New VDPAU Features

Posted By: Team XBMC on Sep 05, 2009 in Site News

NvidiaToday Nvidia announced a new set of beta drivers that add several new features to VDPAU in linux. For those somehow still in the dark about VDPAU read about it from here and here. Yes, it’s linux only.

New features include improved video upscaling and hardware acceleration for MPEG-4 Part 2, DivX 4, and DivX 5 video. The obvious pitfall in the announcement is the new hardware requirement, as most of our users already taking advantage of VDPAU (and devs as well) are undoubtedly using 8xxx or 9xxx series chipsets. The new features will require hardware with ‘Feature Set C’. The current list includes: GeForce GT 230M, GeForce GT 240M, GeForce G210M, GeForce GTS 260M, GeForce GTS 250M.

As always, the XBMC team is working hard to support the latest and greatest features available. In fact, motd2k has been working with Nvidia since before the drivers were publicly released, so support should be forthcoming. He says that the upscaling changes should be minimal, though the new codec support will depend on ffmpeg developers, who are known to be very strict when it comes to adding new code. Though without the necessary hardware for development it’s understandably tough for him, so remember to donate if you’d like to help out.

Discussion - 9 Comments

  • Craig Sep 05, 2009 

    Have you looked into VA-API? It can back to VDPAU, and work is being done to also back to ATI’s XvBA. It seems like a neat API to support hardware acceleration on many more systems than just those with Nvidia hardware.

  • spiff Sep 06, 2009 

    it’s on the back-burner until support is added to ffmpeg – it’s sitting on their ml waiting for requested changes (atleast that was the status last time i checked)

  • Loz Sep 07, 2009 

    Well thats one way to keep people buying there top end, noisy, power hungry GPU. As someone who is not a gamer I find it very difficult to justify spending £100+ on a top end graphics chip when I can get a nice passively cooled 9 series card for my media centre for around £30

    I suppose now I have a reason :-S

    I really hope we dont end up with lots of different levels of this depending on the hardware you have.

    I see tecnologies like VDPAU as being very important to the future of computing in a worlld where people fart in HiDef and every man and his uncle’s dog has got a media centre and a HD TV. But I think for it to really work it needs to be Auto Sensing, where everything just detects if you have compatible hardware and enables the functionality by defualt. I see the current requirements for switching to a specific rendering method when you have the correct hardware and the correct drivers as being a couple of levels of complication above what the lay-man needs or wants. If he then has to deal with multiple levels of VDPAU and understand which are compatible with his card then its just going to be a headache.


  • Craig Sep 07, 2009 

    VA-API’s goal is precisely what you described: one interface for applications to develop against and that all drivers implement, just like OpenGL, but for video playback. It’s not tied to a specific vendor, and aims to become an official specification. If VA-API matures, you won’t need that expensive video card, or one from Nvidia versus Intel, nor would you have to pick your hardware based on what vendors the software you want to use supports. And that’s precisely why I asked what XBMC’s take on VA-API is :-)

  • Ghatothkach Yadav Sep 08, 2009 


    all the GeForce GT2XXM cards are mobile chipsets… I have not seen the Nvidia release notes, but can these cards be ever used in any HTPC
    setup ?

    It would be good to have examples links for value-for-money cards using the GT2XX which are now having extra features enabled…


  • GT21x Sep 08, 2009 would be the same GPU as the GT230M and GT240M(GT216 GPU). would be the same GPU as the G210M(GT218 GPU).

    GTS250M & GTS260M is GT215 GPU.

  • PantsOnFire Sep 09, 2009 


    I just bought a pretty non-expandable 9400-powered machine for putting linux on. Happy at the idea of using VDPA as a first time user… but obviously a little less happy to comprehend that there’s little chance of improvement of the magic formula that my card can make use of.

    Bit of a shame. Ah well.. i guess theyre just movin on up? As that guy said, its 1 way to keep ppl buying your higher-tier cards, but maybe theyve just made as much use of the ‘feature set A/B’ cards as they can?

  • Fredik Sep 13, 2009 

    So the ION chipset (i.e. 9400M) according to is VP3. Question is, is VP3 equal to ‘feature set C’?

    Would make sense: VP1 == ‘feature set A’, VP2 == ‘feature set B’, VP3 == ‘feature set C’ but is it? No, it doesn’t seem so if I’m reading this one correctly: Could some one verify that please?

    I’ll have to ditch my new 9400-powered mainboard too. Damn.

  • VPx Sep 14, 2009 

    Feature Set A=VP2

    Feature Set B=VP3

    Feature Set C=40nm GPUs GT215(Geforce GTS 250M, 260M), GT216(Geforce GT 220, Geforce GT 230M, 240M), GT218(Geforce G210, Geforce G210M) & future DirectX 11 GPUs like GT300, you could probably call this VP4 but until it’s confirmed, VP4 name is just a rumor.

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