High Definition video content is right around the corner,
and reminiscent of the time when DVD's were first released. HD videos are
promising to be very taxing on system recourses too. In order to
meet the High Definition processing task, ATi has built into every X1000 series core
what it calls 'AVIVO technology.' With the computer industry heavily pushing the digital home,
it makes sense for ATi and nVIDIA to integrate some form
of High Definition accelerators into each companies respective products. We just wish the silly names
wouldn't always have to follow suit.
Despite an interesting name, AVIVO does not stand for anything specific. It is a collection of
different video technologies that share a common name. First and foremost,
AVIVO includes a hardware accelerator for MPEG-2/DVD Microsoft Windows Media HD video
standards (WMV HD) and H.264 standards. As mentioned earlier, since AVIVO is
built into all X1000 series videocards, even entry level PC's can be used as
Home Theatre PCs (HTPC) or Personal Video Recorders (PVR). AVIVO can automatically
adjust gamma and colour correction, and that should enhance picture quality.
High Fidelity Colour allows
for 10 bits per colour channel, which translated basically means a more vibrant picture. There is also
a high quality 12 bit analog to digital converter to reduce picture
To test AVIVO's HD accelerating capabilities, we play
a HD video through Windows Media Player 10 (the movie can be downloaded from Microsoft's WMV HD Content Showcase). The Discoverers (IMAX)
video is available in both 720P and 1080P formats, and CPU utilization was
monitored during playback through Task Manager to give a general indication of
ATi's AVIVO High Definition accelerator is less taxing on the system than
nVIDIA's PureVideo. In fact when running the Discoverers 720P video, CPU usage
stayed between 15-27%.
really excels when running the 1080P version of the Discoverers video. In this case, CPU usage
remained between 17-38%. This is about half of what nVidia's PureVideo chews up.