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grant123
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:42 pm    Post subject: X11 forwarding & HD video Reply with quote

I'd like to run an xfce4 session on my TV with only a Raspberry Pi in the living room. If I run the session on a fast system in another room and use X11 forwarding to display it on the RPi over an ethernet network, will I be disappointed with HD video performance?

If so, is there a way to stream only decoded video like jack does with audio?
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khayyam
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:40 pm    Post subject: Re: X11 forwarding & HD video Reply with quote

grant123 wrote:
If so, is there a way to stream only decoded video like jack does with audio?

grant ... I'd advise not using X11 ... you probably want a UPnP AV media server.

best ... khay
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grant123
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I've read, a Raspberry Pi is not fast enough to run even a very minimal desktop like LXDE satisfactorily so X11 forwarding seems like it could be a good choice for getting an xfce4 desktop on there.

Has anyone tried watching a video over X11 forwarding? Would VNC or something else be a better choice?
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grant123,

You can't quite get 1080p to fit itto a 1Gb link without compresson and the Pi doesn't even have a 1Gb ethernet, so you will be very disappointed.
As khayyam says, you need to use the Pi as a media player. XBMC on a Pi can do 1080p
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grant123
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You can't quite get 1080p to fit itto a 1Gb link without compresson

Are you sure? May I ask for a reference?

What about using compression that the Pi can decode in hardware?


Quote:
the Pi doesn't even have a 1Gb ethernet

I did find these with gigabit ethernet:

http://www.minnowboard.org/meet-minnowboard-max/
http://www.wandboard.org/index.php/details


Quote:
As khayyam says, you need to use the Pi as a media player. XBMC on a Pi can do 1080p

I may end up doing that, but I'd like to have a full desktop too so I want to see if I can make that happen. If performance is good, it would be a really cool thing.
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grant123
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just tried X11 forwarding firefox from my laptop to my Pandaboard ES for YouTube. With the lowest resolution of 144p, video was semi-smooth in the small window but very choppy at fullscreen. 'top' showed the ssh process was over 100% CPU even in the window. I tried with and without the -C compression flag. What could the CPU be struggling with? I'm able to play 720p smoothly on the Pandaboard in vlc and mplayer.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grant123,

1080p is composed of 1920 * 1080 * 32 * 60 data bits per second. Thats almost 4G, then you need to add the TCP/IP overhead.
ssh decryption is fairly compute intensive too, which is the issue with your Pandaboard.

grant123 wrote:
What about using compression that the Pi can decode in hardware?

That works. Its what the other suggestions here do and how XBMC does 1080p on a Pi.

The X Server only uses the framebuffer dirver, so the CPU has to do all the drawing. The graphics hardware on the Pi is not used by X, so as a desktop, its a tad slow.
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grant123
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
ssh decryption is fairly compute intensive too, which is the issue with your Pandaboard.

This is just forwarding over the local network. Can I use something other than SSH that doesn't encrypt?


Quote:
What about using compression that the Pi can decode in hardware?

Quote:
That works. Its what the other suggestions here do and how XBMC does 1080p on a Pi.

How can I go about compressing and forwarding an entire xfce4 session that way?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

grant123 wrote:
Quote:
That works. Its what the other suggestions here do and how XBMC does 1080p on a Pi.
How can I go about compressing and forwarding an entire xfce4 session that way?

AFAIK there is on off-the-shelf solution for this. It may not even be possible. You would need some very fancy hardware and you would probably have to write your own code

1080p can be "magically fast" on slow hardware by using the GPU to decode and display the video. To take advantage of this for a live desktop session, some machine somewhere would have to encode the video in real time then stream it to your pi where you display the session inside of a program like XBMC running in full screen mode.

For a more practical solution, I think you would be better off sending the video from the backend computer directly to the display in the living room and send the keyboard and mouse signals from the living room directly to the backend computer. The pi is just getting in the way. Lugging the backend computer into the living room is another possible solution.
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grant123
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I just tried X11 forwarding firefox from my laptop to my Pandaboard ES for YouTube. With the lowest resolution of 144p, video was semi-smooth in the small window but very choppy at fullscreen.

Quote:
ssh decryption is fairly compute intensive too, which is the issue with your Pandaboard.

Why is the video much choppier in fullscreen?


Quote:
What about using compression that the Pi can decode in hardware?

Quote:
AFAIK there is on off-the-shelf solution for this. It may not even be possible.

Consider that one crossed out. :)


Quote:
I think you would be better off sending the video from the backend computer directly to the display in the living room

You mean with a really long HDMI cable? I don't want to go there.


Quote:
Lugging the backend computer into the living room is another possible solution.

I also don't want to go there. Is there any way to get 1080p X11 forwarding working if I get a gigabit board?
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BitJam
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

grant123 wrote:
Is there any way to get 1080p X11 forwarding working if I get a gigabit board?
As I tried to explain, not without better hardware. The network connection is not the only bottleneck. The answer also depends on what it is you want to forward. If you want to forward video, then it is basically a no-go.

Try playing some videos on your pi using mplayer (or smplayer if it is available) using the X11 backend.
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grant123
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I need to give up on the dream of X11 forwarding HD video. Here are my goals:

1. xbmc
2. xfce4
3. very small fanless device

It sounds like the RPi has no problem running xbmc but can't effectively run xfce4. Can I run xbmc on the RPi and then use X11 forwarding from another system for the xfce4 desktop as long as I don't forward video?
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grant123,

You can try VNC for the desktop. I've never tried to build it for ARM.

I have a Asus E35M1-I DELUXE Zacate fanless media player.
There is a hardware bug in the CPU so it only works with a single 4G stick of RAM. It won't boot with 8G fitted.
Also for 1080p video you need the binary blob driver. It runs xfce4 very well.
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