Now, we are not going to explain PureVideo all over again but FERMI based graphics cards, thus GeForce series 400/500, have the latest model video processor embedded, which is actually similar to the one used in the GT220/240/ION2 regarding video capabilities. The VP4 engine now also supports MPEG-4 ASP (MPEG-4 Part 2) (Divx, Xvid) decoding in hardware as an improvement over the previous VP3 engine such as those used in ION based systems.
In short, NVIDIA can offload the decoding of pretty much any MPEG format, the only thing not supported is MPEG-1 which I doubt anyone still uses.
What is also good to mention is that HDMI audio has finally been solved. The stupid S/PDIF cable to connect a card to an audio codec, to retrieve sound over HDMI is gone. That also entails that NVIDIA is not bound to two channel LPCM or 5.1 channel DD/DTS for audio.
Passing on audio over the PCIe bus brings along enhanced support for multiple formats. So VP4 can now support 8 channel LPCM, lossless format DD+ and 6 channel AAC. Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio bit streaming are not yet supported in software, yet in hardware they are (needs a driver update).
DXVA 1080P videos processed by your GPU
The x.264 format is often a synonym with Matroska MKV, a media file container which often embeds that x.264 content, a much admired container format for media files. Especially the 1920x1080p movies often have some form of h.264 encoding dropped within the x.264 format. As a result, you'll need a very beefy PC with powerful processor to be able to playback such movies, error free without frames dropping and nasty stutters as PowerDVD or other PureVideo HD supporting software by itself will not support it. Any popular file-format (XVID/DIVX/MPEG2/MPEG4/h.264/MKV/VC1/AVC) movie can be played on this little piece of software, without the need to install codecs and filters, and where it can, it will let DXVA enable the playback.
DXVA is short for Direct X Video Acceleration, and as you can tell from those four words alone, it'll try whenever it can to accelerate content over the GPU, offloading the CPU. Which is what we are after.
There's more to this software though:
A much missed feature with NVIDIA's PureVideo and ATI's UVD is the lack of a very simple yet massively important function, pixel (image) sharpening.
If you watch a movie on a regular monitor, PureVideo playback is great. But if you display the movie on a larger HD TV, you'll quickly wish you could enable little extras like sharpening. I remember the GeForce 7 series having this natively supported from within the Forceware drivers. After GeForce 8 series was released, that feature was stripped away and to date it has to be the most missed HTPC feature ever.
Media Player Classic has yet another advantage, as not only does it try to enable DXVA where possible through the video processor, it can also utilize the shader processors of your graphics cards and use them to post-process content.
A lot of shaders (small pieces of pixel shader code) can be executed within the GPU to enhance the image quality.
Media Player Classic HT edition has this feature built in, you can even select several shaders like image sharpening and de-interlacing... combine them and thus run multiple shaders (enhancement) simultaneously. Fantastic features for high quality content playback. In the screenshot in the upper right corner (click it) you can see MPC HT edition accelerating an x.264 version of Bounty Hunter in 1080P. Thanks to the massive amount of shader cores we can properly post-process and enhance image quality as well, shader based image sharpening (Complex 2) is applied here.
Download Media Player Classic HC (this actually is free public domain software). The GPU is doing all the work, as you can see the h.264 content within the x.264 file container is not even a tiny bit accelerated over the CPU. Read more about this feature right here in this article. You can click on the image to see a full 1080P screenshot.
Point of View Protab 2 XXL Tablet review Today a review on the ProTAB 2 XXL 10" tablet from Point of View from their Mobi range. With a price of only 169,- EUR the specs are decent enough alright. Interesting enough for graphics, the ProTab2XXL also comes with an additional MALI-400 3D graphics chip. Now we never heard of it before tbh, and very little can found about it on the web. But we can certainly measure it's performance and it does allow for FullHD playback. The Mali graphics chip even allows to drive a mini HDMI v1.4 port.
Point of View GTX 570 TGT Ultra Charged review Today's offering is of course a GTX 570, we nicked it out of the Eindhoven warehouse from the good people at Point of View. See, their TGT team is chunking out several new SKUs based on the GTX 570. Today we'll have a peek at their Ultra Charged model. The UC version is a guaranteed stable factory overclocked product that is overclocked towards a pretty impressive value. See, the default core clock frequency of the GTX 570 is 732 MHz, the TC version is clocked at a blistering 810 MHz, which is a pretty decent overclock. Memory wise spot an increased clock frequency on that 1.2 GB GDDR5 memory as well, taken from 3800 towards 3960 MHz.
Point of View Ion 330 motherboard review We test an ION 330 based motherboard - ION is a relatively low cost GPU assisted solution that will allow this industry on very short notice to have netbooks with full HD playback quality, in multi-channel HD audio. A solution that even supports CUDA and therefore some simple PhysX functionality, but since it's CUDA compatible, it'll also allow encoding and acceleration of popular video content. A platform that supports Gigabit Ethernet, dual-link DVI (high resolution monitors), acceleration in Photoshop CS4 and heck... you can even play a couple of games or make a mini HTPC out of it, it's just really interesting as the product might be little, yet offers a lot.
GeForce 9600 GSO 384 MB review | Point of View NVIDIA replaced the GeForce 8800 GS with the GeForce 9600 GSO. The 9600 GSO is still based on the same G92 core with 96 stream processors that the 8800 GS has, but NVIDIA gave card makers a bit more freedom in their designs in terms of own PCB design to and determine their own clocks. This 'old' card will still have 384 MB of GDDR3 memory over a weird 192-bit memory interface.
Cards like these will sell for less than 99 Euro, and considering the performance you get returned for that, you'll love it.