Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:32 am

Raspberry Pi 4 video playback is jerky

Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:49 am

I just received my new Raspberry Pi 4 w/4 GB RAM. The NOOBS SD card had a pre-release version of Buster, so I downloaded the released version ("2019-07-10-raspbian-buster-full.zip") and installed it on a high-performance Sandisk microSD card (128GB "Extreme Plus" A2).

I booted up Buster on the RPi 4, plugged in a Seagate 4TB Backup Plus drive containing videos, and discovered that Buster doesn't support NTFS drives out-of-the box. So, after a diversion to install ntfs-3g (don't remember having to do this with Stretch), I selected a random MPEG-4 video using the File Manager on the desktop and double-clicked. It came up as expected in VLC.

My surprise was the playback performance -- it was very jerky. (I took all the defaults for VLC as it was run by clicking on the file name.)

I was suspicious that Buster might not be as optimally configured as Stretch, so I shut down the RPi 4, removed the microSD card with Buster, and inserted it into my RPi 3 Model B+ (2017), and booted it up. Exactly the same peripheral hardware -- Seagate HD, keyboard, mouse, and screen. Picked the same action movie. Played the same scene. Not jerky -- played perfectly. Tried two more movies at random -- same jerky behavior on the 4, but played perfectly on the 3.

The only difference was the RPi 3 in place of the RPi 4. The RPi 4 should have out-performed the RPi 3 by a wide margin, but did not.

Has anyone else seen this behavior with their new RPi 4s? I ran all the updates on Buster, but I didn't update the RPi 4 firmware -- should I have done that? (I can't test it on OSMC as they have not yet announced support for the RPi 4.)

Tech info: The Codec info tab on VLC shows exactly the same information for the RPi 3 and RPi 4 --
Codec: H264-MPEG-4 AVC (part 10) (avc1)
Type: video
Video Resolution: 1920x800
Frame rate: 24464.900096


Posts: 200
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:26 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 video playback is jerky

Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:07 am

What USB did you connect the HD to? Some chipsets are incompatible with USB3 in RPi4 (driver problem). If this was USB, try if USB2 works better.

In the raspi-config try to disable compositing, it slows X.

Also, try to update your system - sudo apt-get update, sudo apt-get upgrade.

Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:32 am

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 video playback is jerky

Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:09 pm

I changed USB ports (tried 3.0 again & 2.0). No change -- still jerky.

I did an apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade. Everything is up-to-date.

Then I went into raspi-config->Advanced Options->Compositor and disabled the xcompmgr composition manager. That seemed to fix the problem! The jerkiness in playback disappeared. Thank you!

This still doesn't explain why the same software (Buster) does not show jerky behavior on the RPi 3. But at least I can watch video now on the RPi 4. Thank you again.


Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:13 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 video playback is jerky

Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:23 pm

In a review on Tom's Hardware similar problems with video playback are mentioned, both for 4K and for 1080p. If I understand it right, they think the software needs to be optimized for the Raspberry Pi 4.

It is nice to know that switching off the xcompmgr composition manager - whatever that might be - fixed videoplayback problems. Is there any drawback to switching it off?

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