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29 April 2010, 13:18

Plex media centre gains H.264 hardware accelerated decoding

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Plex Logo Following Apple's release of their Video Decode Acceleration Framework Reference, the Plex developers have announced experimental support for H.264 hardware accelerated decoding in their open source Plex media centre application for Mac OS X. That means that all H.264 encoded video will be decoded using the GPU, freeing the CPU to perform other tasks without choking.

The Plex developers aren't the only ones working on hardware accelerated decoding on the Mac. Adobe has announced the availability of a preview release of its Flash Player for Mac OS X 10.6.3, code-named “Gala”, with H.264 hardware acceleration. The company says that the hardware acceleration will be included in an update following the release of Flash Player 10.1.

According to both the Plex and Adobe developers, hardware accelerated H.264 decoding in Plex and the Flash Player preview require the latest version of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and a Mac with an NVIDIA 9400M, GT320M or GT330M GPU. Plex is a skinable fork of the XBMC Media Center (XBMC) for Mac OS X that includes several customised additions to support a wide range of audio, video and image formats.

More details about H.264 hardware decoding on Plex can be found in an announcement blog post. The latest development build with support for H.264 hardware decoding is available from GitHub. Alternatively, users can download the binary (direct download) and install it to

Plex is released under version 2 of the GNU General Public License (GPLv2), apart from the Plex Media Server which is currently closed source and connects to the GPL licensed client over the network. The latest stable release of Plex is version 0.8.5 from the 18th of November, 2009.

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