Video playback (not including Flash video or video within Flash) can either be done via software which utilizes the CPU or can be done via the GPU which has hardware dedicated to decoding video. When the GPU is used to decode the video, more CPU resources are available for other tasks which can results in better overall playback quality.This GPU capability is known as hardware acceleration or hardware video decoding. This option can be enabled on the media player by altering a configuration settings.
It is important to note that the GPU can only decode videos using codecs and specification for which is was designed to playback. Codecs and specifications outside of the GPU decoding capabilities will result in the video not playing back at all.
For videos using non-standard codecs and specifications, the hardware acceleration should not be enabled. Using a non-standard encoding specification is not suggested.
Enabling hardware acceleration will apply to all videos programmed to playback on the media player. Enabling hardware acceleration is NOT recommended it the player is programmed to play more than one video simultaneously.
To enable hardware acceleration for video playback, edit the player configuration. The player configuration can be found in the Sites->Players tab. Navigate to the player. Click the Assignments sub-tab for player and then the "Edit" button for the Player Configuration. Add the following line in the "Misc Line Commands" under the "Video" tab.
For nVidia based hardware: -vo vdpau, -vc ffh264vdpau,
For Intel based hardware: -vo vaapi,
For AMD based hardware: No hardware acceleration is currently available.
Note, the last comma in the above line is important.
Once the setting has been enabled, Publish the player configuration.
Any video assets must be encoded using a specification that the GPU is capable of decoding. Using a non-GPU capable video encoding with hardware acceleration enabled will result in the video not playing back.
Why Would I NOT Use Hardware Acceleration?
Be default, the hardware acceleration is NOT enabled on the media player. Considering the advantages to having this option enabled, why wouldn't it be enabled by default? The answer is playback flexibility. The hardware accelerator can only playback videos with specific codecs and encoding specification. Any video outside of these specifications will not playback with the hardware acceleration enabled. The media player is capable of playing back many types of video content that are not supported by hardware acceleration. So, by default, the player may be capable of playing back a lot of different types of content, but unless the content is encoded to meet the specification of the hardware acceleration the optimal playback quality cannot be achieved without this setting enabled.
The second reason for not enabling hardware acceleration is if the player is playing back more then one video at the same time. With hardware acceleration enabled, the playback quality of one or both the simulations video playback quality may be less compared to playback with hardware acceleration disabled.