Many of us know the name Hollywood Quality Video (HQV) from DVD playback tests, but what many might not know is that HQV is part of the much larger company Silicon Optix. The company had a private suite in the Grand Hyatt hotel, where it discussed some of its current projects, as well informing us of its attempts to evangelize the world about better image quality. Silicon Optix designs "programmable video processing systems-level solutions for the professional broadcast and post production markets." This means they build hardware that can correct the imperfections of traditional video playback.
There are many misconceptions about "true" image quality, and the guys at Silicon Optix had some test demos. The problem the firm has with current marketing is that most consumers have no idea what "good" or "accurate" image quality is supposed to look like. The first test was to see if we could identify a standard DVD playback compared to HD-DVD. Of course, people choose the standard playback as the one with the most noise, pixilation, and other imperfections. The twist that Silicon Optix put into the demo is that it runs the standard DVD though its hardware and the HD-DVD on conventional playback hardware.
It is interesting to see how many physical problems exist for video playback, and the number of imperfections is based on several factors. One of the most obvious is the limitations in the source media. Others include the playback hardware, the after-effects hardware, and the software used to correct imperfections. In several other demos, the company demonstrated its handiwork with rear projection televisions (RPTV) and how the fusion of better silicon and less optics could actually produce better results, cheaper consumer products, and less space needed to create a RPTV. The company shared several other developments in the RPTV arena, which leads us to believe that with the right amount of evangelism, more monitors and TVs could actually end up being very narrow, laser-lit, high-resolution, yet relatively light RP displays. This could be an interesting development indeed, which could even save us all a bit more money on our next display purchases.
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