ATI has extended its X1000 range of cards with a software update that some cool functionality. H.264 decoding in hardware, as well as lightning fast transcoding of video is on offer. Bit-Tech takes an initial look at the software, ahead of its release later this week.
"To enable this, ATI are releasing a free H.264 software decoder module in association with Cyberlink. This module plugs into Windows Media Center to let you play back content through that application. Because of the immense processing power required by H.264 video decoding, the different X1000 cards are only able to process certain resolutions. The X1300 can handle 480p and 576p content - basically, standard definition. The X1600 can manage 720p, which is the wide standard for high definition, and is what European and American HDTV broadcasts use. X1800 can manage the highest of high-definition, 1080p. ATI stressed to us that this isn't an 'artificial / marketing' limitation - the power is directly proportional to the pixel pipelines in each card.. You can read more over here.