How to implement a video widget in Qt that builds upon GStreamer?


I want to use Qt to create a simple GUI application that can play a local video file. I could use Phonon which does all the work behind the scenes, but I need to have a little more control. I have already succeeded in implementing an GStreamer pipeline using the decodebin and autovideosink elements. Now I want to use a Qt widget to channel the output to.

Has anyone ever succeeded in doing this? (I suppose so since there are Qt-based video players that build upon GStreamer.) Can someone point me in the right direction on how to do it?

Note: This question is similar to my previous posted question on how to connect Qt with an incoming RTP stream. This seemed to be quite challenging. This question will be easier to answer I think.

Update 1

Patrice's suggestion to use libVLC is very helpful already. Here's a somewhat cleaner version of the code found on VLC's website: Sample for Qt + libVLC. However, my original question remains: How do I connect GStreamer to a Qt widget?

Update 2

After some experimentation I ended up with this working sample. It depends on GstWidget.h and GstWidget.cpp from my own little GstSupport library. However, take note that is is currently only tested on the Mac version of Qt.

4/22/2019 8:01:08 AM

Accepted Answer

To connect Gstreamer with your QWidget, you need to get the window handle using QWidget::winId() and you pass it to gst_x_overlay_set_xwindow_id();

Rough sample code:

    sink = gst_element_factory_make("xvimagesink", "sink");
    gst_element_set_state(sink, GST_STATE_READY);

    gst_x_overlay_set_xwindow_id(GST_X_OVERLAY(sink), widget->winId());

Also, you will want your widget to be backed by a native window which is achieved by setting the Qt::AA_NativeWindows attribute at the application level or the Qt::WA_NativeWindow attribute at the widget level.

12/17/2009 12:12:07 PM

Since Phonon is based on gstreamer, the place to look for details is the Phonon source tree (available here: For a video player you are most likely going to need a video display widget, such as the gstreamer/videowidget.h (cpp) that in turn used the X11 renderer (gstreamer/x11renderer.h, cpp). The sink used is the xvimagesink, falling back onto the ximagesink if the first cannot be created.

The basic trick is to overlay the VideoWidget with the video output. The X11 handle needed to do this is retrieved using the QWidget::winId method, which is platform specific (as are the sinks, so no biggie).

Also, if overlay is unavailable, a QWidgetVideoSink is used, which converts the video frames into individual frames for the WidgetRenderer class. This class, in turn, makes the current frame available as a QImage object, ready for any type of processing.

So to answer your question - use either overlays (as X11Renderer) or extract individual QImages from the video stream (as QWidgetVideoSink).

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