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Old 22-12-2008
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Aviva Video Converter: questions and answers from ATI

"The various problems that have marked the first public release of Aviva Video Converter led to ATI issued a short but interesting FAQ"

In recent weeks, ATI has made available for download version 8.12 of its Catalyst driver, which saw release of the new direct integration of support for ATI Stream. With this feature, owners of ATI Radeon video cards based on programmable GPU can use this component for processing of GPU computing, obviously provided that the software chosen to benefit from this type of functionality.

The first application in the consumer to use this feature ATI technique is Aviva Video Converter, software provided free of charge to holders of ATI Radeon video cards currently compatible with cards of the Radeon HD 4800 series and Radeon HD 4600.

This software, which makes conversion operations of video streams in various formats and resolutions, is designed to exploit the GPU in your video card, which is used for some of the operations required during the conversion so as to relieve the processor system. Some tests performed with this software, however, have highlighted a strong dependence on the type of CPU used in the system, with little impact on the type of GPU adopted, in addition to various problems the output quality generated video.

ATI has published a series of questions and answers centered on Aviva Video Converter, which show that the current draft version of the software for free download is subject to an extensive phase of development that will continue for the next few months, which will be implemented new features and fixed bugs present. Of particular importance is the quality video output with corrupt in some scenes than the original non-converted, is incompatible with 64bit operating systems. Below is a list of questions and answers issued by ATI:


Q: What are the specific issues users of ATI Video Converter may encounter?
A: Users running 32-bit software on 64-bit systems are encountering issues getting quality output from the encoder and 32-bit users have also experienced some anomalies in the playback. It was not released for support on 64-bit operating systems. Our engineering teams have been alerted of the 32-bit issues and are currently working to address them. We have a defined roadmap for the application and plan to add new baseline functionality, ease-of-use and stability in coming versions.

Q: Why are reviewers seeing so little GPU processing during transcoding?
A: The ATI Video Converter uses the GPU for only a portion of the video encoding. Specifically, the GPU offloads currently the only motion estimation encoding portion of the pipeline which is the most compute intensive part of the encoder. The GPU is particularly well-suited for this task. Given that a fixed workload is being offloaded to the GPU the load on the GPU may be relatively low or high based on the specific model of GPU.

Q: When will the stability and quality of the ATI Video Converter improve in a new release?
A: We have a defined roadmap for the application and plan to add new baseline functionality, ease-of-use and stability in coming versions. We are now evaluating when we can most quickly offer those improvements, and will update you as soon as we have more information.

Q: Why did AMD release such a buggy software application into the market?
A: The ATI Video Converter is a basic utility that introduces users of Catalyst to the capabilities of Stream processing on 32-bit operating systems. While it is not perfect, The level of functionality and quality is appropriate for maximizing the conversion speed on the most widely used video formats. Improvements are already being made and users can expect to have a much higher quality experience with future revisions.

Q: Why ATI Video Converter does not work on 64-bit operating systems when so many PCs are moving in that direction?
A: While the move to 64-bit is well underway, 32-bit OS's satisfy the mainstream consumer and the ATI Video Converter was to fill that segment first. We are evaluating our roadmap for future improvements, including the possibility of offering a 64-bit solution

Currently Aviv Video Converter can be extremely time conversion content but a reduced dependence on the type of ATI GPU adopted, making it to be much more sensitive to changes in the type of CPU used. It 'likely that in future developments of this software will be implemented various innovations and solved the quality problems currently, but at present this application has more the appearance of a product in beta as a tool ready for public use.
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