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Slides courtesy of HKEPC

Slides courtesy of HKEPC
ATI's mainstream gains 1080p H.264 and VC-1 hardware decoding

HKEPC has the scoop on ATI’s upcoming mainstream HD-DVD and Blu-Ray playback solution. ATI’s AVIVO video processing engine integrated into every X1000 series graphics card supports H.264 and VC-1 hardware accelerated decoding. However, the mainstream X1300 and X1600 series only support hardware accelerated H.264 and VC-1 decoding up to resolutions of 720p. HD-DVD and Blu-Ray disks are typically encoded in 1080p with H.264 or VC-1. Hardware accelerated decoding of 1080p H.264 or VC-1 content is reserved for ATI’s higher end X1800 and X1900 models only.

ATI’s mainstream solution appears to integrate a Xilleon video processor to a Radeon graphics processor. The ATI Universal Video Decoder will be integrated into the GPU and offer extensive video processing capabilities. Video processing capabilities include the ability to decode 40Mbps Blu-Ray and HD-DVD content using only the GPU. Dual-stream decoding is also supported too allowing the Universal Video Decoder to decode two video streams at the same time for picture-in-picture features.

ATI’s Universal Video Decoder will be coupled with an RV516 based graphics core to form RV550. RV550 hasn’t received an official Radeon name yet. Specifications for RV550 are relatively standard for an ATI mainstream part. Engine and core clocks will be around 600 MHz and 800 MHz respectively. RV550 graphics cards will have a 128-bit memory interface, though there’s no mention of memory size. Dual-DVI and HDCP is supported with RV550 too, though HDCP compliancy is up to the board manufacturers.

Two passively cooled low profile reference boards are available from ATI. Clarity is the codename for the reference board with DVI and video outputs while Crystal is the codename for the reference board with DVI and HDMI video outputs.

Samples of the RV550 GPU are expected in September, though production isn’t expected till December. As RV550 is still a mainstream solution, expect pricing below $200.

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By ElJefe69 on 7/31/2006 2:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
"The ATI Universal Video Decoder will be integrated into the GPU and offer extensive video processing capabilities."

The article's title is about new vid cards. Besides the quoted line above, the contents of the article mentions only old cards.

What is this saying? I have a x1900 AIW card (LOVE IT). Will I be able to decode and play 1080p blu ray discs with a software upgrade or will I need to buy a new card?

New card would be assinine.

RE: Question!
By OrSin on 7/31/2006 2:38:00 PM , Rating: 2
Your card will work. Thye are just now giving more detail becasue they they just now get drives that can play HD-DVD and Blue in systems. At best you need the new catalyst drivers

RE: Question!
By ElJefe69 on 7/31/2006 4:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
Thanx much for the reply.

Now the next question will be: can I watch Blu-ray movies on my DiamondPro monitor? It is analog CRT. I wouldnt even know how the rights management would work or not work with me being that I wouldnt be going through HDMI or Component cables? Eh confusing crap. I am assuming stuff will be hacked to death before I worry about it all. shrugs.

RE: Question!
By hannons on 7/31/2006 4:45:42 PM , Rating: 2
There is possibly a moratorium on HDCP content down-rezzing until 2010. Check link:

RE: Question!
By GoatMonkey on 8/1/2006 7:52:27 AM , Rating: 2
It sounds to me like they are adding an extra video processor to the existing lineup and changing the name of the cards.

All that for under $200?
By Shoal07 on 7/31/2006 2:30:56 PM , Rating: 2
I might finally make a media PC for my TV. Sounds like the perfect card, especially if it's passivly cooled. Does it have a TV Tuner/decoder?

RE: All that for under $200?
By Master Kenobi on 7/31/2006 2:48:22 PM , Rating: 2
The AIW model will likely have the TV Tuner, but both will likely support decoding.

RE: All that for under $200?
By granulated on 8/1/2006 8:44:36 AM , Rating: 2
I thought they'd discontinued the AIW's ?

RE: All that for under $200?
By PAPutzback on 8/1/2006 10:36:22 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't matter if it is an AIW. MCE won't use a software MPEG decoder. You would have to buy a seperate stand alone TV tuner. THe aTI 650 is the top dog right now as far as TV tuners go.

RE: All that for under $200?
By Dfere on 7/31/06, Rating: 0
RE: All that for under $200?
By Vertigo101 on 7/31/2006 3:05:02 PM , Rating: 2
That's not really a function of a graphics card alone.

By AppaYipYip on 7/31/06, Rating: 0
RE: ...
By OrSin on 7/31/2006 4:23:23 PM , Rating: 3
Becuase every game needs DX 10. In 1 year every game will need to dx10. DX 10 will not be needed in games for almost 2-3 years. Sure one of 2 tiltes will need dx10 but not even 50% will need them in the next few years.

RE: ...
By cgrecu77 on 7/31/2006 6:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
the onlt problem is that those 1-2 games that require are THE GAMES to play ... :)

RE: ...
By robber98 on 7/31/2006 4:54:59 PM , Rating: 3
By the time most of the game require DX10, you need a new video card anyway...

cool but ...
By alexcurpas on 8/1/2006 5:12:21 AM , Rating: 2
When's the next gen GPU comming out? I want to upgrade my old Radeon 9600XT but I don't want to buy an X1900XT just to find out that it's obsolete two months later ...

By RamarC on 8/1/2006 9:51:22 AM , Rating: 2
in Oct/Nov and arrive in Feb/Mar. vista's dx10 & aero are major GPU selling points, so i don't think nvidia or ati will be pressed to finalize their release dates until vista gets a hard release date.

( of course i could be wrong but i'm sure someone here will point out my error in no uncertain terms. ;-)

RE: cool but ...
By GreenEnvt on 8/1/2006 10:30:15 AM , Rating: 2
If you are worried about something becoming obsolete you have picked the wrong hobby. Just about any computer part you buy is obsolete before you make it out of the store, or before the delivery gets to your house.

Integrated Solutions
By dmce on 8/1/2006 10:58:38 AM , Rating: 2
How long do you think it will be till motherboards have this type of support for HDMI (HDCP) integrated?

Not Bad.
By Master Kenobi on 7/31/2006 2:01:39 PM , Rating: 1
With the pricepoint and release window, I expect these will be targeted towards vista media center TV's. And at less than 200$ we can expect it to gain wide adoption.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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