iPhone Life magazine

Best all-in-one multimedia player GoodPlayer receives deinterlacing support + my fix to a bug

Back in July, I've devoted a sizeable part of my multimedia article to the question of dynamic video de-interlacing. Back then, the only way of (dynamically) getting rid of the pretty ugly effects of interlacing was jailbreaking your iDevice and installing the not very finger-friendly, pretty awkward XBMC on it.

The best all-in-one multimedia player GoodPlayer (AppStore link), which I've recommended in several of my past articles, has just received deinterlacing support. Needless to say, as I'm a big-time consumer of interlaced (SD-resolution MPEG TS) videos, I quickly tested the player to see whether it's any good. I am happy to report that it's indeed very good, at least on iDevices with dual-core CPU's: iPad 2 and, presumably, the iPhone 4S. On the other hand, I don't think it's worth bothering on single-core ones like the iPhone 4 (or earlier models) or the iPad 1 – they simply don't have the CPU power.

Enabling deinterlacing

Just switch the “Deinterlacing” switch to “On”, as you can also see in the following screenshot:



(Note that the shot contains another red rectangle. More on it later, in the bugfix section below.)

Just don't forget to deactivate the switch when playing back non-interlaced video.

Benchmark and Test Results

As usual, I've made some very thorough and well-documented (see the test videos below) tests to find out whether the new mode incurs any kind of slowdowns during playback. The source of the test video was the usual one.

On the iPad 1, the new mode is plain useless: in addition to the (compared to the iPad2,) much more pronounced interlace “vibration”, the playback is really jittery. Nevertheless, it's still better than that of XBMC on the same hardware, using the same test video. I've made available the test videos shot with my Nikon P300 in both high-res 1080 30p and low-res VGA 120p mode. I recommend the former for particularly checking out the effects of interlace vibration and the latter for benchmarking. The videos are available in their original format as downloadable files.

1080p direct link

VGA; direct link

On the iPad 2 running iOS 5.0.1, playback is flawless (unlike with XBMC), apart from the (slight) interlace vibration. The latter, however, is not very distracting – much-much less annoying than on the single-core iPad 1. Demo videos:

1080p; direct link

VGA; direct link

For comparison, I couldn't test XBMC. While it did install on my jailbroken 5.0.0 iPad 1, upon selecting the .TS video file, it reboots the entire computer immediately. I haven't bothered installing the nighty builds; they are supposed to work (see section “Installing the latest nightly build” HERE for a tutorial).

Resolution

The vertical resolution, as you may have already guessed, is halved, which is pretty much evident from the following two screenshots. Nevertheless, it's a great tradeoff for completely getting rid of the annoying interlacing effects - that is, the infamous "combing effects" - as you can see, there isn't any kind of "combing" in the shot, and if you examine the benchmark videos linked to in the previous section, you'll also see on dual-core hardware (iPad 2 / iPhone 4S), no frames are dropped either:


(deinterlacing on)


(deinterlacing off)

My solution to an annoying bug...

If you check out the new version, you'll see whenever you tap the “pause” icon, the next clip will start (or resume) playing. That is, practically, it's impossible to pause playback, which is a big pain in the back.

Fortunately, I've managed to find out how this problem can be fixed. Just set Auto Repeat (down in the “Auto Playback” group) to “Turn off” from the default “All Files Loop”.

 

UPDATE (later the same day):

1, the bug may only affect TS files. (Haven't tested other formats with the latest versions yet; however, the bug was present on both my iPads with TS files.)

2, I've finished uploading the YouTube versions of the videos. They're as follows:

iPad 1:

(120 fps)

(1080p 30 fps

 

iPad 2:

(120 fps)

(1080p 30 fps)

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Werner Ruotsalainen is an iOS and Java programming lecturer who is well-versed in programming, hacking, operating systems, and programming languages. Werner tries to generate unique articles on subjects not widely discussed. Some of his articles are highly technical and are intended for other programmers and coders.

Werner also is interested in photography and videography. He is a frequent contributor to not only mobile and computing publications, but also photo and video forums. He loves swimming, skiing, going to the gym, and using his iPads. English is one of several languages he speaks.