While NVIDIA is pushing Badaboom! as the GPU accelerated video encoder of choice, AMD did provide a new converter of their own for free.  While free is nice, the converter has a handful of issues that are simply showstoppers for some users.  AMD has recognized this, and has compiled a list of questions and answers that will hopefully help the user decide to either use this product, or look elsewhere.  AMD is also continuing to improve upon the product, but nobody is quite sure when we will see updated version (hopefully updates with every new version of Catalyst drivers!).

Jay Marsden was kind enough to forward these Q&As as well as provide a bit of an introduction:

I just wanted to do a quick follow up in response to our ATI AVIVO Converter.  We have received some feedback in regards to our initial release and I wanted to take this opportunity to respond to some of this feedback and give you an idea of where we are going.  

We recieved a lot of feedback in regards to features, quality and performance that we wanted to address.

For answers to our most common questions, we are providing the below Q&A.


Q:        What are the specific issues users of ATI Video Converter may encounter?

A:       Users running 32-bit software on 64-bit systems are encountering issues getting quality output from the encoder and 32-bit users have also experienced some anomalies in the playback. It was not released for support on 64-bit operating systems.  Our engineering teams have been alerted of the 32-bit issues and are currently working to address them.  We have a defined roadmap for the application and plan to add new baseline functionality, ease-of-use and stability in coming versions.

Q:        Why are reviewers seeing so little GPU processing during transcoding?

A:       The ATI Video Converter uses the GPU for only a portion of the video encoding. Specifically, the GPU currently offloads only the motion estimation portion of the encoding pipeline which is the most compute intensive part of the encoder. The GPU is particularly well-suited for this task. Given that a fixed workload is being offloaded to the GPU the load on the GPU may be relatively low or high based on the specific model of GPU.

Q:      When will the stability and quality of the ATI Video Converter improve in a new release?

A:       We have a defined roadmap for the application and plan to add new baseline functionality, ease-of-use and stability in coming versions.  We are evaluating now when we can most quickly offer those improvements, and will update you as soon as we have more information.

Q:        Why did AMD release such a buggy software application into the market?

A:       The ATI Video Converter is a basic utility that introduces users of Catalyst to the capabilities of Stream processing on 32-bit operating systems.  While it isn’t perfect, The level of functionality and quality is appropriate for maximizing the conversion speed on the most widely used video formats.  Improvements are already being made and users can expect to have  a much higher quality experience with future revisions.

Q:        Why does ATI Video Converter not work on 64-bit operating systems when so many PCs are moving in that direction?

A:      While the move to 64-bit is well underway, 32-bit OS’s satisfy the mainstream consumer and the ATI Video Converter was to fill that segment first.  We are evaluating our roadmap for future improvements, including the possibility of offering a 64-bit solution.