Tuesday, April 8, 2008

TrueHD: The Proof of the Pudding

So it's been a while since I've updated with progress on Digital Foundry TrueHD. While the core of the product has been complete for quite some time, there's been a fair amount of engineering work going on in the background to make the whole thing stable. I've been doing a fair amount of beta testing with a client since my January blog entry and I was surprised at how easy it was for me to work around bugs, but not so easy for someone who's never laid hands on the hardware before. Thankfully now, the system is very robust and I've got some great feedback on how to improve the product still further.
Overall though, TrueHD is now good to go, so it's time for a screenshot or two, this time with a difference. The left hand side of the shot shows a captured image using our lossless 24-bit RGB codec (which supports 720p60 and 1080p30). The right hand side shows the quality we have using CineForm HD (support for any resolution at 60fps up to 1080p). For a complete comparison download both images here. Yet another testament to the quality of CineForm HD, which makes 1080p60 capture possible.
If you're wondering why I have an obsession with Ridge Racer 7, it's because it's a superb way to stress-test 1080p capture. And pretty much the only way we have right now until more advanced gaming hardware hits the market. First of all, it runs consistently at 60fps - give or take the odd dropped frame. Secondly, it's full raster 1920x1080 while most PS3 titles that offer 1080p support actually run at 960x1080, 1280x1080 or 1440x1080 - if they support 1080p at all. Thirdly, it's packed with detail, fast motion, and zero anti-aliasing. All of these details combine to make compression an absolute nightmare - in short, it's the best way to put TrueHD through its paces.
So, with TrueHD effectively done and dusted, what next for Digital Foundry? News early next week. It's gonna be big, or rather small.

Our old friend Ridge Racer 7 on PS3 versus Digital Foundry TrueHD, captured at 1080p30 in full 24-bit RGB (left) and YPrPb 4:2:2 CineForm HD (right). Click on the image for the full picture.