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Old 17 November 2009, 08:27   #21
gulliver
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@ImmortalA1000

First:
Some early versions of the Amiga 1000 sold in the United States lacked the EHB video mode, so it is a no goer.

Second:
Old drives are slow, but Flash storage today is cheap and reliably fast!!!

Results in KB/s using flash storage media with its corresponding adapters:

A600, no Fastmem: 696
A600,Fastmem: 824
A600, no Fastmem, PCMCIA card reader: 1432
A500, 68000, Trumpcard 500 Pro, no Fastmem: 975
A500, 68040+32-bit Fastmem: 1837
A1200, no Fastmem, PCMCIA Squirrel: 330
A1200, no Fastmem, PCMCIA Surf Squirrel: 1000
A1200, 68030, no Fastmem: 1127
A1200, 68030+32-bit Fastmem: 1975
A4000, 68040+32-bit Fastmem: 2000

While flash storage is the most desirable media, further better results can be obtained with newer , highly specced flash cards. As an example i have tested a SDHC Class 4 card on an A1200 IDE port an obtained 2.5 MB/s performance. Of course, your mileage may vary, always applies. This tests are usefull only for having a general idea.

The tests also show how adding fastram or an accelerated cpu affects transfer speeds in a favourable way.

Note 1: with the following adapters you will gain this speed increase:
IDEFix Express adapter will double (x2) the bare IDE performance
FastATA adapter will quadruple (x4) the bare IDE performance

Last edited by gulliver; 17 November 2009 at 10:19. Reason: added more info
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Old 17 November 2009, 10:14   #22
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Would anyone like the software used for the full screen and sound HAM video playback shown in the video that I posted? It was written by TJ of the Upper New York State Amiga Group. I have two videos that were suitably encoded, however, how that was done I don't know. Perhaps someone here can figure it out.

Edit.
Actually, I am in contact with the author. I will delay sharing this until he gives me permission to do so.

Last edited by DDNI; 17 November 2009 at 10:31.
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Old 17 November 2009, 10:40   #23
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I know how:
It says he showed video at 15fps
It says he used HAM on an A2000, so HAM6 it is.
It says the show was in NY, USA so probably used some NTSC image size

Then we do the math with little guessing:

Datarate 320x200x6bitx15fps= 704 KB/s rounded up

So, it is pretty doable, with, of course, the right storage media and its appropiate interface. You could even do it better!
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Old 17 November 2009, 10:43   #24
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I am running it on my A1200T and it is impressive.
He just sent me the conversion guide and software.
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Old 17 November 2009, 10:52   #25
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Then please share it!
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Old 17 November 2009, 11:03   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gulliver View Post
Then please share it!
As I said, if he agrees to that then I will.
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Old 17 November 2009, 13:20   #27
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704 kbit or 704kbyte per sec?
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Old 17 November 2009, 14:43   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gulliver View Post
@ImmortalA1000

First:
Some early versions of the Amiga 1000 sold in the United States lacked the EHB video mode, so it is a no goer.
I'm sorry but I don't agree, that's only true for the very first of the NTSC A1000 machines in the USA which might account for 0.001% of the total OCS/ECS Amigas ever sold so I don't think you can exclude it on that basis, even the original PAL A1000...with serial numbers in double figures have EHB so it should be included. EHB is the Amigas biggest strength...for palette swapping per frame it is far more effective than HAM mode and you get 100% increase in colour resolution. If it is not do-able because of the odd bitplane layout of Amiga screen memory then that is a valid reason, excluding it because two guys in the entire world might not be able to use it one just one of their Amigas is not
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Old 17 November 2009, 14:58   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gulliver View Post
Old drives are slow, but Flash storage today is cheap and reliably fast!!!

Results in KB/s using flash storage media with its corresponding adapters:

A600, no Fastmem: 696
A600,Fastmem: 824
A600, no Fastmem, PCMCIA card reader: 1432
A500, 68000, Trumpcard 500 Pro, no Fastmem: 975
A500, 68040+32-bit Fastmem: 1837
A1200, no Fastmem, PCMCIA Squirrel: 330
A1200, no Fastmem, PCMCIA Surf Squirrel: 1000
A1200, 68030, no Fastmem: 1127
A1200, 68030+32-bit Fastmem: 1975
A4000, 68040+32-bit Fastmem: 2000

While flash storage is the most desirable media, further better results can be obtained with newer , highly specced flash cards. As an example i have tested a SDHC Class 4 card on an A1200 IDE port an obtained 2.5 MB/s performance. Of course, your mileage may vary, always applies. This tests are usefull only for having a general idea.

The tests also show how adding fastram or an accelerated cpu affects transfer speeds in a favourable way.

Note 1: with the following adapters you will gain this speed increase:
IDEFix Express adapter will double (x2) the bare IDE performance
FastATA adapter will quadruple (x4) the bare IDE performance
Thanks for all the comparisons When I say transfer speeds I was asking if anyone had the official Commodore specification for the transfer speed of the IDE bus on the A600 itself really, not in reality what different machines can do, although this gives you an idea of which setups will need changing... For example on an old PC the IDE on the motherboard may theoretically be about 10mb/s on that motherboard regardless of how fast the drive is...but some drives struggled to get 1mb/s in the early days etc etc.

Also FastRAM...isn't the A600 2mb ChipRAM so who ever made a non accelerated FastRAM card? I have a 2mb A600 I'm sure it is 2mb ChipRAM though.

I would guess more modern low power 5400/4200rpm drives of around 4-6gb which cost pennies now on ebay are what most people will put in their machines surely, if you choose to have a 40mb dinosaur from the early 90s then you have to accept you won't get optimal performance because your drive is slower than the throughput of the A600/A1200 IDE interface bus etc.

One thing I am very wary of is anything other than hard drive upgrades being considered....Amiga kit is so rare for OCS machines when it comes to ICD's internal IDE board for A500s or accelerators for the A600/A500/A1000/A2000 etc. However changing a drive to a nice efficient Fujitsu 6gb unit is no problem, the drives are dirt cheap...some people give them away they're worthless in the PC laptop business (think I had 30 last year used as paperweights haha) and CF>>IDE kits are non machine specific so it is cheap and easy again for people to upgrade their drives in this way.

Edit: And you can't exclude vertical resolutions of 256 for PAL machines as an option, otherwise there will be no full screen video on any PAL Amigas (which is where most Amigas were sold..outside the PC obsessed USA!!) and it will be a waste of time if only NTSC machines are perceived to have FMV but not PAL ones due to this omission.

Last edited by ImmortalA1000; 17 November 2009 at 15:02. Reason: PAL!!
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Old 17 November 2009, 15:10   #30
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I wanted to keep this separate.

The PCMCIA throughput is very good on the A600 test there, but what are seek times like on CF/SD cards etc. SD is terrible for transferring/accessing tiny files.

Also are we going with decompress an anim format or blit whole blocks of uncompressed screen memory+1 palette info per frame?

Also that A2000 doing 15fps HAM...I thought it was reading an AVI file...so what is there to encode? Or do you mean what bitrate/resolution/codec settings are actually used for the 'AVI' file as AVI is just a wrapper and like saying something is just 'IFF' which is meaningless
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Old 17 November 2009, 15:17   #31
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AVI files need to be converted to 15bit RGB 320 x 200 (216 max) with separate 8bit .wav sound (max 22hz). Then converted to HAM6 with sound movie file using the mentioned software.

Last edited by DDNI; 17 November 2009 at 15:26.
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Old 17 November 2009, 15:44   #32
ImmortalA1000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gulliver View Post
@DDNI

I know how:
It says he showed video at 15fps
It says he used HAM on an A2000, so HAM6 it is.
It says the show was in NY, USA so probably used some NTSC image size

Then we do the math with little guessing:

Datarate 320x200x6bitx15fps= 704 KB/s rounded up

So, it is pretty doable, with, of course, the right storage media and its appropiate interface. You could even do it better!
It's 48000 bits for 320x200 per 6 bitplane image (or 64000 for 256 colour AGA). so that's 46.875kb per HAM6/EHB frame uncompressed we are talking?

So 15fps on most old original drives is possible/close but 930kb/s is very achievable for a much more credible and pleasant 20FPS even with a standard 1 costing 6gb 2.5" IDE drive of decent quality in an A600 or A1200. And these are uncompressed sizes of individual frames+palette swap per frame so the 7mhz A500/600/1000/2000 should be fine with EHB and HAM6.

The real question after watching that video again is this...as the video being parsed is not an actual AVI after listening to what the guy is saying but a series of HAM6 images...is there actually enough grunt in the OCS chipset to pull a 48k bitmap data for the image from a fast medium...stick it in screen memory...and swap the palette colours?

I ask this because if this guy's routine is state of the art and still requires an accelerator to achieve 15fps then clearly there is not enough time to do this on a 7mhz OCS Amiga then right? Which is disappointing to say the least if you need an 030 just to do that. Surely there are OCS games which blit more than 48k of graphics every 1/25th of a second in total?

All that we need is some machine code routine to load each uncompressed frame, put into the display area as 6 bits as is and change the palette colours...so I guess what I am asking is what is the actual DMA bandwidth on an OCS Amiga to handle this...is 1mb/s not possible on an Amiga bus using Agnus to blit the data in..data that should be read in via DMA too?

Anyway I am glad I fired up all your imagination so far...see sometimes it is good to dream...impressive reality may come from this.

Also another thought....would it help if you load in seperate bitplanes and write them to the respective bitplane on an alternate double buffered screen?So while you are loading one segment of 8k per frame for bitplane 2 of frame 1 you can be writing via the blitter bitplane 1 data for frame 1 from the previous loaded data. Can you do this in DMA or will the blitter hog the DMA and prevent this working.

Because that is 6 writes per frame so for 15 frames so that's 90 separate operations in the OCS chipset to write 1 bitplane of data to screen memory. Personally HAM is a nightmare to compute from an AVI I bet, if you want it to look optimal it will need Digi-view quality of processing and optimisation for each frame. Stick to a dithered EHB screen per frame I think for testing the throughput of the OCS chipset.
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Old 17 November 2009, 16:10   #33
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I just made a HAM6 movie of Big Bang theory Season 3 Episode 7.

15bit RGB 320x200 12FPS (PAL source) uncompressed .avi was 1,729,458KB. 8bit 16000hz .wav file of 35.1MB.

After conversion to HAM6 it is 684,410KB
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Old 17 November 2009, 16:59   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalA1000 View Post
930kb/s is very achievable for a much more credible and pleasant 20FPS
Yes, simply use NTSC so you can show one frame every three NTSC frames. For PAL 20 frames is annoying.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalA1000 View Post
is there actually enough grunt in the OCS chipset to pull a 48k bitmap data for the image from a fast medium...stick it in screen memory...and swap the palette colours?
Perhaps. If you have a DMA controlled HD then you might be able to have the controller put the read data into the right place in chipmem directly, ready to display. The blitter works at 2 MB per sec, I think. You only need two channels so that's 1 MB copy speed if I'm not mistaken. Palette swapping is a matter of changing 32 bytes worth of custom chip registers, which is no problem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalA1000 View Post
I ask this because if this guy's routine is state of the art and still requires an accelerator to achieve 15fps then clearly there is not enough time to do this on a 7mhz OCS Amiga then right?
Sounds like a bit much, but I can't say for sure. On an A1200 with 50MHZ '030 you could handle as much as 2.5 MB per sec.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalA1000 View Post
so I guess what I am asking is what is the actual DMA bandwidth on an OCS Amiga to handle this...is 1mb/s not possible on an Amiga bus using Agnus to blit the data in..data that should be read in via DMA too?
As said above the blitter can handle 2 MB per sec, which has to be divided over the channels you need (in this case two). If it's possible to have the HD controller DMA the data straight into any location in chipmem, then blitting probably isn't needed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalA1000 View Post
Also another thought....would it help if you load in seperate bitplanes and write them to the respective bitplane on an alternate double buffered screen?So while you are loading one segment of 8k per frame for bitplane 2 of frame 1 you can be writing via the blitter bitplane 1 data for frame 1 from the previous loaded data. Can you do this in DMA or will the blitter hog the DMA and prevent this working.
It really doesn't matter, as long as the buffer is filled up before displaying. If both HD DMA and blitter are needed, then this is going to become very difficult indeed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalA1000 View Post
Personally HAM is a nightmare to compute from an AVI I bet, if you want it to look optimal it will need Digi-view quality of processing and optimisation for each frame. Stick to a dithered EHB screen per frame I think for testing the throughput of the OCS chipset.
Because you have to convert each frame to a lower number of bits per pixel anyway, you need a batch conversion program for this. Because you need this, you might as well go for Ham6. The task has to be automated anyway, so you might as well go for the best quality.
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Old 17 November 2009, 20:53   #35
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Great thanks for the info.

Is the IDE on the A600 DMA capable like you mention does anyone know? Or SCSI drives on Zorro I/II expansions as in the A500/1000/2000?

My only comment was that HAM is a unique Amiga problem as far its drawbacks go but then I don't have much recent experience in any Amiga targeted software that does image conversions etc. There are some fantastic tools for 16million--->64 colour images on PC but then again EHB is not just normal 64 colour palette so again same disadvantage.
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Old 17 November 2009, 21:47   #36
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Why HAM6 is not feasible from my point of view:

Well, if the proposed Amiga Video Format draft is taken into account, due to the way HAM works, in an attempt to move an image around the screen (such as subtitles, timing info, etc) will generate noticeable fringing that will degrade the quality of the image a lot. This is typical behaviour of an Amiga in HAM mode trying to move a blitter object around.
Also it has restrictions on color combinations between adjacent pixels that can only be avoided with careful planning and a few neat tricks. So I think no.


Changed my view on EHB:

While not present on the very first few A1000 NTSC models sold in USA and Canada, it sure provides 64 colors, so it could be implemented provided the player program checks that the EHB mode is available, and if not just ignore the offending bit and play the video at 32 colors. In this case we have to be carefull on datarates, which will obviously raise.


PAL screenmodes & support:

In an ideal world, PAL amigas should play PAL videos, and NTSC Amigas NTSC videos, but then, it is not an ideal world. So either the supplier of those video files generates two different versions, one for PAL users and another one for NTSC users or we just create a player capable of converting the formats back and forth between these standarts. While the last approach may seem the most reasonable one, an Amiga is doing much of an effort just playing the AVF, so convertion of formats it is not advisable.
My approach is the following one:
The screenmodes I described in the AVF are NTSC but can easily be adapted for full PAL use by any of the known popular methods, such as for example, adding blank lines. So in this case there is no image degradation, just not full use of the the entire screen height and a very small amount of processing power to generate blank lines to fill the screen.
I dont do it the other way round, because it means you either have to resize the image down, or cut the picture, which means either quite some cpu overhead or bad image quality due to image chopping.
Another thing against native PAL resolution sized videos is the fact that we will raise datarates even more.


Miscellaneous:

While many argue about the methods involved in actually displaying the images and its feasibility, i may suggest we leave this task for the developer, so that he/she may choose his/her own approach, as there are many ways of accomplishing the task.

@ImmortalA1000
And i nearly forget! A600 can have fastmem without acceleration, just plug one of those PCMCIA 16bit ram cards. (from 1, 2 and even 4 MB.)
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Old 17 November 2009, 21:55   #37
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I concur, fringing is definitely an issue on the HAM6 videos.
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Old 17 November 2009, 22:33   #38
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Uploaded a video of HAM6 fullscreen to Youtube. It is some sort of anime opening titles.

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 17 November 2009, 23:53   #39
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wow that looks nice ddni, hope non cartoon stuff looks as good too
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Old 17 November 2009, 23:56   #40
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Quote:
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Uploaded a video of HAM6 fullscreen to Youtube. It is some sort of anime opening titles.

[ Show youtube player ]
That video is NSFW btw...

Heads up..

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