...at least as far as video encoding and authoring are concerned:
now hardware video encoders are nothing new, but until now add in cards that were capable of doing hardware high definition mpeg-2, h264 and vc-1 in real time cost thousands of dollars (i once priced them out and the ones with these capabilities started at about 10 grand).
now for less than $300 consumers will be able to buy a card that can do the same thing. in all honesty it effectively removes the only reason to buy a top of the line nehalem (when they are released) rather than buying the cheapest quad core cpu you can find and pairing with one of these bad boys.
you have to love that cell processor...
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But before you write off CPU's, note that these add in cards usually only support lower quality profiles for encoding and decoding. If you look at the Badaboom encoder or ones based of the VP3 engine on Nvidia cards - the quality is quite poor. Hopefully these newer products will improve on that, but the CPU will always be the most versatile.
I would wait until you see reviews.
Why spend $300 for another card when your graphics card will be able to do it instead?
Yeah, Badaboom is crap but I'm sure someone will do better soon.
Originally Posted by poisondeathray
here's a review of the basic technology behind the add in cards, toshiba has been selling notebooks that couple a 4 core cell processor with a 2 ghz dual core Core 2, Toshiba claims the built in cell processor can transcode hi def video 11 times faster than the Core 2, using MovieFactory.
i wouldn't look to nvidia/ati video cards as a metric of what encoding hardware is capable of, despite what amd/nvidia would have us believe, the nature of a video cards architecture makes them very difficult to program for general purpose computing, the cell processor is more like a hybrid general purpose and graphics chip. and more importantly, from everything i have read, is fairly straight forward to program for, you use straight forward C/C++ (and my guess would be java and pascal, as well) as opposed to having to learn and use a specialized HLSL.
h.264 encoding is not general purpose computing.
Component to h.264 capture devices are already available for less than US$200. Of course, that won't ever be faster than realtime.
Originally Posted by jagabo
now i know that certain video processes, like IDCT, can be accelerated by the video card, but it's not possible to code the entire application to run completely on the video card, or more accurately, it's not possible to code the entire application to run on a video card without using programming "tricks" to emulate general purpose registers on a video cards shaders.
as for capture cards, the chips on them are general purpose chips, for the most part that are dedicated to a specific task, the reason they are able to capture and encode video in real time is because they don't have the overhead of having to run an OS, manage I/O and ram.
as for never being able to be faster than real time, i don't see how a capture card could capture faster than real time, it's like asking a camcorder to record faster than real time...
I have my doubts that this SpursEngine will encode faster than a current generation quad (let alone Nehalem) using the same settings. The key is using the same quality settings.
It has 1/2 the processors of the normal Cell, and they run at 1/2 the speed. Cell engine was great ~2 years ago, things have improved in the rest of the semiconductor technology world since then.
Their marketing claims sound a lot like the Badaboom claims (they used AVC baseline profile which is quite handicapped). Again, I would wait for proper reviews.
I've a forecoder blu card from thomson equiped with spursengine. My test are very good. 45 min. original mpeg2 video (720x576i) output 1280x720P using aviutl and spursengine plugin (freeware), about 32 min to finish VS 1h:22 using vidcoder, (intel Q9650 2 GB 800 Mhz, 15 TB space storage, nvidia 9800 GT Windows 7)
Tmpgeng works 5 are used for test too and spursengine plugin from pegasys. Quality it's ok but produces jerky on fast motion scenes, like visible macroblock.
There's CRI spurscoder too, it accept .AVS script and work without gui, command line only, like X264. File output is raw .H264 ES. Maybe can be used with ripbot264, as external encoder, like divx or x264. It have a lot option in hardware: upscaling, crop, AVC level, CBR or VBR and a lot more .
Great benefits for cpu (about 9-10% used).
I don't think that's impossible.
Last edited by darkio; 11th Jun 2011 at 12:25.