AMD’s Unified Decoder has been the object of envy in the open-source community for some time. The silicon, which ships on the company’s Radeon graphics cards, offers hardware-accelerated video decoding — but thanks to legal and DRM issues, couldn’t be used on Linux machines. AMD, however, has somehow scythed through the red tape to offer a driver that’ll let those same Linux users access to the golden chalice of video decoding. The new patch allows for hardware accelerated playback of H.264, VC-1 and MPEG file formats on which Radeon HD 4000 – 7000 series card is jammed into your HTPC, although we should offer the usual warning that as there’s no public documentation, you might have to do some tinkering to make it work.
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