Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Kasabian, Digital Foundry and Microsoft

It's quite ironic that Digital Foundry's first mainstream non-games project should be for... Microsoft. Last week, the Xbox Live Marketplace was updated with the back catalogue of Kasabian videos in standard definition, with the latest single, Shoot The Runner, available as an HD presentation.
Digital Foundry performed the conversion and encoding for this project, taking the masters in 1080i/50 format from HDCAM tape, ingesting the raw footage directly over HD-SDI into a 25fps 1080p file.
The video was then scaled downwards to 1280x720 - the Xbox Live HD standard - and encoded directly into the appropriate WMV container.
It was a relatively painless operation, but the flat colour/animated nature of the video provided a lot of potential for compression. However, with an eye for quality, Microsoft chose to use the version we encoded at the maximum possible bitrate, providing a virtually flawless rendition of the original file.

Click for full-size 720p images of the Kasabian video, Shoot the Runner, prepared by Digital Foundry for Microsoft and the Xbox Live Marketplace.