Sunday, November 07, 2010

Hardware Accelerated HD Video playback with ATI graphic card - Part 2

To install mplayer

1 cd /usr/src
2 wget
3 tar xvfj mplayer-vaapi-latest.tar.bz2
4 cd mplayer-vaapi-20091106
5 aptitude build-dep mplayer
6 ./
7 cd mplayer-vaapi
8 make install
9 ldconfig

To install smplayer

1 cd /usr/src
2 wget
3 tar xvfj smplayer-0.6.8.tar.bz2
4 cd smplayer-0.6.8
5 aptitude install qt4-qmake ibqt4-dev
6 make
7 sudo make install
8 ldconfig

Configure smplayer following this link

Here is the playback of a HD video snippet using ATI HD 4250 onboard graphic & a Phenom II 3.2GHz unlocked Quadcore. Notice the high cpu speed scaled to full 3.2GHz often & the relatively higher cpu utilization % in the 30~42% max on the system monitor tab.

Here is the playback of the same video snippet using nVidia onboard 9300 graphic chip & Core 2 Duo 2.8GHz. Notice the cpu never really need to scale up to full 2.8GHz, mostly stayed low at a mere 1.6GHz & the cpu utilization is always in the low 20~30% & stable.

While you cannot see the video playback because video overlay is not captured by screen recording, playback were smooth in both cases.

This serve to demonstrate how nVidia's vdpau hardware acceleration is much matured, well implemented & superior in linux than ATI's vaapi. Nevertheless, it is a big step forward for ATI's to have hardware accelerated HD video playback in Ubuntu 10.10. Things should get better in future.