TECH BLOG / December 2, 2019

Recommended Systems for 8K Playback. Part 1: Using GPUs

By Mauricio Alvarez-Mesa, PhD Spin Player is based on a highly optimized HEVC decoder and video rendering engine. This software solution allows to play 8K video using compact and cost-effective PC systems.

In this tech blog we provide a set of recommendations of PC configurations for 8K video playback, and we also describe 8K display set-ups using commercially available 8K TVs and monitors.

Spin Player Performance

The final performance of the media player depends mainly on the content properties, input bitrate, and the platform performance:

  • Content properties: The player’s performance is affected by content properties such as resolution, chroma format (4:2:0, 4:2:2, 4:4:4), bit depth (10-bit, 12-bit) and spatial and temporal activity in the input video.
  • Bitrate: HEVC decoding performance depends directly on the input bitrate, the higher the bitrate the higher the performance required to achieve a target application (e.g. 8Kp60). The bitrate, in turn,  depends on the encoding options that were used during the encoding of the input video, including among others: bitrate settings, rate control method, GOP size, intra-frame period,  and block size.
  • Platform performance: The decoding performance directly depends on the CPU performance: clock frequency and number of CPU cores. Video rendering performance depends on the GPU performance: frequency, number of cores, memory bandwidth.

Parallel Scalability

The HEVC decoder integrated in Spin Player has been extensively optimized for performance with advanced multithreading in order to make efficient use of modern multicore CPU architectures. Different parallelization methods are supported including: Wavefront Parallel Processing (WPP), slices, tiles, and frame-level parallelism. Common formats used in the industry and supported by Spin Player include:

  • WPP: commonly used by software encoders
  • 4 slices: as defined by the ARIB ATD-B32 standard
  • 2×2 tiles: used by some 8K hardware encoders

The performance of the Media player scales very well with the number of CPU cores. By using CPUs with higher core counts it is possible to increase the performance for applications that require higher bitrates, higher quality chroma formats (4:2:2 or 4:4:4), higher frame rates, and even resolutions beyond 8K.

System Configuration for 8K Playback with GPUs

We have conducted a detailed benchmarking analysis using hard-to-decode content in 8K resolution in order to identify the required properties of the system for 8Kp60 payback applications.

The Spin Player website describes the properties of the recommended platforms for 8K using GPUs with support for either 4x HDMI 2.0 (DisplayPort to HDMI 2.0 converters are required) or 1x HDMI 2.1. The recommended bitrate for each application is a range of bitrates being used in the industry for 8K applications.

Display Systems for 8Kp60

We have tested Spin Player with different commercial 8K displays. Some examples of 8K playback systems are given below.

8K TV with HDMI 2.1

  • TV Model: Sony KD-85ZH8
  • AV connector: 1x HDMI 2.1
Display system for 8Kp60 using Soy KD-85ZH8

8K TV with HDMI 2.0

  • TV Model: Sharp Aquos LC-70X500 or newer
  • AV connector: 4x DisplayPort 1.4 to 4x HDMI 2.0b
  • DisplayPort to HDMI converters: recommended Club3D CAC-1080
Display system for 8Kp60 using Sharp Aquos LC-70X500

Dell 8K Monitor

  • Monitor model: Dell UltraSharp UP3218K
  • AV connector: 2x DisplayPort
Display system for 8Kp60 using Dell UltraSharp UP3218K

8K Playback with 12G SDI Interface

Spin Player also supports 12G SDI output for 8K HEVC video playback. The SDI support is addressed for professionals requiring maximum control of the video processing and display chain.

More information about the recommended systems for 8K playback using 12G SDI can be found in the following tech blog.

Note and Disclaimer

These recommendations are based on internal tests performed by Spin Digital. This information is provided “as is” and it does not imply any warranty or assurance. If you have more specific requirements, please contact us.

Spin Player is a trademark of Spin Digital Video Technologies GmbH.

Other trademarks remain the property of their owners, and are used here for descriptive purposes.