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RetroArch is getting hardware video decoding, manual content scanning and more

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The team behind the RetroArch front-end used with emulators, game engines and media players have announced that it will be getting proper hardware accelerated video decoding soon.

Currently, all video decoding is done "entirely in software", so your CPU is doing the work instead of sending it off to your GPU which can cause slowdowns when your CPU is busy. They've said they're now going to be using FFmpeg supporting VDPAU and VAAPI. This might be good news for anyone using something like a Raspberry Pi, or other lower powered devices. You can see their full post on it here.

Additionally, the team also announced that manual content scanning is also coming to RetroArch. Something that has apparently been highly requested, letting you pick a specific directory and set up defaults like what Core (Emulator) any files found will use and more. It does sound quite handy!

RetroArch isn't just for emulation though, they're also building up their collection of games that have open source versions available. Most recently, they added dhewm3 allowing you to play Doom 3 through RetroArch with an up to date game engine.

All sounds great, good to see it continue to progress nicely.

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kokoko3k 2 December 2019 at 12:00 pm UTC
Retroarch is nice.
I actually use it to emulate Dreamcast games (currently playing Skies of Arcadia with my daughter), but man... every time i've to configure it from scratch, I curse it because of his fullscreen interface, argh!
Fortunately they are implementing a Desktop/Qt interface much more handy than the fancy default interface.


Last edited by kokoko3k on 2 December 2019 at 12:00 pm UTC
namiko 2 December 2019 at 12:54 pm UTC
Haven't tested Retroarch on my 3B+ yet, but it may be worth trying if the builds will be more optimized for armhf-based Raspbian.
MayeulC 2 December 2019 at 3:43 pm UTC
Hmm, what is video decoding used for? Wouldn't the cores themselves need to use it, and translate calls from console-specific APIs?
kokoko3k 2 December 2019 at 4:23 pm UTC
MayeulCHmm, what is video decoding used for? Wouldn't the cores themselves need to use it, and translate calls from console-specific APIs?
I think it would be used by the ffmpeg libretro core, so that you can watch your latest 4k episode with a crt interlaced deformed and pixelated shader :-)
14 2 December 2019 at 7:00 pm UTC
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I should give it a shot on my Pi since Steam Link doesn't work well enough over my WiFi. There is a network delay every 30 seconds... feels like something I should be able to adjust but haven't figured out what. Other than that, the WiFi actually is OK with Steam Link on the Pi. So, using the Pi for local-only content might be my next thing to play with.
medicalcannabis 3 December 2019 at 7:37 pm UTC
kokoko3kRetroarch is nice.
I actually use it to emulate Dreamcast games (currently playing Skies of Arcadia with my daughter), but man... every time i've to configure it from scratch, I curse it because of his fullscreen interface, argh!
Fortunately they are implementing a Desktop/Qt interface much more handy than the fancy default interface.

Press F to toggle fullscreen
Press F5 for the Qt UI.

Both have been around since the late 1.7.x series.
kokoko3k 4 December 2019 at 8:22 pm UTC
medicalcannabisBoth have been around since the late 1.7.x series.
I've read that the Desktop UI is not yet complete/on_par with the Fullscreen UI
Am i wrong?
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