VDPAU – The NVIDIA 180.06 beta driver for Linux – or how to play back AVCHD with GPU acceleration

Impressive, but none of my Matroska (.mkv) worked yet! 😉 The picture below shows my CPU load while an AVCHD samples have been played back, but there is too much squares and all other kind of trash in the AVCHD video stream every few seconds. It’s actually not usable, but it shows dramatically what hardware acceleration can do for CPU load. Really Impressive. The video is tearing, seems the v-sync (SYNC_TO_VBLANK) is completely ignored. If a mplayer session crashed, the console you’re working in, is unusable afterwards.
I’m really looking forward to the next release. It’s just great having a working hardware acceleration. And this before ATI’s XvBA and Intel’s hardware accelerating open source driver. Having yet another video output driver is also a thing one have to like. But you can always list all possible video output options if you forgot one 😉

mplayer -vo help

My top command gave me this, while I was playing back an AVCHD file:

top - 21:47:16 up  1:06,  1 user,  load average: 0.29, 0.23, 0.18
Tasks: 195 total,   1 running, 190 sleeping,   0 stopped,   4 zombie
Cpu0  :  0.3%us,  0.7%sy,  0.0%ni, 98.7%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.3%si,  0.0%st
Cpu1  :  3.8%us,  0.6%sy,  0.0%ni, 95.3%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.3%si,  0.0%st
Cpu2  :  1.3%us,  0.0%sy,  0.0%ni, 98.3%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.3%si,  0.0%st
Cpu3  :  2.9%us,  0.6%sy,  0.0%ni, 96.4%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st
Mem:   4055052k total,  1932692k used,  2122360k free,   207964k buffers
Swap:  4988172k total,        0k used,  4988172k free,  1051068k cached
10339 acme      20   0  252m  31m  16m S    5  0.8   0:18.26 konsole
10858 acme      20   0  172m  31m  16m S    3  0.8   0:03.20 mplayer
10009 root      20   0  197m  31m  11m S    2  0.8   0:20.18 Xorg
10346 acme      20   0  449m  52m  28m S    1  1.3   0:05.83 firefox
 7220 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    1  0.0   0:02.82 cifsd

The funny thing was, that in spite of being almost idle, and the CPU was ticking at 1600MHz instead of 2400MHz, the mplayer output says me:

Error while decoding frame!
[h264_vdpau @ 0xbf2660]B picture before any references, skipping 0
[h264_vdpau @ 0xbf2660]decode_slice_header error
[h264_vdpau @ 0xbf2660]no frame!
Error while decoding frame!
A: 58.0 V: 56.6 A-V: 1.339 ct: 0.019 2803/2803 1% 0% 2.4% 50 0

**** Your system is too SLOW to play this! ****

Thanks for your attention! Please report bugs, typos, errors or own experiences.
If you really liked what you’ve read, visit a sponsored link. Thanks!

The times for CoreCodec in their CoreAVC is getting harder, and Microsoft’s Windows has no monopole with its DXVA anymore!

External Links:
NVIDIA: http://www.nvidia.de/object/linux_display_amd64_180.06_de.html
HOWTO NVIDIA: http://tuxicity.wordpress.com/2008/06/04/howto-install-nvidia-manually-in-ubuntu-and-debian/
heise.de: http://www.heise.de/newsticker/Linux-API-fuer-die-HD-Video-Faehigkeiten-von-GeForce-GPUs–/meldung/118940

15 thoughts on “VDPAU – The NVIDIA 180.06 beta driver for Linux – or how to play back AVCHD with GPU acceleration

  1. “I’ve been waiting for this moment a very long time”

    I’ve been waiting for your review of this ever since nvidia announced it 🙂

    I havn’t found the list of supported GPU’s before, but just as I suspected it doesn’t look like my onboard nvidia 6400 (I think) is supported. Would be great to find out which onboard cards uses the least amount of power. At least one that can power down the GPU when it is not being used 🙂 I guess would probably would have to go for one of those 9×00 cards to get VC-1 support?

  2. @Anders Rune Jensen
    Hi Anders 🙂
    My card is a 8500GT, it’s a quite cheap model, and is being cooled passively. It’s not onboard. In the living-room I’m facing the same situation like you, since there’s an onboard 7025, which wouldn’t work.

  3. I just searched the local hardware dealer and indeed the Geforce 9400 cards are really cheap (~50 euro) and passively cooled, sadly its pci express. It seems like one of the biggest problems except for the stability is the tearing issue. How bad is it? Is it bad enough to make it completely unusable?

  4. @Anders Rune Jensen
    The whole thing is very very unasable. It’s realy only a feasibility test, nothing else. Tearing is one of many very evil bugs (System freezes and other)
    NVIDIA just wanted to piss into Intel’s and ATI’s garden.
    It’s really not worth to buy any GFX card righ now, only because of the release of 180.06. I thing we’ve got plenty of time.

    Btw: how did you do this thing with your avatar picture?

  5. Pingback: VDPAU bug report
  6. really good, but it would have saved me some work if you put the suported list in the begining. damm nvidia¬¬

  7. @nande
    Hold it! This is very much outdated. All Nvidia cards beginning with 8xxx suppose to work now.
    Please consider the posting date, and please look here at this Blog for a recent VDPAU article.
    The current nvidia drivers do support VDPAU out of the box, and a recent mplayer checkout doesn’t need special treatment anymore.

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