ATI's Avivo mark 2 - a preview

Comments 1 to 13 of 13

Boon 19th December 2005, 12:47 Quote
It's nice to see ATI come back with something to apparently take the nVidia crown which was only recently earnt. In the past ATI was always considered the only choice for HTPC and then with Purevideo that all changed with the 6600GT being considered the standard.

I might just grab a budget Avivo card to upgrade my 9800Pro if there really are significant image improvements. Bearing in mind I currently have a SDTV I'm not sure I would really notice a difference. RGB Scart support out of the box would have been nice though..:/
Nature 19th December 2005, 12:53 Quote
Any ETA for the X1800 mobile?

I'm buying a laptop in January and thought the 7800 looked gangster, but if the mobile X has times 2 the video quality it'd be stupid to "buy now".

Is the G70 capabile of HD quality?
Tim S 19th December 2005, 13:26 Quote
There won't be an R520-based mobility part - you'll have to wait until R580 (M58 is the mobile part IIRC).

PureVideo can do most things that Avivo can in terms of decoding, but it can't do H.264 at the moment.
Da_Rude_Baboon 19th December 2005, 13:34 Quote
HDMI and HDCP are next generation connectivity standards. HDMI is a plug type - it's basically a replacement for DVI. It's smaller, and is allows for the HDCP protocol to be transferred along the cable between the graphics card and the display

DVI can also transmit HDCP signals and is interchangeable with HDMI. HDMI can also carry audio signals as well as video making it more a like to the european SCART socket.
Bindibadgi 19th December 2005, 14:03 Quote
Originally Posted by Da_Rude_Baboon
DVI can also transmit HDCP signals and is interchangeable with HDMI. HDMI can also carry audio signals as well as video making it more a like to the european SCART socket.

Yea, HDMI is what the Japanese use.
stephen2002 19th December 2005, 14:30 Quote
Trying to play back H.264 high definition content on even a high-end PC system - such as as 3.6GHz Pentium 4 - will result in dropped frames left, right and centre.

What? I have a 2.8GHz P4 with a 6800GT and no problem playing back the 720p QuickTime trailers using QuickTime7. It is only using about 40-60% CPU.

What really irks me about these various video acceleration support is how limited they are. NVIDIAs full solution only really works on MPEG2 video, even though they promised with the release of the 6 series that it is a programmable architecture and could support other formats. Yea, DVDs look great, but everything else (TV tuner, HD tuner, downloaded video, etc.) dosn't really get helped out. I don't know what kind of video formats will recive full processing for ATI, but I'm guessing it is really only going to be MPEG2 video. From what I can tell both solutions seem to require a special codec. I don't understand why these fancy video processing options, such as noise reduction, don't simply operate on whatever data happens to be fed into either the video overlay or VMR. That way, no matter what the format, you get better scaling, noise reduction, and de-interlacing.
truekishin 19th December 2005, 14:35 Quote
ATI's Avivo seems to be coming along quite nicely now, with support for HD and H.264. nVidia claims that the G70 hardware can also accelerate H.264, but we have yet to see a driver application of this hardware "ability." nVidia hasn't claimed HD support yet for their cards, but to be honest, I don't think thats nVidia's focus right now. nVidia wants to capture the performance crown, the most FPS in games, the highest 3Dmark05 scores, and all the bragging rights that come with those to use in propelling their advertising schemes. Its not very likely that nVidia will choose to go hardcore video playback and compatibility at this time. ATI is targetting the video market now for PC AND Apple, which is interesting. As far as quality goes for transcoding, reviewed the Avivo Video Converter and found that the "sacrifice" of quality for time was "unacceptable." But hey, I'm guessing they have the best hardware lying around their office, of course a quickly transcoded H.264 video is going to look bad to them.

Off topic sidenote: HOW can a 7800 (or any piece of computer hardware for that matter) look "gangster" :|
Tim S 19th December 2005, 15:09 Quote
Here's comments from one of the video junkies over on Doom9 forums:

NVIDIA's PureVideo offers CPU utilisation improvements in things like WMV9 HD (amongst others), but not H.264 at the moment. Many will remember that NV40 and NV45 had the infamously 'broken' video processor. It was fixed in all subsequent GPUs though.
Nature 19th December 2005, 15:39 Quote
Originally Posted by truekishin
Off topic sidenote: HOW can a 7800 (or any piece of computer hardware for that matter) look "gangster" :|

Well, as a Canadian I wouldn't expect you to know "triple dogg gangsta" if a hockey stick smacked you in the face, but aside my ill-humor it's just us L.A. native's terminology.
A Benz... "Gangsta". Scarface..... "Gangster". A Quad GPU, FX 62, system with a 480mm spinner hub-cap cooling, and hydraulics.... Well, now your learned ;)

According to the Inquirer:
(and several other sites) The X1800 should be out soon, to answer my own question....
Tim S 19th December 2005, 15:57 Quote
Originally Posted by Nature
According to the Inquirer:
(and several other sites) The X1800 should be out soon, to answer my own question....
That story is incorrect according to my sources. I've already said it once in this thread, but there will be no Mobility Radeon X1800. The next high end Mobility Radeon will be based around R580.

I assume the several other sites linked The Inquirer?

Also, IIRC, I was on one of ATI's financial conference calls earlier in the year where Dave Orton said that there would be no R520-based Mobility Radeon (X1800).
Da Dego 19th December 2005, 16:10 Quote
My oh my, what a fickle crowd...We go from some of you posting how NV owns and ATI shouldn't even bother to "Oh, well NV is focusing on its advertising skeem and 3dmark05 scores." :)

Honestly, avivo is some pretty neat stuff, but we have yet to see exactly what level of sophistication this will be brought to. PureVideo is a pay-per idea, so the benefits of free drivers out there can't be ignored. But one has to remember that PV then finances itself...anybody with an older game or an older piece of hardware knows what happens when support drops shortly after release. The market may be there, but once ATI converts people to the x1000 line, there's no real need or benefit to continue upgrading and updating the technology.

Personally, I'll stick with big green for now. AVIVO promises to be nice, but NV have kept updating and supporting PureVideo well, and focusing on it as a stepping stone forward. We'll see how well ATI keeps up with it when their driver writers aren't getting paid out of a financially self-sustaining piece of software. If AVIVO stays around well for a year, I'll look at making the switch. Til then, it's smoke and mirrors.
Boon 19th December 2005, 16:20 Quote
AVIVO transcoder for all? ...

Firehed 19th December 2005, 19:29 Quote
Hmm... antialiasing demo on an American flag by a Canadian company on a British website. Go figure.

Anyways, it all means nothing to me until HDCP is out, and much moreso a week later when a crack or loophole of sorts is found. No way in hell an entire planet is going to replace their HDTV sets with HDCP-supporting equivalents just so they can actually WATCH content (that they PAID FOR! It's not as if it would stop piracy in any way, and from my understanding isn't even designed to) in high def.

But, still good news. I hate crappy video (image quality of course, I'm used to crap content by now), and anything that can be used to improve quality - especially without the cost of system resources - is a welcome step forward.
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