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Thread: Cannot find H.264 plugins

  1. #1
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    Cannot find H.264 plugins

    Kubuntu 14.04, but I think it applied to earlier versions I've run.

    Programs like Dragon Player and the video previewer in Dolphin routinely pop up a dialog box that says there is no H.264 decoder plugin available. Then the app searches the machine for a matching plugin and finds none. I've tried having all the gstreamer plugins known to mankind installed, but I still get the same error. I've had both 0.10 and 1.0 gstreamer versions as well. Some discussions about the problem online suggest using the 0.10 plugins, but even when I limit the machine to just that version, the problem remains.

    Since nearly every video file distributed these days is H.264-encoded this is a very annoying error. Luckily you can use mplayer-based solutions since it has its own set of codecs. I presume this problem has something to do with patent issues surrounding the H.264 codec, but I always check the box during installation to install restricted-extras. I just forced the installation of both ubuntu-restricted-extras and kubuntu-restricted-extras, and Dragon Player still cannot find an H.264 decoder to use.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Cannot find H.264 plugins

    Quote Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
    Kubuntu 14.04, but I think it applied to earlier versions I've run.

    Programs like Dragon Player and the video previewer in Dolphin routinely pop up a dialog box that says there is no H.264 decoder plugin available. Then the app searches the machine for a matching plugin and finds none. I've tried having all the gstreamer plugins ....
    I presume this problem has something to do with patent issues surrounding the H.264 codec, but I always check the box during installation to install restricted-extras. I just forced the installation of both ubuntu-restricted-extras and kubuntu-restricted-extras, and Dragon Player still cannot find an H.264 decoder to use.
    Nothing to do with that at all. It's just a case of poor codec detection/installer combined with probably a crappy player.
    In gnome sessions sessioninstaller is used & currently seems quite broken on several common codecs, maybe the same for whatever Kubuntu uses if not sessioninstaller
    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...r/+bug/1281363

    As far as dragon player - it is still using gstreamer0.10 so for h.264 it needs gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg which is not available in 14.04 & likely will not be. So dragon player needs to get current or you'll need to provide the plugin yourself.

  3. #3
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    Re: Cannot find H.264 plugins

    KDE programs like Dragon and Dolphin use Phonon (which can use different backends, the default being gstreamer0.10). Try installing phonon-backend-vlc and switching the Phonon backend to VLC...

  4. #4
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    Re: Cannot find H.264 plugins

    Quote Originally Posted by mc4man View Post
    As far as dragon player - it is still using gstreamer0.10 so for h.264 it needs gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg which is not available in 14.04 & likely will not be. So dragon player needs to get current or you'll need to provide the plugin yourself.
    Any idea why that package will no longer be supported? The page for gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg provides no information about Trusty other than a link that goes nowhere. I expect we'll be seeing some support requests here if an LTS version doesn't support H.264 playback without considerable fiddling.

    Personally I avoid gstreamer-based video apps because of the morass that gstreamer seems to have become. For some reason, probably because of Canonical's relationship with Fluendo, gstreamer seems to be the dominant codec library on Ubuntu rather than the mplayer/ffmpeg code. If I were packaging a distribution for widespread use, I'd include SMPlayer+mplayer2 as the default for video playback.

    Quote Originally Posted by Temüjin View Post
    KDE programs like Dragon and Dolphin use Phonon (which can use different backends, the default being gstreamer0.10). Try installing phonon-backend-vlc and switching the Phonon backend to VLC...
    I tried that. Dolphin no longer complains about an H.264 plugin, but it also doesn't play the video in the information panel either.

    There also seems to be a really serious bug in the updates released for 14.04 over the weekend. Both mplayer and Dragon crash the X server. I even built a new version of mplayer2 from the git repository this morning, and it doesn't work either using the default xv output driver. The version in the Ubuntu repositories works if I select the OpenGL driver, but with xv it crashes the X server as well. None of this was the case on Friday.
    Last edited by SeijiSensei; March 17th, 2014 at 10:25 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Cannot find H.264 plugins

    Any idea why that package will no longer be supported?
    It's not compatible with newer versions of libav, and programs still using gstreamer0.10 should update to gstreamer1.0 There are threads with much more detail but searching for them is left as an exercise for the reader

  6. #6
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    Re: xv crash

    Can't say I see that here (Ubuntu install), xv works fine in mplayer, mplayer2, mpv though here generally default to va_gl (libvdpau-va-gl1

    There was a bug fix last week to xorg-xserver to fix some crash when using nvidia-prime, maybe worth your time to see if that's affecting you by downgrading to previous version.
    Myself only have one laptop now with nvidia gtk775m so only use the onboard Intel for linux (4600), last time I tried nvidia-prime found it to be worthless for general purpose use & video playback as there is no shred of vsync

    Anyway bug that caused change -
    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...r/+bug/1280743
    (generally speaking you only need to downgrade 2 packages + 1 -dev if installed, though should be checked before doing so..

  7. #7
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    Re: Cannot find H.264 plugins

    So what happens to html5 video playback for Firefox? It relies on gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg to decode h264 and works beautifully in 13.10. It would be quite unacceptable if FF cannot play html5 videos in 14.04. What is the reason to remove the package?

    Edited bug report https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...g/+bug/1275556
    Last edited by monkeybrain20122; March 18th, 2014 at 12:37 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Cannot find H.264 plugins

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeybrain20122 View Post
    So what happens to html5 video playback for Firefox? It relies on gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg to decode h264 and works beautifully in 13.10. It would be quite unacceptable if FF cannot play html5 videos in 14.04. What is the reason to remove the package?

    Edited bug report https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...g/+bug/1275556
    Officially I gather wait until FF supports gst1.x

    The main reason removed is that it won't build off of current libav source & Debian/Ubuntu will not be inclined to statically link (ie., use the included libav in plugin source.
    You can -
    try the Deb Multimedia package
    build yourself (disable use system libs, patch as needed
    I had a build in a test ppa but have recently removed, placed here instead (atm not properly described, more for personal use...
    Last edited by mc4man; March 18th, 2014 at 01:15 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Cannot find H.264 plugins

    Hi,
    Your link is not working. Took me to lauchpad 'lost something'

    When do you think FF will support gst1.0?

  10. #10
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    Re: Cannot find H.264 plugins

    ^That's already been answered in http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2208040

    Quote Originally Posted by mc4man
    choices -
    Wait till FF supports gst1.x
    Try deb multimedia package
    Build your own package, configure not to use system libs
    Use the test ppa https://launchpad.net/~mc3man/+archive/trusty-media
    What is the reason to remove the package?
    Probably because it will not build with newer versions of libav...

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