5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 6, 2016 7:58 AM by Intel Corporation

    How do I play h264 codec smoothly? Using Intel Quicksync hardware acceleration doesn't help

    ema93a

      Hello,

      I'm experiencing some playback problems with h264 encoded clips and I think that it may be related to the drivers of my integrated graphic card.

       

       

      Problem:

      All the h264 clips I have tried stutter when playing in various players under default and different settings including enabling hardware acceleration. I have tested clips encoded in low bitrate (3Mbps) and high bitrate (up to 100Mbps) and all of them stutter when being played. It's specially noticeable when the camera is panning in a smooth movement because I get distracted by the chunky and jumpy footage or when there are moving objects in the screen and they move suddenly and abruptly across the screen. I notice an abrupt transition in moving scenes instead of experiencing what should be a fluent and smooth scene and I do not understand why because my system is powerful enough to do every single task I have put it to do. The problem is persistent throughout the playback of all my clips or movies encoded in h264.

      Here's a recording of a few sample clips here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTMk90HlAqM

      I couldn't get a proper recording because I used my phone but it's very noticeable when seeing any movie or clip and very distracting at the same time. The clips are from MPC-HC using Intel Quicksync hardware acceleration.

      My CPU is runing under 20% load in all the clips mentioned in the following paragraphs.

      I recently bought this computer and I upgraded the OS to a free copy of Windows 10 64 bits. I have also updated all my drivers including the HD 5500 integrated graphic card.

      I will now describe my hardware, the software I used (OS, codecs, settings and video players) and technical details of the clips so that you can better diagnose my problem.

      Note: the problem occurs in any h264 clip that I have tested, not only on the one I took a video of and it's also far more noticeable and distracting than in the video because I couldn't capture it properly with my phone.

       

       

      Hardware:

      Acer E5-573-56BL http://www.acer.com/ac/es/ES/content/model/NX.MVHEB.014

      Here are some relevant specs:

      CPU: i5-5200U 2,20 GHz Dual-core (2 Core)

      RAM: 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM 1600MHz

      SSD Samsung EVO 850 256GB

      1366x768 LCD TFT

      Graphic card: HD 5500 DDR3L SDRAM shared memory

      No dedicated graphic card

       

       

      Software:

      I'm running Windows 10 Home 64 bits and all my drivers are up to date (Including the graphic card HD 5500 to version 15.40.18.4380 using Intel Driver Update Utility 2.4).

      I've used many video players including VLC, MPC-HC, Windows Media Player, Cyberlink Power Dvd and DivX player but all of them are experiencing the same problem when there are moving scenes.

      I'll focus on MPC-HC now:

      I've installed k-lite codec pack MEGA which includes both LAV and FFDSHOW video decoders and I have tested both of them inside MPC-HC and the problem still persists (in both 32 and 64 bit versions of the player). I have also tried CoreAVC decoder as an external filter and I am getting the same result.

      I've tested Intel Quicksync, DXVA2 (copy-back) and DXVA2 (native) hardware acceleration for the h264 codec in LAV decoder and all of them produce the same result. The clips were all recorded when using the Intel Quicksync hardware acceleration but they still produce a sluggish performance.

      I can ensure that they are being used because the "active decoder" shows dxva2cb direct, quicksync or dxva2n in each one of the cases each time that I am playing a clip (using the system try icon).

      The player is set up to use the Enhanced Video Renderer (Custom Preseter) in all of the cases showed above and I have also tested Enhanced Video Renderer but the playback shows the same problem.

      Here are a couple of screenshots of my settings to make everything clear. They are almost set to default.

      I have focused in the video options because I thought my playback issue is related to a video problem.

      output.JPG

      internal filters.JPG

      video settings.JPG

      Info about the main player used:

      MPC-HC (Nightly, 64-bit)

      -----------------------

      Build information:

          Version:            1.7.10.130 (6d03440)

          Compiler:           MSVC 2015 Update 1

          Build date:         Mar 29 2016

      LAV Filters:

          LAV Splitter:       0.68.0.16

          LAV Video:          0.68.0.16

          LAV Audio:          0.68.0.16

          FFmpeg compiler:    MinGW-w64 GCC 5.3.0

      Operating system:

          Name:               Windows NT 10.0 (build 10586)

          Version:            10.0 (64-bit)

      Hardware:

          CPU:                Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-5200U CPU @ 2.20GHz

          GPU:                Intel(R) HD Graphics 5500 (driver version: 20.19.15.4380)

       

      Clips used:

      I'll paste now the Mediainfo clip information for each one of the clips used in the video:

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Clip 1, 2 and 3 (same footage):

      General

      Complete name               : C:\Users\emage\Downloads\bbb_sunflower_1080p_30fps_normal.mp4

      Format                      : MPEG-4

      Format profile              : Base Media

      Codec ID                    : isom (isom/avc1)

      File size                   : 263 MiB

      Duration                    : 10mn 34s

      Overall bit rate            : 3 481 Kbps

      Movie name                  : Big Buck Bunny, Sunflower version

      Performer                   : Blender Foundation 2008, Janus Bager Kristensen 2013

      Composer                    : Sacha Goedegebure

      Genre                       : Animation

      Encoded date                : UTC 2013-12-16 17:44:39

      Tagged date                 : UTC 2013-12-16 17:44:39

      Comment                     : Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 - http://bbb3d.renderfarming.net

      ©com                        : Jan Morgenstern

       

       

      Video

      ID                          : 1

      Format                      : AVC

      Format/Info                 : Advanced Video Codec

      Format profile              : High@L4.1

      Format settings, CABAC      : Yes

      Format settings, ReFrames   : 4 frames

      Codec ID                    : avc1

      Codec ID/Info               : Advanced Video Coding

      Duration                    : 10mn 34s

      Bit rate                    : 3 000 Kbps

      Maximum bit rate            : 16.7 Mbps

      Width                       : 1 920 pixels

      Height                      : 1 080 pixels

      Display aspect ratio        : 16:9

      Frame rate mode             : Constant

      Frame rate                  : 30.000 fps

      Color space                 : YUV

      Chroma subsampling          : 4:2:0

      Bit depth                   : 8 bits

      Scan type                   : Progressive

      Bits/(Pixel*Frame)          : 0.048

      Stream size                 : 227 MiB (86%)

      Writing library             : x264 core 115

      Encoding settings           : cabac=1 / ref=4 / deblock=1:1:1 / analyse=0x3:0x133 / me=tesa / subme=10 / psy=1 / psy_rd=0.40:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=24 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=2 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=0 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=12 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=16 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=2 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=25 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=60 / rc=2pass / mbtree=1 / bitrate=3000 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / cplxblur=20.0 / qblur=0.5 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:0.60

      Encoded date                : UTC 2013-12-16 17:44:39

      Tagged date                 : UTC 2013-12-16 17:44:42

       

       

      Audio #1

      ID                          : 2

      Format                      : MPEG Audio

      Format version              : Version 1

      Format profile              : Layer 3

      Mode                        : Joint stereo

      Mode extension              : MS Stereo

      Codec ID                    : 6B

      Duration                    : 10mn 34s

      Bit rate mode               : Constant

      Bit rate                    : 160 Kbps

      Maximum bit rate            : 165 Kbps

      Channel(s)                  : 2 channels

      Sampling rate               : 48.0 KHz

      Compression mode            : Lossy

      Stream size                 : 12.1 MiB (5%)

      Writing library             : LAME3.99r

      Encoding settings           : -m j -V 4 -q 3 -lowpass 17.5 -b 160

      Encoded date                : UTC 2013-12-16 17:44:42

      Tagged date                 : UTC 2013-12-16 17:44:42

       

       

      Audio #2

      ID                          : 3

      Format                      : AC-3

      Format/Info                 : Audio Coding 3

      Mode extension              : CM (complete main)

      Format settings, Endianness : Big

      Codec ID                    : ac-3

      Duration                    : 10mn 34s

      Bit rate mode               : Constant

      Bit rate                    : 320 Kbps

      Channel(s)                  : 6 channels

      Channel positions           : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE

      Sampling rate               : 48.0 KHz

      Frame rate                  : 31.250 fps (1536 spf)

      Bit depth                   : 16 bits

      Compression mode            : Lossy

      Stream size                 : 24.2 MiB (9%)

      Encoded date                : UTC 2013-12-16 17:44:42

      Tagged date                 : UTC 2013-12-16 17:44:42

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Clip 4:

      General

      Complete name               : C:\Users\emage\Downloads\FVDO_Freeway_720p.264

      Format                      : AVC

      Format/Info                 : Advanced Video Codec

      File size                   : 4.30 MiB

       

       

      Video

      Format                      : AVC

      Format/Info                 : Advanced Video Codec

      Format profile              : High@L4

      Format settings, CABAC      : Yes

      Format settings, ReFrames   : 2 frames

      Width                       : 1 280 pixels

      Height                      : 720 pixels

      Display aspect ratio        : 16:9

      Color space                 : YUV

      Chroma subsampling          : 4:2:0

      Bit depth                   : 8 bits

      Scan type                   : Progressive

       

       

      Clip 5:

      General

      Unique ID                   : 186278325635074019182235583208686216142 (0x8C23E689562CE299AC508BB9E5C1E3CE)

      Complete name               : C:\Users\emage\Downloads\jellyfish-3-mbps-hd-h264.mkv

      Format                      : Matroska

      Format version              : Version 2

      File size                   : 10.7 MiB

      Duration                    : 30s 30ms

      Overall bit rate mode       : Variable

      Overall bit rate            : 2 984 Kbps

      Encoded date                : UTC 2016-02-06 03:58:03

      Writing application         : mkvmerge v4.7.0 ('Just Like You Imagined') built on Apr 21 2011 01:13:14

      Writing library             : libebml v1.2.0 + libmatroska v1.1.0

       

       

      Video

      ID                          : 1

      Format                      : AVC

      Format/Info                 : Advanced Video Codec

      Format profile              : High@L4

      Format settings, CABAC      : Yes

      Format settings, ReFrames   : 3 frames

      Codec ID                    : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC

      Duration                    : 30s 30ms

      Bit rate mode               : Variable

      Bit rate                    : 2 925 Kbps

      Maximum bit rate            : 3 000 Kbps

      Width                       : 1 920 pixels

      Height                      : 1 080 pixels

      Display aspect ratio        : 16:9

      Frame rate mode             : Constant

      Frame rate                  : 29.970 (30000/1001) fps

      Standard                    : NTSC

      Color space                 : YUV

      Chroma subsampling          : 4:2:0

      Bit depth                   : 8 bits

      Scan type                   : Progressive

      Bits/(Pixel*Frame)          : 0.047

      Stream size                 : 10.5 MiB (98%)

      Language                    : English

      Default                     : Yes

      Forced                      : No

      Color range                 : Limited

      Color primaries             : BT.709

      Transfer characteristics    : BT.709

      Matrix coefficients         : BT.709

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Clip 6:

      General

      Complete name               : C:\Users\emage\Downloads\h264_die_neuen_paradiese_03.mpg

      Format                      : MPEG-PS

      File size                   : 48.0 MiB

      Duration                    : 31s 60ms

      Overall bit rate mode       : Variable

      Overall bit rate            : 13.0 Mbps

       

       

      Video

      ID                          : 224 (0xE0)

      Format                      : AVC

      Format/Info                 : Advanced Video Codec

      Format profile              : Main@L4

      Format settings, CABAC      : Yes

      Format settings, ReFrames   : 5 frames

      Duration                    : 31s 60ms

      Bit rate mode               : Variable

      Bit rate                    : 12.0 Mbps

      Width                       : 1 280 pixels

      Height                      : 720 pixels

      Display aspect ratio        : 16:9

      Frame rate                  : 50.000 fps

      Color space                 : YUV

      Chroma subsampling          : 4:2:0

      Bit depth                   : 8 bits

      Scan type                   : Progressive

      Bits/(Pixel*Frame)          : 0.260

      Stream size                 : 44.2 MiB (92%)

      Color range                 : Limited

      Color primaries             : BT.709

      Transfer characteristics    : BT.709

      Matrix coefficients         : BT.709

       

       

      Audio #1

      ID                          : 192 (0xC0)

      Format                      : MPEG Audio

      Format version              : Version 1

      Format profile              : Layer 2

      Duration                    : 30s 720ms

      Bit rate mode               : Constant

      Bit rate                    : 256 Kbps

      Channel(s)                  : 2 channels

      Sampling rate               : 48.0 KHz

      Compression mode            : Lossy

      Delay relative to video     : -1s 168ms

      Stream size                 : 960 KiB (2%)

       

       

      Audio #2

      ID                          : 193 (0xC1)

      Format                      : MPEG Audio

      Format version              : Version 1

      Format profile              : Layer 2

      Duration                    : 30s 720ms

      Bit rate mode               : Constant

      Bit rate                    : 256 Kbps

      Channel(s)                  : 2 channels

      Sampling rate               : 48.0 KHz

      Compression mode            : Lossy

      Delay relative to video     : -1s 176ms

      Stream size                 : 960 KiB (2%)

       

       

      Audio #3

      ID                          : 189 (0xBD)

      Format                      : AC-3

      Format/Info                 : Audio Coding 3

      Mode extension              : CM (complete main)

      Format settings, Endianness : Big

      Duration                    : 30s 848ms

      Bit rate mode               : Constant

      Bit rate                    : 256 Kbps

      Channel(s)                  : 2 channels

      Channel positions           : Front: L R

      Sampling rate               : 48.0 KHz

      Frame rate                  : 31.250 fps (1536 spf)

      Compression mode            : Lossy

      Delay relative to video     : -1s 168ms

      Stream size                 : 964 KiB (2%)

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Clip 7:

      General

      Complete name               : C:\Users\emage\Downloads\FVDO_Plane_720p.264

      Format                      : AVC

      Format/Info                 : Advanced Video Codec

      File size                   : 2.26 MiB

       

       

      Video

      Format                      : AVC

      Format/Info                 : Advanced Video Codec

      Format profile              : High@L4

      Format settings, CABAC      : Yes

      Format settings, ReFrames   : 2 frames

      Width                       : 1 280 pixels

      Height                      : 720 pixels

      Display aspect ratio        : 16:9

      Color space                 : YUV

      Chroma subsampling          : 4:2:0

      Bit depth                   : 8 bits

      Scan type                   : Progressive

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Clip 8:

      General

      ID                          : 0 (0x0)

      Complete name               : C:\Users\emage\Downloads\H264_720p.ts

      Format                      : MPEG-TS

      File size                   : 25.0 MiB

      Duration                    : 42s 392ms

      Overall bit rate mode       : Variable

      Overall bit rate            : 4 927 Kbps

      Movie name                  : BONES

      Law rating                  : TV-14 (DLV)

       

       

      Video

      ID                          : 49 (0x31)

      Menu ID                     : 1 (0x1)

      Format                      : AVC

      Format/Info                 : Advanced Video Codec

      Format profile              : High@L4

      Format settings, CABAC      : Yes

      Format settings, ReFrames   : 2 frames

      Codec ID                    : 27

      Duration                    : 42s 359ms

      Bit rate                    : 4 037 Kbps

      Width                       : 1 280 pixels

      Height                      : 720 pixels

      Display aspect ratio        : 16:9

      Frame rate                  : 59.940 (60000/1001) fps

      Color space                 : YUV

      Chroma subsampling          : 4:2:0

      Bit depth                   : 8 bits

      Scan type                   : Progressive

      Bits/(Pixel*Frame)          : 0.073

      Stream size                 : 20.4 MiB (82%)

       

       

      Audio #1

      ID                          : 52 (0x34)

      Menu ID                     : 1 (0x1)

      Format                      : AC-3

      Format/Info                 : Audio Coding 3

      Mode extension              : CM (complete main)

      Format settings, Endianness : Big

      Codec ID                    : 129

      Duration                    : 42s 400ms

      Bit rate mode               : Constant

      Bit rate                    : 448 Kbps

      Channel(s)                  : 6 channels

      Channel positions           : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE

      Sampling rate               : 48.0 KHz

      Frame rate                  : 31.250 fps (1536 spf)

      Compression mode            : Lossy

      Delay relative to video     : -880ms

      Stream size                 : 2.26 MiB (9%)

       

       

      Audio #2

      ID                          : 53 (0x35)

      Menu ID                     : 1 (0x1)

      Format                      : AC-3

      Format/Info                 : Audio Coding 3

      Mode extension              : CM (complete main)

      Format settings, Endianness : Big

      Codec ID                    : 129

      Duration                    : 42s 400ms

      Bit rate mode               : Constant

      Bit rate                    : 192 Kbps

      Channel(s)                  : 2 channels

      Channel positions           : Front: L R

      Sampling rate               : 48.0 KHz

      Frame rate                  : 31.250 fps (1536 spf)

      Compression mode            : Lossy

      Delay relative to video     : -816ms

      Stream size                 : 994 KiB (4%)

       

       

      Text #1

      ID                          : 49 (0x31)-CC1

      Menu ID                     : 1 (0x1)

      Format                      : EIA-608

      Muxing mode                 : SCTE 128 / DTVCC Transport

      Muxing mode, more info      : Muxed in Video #1

      Duration                    : 42s 359ms

      Bit rate mode               : Constant

      Stream size                 : 0.00 Byte (0%)

       

       

      Text #2

      ID                          : 49 (0x31)-1

      Menu ID                     : 1 (0x1)

      Format                      : EIA-708

      Muxing mode                 : SCTE 128 / DTVCC Transport

      Muxing mode, more info      : Muxed in Video #1

      Duration                    : 42s 359ms

      Bit rate mode               : Constant

      Stream size                 : 0.00 Byte (0%)

       

       

      Text #3

      ID                          : 49 (0x31)-2

      Menu ID                     : 1 (0x1)

      Format                      : EIA-708

      Muxing mode                 : SCTE 128 / DTVCC Transport

      Muxing mode, more info      : Muxed in Video #1

      Duration                    : 42s 359ms

      Bit rate mode               : Constant

      Stream size                 : 0.00 Byte (0%)

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Clip 9:

      General

      Complete name               : C:\Users\emage\Downloads\FVDO_Shore_720p.264

      Format                      : AVC

      Format/Info                 : Advanced Video Codec

      File size                   : 5.30 MiB

       

       

      Video

      Format                      : AVC

      Format/Info                 : Advanced Video Codec

      Format profile              : High@L4

      Format settings, CABAC      : Yes

      Format settings, ReFrames   : 2 frames

      Width                       : 1 280 pixels

      Height                      : 720 pixels

      Display aspect ratio        : 16:9

      Color space                 : YUV

      Chroma subsampling          : 4:2:0

      Bit depth                   : 8 bits

      Scan type                   : Progressive

       

       

       

       

      Finally I came to think that it is related to the graphic card or it's driver because the Broadwell architecture is supposed to decode h264 in a fluent way and that's not what's happening here even after testing different settings and after enabling Intel Quicksync.

       

       

      That's as much relevant information that I can give for now. I can try different suggestions and give feedback of the results.

       

      Thanks

       

      Edit 1:

      I just noticed that this happens in some Facebook videos too when they switch to HD. I don't know what codecs do they use but it may be h264 as well. This shows that it's not related to the software used because it affects web browsers too. Same symptoms than described above, smooth movements don't look smooth but abrupt.

       

      Edit 2:

      I opened the video from the mobile version in the web browser and here is the info about it:

       

      General

      Complete name               : C:\Users\emage\Downloads\12941847_966689706713380_1232228926_n.mp4

      Format                      : MPEG-4

      Format profile              : Base Media

      Codec ID                    : isom (isom/iso2/avc1/mp41)

      File size                   : 1.08 MiB

      Duration                    : 42s 46ms

      Overall bit rate            : 216 Kbps

      Movie name                  : 10154197451112275

      Writing application         : Lavf56.4.101

       

       

      Video

      ID                          : 1

      Format                      : AVC

      Format/Info                 : Advanced Video Codec

      Format profile              : Baseline@L3

      Format settings, CABAC      : No

      Format settings, ReFrames   : 5 frames

      Codec ID                    : avc1

      Codec ID/Info               : Advanced Video Coding

      Duration                    : 41s 709ms

      Bit rate                    : 192 Kbps

      Width                       : 400 pixels

      Height                      : 224 pixels

      Display aspect ratio        : 16:9

      Frame rate mode             : Variable

      Frame rate                  : 29.970 fps

      Minimum frame rate          : 29.960 fps

      Maximum frame rate          : 29.970 fps

      Color space                 : YUV

      Chroma subsampling          : 4:2:0

      Bit depth                   : 8 bits

      Scan type                   : Progressive

      Bits/(Pixel*Frame)          : 0.072

      Stream size                 : 980 KiB (89%)

      Writing library             : x264 core 142

      Encoding settings           : cabac=0 / ref=5 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x1:0x131 / me=umh / subme=10 / psy=0 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=24 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=2 / 8x8dct=0 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=0 / threads=36 / lookahead_threads=1 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=0 / weightp=0 / keyint=90 / keyint_min=9 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=60 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=27.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / vbv_maxrate=450 / vbv_bufsize=900 / crf_max=0.0 / nal_hrd=none / filler=0 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=2:1.00

       

       

      Audio

      ID                          : 2

      Format                      : AAC

      Format/Info                 : Advanced Audio Codec

      Format profile              : HE-AACv2 / HE-AAC / LC

      Codec ID                    : 40

      Duration                    : 42s 46ms

      Duration_LastFrame          : 147ms

      Bit rate mode               : Constant

      Bit rate                    : 20.0 Kbps

      Channel(s)                  : 2 channels / 1 channel / 1 channel

      Channel positions           : Front: L R / Front: C / Front: C

      Sampling rate               : 48.0 KHz / 48.0 KHz / 24.0 KHz

      Frame rate                  : 23.438 fps (1024 spf)

      Compression mode            : Lossy

      Stream size                 : 103 KiB (9%)

      Language                    : English

      Default                     : Yes

      Alternate group             : 1

       

       

      The video bitrate is ridiculously low (192Kbps). How can this happen? How can I get the same sluggish performance when playing it inside facebook and when opened with MPC-HC?

      I'm shocked about my PC not running this small video smoothly.

       

      Edit 3:

      After more testing I see that this also happens to Youtube videos that use the VP9 video codec. I have tested the "Home" documentary which has a lot of smooth shots and I see the same artifacts as the ones mentioned above. Definitely it's not something dependent on the software I am running because it affects both the web browser (chrome) and the movie players I have tested.

      This is very frustrating because I always thought that it was a recording problem.

       

      Edit 4:

      Forcing the use of h264 in Youtube with the extention "h256ify" produces the same.

      I don't know what else to search or to try.