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AMD's UVD2-based XvBA Finally Does Something On Linux

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  • AMD's UVD2-based XvBA Finally Does Something On Linux

    Phoronix: AMD's UVD2-based XvBA Finally Does Something On Linux

    For a year now we have been talking about XvBA, which stands for X-Video Bitstream Acceleration and is designed to implement AMD's Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD2) engine on Linux systems for improving the video decoding and playback process on desktop systems. AMD has been shipping an XvBA library with their ATI Catalyst Linux driver since last year, but they have yet to release any documentation on the XvBA API or any patches to implement the support within any Linux media players. Heck, AMD has not even officially confirmed XvBA with Phoronix being the lone source of information for the past year. Today though, XvBA has finally become useful under Linux. But it is not what you may be thinking...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14340

  • #2
    Any acceleration is better than none!

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    • #3
      Just UVD2? Why not UVD/UVD+ (R600)? The only difference I can tell from reading the wikipedia article is that UVD2 supports dual-stream decoding, which most people don't need or care about.

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      • #4
        It's just good that it supports freedesktop.org's "standard" api for video accel VA-API will be highly likely get implemented more since more or less both amd and intel are supporting it.

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        • #5
          What means "HD5000" is recommended ? I thought any recent Radeon HD had UVD2 built-in (that what at least is written on the boxes since at least 2 years) ?

          Hope to see that Xvba support soon spreading through the distro, especially stable gentoo...

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          • #6
            True, its nice that they follow the va-api standard, but all in all ATI sucks again, not only because they completly forget UVD and r600 UVD but they also very limited in supported Codecs.

            This will be my last ATI Card i see the progress but im not willing to wait any longer until fglrx gets as good as the nvidia blob or until the free driver matures(which will never have UVD support annyway )

            Gre

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            • #7
              You will need libva and xvba-video packages.

              Check "vainfo" to see if it is installed correctly.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dosenpfand View Post
                True, its nice that they follow the va-api standard, but all in all ATI sucks again, not only because they completly forget UVD and r600 UVD but they also very limited in supported Codecs.
                R600 doesn't have UVD. It was a pretty big chip already and it had enough shader power and bandwidth to do a fair amount of decode acceleration on the shaders.

                Originally posted by Fixxer_Linux View Post
                What means "HD5000" is recommended ? I thought any recent Radeon HD had UVD2 built-in (that what at least is written on the boxes since at least 2 years) ?
                The article didn't just say "HD5000 is recommended", it said "HD4000 ... as well as the newer HD5000 ... is recommended" :

                Radeon HD 4000 series hardware (R700) as well as the newer Radeon HD 5000 series (R800 series; Evergreen) is recommended for XvBA usage.
                I believe the RS780 also falls into the "recommended" category.
                Last edited by bridgman; 11-03-2009, 10:54 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                  The article didn't just say "HD5000 is recommended", it said "HD4000 ... as well as the newer HD5000 ... is recommended" :
                  Thanks for the answer Bridgman and, you're right, I've read the article a bit fast. Sorry for that.

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                  • #10
                    Random curiosity.. Do the 780G/785G have UVD2 onboard, or is that UVD1, or some weird hybrid of the two?

                    I'm glad that there's support coming out for the 4000+ radeons, but my main interest at the moment is video acceleration on my mythbox, which has a 780G (HD3200) in it. If the 780G ends up being supported by this new software I might just switch back to fglrx. I know mythtv doesn't support VA-API yet, but at least I'll be able to use it for external videos I've got loaded onto my mythbox (using MPlayer).

                    And hopefully now that VA-API can be used by ATI/Intel/Nvidia cards it'll get more support. I wouldn't be surprised if some developers were holding off on choosing an API until they saw what ATI was going to do.

                    Edit: N/M. Bridgman's edit answered my question...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Veerappan View Post
                      Random curiosity.. Do the 780G/785G have UVD2 onboard, or is that UVD1, or some weird hybrid of the two?
                      Yes, RS780G has UVD2 and works since this is my dev machine. The others are Radeon HD 4870 (M98) and 4650 (M96) but those are too noisy to work with. I don't know for other chips, people will have to try themselves.

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                      • #12
                        So for all Debian/Ubuntu users i updated my scripts to autoinstall the needed files. As it requires fglrx 9-10 final driver best solution is:

                        rm -f /etc/X11/xorg.conf*

                        then run first my script to install fglrx:

                        http://kanotix.com/files/install-fglrx-debian.sh

                        then run my script for mplayer vaapi - which works on nvidia to - ideal for comparison! in theory psb too, but could not test.

                        http://kanotix.com/files/fix/mplayer-vaapi-latest-1.txt

                        Have fun with h264 L5.1 material. Best install mediainfo too:

                        http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en/Download/Debian

                        or

                        http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en/Download/Ubuntu

                        to avoid those, you will figure out why

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          At the end of the day it's nice that UVD2 is finally usable on Linux (assuming no driver bugs), considering that the original ATI Unified Video Decoder was never supported, but it's still not as nice of an implementation as NVIDIA's VDPAU that is well supported and can handle a variety of different formats and can be used in a variety of different multimedia programs.
                          Sorry to be an a**hole again, but:

                          Is it possible that AMD is doing something better than a competitor (in this case Nvida) one day again? I remember days when AMD played with Intel (times of Athlon64). I would really like to have those days back!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gbeauche View Post
                            Yes, RS780G has UVD2 and works since this is my dev machine. The others are Radeon HD 4870 (M98) and 4650 (M96) but those are too noisy to work with. I don't know for other chips, people will have to try themselves.
                            Sounds great. I've got a 780G in my mythbox as mentioned, a 785G in my main system's motherboard, and a radeon 4770 as my main system's primary video card. I usually leave the 785G disabled, but if I decide to give fglrx another shot (I might, as r600 3D is still just a little too unstable for me), I'll test them all.

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                            • #15
                              @bridgman

                              Did you ever look there:

                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Video_Decoder

                              There are UVD 2.2 chips mentioned with parallel decode of 2 streams. Do you think that will ever work on Linux?

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