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Old 03-16-09, 12:23 PM   #1
jimbob91
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Default Mplayer - vdpau - composite disabled screen flashing

I've googled around and searched here on the forums, and haven't found anyone having this exact problem. So, here it is. I'm testing mplayer and vdpau on h.264 mkv's. I see the tearing when composite is enabled. However, disabling composite makes things worse. The whole screen flashes and flickers almost like slow strobe effect. When connected via DVI versus component at 1080i, the flashing leads to a black screen (perhaps X lock up, because nothing brings it back but restarting X (Ctrl-Alt-Backspace)). For now, I'm living with the tearing, because it is much more usable and watchable than the screen flashing.

Here's the hardware and software that I am using.

Mythbuntu 8.10 with JYA's VDPAU patches enabled.
Nvidia drivers are 180.37
Mplayer version is dev-svn-runknown-4.2.3
compiz not installed or enabled

Hardware:
ECS motherboard with 7050 chipset
E2180 Pentium Dual-core 2.0 Ghz
8400GS with 256mb (reported when component output enabled)
with 512mb (reported when DVI output enabled ... huh?)

Anyone with the same problem? Any suggestions?

I can post a vdpau report perhaps tonight. Any other info needed? I was trying to test it yesterday, and kept getting the black screen and having to restart X. One time I had to reboot because I couldn't restart X even.

Thanks
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Old 03-16-09, 04:45 PM   #2
Stephen Warren
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Default Re: Mplayer - vdpau - composite disabled screen flashing

Yes, please post an nvidia-bug-report; hopefully your system log has some messages in it that'll indicate what's happening. Also, follow the instructions in the "reporting VDPAU problems" sticky; it's possible some error messages will be generated from that which will shed some light on this.
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Old 03-17-09, 08:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mplayer - vdpau - composite disabled screen flashing

Here's the nvidia bug report, plus a mplayer log file. I set the bug trace and debug modes like the sticky said, but I didn't notice anything different in the mplayer output. Is there a log somewhere else that is generated?
Attached Files
File Type: log nvidia-bug-report.log (135.7 KB, 96 views)
File Type: log mplayer4.log (15.3 KB, 93 views)
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Old 03-17-09, 03:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Mplayer - vdpau - composite disabled screen flashing

The VDPAU debug log (if any) would appear on stdout/stderr of MPlayer; it's quite possible there was none in this case.

I don't see anything in the logs nor the bug report file to indicate what's going on. I assume this was using your TV out (i.e. not DVI), where you just get flashing, but not black screens and X hangs? Is it possible for you to repeat the process using DVI (run MPlayer and the bug report script over an ssh session) It's possible that this will generate different error messages in the bug report file.

Finally, could you take a short video of the flashing and post a link to it?

Thanks.
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Old 03-18-09, 01:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mplayer - vdpau - composite disabled screen flashing

Yes, I thought it was happening just on the TV out (component 1080i). That is all I had used up until this problem. Searching around on this site found someone who had problems with TV-out but not DVI. So I connected the my HTPC via DVI instead of component, and found the same problem only it seems worse. However, I think the Nvidia driver version changed about the same time, from 180.35 to .37, so maybe that has something to do with it. Anyway, the flashing on TV-out was more frequent and shorter durations and no X lock up (black screen). With DVI, the flashing is slower, ie. the screen goes entirely black between flashes and then locks up X shortly in less than 10 seconds. The MKV files do seem to be still playing, so I stop them and restart X.

The log output I posted was from the DVI connection. I can run that stuff over a SSH session, no problem. I'll try that tonight and see if I can't get some video.

Thanks for looking into this.
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Old 03-25-09, 10:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mplayer - vdpau - composite disabled screen flashing

A little update... attached is another bug report, mplayer.log file, and a short video.

The problem does not manifest itself in overlay mode, that is when it is played in a window, there is no problem.

Go here for the video

http://rapidshare.com/files/213599007/MVI_4131.AVI.html
Attached Files
File Type: log nvidia-bug-report.log (124.2 KB, 73 views)
File Type: log mplayer.log (32.2 KB, 79 views)
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Old 03-25-09, 11:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mplayer - vdpau - composite disabled screen flashing

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbob91 View Post
The problem does not manifest itself in overlay mode
OK. That makes sense; it's different code.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbob91 View Post
that is when it is played in a window, there is no problem.
But I don't understand that; windowed v.s. full-screen makes a difference? FYI, windowed v.s. full-screen should make not affect overlay v.s. blit presentation queue path...

Also, if you use a different TVStandard value (720p, 480p, 480i) does this affect the problem. What about if you remove/change the TVOverScan option?

I assume if you use Xv output in MPlayer (-vo xv, and no -vc option) does this affect anything. Can you run OpenGL applications without a problem? e.g. try glxgears, windowed and full-screen, or tuxracer/ppracer.

Last edited by Stephen Warren; 03-25-09 at 11:07 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 03-26-09, 11:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: Mplayer - vdpau - composite disabled screen flashing

Ok, sorry, don't mean to be confusing. I've tested some 1080p clips and 480p clips.

TV in 1080i mode, connection via DVI currently (Note that I see some EDID errors, that it is incorrect about it's freq range.)

480p H264 clip (rip of a DVD):

mplayer -fs -vo vdpau -vc ffh264vdpau ... results shown in the video I posted. (screen flashes on and off)

mplayer -vo vdpau -vc ffh264vdpau ... results in the video playing in the middle of the screen normally.

1080p clip

mplayer -fs -vo vdpau -vc ffh264vdpau ... results similar to 480p, although flashing seems more frequent

mplayer -vo vdpau -vc ffh264vdpau ... not sure if I have tested this scenario, I may have but I will test again.

I can test with the TV in 480p or 480i mode and those gl apps. I'll try to post some more results tonight.

If I use XV mode, then things play normally albeit with some tearing on 1080p (-vo vdpau or -vo xv).

Last edited by jimbob91; 03-26-09 at 11:59 AM. Reason: missing text
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Old 03-26-09, 12:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Mplayer - vdpau - composite disabled screen flashing

Here are a couple more things to try:

1) When the flashing is happening, can you run nvidia-settings, and look at the PowerMizer page. Is your GPU running at the highest performance level?

2) When the flashing is happening, does running glxinfo once a second, or running glxgears (make sure you have OpenGL sync-to-VBLANK on in nvidia-settings) make any difference?

Thanks.
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Old 03-27-09, 12:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: Mplayer - vdpau - composite disabled screen flashing

Ok,

1) GPU goes into the highest performance mode when playing the video

2) glxgears seemed to have the effect of vastly increasing the frequency of flashing, as compared to the video of it that I posted. When GL-sync-to-vblank was off, the glxgears running in the background seemed to prevent X from locking up. With GL-sync-to-vblank on, X locked up when I exited the video (this has been normal thru testing with composite off), but as I said, the frequency of screen flashing increased greatly.

Stephen, are we just dealing with a refresh rate / sync issue here?

More:

TV overscan removed: no change

Using DVI, so the TV mode didn't change things, but setting the resolution to 720x480 resulted in normal playback in a 480p video. The other option between 1920x1080 is 1440x480. Wierd resolution, but video playback is "normal". That is to say there was no flashing, but definitely had a squished look to it.

1080p video plays without tearing and flashing at 720x480 and 1440x480 resolutions.

Last edited by jimbob91; 03-27-09 at 12:24 AM. Reason: add text
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Old 03-28-09, 01:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: Mplayer - vdpau - composite disabled screen flashing

Another thing for you to try: Can you run in windowed mode, where the problem doesn't happen, then position the window such that the top-left corner of the window (the client area, not the title bar etc) is exactly at the top left of the display. Then, resize the window larger and larger, until almost full-screen. I believe you'll find that at some size the problem will start occurring. Once that happens, try moving the window slightly to the right (but not changing the vertical position). Does the problem go away ever? If not, try moving it down slowly, keeping aligned to the left side of the screen.

Thanks.
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Old 03-30-09, 01:20 AM   #12
jimbob91
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Default Re: Mplayer - vdpau - composite disabled screen flashing

Well,

I tried positioning a 720x480 window playing x264 video to the upper left. Boom, black screen as soon as I move the video past a certain point, to the left. This happens anywhere on the left side of the screen, but not right. The video is still playing (hearing the sound), and I can stop it. I don't know how else to recover other than restarting X.
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