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We don't talk about unreleased features in the Catalyst drivers, period, whether or not we are working on them. If we make XvBA available for general PC use (other than closed-system embedded applications) you will read about it here, trust me on that
I have said that we will investigate whether it is possible to expose UVD for open source driver development once we get the already-planned work finished -- which now means the last bits of 6xx/7xx 3D, some power management, and probably initial Evergreen documentation/code.
I don't know whether it will be possible to expose UVD for open source drvelopment, so I am recommending that everyone assume the answer is "no" for now.
Ok, so basically ATI is no good for any Linux users who want to watch HD video (barring maxing out a high-end CPU using non-stable MT video software), and there is no known date when it will be - if it ever happens.
This is a great pity. I bought ATI primarily because the power usage at idle seems to be much lower than equivalent NVidia parts (hardware costs being much the same), and my HTPC systems tend to spend a fair amount of time not doing much.
I've put up with it for a long time as video was playable using software, but now I'm switching to HD video it just isn't good enough any more.
I was rather hoping that the lack of new features in Catalyst over the last few months was due to you being busy with new stuff (like XvBA) but waiting for something that might not ever happen seems too frustrating to bother with.
Whilst I understand the rationale of not promising features so you don't get flamed if they are late, refusing to discuss them can only lead us to assume they are never going to happen.
I don't follow your logic there. We didn't discuss (in advance) any of the other new features or GPUs we introduced either, but that didn't stop us from making them happen.
We know you will introduce new hardware periodically regardless of whether you choose to discuss it in advance, so that point seems irrelevant.
Discussion (or not) of software features presumably depends on whether it affects your competition with other vendors. Since NVidia have had VDPAU in the field for a long time now, it seems to me that refusal to discuss XvBA can only imply there is no intention to release support for it - as otherwise surely you'd tell us it was in development in the hope that we'll wait patiently for it rather than having to complain about its absence when your major competitor has the advantage on this point.