A New Release Of The AMD XvBA Back-End To VA-API
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 9 July 2010 at 12:34 PM EDT. 45 Comments
Splitted Desktop Systems has updated their closed-source library that provides an XvBA back-end to a VA-API front-end so that those running the ATI Catalyst Linux driver are able to take advantage of the UVD2 video engine on newer Radeon HD graphics cards.

This update to the xvba-video package, which is version 0.7.1 while the initial 0.7 release also came in the past 24 hours too, adds compatibility with some different VA-API versions, fixes rendering of GL_RGBA textures, fixes subpicture rendering of certain sizes, requires the fglrx 8.69.2 driver or newer, and various other fixes.

Since the xvba-video 0.7 drops some workarounds for Catalyst Linux driver bugs since they have since been corrected, Gwenolé Beauchesne who wrote this package at Splitted Desktop Systems wrote "Since 0.7.x removes some obsolete workarounds or other hacks to silly bugs, there may be some regressions. This is why a 0.6.12 version is available and also to cope with the latest VA-API 0.31.x."

The xvba-video 0.6.12 package adds compatibility with VA-API 0.31.1-sds1 and has back-ported the fixes for GL_RGBA8 textures and the output surface creation code to detect errors.

While these are brand new updates to xvba-video, don't expect to experience wonderful ATI video playback on Linux that's elegantly offloaded to the GPU in the manner that NVIDIA customers can with VDPAU and GeForce hardware. "There are still many bugs and other suboptimal paths in XvBA but I can't do anything with them. Just be patient or buy another card," Gwenolé added.

Using the closed-source xvba-video is the only way for ATI Linux users to currently take advantage of XvBA / UVD2 with Radeon hardware as AMD hasn't released the X-Video Bitstream Acceleration documentation nor have they exposed it in any other way besides working with Splitted Desktop Systems on this translation library.

The latest release of xvba-video can be downloaded from this file directory.

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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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