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Thread: H.264 VA-API GPU Video Acceleration For Flash

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  1. #1
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    Default H.264 VA-API GPU Video Acceleration For Flash

    Phoronix: H.264 VA-API GPU Video Acceleration For Flash

    Splitted Desktop Systems, the embedded device company that previously wrote VA-API support for MPlayer and FFmpeg along with a NVIDIA VDPAU back-end for VA-API, has made another significant contribution to improved video playback under Linux. Splitted Desktop Systems has now implemented VA-API acceleration support within Gnash, the free software implementation of the Adobe Flash/SWF player. Gwenole Beauchesne of Splitted Desktop Systems shares that the H.264 video playback performance has improved significantly thanks to this VA-API support and with 1080p clips it's working out much better than Adobe's own proprietary Flash 10 player for Linux...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=NzU1MA

  2. #2
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    That's great news!
    But i'd like to see XV and SHM support in Gnash, too.

    There should be link to the Gnash project page in this news, too:
    http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/

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    Does it work on Intel GMA 500?

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    Quote Originally Posted by billiob View Post
    Does it work on Intel GMA 500?
    Does *anything* work on GMA 500? (Sorry, couldn't resist )

    Depending on how this is implimented, it could completely invalidate gnash as a viable Free Software flash player.
    Gnash passes the video stream to the VA-API, which either decodes in hardware, passes it to VDPAU or uses some other method to decode the video (FFMPEG?) Gnash itself shouldn't be at risk.

    Besides, Flash itself is heavily patented. Does this invalidate Gnash as a "viable Free Software flash player"?

    The only correct course of action regarding patents is to act as if they didn't exist (unless you are a large company that can afford its own patents or a patent troll).

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post

    Gnash passes the video stream to the VA-API, which either decodes in hardware, passes it to VDPAU or uses some other method to decode the video (FFMPEG?) Gnash itself shouldn't be at risk.
    If that's the case, that's very good news.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post

    Besides, Flash itself is heavily patented. Does this invalidate Gnash as a "viable Free Software flash player"?

    The only correct course of action regarding patents is to act as if they didn't exist (unless you are a large company that can afford its own patents or a patent troll).
    It doesn't automatically invalidate it, but it certainly doesn't help. It is quite possible that Adobe has licensed its patents in a manner that wouldn't make it a violation to distribute gnash -- for example, I seem to remember them licensing Flash technology for playback purposes only, but creating software to MAKE flash content required a paid license. I tried to do some searching to find out for sure, but don't have time to do the full research right now.

    As for patents in general -- it is irresponsible and dangerous for Free Software developers to ignore known patents. Surely one cannot know every possible patent, but there are plenty of well known patents that are actively enforced -- such as Mpeg-2 and H.264. Implimenting those technologies should only be done in a manner that can be easily seperated -- for example by releasing two source packages, one with the encumbered code, and one without (or a patch or diff, or whatever). That way the software can be used in countries without software patents with all the full features, without sabotaging it in countries like the US.

    As you implied, there are plenty of patent trolls out there (SCO anyone?). In order for Free Software to gain widespread acceptance, businesses have to have reasonable assurance that simply using it won't leave them open to lawsuits. Sure, they could hire someone to do a patent review and gut out all of the offending code, but it would be far, far easier if developers would simply remember that not everyone can simply disregard patents as meaningless, even if they can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedLincoln View Post
    If that's the case, that's very good news.



    It doesn't automatically invalidate it, but it certainly doesn't help. It is quite possible that Adobe has licensed its patents in a manner that wouldn't make it a violation to distribute gnash -- for example, I seem to remember them licensing Flash technology for playback purposes only, but creating software to MAKE flash content required a paid license. I tried to do some searching to find out for sure, but don't have time to do the full research right now.

    As for patents in general -- it is irresponsible and dangerous for Free Software developers to ignore known patents. Surely one cannot know every possible patent, but there are plenty of well known patents that are actively enforced -- such as Mpeg-2 and H.264. Implimenting those technologies should only be done in a manner that can be easily seperated -- for example by releasing two source packages, one with the encumbered code, and one without (or a patch or diff, or whatever). That way the software can be used in countries without software patents with all the full features, without sabotaging it in countries like the US.

    As you implied, there are plenty of patent trolls out there (SCO anyone?). In order for Free Software to gain widespread acceptance, businesses have to have reasonable assurance that simply using it won't leave them open to lawsuits. Sure, they could hire someone to do a patent review and gut out all of the offending code, but it would be far, far easier if developers would simply remember that not everyone can simply disregard patents as meaningless, even if they can.
    The only time you should take patents seriously is when you have to- end users don't, companies and other large organizations do.
    If everyone took them seriously, we'd never have the video software we have now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billiob View Post
    Does it work on Intel GMA 500?
    The next version will work. I am cleaning the patches. Only the GMA500 (psb) driver will be supported as IEGD has a few bugs I need to check with Intel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbeauche View Post
    The next version will work. I am cleaning the patches. Only the GMA500 (psb) driver will be supported as IEGD has a few bugs I need to check with Intel.
    The next version has landed and is based on upcoming 0.8.7.
    http://www.splitted-desktop.com/~gbe...e/gnash-vaapi/

    GMA500 is supported but only with the "psb" driver has IEGD does not implement the necessary functions yet. Everything is now switched to the AGG renderer which is the most correct renderer. AMD/XvBA platforms still require the OGL renderer unless I workaround another AMD driver limitation.

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    Great! The missing peace is now support of video acceleration in the free drivers. I'm curious which protocoll they will use (VA APU or VDPAU or...). I'm sure they will take a good decision.

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    I'd prefer they'd first focus on implementing Flash properly before writing GPU acceleration.

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