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.org

Adobe Rants Over Linux Video Acceleration APIs

Proprietary Software

Published on 26 January 2010 08:21 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Proprietary Software
146 Comments

Back in 2007, Adobe's Mike Melanson, who is responsible for much of the Linux work on the Adobe Flash Player, had blogged about the jungle of audio output methods. Linux audio has been a mess with so many choices and each project like PulseAudio having its advantages and disadvantages. Things have improved somewhat over the past three years, but Mike is now focusing his attention on the Linux video acceleration APIs. Melanson has published a new blog post not calling the video APIs a jungle, but rather a thicket.

This blog post is rather short but he promises to post more later. Mike's chart isn't as complex as what he had done in 2007, but just shows the application sitting above Crystal HD and VA-API. Below VA-API is then VDPAU and XvBA and then finally the video hardware itself. Using Crystal HD decoding is a new option from Broadcom with their hardware and open-source drivers while VA-API has been around for a while and natively implemented in some drivers, but most commonly is used as a front-end video API where Splitted Desktop Systems has written VDPAU and XvBA back-ends so that it can be used atop NVIDIA and ATI/AMD hardware, respectively. There are no Linux applications that directly implement the X-Video Bitstream Acceleration API as AMD has not opened up its API or otherwise provided patches to directly implement its support.

In regards to VDPAU, there are plenty of applications that support it directly like MPlayer/FFmpeg, MythTV, and XBMC. VDPAU is currently found on NVIDIA hardware, but S3 Graphics claims to support it, but the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix support may come to Gallium3D.

VDPAU is certainly a favorite and allows HD video playback with very low-end GPUs and CPUs. Not shown in Melanson's chart is XvMC, but this extension is not nearly as powerful as VDPAU/XvBA/VA-API.

Last year it looked like Adobe would use VDPAU, but that hasn't yet arrived. The Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Beta was recently released and the Windows version featured wonderful video acceleration while the Linux client went without any support. For what it's worth, the Gnash project that aims to provide a free software implementation of Flash/SWF, already has VA-API patches available.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Intel Broadwell: GCC 4.9 vs. LLVM Clang 3.5 Compiler Benchmarks
  2. Ubuntu vs. Fedora Linux On Lenovo's X1 Carbon With Core i7 Broadwell
  3. Ubuntu 15.04 Is The Easy Path To Better Performance On Intel Broadwell
  4. NVIDIA's Latest Maxwell Line-Up Against AMD With Catalyst On Linux
  5. Preliminary Tests Of Intel Sandy Bridge & Ivy Bridge vs. Broadwell
  6. AMD FX-8320E Performance On Linux
Latest Linux News
  1. Does VirtualBox VM Have Much A Future Left?
  2. HAMMER2 File-System Is Still Slowly Coming Together
  3. The Better Looking Window Decorations For GNOME 3.16
  4. Libinput 0.9 Adds Support For Hovering Fingers On Touchpads
  5. Free Software Foundation Endorses Another (Outdated) Laptop
  6. DNF Plugins Extend The Functionality Of Fedora's Yum Successor
  7. LibreOffice 4.4 Released With Better OOXML Support, UI Improvements
  8. Inkscape 0.91 Goes Through C++ Code Conversion, New Cairo Rendering, OpenMP Filters
  9. New Mesa Patch To Improve CPU-Bound Applications
  10. LLVM Adds Options To Do Fuzz Testing
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. PlayStation 4 System Compiler Support Landing In LLVM
  2. LibreOffice 4.4 Is Coming Soon With New Features
  3. Linux "GHOST" Vulnerability Hits Glibc Systems
  4. My Initial Intel Broadwell Linux Experience With The ThinkPad X1 Carbon
  5. Broadwell Linux Ultrabook Running MUCH Cooler Than Haswell
  6. LZHAM 1.0 Lossless Data Compression Codec Released
  7. Linux Users Upset By Chromium's Busted HiDPI Support
  8. Vivaldi: A New Chromium-Powered, Multi-Platform Browser