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esbeeb
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Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, format

Sat Nov 28, 2015 5:36 pm

After watching a youtube video showing video playback within Raspbian Jesse (linked to from this discussion), I noticing a pattern of "stuttering" (notice the part where the large word "Dreamworks" scrolls by slowly).

It made me wonder, when using any of the omxplayer GUI frontends (TBOPlayer, omxplayerGUI, or Ubeify), what is the highest-resolution, highest-framerate video file you've ever been able to play which looked silky smooth, on a Pi 2 Model B (or any Pi, for that matter, and please specify if you're not referring to a Pi 2 Model B)?

It would be really helpful to also know the native resolution of the file, the frames-per-second (within the file, and not necessarily what was actually displayed by the GPU, so long as it still looked "silky-smooth" to you), the video codec (such as H.264), and "container" file format (such as ".avi").

I'm not asking what the hardware can theoretically deliver here, I'm asking for actual user anecdotes, as to what worked well with today's stock Raspbian Jesse (implying we're in LXDE, with x.org for all non-openmax graphics). Yes, I'm aware about the existence of specialized projects such as Kodi or OpenElec, but I'm interested in what the "standard" desktop experience typically delivers, when plain old video files are played locally (not streamed, not from Youtube or Vimeo within a browser, etc), ideally just by double-clicking them from within the File Browser.

Links to actual sample video files (containing at least a minute or more of "safe-for-work", non-copyright-protected content) would be appreciated, to make it easier for others to reproduce the results. For example, one could try Big Buck Bunny, and Elephant's Dream.

gkreidl
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Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Sat Nov 28, 2015 5:47 pm

1080p30 with omxplayer (and all GUIs). 1080p60 with the GPU Frequency overclocked to 500 MHz (works on all my Pis).
I'm watching HD video all the time, mostly live HD TV (Sat-Server) or TV recordings.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

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esbeeb
Posts: 127
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Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Sat Nov 28, 2015 5:58 pm

gkreidl wrote:...GPU Frequency overclocked to 500 MHz (works on all my Pis).
:D

Did you overclock your GPU by editing /boot/config.txt? Or was there a more menu-based way? Did you overclock your CPU and RAM as well?

What temp do your Pis get during extended HD playback (and I'm assuming the room is "room temperature", meaning about 20 deg C, or 68 deg F)?

Can one trust that in 1080p (with 30fps or 60fps), ANY codec and container file will work (or perhaps most of them)?

gkreidl
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Location: Germany

Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:08 pm

esbeeb wrote:
gkreidl wrote:...GPU Frequency overclocked to 500 MHz (works on all my Pis).
:D

Did you overclock your GPU by editing /boot/config.txt? Or was there a more menu-based way? Did you overclock your CPU and RAM as well?

What temp do your Pis get during extended HD playback (and I'm assuming the room is "room temperature", meaning about 20 deg C, or 68 deg F)?

Can one trust that in 1080p (with 30fps or 60fps), ANY codec and container file will work (or perhaps most of them)?
In config.txt,
gpu_freq=500
Temperature is between 40 and 50 deg C.
CPU is not overclocked.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

dom
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Location: Cambridge

Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:47 pm

gkreidl wrote:1080p30 with omxplayer (and all GUIs). 1080p60 with the GPU Frequency overclocked to 500 MHz (works on all my Pis).
I'm watching HD video all the time, mostly live HD TV (Sat-Server) or TV recordings.
Probably not necessary to overclock with recent firmware.
If we detect 1080p with framerate > 45 fps we kick h264 clock up to 300MHz (also do with 1080p MVC video).

300MHz has been enough for all the 1080p60 samples I own.

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esbeeb
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Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:44 pm

That is so intensely cool! :D

I also trust the new Pi Zero has this exact same GPU goodness as well? ;)

Much appreciated for all the hard work by the Pi Towers team!! I love it when the software and hardware work in such harmony. This kind of "automagical" goodness seems to me to be quite rare in the ARM world, let alone the whole Open Source world whatsoever.

KTWS
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Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:05 am

The Youtube video was created to demo a commit to Omxplayer I made in March to enable smooth dbus video resizing with Ubeify so, it's actually running on Raspbian Wheezy rather than Jessie.

Just had a play with the file used in the video and it seems to be an encoding problem rather than with omxplayer/RPI as it also stutters at that particular point on my laptop. In my experience, if the source file is up to scratch, 1080p 30fps desktop playback quality is excellent with the current firmware and oxmplayer versions.
Ubeify Desktop Media Player For Raspberry Pi Zero, 1, 2 & 3
http://www.ubeify.co.uk/

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esbeeb
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Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:35 am

Thanks everyone! :D

I'm blown away by how the $5 Pi Zero will also have this same HD video playback capability (as I recently heard from the LinuxLuddites, in Ep. 64), as the Pi Zero's SoC is the same as the one on the Pi 1 Model A+ and B+.

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esbeeb
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Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:07 pm

Here's a Youtube Video showing Kodi on the Pi Zero:
"Kodi on the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero"
When he plays Big Buck Bunny (fast-forward in to 7:45) , it's not totally smooth looking, however he is playing the video over SMB, so the ancient SMB protocol, or his wifi connection might also introduce glitches.

He never does play a video file, locally stored on his MicroSD card. I'm still waiting to see how smooth that would look. :|

gkreidl
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Location: Germany

Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:25 pm

esbeeb wrote:Here's a Youtube Video showing Kodi on the Pi Zero:
"Kodi on the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero"
When he plays Big Buck Bunny (fast-forward in to 7:45) , it's not totally smooth looking, however he is playing the video over SMB, so the ancient SMB protocol, or his wifi connection might also introduce glitches.

He never does play a video file, locally stored on his MicroSD card. I'm still waiting to see how smooth that would look. :|
Samba is not a problem, but WiFi is. I still have to see full HD movies playing without problems across a WiFi connection.
And sometimes it's a software problem, too. None of the kodi-15 releases I have tested runs full HD TS streams without stuttering and sound issues, but omxplayer does.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

dom
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Location: Cambridge

Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:27 pm

esbeeb wrote:Here's a Youtube Video showing Kodi on the Pi Zero:
"Kodi on the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero"
When he plays Big Buck Bunny (fast-forward in to 7:45) , it's not totally smooth looking, however he is playing the video over SMB, so the ancient SMB protocol, or his wifi connection might also introduce glitches.

He never does play a video file, locally stored on his MicroSD card. I'm still waiting to see how smooth that would look. :|
I suspect that is the lack of "adjust display refresh rate to match video" which can be enabled in settings.
There is also the additional encoding from camera for youtube, so it's pretty hard to gauge smoothness of video.
Pi Zero will play video perfectly smoothly with correct settings (assuming your wifi is decent).

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esbeeb
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Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:53 pm

Here's another Youtube video showing video playback in Kodi:
"Raspberry Pi ZERO Review + KODI Video"
Fast-forward in to 2:50. At first he gets bad lag in the video, then he adjusts his wifi dongle for better reception, then he gets flawless, smooth video.

I'm convinced (that it was wifi to blame, not SMB)! This was the sort of proof I was looking for. :D
Last edited by esbeeb on Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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esbeeb
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Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:59 pm

gkreidl wrote:I still have to see full HD movies playing without problems across a WiFi connection.
Good to know! So we could probably assume that local storage (or perhaps wired ethernet) is best for HD video, then. I look forward to more anecdotes about this.
gkreidl wrote:None of the kodi-15 releases I have tested runs full HD TS streams without stuttering and sound issues, but omxplayer does.
Very good to know. To me, it would be intuitive that Kodi would be the place where you would expect to get the best video performance, but what I'm essentially hearing from you is that actually it's currently Raspbian, with some omxplayer GUI frontend!

Much appreciated for all these tips and tricks, gkreidl and Dom! New Pi Zero customers will want to know about these! :)

gkreidl
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Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:04 pm

The frontend is not important.
HD TV used to work in kodi 14, if I set the hardware decoding to use omxplayer and disabled MMAL, but that doesn't work any more.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

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esbeeb
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Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:21 pm

When it comes to installing one of the three omxplayer GUI frontends, only one of them seems to come as any sort of Debian package (for Raspbian) at present. This would be omxplayergui (which is included when you install the "kweb" package). Once you install the "kweb" package, then omxplayergui appears in the "Applications" menu, apparently (according to this documentation, see page 3).

I wonder if it wouldn't be prudent to include one of these 3 GUI frontends to omxplayer by default, with Raspbian, as distributed by the Raspberry Pi foundation. Then Noobs can much more easily go straight to using the best-available video player for the Pi, instead of having to dig around in the forums and make inquiries (like I'm doing in this thread, not to mention this one, and this one) just to learn all the ins and outs of playing videos (given the Pi's somewhat less well-known, and well-understood OpenMAX capabilities when it comes to video).

I'm certainly not a Noob myself, and it took me quite some time to wrap my brain around this whole situation (when it comes to all the caveats involved with playing HD videos smoothly, which the Pi, after all, has been touted as being capable of from the get-go). Assumedly, noobs would have a much harder time than myself in understanding this. That's why I feel an OMXplayer GUI (and I don't really care which one) should probably be put under the noses of the noobs, in the "Menu" in the upper left corner of Raspbian's LXDE desktop. I mean come on, Minecraft is included by default. Why not a decent video player?

dom
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Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:55 pm

gkreidl wrote:The frontend is not important.
HD TV used to work in kodi 14, if I set the hardware decoding to use omxplayer and disabled MMAL, but that doesn't work any more.
Are you sure MPEG-2 licence is enabled?

gkreidl
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Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:22 pm

dom wrote:
gkreidl wrote:The frontend is not important.
HD TV used to work in kodi 14, if I set the hardware decoding to use omxplayer and disabled MMAL, but that doesn't work any more.
Are you sure MPEG-2 licence is enabled?
HD TV is H264, not MPEG. SD channels using MPEG do work (codecs are installed) amd also 720p50 HD TV (also H264).
If I convert HDTV TS recordings to MKV (without re-encoding), they seem to work in Kodi (at least much better).
All my streams and recordings work perfectly in omxplayer.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

dom
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 5420
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:41 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:45 pm

gkreidl wrote: HD TV is H264, not MPEG. SD channels using MPEG do work (codecs are installed) amd also 720p50 HD TV (also H264).
If I convert HDTV TS recordings to MKV (without re-encoding), they seem to work in Kodi (at least much better).
All my streams and recordings work perfectly in omxplayer.
If you provide a sample file which fails to play in Kodi I can take a look.

gkreidl
Posts: 6222
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:07 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Best video playback resolutions, framerates, codecs, for

Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:06 pm

dom wrote:
gkreidl wrote: HD TV is H264, not MPEG. SD channels using MPEG do work (codecs are installed) amd also 720p50 HD TV (also H264).
If I convert HDTV TS recordings to MKV (without re-encoding), they seem to work in Kodi (at least much better).
All my streams and recordings work perfectly in omxplayer.
If you provide a sample file which fails to play in Kodi I can take a look.
I'll do so. I'll send you a PM tomorrow with my email address and then I'll provide links to example files.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

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