What is PureVideo HD?
NVIDIA® PureVideo™ HD technology is the combination of high-definition video decode acceleration and post-processing that delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for movies and video. PureVideo HD includes required content protection circuitry (HDCP) for playing the new Blu-ray and HD DVD movies at the highest quality possible, and is directly integrated with the leading HD movie software players. PureVideo HD delivers the ultimate high-definition movie experience on a PC.

How does PureVideo HD differ from PureVideo technology?
PureVideo HD is a superset of PureVideo features that includes support for high-definition.

PureVideo HD includes all of the features of PureVideo, plus advanced technologies for playing HD DVD and Blu-ray movies. PureVideo HD is a combination of high-definition movie decode acceleration hardware with post-processing features, HDCP circuitry, and integration with HD movie players that delivers cinematic-quality Blu-ray and HD DVD movie playback on your PC.

What is the new in the GeForce 8500 and GeForce 8600 GPU video processors?
These GPUs feature a new video engine that includes a bitstream processor (BSP) and an improved programmable video processor (VP). The BSP offloads the 100% of the CABAC and H.264 decode process from the CPU allowing playback of "full spec" HD DVD and Blu-ray movies. The new VP also has more advanced video post-processing algorithms which improve video quality.

Do the GeForce 8800 series GPUs include the same video processing capabilities as the new GeForce 8500 and GeForce 8600 GPUs?
No. The GeForce 8800 uses the previous generation of PureVideo HD. This is because the GeForce 8800 is usually paired with more powerful dual-core CPUs and our goal is to achieve balanced use of all the processing power in your machine. With the GeForce 8800, it makes sense to let these powerful CPU cores handle functions they do well. But with the lower-end GPUs, which are usually paired with less-powerful, single-core CPUs, it is better for the GPU to take on the entire video decoding and processing task and the new PureVideo HD engine has been enhanced with these chips in mind.

Does PureVideo HD support both Blu-ray and HD DVD?
Yes. PureVideo HD provides hardware acceleration for decoding the compression routines used on both Blu-ray and HD DVD movies: H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2.

What is the max resolution PureVideo HD supports?
PureVideo HD will process movies at resolutions up to 1080p, the highest HD resolution available.


What do I need to have the best experience playing Blu-ray or HD DVD movies on a PC?
To enjoy the ultimate HD DVD or Blu-ray experience on a PC, you’ll need:

  • PCI Express graphics card with secure HDCP CryptoROM and GeForce 7 Series HDCP-capable GPU with 256MB of graphics memory or GeForce 8 Series HDCP-capable GPU with 128MB of graphics memory
  • NVIDIA ForceWare graphics drivers that feature PureVideo HD technology
  • An optical disc drive that supports Blu-ray and/or HD DVD movie playback
  • Blu-ray or HD DVD movie player software with PureVideo HD hardware acceleration of H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2 high-definition content
  • A dual-core CPU is recommended with the GeForce 7 Series
  • 1GB of system memory is recommended under Windows XP; 2GB is recommended under Windows Vista.

Are there any PureVideo HD graphics cards shipping now?
Yes. Click here to see graphics cards that have been qualified for the PureVideo HD badge.

What will happen if I try to play a Blu-ray or HD DVD movie on a PC that is not powered by a PureVideo HD graphics card?
The answer depends on a number of factors including how the movie was made and what kind of system is being used. In some cases, the movie will not play at all. In other cases, depending on the system, the image quality could be poor. CPU utilization even on a new system with a fast dual-core processor may reach 100%, resulting in dropped frames and reduced image quality.

Does NVIDIA support HDMI?
Yes. See our graphics card list for cards that support HDMI.

Can I view Blu-ray and HD DVD movies on my laptop or PC if I don’t have an HDCP graphics card?
Laptops do not require HDCP circuitry to play high definition movies on the laptop screen. HD DVD or Blu-ray movie playback from a laptop to an external display will require an HDCP connection.

For desktop PCs, monitors with DVI input must have an HDCP graphics card to play. For desktop PCs and analog displays (VGA or component) the movie should play as long as it is not protected by the Image Constraint Token. If it is, the image will be reduced to 540 lines of vertical resolution. The movie will play, but not in high definition.

How is system performance affected by playing a high definition movie?
Playing HD/BD movies is a demanding task for a computer. Conventional DVD movies are typically 8 megabits/sec (Mbps). High definition movies require 20, 30 or even 40 Mbps video streams. This can drive CPU utilization to 100% even on a fast dual-core system, resulting in possible system lockups and restricted multi-tasking capabilities. Driving the CPU at 100% utilization also drains the batteries quickly in a laptop.

PureVideo HD offloads the CPU of complex video tasks, freeing the PC to run multiple applications simultaneously, while consuming less power. It also delivers superior image quality.

Which movie players play HD DVD and Blu-ray movies?
Most Blu-ray and HD DVD drives come bundled with a PureVideo HD compliant movie player from either CyberLink, InterVideo or ArcSoft. CyberLink, Intervideo and Arcsoft sell PureVideo HD compliant movie players on their websites.

Are there any off-the-shelf desktop or notebook PCs that use PureVideo HD technology?
Most of the PCs shipping with Blu-ray and HD DVD today use PureVideo HD technology.

  • Dell and Sony ship Blu-ray enabled desktop and laptop PCs with powered by PureVideo HD technology.
  • HP, Toshiba, and Acer ship HD DVD enabled desktop and laptop PCs with HD DVD powered by PureVideo HD technology.

What is the PureVideo HD logo program and how does it help users?
PC systems and hardware with the PureVideo HD logo help users find systems that use PureVideo HD technology which is designed to provide the ultimate Blu-ray and HD DVD experience on the PC.

Do I need the PureVideo Decoder to play movies with PureVideo?
No. Any compatible third-party software movie player can use the PureVideo technology on the GPU. For Blu-ray and HD DVD playback, you need a PureVideo HD compliant movie player from vendors like CyberLink, Intervideo and Arcsoft.