No support for QPel?

Is there any support for QPel? I’m happy with my WDTV LIve HD, but this is a sloppy omission. Srrangely, it also refuses to play some .avi files where I’ve muxed in a separate lame (3.98) audio track - even selecting the audio track, no audio. This .avi  plays fine on a separate TV via USB and as usual, VLC has no problems. So, great 1080p support, but it fails for basic .avi support  . . .  any firmware fixes?

Well, I  *think* it does since QPel is specified in the h.264 standard for ASP encoding,

“Basic AVI support” doesn’t mean anything.   

AVI is only a container.   And as a container, it is limited to what it can contain.

As long as the contents of the AVI are compliant to the AVI spec and the audio / video codecs supported by the WDTV, it should be fine.

But here’s the big caveat:   I don’t think I have anything with QPel enabled, so I can’t CONFIRM it one way or the other…

Any .avi without QPEL or GMC plays fine, but if there is QPEL it will not play. Scratch the other issue, the file was damaged.

Frost187 wrote:

Is there any support for QPel? I’m happy with my WDTV LIve HD, but this is a sloppy omission.

No, it’s not. I’ve yet to see a DVD standalone that supports this and even the release groups don’t use this setting (nor GMC). Also, AVIs with several streams (MP3, AC3) work just fine.

I also have another problem. Standard AVI’s (with no warpoints or Qpel) have no sound, and there is no audio track selected by default unless I change to .mp3. However, even if I do change the audio track there is no audio. Any fix?

Never mind, I’ll be returning it, and if anyone asks who wants to buy a media streamer, I’ll tell them to forget it. Rubbish hardware and lazy firmware - never mind scene releases and standards - a media streamer who’s job it is to play media files should play them regardless of settings. Haven’t the developers heard of VLC? It can’t be that hard to code proper Linux firmware who doesn’t complain if the file is packed or if it has GMC or Qpel. I should have built a mini-ITX HTPC in the first place instead of buying sloppy hardware. FAIL western digital FAIL.

Frost187 wrote:
never mind scene releases and standards - a media streamer who’s job it is to play media files should play them regardless of settings. Haven’t the developers heard of VLC?

Firstly, the chip can only decode what it was built to decode.  From what I’ve seen, Sigma has designed their chips to work with the commonest codecs, but not with every possible setting.  That’s why Sigma (and WD) lists which profiles are supported for each codec.  You can return the player, if you wish, but any other player based on the Sigma chipset (or most of the other SoC chipsets) won’t be any different.  There are almost no home computers on the market that would be able to keep up with the 32 Re-Frames allowed in the video standards at the highest resolutions – there’s no reason to expect a low-cost all-in-one chip to be able to do it.

It seems like it’d just be easier to not use an unsupported setting when you make your encodes, like the rest of the world does, rather than use an unsupported setting and then complain that it’s unsupported.

And VLC has been around for over 12 years, written with the expressed purpose of playing bad/broken encodes.  The processing power and the codec support is almost unlimited, as compared to Soc solutions.

Complaining that WDTV (or any other SoC player) can’t do what VLC can do, is kinda like complaining that a Volkswagen Beetle doesn’t have the same 0-60 times and top speed as a RUF-tuned 911 Turbo.  There’s no rational reason to expect similar performance.

Apologies for the earlier rant. I downgraded to earlier firmware (1.04.24) and 99.9% of my files are working. Only the 1 or 2 Qpel files are not. Only slight issue now is the interface is a bit sluggish moving up and down, compared to an earlier firmware I tried (1.04.17). That doesn’t really matter though. WDTV is well worth purchasing . . . .

My apologies too, Frost.  It seems several of my .avi files have QPel and Warppoints, and play fine, even with the newest firmware, so I’m not exactly sure what the cause of your playback problems might be.

Files like this that I have play fine for me:

Format                           : AVI
Format/Info                      : Audio Video Interleave
File size                        : 350 MiB
Duration                         : 21mn 47s
Overall bit rate                 : 2 246 Kbps
Writing application              : VirtualDubMod (build 2439/release)
Writing library                  : VirtualDubMod build 2439/release

ID                               : 0
Format                           : MPEG-4 Visual
Format settings, BVOP            : 1
Format settings, QPel            : Yes
Format settings, GMC             : 2 warppoints
Format settings, Matrix          : Default (H.263)
Muxing mode                      : Packed bitstream
Codec ID                         : DX50
Codec ID/Hint                    : DivX 5
Duration                         : 21mn 47s
Bit rate                         : 2 046 Kbps
Width                            : 624 pixels
Height                           : 464 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 4:3
Frame rate                       : 29.970 fps
Color space                      : YUV
Chroma subsampling               : 4:2:0
Bit depth                        : 8 bits
Scan type                        : Progressive
Compression mode                 : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.236
Stream size                      : 319 MiB (91%)
Writing library                  : DivX 5.2.1 (WaffleDay) (UTC 2004-09-08)

I’ve looked into this further and it seems that selecting HDMI 12-bit deep colour, screws up the audio for some avi’s, but 8-bit is fine. As for Qpel, there was only the one file. I’m fairly sure that the rest of my avi’s will work fine. I’ll wait a month or two before updating to the latest firmware and test with more files, keeping my current firmware on hand. The Sigma 8655 processor is actually very capable if you dig around for its specifications. For GMC/warpoints it seems that this processor will work fine with them if there are 2, any more and you may have problems. Now I need to look into a new HDD to store all this content . . .

Frost187, In case you are not aware of it, there is no advantage to using 12 bit color. There are no sources available that actually have 12 bit color. When you use 12 bit color, you are still only getting 8 bit color because the source of your video is 8 bit color. (You are getting 8 bit data that has been converted to 12 bit data, so the actual resolution is only 8 bit). Stick with 8 bit for now.

After further testing, setting Auto settings for resolution and framerate, but not matching video framerate ensures everything is smooth. Color setting is 8-bit.