Sunday, 8 June 2014

Latest GPLPV Drivers

This weekend I've started playing about with MediaBrowser 3. Looks like it will bring a lot to the party for me in that it integrates well with MediaPortal, provides the client/server model I miss from Plex and does media transcoding for handheld device playback.

However, this latest feature wasn't working well for me. I'd installed MediaBrowser Server in my TVServer Win 7 VM but when I tried to play back media from devices requiring transcoding (iPad, web browser) there was very poor performance, a lot of stuttering and general failure.

Even when I attempted to play back an audio track, it was skipping and pausing.

However, this reminded me of an issue I had when I had Logitech Media Server installed in the same VM. I'd get skipping on local tracks and a lot of buffering playing tunes from Spotify.

At the time, I'd put it down to perhaps a network drive issue but I was using the latest GPLPV drivers (or so I thought) so was stuck. (I ended up installing an ArchLinux VM and running LMS there).

Anyway, a side remark from GrumpyButFun over in unRAID forums indicated that there might be newer GPLPV drivers available. I did a quick google search this morning and came accross an updated Xen wiki page which indicated that there was a new home for the drivers:

I downloaded and installed the latest ones and voila, MediaBrowser transcoding worked perfectly (but wow, is FFMpeg heavy on CPU!).

For fun, I reinstalled Logitech Media Server on this VM and it now works perfectly as well. So I've eliminated the need for the ArchLinux VM, and reassigned it;s CPUs to the Win7 VM to help with the extra load I'm placing on it.

Will continue playing around MediaBrowser3 and see where I get to.


Anonymous said...

Why did you get rid of Plex? Is MediaBrowser 3 that much better?

Peter Mee said...


I got rid of Plex some time ago.

The main reason was it's lack of support for LiveTV. I wanted a single front end system that would provide access to all my media but also provider LiveTV and PVR capabilities.

I actually moved to XBMC at the time but found that generally unsatisfactory. Then I found MediaPortal and found it meeds all my needs.

In particular, it's a single UI that runs on several HTPCs and provides an easy to use front end for all the family and has central TV Tuner management. Plus it's extensible via plug-in architecture has a really nice visual appearance.

I've only started looking at MediaBrowser this week. The one disadvantage of MediaPortal over PLEX is it's lack of centralised server model (follow me playback).

It's coming in MediaPortal 2 but that's going to be a while so MediaBrowser might fill the gap in the meantime. It's a single server that manages all media and there's a MediaPortal plug-in for it.

Initial testing is positive but I'll be playing a lot more before making any decisions.

splnut said...

Do you know how I can confirm the GPLPV drivers are installed correctly? I have pass-thru working fine, but when I play a simply youtube video (while watching xl top) the cpu% shoots up to 150%. Im using the fx-6300 and have 2 cores assigned to the Win8.1 VM. I posted on the limetech forums with no response yet.

Peter Mee said...

splnut, from Xen wiki;

These drivers allow Windows to make use of the network and block backend drivers in Dom0, instead of the virtual PCI devices provided by QEMU. This gives Windows (in theory) a substantial performance boost...

As I understand it, these drivers affect network and hard drive performance only and have nothing to do with display.

Have you correctly installed your GPU drivers inside the VM?