Accelerate Video Conversion With ATI GPU


Hardware video encoding

We have largely become a desensitized society. We have a phenomenal amount of advertisements and product hype blasted into our ears and our eyes on a daily basis, promising that Product X is the latest and greatest thing…ever! As reality usually turns out though, these promises are little more marketing gurus’ exuberance in doing their job. The computer hardware industry is simply awash with this kind of marketing spiel:

Nvidia’s SLI was to be the greatest thing ever; No, wait! ATI’s CrossFire is the greatest ever; No, wait! The Ageia phys-X processor will change your gaming; No, wait! The Killer NIC is the answer to your dreams; No, wait! Both AMD and Intel will put graphics into their future CPU’s, thus changing the way we live!! Yawn…ho hum…. We’ve heard it all before.

But every now and then, something comes along that is truly unique. So unique, that it actually lives up to the hype. But this is so irregular, that the marketing-types are unused to it; and since they all know the standard drill about shouting at the top of their lungs for one week about the next great thing, and then moving on to something else, they forget about the product they weren’t lying about. In this case, it is Avivo, from ATI/AMD.

Here’s the gist of Avivo, according to ATI,
ATI Avivo™ is the new reference for advanced imaging and video. Integrated into ATI’s latest generation of graphics and TV tuner products, ATI Avivo delivers PVR, HDTV and next-generation HD disc capabilities with vibrant, sharp images, and the smoothest video playback ever offered by ATI. ATI Avivo also enables universal, professional-quality connectivity for TVs and displays, ensuring the ultimate entertainment experience on your PC.

Well, we can see that the marketing folks have followed their standard playbook by promising, “The ultimate entertainment experience…” And with every Radeon X1000 series product, Avivo is mentioned because it comes included in the hardware, but what does it really do? It seems like just a fancy name for hardware video acceleration, which has been around for an entire decade.

Honestly, since the time the Radeon X1800 series came out until recently, I didn’t pay any attention either. The only reason my interest was piqued, was that I was searching ATI’s knowledge base to troubleshoot some VIVO issues on my X1800XL, and because of the similarities in the words (which I think is unfortunate because I know it causes confusion) I saw some knowledge-base articles on how to use the Avivo Converter utility.