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AVIVO PureVideo HD DXVA GPU Acceleration Guide E-mail
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Written by Servando So Yong Silva Sohn - Edited by Olin Coles   
Friday, 27 November 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
AVIVO PureVideo HD DXVA GPU Acceleration Guide
Meet the AVIVO and PureVideo
Setting up your Software
Setup MPC HC
GPU setup
Testbeds and Methodology
Power DVD 9: CPU usage
Power DVD 9: ION based HTPC
Power DVD: Image Quality
Enhancing Video with GPU shaders
MPC HC Image Quality
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

AVIVO PureVideo DXVA HD Acceleration Guide

HTPCs and HD content are growing more and more around the GPU industry. ATI and NVIDIA have been working on technologies to playback and enhance this video content for many years. NVIDIA started working on their PureVideo technology and added the PureVideo HD some time ago. ATI on the other hand, has their own AVIVO technology and as it was obvious, they name their latest technology AVIVO HD. Now, while these technologies have been marketed too much, I´ve noticed that the big consumers majority doesn´t even know how to use them. The real problem is that neither NVIDIA nor ATI have done enough to help people use their technology. They can bombard you with so many pictures, images and text but neither of these things will offer a simple guide on how to use the software tools in the real world.

Here at Benchmark Reviews, we will teach you how to use your GPU to playback and enhance HD video content, and we´re not limited to DVD or Blu-ray content, because we´ll also address .mkv files so that you can enjoy your stored multimedia. There is so much content available for download from Internet which can be reproduced without using your CPU, that it makes good sense to enhance the image quality whenever possible. Please, have a read at our AVIVO-HD PureVideo-HD DXVA GPU Acceleration Guide and enjoy the Full High Definition experience as it was meant to be!


Why Accelerate Video with GPU and not CPU?

Well, if you think deeply about it, the answer remains at the name of the hardware component. Video Cards are meant to be processors which co-operate with the whole micro-controller so that they can actually work in anything that involves video creation, playback and 3d rendering. Let´s put it simple. If we have an enterprise which evolves into many departments for every task they do, why should the CEO Manager should be doing the counts if they have a counters department?

Your GPU can partially or completely decode any video in a faster and more productive way than your CPU does. This involves using less time, having better results and lower power consumption. Yes, you have that power on your high-end PC and you´re wasting it just to check your emails and read articles on Benchmark Reviews (and we particularly apreciate that), but certainly a good part of the time you will use your PC as a HTPC (Home Theater Personal Computer) watching videos on the net, having a second ride on an old/new DVD or enjoying the new Blu-Ray collection you just bought.

Meanwhile, you don´t want your GPU eating nachos and touching its belly while your CPU makes his best effort to decode your videos. Needless to say if you bought an HTPC, you really need to know how to take advantage of it, if not, the price will not be reattributed. Thus, Benchmark Reviews has prepared a whole guide on how to setup your PC to decode, playback and even enhance your video content in a very simple way.


Keep in mind the next things: I´ll show you how to enable DXVA on your PC for DVD, Blu-Ray and any other H.264 content you own. At this point you will actually notice a difference on performance and the effort your CPU needs to do for doing the same things. Next we will move to the matroska, which is a universal container format normally found in many videos with the .mkv termination. Here, I´ll show you how to enhance your Image/Video Quality and how it hinders the PC performance. All this processes done with MPC HC. What? You don´t know what does MPC means? Let me show you then...

About MPC HC and DXVA

Media Player Classic Home Cinema project is based on the original "Media Player Classic" SourceForge project created by Gabest. After the original author stopped working on it the new versions came under the new project called Media Player Classic Home Cinema also hosted at

Currently about 24 developers are working on the Home Cinema project. The player supports all common video, audio and image file formats available as well as video playback. The MPC HC programming language is C++ and was started on 06.21.2006. Modern graphics card offer the possibility to decode partially or completely a video stream using DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA), in order to reduce CPU usage dramatically. MPC-HC includes an embedded video decoder that uses this technology, to decode H.264 and VC-1 with hardly any CPU time required.

Unfortunately the MPC-HC decoder only supports the "bit stream mode" at this stage, which means that only the most recent graphic cards are supported:

  • NVIDIA series 8(9)xxx for H.264 only
  • ATI Radeon HD series for H.264 and VC-1 decoding

Media Player Classic supports the next OS:

  • Windows NT
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows XP x32 and x64
  • Windows Vista x32 and x64
  • Windows 7 x32 and x64


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