Archive for January, 2010


Lately i was just getting mad that i couldn’t watch any 1080p video on my desktop pc which has a Radeon HD4890 (ATI Catalyst 10.1) and a Phenom X3 730. MPlayer was even teasing me with this message…

**** Your system is too SLOW to play this! ****

this pisses me off, a lot…
so I decided to try to install VA-API with XVBA backend and the patches for mplayer to use it.

Since there is no packaging whatsoever for any of the things needed in ubuntu/debian repositories (not even in the unstable ones) i got the packages directly from splitted-desktop.

I got the latest xvba-video (0.6.4-1), libva(-dev) (0.31.0-1+sds9) packages (nice to see that VA-API has a frontend even for VDPAU by the way), and the latest version of MPlayer va-api patches (the full version contains mplayer code, the small one has a script to get it with svn).

The installation of the packages went fine, but to get mplayer compiled a run of
apt-get build-dep mplayer
is necessary to install all the development tools/headers and so on.

Then i used their bundled script “” which does all the (as you may have already guessed) svn checkout, patching, building of mplayer.
It went flawlessy and in a while i got mplayer ready to run.

i tried it with a h264 1080p movie
./mplayer -vo vaapi -va vaapi movie.mkv
and it worked out like a charm, instead of hogging a CPU and still not doing real time decoding it was using only 8% of CPU time!

It is still unstable (at the moment, it works for me anyway) and the VA-API are not broadly implemented (hoping this will change in the near future, it provides Intel, Nvidia and ATI accelerated decoding at once!) but it really does it’s job well!
If you want to try more splitted-desktop has patches for gnash too

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