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Re: [LUG] Jittery playback


On 01/06/2020 21:43, rich@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

Just to add, I use Vivaldi as my browser, tonight I used Firefox on the second 
monitor and it had a slight hiccup but nothing more than a couple of seconds. Is 
there anyway of looking at my activity to see if Vivaldi is causing a problem please?

Ok, after a quick look at this I have a definitive answer for you: Vivaldi on Linux does NOT yet support hardware acceleration for $reasons, none of which particularly make sense. Ignore the many conflicting accounts online of people arguing about this exact subject: they're all wrong, it doesn't work, Vivaldi haven't pulled the Chromium VAAPI patches etc in from their upstream for some reason. Windows and Mac are different. What might help is running this and reporting back what happens:

ghost@failbot:~$ sudo /opt/vivaldi/update-ffmpeg
Proprietary media codecs (80.0.3987.149) was already present

You may have omitted installing Vivaldi's custom ffmpeg support package in which case the command will fix that for you. If it's already installed and you see the same result as mine, you're out of luck.

To further explain: Vivaldi does not have hardware acceleration on Linux so is falling back to software rendering. Surprisingly it seems that your Lenovo T41 is too weak to handle that (which seems a bit suspicious to be honest at the low resolutions you were trying) hence the terrible results. Firefox on the other hand on your laptop seems to be modern enough that WebRender hardware accelerated playback is available by default and works just fine.

A good test is here:


Try to play back the embedded video in Vivaldi to see what happens. To monitor your system, run any process monitoring tool of your choice and start a demanding video up in Firefox and watch what happens. You'll see a heavy spike of activity but hardware acceleration should keep it stable and not too demanding. Try the same video in Vivaldi and see what happens - even with the correct vivaldi-ffmpeg installed I predict you'll see an enormous CPU spike compared to Firefox as your Lenovo ramps up and fails to deal with the load. That's hardware offloading in action for you. If you're not sure what monitoring tool to use I'd suggest "htop" by the way.

Part of the reason people seem so confused about this online (including the Vivaldi devs whom to my surprise seem a bit thick quite frankly) is that if you have a sufficiently powerful system even Linux Vivaldi will work just fine with only software rendering - testing one of my preferred YouTube 4K@60fps sample videos worked perfectly for example. But that's only because my workstation's big ass Zen CPU had shot up to 80% load on all cores. The same video on Firefox ran at approx 25% load on all cores because the Nvidia GPU was picking up all the work.

So your answer is as first suggested: Vivaldi is worthless for video playback on Linux _unless_ you have a very powerful system and enjoy wasting electricity unnecessarily. Use either Firefox or a Chrome/Chromium with hardware acceleration enabled for the job. There are a lot of left-field options still on the table as well though:

1: use youtube-dl to "rip" the videos locally to playback normally
2: browser plugin to do the same
3: browser plugins like h264ify to force more "friendly" codecs
4: buy a cheap amazon firetv stick or similar for £20, stick that in the monitor/TV and use that to do youtube/netflix/etc

As usual you don't have a lot of options but to try them all and see what works.

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