Canonical's Will Cooke reported in the latest Ubuntu Desktop Weekly Update that they have a proof-of-concept working with Intel VA-API by making use of the Intel QuickSyncVideo support paired with GStreamer. They are able to enjoy H.264 4K video playback with around 3% CPU usage on Haswell as well as playable 4K H.264/HEVC too, for Skylake and newer.
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