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Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:47 pm

I have an unique use case that I need advice about. It is a Pi4 that's used as an advertising player.

The pi4 is connected to 7" touchscreen via DSI port. The two micro-HDMI ports are connected to external monitors with resolution of 1920x1080 each.

I want to be able to display ads on the two external monitors. Ads would span across both monitors with a resolution of 3840x1080. The 7" touchscreen would have an interface to manage the ads.

Is there a video player that can span across two monitors with resolution of 3840x1080?

I have not been able to find a good discussion/solution around this use case. Thanks for your advice.

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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:11 am

Stretching video over two screens has already been discussed, and I believe is now implemented with infobeamer.
It'll need to be hevc encoded video as the h264 decoder has a max res of 1080p. You pass the same image to both displays with appropriate source cropping rectangles.

Also covered previously, the Pi can only drive two displays simultaneously. There is a theoretical mode where it can drive 3, but then there is no option for offscreen compositon or transposing. We are not currently looking at exposing that mode of operation.
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:44 am

What is the recommended player for playing hevc coded videos and how to make sure playback on both screens is in sync (as to my understanding GPU only can't decode hevc video; CPU is needed as well dor this)?

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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:16 pm

aBUGSworstnightmare wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:44 am
What is the recommended player for playing hevc coded videos and how to make sure playback on both screens is in sync (as to my understanding GPU only can't decode hevc video; CPU is needed as well dor this)?
Currently I'm not aware of any player that can do that on any standard Linux platform.

I know dividuum has been working to get info-beamer to work on the dual displays of Pi4, but don't know if he's integrated HEVC decode into that yet.
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:35 pm

6by9 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:16 pm
I know dividuum has been working to get info-beamer to work on the dual displays of Pi4, but don't know if he's integrated HEVC decode into that yet.
Working on that and that's definitely something I need to support. About that: What's the license for the code in the 2711 branch of popcornmix's FFmpeg branch? There's only Copyright (c) June 2017 Raspberry Pi Ltd in one of the files and no info in others. LGPL? Is there a way to clarify that? Or should I open up an issue in that repository?

Do you know if the /dev/argon-hevcmem based communication with the decoder will be supported in the future? The commit makes it sound a bit like that's more of a temporary solution that might be removed once the v4l2 method is available.
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:57 am

Got a first version working. Still very much unfinished, but splitting a 4K (or 3840x1080/1920x2160) video across two displays is indeed possible.
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:44 pm

dividuum wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:35 pm
Working on that and that's definitely something I need to support. About that: What's the license for the code in the 2711 branch of popcornmix's FFmpeg branch? There's only Copyright (c) June 2017 Raspberry Pi Ltd in one of the files and no info in others. LGPL? Is there a way to clarify that? Or should I open up an issue in that repository?
I would say create an issue on Dom's repo, but it looks like issues have been disabled on it. I'll ask the question.
dividuum wrote:Do you know if the /dev/argon-hevcmem based communication with the decoder will be supported in the future? The commit makes it sound a bit like that's more of a temporary solution that might be removed once the v4l2 method is available.
It will certainly be deprecated once V4L2 is available.
FFmpeg should be able to use either with very similar API calls, so if you use it then you should be in a good position anyway.

It's the same as all the GPIO libraries - there are the official APIs, but if you absolutely insist and know enough about the hardware, then you can poke around under the hood. With HEVC I don't think there wll be a significant gain by ignoring V4L2, so hopefully using the provided APIs will be efficient. Those who know what they are doing would do better making improvements via the standard APIs than hacking their own.
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:55 pm

6by9 wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:44 pm
I would say create an issue on Dom's repo, but it looks like issues have been disabled on it. I'll ask the question.
Thanks a lot!
It will certainly be deprecated once V4L2 is available.
FFmpeg should be able to use either with very similar API calls, so if you use it then you should be in a good position anyway.
Let's hope so :-)

Right now the FFmpeg API produces GPU(?) backed "zero copy" buffers that can then be sent into a MMAL pipeline, for example for splitting or using multiple dispmanx renderers in a dual display setup. Do you know how a proper FFmpeg API will work? Will it also produce something that can be "plugged" into MMAL? It would be great to also use HEVC for GL textures, similar to how my existing H264 decoder does that at the moment.
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:56 pm

dividuum wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:57 am
Got a first version working. Still very much unfinished, but splitting a 4K (or 3840x1080/1920x2160) video across two displays is indeed possible.
Well done.
Reading your post,
Right now I’m not sure if it’s possible to decode two videos at once, for example.
I don't believe it is currently, but I'm slightly out of the loop on this.
The hardware will follow the V4L2 stateless codec API, therefore it should allow multiple concurrent decodes. With the current FFmpeg solution you'd find the reference counting and arbitration in the FFmpeg code, which means it won't work if you have 2 independent instances of FFmpeg. It may work if you have one process that invokes it twice.
Once it shifts into the kernel and V4L2, then the kernel is the correct place for the arbitration.
In addition, decoding H265 into a GL texture (for use with the magic video wall for example) also doesn’t work yet.
8bit should be possible using the DRM_FORMAT_MOD_BROADCOM_SAND128 modifier. The TFU in the 3D subsystem can convert that to UIF for a texture. Achieving 4k through that path may be challenging.
10bit appears to have been an omission from the TFU :( The packing is not terribly software friendly either, therefore software conversion is likely to be painful. AFAIK there is no option to get the codec block to decode a 10bit stream to 8bit, mainly as it means the reference images are all in the wrong format and are inaccurate.
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:59 pm

6by9 wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:44 pm
I would say create an issue on Dom's repo, but it looks like issues have been disabled on it. I'll ask the question.
I've pushed an update to clarify LGPL 2.1 in headers to match ffmpeg's source code.

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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:05 pm

6by9 wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:56 pm
Right now I’m not sure if it’s possible to decode two videos at once, for example.
I don't believe it is currently, but I'm slightly out of the loop on this.
The hardware will follow the V4L2 stateless codec API, therefore it should allow multiple concurrent decodes. With the current FFmpeg solution you'd find the reference counting and arbitration in the FFmpeg code, which means it won't work if you have 2 independent instances of FFmpeg. It may work if you have one process that invokes it twice.
It's all done with a single process, but when I tried setting up two decoder instances, IIRC the process got stuck and I had to reboot. I'll investigate this closer once there rest works reliably. Right now I'm figuring out how to best handle the zc buffers inside MMAL buffers when passing them through multiple components. In the FFmpeg code, it directly feeds them to a single renderer so it can easily unref them in the buffer callback. I'm still trying to figure out what the cleanest approach is when using multiple renderers and (right now) MMAL connections between them. I'll probably have to pass around buffers manually to have more control over when the zc buffers are released. Yikes :-)
Once it shifts into the kernel and V4L2, then the kernel is the correct place for the arbitration.
That sounds easier \o/
8bit should be possible using the DRM_FORMAT_MOD_BROADCOM_SAND128 modifier. The TFU in the 3D subsystem can convert that to UIF for a texture. Achieving 4k through that path may be challenging.
Ey. That'll require more digging to see how that's all supposed to work. Thanks for the pointers and the additional info :)
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:06 pm

dom wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:59 pm
I've pushed an update to clarify LGPL 2.1 in headers to match ffmpeg's source code.
Thanks a lot!
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:10 pm

dividuum wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:55 pm
6by9 wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:44 pm
I would say create an issue on Dom's repo, but it looks like issues have been disabled on it. I'll ask the question.
Thanks a lot!
So the answer is it is our code and are happy to licence it under any terms that make it most useful for projects.
Any specific requests, or is LGPL2.1+ sufficient for your use case?
dividuum wrote:
It will certainly be deprecated once V4L2 is available.
FFmpeg should be able to use either with very similar API calls, so if you use it then you should be in a good position anyway.
Let's hope so :-)

Right now the FFmpeg API produces GPU(?) backed "zero copy" buffers that can then be sent into a MMAL pipeline, for example for splitting or using multiple dispmanx renderers in a dual display setup. Do you know how a proper FFmpeg API will work? Will it also produce something that can be "plugged" into MMAL? It would be great to also use HEVC for GL textures, similar to how my existing H264 decoder does that at the moment.
FFmpeg mainline is gaining "proper" support for DRM_PRIME (aka dmabufs) via the V4L2 stateful codecs. tmm1 is driving that if you follow the ffmpeg-devel mailing list.
DRM_PRIME is already supported for libva, and Bootlin have written a libva shim for the V4L2 stateless API. I would therefore hope that all the ducks end up in a line, and you get DRM_PRIME support for V4L2 stateless codecs.

vcsm supports importing a dmabuf to create a VPU relocatable heap handle, compatible with being pushed into MMAL_BUFFER_HEADER_T "data" on a zero copy port.
Alternatively it can be passed to DRM via drmPrimeFDToHandle, or to GL via EGL_DMA_BUF_PLANE0_FD_EXT.
(The newer driver vcsm-cma should support dma buf export too. It actually uses CMA for all allocations, and passes them to the VPU, rather than using the gpu_mem heap. Exporting CMA is relatively simple).
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:25 pm

6by9 wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:10 pm
So the answer is it is our code and are happy to licence it under any terms that make it most useful for projects.
Any specific requests, or is LGPL2.1+ sufficient for your use case?
LGPL is perfectly fine for that as that part is intermingled with FFmpeg anyway, so a more permissive license wouldn't really help a lot. At least that's my take on it.
Fmpeg mainline is gaining "proper" support for DRM_PRIME (aka dmabufs) via the V4L2 stateful codecs. tmm1 is driving that if you follow the ffmpeg-devel mailing list.
DRM_PRIME is already supported for libva, and Bootlin have written a libva shim for the V4L2 stateless API. I would therefore hope that all the ducks end up in a line, and you get DRM_PRIME support for V4L2 stateless codecs.
Very interesting and thanks for the links. That'll be an interesting deep dive into how that's all going to work eventually.
vcsm supports importing a dmabuf to create a VPU relocatable heap handle, compatible with being pushed into MMAL_BUFFER_HEADER_T "data" on a zero copy port.
Alternatively it can be passed to DRM via drmPrimeFDToHandle, or to GL via EGL_DMA_BUF_PLANE0_FD_EXT.
(The newer driver vcsm-cma should support dma buf export too. It actually uses CMA for all allocations, and passes them to the VPU, rather than using the gpu_mem heap. Exporting CMA is relatively simple).
Nice. So everything I currently do will be possible in some way in the future. Looking forward to all that. Thanks again for the information.
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:55 pm

For very basic example apps of MMAL video_decode feeding DRM or GL see https://github.com/6by9/drm_mmal/blob/export/drm_mmal.c and https://github.com/6by9/drm_mmal/blob/x ... drm_mmal.c respectively. I haven't tested them that recently, but believe they were functional.
dividuum wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:05 pm
It's all done with a single process, but when I tried setting up two decoder instances, IIRC the process got stuck and I had to reboot. I'll investigate this closer once there rest works reliably. Right now I'm figuring out how to best handle the zc buffers inside MMAL buffers when passing them through multiple components. In the FFmpeg code, it directly feeds them to a single renderer so it can easily unref them in the buffer callback. I'm still trying to figure out what the cleanest approach is when using multiple renderers and (right now) MMAL connections between them. I'll probably have to pass around buffers manually to have more control over when the zc buffers are released. Yikes :-)
MMAL connections are probably the wrong solutions, and using a video_splitter component will involve a copy of the buffer.
Your best approach is probably to use mmal_buffer_header_replicate. This replicates a MMAL buffer header, but the useful bit is that it also takes a reference on the source buffer header. Only when all replicas have been released will the source buffer header be (automatically) released.

- Create a source pool, and one per destination, all will buffers of 0 length.
- For each source frame, create a buffer header with the relevant parameters
- replicate that buffer header for each renderer (this doesn't require any copying of the image data)
- with each renderer, release the buffer header when it is returned to you.
- with the source buffers, release/unref/return the source buffer when it is released.
It's roughly the approach I take with both https://github.com/6by9/raspiraw and https://github.com/6by9/yavta
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:50 pm

6by9 wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:55 pm
For very basic example apps of MMAL video_decode feeding DRM or GL see https://github.com/6by9/drm_mmal/blob/export/drm_mmal.c and https://github.com/6by9/drm_mmal/blob/x ... drm_mmal.c respectively. I haven't tested them that recently, but believe they were functional.
They are. The existing h264-into-GL code in info-beamer uses that approach and it works fine.
MMAL connections are probably the wrong solutions, and using a video_splitter component will involve a copy of the buffer.
Your best approach is probably to use mmal_buffer_header_replicate. This replicates a MMAL buffer header, but the useful bit is that it also takes a reference on the source buffer header. Only when all replicas have been released will the source buffer header be (automatically) released.

- Create a source pool, and one per destination, all will buffers of 0 length.
- For each source frame, create a buffer header with the relevant parameters
- replicate that buffer header for each renderer (this doesn't require any copying of the image data)
- with each renderer, release the buffer header when it is returned to you.
- with the source buffers, release/unref/return the source buffer when it is released.
It's roughly the approach I take with both https://github.com/6by9/raspiraw and https://github.com/6by9/yavta
Sounds like a plan. Right now I've abstracted the different renderers (GL / dispmanx) and feed video buffers from a schedule into their respective input port. Since I need more control and H265 works a bit different in general compared to the H264 component, I'll probably have to refactor a bit. That keeps young ;-)
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:59 pm

And I've managed to make all of that work. I can now decode H264>GL, H264>dispmanx, HEVC>dispmanx. All of that works across two displays as well. Here's a screenshot:

Image

Still missing is HEVC>GL. I'm a bit confused on how that's supposed to work. Do I need to use the isp component for that? I would think not. Right now for GL I convert existing buffers into MMAL_ENCODING_I420 and into GL-backed MMAL buffers. Based on what I understood so far, the conversion isn't necessary. I'm not sure how that's supposed to work though. On the one side (from the HEVC decoder) I have opaque buffers pointing to video core memory. For H264 OPAQUE buffers I guess I imported them via vcsm_import_dmabuf. Am I correct in assuming it's not necessary for HEVC as they are already have a vcsm_handle and I can just use that to create a texture from it? Flipping to the next frame is then just marking the corresponding texture as active?
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:18 pm

dividuum wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:59 pm
And I've managed to make all of that work. I can now decode H264>GL, H264>dispmanx, HEVC>dispmanx. All of that works across two displays as well.
Nicely done!
dividuum wrote:Still missing is HEVC>GL. I'm a bit confused on how that's supposed to work. Do I need to use the isp component for that? I would think not. Right now for GL I convert existing buffers into MMAL_ENCODING_I420 and into GL-backed MMAL buffers. Based on what I understood so far, the conversion isn't necessary. I'm not sure how that's supposed to work though. On the one side (from the HEVC decoder) I have opaque buffers pointing to video core memory. For H264 OPAQUE buffers I guess I imported them via vcsm_import_dmabuf. Am I correct in assuming it's not necessary for HEVC as they are already have a vcsm_handle and I can just use that to create a texture from it? Flipping to the next frame is then just marking the corresponding texture as active?
The codec doesn't produce I420 natively - it's a slightly funny column based format often referred to as SAND or YUVUV, and gives some SDRAM access gains.
Take your image and chop it up into 64, 128, or 256 pixel wide columns (128 pixel wide is the default for all actual users). Add a small amount of padding to the bottom of the luma column to align to an SDRAM page, and then add the corresponding chroma. Add more padding to align to a weird multiple of SDRAM pages sizes, and add the next column. Repeat across the image.

Both DRM and GL should be able to consume this via DRM_FORMAT_MOD_BROADCOM_SAND128_COL_HEIGHT(height of column). Hopefully the ffmpeg image should be returned with the appropriate column pitches and offsets.
drm_mmal is using MMAL producing SAND which doesn't give the appropriate values, therefore it has the approriate calcs for the values.
As to the handle to pass to DRM/GL, the dmabuf fd that you imported into vcsm should be accepted via DRM or EGL_DMA_BUF_PLANE0_FD_EXT. You can also allocate via vcsm using vcsm_export_dmabuf. You have to have initialised vcsm using vcsm_init_ex(1, -1); to signal your desire to use the newer vcsm-cma driver.

10bit HEVC one I don't know how to solve for GL. The codec packs 3 10bit samples into one 32bit word, so each 128 byte column contains 96 pixels. The HVS knows how to handle that. The TFU doesn't (the use case was missed when reviewing the hardware design).
10bit data tends to be the higher resolutions too, so the amount of data being shifted around becomes too great for GL to sensibly render it anyway. There may be an option to pass it through the HVS to offscreen compose it into a buffer that GL can accept, but you've then taken bandwidth away from the HVS for composing the online scene(s).
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:27 pm

Thanks a lot the the quick response! I'll digest all that and see how far I get. With regards to converting 10bit into textures: I already feel like FullHD is close to the limit of what makes sense. So realistically it would probably make sense to not support HEVC, which is probably mainly used for high-res videos, into GL at all. On the other hand all that creates a maze of special cases for any kind of UI. Not yet sure how to handle all this.
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:21 am

Just a quick update: I've now release a first public version of my software info-beamer with support for both dual HDMI display output and HEVC video decoding support. So you can now place a 3840x1080 HEVC video across two displays. You can learn more about both features in the blog post here: https://info-beamer.com/blog/dual-displ ... n-the-pi-4

Thank you 6by9 for all the hints provided along the way!
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Re: Span images/videos across two monitors 3840x1080

Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:06 am

dividuum wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:21 am
Just a quick update: I've now release a first public version of my software info-beamer with support for both dual HDMI display output and HEVC video decoding support. So you can now place a 3840x1080 HEVC video across two displays. You can learn more about both features in the blog post here: https://info-beamer.com/blog/dual-displ ... n-the-pi-4

Thank you 6by9 for all the hints provided along the way!
Congrats!
It's always nice to see people actually taking the new stuff and pushing it into newer areas, so I'm happy to provide support where I can (I never really get time to write user side software, so get to do it by proxy via people like yourself)
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