Support for H.264 High Profile Level 5.1 in ATI Catalyst 10.4

    The new ATI Catalyst 10.4 driver extends the capabilities of the H.264 hardware (DXVA) decoder, providing support for the HP@L5.1 profile. To play Blu-ray streams, it is enough to follow the HP@L4.1 profile, which is what most hardware decoders do, but video that is often compressed with outrageous encoding parameters is often found. Level 5.1 is the maximum availableand describes the parameters that allow you to encode video for example in such modes - 4.096 × 2.304 @ 26.7 or 1.920 × 1.080 @ 120.5, and the stream can reach 300 Mbps. If there is a file compressed in accordance with the HP@L5.1 profile, this does not mean that this will be a problem for hardware decoders, as not necessarily flow parameters will go beyond Level 4.1, but among such material it is worth waiting for problems.

    I will do a small check using an example. Environment - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512 Mb, OS Windows 7 Ultimate x86, CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E8500. As an example, the anime “Apple kernel 2 (2007)”, MKV container, H.264 codec HP@L5.1, 10 reframes, 1920–1010@23.976 fps. Every few seconds, we have artifacts when playing with DXVA decoders. The pictures show the result of the “Microsoft DTV / DVD H.264 DXVA” codec before and after updating the driver. The CPU load in both cases was about 10%, which confirms the work of the GPU acceleration.


    Unfortunately, the “PowerDVD8 H.264 DXVA” and “MPC-HC H.264 DXVA” decoders have not changed their behavior. It is possible that the implementation of DXVA support in these codecs simply does not imply support for high Levels, because similar hardware implementations were not previously available on the market. For completeness, of course you need to take more examples, but one way or another it is worth noting the movement in the right direction.

    Update: There is information that the MPC-HC assembly, starting with the 1819 revision, received DXVA L5.1 support with new ATI drivers. Download the current MPC-HC builds from here . The release has not yet been updated, so this functionality is available only from the current working assembly.


    ATI Catalyst 10.4
    ATI Catalyst 10.4 Release notes (PDF)
    H.264 codec profiles. One of the sources of Wikipedia video playback problems
    : H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC (Profiles, levels ...)

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