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February 23, 2008

Bad Movie, Good News

Last night I was forced to watch Rumor Has It. I say forced, but actually I was staring at the screen transfixed the entire time, not because of the acting (horrible), the plot (puerile) or the surprise peek at half of Jennifer Aniston’s right breast (entirely forgettable), but because of the quality of the output of the 1080p movie by our trusty little mini.

By the numbers: This was an x.264 encode in an MKV container. The average bitrate was 11.5MBps, with spikes between 15 and 20. Total number of frames dropped in the entire movie (counting those 20 odd that always seem to go missing at the beginning): 230. The means the drop rate was 0.16%. Those dropped frames were all clustered around “difficult” scenes in the movie, and resulted in a bit of jerky movement, but no audio loss.

Note that at this point we are peaking at about 130-140% of the (dual core) CPU in use. This means that there is another 70% of a core doing absolutely nothing. With further improvements by the ffmpeg team, we can only do better. This was also a full-quality decode. Tweaking some of the ffmpeg settings. as suggested by inloop would probably improve things as well, at the expense of picture quality.

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