(un)breaking h265 playback on raspi


i’ve been wondering for quite a while how come that despite many users claiming at least some support for h265 (hevc) files playback on raspberry pi i always get either a black screen (audio only) or a complete lockup. and that was also the case with SD resolution files.

as it kind bothered me i loaded the latest osmc image onto a fresh new SD card to find that… h265 worked! to cut it short: i was able to fix my old osmc setup by removing libavcodec57. i only wish osmc gave me a warning that installing it will break h265 playback.

maybe some of the osmc devs have an idea how this can be fixed to be able to have both.


Try posting a MediaInfo of an affected file.

Keep in mind that there is only partial acceleration of HEVC. There will be some improvements in Kodi v18; but a modest overclock is sometimes needed.



i am happy now. maybe you can test any h265 playback after installing the said package (via apt install)? only to confirm.


The installation of that package will not make an effect.
Kodi uses ffmpeg and this is built internally. Installing ffmpeg (or libav in the case of Debian) won’t cause a change.

If you need reliable HEVC playback, see Vero



you were right. the package was a red herring. what did make the difference is running motion (https://motion-project.github.io/). as long as motion is running (it’s being executed like this: motion -n -c /etc/motioneye/motion.conf -d 5 under root), i only get audio, as soon as i kill the process (and restarts kodi) h265 content is playable again.