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

Hendrik Leppkes h.leppkes at gmail.com
Wed Oct 21 11:53:46 CEST 2015

On Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 11:44 AM, Gwenole Beauchesne <gb.devel at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2015-10-21 11:27 GMT+02:00 Hendrik Leppkes <h.leppkes at gmail.com>:
>> 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?
> Fine with me.
> Probably add a link to your ffmpeg-devel message since it provides all
> the necessary rationale behind this?

I might condense it down a bit and include it in the commit message,
links have a habit of dying.

- Hendrik

More information about the ffmpeg-devel mailing list