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View Full Version : Nvidia releases H.264 video accelerator


Beamtracer
03-04-2006, 01:21 AM
The good news: Nvidia released a plug-in called PureVision that allows some Nvidia cards to accelerate H.264 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264) format video. Lots of High Definition video is released in H.264 format, and this plug-in will allow smooth playback.

The bad news: You have to pay for it! :)

Nvidia has posted software that allows certain GeForce graphics chips to decode video encoded using H.264 format. But it wants up to $49.95 for the Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center plug-in.

The PureVideo Decoder software allows systems containing a GeForce 7 series, GeForce 6 series - mobile and desktop - or nForce 6150 integrated GPU to accelerate H.264 in hardware. H.264 is part of the MPEG 4 standard, and is one of the codecs mandated by both the HD DVD and Blu-ray DIsc next-generation optical disc formats.
Details here:
http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/03/03/nvidia_ship_h264_purevideo/

Para
03-04-2006, 06:57 AM
As a comparison for those with (brand new) ATI cards, ATI gives the exactly same "feature" out for free.

NUKE-CG
03-04-2006, 07:52 AM
Doesn't support my expensive 6800GT, but gaming kiddies with a $100 card can.

(You suck nVidia).

Beamtracer
03-04-2006, 08:21 AM
H.264 is a very efficient codec, meaning it provides better picture quality with smaller file sizes. The downside is that it is more work for a computer's processor.

Hardware acceleration is the way to go. I've even heard of some handheld devices that incorporate H.264 video ability (via hardware chips). It's great that graphics card manufacturers (ie, Nvidia, ATI) are incorporating H.264 acceleration into their cards.

This will make it easy to get smooth High Definition H.264 video.

LoTekK
03-04-2006, 01:32 PM
So lemme get this straight. You can have a $100 card with an H264 accelerator on it, but you need to shell out an additional $50 in order to use it? Yeah, thanks, but no thanks. Dipshits.

daart
03-04-2006, 02:25 PM
Makes obsolutely no sense. In order to see a HD video on your PC, you need a BluRay or HD DVD, right?
So, here the problem starts: In order to get this high res footage
to your monitor you will need a graphic card with HDMI interface, otherwise your movie will just be in a low resolution.
So most of the people will need new video cards just to see HD from
HD discs. Doesnīt matter if the output of your vc is analog or digital!
So why buy this stupid codec from Nvidia if I canīt even watch HD movies with my card????

Wanna watch high res movies with your brand new 600$ video card? No way!

http://www.behardware.com/articles/603-4/hdcp-the-graphic-card-and-monitor-nightmare.html

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/ati_nvidia_hdcp_support/default.asp

You will need instead a new video card like this:

http://www.beyond3d.com/#news28313

We got punked! :banghead:

lexington_luthor
03-04-2006, 02:33 PM
So, here the problem starts: In order to get this high res footage
to your monitor you will need a graphic card with HDMI interface, otherwise your movie will just be in a l. resolution.

Or you could live in a nice country which doesn't treat you like a criminal :)
All DRM schemes are unenforcable in many countries.

daart
03-04-2006, 02:36 PM
Or you could live in a nice country which doesn't treat you like a criminal :)
All DRM schemes are unenforcable in many countries.

For shure not in the EU, America and Asia, which is the mass market :argh:

Rezonance
03-04-2006, 02:55 PM
Anyone think it would be possible to write some kind of driver that would enable regular video cards to accelerate H.264?:curious:

lexington_luthor
03-04-2006, 04:08 PM
Anyone think it would be possible to write some kind of driver that would enable regular video cards to accelerate H.264?:curious:

Not without writing a whole-new H264 decoder. There are currently two open implementations that I know of, ffmpeg and x264, and both of them are CPU only. Adding GPU acceleration support would be very hard, and doing so probably not worth the effort given the speed at which CPUs are advancing.

Besides, the new ATI cards come with this feature for free (after you pay $100+ for the card of course), so this might possibly spur NVidia to give away the purevideo decoder (at least a limited version thereof). Some benchmarks I saw recently actually showed the CPU usage with ATI cards was in fact consistently lower than the NVidia, so hopefully now that NV has some competition in this area, they will endevour to improve.

DaveW
03-04-2006, 06:09 PM
Makes obsolutely no sense. In order to see a HD video on your PC, you need a BluRay or HD DVD, right?


Wrong. You need Blu-Ray or HD-DVD to watch a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD disc. To watch HD video on your PC, you just need a HD video to watch. It could be h.264, it could be divx, it could be wmv, it could be mpeg2.

Beamtracer
03-04-2006, 11:36 PM
Isn't Nvidia giving H.264 acceleration for cards that were previously purchased, that didn't previously have that ability? It sounds like a good thing to me.

I'm sure H.264 acceleration will eventually become standard on new cards.

Wrong. You need Blu-Ray or HD-DVD to watch a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD disc. To watch HD video on your PC, you just need a HD video to watch. It could be h.264, it could be divx, it could be wmv, it could be mpeg2.
You can make a High Definition movie in MPEG-2 format, but my experience is that H.264 will be one third the file size of MPEG-2.

kaiser_pro
03-05-2006, 11:29 AM
you can make a gpu decode most things, all you have to do is tell it how:

they do some stuff here (http://www.gpgpu.org/) you can run a C compiler on your graphics card.

(granted this is subtly diffrent, but the essence of the argument is the same)

lexington_luthor
03-05-2006, 02:22 PM
you can make a gpu decode most things, all you have to do is tell it how:

they do some stuff here (http://www.gpgpu.org/) you can run a C compiler on your graphics card.

(granted this is subtly diffrent, but the essence of the argument is the same)

I have actually used Sh and Brook for various things, but frankly, writing a complex codec like x264 does not lend itself very well to GPU hardware. The hardware (and consequently the programming languages) are mainly geared to shader processing using floats and vectors which is a whole lot different than video decoding. While it can be done, it is considerably more complicated than just re-compiling for a different CPU. There are many kinds of problems that will be slower on the GPU, owing to the lack of real integer math, slow as **** branching and differences in the memory hierarchy.

Dragon_Lee
03-05-2006, 05:18 PM
Doesn't support my expensive 6800GT, but gaming kiddies with a $100 card can.

(You suck nVidia).

This is due to a hardware bug, the 6800 cards had a hardcoded flaw in the silicon that prevents full hardware WMV/264 decoding/accelleration... :sad:

This bug was fixed in the next iteration of the chip, which is why the 6600 based cards (which essentially are derivatives from 6800 cards) have that wmv/264 hardwave decoding, yet its more faster/expensive brother the 6800 does not...
All following generations ofcourse had it fixed...

Also, the PerfectVideo "plugin" is set-up to cost money thanks to Microsoft's program for VideoAccelleration on the Windows platform...
To be certified for Windows Media Center and WMV decoding one has to pay a license fee...
The Nvidia "plugin" is not even a plugin in itself, it is a video rendering engine, like Cyberlink has an (also MS certified) engine with PowerDVD (does most hardware decoding too), and InterVideo has a new engine as well that will be certified and provide new filtering functions (can't find the url right now).

Nvidia's PerfectVideo though has the advantage that (supposedly) it gives best quality/low overhead with video decoding for media center and XP...
But not having it by no means prevents you from watching HD content or other video streams...

(the HDMI issue on current and older generations of video cards is a bit of a flaw tho, but in essence I'd blame the DRM suits for that thant that I'd blame the videocard makers directly, the way the DRM army is trying to force it upon us is plain evil, and should have an exorcism performed on it)

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