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Announcement of support for Hardware Acceleration on BBC Blog

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  • Message 1. Posted by tonyddd (U14413313) on Wednesday, 26th May 2010 permalink

    A few users of this board have previously tried to raise problems with the Adobe Flash 10.1 beta and hardware acceleration, although some other users have seemed to object claiming that our machines are simply not good enough and we shouldn't be asking for Hardware Acceleration to be enabled.

    However, the BBC iPlayer blog has now mentioned forthcoming support for Hardware Acceleration under Adobe Flash 10.1:

    www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/...

    Quote: "This new adaptive bitrate system, coupled with Adobe's upcoming Flash 10.1 release with H.264 hardware acceleration, should give better quality, less jerkiness and lower CPU usage on PCs equipped with a graphics cards that support H.264 hardware acceleration".

    So are we now allowed to ask whether problems with Hardware Acceleration not working with the 10.1 Betas have been resolved? Is it something that Adobe will be changing in the full release of 10.1 or will the BBC be making a change to the encoding to allow Hardware Acceleration to function?

    I don't want to hassle anyone, simply ask if the BBC could let us know whether the problems have been recognised and whether a solution is being worked on now that Hardware Acceleration is definitely on the radar.

    Many thanks!

    complain

  • Message 2. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Wednesday, 26th May 2010 permalink

    And for anyone wondering what the other older threads were have a look at:


    Hardware Acceleration problem for HD video? - www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    BBC ERROR ? HD is showing as interlaced, say ADOBE FlashPlayer Engineering
    - www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    HD Streaming has something changed? - www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...


    (similar subject also touched upun in an adjacent thread started today:
    "Juddery or Shaky Picture" - www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb... )

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  • Message 3. Posted by StevieD (U14482474) on Thursday, 27th May 2010 permalink

    see here
    www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/...

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  • Message 4. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Thursday, 27th May 2010 permalink

    see here
    www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/...

    As mentioned in the Original Post, and the reason for re-opening the topic for any further and additional information.

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  • Message 5. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Thursday, 27th May 2010 permalink

    <blush> sorry StevieD, I did not initially read your comment I mis-read the link as being back to the main Blog not an individual comment.

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  • Message 6. Posted by StevieD (U14482474) on Friday, 28th May 2010 permalink

    Adobe seem to be pointing the finger at the BBC for it not working properly.
    So can someone from the BBC comment on this ?
    "When will iPlayer support Intel ION HTPC's in HD using the hardware GPU"

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  • Message 7. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Friday, 28th May 2010 permalink

    I can only make a quick post at the moment.
    I have not checked latest news on Adobe site.

    My understanding is that BBC has given any information requested. Adobe has admitted problems, but last time I looked Adobe gave a wooly answer about the BBC working on them, but did not say what was being worked on, I will surmise it was the iPlayer v3 Beta, which probably could not be mentioned prior to its release.

    PLEASE
    Do not forget you are using two sets of Beta product, it would be unusual if problems did not occur.

    My Suggestions
    (as an ordinary user, others may have better ideas)
    1) try iPlayer Beta does that work with the RC FlashPlayer
    2) check *latest system requirements From Adobe.
    3) file a bug report with Adobe
    4) ask Adobe to specify precisely what if any problems they think are caused by the BBC
    5) If you are able to confirm
    -everything is to Adobe requirements,
    -and you have filed a Bug report with Adobe
    - you have reviewed Adobe forums & documents
    post back to this messageboard or to the BBC blog and hope someone can advise further.

    Normally the contact form may be used, but that could be a problem at present.

    __* Latest sytem requirements __
    See the BBC blog and the link in paragraph 9 of that blog to Adobe pdf. [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] Then if required carefully follow the information to yet further links. I think it will for instance explain how to file bug reports and what dll etc are required

    John

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  • Message 8. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Saturday, 29th May 2010 permalink

    The mods strike again.

    I had included the BBC quoted link in the message above.
    I tried the link from the post before the mods removed it and it did work.
    I am not sure which house rule, that it could be considered to break.

    If you want that link now you will have to go to the BBC blog yourself [unless mods put the link back in] and look for it in paragraph 9 of: www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/...

    Where you will find the BBC posted a link to:
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • Message 9. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Saturday, 29th May 2010 permalink

    seems mods will not even allow me to reproduce part of the link as text, you will have to go to the blog yourselves.. I will reproduce the paragraph without any of the link text. (That should enable you to find it easily) .

    Introducing the all new BBC iPlayer (This time it's personal)
    ...
    9. Better video quality
    ...
    The improved video quality will be most apparent in full-screen mode, where iPlayer will automatically switch up to our 832x468 1500Kbps high-quality SD streams as soon as you go fullscreen, seamlessly dropping to/from the 480Kbps and 800Kbps lower bitrate streams as needed.

    This new adaptive bitrate system, coupled with Adobe's upcoming Flash 10.1 release with H.264 hardware acceleration, should give better quality, less jerkiness and lower CPU usage on PCs equipped with a graphics cards that support H.264 hardware acceleration - see [ link removed by John99 as mods are not allowing link to be posted for some reason]
    ...
    Anthony

    Anthony Rose is Controller, Online Media Group and Vision, BBC FM&T.. {www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/... ]

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  • Message 10. Posted by jwsg (U14223122) on Friday, 11th June 2010 permalink

    Flash 10.1 is no longer RC or Beta - it is now the release version.

    However, nothing has changed in FLASH or iPlayer and GPU accelerated HD streams are still not supported (unless you can find 10.1 Beta 1)

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  • Message 11. Posted by Jacob A (U14414387) on Friday, 11th June 2010 permalink

    The only thing that is GPU accelerated on the iPlayer, as it has all along is the idents.

    Guess we'll have to keep waiting.

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  • Message 12. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Tuesday, 15th June 2010 permalink

    bump

    anyone else with news ?
    (see also: www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb... )

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  • Message 13. Posted by Jacob A (U14414387) on Thursday, 17th June 2010 permalink

    Nope and I don't think we will as the BBC seems to be doing everything possible to ignore these threads.

    complain

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  • Message 14. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Tuesday, 6th July 2010 permalink

    I do note there is an interesting comment in the Adobe forum thread. But note the comment is apparently from an ordinary poster not Adobe staff and then the link does lead to an external site.
    forums.adobe.com/mes...

    "Link to patched Flash10h.ocx that omits the SPS header check (so runs the iplayer with hw acceleration)"


    Whether that is a revert to an older version, or a true revision I would not know, but whatever it will not be supported by the BBC so try it at your own risk. At least someone is trying to help iPlayer users, who are looking for hardware acceleration from FlashPlayer 10.1.
    The BBC is advertising, hardware acceleration should work with the current FlashPlayer 10.1 and clearly is now supposed to be supporting hardware acceleration.

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  • Message 15. Posted by jwsg (U14223122) on Tuesday, 6th July 2010 permalink

    It looks like a user-made variant of one of the components of the FLASH package. I assume it is a simple code change to "jump" over the test for the "maybe interlaced" header flag that has seemingly been set in iPlayer streams since mid-March causing a revert to S/W decode in FLASH 10.1.
    If this flag had not been set then these half dozen threads would have been unnecessary and if the check was missing in release FLASH 10.1 (as is the case in Beta 1) then the patch would be unnecessary. I would still suggest Beta 1 in an alternative browser as the safest method for watching (the almost non-existent) iPlayer HD content.
    Today amusingly I also received a BBC auto-reply to the original complaint made end March reporting the problem - the reply merely hopes the problem has by now been solved.

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  • Message 16. Posted by David (U14546588) on Thursday, 8th July 2010 permalink

    I used the beta1 as it was the only version that kept the hw acceleration, but after flash10.1 was released I started to dig deeper, and from some messageboards realised it was a problem with the SPS header.

    It was only necessary to skip the SPS header check, not the PPS header, so the BBC are setting progressive on the actual picture, but leave interlaced as a possibility in the video stream.

    I don't think the BBC have changed anything their side, the adobe people put these checks in for completeness, because they are unable to switch "on-the-fly" between GPU and software decoding, and they cannot decode interlaced video in the GPU.

    The adobe people are not so concerned with the iplayer as they are not UK based, so the only likely fix will come if the BBC set progressive only in the SPS header.

    Meanwhile, now I know how to fix the code, I'll continue doing so. The beta1 was quite buggy by comparison.

    I think the BBC team are not really up with testing this as they would need to purchase the relevant low power devices - and they expect all features to be available from the 3rd party platform.

    But GPU is the future for TV apps because otherwise the high-power required is too noisey and expensive.

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  • Message 17. Posted by jwsg (U14223122) on Thursday, 8th July 2010 permalink

    Cheers for efforts made.

    The conclusion that an iPlayer stream change was made came form noting that with a later Beta (with check) GPU acceleration was still possible on HD releases made before a particular day in March but not after (an event repeated for SD exactly 3 weeks later). No Flash release corresponded to this change - only towards 10.1 final did releases come every week.

    We asked Adobe to bypass the check themselves but both parties remain totally stubborn to this day.

    Beta 1 is indeed buggy - generally it will terminate at least once a short time after playback commences. Often a browser refresh will be enough to restart and play through to completion. If the crash occurs on the trailer/feature transition then the advice is to play a short time into the feature in SD and then switch to HD.

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  • Message 18. Posted by David (U14546588) on Friday, 9th July 2010 permalink

    OK, matbe the beeb did change something, so they just need to change it back if they can!

    I would not use beta 1 anymore now that I've fixed the release version, available from this forum

    forum.videohelp.com/...

    Hopefully If enough (UK at least) users start recommending and using the patched version then one or other of Adobe or the BBC will see sense and ensure compatibility.

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  • Message 19. Posted by howswiftly (U14546626) on Tuesday, 13th July 2010 permalink

    Let's hope that the BBC and Adobe between them manage to fix this soon. Meanwhile, thanks to your good works, we have a workaround.

    But, as you explained over on forum.videohelp.com/... , that still leaves unsolved the problem of no GPU acceleration in the desktop app. It would be good to have a policy statement from the BBC about their commitment (or lack of) to providing GPU acceleration support in general - presumably if it's the right thing to do for streaming HD then it's the right thing to do for HD downloads too.

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  • Message 20. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Tuesday, 13th July 2010 permalink

    It would be good to have a policy statement from the BBC

    The BBC blog I quote in post#9 above seems to me a solid statement from the BBC that hardware acceleration is to be supported in iPlayer Streaming video.

    Whilst iPlayer users have no leverage on Adobe software development any iPlayer user should be able to make formal requests and complaints to the BBC which should at least get answered.

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