AVIVO vs PureVideo - New video card help

cbecknet

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I'm looking to get a new video card, but I like to do alot of video conversion, so AVIVO looks good to me, but I don't now enough about Nvidia's side of this. I understand they have pure video which is for watching video and some other stuff and they have H264 decoding coming soon. But will Nvidia have the conversion side of the software that uses the GPU, like AVIVO, when ever ATI gets around to this.

Basically I don't mind waiting a month or two for the driver support, but I want to buy the card now.

My choice's are.

X1800 AIW
X1900 AIW
7800 GT
 

Geronimo

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Get the x1900 or x1800 b/c there are alot of reviews showing avivo beating purevideo out of the water in mpeg format's visual quality.
 

HighTest

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It all depends on what exactly you want to accomplish.

If you want to do the following, either:

A. Simple TV Tuner with "analog NTSC" tunning for basic cable (no digital) or Over-the-Air (OTA) use, the built-in tuners of the AIW series are not bad at all. You also have the ability to input S-Video and component video for conversion.

Note Viperlair's comment on the chipset used http://www.trustedreviews.com/article.aspx?page=5669&head=15 They are still using the Theater 200 chipset, the same chipset used on my original Radeon All-in-wonder with the 7000 chipset for 3D. Where's the innovation? Granted the 3D gaming on the X1900 is nothing to sneeze at, it's just that you'd expect HDTV tunning and more at this point. To get that and to complete the "AVIVO" technology, you'll need a sperate card from them that conforms to the AVIVO tech. Checkout ATI's on presentation on the subject, so it's kinda misleading if you expect all those features out of the box.

B. HDTV tuning with potential QAM support (Used by the Cable industry so needs to be present for Digital Cable).

Currently at this point nVIDIA is still the king when combined with the PureVideo codec (yep it stinks you have to pay for it, but you'll have to pay for the H.264 codec from Cyberlink for ATI too) and the Divco FusionHDTV 5. This is a third-party HDTV tunner that will allow the support of not only OTA (All that the HDTV Wonder from ATI can do) and QAM 64 and QAM256 (HDTV wonder cannot do).

There are a number of other superior HDTV tunning products, for more details I'll direct you to the website http://www.htpcnews.com (note how the 6600GT is so very popular there).

WIth FFDshow, you can upconvert DVD video with "enhanced details" to 720P or even 1080i, giving you DVD results that not even good home theater equipment can reach, see: http://htpcnews.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=17427

Note how they comment on how good PureVideo is even without FFDShow, but notice the massive difference with it, post-processing is King and works very well with PureVideo.

SUMMARY:

So if you are into more than just "analog tv" signals, you can see that since you'll need an extra card (Divco FusionHDTV 5 for example) it really doesn't matter if you get the AIW series, save the cabbage and get a plain ATI card, or nVIDIA. Until the AVIVO capture cards are released, we'll not be able to speculate on the final quality of the ATI solution. But you do know what is out there and how well it works with nVIDIA from the large number of reviews in the HTPCnews site and also the HTPC forum on this one.

Sorry if this didn't narrow your choices though :p
 

banGerprawN

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AVIVO has nothing to do with the AIW cards. AVIVO is ATI's blanket name for the GPU-based decoding, GPU-based encoding (well, as a beta) and video-in, video-out functions that are available on all top-model X1K series cards (i.e. X1800, X1900).
The AIW cards are an entirely seperate beast that come with more output adaptors (that are able to be purchased seperately anyway) and built in TV tuning and some software.
 

HighTest

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Here's a FAQ for AVIVO that explains more:

http://www.atitech.com/technology/Avivo/pdf/Avivo_FAQ.pdf

Here's their Whitepaper:

http://www.atitech.com/technology/Avivo/pdf/Avivo_Whitepaper.pdf

Again, you'll note their "AVIVO Capture Section" so it does apply to the topics above and with my point on seperate capture cards. The AIW don't have the Theater 550 chipset and thus are not AVIVO enabled on the "capture" site.

Now view the PureVideo stuff here: http://www.nvidia.com/page/purevideo.html

After carefull comparison of features, you'll come to the same conclusion as me, they are almost identical.

So again in Summary, find out what works best for the software you want to use. Also feel confident that either solution will yield great results down the road.
 

cbecknet

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Thanks for all the info. The reason I was going for an AIW card is that if I'm going to get a X1000 series I would prefer to just have the AIW because you can tune into analog signals, I understand that it has no mpeg-2 hardware encoding.

The main question I have is, Does Nvidia have features like AVIVO in media conversions coming out any time soon. Basicaly I wan't to convert DVD to Divx, and want to put that conversion load on the GPU, not the CPU. I know that ATI cards do not currently support using the GPU for video conversion, but its supposed to be coming in soon. Will Nvidia have this same feature's, and will it work for a 7800 series.
 

HighTest

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cbecknet said:
I know that ATI cards do not currently support using the GPU for video conversion, but its supposed to be coming in soon. Will Nvidia have this same feature's, and will it work for a 7800 series.

Rumors are, "yes", but when and if free or not are currently unknown. But as a "programmable video processor", that's what PureVideo is, so it could potentially be accessed for "encoding".

Currently DivX, H.264 and other "encoders" are all using the CPU and enhanced by the use of a dual-core CPU. Decoding is currently possible with both companies GPU's and yield good results, it's the "encoding" and "transcoding" that are the questions and "promised" features down the road.

Remember that it's a "rumor" and you'll have to decide if it's worth the risk, but myself I feel confident that if it is possible the 7800 will do it.
 

Jodiuh

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I've used both. And neither looked better than the other.
 

consumer9000

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Anandtech did an excellent comparison and determined the PureVideo was appreciably superior to AVIVO, as well as every other decoder on the market.
Yes, it does cost $20 (unless you get it bundled with a BFG card for example). Considering the cost of development and licensing I feel it's a fair price for a superior product. :cool:
 

consumer9000

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http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2551

Interesting how different the two reviews are. Ultimately I feel Anandtech's review is superior, and the overall quality of their work is better.
I've tested AVIVO vs. Pure Video and have found my results to be more in line with Anandtech's findings.

Regardless, the push for extreme fidelity decoders is a plus for all of us! Things are better now then they've ever been. :)
 

CrimandEvil

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The last set of CATs (6.x I think) brought much needed improvements to AVIVO finally making it pretty decent and even beating out NV's Purevideo alittle when it comes to having better image quality.

That said that Extremetech "review" is atrociously simple, I'd be hard pressed to find anything worthwhile in their comparison. Yes, the Anandtech review is alot better due to the simple fact that they actually talk about what matters most here: image quality. Anand even has pics for gods sake.

So yeah AVIVO is finally competive with Purevideo but expect NV to release a new Purevideo update around the time Cebit kicks off, expect some image quality upgrades.
HighTest said:
Rumors are, "yes", but when and if free or not are currently unknown. But as a "programmable video processor", that's what PureVideo is, so it could potentially be accessed for "encoding".

Currently DivX, H.264 and other "encoders" are all using the CPU and enhanced by the use of a dual-core CPU. Decoding is currently possible with both companies GPU's and yield good results, it's the "encoding" and "transcoding" that are the questions and "promised" features down the road.

Remember that it's a "rumor" and you'll have to decide if it's worth the risk, but myself I feel confident that if it is possible the 7800 will do it.
Last I heard NV had experimented with doing video transcoding much like how ATI is doing with their X1000 series but didn't think much of the results. They've always said that the Purevideo engine could be programmed to help with encoding but that devs need to implament the feature in their apps (with NV promising to help out). So far nothing has really happened on that front, it might be due to it being easier to compile for a CPU then it is for a GPU?
 

Jodiuh

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Now THAT'S a feature I could make use of. Anand's got numbers of 4x faster than cpu for ATI. Has anything come of this yet? I mean, do we have a more useable tool yet?
 

CrimandEvil

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My opinion, I don't much like AVIVO from an HTPC perpective. It only works if you have an X1000 series video card and currently ATI still has some issues when outputing to an HDTV not really making it the ideal choice for highend systems, the fact that it's ATI only really urks me.

The Purevideo codec on the other hand works with any video card you have but if you have a 6x00 or 7x00 series video card it exposes the Purevideo features that are builtin (this is so stupid though, those features should be written into the drivers for those cards). Hell, I can get really good results using the Purevideo codec with my 5700U, you can't say the same for AVIVO.
 

CrimandEvil

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Jodiuh said:
Now THAT'S a feature I could make use of. Anand's got numbers of 4x faster than cpu for ATI. Has anything come of this yet? I mean, do we have a more useable tool yet?
What are you talking about?
 

Spank

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anand posted a x1900 AIW review today

We've seen now how well ATI does with DVD processing, and the benchmarks show that ATI does a better job at this overall than NVIDIA.

Add to that the fact that ATI's DVD decoder is free to ATI customers while NVIDIA's PureVideo decoder costs an extra $30 and ATI definitely has a winning solution on their hands.
 

Jodiuh

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CrimandEvil said:
What are you talking about?

Sorry, I meant the transcoding application ATI has been playing with. Say you wanna move a DVD to a smaller format (divx,xvid), somethin that takes up less space on your PC, right? ATI was able to do this about 4x quicker than the current dual core love bunnies. And it's a big deal cause this a very timely task...like 1 hour or more on a cpu!

Spank said:
anand posted a x1900 AIW review today

Well, that last checkup they did was in Oct, so it makes sense. Also, the Extremetech arty did mention that ATI's IQ very recently leap frogged NV's. So now I guess we'll have to wait for the next NV card/driver/marketing speck to leapfrog ATI again, lol!

Woot for leap frogging!
 

BBA

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consumer9000 said:
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2551

Interesting how different the two reviews are. Ultimately I feel Anandtech's review is superior, and the overall quality of their work is better.
I've tested AVIVO vs. Pure Video and have found my results to be more in line with Anandtech's findings.

Regardless, the push for extreme fidelity decoders is a plus for all of us! Things are better now then they've ever been. :)


Your joking right? Anandtech is known for extreme biased reviews, leaving out critical details and ignoring critical flaws that would put his reviewed item in a bad light. One critical detail he just left out is teh ATi decoder is NOT free, you HAVE to purchase the DVD Player CD from ATi, or have the latest version (which does not ship with any current cards) in order to install it. The only way it is free is when people hack the download and installer to install it.

Basically, anandtech reviews cave to the highest bidder.
 

Jodiuh

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I'm not sure what you mean BBA, the ATI decoder for DVD's is free. Just stick in your driver cd and install away. Also, I noticed the GPU being used to decode with PowerDVD and WinDVD.
 

CrimandEvil

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AVIVO is free, what isn't free is H264 decoding. That feature is what you'll have to buy.

AVIVO is released as part of the drivers but it's only usable by X1000 series cards, it isn't the same thing as ATI's MPEG2 decoder (which is PowerDVD rebranded) and you can use whatever codec you want with it (the AT article used the ATI decoder/PowerDVD).
Jodiuh said:
Sorry, I meant the transcoding application ATI has been playing with. Say you wanna move a DVD to a smaller format (divx,xvid), somethin that takes up less space on your PC, right? ATI was able to do this about 4x quicker than the current dual core love bunnies. And it's a big deal cause this a very timely task...like 1 hour or more on a cpu!
I encode my MPEG2 recordings over night so to lenght of time it takes doesn't bother me. You did notice that currently the transcoder doesn't do audio, expect that to increase the time when ATI gets it working.
 

Jodiuh

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CrimandEvil said:
You did notice that currently the transcoder doesn't do audio, expect that to increase the time when ATI gets it working.

lol, yeah...c'mon time...hurry! But stop for awhile when I hit 30, ok?
 

stelleg151

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BBA said:
Your joking right? Anandtech is known for extreme biased reviews, leaving out critical details and ignoring critical flaws that would put his reviewed item in a bad light. One critical detail he just left out is teh ATi decoder is NOT free, you HAVE to purchase the DVD Player CD from ATi, or have the latest version (which does not ship with any current cards) in order to install it. The only way it is free is when people hack the download and installer to install it.

Basically, anandtech reviews cave to the highest bidder.

The fact that you just said that implies that I shouldnt try and use logical reasoning to refute, so I wont try to convince you otherwise.

If you look at Anandtech's site now, as posted before, they do have a new review up, putting ATI ahead in IQ, which agrees 100% with the extremetech article. I guess ATI is the new "highest bidder" :rolleyes:

Oh and I would recommend just getting an ATI card, they already have the software out there to encode and decode h.264, and IMHO thats all youre ever gonna need.
 

BBA

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stelleg151 said:
The fact that you just said that implies that I shouldnt try and use logical reasoning to refute, so I wont try to convince you otherwise.

If you look at Anandtech's site now, as posted before, they do have a new review up, putting ATI ahead in IQ, which agrees 100% with the extremetech article. I guess ATI is the new "highest bidder" :rolleyes:

Oh and I would recommend just getting an ATI card, they already have the software out there to encode and decode h.264, and IMHO thats all youre ever gonna need.


Your looking at this in the wrong light.

I have the X1900XTX.

I actually went through the trouble of getting the ATi DVD decoder to work. I still haven't done the H264 because I don't feel the need to buy yet another piece of software to get that working. Now, where does Anand mention that simply installing the drivers will cause your idle memory use to go over 400 MB? I didn't see that part in his review, but it does (you don't have to install the memory hog CCC and .net, if you don't want any of the features that CCC enables, like, oh say, 3D clock changes and FSAA and AVIVO and such.)

He doesn't mention that if you happen to have .net 2.0 installed the drivers will make the PC lock up every ten or so minutes either did he? Nah...why would anyone use .net 2.0 anyway? (VB Studio anyone?)

Come on, spend damn near $700 on a top of the line video card and not get all the features ATi uses for selling points equals plain cheap on ATi's part. Anand doesn't even comment on that either.

All I am saying is in this case and every case Anand does a review, he leaves out critical stuff that pisses people off.
 
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