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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  • Cybercat - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    Oh, nevermind, that's for PCI Express 6800s, which are apparently the only cards that use the NV41 core. AGP 6800s use the NV40 core.
  • Novaoblivion - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    For anyone who wants it the link on Nvidia's site seems to working I just downloaded it.
  • Cybercat - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link


    How does the 6800 have acceleration support if it's also based on the NV40 core?
  • skunkbuster - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    "At the same time, ATI sent us information on how to enable hardware acceleration of WMV9 on their cards before the forthcoming WMP10 update."

    would someone care to share this with the rest of us ?
  • KnightBreed - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    I hope nVidia plans to add support for decoding MPEG4-AVC HP at some point. Whether it's this product line or next, MPEG4 will be important for next generation optical media (whether it's HD-DVD or Blu-Ray).
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    What makes me truly upset is that so far, the sites reviewing PureVideo has not take a stand for the consumers that own the 6800 and were promised the full PureVideo featureset by nVidia. Rather, sites are reviewing the tech, and ducking the issue, as if they are more concerned about continuing to receive nVidia products for review than they are for us. Who's looking out for the little guy?

    P.S. Anandtech's review states that the 6800 Standard has a fully functional video processor --this isn't fully true, as the AGP version according to nVidia's website, does not.
  • jamawass - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    Great review. Even though Nvidia doesn't always win the deinterlace test, it wins on picture quality in most tests.Looks like a 6600 Nvidia will be replacing my ATI as the next video card in my htpc.
  • Aquila76 - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    That is so retarded that it doesn't fully work on the 6800GT/Ultra. Why would they cripple their high end cards? I guess since they aren't very available it doesn't really matter. Hope they add the rest of the functionality to new revs of these cards.
  • GnomeCop - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    wow I guess they will get away with touting this feature on the AGP 6800Ultra/GTs , even though it doesn't fully work after all.
  • jg123 - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    I don't see a link on Nvidia's website for a trial mentioned in this article.

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