1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

XBMC's Thoughts On XvBA: AMD Catalyst Has Problems

Peter Frühberger

Published on 21 June 2012
Written by Peter Frühberger
Page 1 of 2 - 28 Comments

It's not only NVIDIA with Linux problems that cause upstream developers to publicly bash companies (i.e. Linus Torvalds calling NVIDIA the worst company ever), but AMD has come under scrutiny too. The developers of the popular cross-platform XBMC multimedia project shared a little story about enthusiasm, hope, and disappointment. In this guest posting by Peter Frühberger on Phoronix, XvBA is what is principally talked about, which is AMD's lead choice for video acceleration when using their proprietary Catalyst driver. Unfortunately the XBMC developers aren't too happy about the state of video acceleration using AMD's Catalyst driver for Radeon graphics hardware, hence why they have reached out to Phoronix with this rather lengthy public message. Whether AMD even cares about Linux users and when XvBA will support missing functionality are among their open questions for AMD.

AMD Graphics for HTPC Appliances with Linux
A little story about enthusiasm, hope, and dissappointment

As AMD made XvBA public a long time ago there was hope in the community. The xvba-video driver of Splitted-Desktop made XvBA available through VAAPI. Although this was a big step forward, there were plenty of problems left to solve. In order to fix those issues a small team of enthusiasts formed around XBMC and implemented direct support for XvBA. A first testing branch was made available mid December but essential features like mpeg2 decoding or H.264 Level 5 are still missing in the XvBA API. The questions the meanwhile large community asks are:

1.) How much does AMD care about Linux users?
2.) When will XvBA support the missing features?
3.) Is it worth waiting?

Behind the scenes:
(This is not an official XBMC statement)

Let's start with the good news. Since our first public announcement in the mid of December a lot has changed in our implementation. During the last months a lot of improvements within the xvba architecture were achieved. With a focus on stabilty, stutter free 24p playback and reliable channel switching support for PVR (vdr or tvheadend) backends to only name some of them.

The more we progress the more questions we get about the most important missing features: mpeg2 support, H.264 Level > 4.1. Without those AMD owners using Linux can't enjoy the full HTPC experience their counterparts on Windows get. AMD users running Microsoft Windows can already enjoy the full multimedia potential of their hardware, because all this is already implemented within the Windows driver for a long time now.

It is really easy to test the Xvba improvements we made. We build xbmc-xvba packages for all current versions of Ubuntu, with a complete install howto available in the XBMC forums. There also is an active IRC channel to support our users: irc.freenode.net #xbmc-xvba.

Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Ubuntu 15.04 Offers Faster OpenGL For AMD Radeon GPUs On Open-Source
  2. Ubuntu 15.04 Brings Some Graphics Performance Improvements For Intel Haswell
  3. Sub-$20 802.11n USB WiFi Adapter That's Linux Friendly
  4. The Lenovo T450s Is Working Beautifully With Linux
  5. Linux 4.0 SSD EXT4 / Btrfs / XFS / F2FS Benchmarks
  6. Linux 4.0 Hard Drive Comparison With Six File-Systems
Latest Linux News
  1. Reasons To Make A PTS/OB Test Profile For Your Software
  2. Vivaldi TP3 Browser Adds Native Window Support On Linux
  3. A Brief Update On Fwupd For Linux Firmware Updating Of Devices
  4. Upgrading To KDE Plasma 5.3 On Kubuntu 15.04
  5. Ubuntu 15.10 Plans Being Discussed Next Week
  6. KDE Plasma 5.3 Released: Expands On Widgets, Bluetooth, PM
  7. Making It Easier To Deploy CUDA On Fedora
  8. GCC 4.9.2 vs. GCC 5 Benchmarks On An Intel Xeon Haswell
  9. Intel Haswell/Broadwell Power Use On Linux Still Moving Lower
  10. QEMU 2.3 Officially Released
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Ubuntu's Desktop-Next Switching From .DEBs To Snappy
  2. Systemd Kills Off Shutdownd
  3. KDBUS Still Hasn't Been Pulled, Might Not Land For Linux 4.1
  4. My Favorite Computer Desk Of The Past Decade For Less Than $100
  5. AMD Open-Sources "Addrlib" From Catalyst
  6. Qt Creator 3.4 Brings C++ Programming Improvements & More
  7. Debian 8.0 Jessie Is Ready For Release This Weekend
  8. GIMP's Porting To GTK3 Continues