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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  • Rand - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    Anand- Could you provide the details on what the test platform in use was?
    You mentioned the processor of course, but it would be appreciated if you could disclose the other components in use.

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • Spike - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    But the 6800's come with NVDVD (at least mine did), isn't that basically their decoder? Other users are reporting their new (just recieved today) 6800 GT's coming with the DVD decoder on CD.

    -spike
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    NVIDIA's DVD decoder has always been $20, unfortunately I don't know of a single manufacturer that gives away their DVD decoders for free.

    The WMV9 acceleration can be had without the DVD decoder, however that you will have to wait on Microsoft for as WMP10 needs to be updated.

    The features right now are mostly for HTPC enthusiasts who want the image quality benefits offered by PureVideo.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Spike - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    I am still confused on the "free" comment. If I have to pay $20 to enable a feature that was supposed to come with my 6800 GT, how is that free?

    Thanks,
    spike
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    How to enable WMV9 hardware acceleration on ATI cards:

    Note: WMV9 acceleration has been disabled until Microsoft issues a new patch for WMV9. To enable this with other versions of Catalyst (with some rendering errors), RUN regedit -> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> CurrentControlSet -> Control ->Video and find your ATI reg value. The key to update is DXVA_WMV = 1

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • gordon151 - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    #16, It does. It just doesn't have the full capabilities that it was advertised as having. If you look at the descriptions you'll see only the 6600 AGP/PCI-E and 6800 PCI-E have use of the full capabilities of the encoder. Reply
  • Klaasman - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    I don't see on Nvidia's website where the 6800GT does NOT have PureVideo capability. They say all Ge Force 6 series. Reply
  • OriginalReaper - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    why couldn't *those* sites shut down next week instead :-\ Reply
  • Gatak - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    There are some facts missing when it comes to differences between interlaced and progressive video.

    NTSC TV broadcasts are recorded at 60fps, not 30fps. (PAL is 50fps). Each field is recorded after eachother in time. There is a 16.7ms delay between each field.

    If you were to de-interlace two fields into one frame you would loose half of the temporal resolution! This is a big mistake - especially for fast moving things like a football or hockey game.

    A proper de-interlacing method would render each field as a separate frame (like a TV does!), not blend or discard fields.

    24fps content, on the other hand, need to be converted to fit the 60fps NTSC (or 50fps PAL). It is nasty and should be banned. A DVD/MPEG-2 video is perfectly capable of storing 24fps progressive.

    So, what we want is to render 24fps content as 24fps progressive and TV content as 60fps progressive.

    Remember, a TV is already interlaced. There will be no problems with interlaced content because each field is rendered consecutively. It is only on a computer monitor which is progressive where we need to do field deinterlacing.
    Reply
  • SlinkyDink - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    How can we enable hardware acceleration on our ATI cards now? (I believe its a registry edit) Reply

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