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Old 01-26-2009, 04:57 AM   #1
rylan76
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GPU has "on chip MPEG4..." tagline - how to tell if a vid player uses this?


Hi guys

My 7950GT based card says on its box it has hardware support for MPEG / AVI decoding.

I use MPlayer to play most video files, and XINE for DVDs. I have the latest NVidia Linux drivers loaded for my card.

How can I tell if my card is, in fact, doing hardware MPEG decompression? I. e. I suspect this is something that only works in Windows, and the Windows NVidia driver?

How can the GPU "tell" if it is "supposed" to demux (huh?) an MPEG stream in hardware?

What if I play non-MPEG files like .avi, .asf, etc?

Clearly you can see I don't have a scrap of knowledge about video decoding in general or on Linux in particular, just wondering if this is mere marketing blab, and if not, does this hardware decoding work in linux? How to tell?

Thanks!
 
Old 02-04-2009, 01:21 PM   #2
Pearlseattle
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Hello
I was trying recently to understand the same stuff.
I came to the conclusion that both ATI and nVidia are starting only now to support HRDW-decoding of video files in Linux.

If you would like to know more you should try to search for "VDPAU" (for nVidia). Doublecheck as well if your card supports PureVideo.

In the end what is supposed to happen is that you will install the binary nVidia drivers as you probably did now and you will install/compile a video player (e.g. mplayer) which will use the libraries delivered by the nVidia package which provides HRDW-accelleration.

I have an ASUS motherboard with integrated nVidia 8200 GPU - I installed last week the latest nVidia binary drivers and tried to compile mplayer after patching it with the nVidia patches to activate HRDW decoding, but the compilation failed and before wasting days trying to fix it I decided to wait until a more compatible version is provided.
 
Old 02-04-2009, 02:12 PM   #3
H_TeXMeX_H
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Isn't this only truly important with low-powered computers. Even with HD videos, only about 15 % of one core gets used for a Q9300.
 
Old 02-05-2009, 12:59 PM   #4
Pearlseattle
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Well, my problem is that I have a media center using an AMD 4850e (45W TDP) and with 1080p videos it gets critical, especially with the files encoded in VC1. With 720p the doublecore CPU uses about 20 to 50% of one core, so in that case it's fine, but it could still be better.
I cannot use more powerful CPUs, otherwise the PC would become hotter, fans would start spinning faster, it would become noisy and I would hate that continuous background noise while watching movies.
That's the reason why I would like HRDW-accelleration... .
 
Old 02-05-2009, 02:09 PM   #5
H_TeXMeX_H
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Well, if you must, take note of a few things:

Quote:
Known Limitations:
1. Playing some video streams may cause GPU errors and/or hang or
crash the system.
2. The skip forward/backward features are not robust yet and
can cause application or system hangs/crashes.
3. MPlayer OSD or Composite Picture is currently not supported.
4. Problems have been observed when building MPlayer with these
patches using gcc-4.3.2.
Also, if you wish to compile it, I just compiled the latest version and it does work. Make sure you have the newest nvidia drivers, then build this version:
ftp://download.nvidia.com/XFree86/vd...402051.tar.bz2
 
Old 02-06-2009, 05:28 AM   #6
Pearlseattle
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Damn - I am actually using a lot the OSD and the skip forward/backward buttons.
I tried compiling it using GCC 4.2 and 3.(6? cannot remember - don't have my linux box right now) but it didn't work - cannot remember which version I tried to compile.
But ok, I'll give it again a try with the one you mention in your link - thanks a lot!
 
Old 02-10-2009, 05:33 AM   #7
rylan76
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Hi Guys

Thanks for the comments & discussion. This particular bit of marketing always smelled a bit, now I know why. I'm not a hacker or even remotely knowledgable, but I couldn't understand the logic of how a video player program can somehow "know" to use hardware acceleration features if those features' usage isn't specifically programmed somewhere to be used... now I know why.

Thanks!
 
Old 02-10-2009, 06:26 AM   #8
H_TeXMeX_H
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As much as I've tested it, it does work in some cases, but in others it crashes or is very buggy. IMO, in its current state, it's not worth it.
 
  


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