GPU accelerated H.264 encoding

H.264 is the new DivX, the new Xvid as announced yesterday on Anandtech.com:

Right now transcoding Blu-ray movies isn’t exactly at the top of everyone’s list, but using H.264/x264 you can significantly reduce file sizes on any video. x264 is the new DivX and its usefulness extends far beyond just ripping HD movies. Needless to say, its use isn’t going to increase unless encoding using the codec gets faster.

Anand Lal Shimpi writes in regards to the ungodly long encode times it takes to convert Blu-ray Sony movies into any other more ‘portable’ format. x264 will be the lingua franca sine qua non if the GPU manufacturers and third parties like Elemental Technologies step up. Transcoding while being a boring thing, is unfortunately a very necessary thing and speeding that up by any means necessary will be a truly differentiating feature of any hardware/software tie-up. nVidia should be dumping some development funds or payment in kind money into Elemental Technologies in order to raise the margin value of it’s GPU products. nVidia’s marketing department could turn some great amount of hay with badges/stickers saying “Speeds up your video rips!” or some equally lowest common denominator appeal to the mid and low end market for nVidia GPUs. Power users will already know and take advantage of it, but the mid and low end market don’t care and wonder why it’s valuable to them.

I’m impressed by the numbers quoted in the Anandtech article. Under the ‘Insane Quality’ settings for the x264 encoder, it only took 71 seconds to encode a full rez Blu-ray (1920×1080 30fps) stream of 2 minutes in length. It’s faster than real time transcoding for the largest file sizes and bitrates using the extravagantly highest quality settings. That shows great promise for folks at the mid and low end of the market who are trying to dump Spiderman 3 onto their kid’s PSP or video iPod.

Advertisements

Author: carpetbomberz

Technology news & commentary all-in-one!

1 thought on “GPU accelerated H.264 encoding”

Comments are closed.