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NVIDIA Releases New Video API For Linux

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the finally-starting-to-play-ball dept.

Graphics 176

Ashmash writes "Phoronix is reporting on a new Linux driver nVidia is about to release that brings PureVideo features to Linux. This video API will reportedly be in nVidia's 180 series driver for Linux, Solaris, and *BSD. PureVideo has been around for several nVidia product generations, but it's the first time they're bringing this feature to these non-Windows operating systems to provide an improved multimedia experience. This new API is named VDPAU, and is described as: 'The Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU) provides a complete solution for decoding, post-processing, compositing, and displaying compressed or uncompressed video streams. These video streams may be combined (composited) with bitmap content, to implement OSDs and other application user interfaces.'"

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176 comments

is jesus real? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25766823)

We all know that Barack Obama is real, and that he is the messiah. What does he say about taxation? Spread the wealth! It's your patriotic duty to pay taxes! It's not fair for some people to make more than others!

What does Jesus, the fraudulent "son of god" say? "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesarâ(TM)s, and unto God the things that are Godâ(TM)s". Translation: taxes are bad.

How can these two divergent and polar opposite opinions both come from the messiah? They can't. And therefore Jesus was not the messiah and probably not even real.

Re:is jesus real? (0, Offtopic)

cloakable (885764) | more than 5 years ago | (#25766985)

Um, not sure how you managed to get that quote completely wrong - Jesus was endorsing taxes, not condeming them.

Re:is jesus real? (0, Offtopic)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767419)

Jesus was sitting on the fence on that one if you ask me.

Re:is jesus real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767743)

Jesus didn't care one way or the other about taxes. He told his followers to give up everything they owned, abandon their families, and follow him. Modern Christians would be horrified if they knew what Jesus was really like, and vice versa.

Besides, this whole issues of taxes sidesteps the more important issue of spending. What did Jesus think about deficit spending?

Re:is jesus real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767787)

Jesus didn't care one way or the other about taxes. He told his followers to give up everything they owned, abandon their families, and follow him. Modern Christians would be horrified if they knew what Jesus was really like, and vice versa.

Besides, this whole issues of taxes sidesteps the more important issue of spending. What did Jesus think about deficit spending?

wow, you've been alive long enough to know what Jesus was like. Simply awesome.

Re:is jesus real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768081)

i thought jesus was jewish? of course he didn't want to pay taxes!

Re:is jesus real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768501)

jackass

Re:is jesus real? (1, Offtopic)

mitzip (701037) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768093)

Jesus was not endorsing taxes. All the money was owned by caesar. Jesus was saying if the owner asks for his property back, give it to him. The pharisees were trying to make Jesus publicly encourage people to break the law, to have him arrested. Which is completely different from how taxes in the US operate. In the US your wages are your property. The US Constitution says your property cannot be taxed. All property taxes, including "income taxes" operate in spite of our Constitution, as most of our laws today do.

Re:is jesus real? (0, Offtopic)

Galactic Dominator (944134) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768375)

The constitution does not say your property cannot be taxed. In fact, it says the exact opposite.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Regardless of how much you personally loathe taxes, simply lying about the issue doesn't say much for your intelligence. Try something a little more clever like a good 16th amendment conspiracy or something similar.

Re:is jesus real? (3, Funny)

Reikk (534266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767067)

Plus, it is well documented that Jesus was black. Barack Obama is also black. Coincidence? I think not.

Re:is jesus real? (-1, Flamebait)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767259)

Well Jesus was middle eastern, being born and raised in the middle east and all that. Black tends to refer to people of dark skin who have mostly descended from Africans.

Re:is jesus real? (0, Offtopic)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767283)

Black tends to refer to people of dark skin who have mostly descended from Africans.

Which is synonymous with "people of dark skin", since every human being is mostly (entirely, even) descended from Africans.

Re:is jesus real? (0, Offtopic)

Reikk (534266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768001)

Mary's racial background is irrelevant because she was only a surrogate. Despite Jesus being black, he didn't have no baby dady

Re:is jesus real? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767329)

I think when you get right down to it--after all is said and done--that Obamba is still a nigger, and he will always be a nigger, all his malodorous life.

too late, I won't buy nvidia now (0, Troll)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#25766855)

your hardware is, uhh, not long-term viable. all your modern chipsets are ticking timebombs.

while it was nice to have nv binary drivers for linux while ATI was the hated one, ATI is now our darling (sort of) and nv, well, you can't seem to build hardware that will LAST. you know what I'm talking about.

feh. at best, it will make linux guys want to revisit their 6 and 7 series but the 8's and 9's are still timebombs.

thanks but no thanks. maybe if you give an infinite warranty, MAYBE I'll consider your video products again. I already swore off your bad-by-design chipsets for motherboards (forcedeth is a travesty and is still reverse engineered).

nvidia for the lose, please, alex.

Re:too late, I won't buy nvidia now (3, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25766887)

For some reason I don't think they're sweating over the loss of a customer who can't even start sentences properly.
 

Re:too late, I won't buy nvidia now (-1, Troll)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 5 years ago | (#25766963)

For some reason I don't think they're sweating over the loss of a customer who can't even start sentences properly.

good job. Internet = formal english paper.

gtfo son.

Re:too late, I won't buy nvidia now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25766967)

Ouch. Good one!

Because the use of capital letters can definitely make or break the MEANING and CONTENT of text.

Re:too late, I won't buy nvidia now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767019)

Are you going to respond to the content in the post, or are you grading English papers?

Re:too late, I won't buy nvidia now (1)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767085)

Or maybe, just maybe, an attempt to clean up what you write gives a better impression to whomever reads the post. And I'm not saying we all need to appease grammar nazis.

Re:too late, I won't buy nvidia now (4, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767301)

It's grammer. Get it rite.

Re:too late, I won't buy nvidia now (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767379)

Get your school money back and/or your grammar teacher fired. Just do a STFG and bow your head in shame.

Re:too late, I won't buy nvidia now (1)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767097)

Yeah, the money English scholars spend is worth much more than that monopoly money spent by TheGratefulNet

Re:too late, I won't buy nvidia now (0, Flamebait)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767159)

I don't think people who can't bother to color correct the self portrait they have on their website need to be criticizing people's writing style. Nice try though.

Or do you have hepatitis?

Re:too late, I won't buy nvidia now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767071)

Enjoy your binary ATI drivers instead. Oh didn't you realise? The open source drivers are 2D only and two times slower then nvidia's.

Enjoy your freedom to suck though.

Form follows code. (2, Interesting)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25766857)

Fine. Now what programs use this API?

Re:Form follows code. (4, Informative)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25766877)

TFA mentions that patches for MPlayer to use VDPAU on Linux are already available. Hopefully Xine follows shortly.

Re:Form follows code. (5, Informative)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767373)

nVidia have released patches for libavcodec, libavutil, and ffmpeg. So most Linux software should pick up support in pretty quick time.

Re:Form follows code. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767027)

Hey, they just released it. Give it time and everything that plays video on Linux will support it.

ATI (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25766859)

I was this close to just building an all AMD/ATI rig in the spring. ATI was opening up their drivers. The OSS drivers were working well, and Nvidia wasn't doing anything. Nvidia addressed their horrible Linux XRender support, and now this. I may just have to stick with Nvidia in the spring.

Re:ATI (5, Informative)

Lorkki (863577) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767143)

You might be interested to know that ATI's equivalent [phoronix.com] was also revealed a short while ago.

Re:ATI (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767189)

Perhaps a dumb and semi-unrelated question, but who has the better SLI/Crossfire support in their Linux drivers right now, ATI or Nvidia?

Re:ATI (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767275)

who has the better SLI/Crossfire support in their Linux drivers right now, ATI or Nvidia?

I'm guessing ATI has better Crossfire support right now, while Nvidia has better SLI support...

Re:ATI (2, Informative)

xyxvv (1261966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768343)

Last I checked Nvidia did, but a single AMD HD4870 1Gb is quite powerful, and one of the few cards that does get a boost from the added ram, http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-ati-radeon-hd-4870-1024mb-review/8 [guru3d.com] I don't know what the OC cap is though on the 1Gb version though, since I've seen the 512 go as high as 4.8Ghz, though 4.4Ghz is what most get stable at. the 4870X2 at release didn't have support for any of the open source games, I don't know the current drivers support though. I dunno about the Nvidia 9800GX2 though. But ether way I can't see the point in going multicard when one card can do the job for less cash, power and heat, since I've never seen where a dual card can get 2x performance, it only makes sense at 2560x1600 with everything turned up using cards in the top 2-3 models from either Nvidia or AMD to make it worth it, since often the slower cards can be outperformed by a single top of the line.

Re:ATI (1)

RMingin (985478) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768683)

Replying to the intent and not the awkward wording:

Neither.

Multi-GPU on Linux works, but doesn't have the profiling and per-app settings that make it really work. If you look back over Windows driver releases, you'll see that multi-GPU performance is generally crap right after a game is released, unless it's really major A studio stuff. It takes ATI/NV a while to profile and tweak the settings to get multi-GPU really moving. It's mostly abstracted from the end user, but the results are undeniable.

Neither ATI nor NV has any sort of equivilent profiling under Linux so far. There's a global setting and you can do some gross per-app tweaking, but it's user-intensive and the results are nowhere near what you get under Windows.

Multi-GPU is just not a good sell for any gaming under Linux, and likely will not be for quite some time, if ever.

If you look at the FOSS ATI stuffs, they don't have *any* multi-GPU support at the present time, and that's unlikely to change. The closed-source ATI and NV stuff may eventually implement it, but it's unlikely. By then any currently shipping GPUs will be irrelevant.

I had one of the dual GPU single slot GeForce 7950GX2s for quite some time. I got a rather ridiculous speedup by upgrading to a single 8800GT, simply because ~99% of the time under Linux, only one of my GPUs was doing ANYTHING at all.

Re:ATI (5, Interesting)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767213)

ATI was opening up their drivers. The OSS drivers were working well, and Nvidia wasn't doing anything. Nvidia addressed their horrible Linux XRender support, and now this. I may just have to stick with Nvidia in the spring.

It is actually quite far from the truth.

You might want to read a blog post I wrote about why nVidia rocks when x.org does not [livejournal.com]. It's likely to give you more reasons to move over to nVidia over ATi.

The only thing nVidia is not doing, is making their enhancements opensource.

Re:ATI (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767437)

Here is to hoping that Wayland addresses some of these issues.

Re:ATI (3, Interesting)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767757)

Here is to hoping that Wayland addresses some of these issues.

Wayland is not a new x11 implementation, it's a completely new windowing implementation, similar to Aqua as it would have widgets built into the server among other things.

Personally, I love x11, it's great - Majority of the issues currently with x.org and xfree86 are not x11 related, but architecture problems in x.org itself. A clean new implementation of x11 would probably benefit us a lot more than another Y windows, Wayward, Aqua etc.

Re:ATI (4, Interesting)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767587)

You might want to read a blog post I wrote about why nVidia rocks when x.org does not. It's likely to give you more reasons to move over to nVidia over ATi.

I don't find your arguments compelling.

For one thing, you assert that "because of vocal powers in the foundation that demand that things should stay compliant to a specification and they should work around the architecture rather than strip out certain pieces and implement them, add proper new features (memory management and API functions to go with it)" -- yet my reading of the Xorg mailing lists suggests that is exactly what is being done with the GEM memory manager and API's [phoronix.com] previously there was the TTM memory manager, but the APIs were not satisfactory, so they ripped it out and started again.

The bulk of your argument seems to be that Nvidia's got a much more complete OpenGL implementation than does anyone else. Nevermind that almost all of it is simply code duped from their MS Windows driver, your argument is really the ages-old "if it works, then who cares if it is closed source" argument we've heard time and time again.

Of course the fallacy of that approach becomes obvious the second it stops working and you are helpless to do anything about it.

That happened to a guy I know, he spent about $600 on a pair of top-end nvidia cards a few years back. All based on nvidia's highly touted support for linux. Except the cards did not work with his IBM T220 [wikipedia.org] monitor. It wasn't anything to do with the ultra-high resolution. It was a trivial bug in the nvidia drivers - if the card could not read an EDID, the drivers assumed the card had a single-link DVI transmitter. A stupid, stupid bug because the actual nvidia chip had the DVI transmitters onboard and they were always dual-link, there was no way for any card in that generation to even be single link, and of course no matter what directives we specified in the config file, the driver "knew better."

He had to go out and spend another ~$150 for two Gefen DVI Detectives [gefen.com] just to enable the nvidia card to see an edid so that the driver would correctly turn on the chip's DVI transmitter.

Nvidia's vaunted customer support? Totally clueless and useless, they completely dropped the ball, just ignoring the issue once they realized it was more than a "did you plug in the power cord" level issue.

And don't think that problem was unique to an odd-ball monitor - the same lack of edid is an issue for anyone using unidirectional fibre DVI extender cables.

So, while it is great for you personally that Nvidia's drivers work perfectly with the hardware you own, I'm pretty sure your tune would change right quick if you had to just bend over and take it due to such a trivial bug, the kind that could easily be fixed with a single line or two of code, if you just had the source.

Re:ATI (0)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767715)

The bulk of your argument seems to be that Nvidia's got a much more complete OpenGL implementation than does anyone else. Nevermind that almost all of it is simply code duped from their MS Windows driver, your argument is really the ages-old "if it works, then who cares if it is closed source" argument we've heard time and time again.

No, the bulk of my argument is the fact that nVidia's driver replaces the bulk of x.org. Because what x.org provides is not good enough.

Nevermind that almost all of it is simply code duped from their MS Windows driver, your argument is really the ages-old "if it works, then who cares if it is closed source" argument we've heard time and time again.

I don't use Linux because it's opensource, I use it because I find it technically superior. I have no feelings that everything should be opensource.

He had to go out and spend another ~$150 for two Gefen DVI Detectives just to enable the nvidia card to see an edid so that the driver would correctly turn on the chip's DVI transmitter.

That sucks.

Nvidia's vaunted customer support? Totally clueless and useless, they completely dropped the ball, just ignoring the issue once they realized it was more than a "did you plug in the power cord" level issue.

Sorry, I don't know of any tech company that has decent support. My own experience with all companies, including AMD and ATi is similar.

So, while it is great for you personally that Nvidia's drivers work perfectly with the hardware you own, I'm pretty sure your tune would change right quick if you had to just bend over and take it due to such a trivial bug, the kind that could easily be fixed with a single line or two of code, if you just had the source.

Not really. There are numerous issues that piss me off in every driver and os combination. It's just about finding the least amount of issues and which provides best value and yes, I take sourcecode availability into account (although if the driver is crap, generally the source is too - not that helpful). However, taking all things into account, the advantages I get from nVidia are too great to ignore.

Re:ATI (4, Insightful)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767759)

Sorry, I don't know of any tech company that has decent support. My own experience with all companies, including AMD and ATi is similar.

Precisely. If the vendor can't fix it, they should not get in the way of you fixing it yourself, or of that smart guy who always posts to your favorite web forum.

Re:ATI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767793)

He had to go out and spend another ~$150 for two Gefen DVI Detectives just to enable the nvidia card to see an edid so that the driver would correctly turn on the chip's DVI transmitter.

And he didn't use the CustomEDID option or even follow the instructions in the README about how to report a problem why, exactly?

Re:ATI (1)

xyxvv (1261966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768455)

I keep seeing sentiments like this on the Phoronix forums and elsewere, italways seems to e Nvidia Zealotry, at least AMD is releasing docs for their older hardware, and has done allot to make the Catalist drivers actually work since they bought ATI. What has Nvdia done? Any docs released beyond the bare minimum for newcards to just get basic 2d in Nouveau and now this which as has been stated is already going on AMD/ATI cards. How long will it be till they release any docs for their long discontinued hardware? even as crap as ATI's drivers where they did release docs for the R200 series and under cards, yet I still need the Nvidia binary blob to get the now ancient Riva TNT2 M64 in my mom's Ubuntu web browser comp, let alone my 3+ year old Gforce 6200. Color me unimpressed with this latest release from Nvidia, they're the ones falling behind from their once defacto standard. the open source drivers may suck at this time, but at least they're being fed documentation , which is more then you can say for Nvidia. Now if only Intel would release a decently powerful GPU card while holding their consistency of releasing docs and code to x.org.

Re:ATI (0, Flamebait)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768619)

I keep seeing sentiments like this on the Phoronix forums and elsewere, italways seems to e Nvidia Zealotry

Wait a moment. Because I care about my hardware working better with my operating system more than the company assisting with making open source I'm a nVidia zealot?

I think you need to take a look in the mirror, right now. I'm not the one advocating or 'zealoting' (if there is such a word) that things must be opensource, I just want my stuff to work. You, on the overhand are shunning nVidia because they don't release detailed specifications on their cards and any positive mentioned about nVidia must be zealotry for this reason.

How long will it be till they release any docs for their long discontinued hardware?

I don't see why they need to.

even as crap as ATI's drivers where they did release docs for the R200 series and under cards, yet I still need the Nvidia binary blob to get the now ancient Riva TNT2 M64 in my mom's Ubuntu web browser comp, let alone my 3+ year old Gforce 6200.

So you tick a checkbox in the 'restricted-drivers' (or whatever your distribution provides for managing proprietary drivers) application, I don't see the problem?

Color me unimpressed with this latest release from Nvidia, they're the ones falling behind from their once defacto standard.

What standard? How?

the open source drivers may suck at this time, but at least they're being fed documentation , which is more then you can say for Nvidia.

Yeah... nVidia only made their driver remap huge portions of X to get proper memory mapping going so users could actually use the software and hardware properly...

Now if only Intel would release a decently powerful GPU card while holding their consistency of releasing docs and code to x.org.

Even if Intel released a decently powerful GPU card, unless x.org has a major architecture change or Intel pulls a driver hack like nVidia, it is not going to be comparable to nVidia.

Re:ATI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768805)

Wait a moment. Because I care about my hardware working better with my operating system more than the company assisting with making open source I'm a nVidia zealot?

I think you need to take a look in the mirror, right now. I'm not the one advocating or 'zealoting' (if there is such a word) that things must be opensource, I just want my stuff to work. You, on the overhand are shunning nVidia because they don't release detailed specifications on their cards and any positive mentioned about nVidia must be zealotry for this reason.

Hardware makers like vendor-compiled binary drivers without source code because they obscure the details of how to make their hardware work. They hide bugs and workarounds for bugs. Newer versions of them can weaken support for older hardware and motivate people to buy new hardware.

So when you need to trust your system, how do you check the driver for quality? For adherence to standards? How do you know the driver contains no malicious code? No incompetent code? Inspection is impossible; you can only test the black box. And when it breaks, you have no idea why.

  • Binary-only drivers can be 'de-supported' by vendors at any time.
  • Binary-only drivers cannot be supported by developers.
  • Binary-only drivers cannot be fixed by developers.
  • Binary-only drivers cannot be improved by developers.
  • Binary-only drivers cannot be audited.
  • Binary-only drivers are specific to an architecture, thus less portable.
  • Binary-only drivers are quite often massively bloated.

I don't deny I'm an open-source zealot; that's because I'm a zealot for the right reasons.

This isn't a new nvidia driver (5, Informative)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25766895)

The summary confused me a little into thinking this was a new nvidia driver. It is in fact new features being added to their closed source driver.

Re:This isn't a new nvidia driver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25766929)

You'll notice how the title says "API" not "driver"

Re:This isn't a new nvidia driver (1)

3.1415926535 (243140) | more than 5 years ago | (#25766939)

I think the confusion stems from the fact that there's also a new beta driver release that supports this, 180.06.

Re:This isn't a new nvidia driver (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767005)

Indeed however the summary says,

"Phoronix is reporting on a new Linux driver nVidia is about to release"

It's not really a new one, it's the old one just updated.

Re:This isn't a new nvidia driver (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767525)

Ahh. New gingerbread to get nice children all plump for the oven. The Nvidia binary installer destabilizes the X windows on Linux, because it simply replaces the Mesa libraries without telling your package manager. And it's even worse about uninstalling itself: if you use the wrong Nvidia blob's uninstaller, you blow away your Mesa libraries entirely and it won't let you re-install the newer or different NVidia installer.

Of course, this what I expect from a company too stupid to use a consistent naming scheme for their installers so that you have to go manually poking through their FTP site to find the latest, and still don't know where they might have hidden it. And someone expects their API to their binary blob to be usable to those who haven't signed employment contracts with them? I think not.

XVID or DivX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25766949)

Anyone know if it supports other codecs besides MPEG, such as XVID or DivX?

Re:XVID or DivX (3, Informative)

Narishma (822073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25766995)

TFA says it supports MPEG, H264 and VC1.

Re:XVID or DivX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767749)

The funny thing is: it doesn't even work right under windows in the first place!

It only works using certain beta drivers (feature has been broke in every WHQL driver I've seen), and only on certain OS'es (just XP or just Vista), and only with certain video decoders -- in short, I've never seen anyone who actually got it to work.

No worries, I just bought an ATI card, and seemingly UVD/Avivo works great :) No more nvidia trash for me ever again. Been burned one too many times. I won't miss the BSODs.

Re:XVID or DivX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768609)

Then again, they could start by *trying* to write drivers that don't make windows BSOD all the fucking time...

Release Date (1)

pinkocommie (696223) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767059)

From TFA its a beta status driver that makes the api available. Is there any timeframe for when the release version comes out (Holding off on an upgrade O:-))

The sad thing is... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767133)

there will be enough freetards who will refuse to use it just because OMG IT'S NOT OPEN SORES!!!11 It's a conspiracy, they're inserting secret evil code into your system!

Does this mean... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767179)

that my linux media box can now do video decoding on the video card instead of processor?

VDPAU? A new Vulcan emmisary? (1, Offtopic)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767185)

I'm glad to hear this news. It will be only a matter of time before others follow suit. Time to dust off the resume.. I think soon being a Linux coder will be a useful item on that list.

Linux has suffered some lag with driver releases, and even manufacturer hostility toward Linux. This is the year that I start a side business based on Linux and support for it. Not simply because of this news, but news like this in general. I'm thoroughly impressed with Ubuntu and other distributions to get done what I want to get done.

Anyone (not I have not Googled extensively yet) know of any good sites that detail gaming on Linux? If you do, what is your take on this news?

Re:VDPAU? A new Vulcan emmisary? (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767583)

with 18000 game projects that are opensource at sourceforge.net look for another few thousand to prop up and old ones to get life.

happypenguin has loads too and hopefully this jsut will bring more happiness to the world.

Cure for Venereal Disease (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767187)

VDPAU sounds like some sort of local hawaiian cure for venereal disease
- VD Pau! Fo wen you ala-alas stay too itchy.

Meanwhile, it is interesting that after many years, Nvidia finally starts to support video decode/playback acceleration just days after ATI ships a driver with similar hardware acceleration support. [phoronix.com] Of course neither vendor uses any sort of common standard - although ATI claims their stuff is almost identical to the Direct X Video Acceleration (DXVA) API that MS has enforced on Windows.

Re:Cure for Venereal Disease (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767553)

Meanwhile, it is interesting that after many years, Nvidia finally starts to support video decode/playback acceleration just days after ATI ships a driver with similar hardware acceleration support. Of course neither vendor uses any sort of common standard - although ATI claims their stuff is almost identical to the Direct X Video Acceleration (DXVA) API that MS has enforced on Windows.

What standard would that be? VA-API that has a few headers and zero implementations? Intel doesn't even follow the DXVA specification [intel.com], and won't publish the interface or support video acceleration on XP. ATI is as you say a DXVA -> XvBA search&replace job, which might be good or just bring plenty DirectX luggage. If nVidia put some job into making a good public video acceleration interface for Linux, it might be the best of the bunch. Their implementation may be closed source but if it works well... let's just say I can live very well with a 98% open source system.

Re:Cure for Venereal Disease (2, Insightful)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767731)

What standard? Well, they could have done it the way the internet was built - with an RFC like approach. Coopetition and all that.

let's just say I can live very well with a 98% open source system.

Yeah, people always say that, until a show-stopper bug comes along in the 2% that's closed and they can't do a thing about it.

Re:Cure for Venereal Disease (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768005)

Yeah, people always say that, until a show-stopper bug comes along in the 2% that's closed and they can't do a thing about it.

As opposed to the 100% that's closed and not nearly as terrible as you make it out to be? Reality is that most open source bugs I can't do anything with either, for practical values of "can't". I could file a bug report, been there done that and often it falls into the same black hole as closed source software. I could try to dig around the code myself, but just getting all the build requirements and trying to figure out the code base usually takes hours of time I don't want to spend. Bonus points if it's written in a language I don't know well. Or I could hire someone to do it, but I'd have to negotiate, make some reproducable cases (real fun if it happens randomly or specific to my hardware) and follow up with testing and payment. If nobody gives a shit about my problem and don't want to fix it to improve the application but only for the money, then hiring your personal developer gets real expensive real quick. None of my home PCs run anything mission critical, the solution to 99% of my issues is to simply roll back or not upgrade, if I've wisely tested something in advance.

I think open source is really great in that other people can borrow code from other projects, applications can fork, groups can develop specific functionality independently and so on which makes it possible for development teams to work with everything that's been done before rather than starting from scratch. That process I think in the end creates very mature software, but to be honest I really don't see it being that much help with fixing acute problems. Open source means there's competition on being support, and that you can hire people to do custom development, but unless you're paying very well there's no guarantee at all your problem will be solved in a timely fashion. Which is like closed source support in my experience, some bugs get fixed while others can be largely ignored. I suppose the escalation options are better with open source but really I don't see a situation where I in capacity of being a home user would ever use them.

Re:Cure for Venereal Disease (2, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768815)

usually takes hours of time I don't want to spend.

But at least you have the option of spending that time.

My personal example, from quite awhile ago -- Linux Kernel 2.4, which didn't have native support for AGP 3.0 / AGP 8x. No matter what I did, I couldn't force it back to an older standard, and I wouldn't have wanted to, anyway. Which was all fine -- ATI implemented AGP in their drivers to compensate, but it was broken -- detected my card as AGP2 instead of 3. So AGP didn't work -- I don't remember if this meant no hardware acceleration, or no X at all, but it did suck.

So I cracked open the source -- that AGP stuff was in the open part, at the time -- found the detection algorithm, commented the whole block out, and hardcoded it to AGP3.

Now, granted, there's no reason I should have to dig into the source for that. The detection should just work, and failing that, it should be possible to override that autodetection without recompiling your kernel.

But either way, I was able to work around the issue in a way which would have been impossible if it was closed source. My only alternative was to either buy new hardware (and hope it was compatible this time), or go back to Windows.

I was 16 at the time. I'm paid more now, but still not enough to keep buying new hardware until something works. I always lean towards open source, unless there's a compelling reason not to.

That said, I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't mention -- I'm typing this on a Dell which came preloaded with Ubuntu. It's got an nVidia chip in it, which actually works fairly well. I do use Skype to talk to my brother in Taiwan.

But for things like that to happen, the proprietary version has to be sufficiently better that I'm willing to give up the ability to fix things myself. I'd be very wary of buying a car with the hood welded shut -- but if it's, say, an affordable Porche, it might bother me less.

Mac OS X feels so 1990's (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767211)

When will any decent video/GPU support come to Mac OS X?

Apple have only just managed .h264 decoding using the GPU on the latest MacBook and Air series.

My current MacBook Pro with 8600M GT can now do such decoding in Linux, and has been able to with Windows for years.

Re:Mac OS X feels so 1990's (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768075)

When will any decent video/GPU support come to Mac OS X?

When Apple gets serious about it. Apple is the one creating the APIs on OS X for OEMs to provide, unlike in the Linux/Windows world where it goes both ways.

No Open Source Linux Driver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767293)

Until they open source their linux driver, I don't give a flying fuck.

Why? (3, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767545)

Why would anyone use a proprietary video API provided by a closed source driver tied to a particular piece of hardware... on an open source platform? Huh?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767719)

Maybe because it's the best driver existing around?

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

arevos (659374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767735)

Maybe because there isn't a better open source alternative.

Re:Why? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767907)

Alternative to what? This is an API that accesses a proprietary feature of a specific video card. Nobody was asking for one. Who would use it and why? I just don't get it.

Now, if nVidia proposed an open standard video playback API, and implemented it in their video driver, and released the source - then I could see Linux devs using it.

Or did I somehow misunderstand what they did?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767965)

Now, if nVidia proposed an open standard video playback API, and implemented it in their video driver, and released the source - then I could see Linux devs using it.

Or did I somehow misunderstand what they did?

If you read the article, you'd see that's exactly what they did. It says any driver can implement it, and they provided code and documentation.

Re:Why? (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768109)

Like implementing, oh maybe XVMC (completely) or VAAPI would've been a good start at coming out with an open API that isn't 'yet another poorly supported video API from vendor X'.

Better yet, why not collaborate with all the other big fish in the pond to come out with an API that everyone is satisfied with instead of pissing on everyone requiring yet-another video API.

yeah, why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767769)

why would SDL for Windows support DirectX?

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

erikharrison (633719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767777)

From TFA:

VDPAU is an X extension, and anyone can implement it. It's a competitor to the XvBA extension being developed by AMD, only it exists now, with hardware support, and is derived from an existing technology that has been tested on other OSes.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767799)

Because it's useful.

VAAPI !!! (1)

mmu_man (107529) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767839)

Exactly, can't they just instead use an open standard (pleonasm, if it ain't open it doesn't deserve the name standard) like VAAPI ? And eventually submit extensions to it... That's what standards are for!

http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/vaapi [freedesktop.org] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_Acceleration_API [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

AaronW (33736) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767863)

I use whatever works. For me, the nVidia closed source driver works better than any open source driver.

I struggled for months with ATI and cursed it every few minutes when it would screw up the text in my editor (closed source driver). By the time the open source driver came out I had already dumped the computer for one with an nVidia card because the drivers just work, out of the box. Intel wouldn't recognize the monitor, ATI would constantly screw up, if I could even configure it for the monitor, but the nVidia one just worked. They provide better features than any other driver I've seen, both open and closed source, and their performance has always been better.

Similarly with photo software. I use the Linux version of Bibble Pro [bibblelabs.com] because I have yet to find an open source equivalent that is anywhere close. Gimp doesn't come close in its RAW handling or ease of use for workflow processing.

I've tried to use ATI but I had way too many problems and terrible performance. Similarly with the open source Intel drivers which did not work at all.

Open Source has many benefits, but when it doesn't do what I need, I'll pay for something that does.

I write software, both open and closed source and am currently hacking on the Linux kernel. I think both have their place and neither side is perfect.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767975)

I use whatever works. For me, the nVidia closed source driver works better than any open source driver.

I use it too. But the question wasn't about who will use the driver. The question is who will use the API. APIs are used by developers, and Linux developers don't like closed APIs or closed drivers. So I don't see them being big supporters of this.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25767939)

Because it just might actually work as intended and because the open source alternative isn't up to par?

Why would you run an open source platform on proprietary hardware?

Video API inside a single device driver? (1)

Karellen (104380) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767551)

So can anyone comment on whether this API is good enough to implement in other video drivers?

Or whether it's worth implementing the API in X, or even as part of Gtk/Qt/yourfavouritetoolkit, which would all seem to be more sensible places to put a video API than inside a single device driver. (â½)

Re:Video API inside a single device driver? (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768237)

It's an API into specific hardware features only found on nVidia graphics cards; seems to me nVidia's graphics drivers are the perfect place for it.

Aikon-

Let me say this to you Linux guys (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25767899)

I sincerely hope you have better luck with Purevideo than we Windows users have. As someone who has been buying Nvidia cards since the days of the Geforce 2 I can say that trying to get Purevideo to work is the biggest exercise in frustration I have ever seen. Frankly after trying just about every video player and forum I just gave up.

And how can Nvidia claim you get all these advantages from Purevideo when the only way that they have to access it that I have seen is with 3rd party apps that they don't give you with the card and they don't support? I mean they can claim the latest Geforce can decode 4 HD streams while playing Crysis and cooking your breakfast in the morning,but if the only way to access that feature is with some driver they won't give you and you have to hunt up yourself that may or may not work,how can they call that a feature?

I mean you look at this chart here [nvidia.com](warning:PDF) and it says my 7600 AGP does H.264,WMV9,the list goes on and on,but when you look at their site all they have is a $20 DVD driver. WTF? Who in this day and age needs their video card just to decode a bloody DVD?

Re:Let me say this to you Linux guys (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768161)

Recent PowerDVD installs an accelerated Directshow filter which offloads much of the CPU load to the GPU, which I've verified myself, but the bad side is that it replaces FFDShow in most of my pipelines, which I prefer to use simply based on the shear number of tweaks needed to get that picture 'just right'.

Now that pretty much every CPU can decode any type of HD video without needing the GPU for any co-processing, I think that all GPU vendors dropped the ball in trying to move into that fragile niche.

Re:Let me say this to you Linux guys (1)

Grey_14 (570901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768659)

As someone who wants to build an HTPC based on a low power CPU, I can say that I am definitely interested in offloading hi-def video decoding to the GPU, being able to toss a fanless 8500 into a system with an intel atom or underclocked amd-le cpu, and knowing that 90% of the video decoding will be offloaded to the GPU certainly sets my mind at ease when I'm looking at 1080p streams.

Re:Let me say this to you Linux guys (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768769)

Uuum,you may need to correct me since it has been about 2 years since I messed with PowerDVD or WinDVD,but since the name is DVD I'm guessing that it is offloading DVD video,yes? Which again brings me back to my point. I could not care less about offloading standard def DVD video,since my P3 733MHz with 384Mb of RAM and an old Geforce MX4000 plays DVD discs full screen without skipping. What I want is to offload H.264,MP4,and WMV9 which it says my card can do. But after about 6 months of getting "shell out some cash for this and it MIGHT work,maybe" I gave up. Does PowerDVD actually offload the formats I named,or simply standard def DVD?

As for the other poster talking about a low power HTPC,I really REALLY wouldn't. Not unless the only thing you want to watch is standard def DVD on it. I would do this if I was you: Find a driver that will actually offload the formats you wish to watch FIRST. Then test the GPU by actually using something like process monitor [microsoft.com] to see how much load is actually being offloaded to the GPU. IF you are able to get the card to actually offload using the software THEN you can build a low power HTPC.

But as I said in my post I tried for 6 months and despite the claims all I ever saw offloaded was standard def DVD,which as I said is pointless. But I'm afraid that if you try you'll find out like me that you'll get a LOT of "shell out for this program and it MIGHT work,and oh yeah we don't support it." Believe me it is not fun and so far I haven't seen anyone but Nvidia make these claims. Has anyone found independent benchmarks for anything OTHER than DVD? Hopefully with a list of software used?

Huge news!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768049)

If this can improve h.264 and mpeg2 hi def playback significantly, this is huge.

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