Transcoding Quality: Rated By Software Title
Best per Software Title
If you had to choose the best video output quality across hardware and software, we'd go with the AMD and Intel (Quality setting) solutions in CyberLink's MediaEspresso, Intel's solution in Arcsoft's MediaConverter, and Nvidia's solution in Badaboom.
Worst per Software Title
The worst (or perhaps least-optimized) choices would be Intel's solution in Badaboom, AMD's hardware in MediaConverter, and Nvidia's CUDA in MediaEspresso. Granted, the difference between the worst and the best outputs in MediaEspresso and MediaConverter are very large and noticeable. In Badaboom, the differences between CUDA and Quick Sync are slight.
To be fair, these are over-generalizations based on countless hours of viewing. When a video is "bad," we're often referring to a specific scene in one clip, where it looks perfectly fine on a competing configuration. Rather that trying to editorialize the slight differences between clips and leave the disparities open to interpretation, we're actually going to make all of the videos we're analyzing in this story available for download so you can see for yourself. We have even added the original 1080p Deathrace trailer into our transcode tests (though not shown in our benchmark tables) and a very twitchy 1080p clip from Death Race.
Download Links: Original Source Content, Badaboom Output, MediaConverter Output, MediaEspresso Output. Warning: large file sizes. Remember to view all videos in their native resolution to avoid scalers.