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computers gpu h.264 macintosh technology wintel

AnandTech – Testing OpenCL Accelerated Handbrake with AMD’s Trinity

Image representing AMD as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

AMD, and NVIDIA before it, has been trying to convince us of the usefulness of its GPUs for general purpose applications for years now. For a while it seemed as if video transcoding would be the killer application for GPUs, that was until Intel’s Quick Sync showed up last year.

via AnandTech – What We’ve Been Waiting For: Testing OpenCL Accelerated Handbrake with AMD’s Trinity.

There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to accelerated video transcoding, really. Not the least of which is HandBrake’s dominance generally for anyone doing small scale size reductions of their DVD collections for transport on mobile devices. We owe it all to the open source x264 codec and all the programmers who have contributed to it over the years, standing on one another’s shoulders allowing us to effortlessly encode or transcode gigabytes of video to manageable sizes. But Intel has attempted to rock the boat by inserting itself into the fray by tooling its QuickSync technology for accelerating the compression and decompression of video frames. However it is a proprietary path pursued by a few small scale software vendors. And it prompts the question, when is open source going to benefit from the proprietary Intel QuickSync technology? Maybe its going to take a long time. Maybe it won’t happen at all. Lucky for the HandBrake users in the audience some attempt is being made now to re-engineer the x264 codec to take advantage of any OpenCL compliant hardware on a given computer.

Image representing NVidia as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase
Categories
entertainment gpu h.264 media

Announcing the first free software Blu-ray encoder

Diary Of An x264 Developer » (4/25/2010)

For many years it has been possible to make your own DVDs with free software tools.  Over the course of the past decade, DVD creation evolved from the exclusive domain of the media publishing companies to something basically anyone could do on their home computer.

The move towards Blu-ray encoding is very encouraging. In reading the article I don’t see a mention of CUDA or OpenCL acceleration of the encoding process. As was the case for MPEG-2 a glaring need for acceleration of the process was painfully obvious once people started converting long form videos. I know x264 encoding can be accelerated by splitting threads across CPUs on a multi-core processor. But why not unleash the floodgates and get some extra horsepower from the ATI or nVidia graphics card too. We’re talking large frames and large frame rates and the only way to guarantee adoption of the new format is to make the encoding process fast, fast, fast.