Nvidia/Youtube HDR Rant

BoredSysadmin

Active Member
Mar 2, 2019
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Last year I shell out for a nice pair of 2k 27monitors that support HDR, a bit before that GTX 1070ti - at $450 I wasn't cheap, but at current insane prices doesn't seem all that expensive.
Short story, I figured I have a bit of time to play with Windows HDR mode, got it set up nice and pretty color/lightness balance.

Going to Youtube and let's play some real 2k HDR content. The good news it plays, but the bad news is a dog slow.
CPU is peaked at 100% - Hmm, OK I do have an ancient 2500k CPU, but it wasn't a problem before as GPU supposed to decode the video, right?
Is Hardware acceleration enabled? Well yes, it is.
Digging deeper (youtube stats for nerds), I see that Youtube is using their favorite codec VP9 and HDR requires bt2020 colorspace - ie: 10bits.... Do you want to guess what comes next?
If you guessed a lot of headbanging after I saw and confirmed It in two different sources: Only SOME Pascal GPUs can decode VP9 with 10/12 bits, the rest is limited to vp9 with 8bit color (ie: NO HDR)

Notice how GTX 1030/1050/1050ti does support VP9 with 10bit, but 1060/1070/1070ti/1080 doesn't, then 1080 TI and all newer cards do.
WTF nVidia??? and Shame on youtube for not providing alternative streams in H.265 with 10bits which my card DOES support
 
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i386

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2016
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and Shame on youtube for not providing alternative streams in H.265 with 10bits which my card DOES support
h265 requires a license for a service provider ._.
 

BoredSysadmin

Active Member
Mar 2, 2019
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h265 requires a license for a service provider ._.
yes It does, but last I checked YouTube is Ads supported. I get it that for Google vp9 makes financial sense, but they still support h.264 as vp9 fallback, but for HDR content they don’t provide such fallback since nearly nothing supports h.264 10bit in hardware, but plenty do for h.265 10 bit. Google could easily afford to temporarily provide h.265 as a fallback and I am still in shock over nVidia’s decision to skip vp9 profile2 support on its most popular gpu mid range cards.
 

Wasmachineman_NL

Dell Precisions FTW!
Aug 7, 2019
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YouTube has been consistently slow as shit since they dropped Flash in 2015 and made it even worse with the PajeetScript-ridden layout from 2016. So, nothing new.
 
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BoredSysadmin

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Mar 2, 2019
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YouTube has been consistently slow as shit since they dropped Flash in 2015 and made it even worse with the PajeetScript-ridden layout from 2016. So, nothing new.
It is slow for one specific reason that Google chose to push In-house/free developed video codec (VP9) with quite limited hardware support and no fallback option for their HDR videos. If HDR videos would be allowed to fall back to a much more commonly supported (but not free) H.265 codec - we won't have this discussion.

While I know that Pascal cards are fairly old, given the market situation, one might be tempted to buy them second-hand. So for that person - If you care about HDR - be very aware of some of Pascal GPU models' shortcomings in that aspect.

p.s: Today, I tried to find if AMD cards VCN 3.0 is any better, and I couldn't find any info if VP9 with a 10bit color profile is supported or not, but the consensus is that AMD is far behind both Intel and NVidia on the video processing side.
 

EffrafaxOfWug

Radioactive Member
Feb 12, 2015
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I gave up watching youtube via the web several years back due to both the slowness of the web UI for non-chrome users and the constant bullshit that was going on with adverts and codecs; it seems like precious little has changed. These days if I want to watch a video I pipe it in to youtube-dl and watch it in a decent media player. Even HW-accelerated stuff in the browser used twice as much CPU as a "proper" media player.

I've got no experience with HDR myself, but if you think the format and web interface is an issue then youtube-dl is an avenue you might want to try exploring.
 

Wasmachineman_NL

Dell Precisions FTW!
Aug 7, 2019
470
154
43
I gave up watching youtube via the web several years back due to both the slowness of the web UI for non-chrome users and the constant bullshit that was going on with adverts and codecs; it seems like precious little has changed. These days if I want to watch a video I pipe it in to youtube-dl and watch it in a decent media player. Even HW-accelerated stuff in the browser used twice as much CPU as a "proper" media player.

I've got no experience with HDR myself, but if you think the format and web interface is an issue then youtube-dl is an avenue you might want to try exploring.
youtube-dl and invidious.tube are good alternatives to YT itself