ATI Hardware Acceleration of H.264

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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XBitLabs reports that ATI's upcoming Radeon graphics processor will feature hardware acceleration of the H.264 Advanced Video Codec.

Apple's recently released Quicktime 7 provides both H.264 playback and encoding and is advertised as a major feature of the new Quicktime.

H.264 will be the codec used to encode video for upcoming HD-DVD and Blu-ray disc technologies. Apple has officially adopted Blu-Ray technology.
 

jimsowden

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Sep 6, 2003
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sounds very nice. I wonder how much this would improve playback of one of those HD trailers.
 

zach

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Feb 14, 2003
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That's.. insane.

If that does for h.264 what hardware mpeg-2 acceleration did for it, it will become THE de-facto format for video almost overnight.
 

ravenvii

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Mar 17, 2004
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Melenkurion Skyweir
Sounds awesome. It's exciting to think of what a PowerMac would look like in two years (because that's when Im going to sell off the Mac mini and go POWER! :D)
 

MacRy

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Apr 2, 2004
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Wonder if this will help the playback on the next gen of Powerbooks rather than it having to be a G5.
 

Yvan256

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Jul 5, 2004
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I was excited until I reached "the next generation of GPUs...". Bleh, found it strange that my Mac mini could have better H.264 playback than my PowerBook. ;)
 

m-dogg

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Mar 15, 2004
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zach said:
That's.. insane.

If that does for h.264 what hardware mpeg-2 acceleration did for it, it will become THE de-facto format for video almost overnight.

zach - can you expand on this a little bit? I'm not really familiar how hardware acceleration improved mpeg-2.

thanks!
 

andiwm2003

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Mar 29, 2004
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Boston, MA
how long till this is included in my 23" imac g5 that i'm waiting for?

will that become a standard feature on all graphics cards including consumer level or is the technology expensive and only for high end?
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
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Ah yes, this reminds me of 1996 when ATI introduced a chip driver to power MPEG-1 full motion video. Seeing full-motion 320x240 video images was quite a sight to behold in those early days. It's great to see the same sort of thing happening with 1920x1080 H.264 footage. Now if only there was a way to do GPU encoding of H.264 files.
 

SpamJunkie

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Jun 3, 2003
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Imho this lends a tiny bit of credibility to the rumors of streaming video in the next airport express.
 

Xtremehkr

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Jul 4, 2004
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This just reminds me of how little I like the fact that I can't upgrade components like that.
 

Windowlicker

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2003
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more and more I'm gettin a feeling of not replacing my 5200FX with a better card this summer. this technology would be something that would be of use for me apart from gaming. sounds good, now let us see the results (and the actual card of course:)
 

AliensAreFuzzy

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May 30, 2004
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That would be really cool if we could starting getting that kind of chip soon. Plus wouldn't something like this be what will be going into those next generation Blu-Ray/HD DVD players?
 

surfsofa

macrumors member
Feb 20, 2004
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Bay Area
I wonder if they might be kind enough to also release some new drivers to fix whatever they screwed up in 10.4.1. I'm using all-Apple gear (15" PB + 20" ACD) and getting interference and distorted DVD playback since 10.4.1 :(
 

ctlirt

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2005
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this could be quite nice, especially in consideration that my DP 2.0 G5 cant play back full 1080p @ full frame rates...
 

nagromme

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May 2, 2002
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I'm with the people who voted negative. This is VERY bad news. Video will be a whole lot better off without ATI going and making things faster.
 

zach

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Feb 14, 2003
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m-dogg said:
zach - can you expand on this a little bit? I'm not really familiar how hardware acceleration improved mpeg-2.

thanks!
Well, mpeg-2 acceleration was built in so early almost noone noticed, but here's how it worked.

DVDs are encoded in mpeg-2.

On early dvd-rom enabled computers, dvds were basically unplayable: it takes quite a bit of power to decode a DVD, and the processors and video cards of low and midlevel computers then were not up to the task.

Hardware acceleration basically solved that problem instantly: even a slow computer with a mpeg-2 hardware accelerated card could play DVDs.

Now, my PowerBook stutters on 1080p h.264. With hardware acceleration, I assume even without any other architectural changes, 1080p would play flawlessly.

Hope that's enough of an answer ;)
 

jimsowden

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Sep 6, 2003
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nagromme said:
I'm with the people who voted negative. This is VERY bad news. Video will be a whole lot better off without ATI going and making things faster.
I hate negative people. Stupid idiots