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 Post subject: VDPAU
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 5:06 pm 
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Location: Whittier, Ca
Well, I must say I'm a little bit surprised. A few weeks back, Nvidia announced Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU). Essentially this means if you have a supported nvidia chipset, the chipset will now do the heavy lifiting of decoding various video codecs. See the message for support codecs and chipsets.

Yesterday, Isaac committed a patch to MythTV's trunk that enables VDPAU in MythTV. The chat in IRC has been rather excited. While VDPAU is in it's infancy, this is a great development.

I know various people want small, powerful and capable frontends. With VDPAU, it will be possible. Imagine a small system attached to and HD-PVR working quietly while you are enjoying HDTV!

While it would take a little work to get this going in R5, it can be done. Just get the latest beta nvidia drivers and follow this thread. In R6, this will be far easier!

My surprise is because nvidia is the first to deliver an MPEG4 decoding solution. With all the work Intel is doing, I kinda expected something from them before anyone else. I know AMD/ATi is also working on improved support! At any rate, more options are heading our way! Thanks for using KnoppMyth and I hope you stick with us for your entertainment needs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 6:21 pm 
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Very Interesting Indeed,

I have always been a fan of the idea of using the power of the graphics card to do more of the heavy lifting with HDTV. I've read thru a lot of the posts about this topic on Mythtv.org users list. It would be great to a smallush HDTV front end that can use a moderate dual core processor with a more modern Graphics Card.

Thanks to Nvidia for opening up the door a little more to get MPEG4 to become the standard on linux.

:wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:02 pm
Posts: 95
see my post about using a dual-core atom 330 with nvidia 8400 PCI card. VDPAU is very cool. It's quite amazing to see 720p high profile L4.1 h.264 video content playing with < 5 percent cpu usage (mplayer).

It's too bad the AppleTV only has a nvidia 7300 so no VDPAU for it :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:37 pm 
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Posts: 359
I see offloading the tasks saving CPU; but what does it do the GPU, If the work is going to the GPU, then obviously the GPU is going to get hotter. I'm not seeing any specs saying how much hotter. Would a passively-cooled graphics card still be practical?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:04 pm 
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My nvidia 8400 is passive and yes the GPU heat sink does get hot. Not skin removing hot though. Total power consumption is 52 Watts with 3.5 HD and CD attached.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 11:50 am
Posts: 102
This is incredible news, and pretty much what I was waiting for before purchasing an HD-PVR for my knoppmyth box. davilla- thanks for your work on this. Obviously, Cecil, thanks for your work as well. Time to get one on order!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:38 am 
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Posts: 389
pilesofspam wrote:
Time to get one on order!

I hope you have a strong stomach and good Linux skills. For the HD-PVR you need to compile/install/run MythTV trunk (bleeding edge) and a special V4L driver branch. For VDPAU support, you will also need to run the beta nVidia driver.

According to the grapevine, your graphics card needs to have at least 512M and be on the list of supported cards. Also, I hear that H.264 looks great... but regular HD MPEG2 looks bad right now.

All that said, I'm looking to get a 9xxx series card so I can play around with this too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:47 am 
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Location: London, UK
I think this sounds really promising. Once the driver gets out of beta things should improve. I am now considering a new graphics card. The passive 9400 or 9500's look good. Think they might be the next big upgrade. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:20 pm 
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Location: Adelaide, Australia
I was all set to buy an asus m2n68-vm because of its onboard hdmi (and local availability), but it uses a GeForce 7 series GPU. Are there motherboards with DVI/HDMI out that have a chipset that will support VDPAU that someone can recommend?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:28 pm 
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Greg Frost wrote:
I was all set to buy an asus m2n68-vm because of its onboard hdmi (and local availability), but it uses a GeForce 7 series GPU. Are there motherboards with DVI/HDMI out that have a chipset that will support VDPAU that someone can recommend?

Some of the guys on IRC have bought this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128363

I have no direct experience with this motherboard, I'm just going to upgrade my video card to something like:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814127396


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:39 pm 
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Location: Silicon Valley, CA
I wonder if this one would work for the AMD crowd? It has a "GeForce 8 Series" IGP.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128340

Or the ASUS boards might be a better bet?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131354
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131318

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 3:50 pm
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Location: Los Angeles
Instead of spending $50, $75, $100 or $150 on a new mobo, why not just spend $30 for a new VDPAU capable video card? (Assuming you have a slot for it)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121235

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:09 pm 
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HDMI, for one. Plus, if one is building a system anyway, it makes sense to choose a MB that has the "good" graphics built-in.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:01 pm 
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Posts: 502
Location: Ft. Worth TX
mihanson wrote:
Instead of spending $50, $75, $100 or $150 on a new mobo, why not just spend $30 for a new VDPAU capable video card? (Assuming you have a slot for it)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121235
'Card overheated multiple times and eventually just stopped working after about 3 weeks.'....... :shock:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 11:50 am
Posts: 102
nharris wrote:
pilesofspam wrote:
Time to get one on order!

I hope you have a strong stomach and good Linux skills. For the HD-PVR you need to compile/install/run MythTV trunk (bleeding edge) and a special V4L driver branch. For VDPAU support, you will also need to run the beta nVidia driver.

According to the grapevine, your graphics card needs to have at least 512M and be on the list of supported cards. Also, I hear that H.264 looks great... but regular HD MPEG2 looks bad right now.

All that said, I'm looking to get a 9xxx series card so I can play around with this too.


Good advice- I've been hacking linux for a long time, and occasionally even get paid for it- still, what I lack in skill I make up for in obsession (and a forum like this doesn't hurt). I saw the forum post from the Nvidia driver developer. The 512 limit is only supposed to be 'For Now' implying that 256 cards will eventually be supported as well. There's also an issue with the driver supporting up to a certain index frame (specifically 4) in h.264, but that shouldn't be an issue with the HD-PVR- just downloaded h.264 content.


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