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I have set up my raspberry pi 3 with LibreElec as my OS. I installed the Amazon VOD plugin in order to access Amazon Prime Video. After a little manual tweaking I am now able to get the HD video streams.

However when playing the HD streams (that is 1920x1080 at either 15 or 8Mbit) all cores of my RPi are essentially at 100% making the video stuttering. With 1280p it works just fine (although the CPU is pretty busy as well).

From my internet research on the whole topic I found out that in general it shouldn't be a problem to play 1920x1080 videos on the Pi (YouTube at 1280p runs smoothly and the CPU isn't used above 20% or so) so I suspect that the problem lies in the decoding of the video stream (This uses widevine).

My question is: Is there a way to speed up the decoding of those video streams? Like some sort of hardware-acceleration (The streams are listed as h264)? Or maybe an extra piece of hardware for that purpose?

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    Somewhat related (mentions widevine and 1080p) raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/q/92245/19949 – Ghanima Dec 29 '18 at 18:50
  • @Ghanima yeah that appears to be the very same problem and it verifies my thought about the RPi not being powerful enough to decode HD videos. Then I have to hope that someone has am idea on how to tune the RPi... – Raven Dec 29 '18 at 19:24
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The Raspberry Pi has hardware acceleration for Video processing. The problem is, afaik, that it is only supported by omxplayer. LibreElec is a Kodi centric distribution and Kodi has a specific version for Raspberry Pi using omxplayer. You may have a look at Is Kodi for Raspberry Pi different from normal Kodi?. Maybe you will find some information to accelerate your videos.

  • The problem isn't HD video in general. As stated it can show YouTube without any problems. It seems to be the widevine encryption that is problematic. But thanks anyways :) – Raven Dec 30 '18 at 8:51

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