HDHomeRun App video quality upgrade

Help and support for HDHomeRun DVR and HDHomeRun software for Windows 10, Mac, Android, XBox, etc.
nickk
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HDHomeRun App video quality upgrade

Post by nickk »

We have been working on a number of improvements to playback video quality in the HDHomeRun app, subject to the performance capabilities of the client device you are using.

Video quality mode: High
ATSC 1080i is converted to 1080p60 and upconverted to the TV size (new feature)
ATSC 720p is decoded to 720p60 and upconverted to the TV size
ATSC 480i is converted to 480p60 and upconverted to the TV size (new feature)

Video quality mode: Medium
ATSC 1080i is converted to 1080p30 and upconverted to the TV size
ATSC 720p is decoded to 720p60 and upconverted to the TV size
ATSC 480i is converted to 480p60 and upconverted to the TV size (new feature)

Video quality mode: Low
ATSC 1080i is converted to 1080p30 and upconverted to the TV size
ATSC 720p is converted to 720p30 and upconverted to the TV size
ATSC 480i is converted to 480p30 and upconverted to the TV size

Apple TV (20210716 release)
Apple TV 4K (gen2): Video quality mode = High
Apple TV 4K (gen1): Video quality mode = Medium
Apple TV HD: Video quality mode = Low

If you watch 1080i sports it is well worth upgrading to the Apple TV 4K (gen2) to get the conversion to 1080p60.

iPhone (20210716 release)
iPhone 7 or older: Video quality mode = Low
iPhone 8 or newer: Video quality mode = Medium

iPad (20210716 release)
iPad A10 CPU or older: Video quality mode = Low
iPad A10X CPU or newer: Video quality mode = Medium

Android
The Android app uses hardware accelerated video decode except when supported by the hardware.
We are testing performance capabilities of the most common devices and will post more.

Windows 10 (20210715 release)
The Windows 10 app uses hardware accelerated video decode except when a pre-Vega AMD GPU is detected or the MPEG2 Video Extension is not installed.
When hardware acceleration is not available the Settings menu will contain an option to set the video quality. High quality 1080i to 1080p60 conversion requires significant CPU performance and will not work on all Windows 10 devices.

Mac (App release pending)
ARM M1 CPU: Video quality mode = High
Intel CPU: The Settings menu has an option to set the video quality. High quality 1080i to 1080p60 conversion requires significant CPU performance and will not work on all Intel Mac models.

XBox One
The XBox One app uses hardware accelerated video decode.

sdust
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Re: Video quality upgrade

Post by sdust »

nickk wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 9:02 am
Mac (App release pending)
Intel CPU: The Settings menu has an option to set the video quality. High quality 1080i to 1080p60 conversion requires significant CPU performance and will not work on all Intel Mac models.
Can we just leave the video alone as-is?

nickk
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Re: Video quality upgrade

Post by nickk »

sdust wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 4:15 pm Can we just leave the video alone as-is?
A modern computer screen is typically 1920 x 1080 x RGB x 60 frames per second progressive or 3840 x 2160 x RGB x 60 frames per second progressive (4K).

The raw 1080i video from an ATSC broadcast is in YUV 4:2:0 format and 60 fields per second interlaced. ie the raw output from MPEG2 decompression is 60 fields per second where each field has 1920 x 540 pixels of Y data (black and white image) and 960 x 270 pixels of and Cr and Cb data (color data). The fields are offset in both position and time. If is no movement in the content of 2 consecutive fields they can be combined to give a 1920 x 1080 image. With movement it gets complicated.

In order to display interlaced YUV 4:2:0 image data on a progressive RGB display it must be converted. The new app release has the option of doing this conversion at 60 frames per second so you have a better viewing experence.

SoNic67
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Re: Video quality upgrade

Post by SoNic67 »

nickk wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 9:02 am Windows 10 (released 7/15)
The Windows 10 app uses hardware accelerated video decode except when a pre-Vega AMD GPU is detected or the MPEG2 Video Extension is not installed.
When hardware acceleration is not available the Settings menu will contain an option to set the video quality. High quality 1080i to 1080p60 conversion requires significant CPU performance and will not work on all Windows 10 devices.
Is that only in the MS Store? I have un-installed the general "windows" version that I have now (DL from your links).
If the hardware decoder is used there are no options available? That's kind of weird, I was expecting to see a "use software decoding" check mark or something, for testing.
Oh, well...
Last edited by SoNic67 on Thu Jul 15, 2021 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nickk
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Re: Video quality upgrade

Post by nickk »

SoNic67 wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 5:29 pm Is that only in the MS Store? I have un-installed the general "windows" version that I have now (DL from your links).
If the hardware decoder is used there are no options available? Because I can't find them.
It has been released in the MS Store. The Windows download will be available next week.

sdust
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Re: Video quality upgrade

Post by sdust »

nickk wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 5:04 pmThe new app release has the option of doing this conversion at 60 frames per second so you have a better viewing experence.
I have a 2011 Macbook Air :cry:

VLC plays 1080i from HDHR at 75% cpu usage.

720p at 50%

SoNic67
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Re: Video quality upgrade

Post by SoNic67 »

nickk wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 5:34 pm It has been released in the MS Store. The Windows download will be available next week.
I have un-installed the Windows version and used the MS store one. But this one doesn't have the hdhomerun_config_GUI? I like to see more information about the TV signal.

signcarver
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Re: Video quality upgrade

Post by signcarver »

Separate things... setup and config (drivers, etc.) are part of the windows software package... what you get from the windows store is (just) the app not "software" (one can also download just the app from sd)

No need to uninstall the software package but one typically uses the windows store to install and upgrade the app (typically one still needs the store for mpeg2, hevc, ac-4...).

jasonl
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Re: Video quality upgrade

Post by jasonl »

Any data points on how 1080i 50Hz AVC channels are handled, since that would be the prevailing HD video format outside North America?

SoNic67
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Re: Video quality upgrade

Post by SoNic67 »

jasonl wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 8:36 pm Any data points on how 1080i 50Hz AVC channels are handled, since that would be the prevailing HD video format outside North America?
The rest of the world TV should get on board with 60FPS.
All their phones, tablets, computers displays (since CRT time) are at 60Hz.
Even their flat screen TVs have panes that run natively at 60Hz, after all they are now nothing more than giant tablets with a small OTA tuner (or even without tuners).

The 50Hz is a carryover from a long-gone analog era and still reeks of protectionism.

demonrik
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Re: Video quality upgrade

Post by demonrik »

SoNic67 wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 3:44 am
jasonl wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 8:36 pm Any data points on how 1080i 50Hz AVC channels are handled, since that would be the prevailing HD video format outside North America?
The rest of the world TV should get on board with 60FPS.
All their phones, tablets, computers displays (since CRT time) are at 60Hz.
Even their flat screen TVs have panes that run natively at 60Hz, after all they are now nothing more than giant tablets with a small OTA tuner (or even without tuners).

The 50Hz is a carryover from a long-gone analog era and still reeks of protectionism.
the 50 vs 60 has nothing to do with protectionism.
It stems from when CRT and bad harmonious effects of powering from a mains AC supply at 50Hz.
Laptops and modern TVs escape this because there is an AC->DC conversion so the 50 vs 60Hz isn't really a thing
the move to HD was at a time when still the majority of populations globally were using CRT displays, hence it's still built in to the standards.
But for the most part the move to 4K has been more universally a move to 59.94 - but there are still some holdouts for 50FPS mostly due to those damn CRTs that were still prevelant at 1080 and having to downsize the content to match.
So... hopefully one of these days, yes it will be resolved.. but it's not yet ready.

Anyway..
What about the 59.94 to 60Hz?
If this is orientated for Windows I can see the 60Hz being a nice thing.
But am hoping you guys are leaving it alone for set top boxes like the Shield?!

TBH - It would be really nice if you can also provide an option to get the source material without processing..
'Cos lets face it - many of the cheaper boxes (or some GPU vendors) don't spend much on their deinterlacer.
Or are you including your own SW deinterlacer now in the app?

SoNic67
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Re: Video quality upgrade

Post by SoNic67 »

demonrik wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 7:55 am the 50 vs 60 has nothing to do with protectionism.
It stems from when CRT and bad harmonious effects of powering from a mains AC supply at 50Hz.
The 50Hz mains synchronizer wasn't uses since... first tube TV's era. Even the second gen tube TVs had passed that limitation, managing to reliably extract the vertical sync from the TV signal.
To use the same excuse in todays electronics is just that - taxes and protectionism. A "50Hz" device is taxed more, just because they can.
demonrik wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 7:55 am But for the most part the move to 4K has been more universally a move to 59.94 - but there are still some holdouts for 50FPS mostly due to those damn CRTs that were still prevelant at 1080 and having to downsize the content to match.
So... hopefully one of these days, yes it will be resolved.. but it's not yet ready.
Hate to burst that urban legend, but since the 90's all the CRT TV's could easily and automatically synchronize on 60Hz signal (the 60Hz TV's sold in US could not go "down" to 50Hz). More, 90% of the ones sold in some EU countries could actually decode NTSC color signals (besides PAL and East-European SECAM, but not the "inverted" French SECAM) coming from video input. That was not always advertised, but they had the circuitry (decoder chips where multi-standard by default).

demonrik
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Re: Video quality upgrade

Post by demonrik »

SoNic67 wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 8:02 am
demonrik wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 7:55 am the 50 vs 60 has nothing to do with protectionism.
It stems from when CRT and bad harmonious effects of powering from a mains AC supply at 50Hz.
The 50Hz mains synchronizer wasn't uses since... first tube TV's era. Even the second gen tube TVs had passed that limitation, managing to reliably extract the vertical sync from the TV signal.
To use the same excuse in todays electronics is just that - taxes and protectionism. A "50Hz" device is taxed more, just because they can.
demonrik wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 7:55 am But for the most part the move to 4K has been more universally a move to 59.94 - but there are still some holdouts for 50FPS mostly due to those damn CRTs that were still prevelant at 1080 and having to downsize the content to match.
So... hopefully one of these days, yes it will be resolved.. but it's not yet ready.
Hate to burst that urban legend, but since the 90's all the CRT TV's could easily and automatically synchronize on 60Hz signal (the 60Hz TV's sold in US could not go "down" to 50Hz). More, 90% of the ones sold in some EU countries could actually decode NTSC color signals (besides PAL and East-European SECAM, but not the "inverted" French SECAM) coming from video input. That was not always advertised, but they had the circuitry (decoder chips where multi-standard by default).
Agree with what you say. I did have CRT TV capable of NTSC for DVDs back in the 90s..
Just keep in mind that because some devices can doesn't mean all.. And standards will always follow the slow path of evolution as they don't want to risk a break as many countries in Europe have state carriers that are mandated to provide service to all citizens - and thus have to cater to the lowest standard. When Ireland moved to digital in the 2000s there was uproar about having to buy digital receivers for TVs that didn't even have a SCART socket, never mind HDMI.

clarkss12
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Re: Video quality upgrade

Post by clarkss12 »

How do I test this video upgrade?? I tested using my Windows 10 desktop PC connected to a 1080p monitor and tested on a Windows 10 miniPC connected to a TV.

I updated the HDHomeRun client on both PC's to version 20210715 app and UI. I do not see any additional settings.... Not sure what this statement means, guess my tested devices both supported hardware acceleration, is why I don't see any extra options.
"Windows 10 (released 7/15)
The Windows 10 app uses hardware accelerated video decode except when a pre-Vega AMD GPU is detected or the MPEG2 Video Extension is not installed.
When hardware acceleration is not available the Settings menu will contain an option to set the video quality. High quality 1080i to 1080p60 conversion requires significant CPU performance and will not work on all Windows 10 devices."

To do the testing, I recorded several different programs, 720p, 1080i AND 480i, but don't see any change. I copied the recordings into the Mediainfo app, and it still shows the files as interlaced for the 1080i (Maximum bit rate : 15.6 Mb/s
Width : 1 920 pixels
Height : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 29.970 FPS
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Interlaced


and 480i channels (Maximum bit rate : 5 854 kb/s
Width : 704 pixels
Height : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 29.970 FPS
Standard : NTSC
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Interlaced

, AND 720p channel (Width : 1 280 pixels
Height : 720 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 59.940 FPS
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive

What am I missing??

nickk
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Re: Video quality upgrade

Post by nickk »

clarkss12 wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 8:28 am How do I test this video upgrade?? I tested using my Windows 10 desktop PC connected to a 1080p monitor and tested on a Windows 10 miniPC connected to a TV.

I updated the HDHomeRun client on both PC's to version 20210715 app and UI. I do not see any additional settings.... Not sure what this statement means, guess my tested devices both supported hardware acceleration, is why I don't see any extra options.
"Windows 10 (released 7/15)
The Windows 10 app uses hardware accelerated video decode except when a pre-Vega AMD GPU is detected or the MPEG2 Video Extension is not installed.
When hardware acceleration is not available the Settings menu will contain an option to set the video quality. High quality 1080i to 1080p60 conversion requires significant CPU performance and will not work on all Windows 10 devices."

To do the testing, I recorded several different programs, 720p, 1080i AND 480i, but don't see any change.
Go into the Settings menu in the app (the UI menu, not the top-left hidden app menu). Check the app version is shown as 20210715 and look for a "Video quality" option. If the option isn't there it means the app is using the GPU for video decode.

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