Info-beamer hosted OS 14 release thread

info-beamer OS release 14 is now available via the ‘testing’ channel. This means you can now immediately use info-beamer OS on your Pi5.

Here’s a list of some improvements compared to the current ‘stable’ release:

  • Reworked the complete video output engine on the Pi4 to support both Pi4 and Pi5. It now uses KMS/DRM and is now future proof as it uses standard Linux mechanisms to do video decoding. Gone is the legacy MMAL API and the HEVC decoding hack.

  • Stable playback of HEVC video. The decoder can now also play multiple HEVC videos at the same time (assuming their combined size doesn’t exceed video reserved video memory for decoding). This makes HEVC a full replacement of H264 on Pi4 and Pi5. Of course H264 remains fully supported.

  • There is HDR support available on Pi4 and Pi5. Assuming the display indicates HDR support via EDID, info-beamer will try to switch the video output to a 10bit mode. This should allow playback of HDR encoded HEVC content.

  • Updated to the latest 6.6 Linux kernel series. This would normally mean that previously working GPIO scripts fail if they relied on /sys/class/gpio to access GPIOs. This is worked around within this release with the introduction of a special compatibility tool that allows continued use of the old mechanism.

  • Audio output via HDMI should now send audio to both connected HDMI displays.

  • CEC can now turn off both connected HDMI displays.

  • Various optimizations to work better on the original Pi1 and Pi Zero.

  • Updated bundled Pi4/Pi5 firmware release and reworked the update mechanism. Now on booting up the OS checks if the bundled version matches the one installed on the hardware. If not an attempt is made to flash the Pi.

  • Support for newer hardware release of the Edimax WiFi stick for older Pis without built-in WiFi support.

As usual: Feedback is welcome.

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