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Old 2006-01-04, 05:23   Link #1
Wandering_Youth
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What's H.264?

Lately, I've been seeing some fansub anime with the H.264 on their releases and I've been wondering what they were. I've downloaded Lunar's Bleach H.264 video but had no luck playing it and it's the same today with Chuchuchu's version of Kamichu! episode 6. How does one play these video files?

Edit:

Hmm, I just did a little searching on the Internet and it seems this H.264 video technology seems to use a massive amount of a computer's resources just to play it. Judging from what I read it seems like I lack the hardware to play these files. It said I needed at least 2.8GHZ or faster CPU, 1 GB of RAM and video card with 256 RAM to play it. I'm a little below the required specs, bummer.
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Old 2006-01-04, 05:42   Link #2
TheFluff
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That's not accurate.

H.264, aka. AVC, aka. MPEG4 Part 10, is a new (about two years) standard for video encoding/decoding. It's the successor to MPEG4 ASP (aka. MPEG4 Part 2) which is the standard that DivX and XviD conforms to. You DO need a faster computer to play it, but 2.8 GHz is FAAAAAR too much. For Lunar's Bleach, a 1 GHz Celeron with 256 MB RAM should be enough. To play it, you just need the proper splitters and decoders. Read the sticky Playback Guide or get the CCCP and you should be fine.
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17:43:13 <~deculture> Also, TheFluff, you are so fucking slowpoke.jpg that people think we dropped the DVD's.
17:43:16 <~deculture> nice job, fag!

01:04:41 < Plorkyeran> it was annoying to typeset so it should be annoying to read
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Old 2006-01-04, 07:24   Link #3
SSS
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h.264 from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264
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Old 2006-01-04, 10:02   Link #4
Lambda
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I haven't been able to play h264 smoothly on my 1GHz Pentium with 256MB. Though fortunately it only takes mencoder a little over the playback time to transcode a temporary xvid version.
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Old 2006-01-04, 10:24   Link #5
Ledgem
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Don't weigh on the processor speed too heavily. The processor type is far more important. Example:

I have a 1.2 GHz Athlon. It's a "Thunderbird c" core, meaning that it's very old (it was a first-generation gigahertz machine). It chokes on video. Now compare this to my much newer laptop, which runs with a Pentium M "Dothan" core, rated at 1.6 GHz. 1.6 GHz is overkill, and I typically have the system run at 590 MHz instead. It handles H.264 flawlessly, and the CPU usage typically doesn't rise above 80%. One factor that helps the Pentium M along is that I use a specialized SSE2-optimized build of FFDShow; before I did that, I'd have to clock the processor up to its full 1.6 GHz to watch videos smoothly. Even though the SSE2 implementation in the Pentium M is just a hack and not a full implementation (from what I hear), it works very well. Newer Athlons and Pentium 4's support SSE2.

There's more to it than pure clockrate. Finding an optimized FFDShow build helps tremendously; toying with various overlay modes can also help.
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Old 2006-01-04, 10:57   Link #6
SSS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lambda
I haven't been able to play h264 smoothly on my 1GHz Pentium with 256MB. Though fortunately it only takes mencoder a little over the playback time to transcode a temporary xvid version.
Have you tried the CoreaAVC dshow dcoder?

Here is the link to download the dshow filter.
Because the original link is dead.
http://www.geocities.com/y0ngc/CoreAVC20060102.zip

Last edited by SSS; 2006-01-04 at 11:16.
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Old 2006-01-04, 20:07   Link #7
Wandering_Youth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFluff
That's not accurate.

H.264, aka. AVC, aka. MPEG4 Part 10, is a new (about two years) standard for video encoding/decoding. It's the successor to MPEG4 ASP (aka. MPEG4 Part 2) which is the standard that DivX and XviD conforms to. You DO need a faster computer to play it, but 2.8 GHz is FAAAAAR too much. For Lunar's Bleach, a 1 GHz Celeron with 256 MB RAM should be enough. To play it, you just need the proper splitters and decoders. Read the sticky Playback Guide or get the CCCP and you should be fine.
Well, I managed to get my media player to play the H.264 video files but that was after a little searching and digging into the forums to find out that all I needed to do was disable some built-in MKV filters already in Media Player Classic.

A quick question, from what I understand MKV is sort of like a DVD-Video which incorporates many media elements into one medium. Now judging from that, does that mean most MKV video files will be large in file size?
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Old 2006-01-04, 20:45   Link #8
hcl4
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That really depends on what media elements are included. Things like subtitles of course don't take a lot of space and will not make the video much larger. Extra audio streams of course will take more room but obviously that is not an issue with fansubs.
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Old 2006-01-04, 22:27   Link #9
ArchMageZeratuL
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Soft subtitles can affect the filesize in two ways that are not imediately obvious:

First, the fonts (if any) need to be attached to the Matroska too. Most fonts are rather small (~30 kB?), but some (especially unicode ones covering the CJK range) can be rather large.

Second, softsubs reduce the video complexity significantly, which means that you can encode the video at same quality with a moderately lower bitrate.

That aside, a plain AVI if remuxed into MKV without anything added will be (slightly) SMALLER after remuxing into MKV.
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Old 2006-01-04, 22:32   Link #10
Jekyll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wandering_Youth
A quick question, from what I understand MKV is sort of like a DVD-Video which incorporates many media elements into one medium. Now judging from that, does that mean most MKV video files will be large in file size?
MKV (Matroska) is a container (like e.g. AVI, OGM and MP4) and has not much to do with the file size. Actually, when you take the audio and video stream from an AVI and put them into an MKV, it's going to be smaller, because of less container overhead (Matroska is newer, more efficient and versatile than the ancient AVI container). Also, Matroska has support for more (and better) audio and video codecs, allows subtitle streams (without evil hacks) and some other neat features. In and of itself, though, it has almost nothing to do with file size.
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Old 2006-01-05, 04:50   Link #11
TheFluff
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I point to the new MKV FAQ thread: http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=27313
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17:43:13 <~deculture> Also, TheFluff, you are so fucking slowpoke.jpg that people think we dropped the DVD's.
17:43:16 <~deculture> nice job, fag!

01:04:41 < Plorkyeran> it was annoying to typeset so it should be annoying to read
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Old 2006-01-05, 07:04   Link #12
Lambda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSS
Have you tried the CoreaAVC dshow dcoder?

Here is the link to download the dshow filter.
Because the original link is dead.
http://www.geocities.com/y0ngc/CoreAVC20060102.zip
Well, the link is dead, but it looks to me like it's only for Windows, and I doubt that using Wine to play media files would help.
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Old 2006-01-05, 07:26   Link #13
SSS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lambda
Well, the link is dead, but it looks to me like it's only for Windows, and I doubt that using Wine to play media files would help.
Sorry, i didnt update this link when i upload the new one
http://www.geocities.com/y0ngc/CoreAVC20060104.zip
Yup, its for win32.
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Old 2006-01-05, 08:27   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lambda
Well, the link is dead, but it looks to me like it's only for Windows, and I doubt that using Wine to play media files would help.
mplayer theoretically should be able to load directshow filters...
although I think it's prety difficult. you might have to implement some missing api functins
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Old 2006-01-09, 01:23   Link #15
IRJustman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lambda
Well, the link is dead, but it looks to me like it's only for Windows, and I doubt that using Wine to play media files would help.
If you're running under Linux or any other Unix-type variant, you have several options for playing H.264 content:

1. Recent versions of Xine-lib (Xine-lib 1.1.0 onward support H.264). Xine-lib is used by several players, such as GXine, Xine-ui, Kaffeine, Totem, and several other packages.

2. Recent versions of GStreamer (0.8.4 appears to be the first version to support H.264; I don't follow GStreamer very closely as it appears to have a lot of problems). Like Xine-lib, it's a framework that any player can use. Totem and Kaffeine are two players that can use this framework.

3. Recent versions of MPlayer (I don't follow MPlayer development very closely; you may have to either get a recent snapshot or a CVS build).

4. Recent versions of VideoLAN Client (0.8.4a is the most recent release).

Hope this helps!

--Ian.
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Old 2006-01-09, 01:25   Link #16
IRJustman
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And for what it's worth, under Linux, I've had the best luck thus far with GStreamer's H.264 support on Kurumi, my Pentium 933 anime screening box I take with me to anime screenings. I'm probably going to get something a lot faster (and has SSE2 support) once things start going en masse over to H.264.
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Old 2006-01-09, 02:06   Link #17
TheFluff
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IRJustman, have you ever heard of the "Edit post" button?

In any case: for MPlayer, you MUST compile from CVS to get a version that works with H.264. 1.0pre7try2 is has SERIOUS problems with H.264 (it usually crashes).
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17:43:13 <~deculture> Also, TheFluff, you are so fucking slowpoke.jpg that people think we dropped the DVD's.
17:43:16 <~deculture> nice job, fag!

01:04:41 < Plorkyeran> it was annoying to typeset so it should be annoying to read
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Old 2006-01-09, 04:17   Link #18
hhaamu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFluff
In any case: for MPlayer, you MUST compile from CVS to get a version that works with H.264. 1.0pre7try2 is has SERIOUS problems with H.264 (it usually crashes).
Partially true. 1.0pre7 cannot play high profile H.264, which is what most fansubs use. CVS versions can. I hope pre8 will be released soon.

-- hhaamu. Using MPlayer dev-CVS-051109-11:52-3.3.6
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Old 2006-01-09, 12:30   Link #19
SSS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhaamu
Partially true. 1.0pre7 cannot play high profile H.264, which is what most fansubs use. CVS versions can. I hope pre8 will be released soon.

-- hhaamu. Using MPlayer dev-CVS-051109-11:52-3.3.6
Your reply is partially true, too.
1.0pre7 CAN play high profile h.264, if u complie mplayer with lastest CVS version of libavcodec

Actually pre8 was already in cvs a few months,
but its strange there still no official announcement in mplayer home page.
Compiling mplayer isnt too hard if you are in Win32 platfrom and using Msys/GCC..

EDIT:
Latest CVS version of mplayer(Win32 generic build):
http://rapidshare.de/files/10742362/...060110.7z.html

P4 build:
http://rapidshare.de/files/10758796/...110-P4.7z.html

Last edited by SSS; 2006-01-09 at 23:35.
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Old 2006-01-10, 03:53   Link #20
IRJustman
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I haven't played extensively with it yet, but Xine-lib's H.264 support code seems pretty robust from what little (key word here) I've done with it. I haven't played with GStreamer that much, though I've had the best luck with it on my anime screening fleet. However, it has a raft of issues of its own, and that's with XviD, never mind H.264. I fully intend to get a new(er) machine just so I can get the ability to play H.264 content.

And since someone's gotten NVidia's hardware H.264 acceleration to work under Windows, has anyone done the same under Linux at all yet? (Assuming NVidia's drivers have H.264 support in them, of course?)

--Ian.
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