Hardware Accelerated Video with Qt 6 on the Raspberry Pi
Getting hardware acceleration into Qt eglfs is tricky. Doing so on a Raspberry Pi is, unfortunately, still tricky after many years. Qt claimed to have reimplemented the Qt Multimedia module entirely, and one of their target was getting hardware acceleration where possibile. So, I thought I could start with a quick look.
Since Raspberry Pi was born, I had to solve the problem of hardware accelerated video in Qt. At the beginning, I wrote POT (PiOmxTextures) to solve this problem: https://github.com/carlonluca/pot. It used OpenMAX to stream decoded video into an OpenGL texture, which was then showed through a custom backend of Qt Multimedia in Qt 5. This approach worked fine, but won’t work on Pi 4/Qt 6. On the other hand, there is another component in the same repo, that includes a custom Qt Quick item to render video through omxplayer. This is the most performant approach, but has its limitations.
I quickly tested Qt Multimedia in Qt 6 on the rpi. My build from this article should support gstreamer. All I got was a a warning on the console. I didn’t investigate further. Maybe I’ll spend more time on this in the future.
As the classical POT is no more usable on Raspberry Pi 4, I started to have a look at POTVL, which is very simple to port to Qt 6. With a small patch, it is possible to build it. You’ll find updates on the repo.
The video is a 1080p video. As you can see, the framerate is acceptable up to a certain weight of the graphics. It seems that Qt 6 OpenGL backend still is a bit less performant than Qt 5 in this specific demo, as you can see from this test from a previous article:
so the result may even improve in the future.
The benchmark app can be found here: https://github.com/carlonluca/Fall.
Unfortunately POTVL is still not future proof, but it is the simplest and most efficient element to port to Qt 6. I may try something better in the near future.
Have fun! Bye 😉