Intel GMA graphics - any good for hi-def? 1920 x 1080 @ 50/60hz

leon zadorin leonleon77 at
Tue Feb 20 23:29:14 PST 2007

On 2/21/07, Stroller <linux.luser at> wrote:

> I don't mind splashing out for a decent Core2Duo processor but as I
> read it, with all the other possible demands upon a system, even
> these can struggle with HD playback if hardware acceleration is not
> enabled. The common MythTV solution is to use a nVidia card & their
> binary drivers with XvMC enabled.
> I believe that the X3000 can do hardware graphics acceleration, but
> I'm not clear what the driver support is like for that?

I have had a bit of a play with HDV/DV playback (albeit in a
collaborative context):


and as far as software rendering goes - it has been out of the
question in my experience (e.g. CPU can't hack it when rendering
25fps, 1920x1080 with Imlib2 an AMD Opteron box)... [DV is ok though-
macmini running linux and rendering in software on X server powered by
i810 driver]

For hardware accelerated rendering (e.g. Xvideo exetnsion support in X
server; OpenGL, last time I checked, was not as fast in terms of
colorspace conversion [e.g. from 420 planar to rgba]) I have found the

Most cards support "Overlay" adaptor in Xvideo (this, however is not
always present on some of the newer nvidia chips) and this overlay
adaptor is OK but only if you want to play 1 video stream per whole
computer system. If you want to display multiple video streams/images
at once - you need either the blitter or texture adaptors in Xvideo
support (or you can "collate" different streams into 1 logical display
window - nothing short of being programmatically insane). This is
where the "stable" i810 Intel driver was letting me down :-) [can't
wait to start playing more with modesetting branch when I get the time
to do so]...

So it is, I guess, more about what kind of hardware acceleration
support you need...

given that XvMC is a typicall config for your app (afaik XvMC was not
designed to do multiple streams decoding well, as it has a limited
number of "hardware" surfaces and it uses those for "inter-frame"
decoding processes of a given stream) you probably won't care about
displaying more than 1 stream per system... having said this, AMD
opteron 64 (dual cpu, dual core, running in 32 bit mode) or MacPro
(core 2 duo, dual CPU) have no trouble decoding (NOT rendering) HDV
streams in software (libavcodec) - with single stream decoding only
taking ~32 (macpro) or ~41 (AMD) percent of a single logical cpu
(given that there are 4 of these, theoretically one may be able to
decode 8 HDV streams... - I don't have enough cameras to test this :-)

Whilst on the subject, if anyone out there has done rendering/playback
of 1920x1080 video streams on latest of intel drivers (using texture
adator in XV extension) - would love to hear about their experience (X
server's cpu load, achieved frame rate, image-tearing issues [e.g.
effeciency and possibility of "lock to VBlank" features])...

Kind regards
Leon Zadorin.

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