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Video Playback Quality

The HQV benchmarks from Silicon Optix used to be our basic tools for video playback quality measurements but in October 2008 this manufacturer of high-quality video processors began to sell out its assets. The Reon processor technologies and the HQV benchmarks were bought by IDT. The new owner released new versions of HQV tests in 2010.

HQV Benchmark 2.0 for Blu-ray and DVD is a sophisticated toolset that allows checking out the various capabilities of a video processor. The new tests are similar in content and functionality but optimized for Blu-ray/DVD players as well as TV-sets. As the consequence, a number of specific features prove to be not implemented in modern GPUs which cannot reach the maximum of 210 points. We are going to dedicate a special article to the methods of testing image quality with HQV Benchmark 2.0 for Blu-ray and DVD.

Considering that some video processing capabilities depend on the graphics card driver and that the test suite is new, you should not view the HQV results as the ultimate truth, especially as there can be differences of opinion concerning the recommended evaluation procedures.

As you can see, none of the tested graphics cards can boast to have scored the maximum number of points. AMD’s Redwood (ATI Radeon HD 5500/5600) and Nvidia’s GeForce GT 240 score more points than the others. This indicates the high computing requirements of HQV Benchmark 2.0 because these GPUs are not superior due to some functionality enhancements. They just can process visual effects faster than the cheaper GPUs.

The tested GPUs seem to have problems reproducing video from different sources, with simultaneous upscaling and noise reduction (this especially concerns AMD’s GPUs), color correction, etc. Perhaps AMD and Nvidia need to have some time to implement the driver features necessary to improve the video processing quality up to the level of specialized video processors installed in expensive players and TV-sets.

HQV Benchmark 2.0 Blu-ray is exactly like the DVD version except for minor differences in the content and the different resolution. As a result, the GPUs don’t have to upscale DVD to full-HD format and the final results are somewhat higher.

The new GPUs from AMD look better than Nvidia’s but the gap is rather small and can be negated by driver updates.

Like the DVD version of the benchmark, the Blu-ray version reveals problems the modern GPUs have reproducing video from different sources, with simultaneous upscaling and noise reduction, color correction, etc.

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