FORUMS
Remove All Ads from XDA

Freezing image on H264 with HW+ decoder

5 posts
Thanks Meter: 0
 
By shvklatch, Junior Member on 2nd February 2018, 10:59 AM
Post Reply Email Thread
Hi, I've recently started using MX Player on my Android TV as its HW+ decoder plays very high bitrate 4K HDR H265 very smoothly whereas VLC player stutters. Really liking it so far.

However, I started to notice an issue with the HW+ decoder on H264: a lot of times, somewhere at the start of the video, the image freezes. Meanwhile, audio and subtitle tracks continue. This is easily resolved by just skipping a few seconds forwards or backwards, but it happens so often that it is a bit annoying. So I'm wondering if this is a known issue and if it has a known solution, despite that I can't seem to find anything about it after searching the forums.

I haven't bothered with providing custom codecs as I figure that isn't needed unless MX Player asks you to, but I did notice that MX Player uses the Neon codecs on my Android TV.

Things I've tried so far:
- Use the alternate HW+ decoder. Unfortunately this seems to perform not as good on high bitrate videos, and wide color gamut support seems absent on HDR videos, so I figured this one has more downsides than the original one.
- Disable H264 support on the HW+ decoder, so that it uses the HW decoder by default for H264. This works quite well, but for some reason, HW decoder seems to fail on many of my videos, causing MX player to fall back to SW, which gives noticeably worse performance and picture quality on my Android TV.

If I can't solve the freezing image on the HW+ decoder, I'd be interested to know how to best debug failures of the HW decoder so I can more reliably fall back to HW for H264.
 
 
5th February 2018, 06:21 AM |#2  
Thirumalai.K's Avatar
Recognized Contributor
Thanks Meter: 4,085
 
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by shvklatch

- Disable H264 support on the HW+ decoder, so that it uses the HW decoder by default for H264. This works quite well, but for some reason, HW decoder seems to fail on many of my videos, causing MX player to fall back to SW, which gives noticeably worse performance and picture quality on my Android TV.

Probably the issue is either with your videos or system decoders.
H264 is supported on most of the devices. HW decoder is basically a wrapper for Android mediaplayer implemented on your device.
So, Most of the issues on HW decoder is from the device firmware itself.

HW+ decoder also uses the decoders available on the system. From the symptoms, it looks like your system decoder freezes or fails to decode the video frames.

Can you connect your device to a system in debugging mode & collect the logs while reproducing the issue?
It will give better insight into the issue.
6th February 2018, 05:11 PM |#3  
OP Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
 
More
Hi! Thank you for your reply. I figured you might be right about any HW decoder issues being caused by the system or the videos themselves, so I tried some stuff out. For instance, forcing VLC player to use hardware acc., the same videos play without issue, over and over again. Puzzled with this, I removed MX player completely from the Android TV device, and then installed it again. To my surprise, this fixed the HW decoder issues. The same H264 videos could now be played effortlessly with the HW decoder. In fact, I don't have any issue with H264 videos on the HW decoder at all anymore. This is great, but unfortunately also means I can no longer produce logs of the HW decoder issue I experienced. Not sure what happened there.

The HW+ decoder issue remains however. I'm still seeing the video track getting stuck on a single frame close at the start of H264 videos, until I skip forward or backward. Audio and subtitle tracks continue as normal. This behavior is completely inconsistent, seemingly random and not always occurring, even on the same video. This happened not even once during all my tests with the HW decoder, nor on any H265 video with the HW+ decoder. I will attempt to collect logs while reproducing and report back here once I succeed. (this could take a while)
7th February 2018, 10:51 AM |#4  
Thirumalai.K's Avatar
Recognized Contributor
Thanks Meter: 4,085
 
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by shvklatch

Hi! Thank you for your reply. I figured you might be right about any HW decoder issues being caused by the system or the videos themselves, so I tried some stuff out. For instance, forcing VLC player to use hardware acc., the same videos play without issue, over and over again. Puzzled with this, I removed MX player completely from the Android TV device, and then installed it again. To my surprise, this fixed the HW decoder issues. The same H264 videos could now be played effortlessly with the HW decoder. In fact, I don't have any issue with H264 videos on the HW decoder at all anymore. This is great, but unfortunately also means I can no longer produce logs of the HW decoder issue I experienced. Not sure what happened there.

The HW+ decoder issue remains however. I'm still seeing the video track getting stuck on a single frame close at the start of H264 videos, until I skip forward or backward. Audio and subtitle tracks continue as normal. This behavior is completely inconsistent, seemingly random and not always occurring, even on the same video. This happened not even once during all my tests with the HW decoder, nor on any H265 video with the HW+ decoder. I will attempt to collect logs while reproducing and report back here once I succeed. (this could take a while)

Thanks in advance. If you can provide the device logs, we will definitely look into the issue.
14th February 2018, 07:51 AM |#5  
OP Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
 
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirumalai.K

Thanks in advance. If you can provide the device logs, we will definitely look into the issue.

I don't have any logs yet, but I came in to report what I believe to be relevant in case anyone else has the same issues: I think you were right about something being off with the system's decoders.

My Android TV device, a Philips 65PUS8102/12 TV, had performance issues with 4k videos and some very high bitrate Full HD videos. I grew fond of MX Player because its HW+ decoder was still capable of running 4k videos smoothly, where nothing else could. It was still a lot to process and skipping forward/backwards was pretty much impossible on these 4k videos because of it. Then there were the h264 issues I reported here, like the frozen frames. Oddly enough, while performance and skipping worked perfectly on both the HW+ and HW decoder for h264 videos, every player using HW acceleration including MX did stutter on some of the very high bitrate ones full hd videos (that still came nowhere near the 4k video bitrates).

A few days ago, Philips issued a massive software update that included both an Android update from 6.0.1 to 7.1.1, and bugfixes resolving 4k performance and some decoding issues. Right now, MX Player's HW+ decoder is no longer the only way for me to play 4k videos smoothly. What's more, skipping works perfectly on them now, and any reproducible issue I had on h264 (both performance-related and freezing frames) I haven't been able to reproduce since.

So if anyone faces the same issues as mine with my particular TV or another from Philips sharing the same software-base, make sure you're fully updated to the Android 7 release to presumably resolve at least several of these issues.
14th February 2018, 08:17 AM |#6  
Thirumalai.K's Avatar
Recognized Contributor
Thanks Meter: 4,085
 
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by shvklatch

I don't have any logs yet, but I came in to report what I believe to be relevant in case anyone else has the same issues: I think you were right about something being off with the system's decoders.

My Android TV device, a Philips 65PUS8102/12 TV, had performance issues with 4k videos and some very high bitrate Full HD videos. I grew fond of MX Player because its HW+ decoder was still capable of running 4k videos smoothly, where nothing else could. It was still a lot to process and skipping forward/backwards was pretty much impossible on these 4k videos because of it. Then there were the h264 issues I reported here, like the frozen frames. Oddly enough, while performance and skipping worked perfectly on both the HW+ and HW decoder for h264 videos, every player using HW acceleration including MX did stutter on some of the very high bitrate ones full hd videos (that still came nowhere near the 4k video bitrates).

A few days ago, Philips issued a massive software update that included both an Android update from 6.0.1 to 7.1.1, and bugfixes resolving 4k performance and some decoding issues. Right now, MX Player's HW+ decoder is no longer the only way for me to play 4k videos smoothly. What's more, skipping works perfectly on them now, and any reproducible issue I had on h264 (both performance-related and freezing frames) I haven't been able to reproduce since.

So if anyone faces the same issues as mine with my particular TV or another from Philips sharing the same software-base, make sure you're fully updated to the Android 7 release to presumably resolve at least several of these issues.


We are pleased to know that your issue is resolved.

As I have mentioned earlier, many of the issue with hardware accelerations are usually from the firmware itself. It can affect each app in a different manner based on their implementation. And finding a workaround without an actual device is also very difficult.

Thanks for providing the information about the firmware update. It will help us to guide our users if they are unaware of it.
Post Reply Subscribe to Thread

Guest Quick Reply (no urls or BBcode)
Message:
Previous Thread Next Thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes