I started my HTPC build recently, wanting a capable internet browser for video (which my PS3 sucks at). This is mostly for youtube/hulu and similar websites since the PS3 netflix app works well for me. I also wish to make this a file server that is powered on 24/7 (low power) as inexpensive as I could make it (< $250). I went with the AMD E-350 as a base. I can only meet the price goal by using Linux, so I started with Ubuntu 11.10.
I have installed the proprietary AMD catalyst drivers, and made sure they are working.
I have run into a bunch of problems with this:
- apparently Flash 11.1 (current at this point) does not support hardware acceleration in Linux for AMD CPUs, so running youtube at 720p barely works and 1080p is a slow slideshow with 100% CPU utilization
- I read that the open source gnash plugin has VA-API support, but I cannot find a binary for this, I tried using a mozilla add-on called flash-aid. Flash-aid does not seem to find the gnash browser plugin either and in any case, does not seem to remove adobe flashplayer as the plugin to use for flash.
- I tried building gnash from source, but I am stuck at the moment since I cannot find the xulrunner-dev package anymore in the ubuntu repositories (this is a dependency)
- the other route I tried taking was HTML5 in youtube (hulu will not work this way). Now HTML5 supports H.264 or WebM videos. I installed VLC plugin for firefox for both H.264 and WebM, and apparently VLC supports VA-API (I am not sure if the browser plugin supports VA-API). However, all HTML5 content still seems to have close to 100% CPU utilization (though it is better than flash) and 1080p still stutters
- I tried the chrome browser, but it seems they have given up on VA-API support (the google support thread has been marked "won't fix"), so not much luck there either.
Is there anyone with similar issues and has found a way out? I love linux for the most part, but it seems I have run into a wall here and I am pretty disappointed. I ran a netbook with FreeNAS as a file server and I was very happy with it, but I cannot browse net videos with it. I have no doubt Linux will be terrific as a file server as well.