I'm playing with a PiTFT Plus display on a Raspberry Pi 2 using the Adafruit modified version of Raspian Jessie for this screen.

The display looks ok for most things, but I'd like to play a video using omxplayer. I like omxplayer because it playsback via GPU which is nice and smooth. The issue is that I can't see the video on the TFT screen ?

Is it possible to playback a video with omxplayer on the Adafruit TFT display ? If so how ?

If not, what other decent alternatives are available ? (I've tried VLC, but it's very slow on a 480p video)

  • @mpromonet I'd say it's not a duplicate in the sense that the OP seems satisfied with fbcp, whereas your question is explicitly about how to do this without that.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 10:22
  • 1
    Realistically speaking, SPI is the wrong interface for motion video, and absent access to the propriety GPU programming information you are probably not going to be able to be able to efficiently drive it (it is unclear if it would be possible even with such information). Ultimately you should choose an LCD and SoC which are natively comptible with each other - there are many tablet chips on the market which support parallel RGB interfaces for cheap LCDs. Commented Nov 29, 2015 at 23:53
  • @ChrisStratton Thanks for the comment. I'm not very experienced on this side yet. I'm guessing the [Raspberry Pi display on DSI ](swag.raspberrypi.org/products/…) is probably better, but was looking quickly for something that fits perfectly on top, so the 3.5" made sense in terms of look. Any hints on how I can find 3.5" displays that are natively compatible as you suggest ? Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 1:05
  • 1
    My impression is that the problem is the pi, not the display. Something like the CHIP should be compatible with a cheap display, time will tell if it is a practical and supported product as implied or not, but there are many other SoCs similar and better to what it uses if not. If you want to stick with a pi, you should probably spring for a cheap HDMI display, or else buy the one matching its less usual LCD interface. Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 1:06
  • 1
    Compare their data sheets to see if they have a common interface, for example 18/24 bit RGB. If so, see if they are parts you can work with - sufficient documentation, software support, and ability to buy them in quantities/forms usable for you (ie, bare chips if you want to make boards, evaluation or repurposeable boards if you don't). Typically the cheapest way to get a compatible SoC and display is to buy them together as a tablet. Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


I've just stumbled on fbcp and tested it: works like a charm with the Adafruit modified Raspian Jessie-based PiTFT 3.5" Resistive Image for Pi 1 and Pi 2 (September 24, 2015):

fbcp &
omxplayer /path/to/video

Update I found another option which doesn't require fbcp: mplayer though SDL. Although the guide is for the 2.8" display, it still applies for the 3.5" too. One thing to bare in mind: from my experience so far it's impossible to playback smooth video without frame tearing on the 3.5" screen though. (If you have a workaround, I'd be more than happy to update this).

For reference (in case the link changes at some point), here's the mplayer option: First install mplayer:

sudo apt-get install mplayer

Then pass use the Adafruit TFT frame buffer (/dev/fb1):

sudo SDL_VIDEODRIVER=fbcon SDL_FBDEV=/dev/fb1 mplayer -vo sdl -framedrop path/to/your_video.file

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.