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Old 2007-06-03, 16:23   Link #841
Starks
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Even trellis 1 works my Core Duo to death... <_<
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Old 2007-06-06, 02:36   Link #842
Zero1
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KiSS 1600

Where to start? I've been so damn busy today.

You may remember my post waaaay back at the end of September (actually, somehow I remembered it was on page 24, and it's here), where as usual I post about all sorts of junk (judging by the size of it, it looks like another longpost™). Well somewhere in the middle, I start babbling about KiSS, how much I hate DivX for screwing ASP over, and KiSS' new hardware player.

Fast forward 9 months (holy shit, it's been that long?), the KiSS 1600 is now available; and I took the jump (well aware of how early adoptors tend to get screwed over) and ordered one.

Well today it arrived, and I've been testing. So far I'm content with it. I plugged my USB HDD into it and just played some random files. It was nice to see it plays .VOB files from HDD (as you would expect I guess), and a nice somewhat surprise to see .TS support in there too. With the .TS support, it played MPEG-2 and H.264 in .TS just fine (with AC3 or MPEG-1 Layer 2 audio). It goes without saying that .AVI is supported, and DivX 3.11 through to XviD are supported (a quick encode showed that QPel is supported and GMC is uncertain ie whether it supports 1 warp point, 3 warp points or none).

WMV is in, though no support for crappy DRM (you know, where WMV files want to go online to get licenses), however since the firmware is user upgradable, there's a chance of that being added later. .MPG is in there, so those ancient MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 encodes play, and also MP4 support is there and it's happy with ASP or H.264 for video and AAC/MP3 for audio out of the limited amount of files I tested.

Well those are the major formats that are supported and used currently, though even I will say that it's a shame that there is no MKV support, because it would mean tranmuxing and/or transcoding if I wanted to watch it (the player is nice, but I can't see my lazy self converting a bunch of videos just for my own playback). Outside of fansubbing, no MKV support is of little concern (unless perhaps .TS dumps, which equally can just be left as .TS or .MPG), but what with softsubs, it is becoming popular in the fansub scene.

Speaking of which, it supposedly supports softsubs too; which formats and how I haven't looked into yet (I'd probably assume external subs, or though unlikely, those crazy subs muxed in AVI?). Obviously DVD subpictures are there.

I was quite happy to see that it deals with non mod16 encodes fine; no tearing of the image you can sometimes get with some decoders. Anamorphic and VFR MP4's are of course no problem.

There are a few nifty side features too I was happy and unexpectant to see; i'll come to these later.


Now before I go on, I don't want to hear how much I suck at photography, or that my flickerbox sucks/lacks resolution, or that the player sucks because it doesn't support $formatofchoice. If you don't have anything worthwhile to add, please refrain. I also know that a lot of people see digisubs as PC only, so this is a heads up for the people that have some interest in non-PC playback as well as an excuse to talk encoding and generally poke at stuff.

Also please note that taking screen caps of a TV is not ideal, and at the time of testing I just hooked it up via S-Video on the front panel because it's practically impossible to get to the back of my TV for the RGB scart (that and I didn't want to disconnect the Wii either)


Well on to the juicy stuff. I have to say, I was pleasently surprised in areas.


Front of the unit. As you can see it's very simple (I think it could have been handy to have some more of the remote functions on the front panel). Under the silver strip where it has the DVD logo is a dot matrix LCD display (the type you get in car stereos, nothing really fancy). The buttons also light up blue, if you like that kind of thing.

Inside the unit (and I don't want to open it up so soon), is a standard DVD ROM drive by Samsung, presumably with KiSS' custom firmware. This particular unit is Region 2 (because unfortunately I live in PAL land); so obviously making it region free, or at least Region 1 is of interest to me. I wonder if I could flash the drive and that would be enough, of if it would be "double protected" and require firmware modification too?

Also since it's just a standard DVD drive, it makes me wonder if you could just swap out the drives and it would still work, or even replace it with a HD-DVD drive at a later date (but I doubt that would work because the filesystem is different).



Here's the back. As you can see, a bit of something for everyone. We have HDMI, RGB Scart, Composite, S-Video, Component as well as the usual audio connections. You will also see a USB 2.0 port (for mass storage devices), which is a real shame it's not on the front (however that can be remedied with a USB hub). Also you have a choice of Ethernet or Wireless.



Just the underside of it.



Just the box contents. You get all the basic cables you need to get up and running, RGB Scart and seperate composite video/RCA audio jacks. My one comes with a UK 3 pin plug, and is also bundled with a 2 pin plug. As you can see, the remote isn't anything to get excited about unfortunately, but it does the job. It does have some nice shortcut buttons though. It comes with a hueg manual, but thats because it's in so many languages. I haven't looked through it yet, but a while ago I found an online PDF manual for it, and it didn't give any, what I would call specifics for video. As you can see, it comes with Nero software bundled (this was the whole Nero/KiSS thing I was talking about some time ago), some PC Link software (for using your PC as a media server) and a WMV-HD sample disc, which is a 300 odd MB sample of some boat race



Pool is closed due to DivX.

In action, playing Ryo's Tonagura, fortunately most subs I've tested up until now survive the overscan evilness. The right image shows the menu checking out my random/misc fansubs folder (these are usually series that interested me a little and I never liked it enough to follow it up, or borked/somehow of interest encoding wise) while the video plays underneath.



Again, this time with good old XviD and AVI.



Dyke Spies. Playing .VOB here from USB mass storage, a handy feature if you are lazy or have a disk full of rips waiting for encoding.



HDTV on my 576i CRT? It's more likely than you think. As mentioned earlier, TS is supported and for me, it's a God send. Supports the usual suspects codecs wise, and here it can be seen playing a 20mbps 1080i H.264 BBC HD test which they are showing in London (I'm sure anyone with an interest in HD or H.264 has come across these files at some time). I was quite impressesd that it played back smoothly; on my Athlon 64 TL-60 (2x2.0 GHz) it maxes out the CPU with CoreAVC.

However don't expect the encodes to be 20mbps when HD launches; a) they will want to cram as many channels as they can into one multiplex and b) I believe that the point in testing such high quality encodes is more of a stress test on the hardware - I expect most HD H.264 broadcasts to be 8-12mbps, but this is a total guess. They currently use 2-4mbps MPEG-2 for their 576 line encodes, so I'm not getting my hopes up. However, although it's only a PAL TV, and although I'm only hooked up via S-Video, I was damn blown away with the quality, it's much higher than I expected.



As well as accessing files via LAN with Ethernet or wireless, it also gives you basic web functionality for your player so you can easily update the firmware. Here we have a decidedly Wii channels like affair where you can check news, weather, play simply games or listen to online radio (and this is pretty damn sweet).



So here is the online radio, as you can see it supports shoutcast and gives you some info about the bitrate, now playing and number of users connected. This is a nice feature for me since I have my player hooked up to my stereo.

It has a huge list of radio stations stored in memory, and can update them automatically, it even has a little something for otakus and weeaboos alike.



FUCK YEAH, SEEKING
(No it's not that interesting, or much of a surprise, just an attempt at a 4chan in-joke).



Damn you overscan, you haven't seen the last of me! Unfortunately, traditional CRT TVs still overscan, but out of the fansubs I tested, they are more or less fine. Nothing got cut off so bad it was unreadable.

Now this is the part I think most of us are interested about - H.264 testing. It played everything I threw at it without exception, and that of course includes options such as mixed references, B-pyramid, 8x8DCT, interlacing and CABAC. Basically as far as I can see, it supports most if not all features of High Profile, or to put it another way, it had no problems playing 704x480 anamorphic VFR H.264 with what some might consider insane settings (lengthy GOPs, many B-frames, 16 references). Also, while it's nice to specify a level for your encodes, it didn't seem to care about it much and was happy to play encodes tagged as HP@5.1; it also didn't complain about my potentially "illegal" level 4 encode that makes use of p4x4 (see this post).


Well that's pretty much it for now, although if anyone has some encodes they want to check, provide me with a well seeded torrent or direct download and I'll post back with some results If for example you tend to use MKV, but want to see if your video plays anyway, simply remux it with MP4Box (alternatively, if you are too lazy, I guess I can make time to transmux stuff).


It looks like we may have a respectable H.264 stand alone player finally, although Xbox and PS3 claim to support H.264, they fail in other areas support wise (such as PS3 not supporting High Profile unless it's muxed as mt2s, or Xbox not supporting 5.1 AAC). Obviously it's early days yet, so I expect some tweaks and additions at some point, but my initial reaction is that it's a nice competant player. It's not busting with features, but hopefully if big manufacturers like Sony or Panasonic see this product and that there is call for this sort of thing, we may end up seeing some very refined H.264 players.

If I was to recommend this to someone, I'd probably suggest that if they are looking for a long term unit, to wait until a player like this becomes available with HD-DVD support. As of now though, I have no intention of moving to HD-DVD for a while. If you don't care about HD-DVD or Bluray yet and just want a player that can play DVDs, most fansubs, AMVs and online radio, then this could be for you.
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Old 2007-06-06, 05:06   Link #843
emptyeighty
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Nice post, Zero1 :-)

Guess the only thing that's really missing now is mkv support. I'd be interested in what kind of external subs it supports, e.g. only srt or ssa/ass.
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Old 2007-06-06, 05:09   Link #844
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Yes, but does it run linux?
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Old 2007-06-06, 05:59   Link #845
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Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these things.

Edit: Am I reading correctly that it's also cheaper than the console based alternatives? Also, how far have you been able to push it in terms of bitrate? That it easily handles the 20mbps source you mentioned is very interesting; I wonder what it would max out at.
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Old 2007-06-06, 06:02   Link #846
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Originally Posted by checkers View Post
Yes, but does it run linux?
I bet you could somehow hack it to, yes Since it is firmware upgradable.

Also, I know that some of the early KiSS models could be made region free, so I'd guess this one can too. There might even be an unofficial official way to do it without any special hacking.
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Old 2007-06-06, 07:13   Link #847
Zero1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xat View Post
Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these things.

Edit: Am I reading correctly that it's also cheaper than the console based alternatives? Also, how far have you been able to push it in terms of bitrate? That it easily handles the 20mbps source you mentioned is very interesting; I wonder what it would max out at.
I don't think a cluster would be any good, it's not running a fast general purpose (such as x86) CPU with software decoding (like the first HD-DVD player, HD-A1), it's a basic system with a hardware decoder. Because of that, it means it's fanless

As for cost, well let's see. It's certainly cheaper than PS3 and 360, but more expensive than a Wii. Now what with how England gets raped for tax, it wouldn't be right to just say it's 200/$400, so I'll work on the price for the Wii. It costs 11% more than a Wii, so if a Wii costs $250 in the US, then adding 11% gives you around $280. However I merely speculate. It might be that the price bears no relevance but in relation to what the Wii costs here, thats what it is. Having said that, if you were to cost the Wii in USD from here, it would be $360 so it might be that Nintendo really ramped the price in Europe and the real price difference between the 1600 and a Wii is actually greater. This means the KiSS 1600 could be $300-$350; it's anyones guess really.

Seeing as the exchange rate is 1GBP=2USD as near as dammit, that makes the PS3 around 850USD here

This is the chipset it uses:
http://www.sigmadesigns.com/public/P...0L_series.html

It's what I would call a first gen HD-DVD/Bluray chipset, that is it should handle things fine (they say HP@L4), but there isn't as much overhead as you might like, that is it will probably handle true HD-DVD and Bluray encodes borderline, rather than comfortably being able to do so (think of a processor constantly at 95% compared to a processor at 70%).

However for the purpose of fansubs and AMVs, I imagine it's quite adequate, but testing will show.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jfs View Post
Also, I know that some of the early KiSS models could be made region free, so I'd guess this one can too. There might even be an unofficial official way to do it without any special hacking.
Yeah, it's just a bog standard Samsung DVD ROM with a fancy bezel, and you could even detatch that and stick it on the front of another drive; so I'm thinking perhaps pull out the 1600's drive, hook it up to a PC (it's just ATA business) and flash it; or just swap it for another drive altogether.
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Old 2007-06-07, 12:03   Link #848
Eeknay
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Zero,

The BBC HD stuff is MBAFF - got any PAFF streams you can test?

Also I'd be interested in knowing if it does AVC or VC1 m2ts, either native or after a remux to ts.
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Old 2007-06-07, 12:08   Link #849
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THe popularity of MPEG4 will only go up as people start requesting iPod-compatible versions of subbed anime.
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Old 2007-06-07, 12:23   Link #850
martino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HashiriyaGDB View Post
THe popularity of MPEG4 will only go up as people start requesting iPod-compatible versions of subbed anime.
You might want to do some reading before you say something like that. XviD is MPEG4, so is DivX... Pretty much all fansubs are MPEG4 encodes, unless some lost lamb did it (not counting audio and container here).

If you mean iPod compatible I take that as Main Profile h264 encode at some a low level... And you think that the fansub community would bother with encoding to such specs? I doubt it.

/me refused himself to use Main Profile when asked to encode to spec *tongue out*
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Old 2007-06-07, 16:00   Link #851
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martino View Post
If you mean iPod compatible I take that as Main Profile h264 encode at some a low level...
Even worse i think ipod was baseline/extended + 1 b-frame or some abomination, iirc from reading wikipedia.
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Old 2007-06-08, 15:43   Link #852
Zero1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeknay View Post
Zero,

The BBC HD stuff is MBAFF - got any PAFF streams you can test?

Also I'd be interested in knowing if it does AVC or VC1 m2ts, either native or after a remux to ts.
No PAFF, good Sir. Perhaps you or your buddies can contribute to the cause?

Also I transmuxed a 1080p H.264 from HD-DVD (not personally, but I had a 115MB ISO). Played fine for about 28 seconds but then started to stutter and lost audio. I didn't see any obvious reason, so I assumed it was bitrate.
Said encode is here:
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=UIU60WEI

Don't pay attention to the audio bitrates, I simply encoded at -q 0.3 to give me a similar filesize to the AC3.

No luck with Bluray, the tools I have reported no startcode, so perhaps Bluray fucks it up, or I've just got a bad sample. However I wouldn't rule out Bluray fucking stuff up, just because Sony has some involvement with Bluray.

I'd really appreciate a load of different 720p samples/fansubs/AMVs/whatever right now. I have no complaints about SD encodes, it's great, but now it's time to move on and test systematically rather than trying random encodes and wondering why it does/doesn't play correctly. I have a suspicion that 720p support may be borderline. We know it plays SD, and partially plays 1080p. It can get away with 1080i H.264 (which I assume uses pretty relaxed encoding settings being for broadcast); but I want to see where it stands with 720p, since it's quite easy to reach level 5 just by using 16 reference frames on a 720p encode.


Quote:
Originally Posted by martino View Post
You might want to do some reading before you say something like that. XviD is MPEG4, so is DivX... Pretty much all fansubs are MPEG4 encodes, unless some lost lamb did it (not counting audio and container here).

If you mean iPod compatible I take that as Main Profile h264 encode at some a low level... And you think that the fansub community would bother with encoding to such specs? I doubt it.

/me refused himself to use Main Profile when asked to encode to spec *tongue out*
I think he probably means the MP4 container and it's awareness/support in general. Also I believe iPod is Baseline @ 1.3, but newer models may be more capable (but I expect them to still be Baseline).

And yeah, I won't cripple my encodes for Apple's half hearted decoder, if they want to become a player in the media market (pun not intended), they need to get their finger out and start with the High Profile support (in iTunes at the very least, and do something about AppleTV before it gives standalone players a bad name (with what it supports, it may as well not support H.264 at all).
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Old 2007-06-10, 05:45   Link #853
Zero1
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Bumping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero1 View Post
Also I transmuxed a 1080p H.264 from HD-DVD (not personally, but I had a 115MB ISO). Played fine for about 28 seconds but then started to stutter and lost audio. I didn't see any obvious reason, so I assumed it was bitrate.
Said encode is here:
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=UIU60WEI
Did a little further testing. Same video without audio in MP4 now plays flawlessly until 1:02 or so then starts to stutter (since the audio is AAC, I assume it was decoded in software and coupled with the high bitrate and 1080p source it must have been too much). I also put the H.264 in a TS without audio and tested. Strange results. It seems to stutter for a split second, twice a second. It's nothing major, but it is noticable.

There are signs of slowdown at 1:12, but again nothing it can't recover from.

Interesting thing to note is the TS is around 150MB and the MP4 is 100MB - so perhaps this split second stutter is throughput/fragged HD/USB related rather than crappy TS support (no other TS is like this, they are all perfect). Quite bizarre.


Also, a kind person PMed me with some PAFF source. It plays perfectly in TS. I remuxed it to a H.264/AC3 MP4 just for kicks to see if it would work, it plays but no audio (I actually expected it to tell me to GTFO with unsupported codecs). It plays fine, but slow. I then tried H.264/AAC in MP4 and it stops after 3 seconds (which is when the slowdown kicks in for the MP4/AC3).

Seems odd, but these files were muxed in Graphedit using Haali, so perhaps the splitter did something funky, or muxing was weird. I couldn't mux it in MP4Box because it said that it did not have a H.264 startcode or something along those lines, which is an error I've had with all Bluray H.264 encodes I've come across so far (but seeing as they are samples, perhaps they haven't been split properly). Perhaps "no startcode" is the reason for the hit and miss playback, but I'd have expected it not to play it back at all without a startcode.

Also, I've now hooked up with RGB Scart and it's a world of difference.

Edit:
Hahaha, I just downloaded one of those DivX test CD's and I find that this player supports external SRT, SAMI and SSA softsubs.

Just tagging a bit more on; here are some random MP4 fansubs I downloaded. These work perfectly with the player.
[SHS-FoSu] Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn - 16 [BA0F1E4A].​mp4
Lucky Star - 05 [WiND](h264)[4468BFFF].​mp4
[Arienai]Yes​_Pretty​_Cure​_5​_-​_12[1280x720][7a2351b3].​mp4

Also as far as I can see, Pretty Cure is a level 4.2/5.0 encode (most likely due to reference frames pushing up the DPB size) and the player still handles it fine. Sweet. I guess one of the main reasons they only say it's level 4.0 is due to the max bitrate, that is if it fails on one attribute, it gets the nearest level it's fully capable of.
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Old 2007-06-13, 00:08   Link #854
Eeknay
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If you'll indulge me anyway

Sky HD test
PremHD test
VC1 BD Remux to TS test
MPEG2 BD (v. high bitrate) Remux to TS test
AVC BD Remux to TS test

The MPEG2 is GitS2. Tis around 40Mbit/s, hitting BDs video limit basically. Wondering if these new fangled players can handle it. I included a DD and DTS track in that too since I'm curious about audio switching and how seamless it is (or if it'll even work with that monster bitrate in the first place).
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Old 2007-06-13, 04:49   Link #855
martino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero1 View Post
Just tagging a bit more on; here are some random MP4 fansubs I downloaded. These work perfectly with the player.
[SHS-FoSu] Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn - 16 [BA0F1E4A].​mp4
Lucky Star - 05 [WiND](h264)[4468BFFF].​mp4
[Arienai]Yes​_Pretty​_Cure​_5​_-​_12[1280x720][7a2351b3].​mp4

Also as far as I can see, Pretty Cure is a level 4.2/5.0 encode (most likely due to reference frames pushing up the DPB size) and the player still handles it fine. Sweet. I guess one of the main reasons they only say it's level 4.0 is due to the max bitrate, that is if it fails on one attribute, it gets the nearest level it's fully capable of.
And the Reborn one has pretty pretty crazy settings, 14 reference frames, I think that 12 b-frames. Oh, did the seeking work fine by the way on that one?

/me remebers messing with the --keyint and --min-keyint setting
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Old 2007-06-13, 14:00   Link #856
Zero1
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Sky HD test:
No issues whatsoever. Also thanks for the test card. I played this on both my Samsung 1100DF 21" CRT monitor and my Panasonic TX-28-DK1 TV (nothing special, just a decent CRT TV) and by God, the colour is infinitely better on the TV. I could not believe it.

PremHD test:
Plays fine until the guy in white runs up the stairs; which is strange because the file hovers around 20mbps (which is said to be the limit for level 4) so it's playing on the margins. Not wanting to make excuses or get peoples hopes up, but when playing it over wireless LAN, it stuttered sooner, and I know that USB drive these are on is slow and fragged, so a decent drive may see better performance.

VC1 BD Remux to TS test:
Slows down at 8 seconds just as the woman is about to speak, at which point it peaks at 23mbps, so technically they aren't breaking any promises. Though if they say it handles 20mbps H.264, you would have thought VC-1 could have had higher bitrates, unless it's simply throughput related rather than load on CPU due to amount of data to decode.

MPEG2 BD (v. high bitrate) Remux to TS test:
Low framerates from the word go. Though I hate to admit it, I get better framerates on the KiSS 1600 than I do with this TL-60 decoding with FFDShow. Either method is not particularly watchable though. Also not impressed with the quality. Quant's are 2-4, and I see temporal blotching what with this grain and the fact that the luma level and quantizers are not consistant between frames. I also thought I saw some banding, but nothing conclusive. They obviously didn't get the memo about H.264.

AVC BD Remux to TS test:
At first, no video. I decided to seek seeing as it was such a lage file and then it sort of went back to the beginning of the video and started seeking from there, and then I got video. Weird behaviour, never had that before. Possibly muxing madness given the filename? Haali's splitter reports the max bitrate as 45mbps, so no joy with that one.

Unfortunately, despite having much the same features decoding wise as a Bluray or HD-DVD player, the chipset doesn't quite have enough grunt to play these (admittedly demanding) files. If you was looking into this player to play your HD stream rips or Bluray/HD-DVD demuxes, then I would wait a while until you find a player using the Sigma SMP8630 series, which is much the same as this chipset, just it has more sheer power.

From a quick look on their site, they say it supports 1080p60, which other variables permitting, would make the chipset level 4.2 capable. If you want to "future proofing" (as much as can be with how things change so fast), this is the one. If you only want to watch fansubs, AMVs, downloaded stuff or whatever for maybe 2 or 3 years, the KiSS 1600 will serve you well, and quite possibly beyond.


Quote:
Originally Posted by martino View Post
And the Reborn one has pretty pretty crazy settings, 14 reference frames, I think that 12 b-frames. Oh, did the seeking work fine by the way on that one?

/me remebers messing with the --keyint and --min-keyint setting
Yeah, no problems at all. It's very happy at 4x seek, it basically plays the file 4x speed not missing a frame. When you go to 8x, it shows you frames at regular intervals (probably 2 or 3 per second) which are most likely keyframes (similar to how some players seek in MP3 files, little bursts at intervals rather than playing it super fast).
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Old 2007-06-13, 14:54   Link #857
Eeknay
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The BD remuxes was just for fun really. The movies I like I simply buy rather than liberate (too much of a hassle right now). My main concern was Sky + Premiere files. Interesting it struggled a bit, but the average cap is slightly lower bitrate than that. So as you say maybe with a better hook up everything will be peachy.
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Old 2007-06-13, 19:26   Link #858
Nicholi
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I'm guessing neither of those first two samples are actually PAFF? Since they play in ffdshow, and ffdshow has no support for PAFF currently. It seems to me neither of them are actually interlaced at all, so they aren't MBAFF either. Just plain progressive captures.
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Old 2007-06-14, 04:04   Link #859
Eeknay
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Typically I call it PAFF even if it's fully progressive (although as you note technically that's only correct when there's some interlacing in the mix). The BBC stuff is MBAFF and most of the time is also progressive (in their case it varies a lot more due to their content).

I can provide an PAFF interlaced sample but I doubt the player will explode taking Zero's house with it.
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Old 2007-06-14, 08:45   Link #860
Nicholi
King of Hosers
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Age: 31
Lol no, I wasn't suggesting Zero1's house would explode. Just seemed weird that two of them were labeled PAFF but seemingly were not interlaced at all even. And I've found PAFF to be much more rarer then MBAFF at least.

I call a dog a dog...because technically it is a dog. Lawl. Though more PAFF samples would be interesting. I have one from a Sony HDR camera currently. Perhaps if we can flood ffmpeg with requests and paff samples they will succumb...bwahaha.

It's damned strange that they haven't added it yet as PAFF is the more "original" form of interlacing, and I would think simpler to handle (rather then MBAFF). At least hearing from pengvado about how painful it would be to add MBAFF encoding support it sounded so :P.
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