How to Enable High Profiles and Quick Sync Hardware Compression in the LEAD H.264 Encoder

This topic is now deprecated. The LEAD H264 Encoder can generate High Profile video in builds on or after February 3, 2016 (builds. or later).

The LEAD H264 Encoder (4.0) is capable of using Intel Quick Sync Video hardware acceleration for compression and of generating video with High profiles if you redistribute a 3rd party 'libmfx' dll. The exact name is libmfxsw32.dll for 32-bit encoders and libmfxsw64.dll for 64-bit encoders, but it will be referred to throughout this topic as 'libmfx' for simplicity.

The LEAD H264 Decoder (3.0) and LEAD MPEG-2 Decoder are also capable of using Intel Quick Sync Video and CUDA hardware acceleration for decoding video. The notes for enabling hardware acceleration for encoding also apply to decoding. For simplicity, the rest of the topic will refer to how to enable and check the hardware acceleration in the encoder. But the notes for the decoder are very similar, so they will not be duplicated.

Hardware compression is also available on computers using NVIDIA CUDA graphics cards. But that acceleration is used automatically, because the 3rd party DLLs required are installed by the graphics card driver.

High Profiles are available on computers with CUDA support even without installing libmfx. In other words, the High Profiles are available in the following situations:

  1. The computer has one or more NVIDIA cards with CUDA support. In this case, you do not need to install libmfx.

  2. The computer has the libmfx DLL installed properly.

    • Hardware encoding supported if available on the machine.

    • Software encoding for High Profiles support using only libmfx.

To install the libmfx DLL, copy it to a folder in the system path. It is not enough for the DLL to be in the same folder as the H264 Encoder (unless, of course, the H264 encoder is in the system path).

If the libmfx DLL is installed properly, the High Profiles will be available in the property page. If the computer is also capable of performing hardware compression, hardware compression will also be used for all compressions except in situations when Super Compression is enabled. If Super Compression is enabled, the encoder will use software encoding even if the computer is capable of hardware compression.

If the libmfx DLL is not installed properly, the High Profiles will not be available and compression will be software-only even if the computer is capable of hardware compression.

Hardware compression is available on Intel processors with Quick Sync Video capabilities. You can check Intel's web site to see whether your processor supports Quick Sync Video hardware acceleration. In addition to the processor supporting Quick Sync Video, the computer must also have an Intel HD Graphics Adapter and the adapter must be in use (connected to a monitor). In general, these adapters are integrated with the chip so the motherboard display connector will need to be connected to a monitor for the hardware acceleration to work.

There are several ways to check whether your computer is capable of Quick Sync hardware acceleration:

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