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Intel® Embedded Graphics Drivers FAQ

Video decoding and encoding

1.  Why does rotation always cause a performance impact?

 

The current chipset designs do not support rotation in hardware. To rotate a display, the driver must re-render the frame buffer to display as rotated, which requires use of the 2-D and 3-D engine for every frame displayed. This causes the overhead and limitations associated with rotation. For best performance, use the display in its native orientation.

 

2.  Is VC-1 high-definition (HD) video-content-hardware acceleration supported for Microsoft Windows* Media Player and Intel® Embedded Graphics Drivers?

 

Yes. HD video-content-hardware acceleration is currently supported in Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers with Windows Media Player running with Microsoft Windows XP using the VC-1 motion compensation (MC) entry point.

 

VC-1 720p or lower resolution content can be played back with moderate CPU utilization rates using Windows Media Player 11 (WMP11). Playback with 1080p or 1080i VC-1 content may increase CPU utilization rates to unacceptable levels using WMP11 because WMP11 still uses MC-based hardware acceleration.

 

Note: VC-1 hardware acceleration is not supported with Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers under Windows CE.

 

Multiple versions of the CyberLink PowerDVD* video player also support hardware-accelerated decoding of VC-1 content using the variable length decoding (VLD) entry point. Examples: PDVD build 3204, build 3116.

 

The VLD entry point method used by CyberLink PowerDVD for VC-1 content is more efficient than Windows Media Player 11, and PowerDVD will thus experience lower CPU rates when decoding HD VC-1 content.

 

If your PowerDVD application version reverts to software decode, follow the instructions in this white paper to modify the registry setting and force the video player to use the VMR7 surface: Enabling Hardware Accelerated Media Playback on the Intel® Atom™ processor / Intel® SCH US15W chipset platform and Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers - Case Study Using CyberLink PowerDVD* on Windows* XP.

 

3.  What are the key differences between video content levels and profiles?

 

The profile defines functionality, such as compression algorithm and chroma format, whereas the level defines quantitative capabilities such as maximum and typical bit rates and maximum frame size.

 

4.  What Windows-based applications can be used to obtain key information about a video file such as its bit rate, codec, whether hardware acceleration on the Intel® System Controller Hub US15W chipset is on or not, and so on?

 

Use commercially available media analyzers to get the bit rate and codec information. Most have this capability. The media player provides information on whether hardware acceleration is on or not.

 

CyberLink’s PowerDVD8* is a media player that typically uses hardware acceleration on the Intel System Controller Hub US15W chipset to decode high-definition video content.

 

5.  What are the differences between 1080i and 1080p HD video formats and which yields a higher quality video output?

 

Both formats have 1080 lines per frame. 1080p yields a higher-quality image than 1080i due to the fact that 1080i content has been captured with interlacing (“i”) and 1080p has been captured with a progressive (“p”) scan. Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers can video decode content of either type.

 

6.  Do Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers and the Intel System Controller Hub US15W chipset support hardware accelerated Adobe Flash* for graphics and H.264 video content?

 

No. Not at this time.

 

7.  What are the two most common entry points into hardware acceleration on the Intel System Controller Hub US15W chipset by video players?

 

Motion compensation (MC) and variable length decoding (VLD).

 

8.  What entry point into hardware acceleration on the Intel System Controller Hub US15W chipset by video players results in the lowest CPU utilization?

 

VLD results in the lowest CPU utilization. MC requires more processing to be done in software, thus increasing the CPU utilization rate.

 

9.  How many overlay layers do Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers support? What are the different overlay layers used for video decoding with Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers and the Intel System Controller Hub US15W chipset under Windows?

 

Two overlay layers are supported by Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers.

 

In Windows, the Microsoft DirectDraw* interface provides improved video playback performance and primary overlay support. Secondary overlay support via any interface is also supported for clone or dual independent display (extended) mode configurations.

 

10.  What are the different overlay layers used for video decoding with Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers and the Intel System Controller Hub US15W chipset under Moblin*?

 

Two overlay layers are supported by Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers.

 

In Moblin, the X11 Xv interface provides improved video playback performance and primary overlay support. Secondary overlay support via any interface is also supported for clone or dual independent display (extended) mode configurations.

 

11.  For those customers interested in taking Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers directly to production, what should they do with video filters, if anything?

 

Video filters are an aspect of video codecs and players. Regarding codecs and players, customers need to contact their chosen codec and media player vendor to obtain production licenses.

 

12.  What video players currently take advantage of hardware acceleration in GenX and the Intel System Controller Hub US15W chipsets?

The following media players are known to support hardware acceleration for MPEG2, MPEG4, H.264, VC-1, and WMVHD-based HD content: CyberLink PowerDVD, Corel WinDVD*, and ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre*. The table below contains a list of supported media players organized by operating system and video codecs hardware accelerated by the GenX and the Intel System Controller Hub US15W chipset.

OS Player and Codec Combinations Standards Entry Point
Linux* Real Player* (RP4NB) v1.1 Gold with codec(s) MPEG-4 / VC-1 / H.264 / VMV9 / MPEG-2 VLD
Linux Splay-plugin-atlas-01.2.0 with Menlow codec 1.8.8.22 MPEG-4 / VC-1 / H.264 / VMV9 / MPEG-2 VLD
Linux Helix-player-1.0.9 with Menlow codec 1.8.8.22 MPEG-4 / VC-1 / H.264 / VMV9 / MPEG-2 VLD
Linux MPlayer* with FFMPEG codec 10 MPEG-4 / VC-1 / H.264 / VMV9 / MPEG-2 VLD
Windows* XP PowerDVD Ultra* 8.0 with codec version patch 2810a H.264 / MPEG-2 VLD
Windows XP Windows Media Player 11 with VC-1 codec VC-1 / WMV9 MC
Windows CE Windows CE Player with Intel® Embedded Graphics Drivers direct show filters MPEG-4 / H.264 / MPEG-2 VLD

13.  Do Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers support VDPAU* or libVA?

 

Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers do not support VDPAU. VDPAU stands for video decode and presentation API for UNIX*. VDPAU is an open source library and API originally designed by NVIDIA that provides an interface to support hardware-accelerated video decode.

 

Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers do support the Intel® Video Analytics API (Intel® VA API), which is Intel's equivalent technology to VDPAU for providing accelerated video decode support. Support for Intel VA API has already been integrated into many popular media players, including MPlayer, RealPlayer, VideoLAN*, and others.

 

Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers continue to provide support for newer versions of the video acceleration API (VA-API), allowing embedded chipsets with integrated graphics processing unit (GPU) cores to exhibit enhanced video decoding and presentation capabilities for Linux users of Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers.

 

LibVA is the only implementation of the VA-API interface which Intel supports. For additional information on VA-API, visit the VA-API wiki page here: http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/vaapi.

 

Point of Clarification: Both the VDPAU interface and the VA-API interface are generic enough to be a cross-vendor standard.

 

14.  What version of Intel Video Analytics API (Intel VA API) do Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers support?

 

Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers support only Intel Video Analytics API (Intel VA API) 0.29. Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers do not support Intel Video Analytics API 0.31.

 

15.  What does the DXVAOptions line do in the .inf file?

 

The configuration needs to have "HKR, ALL\1\General , DxvaOptions, %REG_DWORD%, 1" set to 1 to enable hardware acceleration. The miniport driver copies these .inf settings on load. The driver uses it in instances such as hardware accelerated decode.

 

16.  Can Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers—when paired with an Intel Atom processor plus Intel System Controller Hub US15W chipset-based platform—hardware accelerate WMV or H.264 video using the Microsoft Silverlight* web application framework?

 

Similar to Adobe’s 10.1* argo plug-in, Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers, when paired with an Intel Atom processor plus Intel SCH US15W-based platform and a suitable video player, can hardware accelerate WMV or H.264 video. However, Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers do not currently include any dedicated code to support Microsoft Silverlight animations and graphics. Any Microsoft Silverlight features enabled with embedded platforms using Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers are due to the web browser and Microsoft operating system capabilities, and are not necessarily caused by Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers.

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