Ceton Echo & Xbox cannot play H.264 protected content

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Re: Ceton Echo & Xbox cannot play H.264 protected content

Post#341 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:52 pm

stuartm wrote:You are most likely out of luck. You can at least raise a complaint with Intel as they have a problem with protected h.264 content and their integrated GPUs that they have never addressed. Otherwise, the only known workaround is to use a different Video card/GPU.


It is still unclear which video cards are proven to work. Can anyone summarize for the group?

Ideally something small, passive, single slot, etc.

Thanks!
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Post#342 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:53 pm

I purchased an ATI HD5450 to fix my black screen w/audio (core i3 first gen), which it did. Now I'm getting some crazy flashing and macro blocking which didn't occur until some time after changing video adapters. This only happens during some programs - it is not a per channel issue for me.

I'll eventually be going the way of Silicondust's DVR so I'm teetering on buying another Shield or trying a NVidia card but I'm not convinced another card is going to fix it.

ATI 5450
Comcast Chicago
Flashing and Macroblocking on select programs
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Post#343 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:02 pm

On 11/10, Comcast announced MPEG-4 in my area (CT shore). My WMC debug screen (411) shows still a lot of MPEG-2, some h.264 and on my premiums (like HBO-HD) the video codec shows "unspecified". There is sound but no pic on those channels, no issue with the SD versions of same channels. I use Core i3 Graphics 2000 (no video card) but am reluctant to throw a card in there when the signal is shown as "unspecified". Sounds like someone at our head end has flubbed up to me.
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Post#344 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:28 pm

sivart321 wrote:
stuartm wrote:You are most likely out of luck. You can at least raise a complaint with Intel as they have a problem with protected h.264 content and their integrated GPUs that they have never addressed. Otherwise, the only known workaround is to use a different Video card/GPU.


It is still unclear which video cards are proven to work. Can anyone summarize for the group?

Ideally something small, passive, single slot, etc.

Thanks!


I would recommend lower end Nvidia GT series cards (610, 630, 710, 730) (I personally use GT630)
Many of those are available passively cooled and are all very similar in capability as far as HTPC use goes (at least for WMC cable TV viewing).
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Post#345 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:33 pm

mcewinter wrote:I purchased an ATI HD5450 to fix my black screen w/audio (core i3 first gen), which it did. Now I'm getting some crazy flashing and macro blocking which didn't occur until some time after changing video adapters. This only happens during some programs - it is not a per channel issue for me.

I'll eventually be going the way of Silicondust's DVR so I'm teetering on buying another Shield or trying a NVidia card but I'm not convinced another card is going to fix it.

ATI 5450
Comcast Chicago
Flashing and Macroblocking on select programs

The issues you describe sound very similar to the problems I'm having.
I replaced an ATI HD5450 with an HD6450 because the HD5450 would stutter every now and then. The HD6450 has been fine until the recent appearence of H.264 720p protected content.

My guess is that the overhead associated with HDCP processing is causing the problem and this is why it's been so hard to pin down. I would throw another video card in to fix this if I had more assurance that the GT cards were handling the "H.264 720p protected content" correctly.
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Post#346 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:23 am

I'm pretty sure HDCP does not impose any additional computational load, it simply adds flags that the decoding system must obey.
As far as computational load all modern GPUs have hardware decode of H.264 so they should have no problem with decoding h.264.
See this table:

https://www.missingremote.com/guide/basic-overview-gpu-hd-video-processing

With an Nvidia GT630, I am having no problems so far with protected h.264 display.
(admittedly I only have a couple of channels that are h.264 and copy protected since I don't subscribe to any Premiums).
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Post#347 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:39 pm

stuartm wrote:I'm pretty sure HDCP does not impose any additional computational load, it simply adds flags that the decoding system must obey.
As far as computational load all modern GPUs have hardware decode of H.264 so they should have no problem with decoding h.264.
See this table:

https://www.missingremote.com/guide/basic-overview-gpu-hd-video-processing

With an Nvidia GT630, I am having no problems so far with protected h.264 display.
(admittedly I only have a couple of channels that are h.264 and copy protected since I don't subscribe to any Premiums).

Are your copy protected channels 1280x720?

When I switch to a copy protected channel my video card resets. I get a black screen and an update from the monitor that indicates which video port is in use. (As if I switched to another HDMI port.) This happens with mpeg2 and H.264 protected content.
My take is that this happens because the card goes into HDCP mode and begins encrypting the HDMI data being sent to the monitor. Thus increased GPU overhead due to HDCP encryption.
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Post#348 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:06 pm

Just wanted to check back in. tried to tune HBO on my echo for the first time in awhile and found that it is working as are all my HBO channels. working as no more black screen and audio only. I do get some micro blocking every few minutes but not to bad. Makes me wonder if comcast might still be tweaking the h.264 premium channels, might be a hopeful sign. Comcast portland oregon
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Post#349 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:07 pm

coolwhip wrote:
stuartm wrote:I'm pretty sure HDCP does not impose any additional computational load, it simply adds flags that the decoding system must obey.
As far as computational load all modern GPUs have hardware decode of H.264 so they should have no problem with decoding h.264.
See this table:

https://www.missingremote.com/guide/basic-overview-gpu-hd-video-processing

With an Nvidia GT630, I am having no problems so far with protected h.264 display.
(admittedly I only have a couple of channels that are h.264 and copy protected since I don't subscribe to any Premiums).

Are your copy protected channels 1280x720?

When I switch to a copy protected channel my video card resets. I get a black screen and an update from the monitor that indicates which video port is in use. (As if I switched to another HDMI port.) This happens with mpeg2 and H.264 protected content.
My take is that this happens because the card goes into HDCP mode and begins encrypting the HDMI data being sent to the monitor. Thus increased GPU overhead due to HDCP encryption.


Yes. My copy protected channels are 720p AFAICT when moving to h.264 Comcast has used 720p for the HD channels and I have not seen any reports of 1080i h.264 being used by Comcast. (Not saying there aren't any just not aware of any)
I also would be surprised if HDCP caused any performance problems on any video card that advertised itself as HDCP compliant (Which pretty much all of them do)
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Post#350 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:11 pm

stuartm wrote:I'm pretty sure HDCP does not impose any additional computational load, it simply adds flags that the decoding system must obey.
As far as computational load all modern GPUs have hardware decode of H.264 so they should have no problem with decoding h.264.
See this table:

https://www.missingremote.com/guide/basic-overview-gpu-hd-video-processing

With an Nvidia GT630, I am having no problems so far with protected h.264 display.
(admittedly I only have a couple of channels that are h.264 and copy protected since I don't subscribe to any Premiums).


My issues are not with "protected" content. It is very random; on a per show basis.
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Post#351 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:13 pm

coolwhip wrote:
mcewinter wrote:I purchased an ATI HD5450 to fix my black screen w/audio (core i3 first gen), which it did. Now I'm getting some crazy flashing and macro blocking which didn't occur until some time after changing video adapters. This only happens during some programs - it is not a per channel issue for me.

I'll eventually be going the way of Silicondust's DVR so I'm teetering on buying another Shield or trying a NVidia card but I'm not convinced another card is going to fix it.

ATI 5450
Comcast Chicago
Flashing and Macroblocking on select programs

The issues you describe sound very similar to the problems I'm having.
I replaced an ATI HD5450 with an HD6450 because the HD5450 would stutter every now and then. The HD6450 has been fine until the recent appearence of H.264 720p protected content.

My guess is that the overhead associated with HDCP processing is causing the problem and this is why it's been so hard to pin down. I would throw another video card in to fix this if I had more assurance that the GT cards were handling the "H.264 720p protected content" correctly.


I'll throw a GT card in if I hear something definitive as well. I may just abandon MC for all but a backend just to keep it available for Kodi for whatever reason.
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Post#352 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:51 pm

I added an Nvidia card to avoid this issue but every so often I'm still getting the black screen with audio issue. I can reboot and the problem will be resolved, but it's still annoying. Any ideas? I've loaded the latest drivers and it's still happened at least once.
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Post#353 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:29 pm

JTScribe wrote:I added an Nvidia card to avoid this issue but every so often I'm still getting the black screen with audio issue. I can reboot and the problem will be resolved, but it's still annoying. Any ideas? I've loaded the latest drivers and it's still happened at least once.



That is why I decided not to add a card when Comcast started H.264 on copy protected premium channels in my town last month. There have been reports that Comcast is doing something not completely conforming in its H.264 encryption process, so for the moment instead of buying new hardware (I am Intel HD 2000 integrated graphics, no video card) I am watching the premiums in SD, which in my town is not much of a step down from HD. If you are not on Comcast, then maybe something else is going on at your end.
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Post#354 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:53 pm

Nope, I am on Comcast as well.

It's just been on NFL network and ESPN, so nothing critical.
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Post#355 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:58 am

I have a ceton echo and an intel g3220 in my HTPC with a ceton PCI 4-tuner tv cablecard card.

A few weeks ago, in central indiana near Indy, I also had HBO go dark giving me only audio on the HTPC. On the Ceton extender, while watching the new HBO feeds, I get pixelation making things pretty hard to watch.

Is there a different Intell cpu I can buy (without getting a new motherboard) that will resolve my viewing problems on the HTPC, or will I have to get a new motherboard/amd-based cpu to solve my problems?

I can't just get a dedicated graphics card because I have no slot for it on the MB, unless i yank the ceton card and replace it with an ethernet cablecard tuner. That would allow me to keep everything largely the same, except the tuner and the device rendering my image.

Or I can buy a new mini MB/amd combo, but that would require reinstalling windows and reconfiguring WMC. If I go this route, can anyone make recommendations for the MB and amd CPU?

thanks
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Post#356 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:03 pm

Is there anyone using an intel cpu to watch h.264 HBO content on comcast without a dedicated graphics card? If so, which one?
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Post#357 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:23 pm

blah this thread does not give me much hope :(

SC, Comporium user here, having the same issues on copy protected channels with my 360 extender. Now the one "odd" thing i have if i connect to an Asus monitor it plays fine, connect to my samsung TV its black screen audio only.

edit trying the same channel with an older Samsung TV and its working currently.... (different 360 extender as well) could it be something with new TVs?
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Post#358 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:03 pm

cuafpr wrote:blah this thread does not give me much hope :(

SC, Comporium user here, having the same issues on copy protected channels with my 360 extender. Now the one "odd" thing i have if i connect to an Asus monitor it plays fine, connect to my samsung TV its black screen audio only.

edit trying the same channel with an older Samsung TV and its working currently.... (different 360 extender as well) could it be something with new TVs?


moved my old xbox into the room with my new Samsung TV... doesn't work, its something with the new TV, not the extender itself.
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Post#359 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:06 pm

I'm tempted to try my TV with a VGA connection instead of HDMI. If I get some time today, I might try it.
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Post#360 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:40 pm

I added more GPU power (Radeon Rx460) to no effect. The problems I'm having are still there.
IMHO either Comcast is doing something to H.264 protected content that is outside of the H.264 specification (perhaps intentionally) or the stream does not get through DRM without some damage.

There is a lot of information about the Comcast effort to reduce resolution as they combine more channels per QAM here:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/community/ ... 03/page-24
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