ATI H.264 Acceleration

ATIWhile reading a bit of tech news, I ran across a few stories indicating that ATI’s next generation of graphic processing units would feature H.264 acceleration; H.264 being the primary digital video codec in QuickTime 7 used for MPEG-4 playback. Given the Mac mini’s shortcomings with full screen 1080i frame rendering, and 720p with some hardware, I wonder if Apple’s relationship with ATI could be used to produce a “Super mini” that could handle high definition files and disks with greater performance.

The obvious answer to this is yes, but how interested is Apple in taking that next step to producing a full fledged HTPC? If such a product isn’t announced at the up-coming WWDC, perhaps something else will be that might indicate Apple’s warming to the idea of expanding into the living room; possibly something along the lines of an APE remote or existing product with expanded video support. I think if we see anything along these lines then a “Super mini” type product might be close behind.

The popular consensus is that the mini isn’t due for an upgrade given Apple’s past revision history, but I don’t really see this “Super mini” as revision as much as a demarcation of the original, i.e. the minis sold thus far still function as described and intended. Anything with new graphics handling capabilities would obviously be above and beyond the original scope of intention, allowing for a quicker revision time-line.


3 Responses to “ATI H.264 Acceleration”

  1. Jonathan Greene Says:

    Just like the rest of us I am frustrated with what Apple has chosen to do so far in this space. They have the form factor, but have definitely under-delivered for HT applications. Aside from the lack of a software / remote UI, there is no real way to manage HD content.

    MCE can’t do HD very well either, though the systems tend to actually have a bit more juice in them.

  2. mikey Says:

    One serious problem Apple has right now in updating their video capabilities is that none of the current hardware supports PCI Express. I assume they must be working on this but it cannot come too soon.

  3. Javier Says:

    “H.264 being the primary digital video codec in QuickTime 7 used for MPEG-4 playback”

    This is only true for MPEG-4 Part 10. The older MPEG-4 part 2, used for Divx is not identical to H.264.

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