XBMC Gains Crystal HD 1080p Decoding Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Multimedia on 30 December 2009 at 04:01 AM EST. 65 Comments
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.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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