Zidoo X9 - Improvement suggestions

Discussion in 'Development' started by Jens, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. Jens

    Jens Member

    Based on the experiences that some friends of mine and myself had in the last couple of weeks I would like to share our ideas and wishes, what could/should be improved within the Zidoo X9 box. I would like to seperate the items in different categories. Please note that these points describe only the feedback of our group. The main focus currently is on video playback and overall usage.

    A. Issues and errors to be fixed

    1. Samba performance within the Zidoo own player

    It seems that the Zidoo/Mstar home made player lacks on Samba/CIFS performance. In comparision to other Players within built-in Samba functionality (like Archos) there is a limit of about 30 Mbit/s while playing files over LAN. This will lead into stuttering and sometimes still pictures.

    Two examples for verification

    a) Bird scene from "Planet Earth", BBC, about 55 Mbit/s, 116 MB
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1q2CGHGzNsFQzFvOE5EN05wUGc/view?usp=sharing

    b) Scene from "Enders Game" movie, about 35 Mbit/s, 130 MB
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1q2CGHGzNsFVUExRi1HU21sUlU/view?usp=sharing

    Put these samples on a Windows PC, share the folder, connect with the Zidoo X9 using the Explorer and try to playback. It will either buffer in an endless loop and stops immediately. Try the same with Archos player and everything is fine. So the hardware is capable to play the files but not the network throughput.

    2. UHD / 4K playback

    There are currently a lot of issues, please refer to the other thread with examples

    http://forum.zidoo.tv/index.php?threads/uhd-4k-video-playback.207/

    3. Usage of Kodi as Video player

    Until now (firmware 1.0.2.7) Kodi is not usable as video player. Neither for HD nor for UHD. It looks like that Kodi does not get any kind of hardware support. In comparision to the MX Player (which detects and uses the hardware support immediately) the Kodi playback seems to use software rendering. Stopping playback with still pictures, audio/video totally out of sync, stuttering right at the beginning of the playback.

    Sometimes it crashes during playback or within movie navigation (fast forward)

    [Addon 2015/03/21]
    The playback selects hardware support:

    Code:
    22:31:36 T:1749331464   DEBUG: CDVDFactoryCodec: compiled in hardware support: AMCodec:yes MediaCodec:yes OpenMax:no libstagefright:yes VDPAU:no VAAPI:no iMXVPU:no
    22:31:36 T:1749331464    INFO: MediaCodec Video Decoder...
    22:31:36 T:1749331464   DEBUG: FactoryCodec - Video: mediacodec - Opening
    22:31:36 T:1749331464    INFO: CBitstreamConverter::Open bitstream to annexb init
    22:31:36 T:1749331464   DEBUG: CDVDVideoCodecAndroidMediaCodec::Open m_codecname(OMX.MS.AVC.Decoder), colorFormat(19)
    22:31:36 T:1749331464   ERROR: render with surfaceview
    22:31:36 T:1749331464   DEBUG: CDVDVideoCodecAndroidMediaCodec:: width(1920), height(1080), stride(0), slice-height(0), color-format(0)
    22:31:36 T:1749331464   DEBUG: CDVDVideoCodecAndroidMediaCodec:: crop-left(0), crop-top(0), crop-right(0), crop-bottom(0)
    22:31:36 T:1749331464   DEBUG: CDVDVideoCodecAndroidMediaCodec:: Direct Surface Rendering
    22:31:36 T:1749331464    INFO: CDVDVideoCodecAndroidMediaCodec:: Open Android MediaCodec OMX.MS.AVC.Decoder
    22:31:36 T:1749331464   DEBUG: FactoryCodec - Video: amc-h264 - Opened
    
    22:31:37 T:1749331464   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::ConfigureMediaCodec audio/dts, 48000, 6
    22:31:37 T:1749331464   DEBUG: ConfigureMediaCodec => mediacodec->configure
    22:31:37 T:1749331464   DEBUG: ConfigureMediaCodec => mediacodec->start
    22:31:37 T:1749331464   DEBUG: FactoryCodec - Audio: passthrough - Opened
    
    but as soon as data are arriving the player lags and struggles against what ever from the streams

    Code:
    22:31:37 T:1583228200   DEBUG: CGUIInfoManager::SetCurrentMovie(smb://WHS/Video3/HD/Enders.Game.2013.German.1080p.DTS.BD.untouched/Enders.Game.2013.German.1080p.DTS.BD.untouched.mkv)
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:1
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:2
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:3
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:4
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:5
    22:31:37 T:1746560792 WARNING: CDVDMessageQueue(audio)::Get - asked for new data packet, with nothing available
    22:31:37 T:1748825192   DEBUG: dequeueOutputBuffer error, index:-1
    22:31:37 T:1748825192   DEBUG: likun (4024 -> 2048) 0, 409
    22:31:37 T:1748825192  NOTICE: packet merge, paras:buf size:4024, current dts:909845000.000000, previous(first) dts:909845000.000000, duration:10000.000000
    22:31:37 T:1748825192   DEBUG: Audio Decode, in_iSize(4024),pts:909845000.000000, data:0x(7f fe 80 1) (fc 3c 7d b2),capacity_size(65536)
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:5
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:6
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:7
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:8
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:9
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:10
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:11
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:12
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:13
    22:31:37 T:1746560792   DEBUG: CDVDAudioCodecPassthrough::Decode - push packet done,size:4024, packet num:14
    22:31:37 T:1746560792 WARNING: CDVDMessageQueue(audio)::Get - asked for new data packet, with nothing available
    22:31:37 T:1748825192   DEBUG: dequeueOutputBuffer error, index:-1
    22:31:37 T:1748825192   DEBUG: likun (4024 -> 2048) 0, 409
    22:31:37 T:1748825192  NOTICE: packet merge, paras:buf size:4024, current dts:909856000.000000, previous(first) dts:909856000.000000, duration:10000.000000
    22:31:37 T:1748825192   DEBUG: Audio Decode, in_iSize(4024),pts:909856000.000000, data:0x(7f fe 80 1) (fc 3c 7d b2),capacity_size(65536)
    22:31:37 T:1748825192   DEBUG: dequeueOutputBuffer error, index:-1
    22:31:37 T:1748825192   DEBUG: likun (4024 -> 2048) 0, 409
    22:31:37 T:1748825192  NOTICE: packet merge, paras:buf size:4024, current dts:909866000.000000, previous(first) dts:909866000.000000, duration:10000.000000
    22:31:37 T:1748825192   DEBUG: Audio Decode, in_iSize(4024),pts:909866000.000000, data:0x(7f fe 80 1) (fc 3c 7d b2),capacity_size(65536)
    22:31:37 T:1748825192   DEBUG: dequeueOutputBuffer error, index:-1
    
    and so on and so on.

    Thinkin about that the video/audio data are not present within the cache I increased the ringbuffer with the file advancedsettings.xml

    Code:
    <advancedsettings>
    <network>
        <buffermode>1</buffermode>
        <cachemembuffersize>209715200</cachemembuffersize>
        <readbufferfactor>10</readbufferfactor>
    </network>
    </advancedsettings>
    but also without success. (the file advancedsettings.xml is definitively read because it is logged by debugging code).

    Last but not least I tried Kodi 14.2 RC1 and 15.0 (nightly build from 2015/03/20) and surprise surpise, it seems to play without stuttering. But unfortunately without any DTS/DD support via passthrough. I was only be able to manage PCM output (while the 14.0 Zidoo version sends raw data via passthrough).

    Finally I gave up to use Kodi at the Zidoo X9.

    4. Audio Track Display incomplete or wrong

    At this point there are two different issues. At first, the display of the available names of the tracks it too short. See the example

    [​IMG]

    And in some cases the names of the stream are not recognized or recognized wrong

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately I'm not able to provide a short sample for the second image (unrecognized track) because as soon as I cut out a piece of the full movie the track names will be recognized, but obviously wrong. Here is an example:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1q2CGHGzNsFQ2cyRjZFRk9NMlk/view?usp=sharing

    Four tracks are available, two in German, two in English, but the player shows 4 German tracks.

    5. Audio track selection in other player apps

    Based on the issue A1 I tried other software players
    to overcome the lack of samba throughput. They are playing fine but there is no chance to change the audio track at all. Archos will crash immediately as soon as another track is selected. MX player does - so to speak - nothing and stays on the first track forever.

    This works fine with both players on my Tablet (Intel based, Android 4.4) and Smartphone (Snapdragon 801, Android 4.4). So obviously this issue is based on the Zidoo platform.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  2. Jens

    Jens Member

    B. Optimization potential (strongly required)

    1. Screensaver at any time

    The configured screen saver should run at any time at any app (also during paused video playback) and not only while the launcher is running. This will save energy and the quality of connected plasma devices.

    2. Passthrough of HD sound

    Right now, only PCM, DTS core and Dolby Digital 5.1/2.0 will be exported using raw output. But all current movies are offering DTS HD, True HD etc. This is a must. The X9 should be able to pass through these tracks via HDMI and/or S/PDIF.

    3. Automatic frame rate switching

    Currently every output using HDMI is provided by the pre-configured resolution and framerate (e.g. 1080p50). This forces that every movie playback will be upscaled/downscaled. The quality is fine so far (no doubts) but it would be better when the Zidoo would switch the output to the resolution/framerate the movie was encoded e.g. 1080p24).

    4. Soft standby (power mode)

    Today the box will completely shutdown in case the power button is pressed. There should be an option to go into standby (switch off display, HDMI out etc.) instead of shutdown.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  3. Jens

    Jens Member

    C. Wanted Nice-to-Have-Features

    1. Gigabit Support

    I read at some kind of specification that the Mstar chipset is able to support Gbit/s LAN. Currently the box is running only with more or less limited 100 Mbit/s. Would be great if this could be enabled.

    2. Hourglasses within the explorer

    When I connect my Samba server it takes a while until the requested HDD is available (spin off from standby). At this point in time, or better at these seconds I do not get any feedback what is happening. It looks like a blocked application. After (normally) 10 seconds the app responds again. It would be very helpful to get animated hourglasses at such time frames.

    3. Folder bookmarks / shortcuts

    The Zidoo explorer should offer customizable shortcuts to once-in-a-while used folders e.g. on Samba shares. It is so to speak a pain to find a folder again and again by browsing manually to SMB/Server/Folder/Subfolder ...

    You may take a look to the Android App "Network Places NEW" https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.mori.androsamba or how Dune HD is solving this

    [​IMG]

    There is one icon for local drive "DVD", one icon for Network neighbourhood "Netzwerk Umgebung" and all the other icons are just only shortcuts for folder on different servers "Video1 on WHS" for example.

    4. Customizable launcher

    There should be an option to add/remove icons/apps from the main screen of the launcher.

    5. BluRay Folder support

    I have a couple of my BluRays ripped and stored them plain on my server (or USB drive). Right now I'm only be able to select a stream *.m2ts and playback.
    Other players like the Dune HD devices are detecting a valid BluRay at the point where the current folder/file structure looks like:

    BDMV
    |
    --- index.bdmv
    --- STREAM
    CERTIFICATE

    and offers the playback of a BluRay including menu, addons etc. Nice stuff.

    6. NetBIOS Support for Samba

    The explorer detects the Samba server currently only by their IP adress not by their names like Archos player or the "Network Places" app. Would be fine if the NetBIOS support would be available in the explorer as well.

    --> Implemented with 1.02.8
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  4. user59

    user59 Member

    Great lot you have there Jens
    Just to add my little lot.

    Option to have most common used icon/item along bottom edge of screen, and customise,

    Ability to customise remote control maybe configure number pad. unless it has other uses ?

    Example
    1 , 2 , 3,
    |<< , ||, >>|

    4 , 5, 6,
    << > >>

    8
    Stop

    Blank black screen as screen saver, good for when playing music and maybe have clock floating about, option ?
    Ability to auto size images in slide show to fit screen and add a few wipes or fades with out the busy loading icon, most likely an app than can do this but if it can be built in why not
    Include slide show as a screen saver, or directory ?
     
  5. Jens

    Jens Member

    Update: Added point A5 (point 5 in section A).
     
  6. Sarco

    Sarco Active Member Beta test group

    Have you try any video over dlna?
     
  7. Jens

    Jens Member

    Which client do you habe in mind ? Currently i dont have a DNLA Server running but this would be the easiest task
     
  8. Sarco

    Sarco Active Member Beta test group

    I have twonky with my kd20 shuttle NAS, but since my X9 have problem with network I am not sure my result are credible. And since I can't install archos (googleplay not working) kodi result are stutter and sound is chopy. Archos give me better result on my other tv box. Windows media player can be use to dlna server.
     
  9. Geon

    Geon New Member

    An exception for the Screen Saver - do not allow it to start when "HDMI-IN" is the active application.
     
  10. Tech OD

    Tech OD Member

    Fix the file size limitation of HDMI IN recording (nobody says anything if v1.0.2.7 fixed issue or not.)
     
  11. spring

    spring Well-Known Member Zidoo TECH Supporter

    Thanks Tech:
    The single file size is determined by the file system(eg: FAT32 4G), we will change to automatically saved into the next file when file size achieve the file system size。
     
  12. Tech OD

    Tech OD Member

    Thanks Spring. Good to know that is being working on.
    But, the problem is not only FAT32 format (the recording limit on FAT32 drive is 2GB not even 4GB). I used NTFS and the mp4 recording was still limited by the file size of 2GB.
    Another issue with the HDMI-IN recording is that I can't playback the ts recording with VLC (it can be played back on the Zidoo box).
     
  13. mirror

    mirror Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Zidoo TECH Supporter

    A good news, can't playback the ts recording with VLC, fixed it in v1.0.2.8!
     
  14. Sarco

    Sarco Active Member Beta test group

    In archos and mizuu, no zidoo player display in third player option. Since actualy it is the best player we can not choose it.
     
  15. Sarco

    Sarco Active Member Beta test group

    The install agenda is not working, we must imstall the new one from store witch install the synchronisation. But when install, the old one still present in menu and will start (note: it will work now but you will have old interface).
     
  16. Jens

    Jens Member

    Added information to point A3 (Kodi player).
     
  17. Sarco

    Sarco Active Member Beta test group

    I gave up to for kodi. My main usage for kodi was to play my 3D side by side in 2D, but zidoo kodi do not support it. The best player for me is the zidoo player but when using Archos or Mizuu for my library I can not set it as default so browsing library is useless. I can only browse via explorer and start movie from there.
     
  18. ianofski

    ianofski New Member

    It seems only an aac audio source can be recorded through hdmi input.
    A firmware update to handle ac3 (dolby) is needed.
     
  19. kornesque

    kornesque New Member

    DTS-HDMA is a must have , you should do a better kodi, that's works on the xtreamer prodigy 4k firmware you must do the configuration code for kodi

    a little bit of reverse ....
     
  20. bovoro

    bovoro Member

    PiP feature would be great
     

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