[mythtv-users] OT: hardware decoding of HD content

Brion Swanson brions at usalug.net
Wed Dec 19 11:12:36 UTC 2007

On Tue, 2007-12-18 at 21:31 -0800, DaveD wrote:
> My 5200 plays 1080i/720p just fine on my 37" 1080p monitor.  You'll find 
> it offloads MUCH of the CPU work for decoding high def content due to 
> its video overlay.  You'll need the Nvidia legacy drivers.  I upgraded 
> my MB and really miss my AGP 5200.  My 7600 looks like crap and uses 50% 
> of my dual core system (100% of one core!) while the 5200 (now in my 
> wife's computer as a remote frontend) only uses 48% of a single core and 
> looks great!  I hope either Nvidia wises up soon or the Myth developers 
> get the Nvidia 3D rendering working.  Hold on to that 5200 as long as 
> you can!
> DaveD
> Marc Barrett wrote:
> > I just got a widescreen monitor from the wife for Christmas, and
> > am slowly making the transition to HD content.  My system is
> > still almost entirely SD, though, based on two Hauppauge cards
> > (350 and 150) and an nvidia geforce fx 5200.  But the monitor 
> > can almost do full 1080p (1680x1050).  I am already planning
> > to get an hdhomerun, probably in a few months, but it would
> > be silly to get that and discover that my system can't play HD
> > movies without chopping and stuttering. 
> >
> > My system uses a P4 2.6Ghz CPU, so I am thinking of some
> > kind of hardware aid to help it decode h.264, AVC, or 
> > whatever HD movies.  Obviously my 5200 isn't enough, so I am
> > thinking of upgrading the graphics card first.  I don't know what
> > card to get, though.  I don't want to spend too much on a card
> > with all kinds of 3-D graphics stuff that I won't use much (I 
> > only play games very, very occasionally).  
> >
> > The following link is very helpful:
> >
> > http://www.nvidia.com/docs/CP/11036/PureVideo_Product_Comparison.pdf
> >
> > My system uses AGP, so I can't use any of those expensive PCI-e
> > cards, anyway.  According to the chart, my best bet is a GeForce 
> > 6200, since some of the the 'better' cards appear to actually be worse 
> > for HD support.
> >
> > However, this chart all about nvidia's "purevideo" support for Windows.  
> > I don't know how exactly this applies to linux, XVMC, and such.  Also,
> > I really don't know anything at all about ATI.  Maybe there is a cheap
> > ATI card available, similar in price to the 6200, that might be better 
> > for HD decoding on linux.  I really don't know.  Any tips would be really
> > appreciated.

I have an NVidia 6200 AGP card with component out which I use to power a
1080i/720p monitor with no problem.  It's a frontend only now, but that
same card was used in a fe/be box also without any problem.  The
particular card I had was the PNY version because of the component out
dongle - not all 6200 AGP cards (not many in fact) have that component
out for high def.  Most of the later PCIe cards do.  I also have a
6800XT AGP card installed in another fe, but I wouldn't recommend that
even though it's more powerful the card is very long, produces a lot
more heat and requires a lot more power.

Both the 6200 and the 6800XT use the new NVidia drivers (in *buntu it's


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