of merits in Win7DSFilterTweaker.


Edited by Wilky13, 06 November 2014 - 09:27 PM.


#46 BAS OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 05:06 PM

Well I'm probably not going to go much further down the experimenting path with you as I'm back up and running and will probably set it. Here's what I have discovered,

 

I started on my 360 by deleting the optional media update and reaquiring with a free Xbox Live silver account from here or on the console just make sure you snag the one from 2011.

 

I tested mp4 h264 2ch aac content and it played looked real nice, my m2ts h264 ac3 files choked, avi xvid mp3 looked decent but a little skippy in high frame rate scenes. I'm having flashback of video browser days.. 

 

Installing LAV Filters only I noticed my h264 content on extenders became fuzzy and pixelated but ac3 audio content worked, avi's looked about the same. I saw your post and even though I setup LAV to open everything, when I checked Win 7 DS Filter tweaker it reported everything was still set to Microsoft. I stopped there and uninstalled LAV, video quality is back on extenders.

 

If your hosting on a 64 bit windows install everything codecs side for extenders runs on the 64bit side. So perhaps if you setup a 32bit player for LAV to handle stuff PC wise and then 64 bit all set to default Microsoft but thats going to require experimenting on your part.

 

What I have done to keep decent H264 plaback on extenders is install the DIVX codec pack, not the Divx 10 bundle. Took me a long time to find that direct link in a forum post on Divx Labs. It was worth the digging installed, codec pack was only choice, be careful there was one ad to decline. Went into the divx codec settings app and turned on dxva hardware options. Tested same h264 mp4 aac and it looked exactly the same, my m2ts h264 looked sharper but ac3 still was an issue. The avi's looked a tad improved but they need replaced.

 

I then went back to my old standby on ac3 sound for PC and 360's-  AC3 Filter . If your using 64 bit you need full, set that up leaving on default options. All my files now play on my extenders and at better video quality then with LAV Filters.

 

Not sure how much that helps you. All I know is that you pointing out that LAV might be the culprit for low quality h264 playback on extenders is right on the money in my opinion.



#47 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 09:24 PM

BAS,

 

   Hmmm..... my troubleshooting has resulted in a different outcome.  I installed LAV on the PC and the video quality on the extenders is still good!  So it is NOT LAV as I had thought.  My next step is to do the Filter Tweaks and see if that is the cause.  

 

1)  No codecs at all on PC = good H.264 MP4 video on extender.

 

2)  LAV installed on the PC = good H.264 MP4 video on extender.

 

3)  Use Win7DSFiletTweaker to force Windows to associate MP4 with LAV = ????

 

Sidenote: MKVs also played nice on the extender (after doing the REG tweak here  Just do the reg hack don't install all the codecs [other than LAV of course]).


Edited by Wilky13, 07 November 2014 - 03:47 PM.


#48 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 08:25 PM

Okay, unassociating MP4 files with Media Foundation (so that LAV has control) on the PC is the culprit.  

 

545d29bd69654_MediaFoundationTweak.png

 

When you check MP4 on the PC the quality on the extender goes bad.  If you uncheck MP4 the quality goes back up.  

 

I guess this makes sense.  It looks like LAV only "runs" on the PC.  So when you call up a MP4 on the extender and it doesn't see that file type associated with media foundation it transcodes it.

 

Time to move over to the LAV forum and see if they can come up with a way for when you install LAV it runs on the host PC as well as any extenders.



#49 BAS OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 08:37 PM

Well keep me posted on what you get, I'll be interested in your findings or a solution from them. Right now I'm happy with what I got going on, divx does the mkv's if i ever forget to clean one and don't really feel like going any further just cause I have been down the registry tweaking and all this before. Ill accept where I'm at, another thing that usually breaks when tweaking is resuming capabilities just a heads up as another to keep an eye on when checking playback.


Edited by BAS, 07 November 2014 - 04:38 PM.


#50 Wilky13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 09:31 PM

Yeah, the reason I did a clean install is because I was tired of trading one fix for another and installing/uninstalling codec after codec.

 

I am going to stick with MP4s because that is what world best for Mac (OS X, iOS).  I want very little on my HTPC other than what is needed to bitstream, so that means just LAV.

 

It looks like the solution for now is to have a Media Server running Windows 7 and MBS, with the extenders tied to it.  (I was contemplating WHS2011, but you can't connect extenders to it)  And then a separate HTPC with MBC and WMC (no extenders tied to it).

 

I will post over on the LAV and TGB forums to see if there will eventually be a solution for LAV to work on the extenders and stop the transcoding.

 

TGB: http://www.thegreenb...&p=82413#p82413

LAV: https://code.google....0&ts=1415396859


Edited by Wilky13, 07 November 2014 - 05:54 PM.

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