Avoid August update for Pi if using VC-1?

I have a bunch of 1080p WMV / VC-1 files that my Pi 2 on OSMC Kodi 18 currently play fine. Should I avoid updating, because of this:

“There is no support for hardware accelerated VC-1 or MPEG2 on Raspberry Pi, even on existing devices where codec packs have been purchased.”

I also use a TV USB stick, so I’m not sure if MPEG 2 decoding will also be an issue?

If you want to keep using that RPi 2 you would probably be best off staying on the old version. The TV streams will be a severe regression for anything older than a RPi 4. I gave it a go on a RPi 2, 3, and 3B+ and because of how they behaved with OTA broadcasts I retired them all and went with new hardware.

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It seems utterly bizarre that this software “update” will make many things that worked perfectly on old hardware, now completely useless. Frustrating. To have all the same functionality that I currently do on the Pi 2 would require a Pi 4, new PSU, new cables (?) and Kodi 19. What’s the point?

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The “point” wasn’t to have regressions. As pointed out in release notes Kodi devs decided to make changes and the RPi foundation does not currently have feature parity with the new rendering methods they are moving to. The RPi 4 just happens to be fast enough to power its way around some of the lack of hardware acceleration which is how the older RPi’s were able to perform as well as they did. For people who are happy to stick with the older Kodi they can continue to use, and even perform new installs of the old versions.

I personally decided to upgrade my hardware because I wanted Kodi 19 and I figured that my older RPi’s had more than paid for themselves. If I had decided to stick with the old hardware I absolutely would have downgraded them back to the October update.

I don’t mind paying for upgrades when there is a benefit, but for my use case there is literally nothing on offer and it’s actually a downgrade if anything.

Is there a recommended way to keep the OSMC OS updated without updates to Kodi? For now I’ve disabled all updates and the Home Screen logo.

Hopefully one of the other moderators will correct me if I mistaken here but I would imagine you would ssh into your RPi and…

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

and remove the repository for OSMC then ctrl-x, y, and enter to save and exit.

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Keep in mind that this is a completely unsupported upgrade path.
If something breaks, then we wouldn’t be able to provide support for it.

Hi Sam. Is it better not to update any packages if I do not want to upgrade to Kodi 19?

The regressions for the Pi 2 are the reason I do not want to upgrade the Kodi version (I have VC-1 videos and use a TV tuner). I thought it would be best practise to keep the underlying OS up to date.

Not that I particularly see the point in upgrading the Pi, but the 2GB Pi 4 seems to be out of stock everywhere too.

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Then you should just stay on an old version forever, but keep in mind the security implications and the fact that older add-ons will probably stop working / not be maintained forever.

VC-1 playback on RBP4 is still not hardware accelerated and is single-threaded decode in ffmpeg.

Thanks Sam. I could convert the VC-1 videos, but that doesn’t help with MPEG-2 streams, which I believe will affect SD TV streams? Is that really unusable in Kodi 19 on a Pi 2?

You could take a backup and try. Low resolution and low bitrate MPEG2 (which is ultimately what SD TV is), is probably OK.

Indeed. @darwindesign said they tried on a Pi 3B+ so I don’t hold out much hope. Seems strange SD TV would be a problem though.

Also looks like Hyperion might not work either looking at the other threads so I may just stick where I am.

I think I actually said my RPi 2 was terrible and my RPi 3’s were not as good as they were under the previous version with hw keys for the decoding. There was also issues on all of the older RPi’s with really messed up rendering on some low quality steams on subchannels. I already had one RPi 4 and it didn’t have any of these issues so I just did hw upgrades for the TV’s using the older RPi’s and called it a day. I’m not actually trying to discourage anyone from trying the update on their older Rpi’s, but I would rather they go into it with managed expectations if they have a PVR setup.

Really? I bought mine just a few weeks ago and it was only the models with more ram that seemed to have issues with being in stock. I didn’t end up picking it up from one of the places the RPi foundation links to on their web site as they didn’t have all the parts I wanted and with shipping it was going to be more expensive than paying slightly higher than list on Amazon which did have all the parts I wanted. You could also consider a Vero which has capabilities that are supported right now, which who knows when they will actually get support for on the RPi 4 (specifically HDR and proper HD audio support).

Exactly, if it’s not good on a RPi 3, it’s not going to cut it on a Pi 2 - which you’ve also confirmed.

But yeah, I use Hyperion too which doesn’t work on Kodi 19 - so I’m sticking where I am.

Did briefly consider the Vero but, I like the versatility and price of a Pi. I’ve owned lots of dedicated £100 media players in the past - Boxxee Box, various Netgear streamers, Xtreamer, they were all a bit naff, closed source and ultimately abandoned which is why the little but powerful Pi was such a breath of fresh air. I’m not saying Vero is like the others, but for me the Pi is still a capable device and ultimately I’m not interested in 4K, 8K, HDR, 3D nor HD audio. It’s a living room media player with an entry level 5.1 Sony AVR. I strip out HD audio and am pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to hear the difference between DTS and DTS MA. My TV isn’t even 4K nor does it need to be for its size or viewing distance.

I have both RPi’s and a Vero. They both have their pro’s and cons, but honestly, at least as of today there is not much of a price difference. For What I just bought…

RPi 4 2gb ~$40
Flirc Case ~$16
Flirc USB ~$20
SD Card ~$15
PSU ~$15 (because you can’t reuse your micro USB from your older RPi)
Micro HDMI cable ~$15 (because I don’t think most people have one laying around extra)
Total ~$121 USD

The Vero is listed on this site right now for £99.00 which is around $137 USD. If you consider it has hardware decoding for mpeg2, VC1, and supports 3D, HDR, and HD Audio, the price difference, at least to me, doesn’t seem like much of a factor here.

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Yes good reminder - I would also need to buy all the extras for a Pi 4.

There’s just no reason to do it given my requirements.

Current situation:

  • Working VC-1 hardware decoding and no playback issues
  • Working MPEG-2 hardware decoding, all TV streams work perfectly
  • Working Hyperion and grabber
  • No issues other than “old” version of Kodi
  • Outlay of that setup was probably < £50

“Upgrade” to Pi 4:

  • Repurchase all new extras
  • Broken Hyperion
  • No more hardware decoding for what I use (appreciate Pi 4 can power through that)

“Upgrade” to Vero

  • £100 outlay
  • No Hyperion (no GPIO) or would need to forward to a Pi and complicate setup

So either way as it stands I’m paying £100+ to be in a worse situation for my requirements.

I just was lucky to get a Pi4 (2gb) as a store nearby got two in. Purchased them both.

Unfortunately VC-1 stutters quite a bit. I was hoping that i could purchase the codec pack to allow for decoding, but unless i’m mistaken (based on the first post here), that will not work with the pi4 on v19.

i have been trying now the PI4 as the server, and have a Pi3 as a client. The Pi3 has the purchased codec pack, and plays VC-1 perfectly as a client over the network. it is disappointing that something that works has been taken away, but it is free software and i know there are many different factors and groups involved in these decisions.

for my part, i decided one way to workaround this issue is to have both the old Mysql database (116) and the new one (119) on the server. Will work on trying to find a way to update the old one as the new one is updated. that way i can use the pi3s as clients. it’s a hack for sure, but right now it’s the best situation that works here.

Does this mean SDTV streams will playback smoothly? This was one of the factors preventing me from upgrading to v19.

I’m not sure how that thread is related.

I read it that people with a Pi 2 were having playback issues with TV streams until the setting to only allow hardware acceleration for HEVC was unchecked. If that’s the case, upgrading to v19 would be viable for me.