Eight months.

We'll let you think about that once more.

Eight months.

Eight months have passed since NVIDIA introduced the GeForce 6800 and its Video Processor and today, after eight long months of waiting with no explanation, we can finally take advantage of it. The wait is over, NVIDIA's PureVideo DVD decoder and drivers are publicly available for download. GeForce 6 owners can finally take advantage of the ~20 million transistors set aside for NVIDIA's "Video Processor" through the driver and codec that are being released today.

When NVIDIA first told us about NV40 back in March 2004 they were quite excited about this "Video Processor" they had built into the chip. What we were originally told is that the Video Processor would be a fully programmable video acceleration engine, capable of accelerating both encoding and decoding operations, making HD video encoding and decoding accessible to all users, regardless of system specs. Eight months later, here are the major points of what NVIDIA's Video Processor can do:

1) Hardware acceleration of Windows Media Video 9 and MPEG-2 decode

2) Spatial-Temporal Adaptive Per Pixel De-Interlacing (with 3-2 and 2-2 detection)

3) Everything previous NVIDIA GPUs have been able to do

The feature list isn't as impressive as say full hardware accelerated encoding, but it's still worth a look. Other features such as gamma correction and motion estimation engine are also supported but we won't dive into them as there's not much new to talk about there.

What was once known only as the NV4x Video Processor has now been given the marketing name PureVideo. PureVideo is exclusively available on the GeForce 6 series of GPUs and only the latest GeForce 6 GPUs have a fully functional PureVideo core. The original NV40 and NV45 (GeForce 6800GT/Ultra) do not have functional Windows Media Video 9 decode acceleration, but the rest of the GeForce 6 series are feature complete (GeForce 6800/6600GT/6600/6200).

So after we've hounded NVIDIA for months about PureVideo, we're finally able to test it. But before we can test it, there's a bit of background that has to be taken care of...

An Interlacing Primer
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  • mcveigh - Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - link

    nserra: where do you get your info on mpg4 from? Reply
  • tfranzese - Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - link

    I guess giving you the hardware features now means you should be entitled to the software to take advantage of it as well, huh?

    Those of you who think you're entitled to nVidia's DVD decoder are living in la la land. So now they should also give you the games that take advantage of their technology/features too?
    Reply
  • Koing - Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - link

    Just don't buy an Nvidia card next time if you feel ripped off.

    You paid 'expecting' a feature to be 'fully' and not half 'assed' in to work 8 months late.

    Protest with your WALLETS.

    <-- never an early graphics adopter!

    Still with my Nvidia GF4Ti4200 :P

    Koing
    Reply
  • nserra - Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - link

    http://www.ati.com/vortal/videoinnovations/flash/i...

    #29 VIRGE
    Ati have MPEG4 encoding and decoding since 18/07/2002 so what do you want?

    S3 Omni is better at video then Ati of Nvidia the problem is the rest.... even so, to bad there isnt an S3 in the tests.

    I dont know why nvidia doesnt charge some buck or two for each chip/card it makes, so the feature get paied?

    Unless this enconder software that they are charging, works on any card in the market, if its the case they are right in doing so.
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - link

    Anand,

    I think you would do your readers a great service by retesting all of this on an AMD processor. Your Pentium 4 rig had Hyperthreading on, making this issue look far les serious than it is. Hyperthreading P4 chips report far lower CPU utilization numbers as opposed to even high-level Athlon 64 processors. So those of us with a Geforce 6800 who are running high-end AMD hardware are getting 70-100% CPU utilization in WMV9. It explains why a lot of us are having trouble trusting nVidia now, and in the future.
    Reply
  • atssaym - Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - link

    NVDVD =/= NVIDIA DVD Decoder, they are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS

    link
    http://nvidia.com/object/decoder_faq.html#othernv

    Will this product work with NVDVD and ForceWare Multimedia?
    The new software will upgrade the decoders in ForceWare Multimedia 3.0 to access the new features in the NVIDIA DVD Decoder. The NVIDIA DVD Decoder will not upgrade NVDVD 2.0 as it was a separate application based upon an old architecture.

    Decoder Homepage
    http://nvidia.com/object/dvd_decoder.html
    NVDVD Homepage
    http://nvidia.com/page/nvdvd.html
    Reply
  • pataykhan - Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - link

    Nice comparison of ATI and NVIDIA

    But still one thing is missing. I use cyberlink powerdvd for watching dvds. My question is that if i have got nvidia or ati dvd decoder. Should i use hardware accelerated decoder or should i stick with cyberlink decoder.

    Cyberlink has implemented some smart software deinterlacer and image quality enhancer (CLEV-2). So i would like to see the image quality differences between hardware/software decoders available.
    Reply
  • bigpow - Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - link

    This sucks...

    ATI doesn't charge $20 for the claimed decoder/accelerator...

    And they have the ATI HD component dongle too!
    Reply
  • segagenesis - Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - link

    Bah, I would be kind of pissed if I had a high end $500 card only to find out now its more worthless than a sub $200 card at decoding video. A bit of shame on nVidia. Reply
  • Guspaz - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    Oh, as a clarification of my previous comment (#41) I meant that I was under the impression that normally the DVD decoding software handled the de-interlacing, obviously PureVideo overrides that. But what I mean is on ATI cards, without any type of hardware de-interlacing, wouldn't the deinterlacing differ from decoder to decoder? Reply

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