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Should the VC-1 codec work?

jack616

Member
I cant search for info as VC-1 is too short for the search engine
and I can't find anything definite.
Some years ago extra codecs were mentioned but I cant discover if the VC-1
in the chips were ever enabled ?

I have a few files in VC-1 I'd rather not have to waste days re-encoding if
I can get the box to play them (The box itself not network).

thanks
PS Good luck with the new forum software
PPS ... A few extra links dotted about the wiki to the opk package downloads would be handy.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I cant search for info as VC-1 is too short for the search engine
You are not restricted to the forum's own search engine - see Newbies' Guide to the Forum (click):
Alternatively there are two methods of conducting a forum search:

Native - using the search box near the top right of the forum page. This is useful for being able to restrict the search to only a specific section and/or topic titles rather than the full post text. The native search cannot search for strings of three letters or fewer.​
External - using your favourite search engine. For example: a Google search can be restricted to search results from the forum by prefixing the search term(s) with "site:hummy.tv/forum", eg site:hummy.tv/forum newbies guide. It would be difficult to restrict searches to topic titles this way, so the native search still has its uses, but the results filtering is much better and there is no restriction against three-letter search terms.​
However, I do not recall VC-1 ever being mentioned. Experience suggests it is unlikely. The most reliable combination I have found is MP4+AVC(H.264)+AAC.

PS Good luck with the new forum software
?
 
OP
J

jack616

Member
Thanks ..
I think what I saw some time ago was the info on the broadcom chip in this thread:
https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/video-codecs-on-the-hdr.114/

Since I cant find any further info I expect it was never enabled by humax.
(I wonder if it could be enabled in the firmware?)

Anyway - I guess I need to re-encode.
It's nice to see this forum still active - I must have mixed it up with another
thats changing software (busy day that day) sorry.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
That thread is very old, and more speculation than real understanding. For one thing, the idea that the processor is fast enough or has enough RAM to decode video in software in real time is ludicrous.

I wonder if it could be enabled in the firmware?
Not at our current level of knowledge, no.
 

/df

Active Member
One of the contributors to the earlier thread seems to be quoting this Preliminary Hardware Data Module for BCM7405.

The section "ADVANCED VIDEO DECODER" says under "SUPPORTED PROTOCOLS , PROFILES , AND LEVELS":
The AVD module can decode the following code streams:
• H.264/AVC main and high profile to level 4.1
• VC-1 advanced profile @level 3
• VC-1 simple and main profile
• AVS1-P2 Jizhun profile @ level 6
• MPEG-2
• MPEG still-picture decode
• MPEG-4 Part 2
• DivX 3.11, 4.11, 5.X, 6.X
The advanced video decoder module supports tools added in the AVC Fidelity Range Extensions (FRExt) amendment,
specifically 8x8 transform and Spatial Prediction modes, and adaptive quantization matrix required for High Profile support.
Additional capabilities include the following:
• Error concealment
• Multiple-stream support for up to sixteen low-resolution streams
...
It then goes on to describe the supported parameters for the listed codecs in more detail.

Similarly in the section "ADVANCED AUDIO MODULE", under "FEATURES":
The DSP System decodes any of:
- AAC-LC (ISO/IEC 13818-7) Input can be up to 5.1 channels with one coupling channel (dependent or independent)
and up to 288-kbps per-channel. Output is downmixed to two channels. Supported sampling rates are 16 kHz, 32
kHz, 44.1 kHz, and 48 kHz. Both ADTS and ADIF formats are supported.
- AAC-LC+SBR (ISO/IEC 13818-7, 14496-3:2001/AMD1, aka HE-AAC, aacPlus, AAC-SBR, AAC-he). High efficiency
AAC level 4 (5.1 channels), and low power SBR tool. Up to 288-kbps per channel. Supported sampling rates are 16
kHz, 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, and 48 kHz.
  • Dolby Digital Plus
  • Dolby Digital (ATSC-A52/a). Input can be up to 5.1 channels. Output is downmixed to two channels. All sample rates
and all bitrates are supported.
- MPEG-1 (ISO/IEC-11172-3) Layer 1, 2, 3 (MP3). Input is 2.0 channels. All sample rates and bitrates are supported
except for the free bitrate.
- WMA, WMA Pro
Supports:
- One stream of compressed data on SPDIF simultaneously with one stream of decompressed data on the dual
stereo DAC outputs.
  • Compressed AAC, MPEG Layer 1, 2, and 3, DTS, and Dolby Digital on I 2 S output
  • Dynamic Range Compression on all algorithms
  • Annex B and C for Dolby Digital 5.1 (ATSC A/52a)
  • 16 kHz, 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, and 48 kHz sample rates for AAC and MPEG
  • 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, and 48 kHz sample rates for Dolby Digital
  • Two-channel down-mix for streams with more than two channels
Includes:
  • One pair of Audio DACs for L/R channel outputs
  • One I2S input and one I2S output for PCM at sample rates up to 96 kHz
  • 3-D SRS Audio
SPDIF output:
  • Up to 24-bit PCM
  • Sample rates of 16 kHz, 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, and 96 kHz
  • Pass-through of Dolby Digital, MPEG, and DTS audio from DVD program streams
  • Pass-through of Dolby Digital, MPEG, and AAC audio from transport streams
...
So these are all the codecs that can be expected to work on the HD/HDR Fox, which is a wrapper around the BCM7405 module. The firmware may be responsible for container support and may also limit the use of the listed AV codecs, possibly depending on the container.

The historical quoted link https://redsilico.com/humax-hdr-video-playback doesn't list M2TS as a supported container, whereas that's the native container format for the HD/HDR Fox.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
So these are all the codecs that can be expected to work on the HD/HDR Fox, which is a wrapper around the BCM7405 module.
Expected? No, I would say could work if Humax had chosen to enable that capability. If there are licence fees required and the codecs are not essential, the likelihood is they didn't.
 

/df

Active Member
Expected? No, ...
Yes, that's what I said. Don't 'expect' H.265 support because it's not in the underlying module. Do 'expect' some version of VC-1 to work because it is and would have to have been explicitly disabled or just not linked from any of the supported containers for it not to work.

I would expect Broadcom to have covered any necessary licenses in their pricing since the spec doesn't refer to options, but who can tell?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Do 'expect' some version of VC-1 to work because it is and would have to have been explicitly disabled
There we disagree, I think it would have to be explicitly enabled (and practical experience appears to be on my side). As for licensing: don't forget the RPi had various hardware codecs unavailable unless you coughed up an extra fee.
 
OP
J

jack616

Member
As BH said it would have to be enabled however that is done.
To recap the only hard info that appears to exist from someone said to be a Humax employee:

Bob_cat who works in a senior postion for Humax said "The software version that is currently in production doesn't have support for a wide range of video formats but will play music and pictures. More codecs will be upgraded in the impending updates." .
So extra codecs were going to be enabled by updates - which could only mean from in the firmware. In the case of VC-1
it doesn't appear to have been enabled so without knowing how to do that further speculation seems pointless.

Interestingly he said, "music and pictures" - which suggests the quote was very early on in the design lifetime to me.
 

/df

Active Member
It's not necessarily the codec that's unsupported: it could be the container format (ASF?) or some specific codec option, or some global limit like 1920x1080. I think VC-1 in an MP4 container is a standardised combination. BCM7405 is said to know about these options only.
The AVD module supports VC-1 elementary streams in the following profiles and levels:
• Advanced profile levels AP@L0, AP@L1, AP@L2, AP@L3
• Main profile levels MP@LL, MP@ML, MP@HL
• Simple profile levels SP@LL, SP@ML
VC-1 decoding has the following restriction:
• Maximum encoded bit rate is 45 megabits per-second.
The issue might be easier to diagnose with the actual format of the file(s) you have: eg, output of ffprobe -hide_banner -show_format -show_streams vc1file.ext.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
So: somebody package one up according to that spec and see what happens.
 
Last edited:
OP
J

jack616

Member
MP4 AC3 1920x1080 no chapters etc is where I started.
If it cant do that it's pretty useless anyway.
 
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