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The Video Decode Acceleration framework is a C programming interface providing low-level access to the H.264 decoding capabilities of compatible GPUs such as the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M, GeForce GT 330M, ATI HD Radeon GFX, Intel HD Graphics and others on supported Apple hardware. Mac OS X version 10.6.3 or higher is required.

VDA is inferior to VDPAU, which also provides rendering and can decode many codecs besides H.264. VDPAU should be chosen if Linux, FreeBSD, or Solaris and a compatible Nvidia GPU are available on the Apple hardware. VDA, however, runs on OS X and does not require an Nvidia GPU. Its H.264 decoding is sufficient for recordings from the popular Hauppauge HD-PVR tuner, and any Mac made since 2006 or so can easily handle software decoding of MPEG-2 recordings from cable or ATSC.