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Thread: h.264 - blocks

  1. #1
    irecinius is offline Senior Member Community Builder
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Default h.264 - blocks

    I've decided to start downloading some of the new h.264 instead of the old XDiV.

    Since I already downloaded MKV before I knew more or less what I needed installed. And since I don't like Bundle of things (CCCP comes to mind)

    Codecs that are installed on my machine:

    FFDShow - revision 1120 APR 23 2007
    (Strange enough seems I didn't install madroska pack.. but still shows I have the splitter, maybe it came with one of thoses.)

    The player I'm using is MPC
    The files play, I hear sound everything seems normal..

    BUT I see some artifacts! Its not horrible bad, but still is something that I didn't get with normal xdiv.

    I've did some research and that h.264 do this deblocking on the post process.

    So I went to FFDSHow configuration and enabled it. Using the following configuration:

    - Preset: MAX
    - Automatic Quality control
    - Processing Strenght: 150%
    - mplayer
    - Acurate deblocking
    - Luminance
    - Nic's
    - Nic's First
    - x threshold: 20
    - y threshold: 40

    It got better but on some scenes (Specially on Hayate no Gokutu OP, there is some very, fogy animated scene.... create alot artifacts)

    I can't seem to fix that. Anything I can do better? I can live with it.. its just I wanted to get a better image quality..

    BTW: I'm running on
    Processor Intel Pentium 4 2993 MHz
    Physical / Logical CPUs 1 / 2
    MultiCore 1 Processor Core
    HyperThreading 2 HTT Processors per Core
    Graphics Card ATI RADEON X600
    Graphics Driver RADEON X600 Series
    Co-operative adapters No
    DirectX Version 9.0c
    System Memory 512 MB

    They said that 512 isn't good enough to run post processing, but it doesn't seem to be affecting the video, nor I get slow downs.. (well unless I try to open IE mid episode^^)
    "Chile is a thin and tall country"

  2. #2
    qualia is offline Senior Member Respected Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Behind your monitor


    I think the Matroska splitter comes with FFDSHOW, but I'm not sure.

    Note however, there's a possibility that it's just that you're unlucky and got a bad copy of the file.

    Firstly, are you sure that FFDSHOW is the one handling h.264? You can check this by going to FFDSHOW's Video Decoder Configuration.

    At the top of the list, look for "Codecs", and under H.264/AVC, make sure you're using libavcodec.

    You can try my FFDSHOW configuration, I don't get any artifacts (tried with Kanon - 2006 series, Hoshi no Koe, Saikano live action(all are h.264)):

    These are a bit to blurry for Saikano. However, these settings apply globally of ffdshow (ie, it covers all codecs handled by ffdshow), I tried other live action movies (tried it with Shaolin Soccer - xvid, Night at the Museum - xvid). It appears that whenever there's a huge cloud of particle causes artifacting, albeit in the same color.

    FFDSHOW rev. 1193 - May 22 2007 (nightly build)
    on Windows Media Player 11 ver. 11.0.5721.5145
    Windows XP SP2.
    Catalyst version 7.4 - Hardware acceleration enabled under FFDSHOW and WMP (slider to full).

    Cubic Blending*

    [x]preset (max)
    strength: 200%
    [x]automatic quality control
    [x]Accurate deblocking
    [x]Luminance [x]Full luma range

    (none of Nic and Nic's first)

    Picture Properties**
    Lum. gain (contrast): 134
    Lum. offset (brightness): -34
    RGB correction: (all off)
    Hue: (off)
    Saturation: 112
    Colorize: strength: 0 (off)
    [x]Luminance level fix

    Blur & NR (noise reduction)*
    [x]Soften: 15
    [x]Temporal Smooth: 1
    [x]Process color
    [x]Luma Smoother: 400
    [x]mplayer temporal noise reducer: 268 268 2929
    [x]swscaler gaussian -radius: 1, luma blur: 0.39, chroma blur: 0.79

    Decoder Options
    IDCT: Auto
    Workaround encoder bugs: Auto

    Planar YUV: (none checked)
    Packed YUV: (all checked)
    RGB: (all checked)
    [x]Select closest matching colorspace
    [x]Use overlay mixer (checked, not boxed)
    [x]HW deinterlacing Method: Bob

    and default for the rest (well, I do use subtitles - but I guess it's pointless to put that here...)

    * Play around with these, since these can severely impact performance. I'm getting about 20%-40% of CPU usage. I'm running a 2GHz (1995MHz) Core2 Duo, 1GB RAM, with a Mobility Radeon X1600 (128MB dedicated, 512MB total w/ shared memory).
    ** These picture properties are according to my tastes and my monitor. So, you might want to change these. These does work however...
    [x] means checked. If there are other checkboxes, then they're not checked.

    In the 1st ep of Kanon, when the camera scans from the grey sky and it's snowing, you get a 'boxy' snow, and somewhere right after the op theme (also in ep1), when it scans pass a rolling red ground, you get the same artifacting, although they are the same color. It seems that when there's a mass of particles you'll get some artifacting. If anyone can reccommend a better setting, please do so
    VLC renders these scenes correctly.
    Last edited by qualia; 05-27-2007 at 12:37 PM.

  3. #3
    irecinius is offline Senior Member Community Builder
    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    Thanks alot, qualia.

    It did got better, tho like you said I ended up playing with some of the configuration.. and disabling some (as my computer gave up and started to get very slow and unsynchronized)

    I'll also try to update the ffdshow to the latest
    "Chile is a thin and tall country"

  4. #4
    qualia is offline Senior Member Respected Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Behind your monitor


    Great, glad to hear it working. On a sideline, I found out what was creating the artifacts I mentioned before (with my settings at least). It was caused by the Levels settings. If I disabled levels, it all works fine, just like it did on vlc.

    Blur settings apparently is the main culprit in high cpu usage. I disabled it, and my cpu usage went down to 15%-25%, hovering at 20% most of the time...

    By the way, here's the link to the official ffdshow builds:

  5. #5
    Jyuu's Avatar
    Jyuu is offline Super Moderator Community Builder
    Join Date
    Dec 2004


    Off-topic post.

    Avoid h.264/x.264 videos if the bitrate is lower than 700kbps. At such bitrates, quality is totally inferior to xvid/divx/wmv-9 for the same bitrate.




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