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From: Dave Stevenson <>
To: Hans Verkuil <>
Cc: Linux Media Mailing List <>,
	Nicolas Dufresne <>,
	Boris Brezillon <>,
	Paul Kocialkowski <>,
	Stanimir Varbanov <>,
	Philipp Zabel <>,
	Ezequiel Garcia <>,
	Michael Tretter <>,
	Tomasz Figa <>,
	Sylwester Nawrocki <>
Subject: Re: [RFC] Stateful codecs and requirements for compressed formats
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2019 16:21:54 +0100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

Hi Hans

On Fri, 28 Jun 2019 at 15:34, Hans Verkuil <> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I hope I Cc-ed everyone with a stake in this issue.
> One recurring question is how a stateful encoder fills buffers and how a stateful
> decoder consumes buffers.
> The most generic case is that an encoder produces a bitstream and just fills each
> CAPTURE buffer to the brim before continuing with the next buffer.
> I don't think there are drivers that do this, I believe that all drivers just
> output a single compressed frame. For interlaced formats I understand it is either
> one compressed field per buffer, or two compressed fields per buffer (this is
> what I heard, I don't know if this is true).

From the discussion that started this thread, with H264 and similar,
does the V4L2 buffer contain just the frame data, or the SPS/PPS
headers as well.

> In any case, I don't think this is specified anywhere. Please correct me if I am
> wrong.
> The latest stateful codec spec is here:
> Assuming what I described above is indeed the case, then I think this should
> be documented. I don't know enough if a flag is needed somewhere to describe
> the behavior for interlaced formats, or can we leave this open and have userspace
> detect this?
> For decoders it is more complicated. The stateful decoder spec is written with
> the assumption that userspace can just fill each OUTPUT buffer to the brim with
> the compressed bitstream. I.e., no need to split at frame or other boundaries.
> See section in the spec.
> But I understand that various HW decoders *do* have limitations. I would really
> like to know about those, since that needs to be exposed to userspace somehow.
> Specifically, the venus decoder needs to know the resolution of the coded video
> beforehand and it expects a single frame per buffer (how does that work for
> interlaced formats?).
> Such requirements mean that some userspace parsing is still required, so these
> decoders are not completely stateful.
> Can every codec author give information about their decoder/encoder?
> I'll start off with my virtual codec driver:
> vicodec: the decoder fully parses the bitstream. The encoder produces a single
> compressed frame per buffer. This driver doesn't yet support interlaced formats,
> but when that is added it will encode one field per buffer.

On BCM283x:

The underlying decoder will accept anything, but giving it a single
frame per buffer reduces latency as the bitstream parser gets kicked
earlier. Based on previous discussions I am setting the flag so that
it expects one compressed frame per buffer, but I don't believe it
goes wrong should that not be the case (it'll just waste a bit of
processing effort).
It'll parse the headers and produce a V4L2_EVENT_SOURCE_CHANGE event
should the capture queue format not match the stream parameters.
Interlacing isn't supported yet (it's on the list), but I believe the
hardware produces the equivalent to V4L2_FIELD_INTERLACED_[TB|BT].

The encoder currently spits out the H264 SPS/PPS headers as a separate
V4L2 buffer, and then one compressed frame per V4L2 buffer (provided
the buffer is big enough). Should
V4L2_CID_MPEG_VIDEO_REPEAT_SEQ_HEADER be set, then it will repeat the
headers in an independent V4L2 buffer before each I frame.
I'm quite happy to amend this should we have a decent spec of what is
required. As I've never found a spec it's been trial and error until
There is no interlaced support available.


  reply	other threads:[~2019-06-28 15:22 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 18+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-06-28 14:34 Hans Verkuil
2019-06-28 15:21 ` Dave Stevenson [this message]
2019-06-28 15:48   ` Nicolas Dufresne
2019-06-29 10:02     ` Dave Stevenson
2019-06-29 12:55       ` Nicolas Dufresne
2019-06-28 16:18 ` Nicolas Dufresne
2019-06-28 18:09 ` Nicolas Dufresne
2019-07-03  8:46   ` Tomasz Figa
2019-07-03 17:43     ` Nicolas Dufresne
2019-07-10  8:43   ` Hans Verkuil
2019-07-11  1:40     ` Nicolas Dufresne
2019-07-03  8:32 ` Tomasz Figa
2019-07-03 14:46   ` Philipp Zabel
2019-07-03 17:46   ` Nicolas Dufresne
2019-07-10  9:14   ` Hans Verkuil
2019-07-11 12:49     ` Tomasz Figa
2019-07-11  1:42   ` Nicolas Dufresne
2019-07-11 12:47     ` Tomasz Figa

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