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Author Topic: Open Source/DIY Playback Server?  (Read 12360 times)

stephenv2

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Open Source/DIY Playback Server?
« on: April 18, 2012, 05:20:27 PM »
I've had a request to see if it's feasible to build a playback server for use in a very small venue (25 to 50 seats). Cost is the major factor here. It would need to play encrypted and unencrypted DCPs being the largest catch.

I've googled but not come across anyone who has attempted this. Surely someone has.

walterlionguy

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Re: Open Source/DIY Playback Server?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 01:23:46 AM »
It's hard to say.  Most modern digital cinema players are literally just a plain rackmount server with a hardware JPEG2000 decoder (also called a mediablock) and an audio processor.  Someone could develop an open source DCP Server, but the first problem would be dealing with the JPEG2000 decoding.  All commercial DCP players use a hardware JPEG2000 decoder because its not practical at this time for a standard CPU to do this on its own, especially near 250mbps.  But this will change soon, as a good cpu with at least 8 or more cores should be able to handle the load.  As for the decryption, DCI will probably want the hardware keys inside a hardware decoder to be considered 'compliant/secure', and not just in software sitting on the computers hard drive.  There is nothing to stop anyone from doing this entirely at the software level, but some may not feel comfortable issuing KDM's for it.

walterlionguy

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Re: Open Source/DIY Playback Server?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 01:54:26 AM »
One other issue is the proper dual SDI connection from the computer to the projector.  A videocard that supports this would be very expensive, but it's all part of the process.  I think some of nvidia's Quadro cards might work, but I honestly don't know and have never used one.  You could of course use the DVI port, but then you loose 3D playback ability and the image quality would suffer.  On the other hand, any encrypted DCP's being played back would be put into a state where its easy to capture them using the computers output.  This too would probably deter people away from issuing KDM's for the platform.

Anyone else have thoughts/inputs on this idea?  Maybe others know of solutions to those issues I mentioned?  It's came across my mind in the past but I never put much thought into it.   :-\

jonathanj

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Re: Open Source/DIY Playback Server?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2012, 01:29:23 PM »
Afaik, there is only one software player that can play back encrypted content and that's Fraunhofers EasyDCP Player + (which I can't find a price on, but I doubt it's for normal people on a budget) :(
I've tried the demoversion and it seems pretty stable with lots of functions.

For un-encrypted content, there is Stereoscopic Player: http://www.3dtv.at/Products/Player/Editions_en.aspx
Also for testing it seem to work OK, but tend to crash on occasion.
The price is variable for 'Cinema' use (5+ viewers)...

Then there is dcpPlayer, which I haven't used (no demo version available).
New version just released... see the announcement here: http://dcinemaforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=177.0
It does cost 250 USD, but I'm pretty sure that is a fraction of what Fraunhofers solution (easyDCP Player) costs.
I have yet to buy a license myself... would be interesting to try it out though.

Axel Mertes

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Re: Open Source/DIY Playback Server?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2012, 07:22:52 PM »
Hi!

I have all three players here and personally I'd like the dcpPlayer currently best.
With the 3dtv.at player I only got stuttery playback, never really figured out why.
And the Fraunhofer player was constantly off sync for me (heard that others had better luck, seems to depend on machines), never got a version that resolved the issue. As sync is extremely essential for me, I was disappointed. Further on Win XP32 it used the GPU, while on Win 7 x64 it can't anymore - on the very same computer. But with 8 cores it runs fine in 2K just by CPU.

Clearly, Fraunhofer has the only really feature-rich player that could satisfy the desire of a software only player.

However, I would not expect anyone in the big $$ film industry to appreciate a software only player for the already mentioned security reasons - and the Fraunhofer player did already cause certain concerns in this regard (especially since it contains export functions, potentially opening a door to totally breaking security if you have a KDM for it...).

That being said, I think that for certain types of theaters such thing might be feaseable. But a single film that can not be shown due to such restrictions makes the idea useless.

Simple rule of thumb: Software is never safe :) and that is a concern.

Cheers,
Axel

walterlionguy

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Re: Open Source/DIY Playback Server?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2012, 11:35:58 PM »
You are the first iv heard to mention the sync problem with EasyDCP Player.  When I rendered my first DCP I thought it was a problem with my DCP's, but I later discovered its a bug with their player.  It's not way off however, but slightly noticeable.  IMO you cant beat the integrity checking that EasyDCP Player offers currently.  It seems to be accurate at reporting issues with DCP's when you load them.

3dtv.at Stereoscopic player I think uses OpenJPEG to do JP2K decoding and that's probably why it plays slow for you.  Any 100mb/s DCP will eat up just about any high end i7 you throw at it right now, if you use that program to play it on full quality.  For the most part I only use the DCP playback feature of it to test 3D DCP's on dual displays.

In EasyDCP Player the Nvidia GPU acceleration works for me on Win7 x64, you tried upgrading your graphics drivers?  Also fraunhofer disabled the export function when locked content is being played in EasyDCP Player but that doesn't help with security anyways as someone could still easily capture the uncompressed output.  ::)

Axel Mertes

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Re: Open Source/DIY Playback Server?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2012, 09:43:41 AM »
Well, I haven't tested their latest versions, but the one we bought is simply out of sync on my system (HP xw8400 dual quadcore, GTX580, 16 GB RAM, Win 7 x64, FC Array). We reported that several times and I never got a new build that fixed the issue, except I'd pay for maintenance which is IMHO not fair as the issue was noted long before I was out of maintenance and the feature "sync" is so core to a player of any kind that I got very frustrated about the situation. I had two major customers getting angry of seeing off-sync DCPs that we had hard times to convince them these were in fact correct. Both times we went to theaters for checking there and found happily that the DCPs were playing fine, just the software player was like 2-3 frames off.

So getting back to the point, I check integrity with Fraunhofer or our own tools (which we hope to make soon public), while I use currently the dcpPlayer when I desire "in sync" screen playback. Maybe I get back to upgrading the Fraunhofer player at some point, but for now I am satisfied with what I have. The dcpPlayer is cheaper to buy than the maintenance...

The integrity check on Fraunhofer is done upon loading, so one can do that already with their demo I think (I have a fully version, though). However I've seen DCPs that were not moaned about in the easyDCP Player, while at the theater they were not loaded. So as much as this integrity check helps in first place, its not a guarantee - and thats what they say themselves about it. I think for reliable DCP delivery a playback on a real Cinema Server is a minimum requirement at this point.

Do you have two graphic cards or just one?

I was explained you need two to get it working. It worked with one when using Win XP32, upgraded the very same computer to Win 7 x64 with newest drivers and it tells me its not working. Newest NVidia drivers.

And yes, disabling content export doesn't help as one can easily capture the screen using e.g. an inexpensive Blackmagicdesign Hyperdeck Shuttle (I create my instructional videos this way, e.g. for our FinalDCP FREE Edition DCP encoding software).

Checking the integrity of a DCP is something important. Unfortunatley you can't be sure if it plays in a software player that it will play in a cinema player. But any error mentioned e.g. from easyDCP Player is helpful to sort out things before going to the big screen.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 03:01:55 AM by Axel Mertes »

walterlionguy

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Re: Open Source/DIY Playback Server?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 04:45:04 AM »
Quote
Do you have two graphic cards or just one?

I have just one, and yes two good cards are needed to guarantee proper decoding.  My one CUDA card works, but not very well on DCP's with any decent bitrate.  I ended up disabling it as my i7 by itself seems sufficient for decoding most 2D DCP's.

Ian-M

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Re: Open Source/DIY Playback Server?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2013, 03:44:06 PM »
Try our NeoDCP Player, it is suitable as a "DIY server", too. For realtime 2K playback it needs a powerful CPU, but it works also with weaker one when you sacrifice quality.

http://dcinemaforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=356.0

http://www.neodcp.com

koyeha

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Re: Open Source/DIY Playback Server?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2016, 01:55:37 AM »
All commercial DCP players use a hardware JPEG2000 decoder because its not practical at this time for a standard CPU to do this on its own, especially near 250mbps.  But this will change soon, as a good cpu with at least 8 or more cores should be able to handle the load.


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« Last Edit: May 27, 2016, 06:01:18 AM by koyeha »

zalapatax

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Re: Open Source/DIY Playback Server?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2017, 06:58:58 PM »
I have also been considering building a DCP player for 2 small venues. I small auditorium (30 people) and a small theatre (100€).

I have been keeping an eye on these: Intel Core i9 7900X. This one packs 10 cores. But costs around 1000€.

I'm guessing the real problem is the software to play the DCP films correct?
I haven't been able to find any open source solution and the VLC attempt kinda seems like it has gone cold.

I can try to afford a computer setup for 1500€ but there is no way I can afford an additional 2,975.00 € for EasyDCP or the weird options from NEODCP which I believe the most suitable one would be the "Ultimate 2k" for 1299 € which only gives me a licence for 4 years.


Thanks.

dcinemaforum.com

Re: Open Source/DIY Playback Server?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2017, 06:58:58 PM »