What is it
VDPAU (Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix) 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. In addition to updated NVIDIA binary drivers that support the API, extensive documentation is available.
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; NVIDIA hopes to lift this restriction eventually.
VDPAU is currently supported on the following NVIDIA GPUs (driver version 180.44):
|Desktop GPUs||Mobile GPUs||Motherboard GPUs||Professional GPUs|
Prior to nVidia drivers 180.35, VC-1 support in NVIDIA's VDPAU implementation required a GeForce 9300 GS, GeForce 9200M GS, GeForce 9300M GS, or GeForce 9300M GS or 8200/8300/9400/9300 IGP. VC-1 is an alternative to H.264, and is a supported video codec for HD DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.
Please note nVidia has acknowledged a bug in their driver that affects a small number of users with G86 and G86M cores. This causes an error 25 when 'opening' VDPAU. From the nVidia Linux forum ( http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=14&order=desc ) failure to run VDPAU has been reported for:
- GeForce 9400GT ( G86 )
- GeForce 8400M G ( G86M )
Support started with version 180.06. Version 180.41 (20 March 2009) are available in 32bit and 64bit versions. Bugs are fixed with every new release. 180.37 adds fixed VC-1 decoding, improved handling of corrupted/invalid H.264 streams and improvied error recovery. Version 180.41 is considered to be a "pre-release".
Version 185.13 has also been released (13 March 2009) - but there are no reports about this yet. The version 185 line is apparently the new beta line.
Trunk first supported VDPAU in November 2008.
- Deinterlacing (select "Advanced (2x, Hw)" for best results, if video card can handle it)
- Color controls
- Live TV with EPG (due to VDPAU not yet being able to decode more than one stream at once)
Issac Richards suggests making sure composite extension is disabled:
Section "Extensions" Option "Composite" "Disable" EndSection
MythTV 0.21-fixes and Ubuntu repository
Jean-Yves Avenard has posted a patch for MythTV 0.21-fixes that backports VDPAU from the development branch. He also provides a Ubuntu/Mythbuntu repository, including mplayer and the Nvidia drivers, for those running that distribution. Add to /etc/apt/sources.list:
deb http://www.avenard.org/files/ubuntu-repos intrepid release
you need to install the GPG signing key with: wget http://www.avenard.org/files/ubuntu-repos/ubuntu-repos.key && sudo apt-key add ubuntu-repos.key && rm ubuntu-repos.key
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
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)
- 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.
Note: Reports on 1080i content are of greatest interest for deinterlacers. Do not list a deinterlacer if testing on progressive content like 720p. If reports for 720p and 1080i differ (as they will if using a deinterlacer) consider making two entries or indicating the difference in your success/fail results.
|Chipset||Onboard / Allocated Memory||Driver||De-interlacer||SVN Ver||Source||OSD||Theme||Window Manager||Display res||Working||CPU Usage when playing||Comments|
|8200 IGP||512mb||180.29||Temporal 2x||r20038 trunk||BBC HD H.264 1080i 21Mb/s||Metallurgy||Terra||KWin||1440x900||Yes||Athlon 4850e 2.5Ghz 10-15%||Some amount of tearing. Visual artifacts for the first 20 seconds.|
|8200 IGP||512mb||180.29||Temporal 2x||r20038 trunk||HD-DVD VC-1 1080p 35Mb/s||Metallurgy||Terra||KWin||1440x900||Yes||Athlon 4850e 2.5Ghz 35%|
|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%|
|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.|
|Sparkle SFPC84GS512U2LP GeForce 8400 GS PCI||512mb||180.35||Temporal 1x HW||0.21-fixes w/patch||OTA 720p and 1080i||Retro||Retro||fluxbox||VGA (analog) 1280x1024||Yes||AMD Geode NX1750 (1.4 Ghz), ~30%||Looks super, OSD set to non-fade. Bob 2x is *almost* useable as is Temporal 2x HW. One field also works well.|
|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||720p H.264 sample videos||blootube wide||blootube||KDE3.5.10||1600x1050 DVI->hdmi & 960x540->VGA||Yes||Core2Duo (2,66GHz) HD: 5%||Little tearing.|
|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%.|
|GeForce 9200. Motherboard Jetway JNC62K||512MB (shared)||180.27||One Field 1x HW||0.21-fixes + Jean-Yves Avenard testing patches||SD MPEG-2 DVB, SD H.264, 720p H.264 sample videos||Mythbuntu||Mythbuntu||Xfce||1080p||Yes||AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850e 2.5GHz 2-5%||No problems so far - before VDPAU, CPU usage at 80% and whirring fans.|
|Quadro NVS 140M in a Lenovo T61 Laptop||512MB (shared)||180.29||One Field 1x HW||0.21-fixes + patches||SD MPEG-2, HD MPEG-2 720p and 1080i from either QAM tuner or Firewire Cable Box||Blue||Retro||Gnome||1440x900||Yes||Core 2 Duo T9300 2.5 GHz ~50% on one core||OSD sometimes fails to show. Before VDPAU, CPU usage was up to 90% on one core used by Myth and additional 20-30% used by X.|
|9300 IGP (EVGA 113-YW-E115-TR)||512mb||180.29 (Debian experimental package -1)||Temporal 2x||r20207 trunk||OTA HD 1080i||Blue||Terra||fvwm||1080p||Yes||Core 2 Duo E5200 2.5GHz <10%||Jerky playback w/ Advanced 2x on 1080i. Had to set 512MB GPU mem in BIOS to play 1080i at all. Using Advanced 2x w/o problems for 480i.|