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H.264 SVC / Temporal Encoding Wired Up For AMD's Linux Graphics Driver

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  • H.264 SVC / Temporal Encoding Wired Up For AMD's Linux Graphics Driver

    Phoronix: H.264 SVC / Temporal Encoding Wired Up For AMD's Linux Graphics Driver

    For those making use of Radeon GPUs for H.264 encoding on Linux, the open-source Mesa driver stack for VCN hardware has just merged support for handling H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC) / temporal encoding...

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...C-Mesa-AMD-VCN

  • #2
    A couple months ago I noticed that H.264 was introduced in 2003. So it appears that some of it will be out of patent protection in 2 years.

    But Is better not commemorate too much, because they kept updating it and I believe it will not be fully free for a decade more.

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    • #3
      Why Raven Ridge? H.264 SVC hardware has been available since the original VCE 2.0

      Actually, I was able to find the VCE introduction announcement in archive.org:
      Introduction In an era where battery-driven hand-held devices integrate a wide collection of sophisticated functionalities such as high-quality image/video shooting/recording as well as real-time voice/video chatting, improved multimedia features are ...

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      • #4
        Does this help AMD in any way when comparing them with quicksync?
        quicksync is amazing at Transcoding and AMD from what I understand is not very good.. does this help AMD transcode as efficiently as quicksync yet?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
          A couple months ago I noticed that H.264 was introduced in 2003. So it appears that some of it will be out of patent protection in 2 years.

          But Is better not commemorate too much, because they kept updating it and I believe it will not be fully free for a decade more.
          Yup - the patentable time is nearly over. I think that the Main profile (the settings that are usually used) was finalised a year later. There's a whole bunch of optional stuff like SVC that were added later that the original players ignore. Technically for playback the original decoder should work, of course, although what would be missing (and it's impact on video quality) would be interesting...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SofS View Post
            Why Raven Ridge? H.264 SVC hardware has been available since the original VCE 2.0

            Actually, I was able to find the VCE introduction announcement in archive.org:
            Because VCE 2.0 is a different hardware design?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
              A couple months ago I noticed that H.264 was introduced in 2003. So it appears that some of it will be out of patent protection in 2 years.

              But Is better not commemorate too much, because they kept updating it and I believe it will not be fully free for a decade more.
              After googling It seems earlier than we thought
              The last expiration is US 7826532 on 29 nov 2027

              H264 could become JPEG for videos within a decade. Free, good enough, tons of legacy clips

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              • #8
                Originally posted by zxy_thf View Post
                After googling It seems earlier than we thought
                The last expiration is US 7826532 on 29 nov 2027

                H264 could become JPEG for videos within a decade. Free, good enough, tons of legacy clips
                Torrent video providers have already moved on to HEVC and VP9. More like H.264 is dying a slow death. A very very slow death thanks to HEVC patent situation.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cytomax55 View Post
                  Does this help AMD in any way when comparing them with quicksync?
                  quicksync is amazing at Transcoding and AMD from what I understand is not very good.. does this help AMD transcode as efficiently as quicksync yet?
                  I don't think it will help much.
                  The reason I say that is that the quality of video encoding on Radeon GPUs is surprisingly so bad that I wouldn't recommend it at all if video encoding is a big deal to you.

                  I (thankfully) have access to GPUs from the 3 makers, and I used FFmpeg to test them. I spent much time trying to tune the settings of every encoder to get the best possible quality out of it.
                  The results were like this: Nvidia's NVENC is hands down the best (arguably on par with x264), Intel's QSV is decent, and Radeon is the worst, whether using AMF on Windows or VA-API on Linux (which is even worse, the bottom of the barrel).

                  So it seems that Radeon still have a long way to reach the quality of even QuickSync.
                  I'm not an expert though, so I may have missed a couple of tweaks here and there, but I still don't think it would help much. It's that bad.

                  Things may have improved with VCN, I don't know (what I have is an RX 550 in a laptop).

                  PS: You may have noticed I haven't said "AMD" at all. It's been over a decade now and I still think of Radeon as ATi rather than AMD, lol

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by idash View Post
                    The reason I say that is that the quality of video encoding on Radeon GPUs is surprisingly so bad that I wouldn't recommend it at all if video encoding is a big deal to you.

                    Things may have improved with VCN, I don't know (what I have is an RX 550 in a laptop).
                    I transcode videos with ffmpeg on my personal jellyfin instance, and recently bought a WX 2100 (60€ second hand) for that task, I've been quite happy with it quality-wise, although it could be a bit faster. Definitely better than the old i3-2130's HD Graphics 2000 quicksync encoding.

                    Edit: The WX 2100 I have is Polaris 12 (Lexa), same gen as the RX 550. It uses VCE 3.4, not VCN.
                    I look forward to trying a Navi GPU when those are accessible price-wise.

                    I certainly think there's a market for dedicated HW encoders, but it could be a small one.
                    Last edited by [email protected]; 27 July 2021, 08:00 AM.

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