No hardware video acceleration from ATI - ever?
My email, and answer from ATI:
Graphics Driver Developers
I'm very dissappointed that there is no support for vdpau (or similar) for your gpu's in f.eks XBMC. I just bought a ATI HD card, but it now turns out to be a was a waste of money. I can't play h264 files with any hardware support from the gpu. Fortunately the card was cheap. I have always gone for ATI cards, but in the future will go for Nvidia if you don't go for open source code and let developers take advantage of the potential in the gpu.
DEVREL (10/01/2009 1:16 PM)
No plans to support it now or in the foreseeable future as there was no interest from selected ISVís working on such projects.
Keep in mind that emails like that could be fielded by someone who knows almost nothing about their linux drivers or linux in general, someone who mostly deals with Windows gamers and OEMs.
I had to google XBMC to find out it stands for XBox Media Center. They probably had to look up or ask about "vdpau", and were informed that it was an nVidia thing.
Perhaps the "it" in the reply refers to vdpau, not hw accelerated video playback with open source drivers.
Also what the heck is ISV?
Independent software vendor, i.e. a company that is interested in making a video player/encoder/whatever using vdpau (or ATI own library).
Originally Posted by nanonyme
This is a very strange email.
ATi DOES support full decoding acceleration on their cards -- on Windows. You didn't even mention Linux in your email.
Then you threaten to buy nVidia if ATi doesn't " go for open source code and let developers take advantage of the potential in the gpu". But nVidia hasn't made anything available as open source, least of all hardware decoding.
The situation regarding hardware decoding on Linux with ATi cards is rather unfortunate at the moment, but if you are praising nVidia, then you should be asking for a binary blob decoder, like the one from nVidia. ATi is doing far more for open source than nVidia.
Originally Posted by pingufunkybeat
I'm not very into this, but on my XP machine there is no ATI gpu-hardware acceleration of videofiles in any software (Xmbc, Vlc). Yes there is for Blueray disc, but that's not what primarily i'm after. As far as I know (from Googling) the situation is the same for Ubuntu.
I have a Acer Revo with Intel Atom and Nvidia Ion and with vdpau activated in Xmbc it plays 1080p files smoothly. That's what I want from my ATI card...
I don't use Windows, so I don't know the exact situation, but I'm pretty sure that video decoding works there. Why would ATi develop the hardware if even Windows can't use it? It certainly supports H264, which is what most HD movies use.
Under Linux, it's a different situation. To my knowledge, nVidia is the only manufacturer that provides easy and effective hardware decoding through vdpau. Intel provides it with certain chips using VA-API, but this has far less support among video players. ATi has nothing, but there is a standard which is planned, called XvBA, though nobody has yet seen this work.
On the other hand, nVidia is the only major manufacturer that is basically hostile towards open source, and will NEVER provide either documentation or open drivers.
So your choices (under Linux) are: Intel or AMD/ATi, who provide (almost) all the documentation and create lots of open source software, including fully open-source drivers, or nVidia, who has great hardware decoding, but refuses to release documentation or any open-source drivers.
On a happier note, OpenCL-based shader acceleration should be coming, which will bring significant speedup to video-decoding on all platforms which support it, including ATi. This is not as good as using the specialised hardware, but will make movies playable on weaker hardware.
Last edited by pingufunkybeat; 10-02-2009 at 08:16 AM.
You're reading way too much into this response. In PR-speak, "no plans" just means "nothing to announce".