A few days ago XBMC 9.11 was released
, but there is already new code that has hit their mainline code repository that will make the next release even more exciting already. Committed to the XBMC SVN trunk repository last night was support for Broadcom's Crystal HD hardware decoding ASIC.
With the Broadcom Crystal HD hardware decoder (a.k.a. BCM970012), it can be installed into a mini-PCIE/Express Card/PCI Express slot and will provide hardware decoding support for up to 1080p videos whether it be MPEG2, H.264, or VC-1 formats. While Broadcom used to be notorious with regards to their Linux support, the Crystal HD is backed by a fully open-source driver.
The Crystal HD card can also be used regardless of what graphics card you may be using. While NVIDIA's VDPAU
does a phenomenal job
in offloading much of the video decoding and processing to the graphics processor, using the Broadcom Crystal HD can be used with or without a NVIDIA graphics card and also does not require any binary-only drivers like NVIDIA's driver.
The Crystal HD decoding support will be found in the next release of XBMC and will work on Linux / Windows / Mac OS X platforms. FFmpeg, Xine, MythTV, and other open-source multi-media projects are expected to soon pickup support for Broadcom's Crystal HD hardware decoder as well. More information concerning XBMC's implementation can be found on their blog