Here is my two cents. I have a seven years old box and I am still using it. Basicly I only watch tvrips and browse webs, so it is ok. However, since today's tvrips I watch are in H264 720p format mostly, my box can't do this job anymore. I don't care about BD/HD-DVD, but I do want a hardware decoder to decode unprotected H264 content. I think other people on this forum already say this. We only want H264 decoding... Bridgeman, if it is Ok to release the H264 part of UVD, please release it. If the closed source driver is the only possible choice, please please make this driver decoding unprotected H264 content too, please!
I can see what you mean about some of the comments having a high level of emotion, and it must feel bad to you personally when people say things like "ATI, and later AMD, have been promising to release hardware documentation repeatedly, for over 8 years. ... They've been mocking us...".
Obviously no-one at ATI was ever in the business of "mocking" customers, so this is inaccurate and inflammatory language.
On the other hand, that comment, and every comment that I looked at in that discussion, contains at least a little bit of substantive relevant fact. That particular one includes this news article: "October 21, 1999: [...] ATI announces that it will be releasing 3D programming information for its video adapters". Mentioning that fact that ATI announced that on that date isn't just ranting -- it's also pointing out something that is highly relevant to some of us -- ATI's "track record" of following through on releases that it has publicly promised.
So, while that post and one or two others in that discussion are fraught, none of the posts that I looked at were devoid of relevant facts. Contrast this with post #41 in this thread, which offers a strongly held opinion but no added facts.
It must be interesting to ATI/AMD that out of two dozen people who posted on that thread, eight of them publicly exclaimed that they were eager to replace their current discrete graphics components with Intel components because of this news, and one mentioned that he had recently purchased an integrated graphics component from Intel because of their tradition of open source. I wonder if there is any way that ATI/AMD could find out if people like those eight posters follow through with this intent: how can you tell who buys what graphics components, and how can you tell why?
(I can tell you personally that when my brother bought a new laptop last year I advised him to choose the model with Intel integrated graphics, specifically because of Intel's stellar track record of open source drivers.)
From my particular perspective, the strategic situation is that Intel was doing a good job of being open source, but a terrible job on performance, where ATI was doing a good job on performance, and a terrible job on open source. Recently, ATI nee AMD suddenly started doing better on open source, and Intel, with the aforementioned release of its graphic programming manuals, went from "good" to "just about perfect" on the open source front. Looking into the future, Intel apparently has plans to jump into new levels of performance and generality with its Larrabee project, and AMD is continuing to make progress on better and better open source support, thanks to the efforts of folks like John Bridgman here.
Now, if Intel can deliver competitive new products while maintaining its current excellent level of openness, despite the DRM pressures that John Bridgman has described here, or else if AMD can overcome those DRM pressures to achieve the kind of openness that Intel currently has, then we'll have a real winner of the little niche market that I live in.
That was a perfect example. What the poster missed, and others corrected them on, was that we *did* release 3d information for the then current chips (R100/R200), and that information was used to write a good part of the current "radeon" driver and the corresponding drm & mesa bits.Quote:
Mentioning that fact that ATI announced that on that date isn't just ranting -- it's also pointing out something that is highly relevant to some of us -- ATI's "track record" of following through on releases that it has publicly promised.
If someone wanted to complain that we trailed off after the R300 (when producing and releasing docs became exponentially more difficult) and only restarted recently, that would be true, but what you read is usually much worse.
What I wonder though, what I don't get is, why wouldn't it be possible to have DRM support in an OSS driver? I suppose because everybody could just take that code, modify it to his own needs, and then have it unprotected, e.g. 'grab-able'. I always was under the impression if you do something properly, it can be open and secure. Security through obscurity never worked ...
It always really is only a temporary thing anyway, as the protection gets cracked anyway (just like with DVD, just like it has been done with HDDVD/BD already).
I know we all agree that DRM really only is there to annoy customers, as those who'd want to circumvent it know how to do so anyway, and those who don't care, buy their media anyway.
I fully understand why AMD has to support it, no questions there. You wanna feed your kids, Others make you do it pretty much.
It's just a shame to have developer resources split across all these things.
All in all, I'm glad Audio DRM is slowly going away. It's hurting the consumers, those who actually buy it.
Whether the same will happen for video ... maybe people are becoming more aware. In the old days, we always fast forwarded past the copyright stuff. So no issues there, on copied VCR tapes, you would have already skipped it and never noticed it. With DVD's it became annoying, that you coudln't skip it. Was it annoying to hackers, kids who download their stuff, people who copy them? They didn't care. It only annoyed people who actually bought the thing.
Anyway. Sorry to have ranted about DRM, again. I know your fingers where getting tired as it is :) I joined this discussion late.
Here's hope, that we one day have one solid mighty performing open source driver, with a closed source DRM module (fine, it would be a rebuild driver with the DRM module embedded) that makes everyone happy :)
P.S. Thanks John, for giving us feedback. I can only imagine how many hours per day are burned keepying you from real work, but it's AMD's company image you are strongly improving. It's geeks like us that make decisions for a lot of peoples purchases, if that is the mattering part. But having a community of geeks speaking highly of you and supporting you should be worth more then just hard cash earned ... Thanks from all of us.
I don't care about the ability to decode DRM'd crap.
I just want decent hardware video decoding for un-DRM'd stuff.
No offense, I don't know 1 person who owns something outside of an xbox that has an optical device for HD playback. Not one. Yet I still know tons of people who watch various unencrypted h264, xVid, theora, mpg4, etc., on their computers. The only, and I mean only, DRM'ed format I see people using is DVD, which everyone and their brother circumvents anyhow, whether it's because they want to make backups or skip the warnings, ads, and trailers.
You guys are just part of a collusive anti-consumer industry, which must suck.
Personally, instead of modularity, I think you should just do one open source driver that works right instead of having all this monkey business with like 3 drivers, none of which actually work well.
I do appreciate your guys efforts, and I know hearing this stuff must be frustrating and discouraging, but there are those of us who own ati cards which no matter what driver we use basically function at like 60% of what they should because with every driver there is some stupid trade-off based around stuff like this discussion.
Just give me working 3-D, decent video playback for unprotected video, and monitor autoconfiguration that actually works properly in one driver and I'll be happy. Until you've done that, worrying about DRM is putting the cart before the horse.
THAT, folks, is what studio cares about.