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Image Quality Comparison

The WinFast PxVC1100 Video Transcoding Card: Worth The Price?
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First, let's scrutinize the standard definition results of the software encoder versus the hardware-accelerated WinFast PxVC1100. Keep in mind that the final result obtained from these two encoding methods is not a bit-for-bit identical copy. While we can control bit rates and some other variables to keep things on an even keel for comparison purposes, the final product is not exactly the same file. This is an important comparison because, if the quality suffers, then the WinFast card's speed advantage quickly becomes less relevant.

Upon very close inspection, it does appear as though there is a very slight difference in the end result. If you scrutinize the color of the uniforms, there is variance in the color-gradient dithering quality. This subtle discrepancy would probably be next-to-impossible to notice during actual video playback, but while the difference is subtle, it remains noteworthy.

Now let's examine the difference between the results when the video is up-scaled using the standard method and then again using the super-resolution option:

There is a more dramatic difference here, with the console display showcasing some sharpening artifacts in the version created with the super-resolution enhancement. In the second shot, we can see some details are faring a little better with crisper edges, like the insignia on the uniform. Most objects do have a sharper edge.

While the standard method appears smoother in these static screenshots, the super-resolution version does appear clearer during actual playback. Then again, the super-resolution version can suffer from sharpening artifacts during playback, especially on soft-edged phenomenon such as lens flares. In the end, of course, it is simply a matter of taste, but it's always nice to have the option to choose.

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