Kernel 5.8 on Le Potato?

Hi folks,
just stumbled across this Tweet by Libre Computer - I’ve difficulties to judge: Does this mean that we finally have a mainline kernel supporting all media features and may see this soon in CoreELEC?
Thanks for any insights!

I think LibreELEC Testbuilds have mainline. You can try and judge for yourself.
I did not test it myself.

In the past, LibreELEC has not been on par with CoreELEC in S905X support. More bugs, less functionality. Still, it might be worth asking them if they have reviewed the Libre Computer claim…

We have @daxue here from LibreComputer. I don’t think it is a false claim. My post was purely letting you know that you can test it in LibreELEC and see for yourself.
We are reviewing mainline every now and then and it isn’t where we would like it to be yet.

Still it might be worth checking out LibreELEC because they are actively involved and invested with mainline. And I think they always supported the Lepotato.

Thanks! I just posted basically the same question into the LibreELEC forum. Let’s see how they see affairs.
Perhaps to put things into perspective: Le Potato works nice with CoreELEC, not many issues at all! And that’s great, big thanks to the team!
My only problem is that my DVB-T2 USB receiver does not work properly/stable with the current CoreELEC (neither stable nor funhouse). With LibreELEC it works thanks to mainline, but I have other problems there, and obviously nobody is interested in picking up my issues. So currently the receiver is attached to a Raspberry with tvheadend on mainline, but I’d be happy to stop wasting ~7W of energy on the Raspberry. So I am patiently waiting for a updated version of any of these ELECs… A pity I cannot contribute, but my dev skills are not up to the task.

LE with mainline on Amlogic is extremely buggy, slow and basically unusable. I don’t see this will change anytime soon (or maybe ever).

@smp that’s perhaps a too harsh verdict… I follow losely the Armbian development and also the work by BayLibre/Libre Computer, and I can see constant improvement. Actually, leaving the multimedia part aside, I think the kernel is rather good by now. But the multimedia part always was the blind spot, and of course that’s what *ELEC would need stable and feature-complete… My hope was that the twitter post I mention addresses exactly this imcompeteness…

It’s not just Kernel stuff that is needed to be able to have a build with the mainline kernel and have everything working, and stable no matter what you throw at it. Other parts of the stack also need to be in place to make use of all the new ways of doing things in the mainline kernel. There is unfortunately a few gaps and rough spots still before it can work together as well as what we currently have with the builds that use the 4.9 vendor kernel.

OK, I certainly am out of my depth here, so I trust what you say.
Is there any chance that Amlogic might come up with a newer kernel themselves, or is it unlikely since S905X is considerd an “old” product receiving no support anymore?

We unfortunately don’t have direct contact with Amlogic to be able to ask what their plans are in regards to what kernel they may switch to. I’m not sure if we would get an answer to that question even if we did.

S905X is still an active product for Amlogic, so has a good possibility of being supported in future kernel releases by Amlogic for a while.

Oh, and by the way what DVB adapter specifically are you referring to?

It is the Hauppauge WinTV dualHD. Using CrazyCat drivers it works on first glance, you can use both tuners, tvheadend channel search etc. works just fine, but as soon as you put it to “real” use, it starts to get bad: Using one Tuner, you have occasional glitches, like distorted picture for half a second or so, often enough to be at least annoying. Using both tuners simultaneously, channel 1 glitches increase slightly, but channel 2 is practically unusabel, with frequent picture freezes. I’ve tried I guess all kinds of combinations of builds, driver packes etc., and with some the problem is more pronounced, with others less.
Hauppauge officially supports kernel 4.17 upwards, and I can confirm that it works absolutely flawless on a Raspberry with 4.19 kernel. Using it now since several years for live TV, recordings etc. There may be four channels on one transponder, and I successfully watched 5 simulatneous channels with the receiver over an extended period of time on my PC via tvheadend using the Raspberry (for testing purposes - I am not able to follow 5 programs simultaneously :slight_smile:)

You should try to backport some em28xx driver commits to kernel 4.9.

Whish this was within my set of skills… As far as I understand that’s basically what CrazyCat drivers do, but again, I may be wrong. I resigned to wait either for any kernel >4.16 coming up somewhere, or someone with the necessary skills having the same receiver and picking up the issue. Until then, it’s a Raspberry 3 sitting beside Le Potato.
You might ask: Why not a raspberry 3 alone? Well Raspberry 3 is not capable of H.265 in hardware (and too slow for software decoding), and in Germany DVB-T2 uses H.265.
You might follow up with: Why not use Raspberry 4, which has H.265 in hardware? Rest assured: I tried. But my disappointment was/is considerable: There is yet no *ELEC for Raspberry 4 that works properly. I have even more issues with LibreELEC on Raspberry 4, and again I do not seem to find anyone willing to pick up my issues. Perhaps I ask in a stupid way? Last but not least: Raspberry 4 is to my utter surprise inferior to the S905X in terms of codec capabilities…

Does 1 tuner work with in-kernel 4.9 driver? Or both tuners don’t work at all?
If 1 tuner works ok, there’s maybe an easy fix for this.

Thank you very much for looking into this!
However, I’m afraid that’s not the solution. Both tuners work somehow. Only the early versions were just capable of one tuner, but this is fixed since quite a while. But as I described, neither tuner works really stable. They work in the sense that they successfully scan for channels, and even show a signal, but it’s just not stable.

The tuner is best supported with dvb-latest in CE afaik.

OK, will give it a try, thanks! Must admit: Last real efforts in trying may be back by three or four months…

I know @teacup is currently taking a look into this issue as he also use this dvb hardware. He’s reporting the same, it works flawlessly with newer kernel but not with our 4.9. But he also said the driver structure change a lot and it may not possible to backport the needed changes to our current kernel.

OK, just tried: Still not working properly. Tuner 1 nearly flawless, tuner 2 frequent image distortions. But anyhow, thanks for pointing me there!

@Portisch, @teacup: Thanks! Looking forward what comes out there! But I’m afraid my Raspberry 3 will be busy still for a while… :wink:
EDIT: Btw. in general I can really recommend the dualHD hardware. It also is capable of DVB-C, and it is relatively inexpensive. With dual tuner you basically never get a deadlock like recoding a channel but wanting to watch another. I actually run two of them, one to receive terrestial TV, and one on the cable network.