A new software suite from ArcSoft promises to turn standard definition into high definition.
We hear all the time about the upscaling quality of high-definition players and how they handle the conversion of a 480p image to 1080p. It’s one measured areas that a home theater aficionado (at least those who still have sizable DVD collections) pays attention to. With that in mind, we raise eyebrows at ArcSoft’s claim that its new software can scale DVDs to near-HD levels.
ArcSoft promises that its SimHD plug-in for ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre multimedia player will work upscaling magic by utilizing the Nvidia CUDA parallel computing architecture to “solve complex calculations in a fraction of the time required on a CPU.”
TotalMedia Theatre takes advantage of the GPUs from the GeForce 8 Series onwards for SimHD‘s “intensive post processing algorithms.”
"Our newly released upscaling technology, ArcSoft SimHD, is available now in retail to allow viewers to obtain an HD-like viewing experience on the PC from the existing standard DVDs,” said George Tang, ArcSoft VP and GM.
“What a great way to upgrade your existing library of DVDs! All you need is TotalMedia Theatre and an Nvidia GeForce GPU, and you can instantly turn your movies into near-HD quality,” said Michael Steele, GM of visual consumer solutions at Nvidia.
Although filters and post-processing do help an image, we’re extremely skeptical about any claims of turning a standard definition picture into one that’s even near the fidelity of high-definition.
A 1080p Blu-ray Disc is six times the resolution from a DVD, so how SimHD is able to make up for that difference -- at least what is perceptible to the eye -- is beyond us. The example image included by Nvidia and ArcSoft shows image tweaks, but not a shift in resolution (which is to be expected).
TotalMedia Theatre with SimHD technology is currently available as a TotalMedia Theatre plug-in for end users, and we’ll have to check it out for ourselves.