NVIDIA VDPAU 180.11 test against .mts (AVCHD) and .mkv (Matroska/h264) playback

[UPDATE] Read here about the latest development of NVIDIA’s vdpau video output driver: Tag: vdpau
NVIDIA’s hardware acceleration for HD (H264) content is now reality since they published their first beta driver, the 180.06 on the 14th of November 2008. I’ve tested these new Beta driver here, and found a few bugs. I skipped the test of the driver 180.08 published 4 days later, but tested the 180.11 version from 2nd December, But before you continue: none of my found bugs were fixed. Only the OpenGL3.0 and other stuff I don’t need atm found their way into the new driver. The list below is short summary of the bugs I’ve found in the last 180.06 driver. All bugs are also present in the new one 180.11 driver. I won’t publish a new test if a new driver will be released, but simple update this section, and will add update comments to it:

My Bugs List:

  • the Sync_to_VBlank is still being ignored -> tearing
  • Either Xinerama nor TwinView is working. mplayer just crashes, after coming up with a green screen. I’m using KDE4, but it also crashes with gnome. This is my xorg.conf
  • Matroska (.mkv/h264) content still can’t be played back
  • AVCHD either form Panasonic nor Canon play back without artifacts/distortion, respectively correct speed.
  • Crashes. After trying to play back .mkv the console window is still unusable.
  • Crashes: Total freezes: happened only one time, and I can’t reproduce anymore

Quick Installation instructions:

Important: For a detailed installation instruction please read here. This one below, is for people, who have already installed an NVIDIA driver manually, and met a few prerequisites!


  • Download the 64bit version here: NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-180.11-pkg2.run
  • and the 32bit version here: NVIDIA-Linux-x86-180.11-pkg1.run
    Why there are three different pkgs for the 64bit version and two 32bit versions, I didn’t understand. NVIDIA’s README states:

    The package suffix (‘-pkg#’) is used to distinguish between packages
    containing the same driver, but with different precompiled kernel interfaces.
    The file with the highest package number is suitable for most installations.

  • Go into console mode (Ctrl-Alt-F1)and shutdown kdm/gdm: /etc/init.d/kdm stopand run the the driver after making it executable
    chmod 755 NVIDIA-Linux-x86-180.11-pkg1.run
  • Download the latest mplayer: mplayer-vdpau-3139462.tar.bz2 and build it:
    tar xvfj mplayer-vdpau-3139462.tar.bz2
    cd mplayer-vdpau-3139462

    If you own a multicore CPU, append the ‘-j2’ or ‘-j4’ to the ‘make’ line accordingly to the number of cores of your CPU in the file checkout-patch-build.sh. This speeds up the compilation very much.

  • If you encounter this error below on Fedora 10, look here for patches. This error has been fixed already.
    'INFINITY' undeclared
  • Use for Canon AVCHD footage : ‘-fps 50‘ or ‘-fps 60‘ (for NTSC)
  • for Panasonic footage: ‘-demuxer lavf‘ or/and ‘-nocorrect-pts‘, or try it without anything (interlacing on/off?)

6 thoughts on “NVIDIA VDPAU 180.11 test against .mts (AVCHD) and .mkv (Matroska/h264) playback

  1. Thanks for your testing and report!
    For your information, I’ve tried the latest 180.11 with MythTV VDPAU trunk using Twinview and I’ve been able to watch MPEG2 1080i with deinterlacing!

    It seems that the VDPAU implementation is better with MythTV.

    OSD doesn’t show up for me, I also have the VSync ignored, but it’s surely gonna be great in a near future!

  2. @FMU
    Thnaks for your comment. I’ve heard about the MythTV team and their great progresses regarding the VDPAU integration. Would also be interesting to know, if they’ve got .mkv playback working.

  3. @acmelab68
    I ran some tests using MythVideo instead of watching recordings and the results are much better.

    Color OSD working fine, MPEG2 running almost perfect, still some vsync problems.
    MKV aren’t playing correctly. I was able to start playing every mkv files up to 40mbits but with stuttering/skipping frames, while the sound was playing okay.

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