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Thread: AMD's X-Video Bitstream Acceleration

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  1. #1
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    Default AMD's X-Video Bitstream Acceleration

    Phoronix: AMD's X-Video Bitstream Acceleration

    In early September we shared that UVD2 and XvMC is coming to Linux and that two new library files had begun shipping with the ATI Catalyst driver: AMDXvBA and XvBAW. Earlier this month the Unified Video Decoding 2 (UVD2) support was then enabled by default in the Catalyst 8.10 driver. These video acceleration improvements to the ATI Linux driver aren't exactly end-user friendly yet, but today we have information on how those interested can begin using the X-Video Motion Compensation extension with their ATI hardware along with what the XvBA extension will provide users in regards to advanced video acceleration that is very similar to Microsoft's DirectX Video Acceleration.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=13034

  2. #2
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    Well, it sounds interesting to say the least. By how much will it reduce the CPU usage if I'm playing an HD video? (For example, a 1280x720 H264 video)
    It still wouldn't matter to me as I don't have any 4000 card.

  3. #3
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    If it does bitstream acceleration, it will take virtually the entire video decode load off your cpu. In other words, the only work your cpu will be doing is formatting the bitstream to send it to the gpu and doing audio decode.

  4. #4
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    good news. With such a tempos, official AMD driver for Linux will soon achieve its Windows' performance ;-)

  5. #5
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    Angry

    It is more then sad if i understand it correctly.

    What I understand is that today, there is no option to decode HD movies on GPU.
    Recently i have installed Ubuntu on HP's xw4200 which is powered by Intel Pentium 4 551 @ 3.4GHz.
    This machine is incapable of smooth playback of 720p movie.
    Hate the idea that i'll have to install XP Media Center

  6. #6
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    Don't know what to think of this. Generally I think it's good that there finally is a solution for video acceleration (for more than just MPEG-2). But the way it's done, I just can't like it. It's put in as a closed-sourced feature that will probably not be opened up or be shared with anyone. So what then? Each graphics card manufactorer is going to code their own video acceleration API? Well that will be a nice mess. I would have prefered if AMD would have worked together with Intel and Nvidia to get a proper, standard implementation for video acceleration in Linux. With VA-API there at least a tiny something to build on, so I don't understand why AMD just didn't finish this. Of course it's easier to just "reuse" the windows bits, but normally that never works that well, if just take parts from one OS and put them 1:1 into another one. I would say Linux is to different from Windows for this.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bash View Post
    Don't know what to think of this. Generally I think it's good that there finally is a solution for video acceleration (for more than just MPEG-2). But the way it's done, I just can't like it. It's put in as a closed-sourced feature that will probably not be opened up or be shared with anyone. So what then? Each graphics card manufactorer is going to code their own video acceleration API? Well that will be a nice mess. I would have prefered if AMD would have worked together with Intel and Nvidia to get a proper, standard implementation for video acceleration in Linux. With VA-API there at least a tiny something to build on, so I don't understand why AMD just didn't finish this. Of course it's easier to just "reuse" the windows bits, but normally that never works that well, if just take parts from one OS and put them 1:1 into another one. I would say Linux is to different from Windows for this.
    I'm afraid that this road would take considerable more time than the current path. Hopefully a future standard for linux will bring benefits for amd-ati so they consider to build on that. For now its the most pragmatic aproach they could choose in from my point of views. In the long run there will be a standard for sure.

  8. #8
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    sad to know that like crossfire, features are introduced only for the newest cards...

    would be even more sad if that feature will not be backported!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bash View Post
    So what then? Each graphics card manufactorer is going to code their own video acceleration API?
    Long story short, if it mirrors the DirectX acceleration and works without infringing on anything is there any compelling reasont for the open source community to use a different API just to be different? I figure the DirectX API is something nVidia and Intel needs to follow as well. As far as I know the VA API isn't actually usable for anything, but can someone tell me what advantages it would have, at least in theory, over this?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by n0nsense View Post
    It is more then sad if i understand it correctly.

    What I understand is that today, there is no option to decode HD movies on GPU.
    Recently i have installed Ubuntu on HP's xw4200 which is powered by Intel Pentium 4 551 @ 3.4GHz.
    This machine is incapable of smooth playback of 720p movie.
    Hate the idea that i'll have to install XP Media Center
    Your machine is definitely powerful enough for 720p (unless it's ridiculously high bitrate and encoded with extreme h.264 options). latest mplayer with ffmpeg should work just fine. Just make sure to select your video renderer correctly, and don't run compiz. You should however get an optimized build of ffmpeg for the P4 as it helps in all the filters you would use like sharpening, deinterlacing, etc. (It doesn't help actual decoding though because of the assembly used from what I understand). ffmpeg works just fine on 720p movies on my little P-M 1.6Ghz. On the other hand, for 1080p I have to resort to CoreAVC on all the machines I have.

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