Eight months.

We'll let you think about that once more.

Eight months.

Eight months have passed since NVIDIA introduced the GeForce 6800 and its Video Processor and today, after eight long months of waiting with no explanation, we can finally take advantage of it. The wait is over, NVIDIA's PureVideo DVD decoder and drivers are publicly available for download. GeForce 6 owners can finally take advantage of the ~20 million transistors set aside for NVIDIA's "Video Processor" through the driver and codec that are being released today.

When NVIDIA first told us about NV40 back in March 2004 they were quite excited about this "Video Processor" they had built into the chip. What we were originally told is that the Video Processor would be a fully programmable video acceleration engine, capable of accelerating both encoding and decoding operations, making HD video encoding and decoding accessible to all users, regardless of system specs. Eight months later, here are the major points of what NVIDIA's Video Processor can do:

1) Hardware acceleration of Windows Media Video 9 and MPEG-2 decode

2) Spatial-Temporal Adaptive Per Pixel De-Interlacing (with 3-2 and 2-2 detection)

3) Everything previous NVIDIA GPUs have been able to do

The feature list isn't as impressive as say full hardware accelerated encoding, but it's still worth a look. Other features such as gamma correction and motion estimation engine are also supported but we won't dive into them as there's not much new to talk about there.

What was once known only as the NV4x Video Processor has now been given the marketing name PureVideo. PureVideo is exclusively available on the GeForce 6 series of GPUs and only the latest GeForce 6 GPUs have a fully functional PureVideo core. The original NV40 and NV45 (GeForce 6800GT/Ultra) do not have functional Windows Media Video 9 decode acceleration, but the rest of the GeForce 6 series are feature complete (GeForce 6800/6600GT/6600/6200).

So after we've hounded NVIDIA for months about PureVideo, we're finally able to test it. But before we can test it, there's a bit of background that has to be taken care of...

An Interlacing Primer
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  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    gordon151

    I should have made this more clear, I used the NVIDIA codec for NVIDIA's tests and I used ATI's codec for ATI's tests. I used Zoom Player for both of them.

    ViRGE

    They never briefed me on anything like that but I can always ask :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • ViRGE - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    Thanks Crimson, but I'm talking about the video features, not the elusive cards themselves. ;-) Reply
  • crimson117 - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    #29: http://anandtech.com/news/shownews.aspx?i=23531 Reply
  • ViRGE - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    I know this is an Nvidia article Anand, but could you get on ATI's butt about their lack of features too, and find out what's going on? When the X800 was launched, ATI was talking about decode acceleration for MPEG4 along along with some sort of encode acceleration(i.e. all the features NV promissed but never delivered on). I'm curious to know what happened to that, and if we're going to get something new out of ATI besides WMV acceleration. Reply
  • gordon151 - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    I was wondering why AT's results were different than PCPers and just noticed they used MMC & 4.12 while AT used the nVidia codec and player for both cards tests. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    Ytterbium

    I've asked numerous times, never gotten a response. I'll try again :)

    For those of you who are wondering, I have asked NVIDIA what their official statement is to early 6800 adopters, but that has also been met with no response.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Ytterbium - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    I'm dissapointed that the encode function never made it, that was a killer feature. Any idea if it will come? Reply
  • Spike - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    Thanks for that! I have the BFG 6800 GT and on the BFG cd there is the nvDVD software. It's nice to know I can actually use the VP that I paid for!

    -spike
    Reply
  • Gatak - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    Here are some examples of interlacing artifacts when redering on a progressive screen:

    1) http://moment22.mine.nu/interlace_1.jpg

    Most software DVDs either blend or remove one of the fields by some partial de-interlacing algorithm. nvidia's DVD decoder does it ok. The image is sharp but still leaves only half framerate.

    2) http://moment22.mine.nu/interlace_2.jpg

    But in reality, half temporal resolution is lost. What should have been done is to render each field as a separate frame.

    3) http://moment22.mine.nu/interlace_3.jpg
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    Spike

    I wasn't aware that the 6800s are coming with NVDVD, in that case you are good to go. Just download the updated version (1.00.67 is the official version) from the website.

    Rand

    The full system was configured as follows:

    Intel Pentium 4 570J
    Intel D915GUX Motherboard
    2 x 512MB DDR2-533 DIMMs
    Intel HD Audio Enabled

    Windows XP SP2 w/ DX9c

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply

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