Today I am going to look at video playback on the X5000 in particular to the performance of the machine in playing back DVD’s and clips streamed or downloaded from the Internet.
My previous Amigaone 500 machine based on the Sam 460 motherboard struggled a little with video playback. Sure it could play DVD’s using the DVPlayer software that is given away with Amiga OS 4.1 but truth be told, it struggled a little when it came to clips that I downloaded from the internet.
Using the X5000 now for a few weeks, I am more than pleased with the current level of performance, if anything the tests I had to do in order to create today’s blog configuring things, served only to re-enforce my decision that upgrading my machine was the best option
As mentioned previously, Amiga OS4.1 Final Edition comes with a special OEM version of DVPlayer (version 0.72 to be precise) although this version was released back in 2009.
DVPlayer will handle playback of Video CD’s and MPEG-1 files/streams along with DVD and MPEG-2 files/streams it will also playback AVI files.
A little tip here, however before you put in the DVD and press play. You will need to head over to OS4 Depot http://www.os4depot.net to download a couple of files to ensure that you get any sound. The two files that you need to download are the following: A52 Library and DTS Coherent Acoustics decoder:
Once you have downloaded these, it is important that you create a folder in your LIBS drawer called Avcodecs and place the two libs in there as below:
So what is performance like with DVPlayer? Well i think i will let some videos tell the story. You will have to excuse my holding of the camera i have used to record the images!
and here is a clip from everyone’s favourite busy body Hyacinth Bucket!
Despite this being the oldest player out of the three i am testing, it still does a reasonable job, however it does not seem to take advantage of the hardware acceleration found on my Radeon HD 7750 card, or of the latest compositing features found on latest versions of the Amiga Radeon driver.
Sadly DVPlayer no longer appears to be in development according to their website http://dvplayer.amistore.net/index.html and development of this product has been passed on to A-Eon who have had this product advertised for 18 months now on their Amistore with no option to buy the product as there is just a message saying coming soon.
I do hope that there is an update to this player, as it is not a bad one actually.
The next one I am going to look at today is MPlayer which is a port from Linux and appeared on the Amiga in about 2004. Since then it has been updated to take advantage of the latest Amiga Radeon drivers and the latest version you should download is the following from OS4 depot which is the Liveforit-Mplayerng version.
To accompany this I would also recommend you download a GUI or a Graphical User Interface to go with it as configuring MPlayer can be a little tricky. In fact having to configure the program is probably one of its most negative aspects.
The one I currently use and would recommend is the following:
Once you have unpacked the two programmes, I have them placed in my utilities drawer of OS4.1 with a shortcut on Amidock for the MPlayer GUI programme, it is time to configure MPLayer so it works correctly.
The first thing you need to do is sort out sort out the path to MPlayer which as you can see from the screenshot below will be the non-altivec version.
You then need to click on the Video tab and select from the drop down list the video output compyuv2 (composition, yuv420p, direct rendering, has a thread for video output)
I also play the video in -VM mode and select a size aspect of 1920 x1080 rather than go for full screen here as sometimes, playing in fullscreen mode doesnt format correctly.
Finally if you want to play from DVD, it is really important on the X5000 that when you select the device you wish to play from you select custom and enter P5020sata.device. This will ensure that your disc plays from the DVD.
Now in terms of options, MPlayer will support a greater number of formats and streams, it will play MP4, DivX, OGG, WMV, MOV, FLAC, XVID, Indeo, H.263 files, it will support Video CD and DVD playback too
In terms of picture quality, here are some examples of playback on the X5000 first from a DVD. You will notice there is a control panel which you can use to move forward and back as required.
and then from a file downloaded from You Tube in 720p
MPlayer is certainly the most versatile of the players available on the Amiga, however picture quality can be variable I find depending on the type of file you are trying to play back. Playback on the X5000 is certainly a lot better than it was on my old Amigaone 500 machine, in fact there is a noticeable difference in performance here. It is also free of charge to download which is a bonus, although it can be difficult to set up for novices.
The final player i am going to look at today is the new kid on the block called Emotion which is a commercial effort by the guys at Entwickler-X who are famous on the Amiga OS4 scene for the rather superb games Swamp Defense 2 and M.A.C.E.
Emotion can be purchased either from Alinea Computer www.amiga-shop.net for the sum of €24.99 or from the Amistore at a price in GBP of £20.96.
Emotion is kind of based on VLC Player which is found on Windows and other formats and is designed to be as simple as possible to use and configure. In fact you actually don’t really need to configure or optimise this at all, it kind of does it itself based on the stream or video that is playing back. The end result of this, is that on less powerful machines, it knows when to skip frames resulting in a much cleaner and much more polished playback.
It also knows depending on the graphics card that you are using, takes advantage of any hardware acceleration on the card which means that for those with me with a reasonably good graphics card in a Radeon HD 7750, the playback is superior to that found on MPlayer.
Again I prefer to let the videos do the talking here, here is that last clip played via MPlayer but this time via Emotion. To play files on Emotion, it is just a case of dragging the file and dropping into the Emotion icon which I keep on my Amidock, although there is a set of menu’s that you can select the file from if you wish to go the long way round.
Here are a few music videos too One Republic:
and Sean Paul featuring Dua Lipa
It is also possible to stream videos on Emotion, which i do via my Smtube set up which is a neat program that you can use to either download or view You Tube streams.
Emotion’s main shortcoming is that it will not play DVD’s, however it should be noted that it will play the content of a DVD by selecting the applicable VOB file in the video folder when you open the DVD on your Amiga.
However in terms of performance and playback, I find Emotion to be superior to MPlayer and well worth the £21/€25 being asked for this product. The guys at Entwickler-X have worked really hard over a number of months to optimise this player and for those with less powerful Amiga OS4.1 set ups this really should be your main player.
I hope that today’s post has given you some idea of what video playback is like on the X5000 and on Amiga OS 🙂
Until next time…..