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Graphics Software Linux

NVIDIA Releases New Video API For Linux 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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NVIDIA Releases New Video API For Linux

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  • by mandelbr0t ( 1015855 ) on Friday November 14, 2008 @07:43PM (#25766877) Journal
    TFA mentions that patches for MPlayer to use VDPAU on Linux are already available. Hopefully Xine follows shortly.
  • by LingNoi ( 1066278 ) on Friday November 14, 2008 @07:45PM (#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.

  • by 3.1415926535 ( 243140 ) on Friday November 14, 2008 @07:45PM (#25766897)

    Fine. Now what programs use this API?

    mplayer (sort of, it's still pretty rough around the edges): []

    It'll probably take a while before complete, stable support for all of VDPAU's features (like timestamp-based presentation) are fully supported by the common video players.

  • Re:XVID or DivX (Score:4, Informative)

    by Narishma ( 822073 ) on Friday November 14, 2008 @08:00PM (#25766995)
    TFA says it supports MPEG, H264 and VC1.
  • Re:ATI (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lorkki ( 863577 ) on Friday November 14, 2008 @08:21PM (#25767143)
    You might be interested to know that ATI's equivalent [] was also revealed a short while ago.
  • by RedWizzard ( 192002 ) on Friday November 14, 2008 @08:55PM (#25767373)
    nVidia have released patches for libavcodec, libavutil, and ffmpeg. So most Linux software should pick up support in pretty quick time.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 14, 2008 @09:15PM (#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.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

    by erikharrison ( 633719 ) on Friday November 14, 2008 @09:48PM (#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:ATI (Score:2, Informative)

    by xyxvv ( 1261966 ) on Friday November 14, 2008 @11:55PM (#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, [] 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.
  • by GleeBot ( 1301227 ) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @02:32AM (#25768967)

    PowerDVD/WinDVD also support Blu-ray (and HD-DVD, not like anyone still cares about that), so yes, the video codecs they install (which are usable system-wide) support VC-1 (WMV9), H.264, 1080p, etc.

    PureVideo doesn't actually require the $20 NVIDIA DVD decoder (which I think they've deprecated anyway); the NVIDIA DVD decoder is just for people who want to use MCE, and don't already have an MPEG-2 decoder. PureVideo is just an umbrella name for NVIDIA's video acceleration features (with varying levels of support), which is then used by specific applications (like WinDVD and PowerDVD). It's already cooked into the free drivers.

  • Re:ATI (Score:5, Informative)

    by JohnFluxx ( 413620 ) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @05:06AM (#25769433)

    Ash-foxes blog post is close to being a troll.

    Of course X does direct rendering. It's called Direct Rendering Interface - DRI. And the new improved DRI2 being worked on now.

    His other argument is that Xorg will never be able to have a unified memory manager... which is exactly what TTM and its successor GEM do.

    And noone in the Xorg team claims that indirect rendering is as fast as direct rendering.

    Companies like NVidia just replace chunks of Xorg without contributing anything back. Whereas its companies like Intel that actually contribute to improving X for everything - pushing a unified memory manager (TTM/GEM) into the kernel etc.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen