Hardware Acceleration

The Burn-in Time Stamp and Burn-in Metadata tools, and video playback can be hardware accelerated on some computers that have a recent Intel central processor (CPU).

 

Playback of video files, and the Burn-in Metadata and Burn-in Time Stamp tools require video frames to be decompressed by the video decoder that is selected in Tools > Options > Video Decoders. As mentioned elsewhere, you can select any of the compatible video decoders that are already present on your computer. The majority of these use software decoding which means that the decoding/decompression is actually performed by software running on the computer's central processor. Decoding high definition video can take a lot of processing power, so the central processor will usually be working fairly hard when playing a video file or using the Burn-in tool with a decoder that uses software decoding.

 

However, recent developments in Intel processors mean that your computer may be able to use hardware decoding which works the central processor a lot less, and allows the Burn-in Metadata and Burn-in Time Stamp tools to run faster - so it may take less time to burn-in your files. Video playback will also have a lower level of processor usage, and less power is consumed, so if you are using a laptop the battery will last longer, and it will run cooler.

 

If your computer has any of the following Intel processor types

 

Sandy Bridge (2nd Generation)
Ivy Bridge (3rd Generation)
Haswell (4th Generation)
Broadwell (5th Generation)

 

or later, then it is likely to include Intel's "QuickSync" video hardware acceleration feature. These range of processors (and probably future processor ranges) have a graphics processor actually built into the same semiconductor die as the central processor; and because the graphics processor is on the same chip as the central processor it is termed an "integrated" graphics processor, or just "integrated graphics".  In contrast, the graphics processors that are built into separate graphics cards/components perhaps from NVIDIA or AMD are termed "discrete graphics".

 

On Intel processors the graphics processor is called HD graphics or Iris graphics. These integrated graphics processors include some hardware units that are specialized for processing video, and this is what provides the QuickSync hardware accelerated video decoding. This specialized hardware means that video decoding can be done faster than some general-purpose hardware units that are built into some separate "discrete" graphics cards. So if your computer has one of the above Intel processor types, there is a good chance that you will be able to take advantage of the QuickSync hardware acceleration that effectively came free with your computer!

 

However, there are a small number of Intel processors in these ranges that do not have QuickSync hardware - these are usually at the budget end of the range. So if you have a processor in the above ranges it is not guaranteed that it will be QuickSync capable. You can check by looking up your processor's product name in the Intel Processor Spec Finder at http://ark.intel.com

 

Some computers may be equipped with a QuickSync capable processor and also a discrete graphics card perhaps from NVIDIA or AMD. In this case the computer will actually have two graphics processors (GPUs) - one built into the Intel processor itself, and the other in the discrete graphics card. These will appear as two separate "Display Adaptors" entries in the Windows Device Manager. Consequently, your computer may give you the choice of using either integrated graphics or discrete graphics - this may be a setting in the Windows Control Panel, or a setting in the configuration utility that comes with the discrete graphics processor (e.g. for NVIDIA it will be the "NVIDIA Control Panel"). This choice may be offered as either "global" where all applications use the chosen graphics processor, or you may be able to choose which graphics processor is used by each individual application. The choice may also be "auto" where the control panel utility tries to decide itself which of the two graphics processors to use.

 

Can My Computer Use QuickSync Hardware Acceleration?

 

avc-selectIf your computer has an Intel processor that includes QuickSync hardware acceleration then you can use hardware acceleration in DVMP Pro by selecting the "Intel Quicksync ...." decoder in Tools > Options > Video Decoders.

 

If the decoder's name appears with the suffix "(hardware)" then your computer is QuickSync capable and will use hardware acceleration in DVMP Pro.

 

However, if the name appears with the suffix "(software)" then either your computer is not QuickSync capable at all, or it is not able to use the QuickSync hardware for some reason.

 

There are several reasons why your computer is not able to use QuickSync hardware acceleration - just run through the following procedure and you should be able to diagnose and probably fix the problem:

 

1.Check whether your computer has an Intel processor that is QuickSync capable. You can find your processor name by going to the Windows Control Panel and opening the System icon. The part of the name you are interested in is the product name which usually starts with i3, i5 or i7. Then go to the Intel Processor Spec Finder at http://ark.intel.com and paste the processor name into the search box - for example "i7-3610QM". This should display the specs of your processor in a table - if it contains a line which says Intel QuickSync Video NO (or QuickSync is not mentioned) then your processor is not QuickSync capable and you will not be able to use hardware acceleration in DVMP Pro. If the table has a line which says Intel QuickSync Video YES, then proceed to the next step.

 

2.The QuickSync hardware can only be used in Windows if the Intel Graphics Drivers pack is installed on your computer. Some computers come supplied with this already installed and some do not. In either case it is a good idea to ensure that the latest Intel Graphics Driver is installed on your computer. You can install this by going to http://downloadcenter.intel.com and running the "Intel Driver Update Utility" which will check which Intel processor you have and install the appropriate drivers for it. The utility will probably ask for your permission to run a third-party applet that Intel use to interrogate the processor on your computer. When the drivers are installed, reboot your PC, then start up DVMP Pro and go to Tools > Options > Video Decoders and select "Intel QuickSync ...." which should now be suffixed with "(hardware)" - if it still has the suffix "(software)" then proceed to the next step.

 

3.Check that your computer is using integrated graphics for DVMP Pro. This might be a setting in the Windows Control Panel's Display icon, or a setting in the configuration utility that accompanies the discrete graphics hardware. The discrete graphics configuration utility might appear somewhere in the Windows Control Panel or it might appear in the taskbar's system tray - for example "NVIDIA Control Panel". The setting may allow you to choose an application on your PC and assign it to use either integrated or discrete graphics - in this case you should select DVMP Pro and assign it to use integrated graphics. Alternatively there might only be a global setting which makes all applications use integrated or discrete graphics - in this case you would have to select integrated graphics, but this would also affect other applications so you may need to change this back to its original setting after you have finished using DVMP Pro. When you have changed the setting to integrated graphics, save your change (if the utility requires this), and then reboot your computer to ensure that the change has taken effect. Then start up DVMP Pro and go to Tools > Options > Video Decoders and select "Intel QuickSync ...." which should now be suffixed with "(hardware)". If you can not find any setting to choose integrated graphics, then you may have a computer which is only capable of using the discrete graphics hardware, and integrated graphics is therefore unavailable - in this case you will not be able to use QuickSync acceleration in DVMP Pro (or in any other application).

 

If after following the above instructions carefully, the decoder is still suffixed with "(software)" then there may be a more obscure reason why the QuickSync hardware is not available - for example some motherboard types prevent use of QuickSync hardware. In such cases unfortunately you will not be able to use the QuickSync hardware acceleration in DVMP Pro.

 

If you are unable to use QuickSync hardware acceleration for whatever reason, you can still choose the "Intel Quicksync ..." decoder but it will do the decoding in software only (as indicated by the "(software)" suffix of its name) which is slower and uses more processor power.

 

NVIDIA Hardware Acceleration

 

lav-hw-choiceAlthough Intel's QuickSync hardware acceleration is recommended for DVMP Pro, you can use NVIDIA hardware acceleration (if it is available on your computer) by installing the third-party LAV Filters package which includes the LAV Video Decoder. You can then go into the LAV Video Decoder's properties and choose NVIDIA CUVID hardware acceleration.

 

LAV Filters is a recently developed set of free decoders that is gaining in popularity, and is gradually replacing the well respected "ffdshow tryouts" decoders (which are no longer being developed). The LAV Video Decoder has built-in support for hardware acceleration using Intel Quicksync and NVIDIA CUVID which can be selected in its Properties window. LAV Filters is a third-party package, so you can download the installer for the LAV Filters package from the location below - in the "Downloads" section click the LAVFilters-x.xx-Installer.exe link (where x.xx is the version number that increases with each new release).

 

https://github.com/Nevcairiel/LAVFilters/releases

 

warning

IMPORTANT: Third-party packages such as LAV Filters are developed by other suppliers that have no connection with us, so we are unable to give any assurances as to their safety or freedom from viruses etc. When you install a third-party component the license is between the third-party supplier and yourself. As with all software, ensure that you only download it from their official web site, and ensure that you virus scan anything that you download before you install it. Installation of any third-party software is entirely at your own risk!

 

 

See Also:

Decoders

Options - Video Decoders

Playing Video Files

Time Stamping Video

Burning-in Metadata