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Old 26 Aug 2007, 09:29 PM   #1
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Default H264 Playback on a computer

It would seem that HTPC's(home theater personal computers) and H264/mpeg4avc don't mix. First we want a small computer case, that's quiet and attractive. That rules out a lot of cpu power and adds the problem of dealing with heat and power issues.

According to this article there's only one video card chipset that can deal with
this problem.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3047&p=7

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...deon+HD+2600XT

as you can see there's few if any reviews on these cards
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Old 27 Aug 2007, 01:02 AM   #2
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Only the 8600 GTS and the HD 2600 are real contenders when it comes to accelerated H.264/VC-1 decoding - it was dissapointing to find that both top of the range cards from NVIDIA and ATI only has previous generation HD acceleration. This is one of the reasons I've put off buying a new computer until January, because the hardware is just not here yet for efficient HD decoding and also great gaming performance. Both H.264 and VC-1 will be really important for Blu-ray/HD DVD, as it looks like Blu-ray will be heading towards H.264, and HD DVD staying with VC-1.

It might be worth it to wait for a bit until the next generation, or when integrated chipsets become just that bit more powerful to be able to handle H.264/VC-1 acceleration.

I do like AMD's 690 chipset solution, which adds HDMI (w/HDCP of course) output to the IGP - unfortunately, you'll still need a somewhat decent CPU to decode the video:

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=439&type=expert

Something like this, but with proper acceleration, would be great for a quiet, power efficient media PC.
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Old 27 Aug 2007, 01:40 AM   #3
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supposedly the 2400xt is a close runner up to the 2600's with HD, lacking gaming and overall performance

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...deon+HD+2400XT

probably coming closer to the lower power and less heat requirements of a htpc
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Old 27 Aug 2007, 01:55 AM   #4
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The newly released 8400 GS looks interesting:

http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews.p...400_gs_256mb/1

I think it's low profile compatible too, which makes it handy for HTPCs.

Last edited by admin; 27 Aug 2007 at 01:57 AM
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Old 27 Aug 2007, 03:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admin View Post
Only the 8600 GTS and the HD 2600 are real contenders when it comes to accelerated H.264/VC-1 decoding - it was dissapointing to find that both top of the range cards from NVIDIA and ATI only has previous generation HD acceleration.
Quote:
Added HD video post-processing for H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2 HD content on GeForce 8500 series products.
http://www.nvidia.co.uk/object/winvi...163.44_uk.html

Not sure how good this beta is to deal with decoding that stuff.

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