NVIDIA has announced a superset of its PureVideo technology, called PureVideo HD.
The technology is a slight refinement of what is on offer now. Cards supporting PVHD will have the capability to:
- Hardware accelerate the different codecs being used on Blu-ray and HD-DVD (including H.264, Microsoft's VC-1 and standard MPEG2)
- Output a signal using HDCP for protected content
- Post-process the image for superior quality
NVIDIA will be partnering with software companies including Cyberlink (PowerDVD), Intervideo (WinDVD) and Nero (ShowTime) to include PVHD-accelerated codecs as part of those packages.
By incorporating HDCP onto the card and into the software, NVIDIA is guaranteeing full-resolution display of DRM-protected HD-DVD and Blu-ray content. Whilst discs are currently allowing full-res analogue output, there's no guarantee that this will continue. Analogue output of HD content will be supported on all 7-series cards (supporting standard PureVideo), but you'll need PVHD to get digital output.
Currently, the 7950 GX2 supports PVHD, with more cards to come from all the usual suspects.
NV has been the first manufacturer to really get on board with HDCP and HD compatibility, which is definitely a good thing - although it's rather poor that confirmed support has been left this long, with consumers already beginning to wade through the quagmire that is HD hardware. Let us know your thoughts on PureVideo HD over in the forums.