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24 March 2011, 13:31

Moonlight gains hardware accelerated video playback

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Moonlight The Novell-sponsored Mono Project has announced that developer David Reveman has completed a series of optimisations in the Moonlight engine, allowing it to take advantage of a user's graphics card processor (GPU) for data intensive video rendering operations. In his announcement blog post, the chief developer for Mono products, Miguel de Icaza, notes that these changes are in addition to the standard GPU hardware acceleration that the developers debuted in mid-February.

Previously Moonlight, the open source Mono-based Silverlight clone for Linux and other Unix/X11 based operating systems, would decode the video, which decompresses it into video frames, and then generate images in YUV format, after which these would be converted into an in-memory bitmap encoded in RGB format. Finally, it would be transferred to the graphics card.

Zoom The new hardware acceleration framework in Moonlight lets the GPU take over several steps in the pipeline.
Using the new hardware acceleration framework, Moonlight skips several of these steps, letting the GPU take over much of the work – uncompressed images in YUV format are sent directly to the GPU. Discussing the new framework, de Icaza says that "It looks like heaven", adding that he and Reveman have been watching 1080p videos running at full screen and "it is absolutely perfect".

The source code is now available on GitHub and as pre-packaged binary from the project's nightly builds page. Moonlight is released under the GNU LGPL 2 licence and contains code that is licensed under the terms of the GNU LGPL and the MIT X11 licences.

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