Both Nvidia and ATI have enabled hardware acceleration in their dedicated video cards to help deliver a better high definition viewing experience for both video files and playback of Blu-ray disks. At one point, Cyberlink PowerDVD was the only video player that fully supported hardware acceleration in their software. Nero was showing off a working demo of an upate to Nero 8 Ultra Edition taking full advantage of hardware acceleration while playing back both Blu-ray disks and HD files. You’ll have to click through on the image above and view the large sized image on Flickr to actually see the stats, but this brings CPU usage for HD playback under 20%, which is a dramatic performance boost over what often spiked in the range of 80% during some high definition video. Of course you need a dedicated Nvidia or ATI card to take advantage of this new feature when it becomes available, but you really can’t play HD without one, unless you buy a new computer using the AMD 7 Series chipset.
If you don’t currently have Nero 8, you can qualify for upgrade pricing from previous versions.