Pi 3 - h265 playback experience

Just found a sample on h265files.com. It’s the Austrian Alps Time-lapse H265/HEVC 5MB file.

It does not play well on my Rpi2 but on the Rpi3 clocked to 1300Mhz it play perfect.

If you have some specific clips you want to test, you could upload them, for me to test.

ID : 1
Format : HEVC
Format/Info : High Efficiency Video Coding
Format profile : Main@L4@Main
Duration : 16s 160ms
Width : 1 920 pixels
Height : 960 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 2.000
Frame rate mode : Constant
Frame rate : 25.000 fps
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Writing library : x265 1.4:[Windows][GCC 4.9.0][64 bit]
Encoding settings : wpp / ctu=32 / tu-intra-depth=1 / tu-inter-depth=1 / me=1 / subme=1 / merange=57 / no-rect / no-amp / max-merge=2 / temporal-mvp / early-skip / no-fast-cbf / rdpenalty=0 / no-tskip / no-tskip-fast / strong-intra-smoothing / no-lossless / no-cu-lossless / no-constrained-intra / fast-intra / open-gop / interlace=0 / keyint=250 / min-keyint=25 / scenecut=40 / rc-lookahead=15 / bframes=4 / bframe-bias=0 / b-adapt=0 / ref=1 / weightp / no-weightb / aq-mode=2 / aq-strength=1.00 / cbqpoffs=0 / crqpoffs=0 / rd=2 / psy-rd=0.00 / psy-rdoq=0.00 / signhide / lft / sao / no-sao-non-deblock / b-pyramid / no-cutree / rc=crf / crf=20.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / ipratio=1.40 / pbratio=1.30
Default : Yes
Forced : No
Color range : Limited
Color primaries : BT.709
Transfer characteristics : BT.709
Matrix coefficients : BT.709

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Nothing in these links suggests 1080p60 support. That will never happen.
Almost all content is 24fps. The Pi2 can play some low bitrate 1080p24 content, and most 720p content.
The Pi3 can play higher bitrate 1080p24 content (and probably 1080p25/1080p30, but these are much rarer).

There are additional optimisations (e.g. zero copy) in the nightly/Krypton builds which brings the performance up a bit more. The goal is to get almost all 1080p hevc files playing well on Pi3, but work is still ongoing.


Thanks one and all for your input.

ahh okay!

Why-o-why wasn’t 265 profile support included in the GPU… it’s obvious this will become the de-facto codec in the very near future.

I’d have even paid for a licence.

Tried it with some hevc/h265 720p and 1080p TV shows with 23.976fps. And for now it’s “almost usable” with 720p (it slows down/stutters/skips frames only in fast scenes) and 1080p is unusable.

For me it looks like on RPi2 multiplied by 1.33 (e.g. 900 vs 1200 MHz clock speed of the CPU Pi2 vs Pi3).

Only real difference is the CPU temperature and power usage. With RPi2 ~60 degrees celsius, with RPi3 ~90 degrees celsius.

A heatsink is recommended on Pi3 if you wanting hevc support.

I allready have heatsinks on both, my Pi2 and Pi3… After about 5mins of 1080p hevc playback the temperature goes to ~86 degrees and later more.


During normal operation, when playing h264/xvid/mpeg/… movies, where the GPU is involved, both Pi’s have similar temperature ~48-52 degrees celsius.

Can you link to the heatsink you used?
I use a FLIRC case which has a built in heatsink and I never get throttled (even with a substantial overclock).

I’m using this heatsink

In this case


I don’t know if I get throttled. The “sample” TV show HEVC files which I’m using, are sluggish/stutter from the beginning of playback, when the temperature isn’t beyond 60-65 degrees celsius.

Any further updates with HEVC playback on a Pi 3? Is it working better now? Or still touch & go?

There are some improvements to HEVC playback on Raspberry Pi. They will land in the October update.

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Following are Raspberry Pi 2/3 supported video and audio formats
– H.264 (up to High Profile) encoded videos are supported up to 1080P using hardware video decoding.
– MPEG-4 encoded videos are supported up to 1080P using hardware video decoding. This includes XviD and recent versions on DivX (but not the older 3.xx DivX).
– The Raspberry Pi Foundation offers additional video codec licenses for a few dollars. At the moment you can purchase MPEG-2 and VC1, both with support up to 1080P. Read below on how to enable these.
– MJPEG, VP6, VP8 and OGG Theora are supported as GPU accelerated software decoders. These are limited to DVD resolutions.
– Codecs without gpu support like DivX 3, msmpeg and sorenson spark will be decoded by dvdplayer on the ARM. Should work for SD resolutions.
– DVD ISOs with menus should work fine (using dvdplayer).
– Software DTS audio decode works well in recent builds. TrueHD audio is CPU intensive and may require overclocking.

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What’s the suggested overlclocking speeds to get h265 playback? I’ve fitted two heatsinks to my RPi3.

A Pi3 with the latest updates should play all 720p h265 without any need to overclock

A Pi3 with the latest updates should play all 720p h265 without any need to overclock

But for 1080p h265?

There are no suggested overclock speeds for Pi3.

`[quote=“sentut, post:20, topic:14439”]
But for 1080p h265?

I find the majority of 8-bit hevc 1080p24 files play fine without overclock on a pi 3 with latest update.
But if you have harder files you want to play then you can try:


It’s an overclock, so not guaranteed to work on all Pi’s, but it works on a reasonable number.
Before experimenting with overclocking, backing up the sdcard is recommended as crashes may occur and if you are unlucky that could cause corruption.

The update you are talking about made my Pi3 play 1080p50 HEVC smoothly on Krypton - but then I switched to Leia (because of the DRM stuff) and with that the old stuttering is back again. Is this the expected behaviour since optimizations done for Krypton are not ported to Leia yet?

If you are using an ALPHA build, there might be any kind of problems.
Report them in the testing thread please.