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Video Acceleration API is a successor to XvMC, providing partial and full hardware offloading of video decoding. This interface is available on Intel graphics. Interface frontends are also available for ATI's XvBA and nVidia's VDPAU. This interface will be supported by MythTV as of 0.25.

Enable VAAPI in 0.25 using Intel Graphics

1. Install necessary packages:

sudo apt-get install libva1 i965-va-driver libva-intel-vaapi-driver vainfo
2. Check to see if newly installed software is working by running
You should see something similar to this: (note, output will be different for those running different versions of the Intel integrated graphics, you are looking for VAEntrypointVLD with some of the codecs)
vainfo: VA API version: 0.32
vainfo: Driver version: i965 Driver 0.1
vainfo: Supported profile and entrypoints
      VAProfileMPEG2Simple            : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileMPEG2Main              : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264Baseline           : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264Main               : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264High               : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileVC1Simple              : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileVC1Main                : VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileVC1Advanced            : VAEntrypointVLD

3. If your distribution doesn't include recent drivers (0.32 and above is recommended). Install Intel drivers (taken from: step 5 of GUIDE Simplified Guide for a perfect minimal HTPC on INTEL platforms):

cd ~
sudo mkdir Builds
cd Builds
sudo apt-get build-dep libva1
git clone git://
cd libva
git checkout vaapi-ext
sudo ./ --prefix=/usr
sudo make
sudo make install
git clone git://
cd intel-driver
git checkout vaapi-ext
wget -O ./increase_micro_version.patch
sudo autoreconf -v --install
sudo patch -p1 < ./increase_micro_version.patch
sudo ./configure --prefix=/usr
sudo make
sudo make install

4. Select VAAPI Playback Profile from Mythfrontend:

Mythfrontend->Setup->Video->Playback->(Screen 3/8)-> Select "VAAPI normal" profile

Hit Next until you are back out to the main screen

Try playing back a recording or another video and you should notice a decrease in CPU usage.