Intel blogger slams employer over G45 IGP issues
Firm off the hook on Blu-ray complaints, though
If you've bought a PC based around Intel's G45 chipset - desktop or mobile - and your Blu-ray Disc performance is pants, change your software, the chip giant has suggested.
The remedy comes from a staffer and blogger called Aaron Brezenski, now achieving his 15 minutes of fame thanks to a couple of grumbles he's made about other aspects of the chipset's integrated graphics sub-system.
First, Blu-ray, clearly Brezenski's specialism. Noting a couple of other organisations have highlighted very high CPU utilisation while playing BDs on G45-based rigs - a sure sign the GPU's not accelerating the process, as it's advertised to be able to do - Intel's man says applying the correct Bios settings ensure the GPU does enable the missing hardware acceleration highlighted by the company's critics.
Bios tweaks are all very well, but they're not for the average user. We hope, therefore, that Intel's G45 customers, the mobo makers, are applying said tweaks to the Bios settings in shipping products.
Beyond the Bios tweaks, Brezenski claimed using better player software with "properly configured advanced de-interlacing" can push an HD Hollywood Quality Video (HQV) benchmark score from a poor 30 per cent to 50 per cent or more, a rather better results. Still not perfect, he admits, but he said he hopes future driver updates will improve matters further.
Still, the fellow's not without crits of his own, specifically the G45 GPU's poor 24p - 24 frames a second - performance and "broken" 7.1 sound send from the chipset over HDMI to an HD TV via a set-top box.
It's the 'via' bit that's the problem, he says. This uses "repeater mode" to relay the HDMI stream, and Intel's chipset doesn't support repeater mode because the Certified Output Protection Protocol (COPP) spec doesn't support it.
Unfortunately. AMD's GPUs do, leading Brezenski to the conclusion "we are sunk in the Home Threatre PC space if the home user can't get their equipment to even work with our graphics, or have to buy hacker software to do so. Even if we're not the root cause".
He adds: "The G45 is really the perfect home theater chipset... But it galls me to see such great work marred by two issues which seem correctable but which are still extant."
Playing Blu-Ray is easier than you think. The Menu and such is the hard trick.
Just have your AnyDVD in corner of screen. Enter BDMV/STREAM/ folder on your Blu-Ray disc and play biggest file there with VLC (Free software). Movie for you :)
Eric Van Haesendonck
"lack of flexibility (try to play it on a Linux Netbook or transfer it to an ipod) killed all the hype for me. "
Those are very niche activities. I don't think I even know anyone with a notebook with a BluRay drive, let alone one running Linux. And who in their right minds actually watches the sort of media which comes on DVD/BluRay on an iPod? iPods are just about capable of rendering phone camera video, but nothing better.
I think BluRay has a chance of becoming a standard, unless something better comes along soon, before it has got a toe-hold. Putting BluRay in the PS3 was a damn shrewd move of the BluRay lobby. It may not be the greatest player around, but it does give you the option of building up a library of your favourites so that when you do finally stump up from a decent player, you're not reduced to watching the free SpiderMan 3 disc or whatever Blockbuster have in - "High School Musical 8 - For God's sake, we're all 25 working at WalMart now!" anyone?
What is good is that they talk.
The good point here is that an Intel employee is very open about these issues, and that is something that more tech companies should do. This quite improved my opinion of Intel.
Now for the actual Blu-ray playback, I have pretty much given up on the format: all the trouble with DRM, expensive equipment and lack of flexibility (try to play it on a Linux Netbook or transfer it to an ipod) killed all the hype for me. The increase in image quality is just not worth the trouble.
He has shown concern for the customers, and published accurate statements about failings in the products his company makes. He'll be rewarded by being fired for cause pretty soon if he doesn't stop.
Nice to see
It's refreshing to see an employee who actually seems to give a damn about the products his company produces and wants to see them working as well as they possibly can. A depressingly rare thing.