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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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  • phusg - Tuesday, March 01, 2005 - link

    Has anyone found a 6600GT card manufacturer that bundles nvDVD including the DVD decoder yet? Reply
  • akozak - Tuesday, January 04, 2005 - link

    Hey Anand,

    Don't mean to poo-poo on your hardwork - but almost all of your images are using different frames.

    a) Galaxy Quest - differences in star placements, planet alignment

    b) Apollo 13 - head is shifted b/w images

    c) Friends - characters shift - legs are different locations etc

    In fact the only ones that look like they are the same frame show no differences.

    Have you looked at the difference in frames? If you took one frame before or one frame after on one card, would it match up to the other card's image you already have?



    Reply
  • b3roldan - Friday, December 31, 2004 - link

    hi, I'm using a vanilla 6800 from inno3d w/ Forceware 66.93.

    I was just wonderin if you guys were also experiencing problems I've had with these games or if t'was just me.

    Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance
    - Everything's black and white. Wondering if it has anything to do with nvidia's 0x32 Z stencil (shadowing technology).

    MAFIA
    - Walls are multi-colored, sometimes transparent

    I've just upgraded from a 9800PRO 128mb, which worked pretty well with these games.

    Just wonderin if there are others with the same prob... thx :)
    Reply
  • Gatak - Thursday, December 23, 2004 - link

    What nvidia or ATi ought to do is to prove a simplier interface and especially much better documentation on how to access the hardware directly.

    The GPU's are incredibly fast for lots of things. For example it would indeed be possible to do video encoding, photo manipulation effects (Apple core.image/video!) or even sound compression.
    Reply
  • jago25 - Thursday, December 23, 2004 - link

    Shame I'll never be able to use it..seeing as I don't use Windows.

    You can use a GPU to do anything. Might be a good idea to make it easier to do so rather than having to develop more codecs as that's a never ending job.
    Reply
  • hellokeith - Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - link

    The article really needs to be corrected per the 6800 PCI Express vs 6800 AGP. People are talking about this on numerous HTPC/AVS forums and being mislead. Only the PCI Express 6800 has the new silicon. Reply
  • karlreading - Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - link

    ive jumped through the other pages from a comment on page one, so if this has already been answered, lynch me now:
    anand said he knows of no manufacturer that bundles nv DVD.
    im pretty sure its on my bfg disc that came with me 6800GT OC ;)
    thats me sorted then.
    karlos
    Reply
  • mikepers - Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - link

    This should help:

    http://www.nzone.com/object/nzone_purevideo_requir...

    There's a link for the correct driver and the decoder and at the bottom a link which shows which cards support what. Sort of sucks that my AGP 6800 Ultra has less features then a 6600 card but it is what it is...
    Reply
  • CrystalBay - Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - link

    Remember Buy.com ? Where are you Harvey!!!! Reply
  • tfranzese - Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - link

    mcveigh, he provided the link to where you could find that for the ATi side of things. I'm curious about the S3 things, though it wouldn't surprise me if true. Reply

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