GPU-accelerated video processing integrated into the most popular open-source multimedia tools.

FFmpeg is one of the most popular open-source multimedia manipulation tools with a library of plugins that can be applied to various parts of the audio and video processing pipelines and have achieved wide adoption across the world.

Video encoding, decoding and transcoding are some of the most popular applications of FFmpeg. Thanks to the support of the FFmpeg and libav community and contributions from NVIDIA engineers, both of these tools now support native NVIDIA GPU hardware accelerated video encoding and decoding through the integration of the NVIDIA Video Codec SDK.

Leveraging FFmpeg’s Audio codec, stream muxing, and RTP protocols, the FFmpeg’s integration of NVIDIA Video Codec SDK enables high performance hardware accelerated video pipelines.

GitHub Download     Documentation

FFmpeg uses Video Codec SDK

If you have an NVIDIA GPU which supports hardware-accelerated video encoding and decoding, it’s simply a matter of compiling FFmpeg binary with the required support for NVIDIA libraries and using the resulting binaries to speed up video encoding/decoding.

FFmpeg supports following functionality accelerated by video hardware on NVIDIA GPUs:

  • Hardware-accelerated encoding of H.264 and HEVC*
  • Hardware-accelerated decoding of H.264, HEVC, VP9, VP8, MPEG2, MPEG4*, and AV1
  • Granular control over encoding settings such as encoding preset, rate control and other video quality parameters
  • Create high-performance end-to-end hardware-accelerated video processing, 1:N encoding and 1:N transcoding pipeline using built-in filters in FFmpeg
  • Ability to add your own custom high-performance CUDA filters using the shared CUDA context implementation in FFmpeg
  • Windows/Linux support

* Support is dependent on HW. For a full list of GPUs and formats supported, please see the available GPU Support Matrix.

Operating SystemWindows 7, 8, 10, and Linux
DependenciesNVENCODE API - NVIDIA Quadro, Tesla, GRID or GeForce products with Kepler, Maxwell and Pascal generation GPUs.

NVDECODE API - NVIDIA Quadro, Tesla, GRID or GeForce products with Fermi, Kepler, Maxwell and Pascal generation GPUs.

GPU Support Matrix

Appropriate NVIDIA Display Driver

DirectX SDK (Windows only) CUDA Toolkit
Development EnvironmentWindows: Visual Studio 2013SP5/2015/2017/2019, MSYS/MinGW
Linux: gcc 4.8 or higher

FFmpeg in Action

FFmpeg is used by many projects, including Google Chrome and VLC player. You can easily integrate NVIDIA hardware-acceleration to these applications by configuring FFmpeg to use NVIDIA GPUs for video encoding and decoding tasks.

HandBrake is an open-source video transcoder available for Linux, Mac, and Windows.

HandBrake works with most common video files and formats, including ones created by consumer and professional video cameras, mobile devices such as phones and tablets, game and computer screen recordings, and DVD and Blu-ray discs. HandBrake leverages tools such as Libav, x264, and x265 to create new MP4 or MKV video files from these.

Plex Media Server is a client-server media player system and software suite that runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD or a NAS. Plex organizes all of the videos, music, and photos from your computer’s personal media library and let you stream to your devices.

The Plex Transcoder uses FFmpeg to handle and translates your media into that the format your client device supports.


Supported GPUs

HW accelerated encode and decode are supported on NVIDIA GeForce, Quadro, Tesla, and GRID products with Fermi, Kepler, Maxwell and Pascal generation GPUs. Please refer to GPU support matrix for specific codec support.

Additional Resources