XBMC's Thoughts On XvBA: AMD Catalyst Has Problems
Phoronix: XBMC's Thoughts On XvBA: AMD Catalyst Has Problems
It's not only NVIDIA with Linux problems that cause upstream developers to publicly bash companies, but AMD has come under scrutiny too. The developers of the popular cross-platform XBMC multimedia project shared a little story about enthusiasm, hope, and disappointment. In this guest posting by Peter Fruhberger on Phoronix, XvBA is what is principally talked about, which is AMD's lead choice for video acceleration when using their proprietary Catalyst driver. Unfortunately the XBMC developers aren't too happy about the state of video acceleration using AMD's Catalyst driver for Radeon graphics hardware, hence why they have reached out to Phoronix with this rather lengthy public message. Whether AMD even cares about Linux users and when XvBA will support missing functionality are among their open questions for AMD.
Seeing Linus showing the finger to nVidia was fun, but I have always been more concerned about AMD (ATI).
The nVidia proprietary drivers are fine, VDPAU was a huge win for the community - that's why I have an XBMC + ION based HTPC. The quality is good, feature-wise it's also good. However, fglrx is a different story: my notebook's ATI chipset is no longer supported (when I bought it, it wasn't supported YET, now it's not supported ANY MORE... madness!), video acceleration is still a mess. Next time I buy a notebook, I'll go with a pure Intel solution - AMD and nVidia can only blame themselves.
It just boggles my mind that AMD doesn't see the Linux community's potential. It seems so many in the community want to love AMD, but can't totally commit because of their shortcomings. These are the people who would buy AMD processors and graphics chips over Intel and NVIDIA because they like AMD's underdog status and have been buying their stuff for years. These are also the people that would build HTPC's for themselves and friends using something like an AMD Fusion chip. I know I would use the E-450 for low power Linux based HTPCs over the aging ION-2 systems. That type of system seems like a quality alternative to having to shell out an extra $100 dollars or so to use Windows because it offers full support for AMD hardware. It seems like a no brainer that AMD would want their software to be top notch so that the tech savvy system builders would buy tons of their hardware.
I only ever had to use one machine with ATI on it. This was still Windows and they would only let me download a driver if I knew which incomprehensible sequence of digits and letters the card was. In the end I actually had to take the machine apart to find out, and try about 3 different drivers before one worked (remember the days when every card had "128" and "Rage" in the name?)
I've heard they may have got their act together on that issue although there still seems to be numerous different drivers mentioned. (Hint I want one that works, not a choice of lots of differently broken ones.)
In the mean time I have stuck with Nvidia (binary) for over a decade since it just works (Windows and Linux) and I don't have to know or care about model numbers. Until Ubuntu 12.04 where the Nvidia binary driver repeatedly crashes, and the Noveau driver scribbles the wrong things in the wrong places. Forcing a binary driver version downgrade fixed the issue, but it was still annoying and a heck of a lot of people are affected: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...rs/+bug/973096
Well i tested xvba since the beginning. gb will know how many mails i wrote about bugs i found. Well he fixed the lockups by filtering h264 l5.1 and even had to reorder the picture for some driver releases... As soon as xmbc xvba was developed i tested it as well (and worte a script to do so), but not that long as before because i knew basically before what will happen. At least partly, it was still a bit weird that my hd 5670 had rendering errors for 1/4 year. As xvba can not decode h251 l5.1, i even suggested to add a hotkey to switch off the accelleration. This would help vaapi sometimes as well as live tv is not always optimal with intel vaapi. But somebody must be absolutely stupid to buy NEW hardware to use with xvba. xbmc xbva is certainly the best you can use the hardware you have got already for htpc purpose but please do not buy it for that purpose.
It seems so many in the community want to love AMD, but can't totally commit because of their shortcomings.
AMD(back with it was ATI) was constantly railed for it's poor drivers even on windows. I never expect too much but love what I get(when it works). I have no loyalty to AMD or NVIDIA just buy what makes sense at the time and I would love video decoding to factor in especially since my QC processor seems to do it on it's own.
Well xbmc on win is not painless. I still have got test files that can not decoded correctly via dxva2. one file for example was recorded by a sony handycam and is 1080i m2ts with subtitles (those are timecodes). I think vc1 was not accellerated as well. vlc has got also issues with dxva2. In theory tools that use system codecs work better but xbmc and vlc do definitely not work 100% correct on win as well. vdpau is most likely the best way and vaapi (via intel snb/ivb) the 2nd best choice. Hint: the xbmc xvba build should be compiled against libva-dev as it has got another feature as well: it is the xbmc pvr branch and not the default and can be used together with vdr or tvheadend.