[FFmpeg-devel] [PATCH][RFC] avcodec: disallow hwaccel with frame threads

Hendrik Leppkes h.leppkes at gmail.com
Wed Oct 21 11:27:28 CEST 2015

On Sat, Oct 17, 2015 at 9:28 PM, Hendrik Leppkes <h.leppkes at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Oct 17, 2015 at 9:27 PM, Hendrik Leppkes <h.leppkes at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ---
>>  libavcodec/utils.c | 6 ++++++
>>  1 file changed, 6 insertions(+)
> Above patch is submitted as an RFC, however I strongly believe its the
> only way to keep hwaccels sane in the future.
> There are several known problems when a hwaccel is used with frame
> threading, at least with DXVA2, ranging from simple image corruption
> to crashes in the GPU drivers.
> All the problems essentially come down to two factors:
> (1) while avcodec tries to prevent simultaneous access from different
> threads, it cannot control user code.
> As a API user you have no chance to avoid simultaneous access to the
> hardware surfaces with frame threading, because as soon as avcodec
> hands you a decoded surface,
> it'll already have started working on the next one. This is a common
> source for image corruption, as the decoder may fail to get a
> reference frame if its currently
> locked by the user code.
> This issue is not really fixable, other than introducing a mutex
> around every call that the user code would have to lock as well.
> API break and making hwaccel even more complex to use.
> (2) decoders often have had (or still have) trouble initializing the
> hwaccel properly with multiple threads, which can result in multiple
> threads re-creating the hwaccel
> and disrupting decoding, or even crashing in the driver.
> While this is in theory fixable inside the decoders in question, it
> can lead to quite a bit of complexity, which should be avoided.
> We should not be offering a mode that is known to be broken and even
> crash (even if the crash is not in our code).
> On top of that, frame threading with hwaccel does not actually improve
> the speed at all, if anything it might be slightly slower, and will
> definitely use more GPU memory.
> The only reason this combination even exists is because API users
> insisted on it, and it was then added without properly taking the
> consequences into account.
> There is an easy solution to keep using frame threads with software
> decoding while using a hwaccel otherwise - its used by myself, by mpv
> and by Kodi - simply re-open the decoder with the new threading flags.
> Its really not a lot of work, and keeps the code sane and the decoding reliable.

No further comments? No thoughts? No-one that would object if I were
to push the proposed patch?

- Hendrik

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