Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

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MANIACki
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Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

Postby MANIACki » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:53 pm

Welcome,

I have problem since i installed Perian 1.2.2 on Snow Leopard - in Front Row most of movies are without video, only audio. Normally, at desktop mode qt open movies without problems. Also with Perian 1.2.1 everything is ok.

So, i have to back to 1.2.1 or it's simple issue to repair?

Many thanks in advance for any help.

sno
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Re: Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

Postby sno » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:35 pm

Same problem here after updating to 1.2.2 If i don't select in options "Load External Subtitles" i get image in front row, but with this option selected i just get sound. Everything was ok befor the update. Is there a way to go back to version 1.2.1?

Bekar
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Re: Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

Postby Bekar » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:30 am

Same for me here (1.2.2, Front Row, Snow Leopard), however "Load External Subtitles" makes no difference for me.

A track that plays in Quick Time Player fine has only a 'flash' then blank-screen in Front Row.

Bekar
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Re: Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

Postby Bekar » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:33 am

sno wrote:Is there a way to go back to version 1.2.1?


Click 'Remove Perian' in the system preferences, and re-download the old version from http://perian.cachefly.net/Perian_1.2.1.dmg .

mb1022002
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Re: Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

Postby mb1022002 » Tue May 31, 2011 5:36 pm

I have installed copies of Perian 1.2.2 both on a 10.6.7 MacBook Pro and a 10.5.8 Mac Mini. I can now play Matroska format movies in QT and iTunes. Preview and Quick Look also work as expected.

However, when playing the same movies in Front Row, the screen remains black, only the audio track plays normally.

Replacing version 1.2.2 with 1.2.1 does not produce any change. Nor does unchecking the 'Load External Subtitles' box - the movies I am testing against do not have external subtitles anyway.

I would appreciate any light on this issue from the Perian team.

Cheers

Marc

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Re: Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

Postby gbooker » Tue May 31, 2011 6:10 pm

Did you restart FrontRow as asked when 1.2.2 is installed (hitting menu is not restarting it)?

mb1022002
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Re: Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

Postby mb1022002 » Tue May 31, 2011 7:01 pm

Thanks for sparing a few minutes Graham.

Yes I did. To be on the safe side, I had also restarted my systems, and removed Front Row's user cache and preferences. No dice.

I have discovered Perian only today and I'm impressed. However I have absolutely no clue on how Front Row relies on QT/Perian to render the video track of my mkv files. FYI, here's the head of the mkvinfo report for one of my mkv test files:

+ EBML head
|+ Doc type: matroska
|+ Doc type version: 1
|+ Doc type read version: 1
+ Segment, size 1558274237
|+ Seek head (subentries will be skipped)
|+ EbmlVoid (size: 4027)
|+ Segment information
| + Timecode scale: 1000000
| + Muxing application: libebml v0.7.7 + libmatroska v0.8.0
| + Writing application: mkvmerge v1.7.0 ('What Do You Take Me For') built on Apr 28 2006 17:20:19
| + Duration: 3696.160s (01:01:36.160)
| + Date: Sun Sep 17 20:52:13 2006 UTC
| + Segment UID: 0x91 0x13 0x37 0xd6 0x66 0xd3 0x72 0xe6 0x83 0x9f 0xb0 0x6c 0x88 0xe6 0x40 0x63
|+ Segment tracks
| + A track
| + Track number: 1
| + Track UID: 2250118800
| + Track type: video
| + Enabled: 1
| + Default flag: 1
| + Forced flag: 0
| + Lacing flag: 0
| + MinCache: 1
| + Timecode scale: 1
| + Max BlockAddition ID: 0
| + Codec ID: V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
| + Codec decode all: 1
| + CodecPrivate, length 39 (h.264 profile: High @L5.1)
| + Default duration: 41.708ms (23.976 fps for a video track)
| + Language: eng
| + Name: Deadwood 1x01 - Deadwood
| + Video track
| + Pixel width: 1280
| + Pixel height: 720
| + Interlaced: 0
| + Display width: 1280
| + Display height: 720

I'm able and willing to run all kinds of tests and debugging sessions, but I would need some directions on where to look for if you can spare the time.

Cheers

Marc

gbooker
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Re: Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

Postby gbooker » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:33 pm

That doesn't seem to be the entire output of mkvinfo (there's no audio track for example). We only really need the track info mentioned in QuickTime's GetInfo box.

As an experiment, if you have QuickTime Pro, try opening the file in QT Player 7, turn off all tracks expect for the first video track and audio track, save it as a reference movie, and try playing the result in FrontRow. If that plays, it's likely the FrontRow compositing bug which we tried to work around and broke our workaround in 1.2.2 (but it should still work in 1.2.1).

mb1022002
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Re: Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

Postby mb1022002 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:17 pm

Ok, so I've run a set of tests following your guidelines on a different 10.6.7 laptop where I have QT 7 Pro installed.

I have attached the information for the test mkv movie.

With Perian 1.2.2:

Opening the reference movie with Front Row works fine.
Opening the mkv original version plays the sound track on a black background.

With Perian 1.2.1:
Opening the reference movie with Front Row also works fine.
Opening the mkv original version plays the sound track and the video track, though the playback is extremely bumpy, the image pausing for a couple of seconds every 10 or so. Looks like the work around is not that efficient.

What's the story on this 'FrontRow compositing bug' ? I thought it involved external subtitles only. Turning off the text subtitles track in QT7Pro seemed to solve the problem. What's the easiest way to turn off the subtitle track(s) in an mkv file ?

Thanks for the help

Marc
Attachments
Screen shot 2011-06-01 at 4.59.37 PM.png
QuickTime GetInfo box
Screen shot 2011-06-01 at 4.59.37 PM.png (82.31 KiB) Viewed 9586 times

gbooker
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Re: Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

Postby gbooker » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:42 pm

mb1022002 wrote: the playback is extremely bumpy, the image pausing for a couple of seconds every 10 or so. Looks like the work around is not that efficient.

Yes, which is why we have demanded that Apple fix it but they have consistently ignored us.

mb1022002 wrote:What's the story on this 'FrontRow compositing bug' ?

Frontrow doesn't properly handle some ways of compositing multiple video tracks together. Instead, it tends to only play one track and not any of the others. All subtitle tracks are video tracks; external or internal.

mb1022002 wrote:What's the easiest way to turn off the subtitle track(s) in an mkv file ?

The reference movie does it. You can also remux it with mkvmerge and remove it.

mb1022002
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Re: Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

Postby mb1022002 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:17 pm

gbooker wrote:Yes, which is why we have demanded that Apple fix it but they have consistently ignored us.

I'm not surprised. You are providing with Perian a feature Apple has left out of the standard QT distribution on purpose. All these codecs and formats Perian brings to the Mac user experience through QT components are the ones frowned upon - or at least not readily endorsed - by the content publishing business.

gbooker wrote:Frontrow doesn't properly handle some ways of compositing multiple video tracks together. Instead, it tends to only play one track and not any of the others. All subtitle tracks are video tracks; external or internal.

Got your point about subtitles. Well, since Apple is probably out of the short term picture, the question is does Front Row handle *some other* ways of compositing multiple video tracks together properly ? I mean to your knowledge ? If not, a checkbox in the Perian control panel to automatically disable *all* subtitle tracks would make sense. If Front Row handles *some* video track compositing properly, do you have researched a way to emulate it with Perian already ? The whole idea of a work around sloppy programming hurts my developer's feelings just as painfully as yours. But for once, I get to be a simple user :-) trying to get the best experience possible out of a more or less deliberately crippled home theater solution. I have of course no idea where your priorities lie with the Perian project, which provides impressive results already. But I'm available for doing some research on the subject if you're interested and provide some directions.

gbooker wrote:The reference movie does it. You can also remux it with mkvmerge and remove it.

Thanks. I'll experiment with mkmerge.

Cheers

Marc

gbooker
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Re: Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

Postby gbooker » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:59 pm

Unfortunately, the current technique is the best known way to composite that still functions in Frontrow. Given the rumors of it missing from the Lion builds, I'm afraid that Frontrow will not see any future development. It hasn't seen any in Snow Leopard (it's one of the few 32-bit only binaries in the OS). I was once investigating buying a mini for my HTPC, but I've lately started investigating other solutions for which Apple will get no money. Sadly, I'm afraid that HTPC is a market that Apple could have, but doesn't want.

mb1022002
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Re: Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

Postby mb1022002 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:54 pm

A little further research, the particulars of which fall into the trap of nondisclosure, indeed show that Front Row is dead. My bet - it is a guess - is that a coming version of iTunes for Lion will leverage the system-wide full screen built-in support to offer most of Front Most features, including full operation from a remote control. I hope "Perian 1.3 for Lion" will be around to provide all the intentionally missing video codecs and formats :-).

Thanks for the support all the same.

Marc

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Re: Perian 1.2.2 Front Row black screen

Postby gbooker » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:13 pm

I suspected as much. This still kills my use for a mini as a HTPC, as I had written a FrontRow plugin which won't work with these changes. I don't think that Apple sees any use for FrontRow/iTunes outside of iTMS. This is short-sighted given the ability to run EyeTV and make a DVR, run streaming services such as Netflix/Amazon/Hulu, etc... Sadly, Apple's products fall short in some of these cases and Apple seems to be working to increase its shortfall.


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