P.P.A.

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  1. Like
    P.P.A. got a reaction from jock in Understanding Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding   
    I've taken peeks at threads related to hardware decoding (of H.264 and HEVC, mainly) on Allwinner and Rockchip platforms on and off, sometimes dabbled in trying and failing to implement solutions recommended there. Being a complete amateur, I find the topic very opaque and confusing, with various different components that need to interface with each other, be patched in sync, and sometimes change drastically between kernel versions, etc. Today I sat down and read up on these subjects, scouring wikis, documentation, this forum, and assorted other sources to try and understand how this works. In this post I will attempt to compile what I've learned on the different software components involved, their relationships, their current status, and solutions to the problem. I hope people more knowledgeable will correct me when I get something wrong or cite outdated information. Stuff which I am highly uncertain of I will print in italics.
    (This post is going to focus on mainline implementations of Cedrus/Allwinner, I haven't looked into Hantro/Rkvdec/Rockchip specifics yet. I will speak only of H.264 and H.265/HEVC; I don't understand the high/low stuff and didn't pay attention to other codecs.)
     
    Components:
     
    Basics: Video codecs like H.264, H.265/HEVC, MPEG-2, etc. are standardised methods which serve to more efficiently encode and decode videos, reducing their filesize. Software en-/decoding is very CPU-intensive. Modern GPUS and ARM SoCs therefore contain specialised hardware (VPUs) to delegate these tasks to. Working hardware decoding is particularly important for underpowered ARM CPUs.
    Drivers: Topmost in the stack are the VPU drivers. These are Sunxi-Cedrus/Cedrus V4L2 M2M and Cedar [Is this the legacy one?] on Allwinner; Hantro and Rkvdec on Rockchip. These are all still in development, but Cedrus already fully supports H.264, and partially supports HEVC, and is already usable in the mainline kernel.
    APIs: In order for anything (userspace APIs, libraries) to make use of the VPU drivers, you need backends/APIs. For Cedrus, there is the unmaintained libva-v4l2-request backend which implements VA-API, the legacy VDPAU implementation libvdpau-sunxi, and as of kernel version 5.11, H.264 has been merged into the uAPI headers. Different applications may make recourse to one or another of these APIs.
    Libraries: FFmpeg and GStreamer. provide libraries and APIs of their own to other applications but can (importantly!) also output directly to the framebuffer. FFmpeg must be patched to access either libva-v4l2-request or the Cedrus driver headers. GStreamer directly accesses kernel headers since 1.18 (works on 5.9, not on 5.10; 1.20 will support 5.11.)
    Media players: mpv and depends on FFmpeg for hardware acceleration (and must be patched together with it). VLC can be set to access libva-v4l2-request directly. Kodi 19.0+ supports hardware acceleration out of the box without any out-of-tree patches.
    Display server: An additional complication is drawing the output of any of the above on screen. Most successful implementations I've seen bypass X11 and either output directly to the framebuffer or force a plane/display layer on top of any X windows. Wayland apparently makes this easier by allowing applications to use their own DRM planes, but this hasn't been explored much yet. Kodi 19.0 works with all three windowing systems (X, Wayland, and gbm).
     
    Codec status:
     
    Taken from the LibreElec thread (which reflects LibreElec's status and is ahead of what works elsewhere, but outlines hardware limitations):
     
     
    Approaches:
     
    Many people have managed to make it work on their machines using different approaches. Note that some of these solutions are one or two years old, and kernel developments since may have changed the situation. Ordered from newer to older:
     
    LibreElec – kernel + ffmpeg + Kodi: LibreElec is a Just-Enough-OS with the sole purpose of running Kodi, a media player. It's at the bleeding edge and usually implements codecs and features well before mainline or other distros. It achieves this by heavily patching everything up and down the stack, from the Linux kernel over FFmpeg to Kodi itself. These patches could all be applied to an Armbian build, but there are a lot of them, they're poorly documented, and you'd need to dig into their github to understand what they all do. LibreElec runs Kodi directly without a desktop. kodi-gbm is a package that can be installed on Armbian and functions similarly.
    Key contributors to the project are @jernej and @Kwiboo, who sometimes post about their work here (and have been very helpful with questions, thank you). @balbes150 includes some of LibreElec's patches in his Armbian-TV builds, but I don't know which.
     
    Kodi 19.0: 
     
    LibreElec patches + mpv:
     
     
    @megous – Kernel 5.11 + GStreamer: This implementation, done here on a PinePhone (A64), patches the 5.9 kernel and uses a recent version of GStreamer (1.18 and up), whose output is rendered directly to a DRM plane via kmssink. (No X or Wayland.)
    GStreamer 1.18 works with the 5.9 kernel. It does not work with 5.10, because of numerous changes to the kernel headers in this version. In 5.11 the H.264 headers were moved into the uAPI; the master branch of GStreamer reflects this, but there haven't been any releases with these patches yet. It'll probably be in repositories with GStreamer 1.20; until then you can build it from source.
     
    @Sash0k – patched libva-v4l2-request + VLC: This updates bootlin's libva-v4l2-request and follows the Sunxi wiki's instructions for enabling VLC to make use of it. It works on the desktop. This only works for H.264 and breaks HEVC. When I tried to replicate this approach on a recent Armbian build, I discovered that the h264.c files in the kernel (that libva-v4l2-request draws on) have changed considerably between 5.8 and 5.10, and I lack the understanding to reconcile libva-v4l2-request with them.
     
    @ubobrov – old kernel + libcedrus + libvdpau-sunxi + ffmpeg + mpv: This approach, which supports encoding decoding of H.264 uses the libvdpau-sunxi API and ports the legacy driver to mainline as a loadable kernel module and if I understand it correctly, ubobrov ported a legacy feature to mainline. In the post quoted below the kernel is 4.20, but the same method has been successfully applied to 5.7.8 by another user. It requires that the board's device tree be patched, as documented in ubobrov's github repository.
     
     
    The summary seems to be that none of the current implementations on Allwinner boards really play nice with X or desktop sessions, and it's best to output directly to the framebuffer. Kwiboo has forked FFmpeg and mpv to make good use of new and unstable kernel features/hardware acceleration which will take a while to make their way upstream. The recent 5.11 move of stateless H.264 out of staging and into the uAPI should facilitate further developments.
    I intend to try some of these things in the nearer future. Thanks to everyone who works on mainlining all of this VPU stuff, and to users here who contribute solutions and readily & patiently answer questions (Jernej especially). I hope I didn't post any falsehoods out of ignorance, and welcome any corrections.
     
    Other related threads here:
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11551-4kp30-video-on-orange-pi-lite-and-mainline-hardware-acceleration/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/16804-orange-pi-pc-h3-armbian-focal-5104-sunxi-av-tv-out-cvbs-enable/page/2/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11184-hardware-graphicvideo-acceleration-in-h3-mainline/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/13622-mainline-vpu/
  2. Like
    P.P.A. got a reaction from XFer012 in Understanding Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding   
    I've taken peeks at threads related to hardware decoding (of H.264 and HEVC, mainly) on Allwinner and Rockchip platforms on and off, sometimes dabbled in trying and failing to implement solutions recommended there. Being a complete amateur, I find the topic very opaque and confusing, with various different components that need to interface with each other, be patched in sync, and sometimes change drastically between kernel versions, etc. Today I sat down and read up on these subjects, scouring wikis, documentation, this forum, and assorted other sources to try and understand how this works. In this post I will attempt to compile what I've learned on the different software components involved, their relationships, their current status, and solutions to the problem. I hope people more knowledgeable will correct me when I get something wrong or cite outdated information. Stuff which I am highly uncertain of I will print in italics.
    (This post is going to focus on mainline implementations of Cedrus/Allwinner, I haven't looked into Hantro/Rkvdec/Rockchip specifics yet. I will speak only of H.264 and H.265/HEVC; I don't understand the high/low stuff and didn't pay attention to other codecs.)
     
    Components:
     
    Basics: Video codecs like H.264, H.265/HEVC, MPEG-2, etc. are standardised methods which serve to more efficiently encode and decode videos, reducing their filesize. Software en-/decoding is very CPU-intensive. Modern GPUS and ARM SoCs therefore contain specialised hardware (VPUs) to delegate these tasks to. Working hardware decoding is particularly important for underpowered ARM CPUs.
    Drivers: Topmost in the stack are the VPU drivers. These are Sunxi-Cedrus/Cedrus V4L2 M2M and Cedar [Is this the legacy one?] on Allwinner; Hantro and Rkvdec on Rockchip. These are all still in development, but Cedrus already fully supports H.264, and partially supports HEVC, and is already usable in the mainline kernel.
    APIs: In order for anything (userspace APIs, libraries) to make use of the VPU drivers, you need backends/APIs. For Cedrus, there is the unmaintained libva-v4l2-request backend which implements VA-API, the legacy VDPAU implementation libvdpau-sunxi, and as of kernel version 5.11, H.264 has been merged into the uAPI headers. Different applications may make recourse to one or another of these APIs.
    Libraries: FFmpeg and GStreamer. provide libraries and APIs of their own to other applications but can (importantly!) also output directly to the framebuffer. FFmpeg must be patched to access either libva-v4l2-request or the Cedrus driver headers. GStreamer directly accesses kernel headers since 1.18 (works on 5.9, not on 5.10; 1.20 will support 5.11.)
    Media players: mpv and depends on FFmpeg for hardware acceleration (and must be patched together with it). VLC can be set to access libva-v4l2-request directly. Kodi 19.0+ supports hardware acceleration out of the box without any out-of-tree patches.
    Display server: An additional complication is drawing the output of any of the above on screen. Most successful implementations I've seen bypass X11 and either output directly to the framebuffer or force a plane/display layer on top of any X windows. Wayland apparently makes this easier by allowing applications to use their own DRM planes, but this hasn't been explored much yet. Kodi 19.0 works with all three windowing systems (X, Wayland, and gbm).
     
    Codec status:
     
    Taken from the LibreElec thread (which reflects LibreElec's status and is ahead of what works elsewhere, but outlines hardware limitations):
     
     
    Approaches:
     
    Many people have managed to make it work on their machines using different approaches. Note that some of these solutions are one or two years old, and kernel developments since may have changed the situation. Ordered from newer to older:
     
    LibreElec – kernel + ffmpeg + Kodi: LibreElec is a Just-Enough-OS with the sole purpose of running Kodi, a media player. It's at the bleeding edge and usually implements codecs and features well before mainline or other distros. It achieves this by heavily patching everything up and down the stack, from the Linux kernel over FFmpeg to Kodi itself. These patches could all be applied to an Armbian build, but there are a lot of them, they're poorly documented, and you'd need to dig into their github to understand what they all do. LibreElec runs Kodi directly without a desktop. kodi-gbm is a package that can be installed on Armbian and functions similarly.
    Key contributors to the project are @jernej and @Kwiboo, who sometimes post about their work here (and have been very helpful with questions, thank you). @balbes150 includes some of LibreElec's patches in his Armbian-TV builds, but I don't know which.
     
    Kodi 19.0: 
     
    LibreElec patches + mpv:
     
     
    @megous – Kernel 5.11 + GStreamer: This implementation, done here on a PinePhone (A64), patches the 5.9 kernel and uses a recent version of GStreamer (1.18 and up), whose output is rendered directly to a DRM plane via kmssink. (No X or Wayland.)
    GStreamer 1.18 works with the 5.9 kernel. It does not work with 5.10, because of numerous changes to the kernel headers in this version. In 5.11 the H.264 headers were moved into the uAPI; the master branch of GStreamer reflects this, but there haven't been any releases with these patches yet. It'll probably be in repositories with GStreamer 1.20; until then you can build it from source.
     
    @Sash0k – patched libva-v4l2-request + VLC: This updates bootlin's libva-v4l2-request and follows the Sunxi wiki's instructions for enabling VLC to make use of it. It works on the desktop. This only works for H.264 and breaks HEVC. When I tried to replicate this approach on a recent Armbian build, I discovered that the h264.c files in the kernel (that libva-v4l2-request draws on) have changed considerably between 5.8 and 5.10, and I lack the understanding to reconcile libva-v4l2-request with them.
     
    @ubobrov – old kernel + libcedrus + libvdpau-sunxi + ffmpeg + mpv: This approach, which supports encoding decoding of H.264 uses the libvdpau-sunxi API and ports the legacy driver to mainline as a loadable kernel module and if I understand it correctly, ubobrov ported a legacy feature to mainline. In the post quoted below the kernel is 4.20, but the same method has been successfully applied to 5.7.8 by another user. It requires that the board's device tree be patched, as documented in ubobrov's github repository.
     
     
    The summary seems to be that none of the current implementations on Allwinner boards really play nice with X or desktop sessions, and it's best to output directly to the framebuffer. Kwiboo has forked FFmpeg and mpv to make good use of new and unstable kernel features/hardware acceleration which will take a while to make their way upstream. The recent 5.11 move of stateless H.264 out of staging and into the uAPI should facilitate further developments.
    I intend to try some of these things in the nearer future. Thanks to everyone who works on mainlining all of this VPU stuff, and to users here who contribute solutions and readily & patiently answer questions (Jernej especially). I hope I didn't post any falsehoods out of ignorance, and welcome any corrections.
     
    Other related threads here:
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11551-4kp30-video-on-orange-pi-lite-and-mainline-hardware-acceleration/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/16804-orange-pi-pc-h3-armbian-focal-5104-sunxi-av-tv-out-cvbs-enable/page/2/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11184-hardware-graphicvideo-acceleration-in-h3-mainline/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/13622-mainline-vpu/
  3. Like
    P.P.A. got a reaction from hartraft in Understanding Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding   
    I've taken peeks at threads related to hardware decoding (of H.264 and HEVC, mainly) on Allwinner and Rockchip platforms on and off, sometimes dabbled in trying and failing to implement solutions recommended there. Being a complete amateur, I find the topic very opaque and confusing, with various different components that need to interface with each other, be patched in sync, and sometimes change drastically between kernel versions, etc. Today I sat down and read up on these subjects, scouring wikis, documentation, this forum, and assorted other sources to try and understand how this works. In this post I will attempt to compile what I've learned on the different software components involved, their relationships, their current status, and solutions to the problem. I hope people more knowledgeable will correct me when I get something wrong or cite outdated information. Stuff which I am highly uncertain of I will print in italics.
    (This post is going to focus on mainline implementations of Cedrus/Allwinner, I haven't looked into Hantro/Rkvdec/Rockchip specifics yet. I will speak only of H.264 and H.265/HEVC; I don't understand the high/low stuff and didn't pay attention to other codecs.)
     
    Components:
     
    Basics: Video codecs like H.264, H.265/HEVC, MPEG-2, etc. are standardised methods which serve to more efficiently encode and decode videos, reducing their filesize. Software en-/decoding is very CPU-intensive. Modern GPUS and ARM SoCs therefore contain specialised hardware (VPUs) to delegate these tasks to. Working hardware decoding is particularly important for underpowered ARM CPUs.
    Drivers: Topmost in the stack are the VPU drivers. These are Sunxi-Cedrus/Cedrus V4L2 M2M and Cedar [Is this the legacy one?] on Allwinner; Hantro and Rkvdec on Rockchip. These are all still in development, but Cedrus already fully supports H.264, and partially supports HEVC, and is already usable in the mainline kernel.
    APIs: In order for anything (userspace APIs, libraries) to make use of the VPU drivers, you need backends/APIs. For Cedrus, there is the unmaintained libva-v4l2-request backend which implements VA-API, the legacy VDPAU implementation libvdpau-sunxi, and as of kernel version 5.11, H.264 has been merged into the uAPI headers. Different applications may make recourse to one or another of these APIs.
    Libraries: FFmpeg and GStreamer. provide libraries and APIs of their own to other applications but can (importantly!) also output directly to the framebuffer. FFmpeg must be patched to access either libva-v4l2-request or the Cedrus driver headers. GStreamer directly accesses kernel headers since 1.18 (works on 5.9, not on 5.10; 1.20 will support 5.11.)
    Media players: mpv and depends on FFmpeg for hardware acceleration (and must be patched together with it). VLC can be set to access libva-v4l2-request directly. Kodi 19.0+ supports hardware acceleration out of the box without any out-of-tree patches.
    Display server: An additional complication is drawing the output of any of the above on screen. Most successful implementations I've seen bypass X11 and either output directly to the framebuffer or force a plane/display layer on top of any X windows. Wayland apparently makes this easier by allowing applications to use their own DRM planes, but this hasn't been explored much yet. Kodi 19.0 works with all three windowing systems (X, Wayland, and gbm).
     
    Codec status:
     
    Taken from the LibreElec thread (which reflects LibreElec's status and is ahead of what works elsewhere, but outlines hardware limitations):
     
     
    Approaches:
     
    Many people have managed to make it work on their machines using different approaches. Note that some of these solutions are one or two years old, and kernel developments since may have changed the situation. Ordered from newer to older:
     
    LibreElec – kernel + ffmpeg + Kodi: LibreElec is a Just-Enough-OS with the sole purpose of running Kodi, a media player. It's at the bleeding edge and usually implements codecs and features well before mainline or other distros. It achieves this by heavily patching everything up and down the stack, from the Linux kernel over FFmpeg to Kodi itself. These patches could all be applied to an Armbian build, but there are a lot of them, they're poorly documented, and you'd need to dig into their github to understand what they all do. LibreElec runs Kodi directly without a desktop. kodi-gbm is a package that can be installed on Armbian and functions similarly.
    Key contributors to the project are @jernej and @Kwiboo, who sometimes post about their work here (and have been very helpful with questions, thank you). @balbes150 includes some of LibreElec's patches in his Armbian-TV builds, but I don't know which.
     
    Kodi 19.0: 
     
    LibreElec patches + mpv:
     
     
    @megous – Kernel 5.11 + GStreamer: This implementation, done here on a PinePhone (A64), patches the 5.9 kernel and uses a recent version of GStreamer (1.18 and up), whose output is rendered directly to a DRM plane via kmssink. (No X or Wayland.)
    GStreamer 1.18 works with the 5.9 kernel. It does not work with 5.10, because of numerous changes to the kernel headers in this version. In 5.11 the H.264 headers were moved into the uAPI; the master branch of GStreamer reflects this, but there haven't been any releases with these patches yet. It'll probably be in repositories with GStreamer 1.20; until then you can build it from source.
     
    @Sash0k – patched libva-v4l2-request + VLC: This updates bootlin's libva-v4l2-request and follows the Sunxi wiki's instructions for enabling VLC to make use of it. It works on the desktop. This only works for H.264 and breaks HEVC. When I tried to replicate this approach on a recent Armbian build, I discovered that the h264.c files in the kernel (that libva-v4l2-request draws on) have changed considerably between 5.8 and 5.10, and I lack the understanding to reconcile libva-v4l2-request with them.
     
    @ubobrov – old kernel + libcedrus + libvdpau-sunxi + ffmpeg + mpv: This approach, which supports encoding decoding of H.264 uses the libvdpau-sunxi API and ports the legacy driver to mainline as a loadable kernel module and if I understand it correctly, ubobrov ported a legacy feature to mainline. In the post quoted below the kernel is 4.20, but the same method has been successfully applied to 5.7.8 by another user. It requires that the board's device tree be patched, as documented in ubobrov's github repository.
     
     
    The summary seems to be that none of the current implementations on Allwinner boards really play nice with X or desktop sessions, and it's best to output directly to the framebuffer. Kwiboo has forked FFmpeg and mpv to make good use of new and unstable kernel features/hardware acceleration which will take a while to make their way upstream. The recent 5.11 move of stateless H.264 out of staging and into the uAPI should facilitate further developments.
    I intend to try some of these things in the nearer future. Thanks to everyone who works on mainlining all of this VPU stuff, and to users here who contribute solutions and readily & patiently answer questions (Jernej especially). I hope I didn't post any falsehoods out of ignorance, and welcome any corrections.
     
    Other related threads here:
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11551-4kp30-video-on-orange-pi-lite-and-mainline-hardware-acceleration/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/16804-orange-pi-pc-h3-armbian-focal-5104-sunxi-av-tv-out-cvbs-enable/page/2/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11184-hardware-graphicvideo-acceleration-in-h3-mainline/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/13622-mainline-vpu/
  4. Like
    P.P.A. got a reaction from gounthar in Understanding Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding   
    The patch was very recently added in 5.11.6.
    I'm not sure how you install the kernel after the fact—I simply built a new bootable image with armbian-build (choosing sunxi-dev as the kernel with ./compile.sh EXPERT="yes") and flashed that to µSD.
  5. Like
    P.P.A. got a reaction from Gediz in Understanding Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding   
    I've taken peeks at threads related to hardware decoding (of H.264 and HEVC, mainly) on Allwinner and Rockchip platforms on and off, sometimes dabbled in trying and failing to implement solutions recommended there. Being a complete amateur, I find the topic very opaque and confusing, with various different components that need to interface with each other, be patched in sync, and sometimes change drastically between kernel versions, etc. Today I sat down and read up on these subjects, scouring wikis, documentation, this forum, and assorted other sources to try and understand how this works. In this post I will attempt to compile what I've learned on the different software components involved, their relationships, their current status, and solutions to the problem. I hope people more knowledgeable will correct me when I get something wrong or cite outdated information. Stuff which I am highly uncertain of I will print in italics.
    (This post is going to focus on mainline implementations of Cedrus/Allwinner, I haven't looked into Hantro/Rkvdec/Rockchip specifics yet. I will speak only of H.264 and H.265/HEVC; I don't understand the high/low stuff and didn't pay attention to other codecs.)
     
    Components:
     
    Basics: Video codecs like H.264, H.265/HEVC, MPEG-2, etc. are standardised methods which serve to more efficiently encode and decode videos, reducing their filesize. Software en-/decoding is very CPU-intensive. Modern GPUS and ARM SoCs therefore contain specialised hardware (VPUs) to delegate these tasks to. Working hardware decoding is particularly important for underpowered ARM CPUs.
    Drivers: Topmost in the stack are the VPU drivers. These are Sunxi-Cedrus/Cedrus V4L2 M2M and Cedar [Is this the legacy one?] on Allwinner; Hantro and Rkvdec on Rockchip. These are all still in development, but Cedrus already fully supports H.264, and partially supports HEVC, and is already usable in the mainline kernel.
    APIs: In order for anything (userspace APIs, libraries) to make use of the VPU drivers, you need backends/APIs. For Cedrus, there is the unmaintained libva-v4l2-request backend which implements VA-API, the legacy VDPAU implementation libvdpau-sunxi, and as of kernel version 5.11, H.264 has been merged into the uAPI headers. Different applications may make recourse to one or another of these APIs.
    Libraries: FFmpeg and GStreamer. provide libraries and APIs of their own to other applications but can (importantly!) also output directly to the framebuffer. FFmpeg must be patched to access either libva-v4l2-request or the Cedrus driver headers. GStreamer directly accesses kernel headers since 1.18 (works on 5.9, not on 5.10; 1.20 will support 5.11.)
    Media players: mpv and depends on FFmpeg for hardware acceleration (and must be patched together with it). VLC can be set to access libva-v4l2-request directly. Kodi 19.0+ supports hardware acceleration out of the box without any out-of-tree patches.
    Display server: An additional complication is drawing the output of any of the above on screen. Most successful implementations I've seen bypass X11 and either output directly to the framebuffer or force a plane/display layer on top of any X windows. Wayland apparently makes this easier by allowing applications to use their own DRM planes, but this hasn't been explored much yet. Kodi 19.0 works with all three windowing systems (X, Wayland, and gbm).
     
    Codec status:
     
    Taken from the LibreElec thread (which reflects LibreElec's status and is ahead of what works elsewhere, but outlines hardware limitations):
     
     
    Approaches:
     
    Many people have managed to make it work on their machines using different approaches. Note that some of these solutions are one or two years old, and kernel developments since may have changed the situation. Ordered from newer to older:
     
    LibreElec – kernel + ffmpeg + Kodi: LibreElec is a Just-Enough-OS with the sole purpose of running Kodi, a media player. It's at the bleeding edge and usually implements codecs and features well before mainline or other distros. It achieves this by heavily patching everything up and down the stack, from the Linux kernel over FFmpeg to Kodi itself. These patches could all be applied to an Armbian build, but there are a lot of them, they're poorly documented, and you'd need to dig into their github to understand what they all do. LibreElec runs Kodi directly without a desktop. kodi-gbm is a package that can be installed on Armbian and functions similarly.
    Key contributors to the project are @jernej and @Kwiboo, who sometimes post about their work here (and have been very helpful with questions, thank you). @balbes150 includes some of LibreElec's patches in his Armbian-TV builds, but I don't know which.
     
    Kodi 19.0: 
     
    LibreElec patches + mpv:
     
     
    @megous – Kernel 5.11 + GStreamer: This implementation, done here on a PinePhone (A64), patches the 5.9 kernel and uses a recent version of GStreamer (1.18 and up), whose output is rendered directly to a DRM plane via kmssink. (No X or Wayland.)
    GStreamer 1.18 works with the 5.9 kernel. It does not work with 5.10, because of numerous changes to the kernel headers in this version. In 5.11 the H.264 headers were moved into the uAPI; the master branch of GStreamer reflects this, but there haven't been any releases with these patches yet. It'll probably be in repositories with GStreamer 1.20; until then you can build it from source.
     
    @Sash0k – patched libva-v4l2-request + VLC: This updates bootlin's libva-v4l2-request and follows the Sunxi wiki's instructions for enabling VLC to make use of it. It works on the desktop. This only works for H.264 and breaks HEVC. When I tried to replicate this approach on a recent Armbian build, I discovered that the h264.c files in the kernel (that libva-v4l2-request draws on) have changed considerably between 5.8 and 5.10, and I lack the understanding to reconcile libva-v4l2-request with them.
     
    @ubobrov – old kernel + libcedrus + libvdpau-sunxi + ffmpeg + mpv: This approach, which supports encoding decoding of H.264 uses the libvdpau-sunxi API and ports the legacy driver to mainline as a loadable kernel module and if I understand it correctly, ubobrov ported a legacy feature to mainline. In the post quoted below the kernel is 4.20, but the same method has been successfully applied to 5.7.8 by another user. It requires that the board's device tree be patched, as documented in ubobrov's github repository.
     
     
    The summary seems to be that none of the current implementations on Allwinner boards really play nice with X or desktop sessions, and it's best to output directly to the framebuffer. Kwiboo has forked FFmpeg and mpv to make good use of new and unstable kernel features/hardware acceleration which will take a while to make their way upstream. The recent 5.11 move of stateless H.264 out of staging and into the uAPI should facilitate further developments.
    I intend to try some of these things in the nearer future. Thanks to everyone who works on mainlining all of this VPU stuff, and to users here who contribute solutions and readily & patiently answer questions (Jernej especially). I hope I didn't post any falsehoods out of ignorance, and welcome any corrections.
     
    Other related threads here:
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11551-4kp30-video-on-orange-pi-lite-and-mainline-hardware-acceleration/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/16804-orange-pi-pc-h3-armbian-focal-5104-sunxi-av-tv-out-cvbs-enable/page/2/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11184-hardware-graphicvideo-acceleration-in-h3-mainline/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/13622-mainline-vpu/
  6. Like
    P.P.A. reacted to jernej in Understanding Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding   
    This happens on all SoCs with DE2 or newer (A83t or newer SoC). Most SoCs have only one capable plane which can display YUV formats and it's always below current framebuffer, so that "workaround" (which imo is not workaround, but just part of configuration) is always needed in your use case. Note that having video plane below UI plane is actually desired for video players - UI plane has alpha channel which makes window with video transparent.
  7. Like
    P.P.A. got a reaction from gounthar in Understanding Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding   
    It must be 5.11, so you need to build from source.
    Something I forgot to mention (going to edit the post now): the kernel must be built with this patch: https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/commit/?id=7072db89572135f28cad65f15877bf7e67cf2ff8
    It's been accepted for upstreaming and will be included in 5.11 later, but up until 5.11.3 at least, you need to include it as a userpatch.
  8. Like
    P.P.A. got a reaction from gounthar in Understanding Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding   
    Thanks to the very patient support from jernej and ndufresne on the linux-sunxi IRC channel, I could confirm that GStreamer 1.19+ works out of the box on the 5.11 kernel (sunxi-dev), tested with Hirsute and Bullseye, at least on the H3/Orange Pi PC. (I haven't been able to build or run a 5.11 image on a H6 device, so I couldn't test it there yet.)
     
    Kernel:
    Build 5.11.y with this patch, must be included as a userpatch. 5.11.6 includes it from the getgo, but below that you need to add it yourself:
    <jernej> PPA: kernel 5.11.6 is released with Cedrus patch  
    Requirements:
    sudo apt update sudo apt install meson ninja-build pkg-config libmount-dev libglib2.0-dev libgudev-1.0-dev libxml2-dev libasound2-dev  
    Building & installing GStreamer:
    git clone https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/gstreamer/gst-build.git cd gst-build meson -Dgst-plugins-bad:v4l2codecs=enabled -Dgst-plugins-base:playback=enabled -Dgst-plugins-base:alsa=enabled build ninja -C build cd build sudo meson install sudo /sbin/ldconfig -v  
    You can play videos from the command line to the framebuffer. At least on the OPiPC there is a problem where it doesn't automatically play on the correct DRM layer and the video is hidden. To fix this, it needs to be ran once per boot with “plane-properties=s,zpos=3”:
     
    gst-play-1.0 --use-playbin3 --videosink="kmssink plane-properties=s,zpos=3" video.file  
    Afterwards it should be fine with just gst-play-1.0 --use-playbin3 input.video (until the next reboot).
    h.264 (except for 10-bit, which the hardware cannot handle) decodes smoothly with CPU load across all cores around 2%–5%.
     
     
    Thanks; the OP was edited accordingly.
  9. Like
    P.P.A. got a reaction from lanefu in Understanding Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding   
    I've taken peeks at threads related to hardware decoding (of H.264 and HEVC, mainly) on Allwinner and Rockchip platforms on and off, sometimes dabbled in trying and failing to implement solutions recommended there. Being a complete amateur, I find the topic very opaque and confusing, with various different components that need to interface with each other, be patched in sync, and sometimes change drastically between kernel versions, etc. Today I sat down and read up on these subjects, scouring wikis, documentation, this forum, and assorted other sources to try and understand how this works. In this post I will attempt to compile what I've learned on the different software components involved, their relationships, their current status, and solutions to the problem. I hope people more knowledgeable will correct me when I get something wrong or cite outdated information. Stuff which I am highly uncertain of I will print in italics.
    (This post is going to focus on mainline implementations of Cedrus/Allwinner, I haven't looked into Hantro/Rkvdec/Rockchip specifics yet. I will speak only of H.264 and H.265/HEVC; I don't understand the high/low stuff and didn't pay attention to other codecs.)
     
    Components:
     
    Basics: Video codecs like H.264, H.265/HEVC, MPEG-2, etc. are standardised methods which serve to more efficiently encode and decode videos, reducing their filesize. Software en-/decoding is very CPU-intensive. Modern GPUS and ARM SoCs therefore contain specialised hardware (VPUs) to delegate these tasks to. Working hardware decoding is particularly important for underpowered ARM CPUs.
    Drivers: Topmost in the stack are the VPU drivers. These are Sunxi-Cedrus/Cedrus V4L2 M2M and Cedar [Is this the legacy one?] on Allwinner; Hantro and Rkvdec on Rockchip. These are all still in development, but Cedrus already fully supports H.264, and partially supports HEVC, and is already usable in the mainline kernel.
    APIs: In order for anything (userspace APIs, libraries) to make use of the VPU drivers, you need backends/APIs. For Cedrus, there is the unmaintained libva-v4l2-request backend which implements VA-API, the legacy VDPAU implementation libvdpau-sunxi, and as of kernel version 5.11, H.264 has been merged into the uAPI headers. Different applications may make recourse to one or another of these APIs.
    Libraries: FFmpeg and GStreamer. provide libraries and APIs of their own to other applications but can (importantly!) also output directly to the framebuffer. FFmpeg must be patched to access either libva-v4l2-request or the Cedrus driver headers. GStreamer directly accesses kernel headers since 1.18 (works on 5.9, not on 5.10; 1.20 will support 5.11.)
    Media players: mpv and depends on FFmpeg for hardware acceleration (and must be patched together with it). VLC can be set to access libva-v4l2-request directly. Kodi 19.0+ supports hardware acceleration out of the box without any out-of-tree patches.
    Display server: An additional complication is drawing the output of any of the above on screen. Most successful implementations I've seen bypass X11 and either output directly to the framebuffer or force a plane/display layer on top of any X windows. Wayland apparently makes this easier by allowing applications to use their own DRM planes, but this hasn't been explored much yet. Kodi 19.0 works with all three windowing systems (X, Wayland, and gbm).
     
    Codec status:
     
    Taken from the LibreElec thread (which reflects LibreElec's status and is ahead of what works elsewhere, but outlines hardware limitations):
     
     
    Approaches:
     
    Many people have managed to make it work on their machines using different approaches. Note that some of these solutions are one or two years old, and kernel developments since may have changed the situation. Ordered from newer to older:
     
    LibreElec – kernel + ffmpeg + Kodi: LibreElec is a Just-Enough-OS with the sole purpose of running Kodi, a media player. It's at the bleeding edge and usually implements codecs and features well before mainline or other distros. It achieves this by heavily patching everything up and down the stack, from the Linux kernel over FFmpeg to Kodi itself. These patches could all be applied to an Armbian build, but there are a lot of them, they're poorly documented, and you'd need to dig into their github to understand what they all do. LibreElec runs Kodi directly without a desktop. kodi-gbm is a package that can be installed on Armbian and functions similarly.
    Key contributors to the project are @jernej and @Kwiboo, who sometimes post about their work here (and have been very helpful with questions, thank you). @balbes150 includes some of LibreElec's patches in his Armbian-TV builds, but I don't know which.
     
    Kodi 19.0: 
     
    LibreElec patches + mpv:
     
     
    @megous – Kernel 5.11 + GStreamer: This implementation, done here on a PinePhone (A64), patches the 5.9 kernel and uses a recent version of GStreamer (1.18 and up), whose output is rendered directly to a DRM plane via kmssink. (No X or Wayland.)
    GStreamer 1.18 works with the 5.9 kernel. It does not work with 5.10, because of numerous changes to the kernel headers in this version. In 5.11 the H.264 headers were moved into the uAPI; the master branch of GStreamer reflects this, but there haven't been any releases with these patches yet. It'll probably be in repositories with GStreamer 1.20; until then you can build it from source.
     
    @Sash0k – patched libva-v4l2-request + VLC: This updates bootlin's libva-v4l2-request and follows the Sunxi wiki's instructions for enabling VLC to make use of it. It works on the desktop. This only works for H.264 and breaks HEVC. When I tried to replicate this approach on a recent Armbian build, I discovered that the h264.c files in the kernel (that libva-v4l2-request draws on) have changed considerably between 5.8 and 5.10, and I lack the understanding to reconcile libva-v4l2-request with them.
     
    @ubobrov – old kernel + libcedrus + libvdpau-sunxi + ffmpeg + mpv: This approach, which supports encoding decoding of H.264 uses the libvdpau-sunxi API and ports the legacy driver to mainline as a loadable kernel module and if I understand it correctly, ubobrov ported a legacy feature to mainline. In the post quoted below the kernel is 4.20, but the same method has been successfully applied to 5.7.8 by another user. It requires that the board's device tree be patched, as documented in ubobrov's github repository.
     
     
    The summary seems to be that none of the current implementations on Allwinner boards really play nice with X or desktop sessions, and it's best to output directly to the framebuffer. Kwiboo has forked FFmpeg and mpv to make good use of new and unstable kernel features/hardware acceleration which will take a while to make their way upstream. The recent 5.11 move of stateless H.264 out of staging and into the uAPI should facilitate further developments.
    I intend to try some of these things in the nearer future. Thanks to everyone who works on mainlining all of this VPU stuff, and to users here who contribute solutions and readily & patiently answer questions (Jernej especially). I hope I didn't post any falsehoods out of ignorance, and welcome any corrections.
     
    Other related threads here:
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11551-4kp30-video-on-orange-pi-lite-and-mainline-hardware-acceleration/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/16804-orange-pi-pc-h3-armbian-focal-5104-sunxi-av-tv-out-cvbs-enable/page/2/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11184-hardware-graphicvideo-acceleration-in-h3-mainline/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/13622-mainline-vpu/
  10. Like
    P.P.A. got a reaction from lanefu in Understanding Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding   
    Thanks to the very patient support from jernej and ndufresne on the linux-sunxi IRC channel, I could confirm that GStreamer 1.19+ works out of the box on the 5.11 kernel (sunxi-dev), tested with Hirsute and Bullseye, at least on the H3/Orange Pi PC. (I haven't been able to build or run a 5.11 image on a H6 device, so I couldn't test it there yet.)
     
    Kernel:
    Build 5.11.y with this patch, must be included as a userpatch. 5.11.6 includes it from the getgo, but below that you need to add it yourself:
    <jernej> PPA: kernel 5.11.6 is released with Cedrus patch  
    Requirements:
    sudo apt update sudo apt install meson ninja-build pkg-config libmount-dev libglib2.0-dev libgudev-1.0-dev libxml2-dev libasound2-dev  
    Building & installing GStreamer:
    git clone https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/gstreamer/gst-build.git cd gst-build meson -Dgst-plugins-bad:v4l2codecs=enabled -Dgst-plugins-base:playback=enabled -Dgst-plugins-base:alsa=enabled build ninja -C build cd build sudo meson install sudo /sbin/ldconfig -v  
    You can play videos from the command line to the framebuffer. At least on the OPiPC there is a problem where it doesn't automatically play on the correct DRM layer and the video is hidden. To fix this, it needs to be ran once per boot with “plane-properties=s,zpos=3”:
     
    gst-play-1.0 --use-playbin3 --videosink="kmssink plane-properties=s,zpos=3" video.file  
    Afterwards it should be fine with just gst-play-1.0 --use-playbin3 input.video (until the next reboot).
    h.264 (except for 10-bit, which the hardware cannot handle) decodes smoothly with CPU load across all cores around 2%–5%.
     
     
    Thanks; the OP was edited accordingly.
  11. Like
    P.P.A. got a reaction from gounthar in Understanding Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding   
    I've taken peeks at threads related to hardware decoding (of H.264 and HEVC, mainly) on Allwinner and Rockchip platforms on and off, sometimes dabbled in trying and failing to implement solutions recommended there. Being a complete amateur, I find the topic very opaque and confusing, with various different components that need to interface with each other, be patched in sync, and sometimes change drastically between kernel versions, etc. Today I sat down and read up on these subjects, scouring wikis, documentation, this forum, and assorted other sources to try and understand how this works. In this post I will attempt to compile what I've learned on the different software components involved, their relationships, their current status, and solutions to the problem. I hope people more knowledgeable will correct me when I get something wrong or cite outdated information. Stuff which I am highly uncertain of I will print in italics.
    (This post is going to focus on mainline implementations of Cedrus/Allwinner, I haven't looked into Hantro/Rkvdec/Rockchip specifics yet. I will speak only of H.264 and H.265/HEVC; I don't understand the high/low stuff and didn't pay attention to other codecs.)
     
    Components:
     
    Basics: Video codecs like H.264, H.265/HEVC, MPEG-2, etc. are standardised methods which serve to more efficiently encode and decode videos, reducing their filesize. Software en-/decoding is very CPU-intensive. Modern GPUS and ARM SoCs therefore contain specialised hardware (VPUs) to delegate these tasks to. Working hardware decoding is particularly important for underpowered ARM CPUs.
    Drivers: Topmost in the stack are the VPU drivers. These are Sunxi-Cedrus/Cedrus V4L2 M2M and Cedar [Is this the legacy one?] on Allwinner; Hantro and Rkvdec on Rockchip. These are all still in development, but Cedrus already fully supports H.264, and partially supports HEVC, and is already usable in the mainline kernel.
    APIs: In order for anything (userspace APIs, libraries) to make use of the VPU drivers, you need backends/APIs. For Cedrus, there is the unmaintained libva-v4l2-request backend which implements VA-API, the legacy VDPAU implementation libvdpau-sunxi, and as of kernel version 5.11, H.264 has been merged into the uAPI headers. Different applications may make recourse to one or another of these APIs.
    Libraries: FFmpeg and GStreamer. provide libraries and APIs of their own to other applications but can (importantly!) also output directly to the framebuffer. FFmpeg must be patched to access either libva-v4l2-request or the Cedrus driver headers. GStreamer directly accesses kernel headers since 1.18 (works on 5.9, not on 5.10; 1.20 will support 5.11.)
    Media players: mpv and depends on FFmpeg for hardware acceleration (and must be patched together with it). VLC can be set to access libva-v4l2-request directly. Kodi 19.0+ supports hardware acceleration out of the box without any out-of-tree patches.
    Display server: An additional complication is drawing the output of any of the above on screen. Most successful implementations I've seen bypass X11 and either output directly to the framebuffer or force a plane/display layer on top of any X windows. Wayland apparently makes this easier by allowing applications to use their own DRM planes, but this hasn't been explored much yet. Kodi 19.0 works with all three windowing systems (X, Wayland, and gbm).
     
    Codec status:
     
    Taken from the LibreElec thread (which reflects LibreElec's status and is ahead of what works elsewhere, but outlines hardware limitations):
     
     
    Approaches:
     
    Many people have managed to make it work on their machines using different approaches. Note that some of these solutions are one or two years old, and kernel developments since may have changed the situation. Ordered from newer to older:
     
    LibreElec – kernel + ffmpeg + Kodi: LibreElec is a Just-Enough-OS with the sole purpose of running Kodi, a media player. It's at the bleeding edge and usually implements codecs and features well before mainline or other distros. It achieves this by heavily patching everything up and down the stack, from the Linux kernel over FFmpeg to Kodi itself. These patches could all be applied to an Armbian build, but there are a lot of them, they're poorly documented, and you'd need to dig into their github to understand what they all do. LibreElec runs Kodi directly without a desktop. kodi-gbm is a package that can be installed on Armbian and functions similarly.
    Key contributors to the project are @jernej and @Kwiboo, who sometimes post about their work here (and have been very helpful with questions, thank you). @balbes150 includes some of LibreElec's patches in his Armbian-TV builds, but I don't know which.
     
    Kodi 19.0: 
     
    LibreElec patches + mpv:
     
     
    @megous – Kernel 5.11 + GStreamer: This implementation, done here on a PinePhone (A64), patches the 5.9 kernel and uses a recent version of GStreamer (1.18 and up), whose output is rendered directly to a DRM plane via kmssink. (No X or Wayland.)
    GStreamer 1.18 works with the 5.9 kernel. It does not work with 5.10, because of numerous changes to the kernel headers in this version. In 5.11 the H.264 headers were moved into the uAPI; the master branch of GStreamer reflects this, but there haven't been any releases with these patches yet. It'll probably be in repositories with GStreamer 1.20; until then you can build it from source.
     
    @Sash0k – patched libva-v4l2-request + VLC: This updates bootlin's libva-v4l2-request and follows the Sunxi wiki's instructions for enabling VLC to make use of it. It works on the desktop. This only works for H.264 and breaks HEVC. When I tried to replicate this approach on a recent Armbian build, I discovered that the h264.c files in the kernel (that libva-v4l2-request draws on) have changed considerably between 5.8 and 5.10, and I lack the understanding to reconcile libva-v4l2-request with them.
     
    @ubobrov – old kernel + libcedrus + libvdpau-sunxi + ffmpeg + mpv: This approach, which supports encoding decoding of H.264 uses the libvdpau-sunxi API and ports the legacy driver to mainline as a loadable kernel module and if I understand it correctly, ubobrov ported a legacy feature to mainline. In the post quoted below the kernel is 4.20, but the same method has been successfully applied to 5.7.8 by another user. It requires that the board's device tree be patched, as documented in ubobrov's github repository.
     
     
    The summary seems to be that none of the current implementations on Allwinner boards really play nice with X or desktop sessions, and it's best to output directly to the framebuffer. Kwiboo has forked FFmpeg and mpv to make good use of new and unstable kernel features/hardware acceleration which will take a while to make their way upstream. The recent 5.11 move of stateless H.264 out of staging and into the uAPI should facilitate further developments.
    I intend to try some of these things in the nearer future. Thanks to everyone who works on mainlining all of this VPU stuff, and to users here who contribute solutions and readily & patiently answer questions (Jernej especially). I hope I didn't post any falsehoods out of ignorance, and welcome any corrections.
     
    Other related threads here:
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11551-4kp30-video-on-orange-pi-lite-and-mainline-hardware-acceleration/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/16804-orange-pi-pc-h3-armbian-focal-5104-sunxi-av-tv-out-cvbs-enable/page/2/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11184-hardware-graphicvideo-acceleration-in-h3-mainline/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/13622-mainline-vpu/
  12. Like
    P.P.A. reacted to ubobrov in Understanding Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding   
    This is a bit incorrect. libvdpau-sunxi is using for decoding only.
    The Cedrus legacy driver has been supported to run on mainline kernel as KLM.
  13. Like
    P.P.A. got a reaction from TRS-80 in Understanding Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding   
    I've taken peeks at threads related to hardware decoding (of H.264 and HEVC, mainly) on Allwinner and Rockchip platforms on and off, sometimes dabbled in trying and failing to implement solutions recommended there. Being a complete amateur, I find the topic very opaque and confusing, with various different components that need to interface with each other, be patched in sync, and sometimes change drastically between kernel versions, etc. Today I sat down and read up on these subjects, scouring wikis, documentation, this forum, and assorted other sources to try and understand how this works. In this post I will attempt to compile what I've learned on the different software components involved, their relationships, their current status, and solutions to the problem. I hope people more knowledgeable will correct me when I get something wrong or cite outdated information. Stuff which I am highly uncertain of I will print in italics.
    (This post is going to focus on mainline implementations of Cedrus/Allwinner, I haven't looked into Hantro/Rkvdec/Rockchip specifics yet. I will speak only of H.264 and H.265/HEVC; I don't understand the high/low stuff and didn't pay attention to other codecs.)
     
    Components:
     
    Basics: Video codecs like H.264, H.265/HEVC, MPEG-2, etc. are standardised methods which serve to more efficiently encode and decode videos, reducing their filesize. Software en-/decoding is very CPU-intensive. Modern GPUS and ARM SoCs therefore contain specialised hardware (VPUs) to delegate these tasks to. Working hardware decoding is particularly important for underpowered ARM CPUs.
    Drivers: Topmost in the stack are the VPU drivers. These are Sunxi-Cedrus/Cedrus V4L2 M2M and Cedar [Is this the legacy one?] on Allwinner; Hantro and Rkvdec on Rockchip. These are all still in development, but Cedrus already fully supports H.264, and partially supports HEVC, and is already usable in the mainline kernel.
    APIs: In order for anything (userspace APIs, libraries) to make use of the VPU drivers, you need backends/APIs. For Cedrus, there is the unmaintained libva-v4l2-request backend which implements VA-API, the legacy VDPAU implementation libvdpau-sunxi, and as of kernel version 5.11, H.264 has been merged into the uAPI headers. Different applications may make recourse to one or another of these APIs.
    Libraries: FFmpeg and GStreamer. provide libraries and APIs of their own to other applications but can (importantly!) also output directly to the framebuffer. FFmpeg must be patched to access either libva-v4l2-request or the Cedrus driver headers. GStreamer directly accesses kernel headers since 1.18 (works on 5.9, not on 5.10; 1.20 will support 5.11.)
    Media players: mpv and depends on FFmpeg for hardware acceleration (and must be patched together with it). VLC can be set to access libva-v4l2-request directly. Kodi 19.0+ supports hardware acceleration out of the box without any out-of-tree patches.
    Display server: An additional complication is drawing the output of any of the above on screen. Most successful implementations I've seen bypass X11 and either output directly to the framebuffer or force a plane/display layer on top of any X windows. Wayland apparently makes this easier by allowing applications to use their own DRM planes, but this hasn't been explored much yet. Kodi 19.0 works with all three windowing systems (X, Wayland, and gbm).
     
    Codec status:
     
    Taken from the LibreElec thread (which reflects LibreElec's status and is ahead of what works elsewhere, but outlines hardware limitations):
     
     
    Approaches:
     
    Many people have managed to make it work on their machines using different approaches. Note that some of these solutions are one or two years old, and kernel developments since may have changed the situation. Ordered from newer to older:
     
    LibreElec – kernel + ffmpeg + Kodi: LibreElec is a Just-Enough-OS with the sole purpose of running Kodi, a media player. It's at the bleeding edge and usually implements codecs and features well before mainline or other distros. It achieves this by heavily patching everything up and down the stack, from the Linux kernel over FFmpeg to Kodi itself. These patches could all be applied to an Armbian build, but there are a lot of them, they're poorly documented, and you'd need to dig into their github to understand what they all do. LibreElec runs Kodi directly without a desktop. kodi-gbm is a package that can be installed on Armbian and functions similarly.
    Key contributors to the project are @jernej and @Kwiboo, who sometimes post about their work here (and have been very helpful with questions, thank you). @balbes150 includes some of LibreElec's patches in his Armbian-TV builds, but I don't know which.
     
    Kodi 19.0: 
     
    LibreElec patches + mpv:
     
     
    @megous – Kernel 5.11 + GStreamer: This implementation, done here on a PinePhone (A64), patches the 5.9 kernel and uses a recent version of GStreamer (1.18 and up), whose output is rendered directly to a DRM plane via kmssink. (No X or Wayland.)
    GStreamer 1.18 works with the 5.9 kernel. It does not work with 5.10, because of numerous changes to the kernel headers in this version. In 5.11 the H.264 headers were moved into the uAPI; the master branch of GStreamer reflects this, but there haven't been any releases with these patches yet. It'll probably be in repositories with GStreamer 1.20; until then you can build it from source.
     
    @Sash0k – patched libva-v4l2-request + VLC: This updates bootlin's libva-v4l2-request and follows the Sunxi wiki's instructions for enabling VLC to make use of it. It works on the desktop. This only works for H.264 and breaks HEVC. When I tried to replicate this approach on a recent Armbian build, I discovered that the h264.c files in the kernel (that libva-v4l2-request draws on) have changed considerably between 5.8 and 5.10, and I lack the understanding to reconcile libva-v4l2-request with them.
     
    @ubobrov – old kernel + libcedrus + libvdpau-sunxi + ffmpeg + mpv: This approach, which supports encoding decoding of H.264 uses the libvdpau-sunxi API and ports the legacy driver to mainline as a loadable kernel module and if I understand it correctly, ubobrov ported a legacy feature to mainline. In the post quoted below the kernel is 4.20, but the same method has been successfully applied to 5.7.8 by another user. It requires that the board's device tree be patched, as documented in ubobrov's github repository.
     
     
    The summary seems to be that none of the current implementations on Allwinner boards really play nice with X or desktop sessions, and it's best to output directly to the framebuffer. Kwiboo has forked FFmpeg and mpv to make good use of new and unstable kernel features/hardware acceleration which will take a while to make their way upstream. The recent 5.11 move of stateless H.264 out of staging and into the uAPI should facilitate further developments.
    I intend to try some of these things in the nearer future. Thanks to everyone who works on mainlining all of this VPU stuff, and to users here who contribute solutions and readily & patiently answer questions (Jernej especially). I hope I didn't post any falsehoods out of ignorance, and welcome any corrections.
     
    Other related threads here:
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11551-4kp30-video-on-orange-pi-lite-and-mainline-hardware-acceleration/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/16804-orange-pi-pc-h3-armbian-focal-5104-sunxi-av-tv-out-cvbs-enable/page/2/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/11184-hardware-graphicvideo-acceleration-in-h3-mainline/
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/13622-mainline-vpu/
  14. Like
    P.P.A. reacted to jernej in Understanding Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding   
    Good summary, let me clear some things.
    Having proper uAPI by no means makes libva-v4l2-request obsolete. If this lib is updated to latest uAPI, it still could serve as intermediate layer for all apps that don't support new interface but they support VA-API.
    Before you talked about libva-v4l2-request, which implements VA-API, so I wouldn't say it's irrelevant to ARM HW accel. libvdpau-sunxi implements VDPAU, but that works only on BSP kernels and it is not relevant for mainline.
    Further clarification: Kodi 19.0 (released recently) is highly recommended for all this - it doesn't require any out of tree patch for video decoding (LE uses patch for HW deinterlacing). Additionally, with version 19.0, there is single binary for all 3 windowing systems (gbm, X11, wayland). Depends on build options. Not sure if this version is available on Armbian but PPA exists, so I guess it should not be hard to test.
    H264, MPEG2 and VP8 should be good in mainline, although api can still change until codec is promoted to uAPI. HEVC still needs out-of-tree patches for any serious work.
     
    Maybe you can update your text, so we have current state overview in single post.
     
  15. Like
    P.P.A. reacted to balbes150 in Allwinner H6   
    ArmbianTV is an extended version of the official Armbian.
  16. Like
    P.P.A. got a reaction from gounthar in 4kp30 video on Orange Pi Lite and mainline hardware acceleration   
    Am I understanding it correctly that it works as follows?
    LibreElec patches the kernel to make use of the SoC's VPU. (Some of these patches make their way upstream eventually, but that's a slow process.) It also forks ffmpeg, which is patched to recognise these new kernel features & to make use of them. Kodi then refers to ffmpeg to access them.
    What would be necessary for players other than Kodi—mpv or VLC for example—to benefit from this as well? And what is the role of libva, VAAPI, and these other things in this process?
  17. Like
    P.P.A. got a reaction from guidol in Allwinner H5 phased out?   
    Xunlong is putting out another batch of H5 devices at the end of the month.
    Is there any particular reason to go with a H5 board these days? As I understand it, the advantage it has over the H3 are the gigabit ethernet and the 64-bit architecture, while being a bit more mature on mainline and Armbian than the H6 or similar Rockchips?