Video on Linux especially H264

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Video on Linux especially H264

Postby Fitzy on Tue May 15, 2012 1:29 am

Hello Forum.

As a Linux Mint newbie, having moved away from many years with Windows, I was hoping for some advice on setting up hardware with Linux to perform as best as possible with video, in particular H264.

To try and summarise my problem, I have installed Linux on 3 hardware platforms ( two HP laptops - Intel T2400 CPU and 945 int graphics, Intel T2400 CPU ATI Radeon x1600 graphics, and one HP PC AMD Athlon x2 64 with 3100 graphics) that were displaying H264 video perfectly under Windows, and have found that all three now cannot display video smoothly any more via VLC player.

I'm looking for as much advice possible really on getting the best out of the hardware, perhaps an 'idiots guide' or the like so that I can stay with Linux and not have to move back to Windows!

Many thanks for any help.
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Re: Video on Linux especially H264

Postby Bergschreck on Tue May 15, 2012 2:36 am

For smooth H.264 playback you need video acceleration by the GPU. How you can get this depends on your graphics card. There are 3 different systems for video acceleration: VA-API by Intel, VDPAU by Nvidia, and XvBA by ATI/AMD. You will have to install the corresponding library (libva1, libvdpau) and a proprietary graphics driver for your card. And you need a player which is capable of using hardware decoding. Good choices are XBMC and Smplayer. As far as I know VLC has only experimental and limited hardware decoding.

Here are some links that may help you:
http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Ha ... velopement
http://wiki.videolan.org/VLC_VAAPI
http://www.splitted-desktop.com/en/libva/
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Re: Video on Linux especially H264

Postby Fitzy on Wed May 30, 2012 11:11 pm

Hello Bergschreck,

Thank you very much for the information.

I have been digging deeper into Linux and finding myself often off on a tangent fiddling with configuration and/or different distros (particularly Arch based), and always coming back to Linux Mint as I do like it's well rounded approach and inclusion of codecs. However, I digress!

Regarding GPU acceleration, now that I am starting to get a slightly better grasp of Linux, perhaps I may be able to formulate my questions a little better. I have been trying to produce a perfectly working HTPC using Linux rather than Windows. I am currently experimenting with a micro ATX AMD board the ASUS E35 M1-M with the AMD Fusion APU (TDP~18W). I'm particularly keen on low overall power usage and previously was working with an Atom board D525MW (TDP~11W) which I could manage to get HD out of using a Broadcom BCM 970015 / Crystal HD mini-PCI decoder (~1W) via RGB, but the colour quality was poor. Again the story seems to be that via Linux the AMD Fusion / Zacate board is really struggling with HD even when using the AMD Catalyst drivers. So in this situation, how would I get the best out of the hardware using Linux? How do I apply video acceleration to my situation please?

Many thanks.
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Re: Video on Linux especially H264

Postby giantjoebot on Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:29 am

I'm having problems too, and trying to figure it out. I built a XBMC rig years ago with a 2.4ghz single core AMD64, 1.5 gigs of ram, and a 7900GS. The video card could not do GPU decoding, and it played 1080p mkv just fine. Even with the right drivers my laptop is using 3ghz of processing power, and my destop is using about 2ghz to playback 720p mkv. Desktop looks fine oddly enough. Maybe its because my laptop is ati, and my desktop is nvidia. There is something else going on, but I haven't figured it out yet.

tried sudo apt-get update and upgrade, because that was something I did on my desktop, and now I have NO video, just a black screen. All attempts to fix it through grub have failed, so I'll be doing a re install in the morning.
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