Video Playback Quality
The HQV 2.0 test suite is a means to subjectively evaluate the quality of some video processing operations performed by a graphics card. As we wrote in our earlier reviews, this suite is very detailed and focuses on comparing Blu-ray and DVD players, which are based on specialized video processors. Therefore, today's GPUs do not always score the highest marks in it.
HQV 2.0 DVD
Today, few people watch regular DVD movies on TVs and monitors at the native resolution of DVD content. Most users instead prefer larger screens with full-HD resolution (1920x1080). So, the primary goal of any video processor is not just to properly display video content, but to be able to upscale the image, perform movement correction, reduce noise, improve detail quality, etc. Video fragments used in the HQV 2.0 DVD tests are selected in such a way as to demonstrate how good today’s video processors are at performing each of the mentioned operations.
So, the Nvidia GeForce GTS 450 is somewhat worse in this test than its predecessor, which may be due to the difference in their clock rates or in our subjective impressions. On the other hand, just like its senior cousin the new graphics card leaves its competitors behind, mainly due to its better upscale technology and the multi-cadence tests.
HQV 2.0 Blu-ray
Similar to HQV 2.0 DVD, the HQV 2.0 Blu-ray test suite allows to subjectively evaluate a video processor at high display resolutions.
The GF106 cannot score the maximum possible amount of points, yet its score is quite high. Most of its problems (the tests where it scores naught) are only going to show up in non-commercial video content which needs additional post-processing. We don't think that users who watch HD movies directly from Blu-ray discs will be disappointed with it. You can only have poor quality when trying to upscale HD content from iTunes and other such services.
It must be noted that, like in the HQV 2.0 DVD tests, it is possible to adapt the graphics card’s driver settings for HQV 2.0 BD in such a way as to get the maximum amount of points in specific video fragments. This would show all the capabilities of today's GPUs in terms of video playback. However, this approach is not recommended by IDT and has little practical worth because real movies contain numerous scenes shot at different locations with different lighting and often with different cameras. Thus, a good video processor must be able to adapt itself to the specific scene on the fly.
When analyzing the results of the HQV tests, you must keep it in mind that the scoring method is highly subjective. Therefore a small difference in the total scores of different graphics cards should rather be neglected.