Over two years ago, Intel introduced the world to their first platform brand - Centrino. And just at this past IDF, Intel announced their second platform brand - Viiv. Both Centrino and Viiv had their reasons for being created; they had their overall goals. Centrino was brought forth to improve the mobile platform by extending battery life and make wireless networking ubiquitous. Intel's Viiv was created to address the growing segment of users interested in media PCs, to improve the overall media experience on the PC through better performance, more CE-like operation, and guaranteed connectivity to CE devices. It is also tough to ignore the fact that Centrino and shortly, Viiv, were both created to be tremendously profitable and keep the competition away from the pie.

Like school children, technology companies are very easily influenced by one another. Intel kicked off their Centrino brand in March of 2003 and made it highly successful, exciting envy and a desire to attain the same in competitors and other tech companies around the globe. AMD tried their hand at platform branding with the Turion 64 mobile platform, and today, we're here to talk about ATI's first video platform - Avivo.

Much like Intel's Centrino and Viiv, Avivo is a reference to a platform, and as such, it doesn't refer to just one product, but in this case, two. A complete Avivo platform features an Avivo capture card, and an Avivo graphics card. As of today, the only Avivo capture card available is the ATI Theater 550, and presently, there are no Avivo graphics cards available. The next-generation of GPUs from ATI (R520, RV530 and RV515) will all support Avivo, and thus, they make up the second half of the platform.

What is Avivo's reason for existing? According to ATI, Avivo exists to address the future of displaying digital pictures and video on the PC, and to put it more succinctly, it strives to perfect the "Video Pipeline". So, while Intel's Centrino focused on perfecting mobility, and Viiv will attempt to perfect the media center PC, Avivo aims to do the same for the capture, encoding, decoding, processing and display of video. ATI calls these five areas that Avivo will improve: stages of the "video pipeline".

The first stage of that pipeline happens to be video capture.

Avivo Improves Video Capture


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  • ViRGE - Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - link

    Hexus has confirmed Avivo platforms will be HDCP/HDMI compliant. Reply
  • ViRGE - Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - link

    Didn't ATI already promiss this feature last time? When they launched the X800, they advertised accelerated encoding/decoding of MPEG1, 2, and 4; and right now all they've actually done is decode acceleration of 1 and 2, with no sort of encode acceleration to be seen. I'm really getting leery of all these video features that fail to materialize. Reply
  • MrJim - Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - link

    With my Radeon 9800 i can accelerate divx when i use the divx player, thats mpeg4 for me. But im looking forward to better support in the hardware. Reply
  • ViRGE - Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - link

    That's not decode acceleration, that's simply a form of deblocking where the Divx codec doesn't deblock the video then passes it to the 9800 to deblock(and I use the term loosely because the Divx codec itself does a better job, IMHO). Reply
  • mongoosesRawesome - Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - link

    nvidia has really aggrivated me with their purevideo. they tout purevideo as a feature of their graphics cards, but in order to enable it, you have to pay them 20 dollars for their purevideo software. after paying 400 dollars for a graphics card, i expect the features listed for the graphics card to be included in drivers. i think anandtech and other hardware review sites need to be more explicit about how purevideo is only enabled after purchasing extra software from NVIDIA.

    while I haven't been as impressed with ATI's video game performance as of late, WMV9 acceleration is included in their drivers all the way back to my 9800 Pro, a feature NVIDIA wasn't able to deliver with their AGP 6800 series cards, and only available after paying them for extra software on newer cards.
  • Rock Hydra - Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - link

    I agree. That pissed me off when I found out about having to buy additional software. Maybe a 3rd party has come up with a way to enable the abilities of purevideo. Even better, for free. /crosses fingers Reply
  • Jep4444 - Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - link

    ATI drivers work fine for games, ive never had one game fail to run on me through two Radeon cards(ill admit the drives for the Rage sucked as i couldnt get quite a few games to run on that thing)

    I'm curious what Intels reaction to this since it treads into the same territory as Viiv, i think ATI should try to strategically place themselves together if they want Avivo to suceed to its full potential
  • Myph - Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - link

    Only thing really holding me back from going ATI, I just can't trust that their drivers are going to work for ALL games, all the time. Reply
  • photai - Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - link

    maybe you should consider how it performs as well. I think it is important too. Reply
  • Griswold - Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - link

    Humbug. Their drives have no more problems with brand new games than nvidias. Reply

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