Understanding 265 and HEVC Playback

  • Hi everybody,

    Huge fan of everything on here, I use LE everyday and it is such a great addition to my life. I have a question but zero technical knowledge, so I know that I would be unable to even provide the right answers to the follow-up questions people might offer if the info gets too technical.

    I have an idea on how to work around that though - not sure if this was attempted somewhere else on the forum.

    I'll jump right in..

    over the past year, as I try out new images for my Odroid C2, I notice one consistent issue. Certain files (the only similarities ive noticed between them is they share a either 265 or just HEVC as their type) will go between either working or not working. for example: LE 8.2.5 image that is now available on the USB-SD creator program, that has no issue and plays the files great. but on all the new Leia images over the past few weeks, there has been the problem (always the same course: the video opens and the audio will play without issue but the image is frozen on one frame. if i skip around the same results: audio will run fine and it will be frozen on a single frame).

    now my lack of expertise begins to be a problem. i barely know if it is even a problem related to 265 files, i have just noticed it has issues on some files and not others. in the past people have suggested that it may be an encoding issue or something like that - that is totally lost on me, i only know that on certain versions of the OS, the files have played flawlessly.

    my long-winded suggestion then is if someone can provide a file or a link to a simple, small test 265 file that we can have as a common piece we can work with. if there was a simple video I could test, I would be able to see if it works on 8.2.5 but not on any of the newer ones; hopefully this could help solve the problem, or it will at least eliminate any questions about someone's personal encoding settings being the problem with the playback.

    Any help that can be provided is greatly appreciated.

  • In short, HEVC and h.265 are basically the same thing. It is the successor of the h.264 video format. HEVC uses more complex compression techniques, so any incompatible computer without specific hardware decoding capabilities will have a hard(er) time displaying these videos.

    The Odroid C2 is capable of displaying hevc video files via hardware decoding. Including the 10bit variant, as far as I know.

    FYI, v8.2.5 with Kodi 17 is capable of doing 8 & 10 bit hevc videos, but Kodi 18 will be more tweaked for the more demanding video types.

    You can find a couple of test files on this Kodi wiki page.

    If you have issues, start with providing a kodi.log as per instructions hereunder.

    Please provide a full debug log.

    How to post a log (wiki)

    1. Enable debugging in Settings>System Settings>Logging
    2. Restart Kodi
    3. Replicate the problem.

    Note: Full logs only. No partial or modified logs.

    Do not post your logs directly into the forum, use pastebin.com and post the link.
  • Thanks for the info, it was a huge help. I used the site and downloaded a range of videos (3, 5, 70 mbps) all different types just to try out and be sure. and of course they play perfectly on the newest OS. So its clearly an issue with the files I have.

    When I get a chance I will follow the steps you listed and try to post the log to figure out what the problem is. Thanks again for the help.

  • Did you ever find the cause?

  • Long story short: I think the cause is how the videos themselves were encoded. The sample videos I downloaded all worked perfectly, so it must have something to do with the files on my end. The only thing I can't understand (and it comes entirely from my lack of any knowledge in this field) is how the files - even if they were encoded improperly - were able to run on older versions of the OS without a problem. Main reason I ask is because I hope for a release one day, once all the pieces have been added, that will again be able to play any tricky file types.

  • Quick update actually: I'm not sure what I was reading that led me to test it out, but I turned off the acceleration hardware option in the "Player" settings and it seemed to completely fix the problem with those specific videos. There is no longer the constant problem of the video being frozen on one frame while the audio plays. Other videos seem to suffer a bit with the acceleration turned off. so I'll probably only turn it off when I'm going for those specific videos.

    Very thankful for all the help, sites like this make a huge difference with all the equipment.