Comment 21 for bug 1424201

(In reply to Jean-Yves Avenard [:jya] from comment #7)
> There is no unique nor "official" software path to have hardware
> acceleration on linux.
> Every chip makers have designed their own framework to do so; none of them
> compatible with one another.

That isn't really true, or at best several years out of date. There are effectively only two frameworks, VDPAU (supported by NVidia's proprietary drivers and adopted by the open source NVidia and AMD drivers) and VAAPI (for Intel). Each can use the other as a back-end if necessary, but as far as I know you could be right that it doesn't work well. AMD's proprietary driver supposedly has bindings for something else, but they never provided any support or documentation, so that can be ignored.

> You may want to track bug 1210729 or bug 1210727.
> The only GStreamer plugin allowing hardware acceleration decoding was a
> VAAPI plugin: it was buggy and extremely unstable nor did it provide any
> significant speed improvement.

VAAPI is a little behind VDPAU in terms of maturity and take-up, but both now work well in every other significant Linux video player. I heard the reason it was slow in Firefox was because they made it render into main RAM and copied the data to the framebuffer entirely in software. Use VAAPI properly and the CPU usage barely registers.

> You're much better off using ffmpeg

Only in versions of ffmpeg that support VDPAU and VAAPI. I'd be very happy for Firefox to use that route to gain GPU acceleration.