Nvidia outpaces ATI some more? PureVideo to offer H.264 Decode Acceleration

Humble_Magii

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Dec 18, 2005
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NVIDIA announced that all GeForce 6 and GeForce 7 GPUs will eventually (when drivers and software are available) support H.264 decode acceleration for all the way up to 1080p videos.

Looks like Nvidia planned for the future here moreso than ATI considering ATI just finally released a part and software able to accomplish this at the end of last year a couple weeks ago. I know most people don't even take advantage of this from either ATI or Nvidia anyways but some do plus it looks good on paper :). It actually might become more popular later on. Nvidia users should be able to accomplish this on anything Nvidia in a laptop as well while ATI has nothing in the lappy area with support. Interesting tidbits this year. So how many here actually use it?

In order to take advantage of the H.264 decode acceleration you will need two things: 1) Compliant InterVideo WinDVD, CyberLink PowerDVD or Nero software, and 2) a NVIDIA driver enabling the support.

NVIDIA promised that both of these items would be available to end users in the next 2 - 3 months. While they are definitely lagging behind ATI in H.264 decode acceleration, at least NVIDIA has finally provided us with a working demo of the technology and they have also committed to us that it will work on all GeForce 6 and 7 GPUs (AGP and PCIe).
 

forcefed

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Correct me if im wrong, but wont you need a video card with hdmi to view copy protected h264 content? Seems pretty useless if you think your gf6/7 is gonna decode hddvd or blueray.
 

kuyaglen

[H]F Junkie
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May 15, 2002
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forcefed said:
Seems pretty useless

Features is features, whether you use them or not...remember these 6 & 7 series cards can and potentially will last for years and years to come. And consider that our high end cards will be low end parts in a few years time, and to have a low end card support all the whiz bang bells and whistles is teh win.

As far as nVidia looking more towards the future more so than ATI, these little differences are nothing...both camps have teams working on ideas and features for chips at least 2 generations ahead. ATI announced h.264 support first then after a few months nVidia said that they'll be able to program support for h.264 on their gpu (since its programmable and all).

The more impressive milestones for me would be 1st to dual video cards (disregarding 3Dfx) and now quad GPU video systems. ATI should come back with a true dual core graphic's chip.
 

Stoly

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forcefed said:
Correct me if im wrong, but wont you need a video card with hdmi to view copy protected h264 content? Seems pretty useless if you think your gf6/7 is gonna decode hddvd or blueray.

You don't really need HDMI.
It is possible to have HDCP on DVI, ATI or nvidia could enable HDCP via a driver update.
 

HighTest

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forcefed said:
Correct me if im wrong, but wont you need a video card with hdmi to view copy protected h264 content? Seems pretty useless if you think your gf6/7 is gonna decode hddvd or blueray.

No, HDMI is not the requirement for copy protected content, but HDCP:

Intel said:
HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection): A copy-protection scheme developed by Intel specifically to prevent digital programming transmitted across a DVI (Digital Visual Interface) connection from being copied; now also incorporated into HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) connections.

Currently the nVIDIA GeForce6 and 7 cards as well as the X1x00 Series from ATI support HDCP. Windows Vista will have full support for HDCP.

The problem is that HDCP requires that all components (including the monitor!) be HDCP capable in order to view the content in it's full resolution glory. Any missing piece will result in a downconverted resolution that deminishes the quality but still allows you to view it. This is part of the Vista push back from customers in the "know", as you'll have to purchase a brand new LCD monitor, that's right the cool Dell and Apple Cinema monitors that everyone thinks are the shizz don't support HDCP so they'll also downconvert the material.

Of course this is only based on media that is encoded with HDCP. Enough customer pushback may have some producers not encoding with that method, and all "homemade" videos will be without HDCP.

So there will likely be a number of video content that you can enjoy in full 1080P glory, but it's also possible, that you may see it downconverted due to the HDCP technology.

Windows XP doesn't support HDCP, so even with the current generation of H.264 capable software, I don't believe that you can view HDCP encrypted content yet.
 

Lord_Exodia

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7,007
HighTest said:
No, HDMI is not the requirement for copy protected content, but HDCP:



Currently the nVIDIA GeForce6 and 7 cards as well as the X1x00 Series from ATI support HDCP. Windows Vista will have full support for HDCP.

The problem is that HDCP requires that all components (including the monitor!) be HDCP capable in order to view the content in it's full resolution glory. Any missing piece will result in a downconverted resolution that deminishes the quality but still allows you to view it. This is part of the Vista push back from customers in the "know", as you'll have to purchase a brand new LCD monitor, that's right the cool Dell and Apple Cinema monitors that everyone thinks are the shizz don't support HDCP so they'll also downconvert the material.

Of course this is only based on media that is encoded with HDCP. Enough customer pushback may have some producers not encoding with that method, and all "homemade" videos will be without HDCP.

So there will likely be a number of video content that you can enjoy in full 1080P glory, but it's also possible, that you may see it downconverted due to the HDCP technology.

Windows XP doesn't support HDCP, so even with the current generation of H.264 capable software, I don't believe that you can view HDCP encrypted content yet.

Very well said. If I had anything to say about this topic you just summed it up. Either way nvidia could have sat back and done nothing. But they didn't and the fact that they are working hard to make their products better is refreshing for me. It's this kind of dedication that allowed them to rise form the Geforce FX days to the top again.
;)
 

Humble_Magii

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forcefed said:
Correct me if im wrong, but wont you need a video card with hdmi to view copy protected h264 content? Seems pretty useless if you think your gf6/7 is gonna decode hddvd or blueray.

The article at anandtech nvidia displayed a 6600GT decoding at the show so yes it's possible.
 
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