Choppy playback on some scenes (x264)


#1

Hello,

I’ve been pretty happy with my WD TV Live until now (barring minor issues like the thumbnails over network shares…) anyway I’ve recently ran into some issues playing some anime file over the network (using network shares). The files play fine when it is “regular” animations but when computer graphics (“diving” scenes in GITS for example) come into play the scenes lose audio and playback is extremely choppy. These files play just fine in my home computer with MPC-HC.

Here’s the output of mediainfo for 2 files where this happens:

General
Complete name : X:\1080p\...Format : Matroska
File size : 10.9 GiB
Duration : 1h 52mn
Overall bit rate : 13.9 Mbps
Movie name : ...Encoded date : UTC 2010-05-30 09:06:39
Writing application : mkvmerge v3.4.0 ('Rapunzel') built on May 15 2010 09:38:20
Writing library : libebml v0.8.0 + libmatroska v0.9.0
Cover : Yes / Yes / Yes / Yes / Yes / Yes / Yes / Yes / Yes / Yes / Yes / Yes

Video
ID : 1
Format : AVC
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : High@L4.1
Format settings, CABAC : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames : 3 frames
Muxing mode : Container profile=Unknown@4.1
Codec ID : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration : 1h 52mn
Bit rate : 12.2 Mbps
Width : 1 920 pixels
Height : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 23.976 fps
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.244
Stream size : 9.52 GiB (87%)
Writing library : x264 core 0000000000000000
Encoding settings : 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
Language : English

Audio
ID : 2
Format : DTS
Format/Info : Digital Theater Systems
Format profile : ES
Codec ID : A_DTS
Duration : 1h 52mn
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 1 510 Kbps
Channel(s) : 7 channels
Channel positions : Front: L C R, Side: L R, Back: C, LFE
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 1.18 GiB (11%)
Language : Japanese

Text
ID : 3
Format : **bleep**
Codec ID : S_TEXT/ **bleep**
Codec ID/Info : Advanced Sub Station Alpha
Language : English

General
Complete name : X:\1080p\...
Format : Matroska
File size : 6.54 GiB
Duration : 1h 48mn
Overall bit rate : 8 628 Kbps
Movie name : ...Encoded date : UTC 2008-08-19 04:10:48
Writing application : mkvmerge v2.2.0 ('Turn It On Again') built on Mar 4 2008 12:58:26
Writing library : libebml v0.7.7 + libmatroska v0.8.1
Cover : Yes / Yes / Yes / Yes / Yes / Yes

Video
ID : 1
Format : AVC
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : High@L5.0
Format settings, CABAC : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames : 8 frames
Muxing mode : Container profile=Unknown@5.0
Codec ID : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration : 1h 48mn
Bit rate : 7 113 Kbps
Width : 1 920 pixels
Height : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 23.976 fps
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.143
Stream size : 5.27 GiB (81%)
Writing library : x264 core 60 r935M c6456de
Encoding settings : cabac=1 / ref=8 / deblock=1:-3:-3 / analyse=0x3:0x113 / me=umh / subme=6 / psy_rd=1.0 / brdo=1 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=12 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=0 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=2 / deadzone=21,11 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=6 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / mbaff=0 / bframes=16 / b_pyramid=1 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / wpredb=1 / bime=1 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=25 / scenecut=40(pre) / rc=2pass / bitrate=7113 / ratetol=1.0 / rceq='blurCplx^(1-qComp)' / qcomp=1.00 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / cplxblur=20.0 / qblur=0.5 / ip_ratio=1.40 / pb_ratio=1.30 / aq=2:0.70
Language : Japanese

Audio
ID : 2
Format : DTS
Format/Info : Digital Theater Systems
Codec ID : A_DTS
Duration : 1h 48mn
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 1 510 Kbps
Channel(s) : 6 channels
Channel positions : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 24 bits
Stream size : 1.14 GiB (17%)
Language : Japanese

Text
ID : 3
Format : **bleep**
Codec ID : S_TEXT/ **bleep**
Codec ID/Info : Advanced Sub Station Alpha
Language : English

I know it can’t be a bandwidth issue because WD TV Live is connected to my home network by ethernet (100 Mbit/s), and movies for example, with much higher bitrate play just fine. BTW I’m watching both with Japanese audio and english subs (if it helps).


#2

The reframes on the second file could be problematic (in general, anything over 6 is insane and it’s 8).  The more reframes the harder it is for a device to playback a file properly (and you don’t really need more than 3 or so even for excellent quality).

But I don’t know why the first one is trouble, unless it IS something to do with the subs and the audio track (to test this out, remux and remove one track at a time to see if it starts playing better.  If so, then you know).


#3

What’s with all the Zeros in the top example?   Is the header corrupt?


#4

 @mkelly  

Ok, when I get the chance I’ll remux it and see if either the subs or the sound is to blame, but if that is indeed the case, it’s strange that the choppiness only occurs on scenes with computer animated graphics. Either before or after it plays just fine, during computer animated graphic scenes it appears to skip frames and probably (and this is only my guess) when trying to keep sync between frames and sound/subtitles, because it drops frames the sound and subtitles also get cut and never quite “catch up” to the image.

@TonyPh12345   

In regards to all the zeros, I haven’t the slightest clue, thats what mediainfo that comes with MPC-HC outputs.


#5

If it’s just in those scenes you describe it could be an encoding issue.

A lot of times in cheaper animated movies they actually switch framerates during the more expensive CGI shots (to save money).  Changing frame rates can baffle a lot of encoders (even the last official release of Handbrake) and thus can cause all kinds of playback issues.  This should NOT happen on any mainstream film, however (because they don’t engage in this shoddy practice).

If it’s a mainstream film then I wouldn’t worry – if not, then you can either get one of the nightly releases of Handbrake and try encoding the source again (NOT the encoded version you have, because that’s probably toast) and see if the new Handbrake can handle a changing frame rate properly.


#6

Well just to let you know I figure out the problem, it had nothing to do with WD TV Live. As it seems my Panasonic TV had a setting, “Picture Noise Reduction” I believe, that was causing the “hiccups” in playback. Once I disabled that everything played smoothly.

Thanks for all the help anyways :wink:


#7

Glad you got it sorted out.

You should mark this thread as solved (and with your own post as the solution) just in case someone else needs this answer.

(I really *hate* the judder reduction on *most* HDTV sets, which is usually the default setting.  I will say, though, that my Panny projection has actually got this right, in that you can activate it at a low setting and get good results that still look filmatic without going nuts).