Apollo Lake LibreELEC Feedback

  • Hey, I'm new here and just cobbled together a new HTPC. I was running Kodi v13 or less for a few years on an old budget i3 laptop with a cracked screen, eventually it died (probably due to being always on in a drawer with the lid closed for years).


    So i threw a J3355B-ITX, an old SSD and the laptops RAM into a ten year old desktop chassis and installed LibreELEC. It's been great, the old laptop wouldn't play HEVC above 720p and this one plays just about anything I throw at it.


    Anyways, seeing as Apollo Lake barely came out I can't find much online about it that isn't in German. I was hoping to get user feedback, issues and experiences with people using Apollo Lake.


    For example, I initially tried installing the latest stable build of OpenELEC and it didn't work, gave me a "failed to start xorg, is your GPU supported" error. Because of this i found out about LibreELEC and tried it, but I got the same error. So I installed the latest Alpha build (7.9.008) and all is working well!
    So in summary, if you are planning to use Apollo Lake right now, it seems you'll have to use the Alpha build. Which makes sense, but I didn't know and it took a bit of time to work through to that solution.



    Another thing that has come up is HEVC 4K playback.
    The ASRock Specifications page states that this board supports 4K (UHD) @ 30Hz via HDMI and it has 10 bit HEVC decoding. Which to me seems good enough for about the next 10 years (as I have almost no content of any resolution above 24Hz anyways).
    So naturally one of the first things I did was play some HEVC jellyfish test files.
    NOTE: My system currently only has 8GB of SINGLE channel DDR3 which I've read can be an issue for 4K playback.
    This was also being piped from an external HDD, but it's USB 3.0 so I'm doubting that was an issue.


    NOTE: CPU usage is CPU-Kodi value from Debug Log (as far as I can tell it just adds the load of the two cores)
    1080p 90Mbps Main10 - stuttering (CPU avg ~160% max 197%, avg 35FPS)
    1080p 110Mbps Main - perfect (CPU avg ~30% max 37%, constant 60FPS)
    2160p 120Mbps Main10 - stuttering (CPU avg ~185% max 199%, avg 17FPS)
    2160p 250Mbps H264 - perfect (CPU avg ~ 42% max 55%, avg 60FPS)


    Jellyfish doesn't have any 8 bit HEVC UHD content so I used the "Demo LG Ultra-HD/4K/IPS - View the Feeling"
    2160p 24.9Mbps 8bit - perfect (cpu avg ~34%, max 44%, constant 60FPS)


    All of these results are just my general outtakes from observing the debug log while the videos are running, not AT ALL conclusive. (Apparently the "O" shortcut from viewing system info doesn't work on the latest Kodi build).



    So, 10 bit HEVC isn't working on my system. Certainly worth knowing as I know Apollo Lake is something many HTPC users were looking at for low powered 10 bit 4K playback. The single channel RAM may be an issue but CPU usage suggests that HW decoding isn't happening. I'll report back when I have dual channel, but I'm guessing that Linux/Kodi/LibreElec don't yet support the drivers/behind the scenes features to enable 10 bit HEVC on apollo lake, I don't know though.


    Anyways, please chime in with your own Apollo Lake experiences and issues!

  • Via ssh run the following command and post the output

    Code
    1. vainfo | pastebinit
  • Ah, it's not installed when using release builds.


    Would you mind updating to the most recent milhouse build and and run the command again?


    You can always downgrade back to the version you are on after.


  • Ah, it's not installed when using release builds.


    Would you mind updating to the most recent milhouse build and and run the command again?


    You can always downgrade back to the version you are on after.


    Ah, sorry you'll have to walk me through that. I've no clue what a milhouse build is or how to upgrade to it?

  • OK here you are,


    libva info: VA-API version 0.39.4
    libva info: va_getDriverName() returns 0
    libva info: Trying to open /usr/lib/va/i965_drv_video.so
    libva info: Found init function __vaDriverInit_0_39
    libva info: va_openDriver() returns 0
    --------------------------
    vainfo: VA-API version: 0.39 (libva 1.7.3)vainfo: Driver version: Intel i965 driver for Intel(R) Broxton - 1.7.3
    vainfo: Supported profile and entrypoints
    VAProfileMPEG2Simple : VAEntrypointVLD
    VAProfileMPEG2Main : VAEntrypointVLD
    VAProfileH264ConstrainedBaseline: VAEntrypointVLD
    VAProfileH264ConstrainedBaseline: VAEntrypointEncSlice
    VAProfileH264Main : VAEntrypointVLD
    VAProfileH264Main : VAEntrypointEncSlice
    VAProfileH264High : VAEntrypointVLD
    VAProfileH264High : VAEntrypointEncSlice
    VAProfileH264MultiviewHigh : VAEntrypointVLD
    VAProfileH264MultiviewHigh : VAEntrypointEncSlice
    VAProfileH264StereoHigh : VAEntrypointVLD
    VAProfileH264StereoHigh : VAEntrypointEncSlice
    VAProfileVC1Simple : VAEntrypointVLD
    VAProfileVC1Main : VAEntrypointVLD
    VAProfileVC1Advanced : VAEntrypointVLD
    VAProfileNone : VAEntrypointVideoProc
    VAProfileJPEGBaseline : VAEntrypointVLD
    VAProfileJPEGBaseline : VAEntrypointEncPicture
    VAProfileVP8Version0_3 : VAEntrypointVLD
    VAProfileVP8Version0_3 : VAEntrypointEncSlice
    VAProfileHEVCMain : VAEntrypointVLD
    VAProfileHEVCMain : VAEntrypointEncSlice
    VAProfileHEVCMain10 : VAEntrypointVLD
    VAProfileVP9Profile0 : VAEntrypointVLD
    [hr]
    So that looks like it is in fact capable of HW decoding HEVC 10 bit, just something is not in place yet to allow it to happen?

  • fritsch said on the kodi forums that 10bit hevc isnt supported at the moment for intel, will probably have to wait until v18

  • Hmm... I'm wondering about your J3355B-ITX choice for 10Bit and 4K for the next 10 years. The J3355B-ITX can perhaps decode 10Bit, but it won't ever output it as 10bit (8 bit I guess), because of its HDMI 1.4 port. Also the 30Hz limit will be something that will bother you perhaps for 9 of the 10 years, that you are planning to use it :/.


    The ASRock J3455-ITX has a DisplayPort to HDMI converter chip, which gives it HDMI 2.0 capability including 60Hz and HDCP 2.2. So it should be fully HDMI2.0 compatible, including perhaps 10 Bit output (not just decode). But regarding 10 Bit output I wouldn't be so sure, as it is nowhere mentioned when I fly about the data sheets.


    Has anybody read about output of 60Hz and 10Bit on Apollo Lake yet? This J3455-ITX sounds pretty interesting, I'm considering to buy it.

    Edited once, last by infinity85 ().

  • I have bought it, but hasent arrived yet. But anyways as I said, 10bit hevc on intel is NOT working atm.


  • Hmm... I'm wondering about your J3355B-ITX choice for 10Bit and 4K for the next 10 years. The J3355B-ITX can perhaps decode 10Bit, but it won't ever output it as 10bit (8 bit I guess), because of its HDMI 1.4 port. Also the 30Hz limit will be something that will bother you perhaps for 9 of the 10 years, that you are planning to use it :/.


    The ASRock J3455-ITX has a DisplayPort to HDMI converter chip, which gives it HDMI 2.0 capability including 60Hz and HDCP 2.2. So it should be fully HDMI2.0 compatible, including perhaps 10 Bit output (not just decode). But regarding 10 Bit output I wouldn't be so sure, as it is nowhere mentioned when I fly about the data sheets.


    Has anybody read about output of 60Hz and 10Bit on Apollo Lake yet? This J3455-ITX sounds pretty interesting, I'm considering to buy it.



    Honestly neither will bother me, 30Hz certainly won't, almost 100% of my content plays back at 24Hz, I honestly don't know what people are wanting to watch at 60Hz on an HTPC?. I didn't know about the eight bit output though, good point and thanks for bringing that up! And if it does bother me in a few years, I'll pick up the latest version for another $60. This obviously isn't state of the art at $60 for Mobo and CPU, but as far as your average HTPC goes I still think that 30Hz, 8 bit 4k has a ton of bang for the buck and will last most users for many years, maybe not ten for me though ;).
    [hr]


    fritsch said on the kodi forums that 10bit hevc isnt supported at the moment for intel, will probably have to wait until v18


    There's the reason then, thank you!


  • Honestly neither will bother me, 30Hz certainly won't, almost 100% of my content plays back at 24Hz, I honestly don't know what people are wanting to watch at 60Hz on an HTPC?


    You have now all your content at 24Hz because all Blurays (movies) are in 24Hz. But this will change, especially with 4K content in the near future. I am mentioning it also with taking into account that you mentioned 10 years of usage.


    I didn't know about the eight bit output though, good point and thanks for bringing that up! And if it does bother me in a few years, I'll pick up the latest version for another $60. This obviously isn't state of the art at $60 for Mobo and CPU, but as far as your average HTPC goes I still think that 30Hz, 8 bit 4k has a ton of bang for the buck and will last most users for many years, maybe not ten for me though ;).
    [hr]


    Well, it's possible that 1080p content will play with 10Bit on a HDMI 1.4 Device. But [email protected] will be a problem because of the limited HDMI 1.4 bandwidth. But you're right, the decision to simply buy a current device at a reasonable price that is good enough for the current needs is absolutely sane. You never know what is coming around the corner next (e.g. HDR standards or perhaps a new 3D standard for 4k content) then an update wouldn't hurt that much.
    On the other hand I guess that your current/old htpc would do it's job with 24Hz as well for some more time if it was enough for the last years. I'm sure that I will wait for a mature software support of those new apollo lake devices. I'm really interested in those, as they seem to become a shooting star :)

    Edited once, last by infinity85 ().