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Video Quality with the Pi 3 B+ ?

Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:41 pm

Hi, I just put together a new Raspberry Pi 3 B+ system with a Seagate 4TB USB drive. I'm using an HDMI TV for the monitor. I tried watching an MPEG-2 movie from the hard drive with the VCL Media Player that came with the kit. I am disappointed with the video quality, The motion is rather jerky. Is this the best the hardware can do? I would like to get DVD quality playback if possible.

Bob D. (New to Raspberry)

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Re: Video Quality with the Pi 3 B+ ?

Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:19 pm

What software did you use to play the video ?

You need to buy a license to activate decoding of MPEG-2 in the GPU:
And you need to use software that can used the GPU, typically omxplayer, Kodi, or a build of VLC that supports the GPU.

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Re: Video Quality with the Pi 3 B+ ?

Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:46 pm

in menu preferences-rasp pi confg-performance tab-up the gpu memory to at least 160--i have mine high at 256,also helps chrome run smother imho,or install kodi and use that to run vids.
vlc has issues w/ h265 vids kodi doesn't
remember ,never approach a computer thinking this will only take a minute
~~pi zero w and a 3b+

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Re: Video Quality with the Pi 3 B+ ?

Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:40 am

As with mrreality13 I too have bumped up the gpu memory to 256MB (when I was using RPi3B). this was the recommendation stated in the Kodi docs. Plays movie files well, most of my files are in H264 mkv, avi and mp4 containers/formats.

Have played a 5.4GB 1080p concert video (encoded in 5.1 audio format, but down mixed to stereo) in Kodi. No problems, plays as good as it would play on an i7 16GB ram winpc.

When I upgraded my RPi3B to RPi3B+, I lowered the gpu memory to 192MB. Still plays well. And am scheduled to watch another 2-hour batch later on
Even on a RPiZW with Kodi, (I have one as a "portable" Kodi player), still plays well even on 192MB gpu memory.

Also have a Raspbian Stretch with Desktop auto-boot to Kodi on a Raspberry Pi 1B (c) 2011, the "old" one with the yellow RCA jack.
Again with the gpu memory set at 192MB, my video files plays OK. No jitters/lags/problems.

If a "lower end" Raspberry Pi can play videos with crisp clear quality, then the higher end ones should have no problems at all if set properly.

Have not tried playing mpeg-2 formatted movie files (or maybe those are the ones that did play but outputs audio only and the screen remains black). If its was mpeg-2 encoded, I can just convert it (using a winpc) to a format that my system can play.

Tried VLC to play some videos. For me it a sort of "hit or miss" kind of situation. Kodi has been very reliable in my past 3 years of use.

Ok time to watch my 2 hour batch...

...catch you later... ;)
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Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

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Re: Video Quality with the Pi 3 B+ ?

Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:21 pm

All RPis have hardware assist for H.264 decoding. Some players are able to use that. For hardware assisted H.262 (aka MPEG-2 video) purchase and installation of a licence key is required,
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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