What is it
The API is called VDPAU (Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix). It provides a large subset of PureVideo HD functionality for NVIDIA Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD users. It in essence provides what PureVideo/DirectX Video Acceleration is on the Windows platform
Some highlights of VDPAU:
- Defines an API for GPU-accelerated decode of MPEG-1, MPEG-2, H.264, and VC-1 bitstreams.
- Defines an API for post-processing of decoded video, including temporal and spatial deinterlacing, inverse telecine, and noise reduction.
- Defines an API for timestamp-based presentation of final video frames.
- Defines an API for compositing sub-picture, on-screen display, and other UI elements.
Note that VDPAU does not address content protection issues.
Some highlights/limitations of NVIDIA's current implementation:
- Supported on NVIDIA GPUs with the NVIDIA second generation video processors (see list further below)
- Currently, only one video stream can be decoded at a time; we hope to lift this restriction eventually.
The current API documentation is here.
The most recent driver release may be obtained here here
The VDPAU support in the NVIDIA 180.06 beta release is still very preliminary. We are aware of cases of visual corruption and in some cases GPU hangs. We will be working on these issues over the next several NVIDIA driver releases.
While NVIDIA's VDPAU implementation is not ready for end user use yet, it should be far enough along that interested application developers can begin working with it.
If other hardware vendors are interested, they are welcome to also provide implementations of VDPAU. The VDPAU API was designed to allow a vendor backend to be selected at run time.
ffmpeg + mplayer
NVIDIA has developed patches to ffmpeg and MPlayer to demonstrate a video player using VDPAU. These patches have been integrated to the main line and include changes against libavcodec, libavutil, ffmpeg, and MPlayer itself; they may serve as an example of how to use VDPAU.
VDPAU is currently supported on the following NVIDIA GPUs (as at version 180.16 released December 12, 2008)
|Desktop GPUs||Mobile GPUs||Motherboard GPUs||Professional GPUs|
VC-1 support in NVIDIA's VDPAU implementation currently requires GeForce 9300 GS, GeForce 9200M GS, GeForce 9300M GS, or GeForce 9300M GS or 9400/9300 IGP. VC-1 is an alternative to H.264, and is a supported video codec for HD DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.
Support for the following GPUs was added with the stable driver version 180.22:
- Quadro FX 2700M
- GeForce 9400M G
- GeForce 9400M
- GeForce 9800 GT
- GeForce 8200M G
- GeForce Go 7700
- GeForce 9800M GTX
- GeForce 9800M GT
- GeForce 9800M GS
- GeForce 9500 GT
- GeForce 9700M GT
- GeForce 9650M GT
- GeForce 9500 GT
Support started with version 180.06. Most recent current version is 180.22 marked as Stable, released January 8, 2009. The VDPAU API changes in this version and programs must be recompiled to utilize the driver. Beta drivers can be found at download.nvidia.com under the Linux-* folders.
VDPAU was announced to the MythTV developer mailing list on Nov 15, by Andy Ritger, Manager of the NVIDIA Linux driver. Within four days, Issac had posted a POC (proof of concept) patch against the upcoming 0.22 TRUNK line for VDPAU support, saying "Preliminarily, this stuff looks _very_ promising." On November 29, Changeset 19165 included preliminary support within TRUNK. While VDPAU support is still in it's infancy of both the driver and MythTV, several testers have responded that they are able to use VDPAU with some issues. Currently running trunk with VDPAU support not explicitly recommended, except for testing and bug reporting purposes.
- Deinterlacing (select "Advanced (2x, Hw)" for best results)
- Color controls
- Other stuff
- Lots and lots of other stuff.
MythTV 0.21-fixes and Ubuntu repository
Jean-Yves Avenard has posted a patch for MythTV 0.21-fixes (19823) on his site that backported VDPAU from the development branch. He also provided a Ubuntu/Mythbuntu repository for all of us running that distribution. MythTV and mplayer with VDPAU support can be yours by using this repository. Add to /etc/apt/sources.list:
deb http://www.avenard.org/files/ubuntu-repos files/
In addition to "aptitude safe-upgrade", the package nvidia-glx-180 needs to be installed to replace the earlier version of nvidia-glx-*.
Setup a display profile with:
decoder = nvidia vdpau acceleration video + osd renderers: vdpau
and a second recommended as a fallback:
decoder = ffmpeg (Standard) video + osd renderers: vdpau
Issac suggests to make sure composite extension is disabled when using vdpau (in xorg.conf):
Section "Extensions" Option "Composite" "Disable" EndSection
Compiling MythTV with VDPAU
For Myth to support VDPAU it must be built in. MythTV's compilation script supports this. To enable it use the configure script and the --enable-vdpau option.
The following is an example of how to compile MythTV with VDPAU:
./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-proc-opt --disable-joystick-menu \ --disable-firewire --disable-hdhomerun --disable-xvmcw --enable-xvmc-opengl \ --enable-vdpau --disable-directfb --enable-opengl-vsync
./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-opengl --enable-mytharchive \ --disable-mythbrowser --disable-mythcontrols --disable-mythflix \ --enable-mythgallery --disable-mythgame --enable-mythmusic --disable-mythnews \ --disable-mythphone --enable-mythvideo --disable-mythweather \ --disable-mythzoneminder --disable-mythmovies
- No AGP cards support this feature (But PCI versions exist)
- Currently only supported by the developers in SVN 0.22 TRUNK. The backport to 0.21-fixes is unsupported.
- Warning: Do not install the vdpau beta driver unless you intend to use an NVidia-based video cards exclusively thereafter. Merely installing the nvidia driver breaks digital playback on Intel (and probably any other) video/graphics cards. The nvidia installer *replaces* standard header files (/usr/include/glext.h, glext.h,glxext.h and glx.h) and library files (/usr/lib/libGLcore.so, libGL,so, libGLU.so and libGL.la), with nvidia specific versions which breaks OpenGL playback on other graphic cards. (The 180 series drivers do appear to be usable with non-vdpau capable nvidia GPUs (6200 etc.))
- If you wish to try an nvidia video board instead of your other video/graphic chipset, be careful. Make a mythconverg database backup, and note the SVN of your present working version. In addition, it would be wise to extract the NVidia pkg.run file (NVIDIA-LINUX....pkg.run -x) and make backups of the original files for which copies exist in the ../include/GL, ../lib and ../X11R6 folders. The package help states that the option '--no-opengl-headers' will skip installing the Nvidia OpenGL headers, however it appears that the other libraries will be replaced anyway. It also does not appear to be the case that the '--uninstall' option actually reverses the install, as the orginal files do not appear to be retained. This is a real time-killer ( and WAF killer) and may require a complete re-installation of the system if you wish to revert to a different family of GPU chip.
- Video profiles can not filter based on video format (only by resolution). So if you wanted to use VDPAU for H.264/HD-PVR and Xv for Mpeg2 this is not currently possible.
- Off loading to the GPU may increase its heat out-put. It may seem obvious, but check your GPU temperature and cooling arrangements.
The following configuration changes should be used to prevent issues with VDPAU when used with MythTV:
To prevent vertical and horizontal tearing of the image when viewing live tv or recordings, run the following to disable X Composite Extension (may also cure the all white/gray OSD):
sudo nvidia-xconfig --no-composite
- Enable OpenGL VSync within MythTV.
|Chipset||Onboard / Allocated Memory||Driver||De-interlacer||SVN Ver||Source||OSD||Theme||Window Manager||Display res||Working||CPU Usage when playing||Comments|
|Asus 8300GS||256mb||Beta 180.11||None||r19260||HDHomeRun mpeg2 720p and 1080i||isthmus||Blootube Wide||Fluxbox||1080p||Yes||Athlon X2 64 5700 4-5%||720p is reliable but 1080 i get not enought memory errors.|
|Asus 8300GS||256mb||Beta 180.11||None||r19179||HD-PVR h.264 720p 13.5 Mbits/sec||Retro||MythCenter-wide||Gnome||720p||Yes||Athlon X2 64 4200+ 4-5%||OSD is all white and unreadable|
|GeForce 8300||512mb||Beta 180.16||Bob 2x||r19260||DVB-S h.264 1080i 18 Mbits/sec||Blootube||MythCenter-wide||KDE||1080p||Yes||Athlon X2 64 5200+ 10-15%|
|PNY 8400GS PCI||512mb||Beta 180.22||OneField||r19640||HDHomerun, Fusion5 HD 720p and 1080i||Gray||ProjectGrayhem-wide||Fluxbox||1080p||Yes||Athlon 64 3200+ 5-15%||OSD causes stuttering, only OneField deinterlacing is usable|
|Sparkle 8400GS PCI||512mb||Beta 180.11||Basic 2x HW||r19298||HDHomerun, 720p and 1080i||Default (Blue)||G.A.N.T.||fvwm||VGA (analog) 1024x768||Yes||Intel Atom 330, 10-20%||I'm no expert but it looks awesome to me! OSD seems ok.|
|PNY GeForce 8400 GS PCI||512mb||Beta 180.16||One Field (1x, Hw)||r19597||1080i DVI||Default (Blue)||Retro||Gnome||1080i||Yes||Intel Duo Core 2 2.2Ghz, 10%||Looks great and playback is good. OSD causes play back to stutter a little bit. Tweaking would probably fix.|
|Sparkle 8400GS PCI||512mb||Beta 180.16||Basic 2x HW||r19298||HDHomerun 1080i, PVR-150 SD mpeg2||Default (Blue)||G.A.N.T.||fvwm||VGA (analog) 1024x768||No||Intel Atom 330, 10-20%||No video. Rolled back driver and things work again. Haven't tried building new myth.|
|Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H (9400 IGP onboard)||128mb(shared)||180.22||Advanced 2x HW||r19631||TinyTwin (1080i+720p)||Blootube||G.A.N.T||xfce||1080p||Yes||Pentium D 2.8 0-5%||Usually perfect, no tearing, plays VC-1, occasional stuttering, regular "Serious error detected", system needs more RAM|
|Asus EN8400GS Silent PCIe (G98 chipset, 567 MHz Core Clock)||512mb||180.22||Advanced 2x HW||r19822||HDHomerun (1080i+720p), HDPVR (720p), HDDVD 1080p (VC1), DVD 480p||Isthmus||Blootube wide||Gnome||1080p||Yes||Athlon X2 3800 (939) 5% -10%||Almost perfect, plays VC-1 - H264 and MPEG2, occasional stuttering|
|Asus EN8400GS Silent PCIe (G98 chipset, 567 MHz Core Clock)||512mb||180.29||Temporal 1x HW||0.21-fixes w/VDPAU patch||OTA HDTV (1080i & 720p)||Retro||Retro||Fluxbox||1080p||Yes||AMD BE-2350 (2.1 GHz) 2% - 5%||Temporal 1x HW and One Field are the only deinterlacers that don't cause jerky picture and out of sync audio. All h264 test files from HD Playback Reports are nice and smooth.|
|Club 3D 9400GT Silent PCI-E (G96)||512mb||180.22||Advanced 2x HW||r19693||SD MPEG-2 DVB, SD H.264, 720p H.264 sample videos||Default||G.A.N.T.||Xfce4||1280x768 DVI->hdmi||Yes||Athlon64 3000+ (1.8GHz) SD: 5-8%, HD: 10-20%||Occational crashes. Was impossible to play any HD without VDPAU, so significant improvement!|
|Asus GeForce 8600 GT Silent||512mb||180.26||Advanced 2x HW||r19823 0.21-fixes||SD MPEG-2 DVB, SD H.264, 720p H.264 sample videos||blootube wide||blootube||KDE3.5.10||1600x1050 DVI->hdmi & 960x540->VGA||Yes||Core2Duo (2,66GHz) SD: 11%, HD: 5%||Little tearing, SD slower as it uses ffmpeg.|
|EVGA e-GeForce 8500GT||1000mb||180.25||Advanced 2x HW||r19825||SD MPEG-2 DVB, SD H.264, 720p H.264 hdpvr||Default||ProjectGrayhem-wide||Xfce4||1080p DVI->hdmi||Yes||AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 3600+ SD: 3-5%, HD: 4-5%||WOW!|
|GIGABYTE GA-E7AUM-DS2H 9400GT IGP||512mb||180.22||Advanced 2x HW||r19885||720p H.264 HD-PVR (11Mbps)||Default||MythCenter||RatPoison||VGA (Analog) 1024x768||Yes||Pentium Core 2 Duo 2.8Ghz HD: 1-2%||Slight stuttering w/ OSD, but generally, WOW|
|Asus EN8400GS Silent PCIe (G98 chipset, 612 MHz GPU Clock)||512mb||180.29||Temporal 2x HW||0.21-fixes + patch r20005||HDHomeRun (1080i+720p), FireWire (1080i+720p)||Retro||Retro||Ratpoison||1080p||Yes||Pentium 4 3000 5% -10%||Temporal 2x/1x work great, albeit with slight stuttering when OSD displays; Advanced 2x/1x still stutter. Bob 2x works too, but pointless given Temporal 2x.|
|GeForce 9300. Motherboard Asus P5N7A-VM||256MB||180.22||One Field 1x HW||0.21-fixes + patch||From disk (originally from pcHDTV HD-5500)||Mythbuntu||Mythbuntu||Xfce||1080p||Yes||Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E7400 @ 2.80GHz 10% overall||Slight oddness on top line. Before VDPAU, CPU usage at .74. I am including complete load average, mythfrontend.real at 5-7%.|