Selecting a Kodi package for Raspberry Pis

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Selecting a Kodi package for Raspberry Pis

Postby graysky » Sun Dec 13, 2020 5:31 pm

We are currently providing three Kodi packages for Raspberry Pis. All packages feature some flavor of hardware accelerated decoding. Support varies based on model of Pi.

  1. Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3/3B+ should use kodi-rpi-legacy.
  2. Raspberry Pi 4 should use kodi-rpi (current stable release) or kodi-rpi-git (latest and greatest development version).
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Re: Selecting a Kodi package for Raspberry Pis

Postby kubrick » Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:27 pm

Hello.

Thanks for the information. The description of the packages remains unchanged and disagree with this post.

Code: Select all
alarm/kodi-rpi 18.9-4
    Media player and entertainment hub for Raspberry Pi 4, leia_pi4 fork
alarm/kodi-rpi-legacy 18.9-3 [installed]
    Media player and entertainment hub for Raspberry Pi 2 and 3, newclock5 fork


Does that mean I should upgrade to kodi-rpi on a 3B+? What would I gain?
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Re: Selecting a Kodi package for Raspberry Pis

Postby graysky » Sun Jan 03, 2021 3:59 pm

TL; DR: You can run any kodi package on your RPi3. The pkgdesc provide some frame of reference for users. I might tweak them to your point but honestly, once Matrix (19.x) gets released, we will simplify our Kodi packaging (specifics TBD).

Kodi on ARM is currently a bit complex. In order to be useful on ARM devices, you really need to have HW decoding to playback most popular formats (h264/x265). Historically, this innovation has been provided unofficially. There are currently three forks of Kodi we package. The two forks of Leia (18.9) are newclock5 and leia_pi4. The fork of Matrix (19.x) is gbm.

Hardware limitations: Only RPi 4B/400 can use HW decoding for both h264 and x264 (HEVC) files. RPi3 series and RPi2 series can only use HW decoding for h264 files.

The first fork is newclock5. It uses MMAL for h264 HW decoding. It can also playback some x265 content but it is not hardware accelerated and often choppy. Still, lower bitrate x265 videos could can be viewed on older series RPis particularly when overclocking. Next came the leia_pi4 fork. It offers both h264 and x265 (including 10-bit) hardware decoding using the vc4-fkms-v3d driver. Note that the fkms driver is known to display some visual tearing artifacts and, in my experience, washed out colors (compared the kms-v3d). You can really only see the tearing in the Kodi GUI and the effect is minor, honestly. Finally, we have the kodi-gbm fork. This uses the more mature vc4-kms-v3d driver to offer both h264 and x265 (including 10-bit) hardware decoding without tearing. As I noted comparing fkms (in leia_pi4) to kms here, the colors appear deeper and more vibrant, at least on the hardware I have.

Both newclock5 and leia_pi4 will never mature past Leia (18.9) as stated by RPi and Kodi developer, popcornmix (cannot find reference). The patches against ffmpeg contained in kodi-gbm have been submitted upstream. it is expected that they will eventually accepted and that Matrix (19.x) can ship with them natively.
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