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Thread: XvBA / VA API

  1. #1
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    Default XvBA / VA API

    Can anyone at AMD tell us if this is ever going to be supported? (Bridgeman I'm looking at you).

    HD video is becoming more prevalent, and my Core2 along with my ATI card struggle to play it without weird motion problems (like the playback is slow, then speeds up to catch up, then slows down again) so, for example, watching people walk around just looks wrong. Technically it is tear-free video, but it's unwatchable just the same.

    Yes, I know there all HD is not equal - but afaik this stuff all works on nvidia with VDPAU.

    I'm assuming that if we had working XvBA and a player that supports it, these problems would go away.

    Or am I misinformed? Or perhaps this is unexpected and there is something wrong with my setup?

  2. #2
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    No, high resolution MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) is pretty tough even for a modern CPU to decode.

    With XvBA most, if not all, of the video decoding would be offloaded to the video card, and your setup would more than suficient for smooth playback.

    At least I assume that would be so, the only thing I have to compare with is my AMD X2-based HTPC with a Geforce 9400. Using VDPAU on that baby reduced CPU usage from 80-90% to well below 10%.

  3. #3
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    FYI h.264 runs fine in a single core of my Core 2 Duo. CPU usage from 32% to 50%. (as in, it peaks to full core usage; still have whole another core to do whatever I want with)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanonyme View Post
    FYI h.264 runs fine in a single core of my Core 2 Duo. CPU usage from 32% to 50%. (as in, it peaks to full core usage; still have whole another core to do whatever I want with)
    Not at 1920x1080 with a half-decent encoding quality it doesn't.... run fine, I mean. Especially in high-motion scenes. If it hits peak CPU usage, then it is DEFINITELY suffering (i.e. dropping frames or building them up in queue).
    Last edited by lbcoder; 09-03-2009 at 02:17 PM.

  5. #5
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    The solution for now is to use an ffmpeg-mt enabled mplayer to distrubute video decoding across all cores/CPUs. On Arch Linux I think the package is "mplayer-mt" and on Gentoo you have to use http://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=282154

    This is the only way for me to play high-bitrate demuxed BluRay streams (20+ GB for a movie, for example) on my Core 2 Duo without massive frame dropping.

    I hope the open drivers go the Intel route and will provide support for VDPAU (I doubt that Catalyst will ever support a standard that came from NVidia.)

  6. #6
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    My Phenom does fine decoding most 1080p movies, except when there's water (like a river or sea) in it. Then it stutters like hell .

    I'm also very curious when XvBA will be available.

  7. #7
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    I guess I'll give a multi-threaded player a go, and see what happens. But even if it works, it'll be my processor doing all the work rather than offloading it to GPU where it belongs.

    So really, AMD - what gives?

  8. #8
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    aha, you definitely need to try multi-threaded player. After that you will see UVD is not worth to wait. multi-threaded player will solve ALL problem.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by doubledr View Post
    aha, you definitely need to try multi-threaded player. After that you will see UVD is not worth to wait. multi-threaded player will solve ALL problem.
    There is some more discussion of UVD/XvBA in another thread. Or more to the point - a discussion of the fact we will never see any information about this stuff unless the functionality has already been released.

    Apparently, it will either suddenly appear, or it will never appear, but we will not be told in advance if it is being worked on.

    http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showt...=18578&page=22

    Multi-threaded player will not solve the problem of a low power system with slow CPU being used as HTPC. Nor will it solve the problem of my PC being busy doing other things if I want to watch HD at the same time. Or all the unused hardware in my graphics card going to waste.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by duffster View Post
    Yes, I know there all HD is not equal - but afaik this stuff all works on nvidia with VDPAU.

    I'm assuming that if we had working XvBA and a player that supports it, these problems would go away.
    Just note that VDPAU support is still pretty raw. I haven't found another player that works 100% correctly on my 9500GT: XBMC speeds up/down like crazy and loses sound sync; MPlayer works 95% fine, but is very unstable (10% chance to crash on seek, not to mention the butt-ugly interface); VLC, Totem do not support VDPAU at all. Going from nvidia 180.xx to 185.xx improved the situation, but only marginally.

    Still, my CPU usage is 5-10% on a single-core Athlon64, so I guess I should be happy. Maybe in 6 months' time things will be better, but right now ffmpeg-mt is the best solution if your CPU has the mojo.

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