Crystal HD - Does it work properly now?

Hi Guys, I’m considering purchasing a Broadcom Crystal HD card to watch 720p & 1080p MKV’s without any stutter. The problem is (and I’ve really checked out the forums on this) that I can’t find any info to suggest it works properly with the latest version of aTV Flash with the latest xbmc (10.1 Dharma?) All I can find is others reporting back during the earlier part of last year that they were having all sorts of issues… (mainly they were still getting choppy video or having to constantly reboot etc, etc.) Has this all been resolved? Is it all a relatively simple process now with the drivers being up to the job 18 months later? Any Inputs from the Mods or the guys using a Crstal HD on the ‘frontline’ would be REALLY appreciated! :slight_smile:

ditto for me, recently took the plunge and am very happy with the ATVFlash 4.3.1 and am looking forward to trying the new 4.4 release. The BCM970015 card looks interesting and will allow me to move back from my WDTV Live machine to ATV1/ATVFlash4/XBMC10 to enjoy my HD media. THeres lots on the forums but its pretty dated now.

Along with stuartp I would appreciate the latest on support for the Crystal HD with the latest official builds

 

I’m using the Crystal card since almost a year now, and can play large movies in 1080p,without any problem… BUT since I did upgrade,to ATV Flash 4.4 most of the movies don’t play correctly anymore!!!

My appletV reboots almost half of the time!

This was working so well, I should not have upgraded aTV Flash… I’m really unhappy.

Now, how do I downgrade to previous of ATV Flash?

Tanks,

Jean-Frederic

Re Jean-Frederic’s problem… This is what myself and roryc are talking about. Is anyone else having issues with 4.4 if so are the Mods aware and is there a simple fix? As before, any comments would be appreciated…

Update on my earlier post. I installed a BCM970015 card which came from Logicsupply. I have ATV Flash 4.4 installed and the latest Apple TV OS. XBMC 10.1 Dharma is also installed.

The first gotcha is the edits to the /etc/rc.local which are broken. I found this out after trawling the XBMC forums. You must edit the rc.local and break the line that has the BroadcomCrystalHD.kext and the turbo_kext_enabler as they are on the same line. Once they are on two lines and saved. Rebooting the ATV I was able to see the Crystal HD setting in the XBMC - Settings - Video - Playback. Now the ATV can play HD movies. This URL was helpful.

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=69321

Also covered in this thread on the Firecore forums

http://forum.firecore.com/topic/2099?page=6

Caveat - Since I have my HD movies off on a USB (2TB WD Elements) drive attached to my router, the ATV must load the files over SMB before the can be rendered.I have wired in the ATV to the router (Gb switch) so it is running at 100Mb. HD Files <6GB are playing without issue. HD files > 6GB are not working well - I am getting regular Buffering of the file, every minute to two. To test this further I copied a large (14GB) HD movie to the ATV and accessed the file in XBMC - it played more or less perfectly. Things got a little bit bumpy when I accessed the Menus to adjust the Audio track and Subtitles. I was happy with this performance. I estimated the copy speed from USB drive to ATV was about 5MB/sec. I will continue to see if I can tweak this further to improve performance for the large HD (1080p) movies.

 

Update on this post (11.16.11)

When streaming HD movies >14GB from my NAS (Thecus N4100+) over SMB to the ATV it works well. The NAS is wired to the router (Gb). So although the NAS appliance does not have great performance it seems to be superior to the USB 2TB drive which is plugged into the router (Netgear N900).

 

Thanks to roryc’s update, I have now purchased a Crystal HD card. Will complete the install in the next 24 hours and comment on the level of success and any issues following this.

Progress report on my ATV since the upgrade to use the Crystal HD with the BCM970015 card.

I’m seeing a pretty regular ATV freeze/lockup when watching movies in XBMC. I’ve seen it with 700MB Divx files and DVD images and larger HDs mkvs as well. with so many parts in play here its not easy to debug - the wifi router is new, the ATV is old but has a new BCM card installed. The Firecore release is new and XBMC ontop - Dharma 10.1 I think.

Next time it happens I’ll see if I can ssh to the ATV to take a look at the log files. If not my guess and first line of attach is the BCM card. Might be faulty or need re-seating (unlikely).

Any ideas or similar experiences - let me know

Update on my earlier post - I’m seeing a pretty regular ATV freeze/lockup when watching movies in XBMC

checked the XBMC.log file and found messages like

                  CDVDMessageQueue(audio)::Get - asked for new data packet

and searching found others on the XBMC forum with similar issues

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=86444&page=2

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=114552

Since Im wired into my router its not a wifi issue. No real solutions offered here. Might be a file dependent issue  as it is not happening with all the movies which we watch.

 

 

Update on my earlier post - I’m seeing a pretty regular ATV freeze/lockup when watching movies in XBMC

checked the XBMC.log file and found messages like

                  CDVDMessageQueue(audio)::Get - asked for new data packet

and searching found others on the XBMC forum with similar issues

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=86444&page=2

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=114552

Since Im wired into my router its not a wifi issue. No real solutions offered here. Might be a file dependent issue  as it is not happening with all the movies which we watch.

 

 

After a couple of delays, I have now installed the Crystal HD card and drivers. Despite reservations and the problems others have had, I personally experienced no issues with the entire installation process. Everything worked as it should as I followed the Firecore ‘How To’ instructions for the Crystal HD. Unfortunately this is where the plain sailing ended. As has been reported in other threads I am experiencing relatively smooth playback (I shall return to this point) which inexplicably and randomly will turn to severe stutter every few files viewed. The only way to rectify this is with a reboot whereby the problem file will then play smoothly. This problem however will again re occur a few playbacks later. I describe normal playback as relatively smooth. By this I mean that files will play without issue 95% of the time however every couple of minutes a few frames will be dropped resulting in the picture sticking for roughly half a second. Although not the end of the world, it still is in the first instance distacting and secondly, shouldn’t be happening at all. At present I have only experienced this with MKV files (all well under 6gb) and not AVI’s although I get the same problem with standard def DVD playback through XBMC also. I have yet to test MP4 files which I will look at next. I am also pulling everything from a WD My Passport attached to the aTV via USB - this will need to be explored also compared to local storage on the internal HD. I wonder if anyone has found a way to minimise this sticking problem… Perhaps a few glitches still exist in the Crystal HD Drivers for aTV that could be ironed out in any further updates? One for the mods I think?

All,

Quick feedback since last time. For some reasons my system is back to the level of quality I was experimenting since more than 1 year now.
Meaning NO problem.

I can play ALL videos… Without any lag. Just perfect. What ever type.
I’m reading a lot of AVI and MKV mainly 1080p and often bigger than 10Gb!

Maybe the difference with Stuartp is that I’m using a QNAP 459Pro direct connected via 1Gb ethernet.

I cant afford one of those!!! :frowning: