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Intel® Embedded Media and Graphics Driver (Intel® EMGD) FAQ

Video decoding and video encoding

1.  Why does rotation always cause a performance impact?


Neither the current chipset designs nor the OS itself (for example, Windows* XP) natively support rotation in hardware. To rotate a display, the driver must re-render the frame buffer to display 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.  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.


3.  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 forth?


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 PowerDVD* is a media player that typically uses hardware acceleration on the Intel® Embedded Media and Graphics Driver (Intel® EMGD)-supported chipset or processor to decode high-definition video content. Refer to the user guide of the appropriate platform for details regarding PowerDVD.


4.  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 EMGD can decode video content of either type.


5.  Does Intel EMGD support hardware accelerated Adobe Flash* for graphics and H.264 video content?


For the Intel System Controller Hub US15W chipset and the Intel® Atom™ processor E6xx series, Intel EMGD supports Adobe Flash 10.1 on Fedora* 14, Firefox* 3.6, and MeeGo* 1.2 with Chromium* V11. MeeGo 1.2 with Chromium V11 is recommended for hardware acceleration. You will need to downgrade the default Chromium V12 bundled with MeeGo 1.2 to V11, because there is no hardware acceleration support for Adobe Flash on Chromium 12 in this release.


6.  What are the two most common entry points into hardware acceleration supported by Intel EMGD for video players?


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


7.   How many overlay layers does Intel EMGD support?


For the Intel System Controller Hub US15W chipset and the Intel Atom processor E6xx series, two overlay layers are supported by Intel EMGD. However, this support depends on the driver-supported operating system. For Windows 7, no overlay is supported.


8.  For those customers interested in taking Intel EMGD 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 vendors to obtain production licenses.


9.  What video players currently take advantage of hardware acceleration in Intel EMGD?


For the Intel System Controller Hub US15W chipset and the Intel Atom processor E6xx series, the table below contains a list of supported media players organized by operating system and video codecs hardware accelerated by Intel EMGD.

OS Player and Codec Combinations Standards Entry Point
Linux* GStreamer with MI-X plug-in with video acceleration API (VAAPI) 0.31 support MPEG4-/VC- 1/H.264/VMV9 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 3204 H.264/ MPEG-2  VLD
Windows XP Windows Media Player* 11 with VC-1 codec VC-1/WMV9 MC
Windows 7 PowerDVD 8.0 with codec version patch 3204 H.264/MPEG-2/VC-1/WMV9 VLD
Windows 7 Windows Media Player 12 H.264/MPEG-2 VLD
Windows 7 Windows Media Player 12 VC-1/WMV9 MC

10.  Does Intel EMGD support vide decode and presentation API for UNIX (VDPAU) or LibVA?


Intel EMGD does 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 EMGD supports the video acceleration API (VAAPI), which is Intel's equivalent technology to VDPAU for providing accelerated video decode support. Support for the VAAPI has already been integrated into many popular media players, including MPlayer*, RealPlayer*, VideoLAN*, and more.


Intel EMGD continues to provide support for newer versions of the VAAPI, allowing embedded chipsets with integrated GPU cores to exhibit enhanced video decoding and presentation capabilities for Intel EMGD Linux* users.


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


Point of clarification: Both the VDPAU interface and the VAAPI interface are generic enough to be a cross-vendor standard.


11.  Does Intel EMGD support hardware accelerated video encode on Windows?


Yes, Windows 7 and Windows Embedded* Standard 7 support video encode acceleration via Intel® Media Software Development Kit (Intel® Media SDK) framework. This feature is only available for the Intel Atom processor E6xx series. Refer to the user guide for this platform for details.