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Xacalite
February 12th, 2016, 11:01 AM
So I'm building The Ultimate 16-bit PC, based on a 286 @ 25 MHz.
And I want to play some videos on it.
Considering what 8088 Domination can do with a 5150, it should be a piece of cake for a fast 286 to play videos at pretty decent quality.
Only I can't find any software.
Video for Windows 1.1 requires a 386.
QuickView 1.03b runs on a 286, but for playing AVI files also needs 386.
I know about FLI, FLC, GL, DL - but they aren't really videos, they are animations.
I've found this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wraAawslLKs , but I want something more advanced than copying raw uncompressed data from disk to video memory.

Any ideas?

Stone
February 12th, 2016, 11:10 AM
Can you more specific as to what format videos you have in mind or does AVI pretty much sum it up?

Xacalite
February 12th, 2016, 11:34 AM
I don't insist on any specific format.
But I want some compression so to keep the video data reasonably small, and within the transfer rate of typical 286-era HDDs.
So I guess AVI with some early codec would be perfect.

SomeGuy
February 12th, 2016, 12:00 PM
I'd suggest looking in to MPG players. I recall there were some for DOS, but off hand I don't know if any ran on a 286 or with sound.

nc_mike
February 12th, 2016, 12:14 PM
I don't insist on any specific format.
But I want some compression so to keep the video data reasonably small, and within the transfer rate of typical 286-era HDDs.
So I guess AVI with some early codec would be perfect.

Maybe add an XT-IDE and a CF drive to get really fast disk access. I found that worked really well.

Stone
February 12th, 2016, 12:48 PM
I think protected mode is going to be required for AVIs to run so that leaves out the 286. You could view animated GIFs on a 286, however.

kyodai
February 12th, 2016, 12:59 PM
Forget AVI on a 286, i tried it with a 486 and everything larger than stamp size was pretty much impossible.

For best performance try some DOS MPEG players. I collected pretty much all that were free in the days and uploaded them here:

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1366370256.zip

KC9UDX
February 12th, 2016, 02:54 PM
All the video players I could use on my 80386 based machine in the 90s had trouble with anything worth watching. I can't imagine using an 80286 based machine.

Stone
February 12th, 2016, 03:22 PM
All the video players I could use on my 80386 based machine in the 90s had trouble with anything worth watching. I can't imagine using an 80286 based machine.Don't worry, you won't have to (or be able to) do that since there's no software to do that in real mode.

gslick
February 12th, 2016, 04:02 PM
Don't worry, you won't have to (or be able to) do that since there's no software to do that in real mode.

Do you specifically mean 32-bit protected mode? As well all know the 286 can run in 16-bit protected mode.

Stone
February 12th, 2016, 04:47 PM
32-bit is what I meant.

vwestlife
February 12th, 2016, 04:50 PM
The Tandy/Memorex VIS had a 12 MHz 286 and could do "full-motion video", although not at full screen size.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tandy_Video_Information_System

KC9UDX
February 12th, 2016, 07:04 PM
The Commodore 64 with an REU can do full screen full motion video, Amiga style. :)

vwestlife
February 12th, 2016, 08:16 PM
Maybe with a 25 MHz 286 you could:

http://oi58.tinypic.com/15fqf0i.jpg

krebizfan
February 12th, 2016, 09:20 PM
Track down one of the Intel DVI playback card sets. That gave an AT enough oomph to handle movies. Looked good at trade shows at least.

Trixter
February 13th, 2016, 12:13 AM
Hey, I'm a subject matter expert for this! I'll chime in:


So I'm building The Ultimate 16-bit PC, based on a 286 @ 25 MHz.
And I want to play some videos on it.
Considering what 8088 Domination can do with a 5150, it should be a piece of cake for a fast 286 to play videos at pretty decent quality.

You have to understand that 8088 Domination was engineered specifically for the hardware it was demonstrated on. That does NOT mean a computer 4x faster should be able to play 4x better video. All a 4x faster computer can do is play 8088 Domination stuff 4x faster. For something like a fast 286+VGA, an entirely different method would need to be designed for it to look better than Domination does.

If you'd like to make your own "Domination" style videos (limited to CGA of course) then you can do so -- I released the entire system (https://x86dc.wordpress.com/) online for free. But your VGA card won't be able to do anything other than B&W CGA.



Video for Windows 1.1 requires a 386.
QuickView 1.03b runs on a 286, but for playing AVI files also needs 386.

There are good reasons for this, mostly because any frame with more than 4 colors is large. Any method dealing with 15-/16-/24-bit color gets a boost from 32-bit-wide registers.

For 386s, there were essentially two choices for semi-fast video decoding: Microsoft Video 1 (CRAM) and Cinepak. MSV1 used block-based deltas, but more importantly could be stored as 8-bit palette-ized frames so there was no colorspace conversion necessary. Cinepak was based on vector quantization (decoding was just table lookups), however it had to convert from an internal colorspace to 16-bit color. Both codecs were able to play back 160x120 video at 30fps on a 386sx-25, and could just barely manage 320x240 video at 12 or 15fps depending on the complexity of the material.

I've mused about designing a video playback system from scratch for a 286 with VGA on this forum before; the short answer is that I'd likely revisit the method I used in 8088 Corruption (text mode) but take advantage of VGA by using a redefined font and color palette every frame. This would equate to a vector quantization codec where the hardware "performs" some of the "decoding" (ie. VGA renders the text characters and color). Decoding would be instantaneous (it would work on 8088 systems, actually), and the datarate would be (8*256)+(3*256)+(40*25*2) = 4816 bytes per frame, which equates to 144480 bytes per second for a 30fps video, which is within tolerance for streaming off of a 1X CDROM drive. (This is without audio, btw; adding audio would require going down to 24fps to maintain the same datarate.)


For best performance try some DOS MPEG players. I collected pretty much all that were free in the days and uploaded them here:

http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1366370256.zip

You are my hero! I'd lost most of these.

I see the Xing MPEG DOS players are in there. Those *might* work on a 286 but they require very oddly-formatted MPEG files -- I think the files must be I-frame only, and also must be a fixed size of 160x100. Also, those players/files don't support audio.

The Pro Movie Spectrum hardware capture board (captured directly to MSV1 in hardware!) came with DOS playback software. I have vague memories of it being able to play back on a 286. But I can't find the software (see .sig).

For a final, last-ditch effort for the 286+VGA, download the Smacker creation tool from RAD Game Tools, use the earlier audio codec (not the Bink one) when you make your video, and then try to find a very very early version of the Smacker player. I don't recall if the first versions of Smacker required a 386, but they probably did because Smacker debuted in 1994.


Track down one of the Intel DVI playback card sets. That gave an AT enough oomph to handle movies. Looked good at trade shows at least.

Those are nearly unobtanium. I had the opportunity to obtain one when I purchased Storyboard Live last year, but decided against it because I didn't have any DVI videos, and didn't know how to make any. Same concept as Cinepak (vector quantization).

nc_mike
February 13th, 2016, 02:46 AM
I used the Intel DVI (Digitial Video Interactive) card set back in the late 80's - it was awesome. I had gotten my hands on a pre-release (MCA bus version) set and ran it on an IBM Model 80. Few people at the time understood just how fast and good the video was with that technology. Only thing is, I don't think I've seen that on eBay, ever. I don't think a whole lot of them were sold; it was considered somewhat experimental at the time and they were very expensive. I used it to add a video player and video clips to electronic books (eBooks) remember, this was the late 80's, before before Mosaic and the web emerged), and hold the earliest published invention disclosure on it (semantic hypermedia eBooks), https://priorart.ip.com/IPCOM/000109088

Regards,
Mike

Regards,
Mike

Trixter
February 13th, 2016, 09:39 AM
Very cool, Mike! I saw DVI in action once when I was a teenager but I didn't really understand what I was seeing at the time. I hope someone eventually posts a youtube video of what it looked like.

Xacalite
February 13th, 2016, 11:52 AM
I've mused about designing a video playback system from scratch for a 286 with VGA on this forum before; the short answer is that I'd likely revisit the method I used in 8088 Corruption (text mode)

Really?
You somehow managed to make an 8088@4.77 play videos in 640x200x1bpp mode.
320x200x8bpp frames are 4x larger.
And fast 286s are 10+ times faster than 8088@4.77, so this should be no problem.

As of yet, I've found one MPEG decoder which doesn't require 386 - DMPEG V1.1
But it's not really a player, and it's way too slow - claims about 4 sec/frame on a 386DX/33

So I guess I can forget about attaining my goal using existing software, the only solution would be to create something specially tailored for my hardware...

chjmartin2
February 13th, 2016, 11:55 AM
I've mused about designing a video playback system from scratch for a 286 with VGA on this forum before; the short answer is that I'd likely revisit the method I used in 8088 Corruption (text mode) but take advantage of VGA by using a redefined font and color palette every frame. This would equate to a vector quantization codec where the hardware "performs" some of the "decoding" (ie. VGA renders the text characters and color). Decoding would be instantaneous (it would work on 8088 systems, actually), and the datarate would be (8*256)+(3*256)+(40*25*2) = 4816 bytes per frame, which equates to 144480 bytes per second for a 30fps video, which is within tolerance for streaming off of a 1X CDROM drive. (This is without audio, btw; adding audio would require going down to 24fps to maintain the same datarate.)

How large of a character library would you really have to use? Meaning - you could use a 1024 character set for a whole scene. You could get very significant compression. Like Algo on the C64....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jSUS4nBaqE

Are you still limited attribute wise to 2 colors for each 8x8 set of pixels? Can the VGA registers/settings be tweaked to get to half height characters (still only 9k of data per frame even with a 512 character set)? Can the VGA text mode to be tweaked to a 40x200 mode instead?

Chris

Stone
February 13th, 2016, 12:03 PM
So I guess I can forget about attaining my goal using existing software, the only solution would be to create something specially tailored for my hardware...My guess is that it might be impossible to create what you have in mind without using a 32-bit program.

kyodai
February 13th, 2016, 01:09 PM
I sure liked these DOS MPEG players. Back in the days i had a 486 SLC 33 and that was sooooo slow compared to Intel DX-66. But i had a single speed CD-ROM and regularily bought a German Magazine called "Inside Multimedia", that came with a CD-ROM and they usually had some sample MPEG video on it. So i tried pretty much all DOS MPEG players. XING was not bad, but some like CMPEG performed even better for some sample videos. So in the end i made batch files to loop sample MPEG videos in fullscreen (I think they were just 320x240 or so, but scaled to fullscreen) and impressed my friends so much with these. The multimedia PC was born. Not sure which combination of resolution and format would run best on a 286, but i still believe MPEG has a chance.

I made some fullscreen video demos for my HP 200LX, but these were custom made, just BLOAD every single frame which is pretty fast from a CF card. And also "just" 640x200 in monochrome. I guess that is sufficient to convert some smaller videos but nothing for a 2 hour hollywood movie. Oh yeah and my demos did not have sound.

Trixter
February 13th, 2016, 01:59 PM
You somehow managed to make an 8088@4.77 play videos in 640x200x1bpp mode.
320x200x8bpp frames are 4x larger.
And fast 286s are 10+ times faster than 8088@4.77, so this should be no problem.


There's more to the Domination than that; one of the tricks used was exploiting the temporal stability of the ordered dither patterns. I'm not changing the entire screen when I paint the next frame, only about 2K per frame. If you move to 8-bit color, now you don't really use dithering because you have a lot more color resolution available. Without any special handling, the entire screen needs changing, which is 64K per frame.

MSV1 and Cinepak dealt with that by dividing the screen up into a grid of small blocks, and blocks that didn't change all that much weren't updated. Something like that would need to be done for a 286+VGA video compression method, and that's nearly a completely different process than what 8088 Domination did.

BTW, according to TOPBENCH, only the very fastest 286s (16MHz, 0-wait-state RAM) are 10x as fast. Most 286s are around 5x as fast.

BTW2, If you are building a system with a 25 MHz 286, why not just build a 25 MHz **386** and solve your problems that way?


So I guess I can forget about attaining my goal using existing software, the only solution would be to create something specially tailored for my hardware...

Did you investigate Smacker?

Also, you'll be happy to know that there is at least one example of FMV available for 286s: Grab (ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/Software/Games) and burn a copy of Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective (http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/sherlock-holmes-consulting-detective) to CDROM. Playing it, you'll see immediately how they achieved it; static scenes where the camera is locked down, coupled with sophisticated noise reduction, drastically reduces the amount of information that needs to change between frames. It's essentially an animation player.


How large of a character library would you really have to use? Meaning - you could use a 1024 character set for a whole scene. You could get very significant compression. Like Algo on the C64....

Algo's VQ work is very admirable (we've communicated several times throughout the past few years), but you can only do a fixed VQ table for a limited length. If you're doing an entire video, something like 5 minutes long or longer, one size does not fit all. That said, adaptive table updates are probably an option, although there is no perfect solution for that (it's an NP-hard problem).


Are you still limited attribute wise to 2 colors for each 8x8 set of pixels? Can the VGA registers/settings be tweaked to get to half height characters (still only 9k of data per frame even with a 512 character set)? Can the VGA text mode to be tweaked to a 40x200 mode instead?

Limited to 2 colors per each char/background. Yes, all tweaks you mentioned are possible. But if you're going to do that, you're trading one problem for another. I would rather completely change my entire character set, which gives me more flexibility per frame, than try to stick with a single character set and hack up the ways I could use it.

The VGA textmode thing is only one option that nearly eliminates CPU processing from the mix. If you actually do want to use CPU, then I think re-implementing MSV1 (by writing a DOS player for 8-bit-palette MSV1 files) is the most practical. It should be possible to do this without exhausting CPU, and the encoder has been included with Windows since 3.1 onward. It should also be possible to write a DOS player for Cinepak grayscale videos (where you can decode directly to MCGA RAM and don't have to worry about colorspace conversions).

Trixter
February 13th, 2016, 02:02 PM
I made some fullscreen video demos for my HP 200LX, but these were custom made, just BLOAD every single frame which is pretty fast from a CF card. And also "just" 640x200 in monochrome. I guess that is sufficient to convert some smaller videos but nothing for a 2 hour hollywood movie. Oh yeah and my demos did not have sound.

If you feel the need to try again, XDC (https://x86dc.wordpress.com/) should work great on your 200LX if you use 640x200 frames. There are a couple of 640x200 demo files there if you just want to test out the player.

Trixter
February 13th, 2016, 03:34 PM
Thanks to a forum member (speak up if you don't want to remain anonymous!), I now have the Pro Movie Spectrum driver and DOS files disk. Not only does this mean I can resurrect my capture card (yay!) but I had the opportunity to look at the DOS player. Unfortunately, there are a few places where 32-bit registers are used, so this also requires a 386 or higher. Still, it's very cool, so I've packaged up the disks' contents and included a sample CRAM (MSV1) .AVI file (ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/Video/Pro%20Movie%20Spectrum.zip) that plays correctly using the program. Use VCR (filename) for no sound, or SBVCR (filename) for sound.

Xacalite
February 13th, 2016, 11:57 PM
BTW2, If you are building a system with a 25 MHz 286, why not just build a 25 MHz **386** and solve your problems that way?

32-bit PCs are boring, they're still almost current, if I was to build a 32-bit box I might as well go for a Pentium IV :p
My goal is to have the best 16-bit PC possible, using components from that period, and see what it's capable of.

I know a 386SX can play videos, I know that at a given clock speed 286 can actually be faster than 386SX in 16-bit code, so I thought about playing videos, only later realized that all the players back then were 32-bit.
And yes, stuff like Domination has spoiled me into expecting the impossible :mrgreen:


Did you investigate Smacker?

Yes, the oldest version I found is 1.93r, haven't transferred it to my 286 box yet, but the "PMODE/W v1.16 DOS extender..." string in the EXE = no hope...

kyodai
February 14th, 2016, 01:36 AM
Here's someone who wrote a quickbasic app to play some video clip on a 286, even with sound. "just" 320x240 but looks pretty good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wraAawslLKs

I'd like to look into the source. I bet he's just throwing uncompressed frames, otherwise I don't think such good sound playback would be possible.

vwestlife
February 14th, 2016, 07:32 PM
Here's someone who wrote a quickbasic app to play some video clip on a 286, even with sound. "just" 320x240 but looks pretty good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wraAawslLKs

I'd like to look into the source. I bet he's just throwing uncompressed frames, otherwise I don't think such good sound playback would be possible.

I wish he had chosen better-quality source material -- although it may have been intentional, since the limited color depth and frame rate of a cartoon is a good way to hide the limitations of low-bandwidth video playback. ;)

p.s. And it annoys me when people say "megahurt" instead of "megahertz". Hertz is a proper name (Dr. Heinrich Hertz), so there are no plural or singular forms; it's the same for both.

Krille
February 15th, 2016, 06:46 AM
I'll just leave this (http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?22281-286-Video-Playing-Program) here.

Trixter
February 17th, 2016, 05:27 PM
My goal is to have the best 16-bit PC possible, using components from that period

I wasn't aware a 25 MHz 286 was a component from ANY period. I've never seen or even heard of one until your post. 20MHz was the fastest I'd seen in the wild.


I bet he's just throwing uncompressed frames, otherwise I don't think such good sound playback would be possible.

They are uncompressed frames, but even if they weren't, the sound playback should be flawless. The Sound Blaster, even the original one, has a hardware interrupt that fires when the card is done playing a sound buffer; you interrupt what you're doing to set up the next sound buffer. If anything, it would be the video playback that would suffer, not the sound.

Don't be so quick to discount raw frames... early MPC-1 multimedia video was 160x120. Assuming 8-bit color and raw frames, that's ~19KB per frame. A 286 could stream at least 150KB/s off of a hard drive; subtract 11K/second for the audio and you get a framerate of about 7fps. Some people (not me) would consider that video, and if you mask it with a flat cartoon with little animation in it, who is the wiser? ;-)

Cimonvg
February 18th, 2016, 01:12 PM
hello
think this is a picture of a 286 25Mhz. (not me selling).
http://www.ebay.com/itm/CS80C286-12-HARRIS-N80C286-Vintage-Rare-CPU-LAST-ONES-/391272867075

Some where i have a harris 286-20Mhz, and i remeber is being very fast. If not in the TOPBENCH xls, i should benchmark it when i have the opportunity.
/cimonvg

kyodai
February 18th, 2016, 01:32 PM
I wasn't aware a 25 MHz 286 was a component from ANY period. I've never seen or even heard of one until your post. 20MHz was the fastest I'd seen in the wild.



They are uncompressed frames, but even if they weren't, the sound playback should be flawless. The Sound Blaster, even the original one, has a hardware interrupt that fires when the card is done playing a sound buffer; you interrupt what you're doing to set up the next sound buffer. If anything, it would be the video playback that would suffer, not the sound.

Don't be so quick to discount raw frames... early MPC-1 multimedia video was 160x120. Assuming 8-bit color and raw frames, that's ~19KB per frame. A 286 could stream at least 150KB/s off of a hard drive; subtract 11K/second for the audio and you get a framerate of about 7fps. Some people (not me) would consider that video, and if you mask it with a flat cartoon with little animation in it, who is the wiser? ;-)

I never coded any video player in color i must admit. But B&W CGA in 640x200 running from a PCMCIA Solid state device like an SRAM card or CF card is actually so fast i had to reduce the frame rate by inserting garbage mathematical calculations between each frame (Hell yeah in Visual Basic for DOS you don't have a reliable pause function...)

Xacalite
February 21st, 2016, 05:40 AM
Slightly off-topic, but I've found this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD3-adJANUk
I recall seeing late-286s brand-new back in 1993, but that chip in the video has 9520, ie. 20th week of 1995.
Very, very, very late for a 286, isn't it?
Any idea when exactly the last 286 PC was made?
Might be relevant for my project, I need to decide on which peripherals are "historically-correct" for a 286.

KC9UDX
February 21st, 2016, 06:15 AM
My memory says I saw a new one made in 2000 or later as part of a DR-DOS hosted industrial controller.

Nope. Thought about it some more. 1997 at the latest. Being a "pc on a card"probably doesn't meet your criteria anyway.

Trixter
March 3rd, 2016, 07:02 PM
Inspired by this conversation, I created a video that showcased what typical early Windows multimedia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3XwQT06cLg) looked like. For the purposes of our "video player for a 286" conversation, the first 3 minutes apply. Cinepak (or a lighter variant thereof) and MSV1 have the potential to be decoded on a fast 286.

KC9UDX
March 3rd, 2016, 07:45 PM
Inspired by this conversation, I created a video that showcased what typical early Windows multimedia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3XwQT06cLg) looked like. For the purposes of our "video player for a 286" conversation, the first 3 minutes apply. Cinepak (or a lighter variant thereof) and MSV1 have the potential to be decoded on a fast 286.

Very nice!

How many of us ever actually saw PCs doing anything like that in 1991 though? I don't remember seeing any kind of real video without a Laserdisc player connected, prior to 1994, maybe. And even then, it didn't look that good. (OK, maybe MSV1 did).

Trixter
March 3rd, 2016, 08:25 PM
I was doing this, but I was an early adopter. I've always been fascinated with video and audio processing on early PCs, if anything as a kind of party trick. In 1993 I was capturing my own stuff off of videotape using a hardware MS-CRAM (MSV1) board that could only do 30fps at 160x120 resolution. In 1994, I used an Intel card to grab 320x240 stuff into raw YV12. I used a parallel-port hardware MPEG-1 encoder to make VideoCDs in realtime. And so on. It wasn't until 1998 and an MJPEG board (mine (https://www.google.com/search?q=iomega+zip+jazz+video+capture&oq=iomega+zip+jazz+video+capture&aqs=chrome..69i57.11585j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8#safe=off&q=iomega+buz) used a Zoran chipset) that I really sat up and took notice because now you could capture and edit true interlaced broadcast SD video in Windows. That changed everything for me and I started to get into video properly, which led to the Mindcandy DVDs (http://www.mindcandydvd.com/) and various video transfer and restoration projects (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsI0y2DncAM). And I've also made my own video codecs (http://trixter.oldskool.org/2014/06/19/8088-domination-post-mortem-part-1/).

I'm a bit of a nut. But, after Myst came out for Windows, "multimedia" definitely took off for the general public. That was 1993.

KC9UDX
March 3rd, 2016, 08:30 PM
I sure remember things taking off in 1993. But what I recall was that's when we started to see very short clips, with maybe 20fps at 160x120.

It may have been partly due to the lack of distribution: Whatever we could download at 28.8, or, whatever we ended up with in those $20 packages of "multimedia CDs" that came as 10 or 20 of them in a fold-up plastic thing. None of it was impressive.

I was really doing a lot of serious audio work with PCs, 1992-1994. Even that was sub-par. I was doing 16-bit 44.1kHz stereo, but most people only had Soundblasters. Even my audio was still glitchy.

krebizfan
March 3rd, 2016, 09:04 PM
The concept was popular enough that in 1992 Asymetrix released MediaBlitz: a cutdown affordable version of ToolBook geared to making those early multimedia encyclopedia programs.

I remember trade shows in the late 80s and early 90s where multiple companies showed off early video efforts typically demoing a rudimentary help movie with spoken text backed by probably the biggest hard drives on the market to store the couple of minutes of video.

vwestlife
March 3rd, 2016, 10:01 PM
IBM had their own "Ultimotion" video codec around that time. Amazingly, YouTube supported it perfectly when I uploaded one of IBM's demo videos, even though even VLC won't play it correctly:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml3I_lGi2EI

Scali
March 3rd, 2016, 11:08 PM
IBM had their own "Ultimotion" video codec around that time. Amazingly, YouTube supported it perfectly when I uploaded one of IBM's demo videos, even though even VLC won't play it correctly:

That video quality actually looks very nice. What were the minimum machine specs for this kind of video?

vwestlife
March 4th, 2016, 09:49 AM
That video quality actually looks very nice. What were the minimum machine specs for this kind of video?

That video came with OS/2 2.1's Multimedia Presentation Manager/2 (MMPM/2). It is 320x240 at 24fps so I suspect it would require a high-end 386DX or a low-end 486 with a good video card (such as IBM's own XGA2 card for MCA PS/2s).

Trixter
March 4th, 2016, 10:01 AM
Ultimotion was not promoted widely by IBM; it saw some use in OS/2 but I don't recall ever seeing a VFW codec you could use to make your own videos. A shame, since I would have loved to play with it. The target spec was a fast 386 or better. From the official spec: "The "nominal Ultimotion movie" is defined as 320 x 240, 15 frames per second at a 150KB per second date rate. This movie can be played on at least a 25 MHz 80386 microprocessor." This is competitive with Cinepak, although I can't verify if it ever outperformed it in quality without a compressor for it. However, it may have outperformed it because it used a normal colorspace, whereas Cinepak's optimized-for-speed-over-quality colorspace always altered the color. You can compare how Cinepak's colorspace looks a little off in the video link I posted a few posts ago.

Ultimotion was an interesting combination of techniques (http://wiki.multimedia.cx/index.php?title=IBM_UltiMotion) that used parts of DCT, VQ, and bitstream coding.

krebizfan
March 4th, 2016, 11:45 AM
IBM did release Ultimotion for Windows. However, that didn't happen until late 1994 by which time other methods had been firmly established. IBM also did a poor job telling anyone about its existence; one needed to call IBM's Multimedia Office in order to find out where the download of the Ultimotion kit for Windows was.

Trixter
March 4th, 2016, 12:16 PM
Sadly, the dev kit only includes a decoder, not an encoder.

Hopefully someday someone will unearth an Ultimotion encoder. I think there is one included in versions of OS/2, but finding that out would take more time than I have motivation.

kyodai
March 4th, 2016, 12:21 PM
Thanks Trixter for the comparison video - Indeo looks pretty good. And thanks VWestlife for the IBM video - didn't even know that. Shame as I was a fanboy who bought an original OS/2 Warp package (And was a bit disappointed afterwards).

Well to me the first time i really saw Video on a PC was when my friend bought "Terminator 2" for DOS. That game came with tiny video sequences in the Intro and between levels that are unimpressive today, but were quite the rage back in the days (The actual game was a bit lame...)

The first "new" CD-ROM game i bought for a whooping 120 Deutschmarks in a store was "Iron Helix" which had nice video but was also disappointing as a game. Also "7th guest" was rather disappointing.

After all FMV only seemed to make sense for adventures like "Under a killing moon" or "Return to Zork". I think the first action game with FMV that i played AND enjoyed was Hardline in 1996... ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNmbFJswras )

I liked Video CDs back in the 1990s, before DVD took off. Somehow Video CD was never really popular in Japan, but in Hong Kong you could get pretty much every movie on it. These were MPEG-1, but with the ATI All-in-wonder and a Pentium-II these played back perfectly. Kinda the poor mans DVD before the DVD was invented. I think MPEG-1 was under-rated. Back in the days Video CD was pretty cool, only annoying part being to swap the discs for longer movies, but cool kids like me of course has a CD changer drive in their PC... :p

I remember a fried playing Rebel Assault on a 386 and it worked pretty flawlessly on that machine. I wonder what video codecs they used for that.

Trixter
March 4th, 2016, 12:32 PM
I remember a fried playing Rebel Assault on a 386 and it worked pretty flawlessly on that machine. I wonder what video codecs they used for that.

A custom one: http://wiki.multimedia.cx/index.php?title=SAN

Scali
March 5th, 2016, 12:43 AM
The first game with good FMV sequences I recall is the original Need for Speed, which is from 1994.
Here is the intro sequence (from the SE version, but mostly the same): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcGa8tTlx54
And here are the car videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtPFZ48osPo
This ran fine on a 486DX2-66, probably on lower-spec machines as well. Fun thing is that you can play these movies with FFMPEG. It's some sort of EA-specific format I believe.

KC9UDX
March 5th, 2016, 05:56 AM
Maybe it's some 3DO specific format. :)

It's hard to tell on this phone, but the video looks as good or better than the 3DO, but the audio is totally different.

Cimonvg
March 5th, 2016, 08:54 AM
hello
my first game with video sequences were "Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom" (feb.96) , kind of cool even though i remember the video and audio slowly not syncing with longer video-clips ??
/cimonvg

Doug Shiro
September 28th, 2017, 10:27 PM
Hey fellas...I saw mention of DMPEG v1.1 in this thread and I actually REALLY need it, despite how slow/unwatchable it may be.
I'm attempting to play some MP3s on a 286 and I feel as though my MP3-converted MPGs at 1fps 64x64 blank image files with regular mp3 sound quality would work just fine.
A bit of a clunky process, but it would only be a one-time conversion of appropriate audio. Anyway, if anyone has that application DMPEG, I would really appreciate it! Thanks.

Xacalite
September 30th, 2017, 08:24 AM
dmpeg11.zip can be found in this bundle - http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1366370256.zip

Stone
September 30th, 2017, 09:08 AM
I have a copy of DMPEG10.ZIP if that's of interest.

Trixter
September 30th, 2017, 12:41 PM
Hey fellas...I saw mention of DMPEG v1.1 in this thread and I actually REALLY need it, despite how slow/unwatchable it may be.
I'm attempting to play some MP3s on a 286 and I feel as though my MP3-converted MPGs at 1fps 64x64 blank image files with regular mp3 sound quality would work just fine.
A bit of a clunky process, but it would only be a one-time conversion of appropriate audio. Anyway, if anyone has that application DMPEG, I would really appreciate it! Thanks.

DMPEG doesn't play any audio at all, only MPEG-1 files. Same with the Xing player.

If you want to play "video" on a 286, you have several options, but they'll require work. Animation programs like GRASP lets you play short loops on any computer. Autodesk Animator "flic" files (*.FLI) play back on a 286 as well if your framerate expectations are reasonable (like, 160x100 @ 10fps is possible). .FLI files can be combined with audio in some cases; track down the Sound Blaster multimedia demos, I think they're just .FLI files with .VOC files that play from the sound card while the .fli is playing.

64x64 1fps is more of a slideshow than a video -- what is your use case? What are you trying to achieve?


dmpeg11.zip can be found in this bundle - http://www.tankraider.com/userup/1366370256.zip

Wow, there are a ton of video players in there, including a few I'd never heard of. I think the OP should explore every single one of these before heeding my advice.