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Thread: State of video playback on ATI

  1. #1
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    Default State of video playback on ATI

    Been trying to find a definitive answer, but as a relative n00b I guess I just don't know where to look.

    I just got a new ASUS M3A78-EM mobo (780g chipset, onboard HD3200 video) for my brand new HTPC/MythTv box.

    And what I'd like to know is, what is the state of hardware video decode acceleration (for the various video formats such as MPEG2 and H.264), for either the open source or proprietary drivers, for this model of video card?

    (And the follow-up question, implied: Do I go back to the store, where I actually ordered an M3N78-EM (Nvidia), and get them to swap the one I got for the one I asked for?)

    Big thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodyland View Post
    Do I go back to the store, where I actually ordered an M3N78-EM (Nvidia), and get them to swap the one I got for the one I asked for?)

    Big thanks in advance.
    Simple answer: yes.

    Currently linux support for that chip is lacking and nvidia has this.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodyland View Post
    Been trying to find a definitive answer, but as a relative n00b I guess I just don't know where to look.

    I just got a new ASUS M3A78-EM mobo (780g chipset, onboard HD3200 video) for my brand new HTPC/MythTv box.

    And what I'd like to know is, what is the state of hardware video decode acceleration (for the various video formats such as MPEG2 and H.264), for either the open source or proprietary drivers, for this model of video card?

    (And the follow-up question, implied: Do I go back to the store, where I actually ordered an M3N78-EM (Nvidia), and get them to swap the one I got for the one I asked for?)

    Big thanks in advance.
    The open source drivers have video rendering (Xv) support (colorspace conversion and scaling), but no decode support yet. However, we have released the 3D engine documentation, so it should be possible to implement this, it's just not done yet.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodyland View Post
    .....
    If you want now ! Video Decode choose an Nvidia Card if you can wait and free drivers are important for you choose the ATI

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nille View Post
    If you want now ! Video Decode choose an Nvidia Card if you can wait and free drivers are important for you choose the ATI
    I can wait... I can't actually use the inbuilt graphics yet because my TV is composite only... So until I upgrade my TV to something digital I'll be using a spare PCIe video card I have.

    But the question is, how long is the wait expected to be, by those in the know? 1 month? 6 months? 2 years? 1-6 months I can live with quite easily.

  6. #6
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    Get a cheap nvidia 8+ card with 512 mb vram - that works now and what is in a year does not really matter. Then you can buy the next card

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Get a cheap nvidia 8+ card with 512 mb vram - that works now and what is in a year does not really matter. Then you can buy the next card

    I think that's what I've decided to do. I got an nvidia 9x (or something) from a friend who didn't need it. It's got no fan so it'll be nice and quiet, too.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodyland View Post
    Been trying to find a definitive answer, but as a relative n00b I guess I just don't know where to look.

    I just got a new ASUS M3A78-EM mobo (780g chipset, onboard HD3200 video) for my brand new HTPC/MythTv box.

    And what I'd like to know is, what is the state of hardware video decode acceleration (for the various video formats such as MPEG2 and H.264), for either the open source or proprietary drivers, for this model of video card?

    (And the follow-up question, implied: Do I go back to the store, where I actually ordered an M3N78-EM (Nvidia), and get them to swap the one I got for the one I asked for?)

    Big thanks in advance.
    I'd go with AMD each way you look at it. The radeon driver works like a charm (and I'm using a fairly old version), und ffmpeg-mt can act as fine bridge until hardware video decode acceleration kicks in.

  9. #9
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    Has there been any word on how much video decoding is being planned for the r600 and upwards chipsets? I'm the proud owner of an RV670 with a Q6600 but struggling to watch 1080p h.264 encoded video under GNU/Linux.

    Also, will video decoding be part of the radeon / radeonhd driver, or is that outside the scope of these projects?

    -JBM

  10. #10
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    Quick answer is "we're not sure yet, but there will be more than there is today". I see three parts to the solution :

    1. A "bottom up" implementation in the open source drivers using shaders, starting with MC and filtering (the most expensive parts of the decode stack) and moving up as far as seems to make sense. We may start with XvMC as an example for other codecs.

    2. An *attempt* to allow the use of UVD/UVD2 in open source drivers. We have committed to try, but I don't know if this will work or not. The primary risks here all relate to making sure we don't weaken the robustness of DRM implementations on other OSes by providing information to support Linux.

    3. Implementation of decode acceleration in the fglrx driver.

    The question of "where does the video decoding code go ?" is a tricky one. The Xv acceleration code is in the X driver (radeon/radeonhd) and is used "indirectly", ie through the X wire protocol, but I'm told that even the existing XvMC code in X drivers is actually "direct rendering" code (like Mesa) but was put into the X driver source tree for convenience.

    XvMC seems to be defined primarily for "indirect rendering" (although I hear conflicting views on this), while VDPAU seems to be defined for direct rendering only and VA-API seems to be defined for both.

    So... bottom line is that we're not quite sure where the final open source video decode logic will go yet
    Last edited by bridgman; 04-22-2009 at 02:39 PM.

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