Windows, despite all it’s flaws, is nice for a few things. First of all, there’s a buttload of cool, gory games. And second there’s a really nice multimedia support; many companies/individuals write highly optimized software for video splitting, decoding, muxing, output etc.
Now, three cool programs are Haali’s Media Splitter (comes with Haali’s Media Renderer), CoreCodec’s CoreAVC and nVidia’s PureVideo. Combining these leads to a boost in performance, allowing my 2GHz notebook to play 1080p content steadily without hard framedrops.
Linux on the other hand is a little cornered. Yes, we do have XvMC for hardware MPEG-2 decoding but this doesn’t really help with HD content at this point. So until there’s a counterpart to PureVideo Linux will always be slower.
As you may know I only recommend Mplayer and Xine on Linux. They’re the greatest, the best and if you think otherwise you must be stupid 😉 .
Mplayer can be patched to use CoreAVC for a little performance boost (we all need a little boost, do we?). This is great stuff. The patch will fail a chunk against loader/Makefile, but it’s no problem to add the missing lines by hand. Also, please note that you’ve to run ./configure –disable-mencoder before applying the patch.
So, how much does it give us in terms of raw performance? Not too much, unfortunately, but for my system 5-12% already make a big difference.
Most of the performance loss is still being caused by the lack of hardware MPEG-4 decoding and the use of the old Overlay mixer.
Nevertheless, if you have bought CoreAVC you owe it to yourself to give it a try.