The BCM70012/15 is a little PCI-E device that decodes vc-1, h264 and a couple other formats. I was wondering whether or not the guys who designed the BCM2835 SoC, which the raspberry pi is based on, also designed those bcm700** add-on devices in the past? And whether or not the inner workings of BCM70015/12 are inside the BCM2835 SoC?
If so, I must say the media capabilities of the raspberry pi are pretty cool and high-end (if it wasn't obvious already). I mean, from my understanding, the Apple TV itself is not capable of playing 1080p or any highly compressed film you pulled from ThePirateBay. Yet, after an upgrade with the bcm70015 and a conversion to XBMC, it can do anything but fly. I own one of those cards myself and it's amazing what total junk it can decode successfully. I won't say any names, though some releasegroups really don't know how x264 works. It's a blessing the guys at Broadcom made a device capable of decoding nearly anything.
As for the outlooks for the future; I've seen some of the proposals for h265 and they're pretty ridiculous. With high-end resolutions like 2k and 4k on the upcoming, hardware acceleration seems to become truly necessary in the near future. I don't know of many affordable computers that play 4k h264, let stand 4k h265 proposals.