It's been a while
Just got Emby working on my 2018 Mac Mini which is more or less dedicated to being a media server. Works well but when someone starts playing a video that needs transcoding the CPU ramps up a ton for about two minutes for FFMPEG to transcode the file and have it ready. This has been the case since I first turned it on, starting with 'Enable Hardware Transcoding' set to 'yes' and no other options touched.
I realized that hypothetically I should be able to access whatever QuickSync/T2 based hardware acceleration this thing has via whatever FFMPEG Emby is using, so I checked out 'advanced' and then saw VideoToolbox which I guess acts as a wrapper for any hardware interfaces Apple would expose. I know there have been other threads talking about this, but none of them seem conclusive. Either way, turned it on, then things really started to get interesting.
The CRF setting never changed, I've always had it set to 23 (default) but for some reason when VideoToolbox was on the quality of the transcode dropped like a rock! Even in the client trying to tell it to get 60Mbps 1080p still resulted in the same blocky mess.
Disappointed with the results I decided to turn the Enable hardware acceleration when available back from advanced to yes and there I started encountering different problems. The Video quality went back to normal but I noticed sometimes in the clients I tried to use (chrome on another computer) the video would never start playing. I'd get a somewhat normal looking log file but I would never see the client playing information in the dashboard and the video would never start!
Restarted the computer and things seemed normal. Yet sometimes I'm having a hard time getting transcoded videos to play now using Chrome.
I wanna start by addressing the source of my first issue : Is hardware encoding on the Mac Mini ever going to actually be a viable thing or should I give up?
I will include two logs which resulted from trying to play one file, the first time with the software AVC encoder and the second with VideoToolbox.
There's some weird stuff going on here, without turning VideoToolBox on, the encoder goes through and checks if hardware transcoding is viable:
>>>>>> Affected codecs Encoder libx264 Software Encoder Profiles: Baseline Profile (Level 6.2), Main Profile (Level 6.2), High Profile (Level 6.2), High 10 Profile (Level 6.2), High 4:2:2 Profile (Level 6.2), High 4:4:4 Predictive Profile (Level 6.2) >>>>>> FindVideoEncoder - Media: h264, UseHardwareCodecs: True, Mode: Automatic Info Checking: 'libx264 Software Encoder' Info Check successful - selecting 'libx264 Software Encoder' >>>>>> FindVideoDecoder - MediaType: h264, Mode: Automatic Info Checking: 'Automatic software decoder' Info Check successful - selecting 'Automatic software decoder' >>>>>> Processing Plan Info Name CanDoInHardware WillDoInHardware Reason Info Automatic software decoder >> False False Software Codec Info VideoInput >> False False Not a hardware decoder Info SubtitleBurnIn >> False False Info VideoOutput >> False False Not a hardware encoder Info libx264 Software Encoder >> False False Software Codec >>>>>> Projected Processing Formats Info Previous HW-Context Format SW-Format Next Info h264 >> - yuv420p yuv420p >> subtitles Info subtitles >> - yuv420p yuv420p >>
It seems to think it can't be done in hardware because it has subtitles. But with VideoToolBox turned on, it somehow makes due:
Affected codecs: >>>>>> VideoToolbox H.264 Profiles: Baseline Profile (Level 6.2), Main Profile (Level 6.2), High Profile (Level 6.2), High 10 Profile (Level 6.2), High 4:2:2 Profile (Level 6.2), High 4:4:4 Profile (Level 6.2) >>>>>> FindVideoDecoder - MediaType: h264, Mode: Custom Info FindVideoDecoder - Checking: 'Automatic software decoder' (Priority: 0) Info FindVideoDecoder - Check successful - selecting 'Automatic software decoder' >>>>>> FindVideoEncoder - Media: h264, UseHardwareCodecs: True, Mode: Custom Info FindVideoEncoder - Checking: 'VideoToolbox H.264' (Priority: 100) Info Encoder supports input stream Info FindVideoEncoder - Check successful - selecting 'VideoToolbox H.264'
This is the first area of confusion and the first thing I'd like input on. I'll see if I still have difficulty getting playback to start later. Hopefully someone else who has a similar MacMini with the same processor (3.2 GHz Intel Core i7) can help me out.