Friday, February 29, 2008

Nvidia Plans to “Improve” High Definition Video with New Driver Feature

Nvidia Corp., a leading designer of graphics adapters, announced that starting from the latest release of its ForceWare driver its graphics cards would improve the quality of high-definition videos. It is uncertain whether the improvements will actually make movies look the way it was meant to be viewed.

Along with the launch of Nvidia GeForce 9600-series graphics cards, the world’s largest supplier of graphics processing units (GPUs) also released a version of its ForceWare driver that “also improves high-definition video playback on everyday PCs”. As a result, Nvidia GeForce 8800 GS/GT/GTS512 as well as GeForce 9-series graphics cards are capable of dynamic contrast enhancement and automatic green, blue and skin tone enhancements.

Nvidia hopes that its new software-based technologies will improve quality of video playback significantly. However, the end result may be different: movie directors and end-users hardly like a hardware and software providers to “enhance” video playback due to various reasons. But the main one for directors seems to be the way it was meant to be seen.

“Does anyone out [t]here want to challenge what I feel suits my films better in terms of look? I see every frame of my films over a hundred times before it is ever released. I know the lighting conditions I shot it and the result on the DI. I know the range. I know what the final product should look like,” Michael Bay, the director of Transformers movie, recently said.

As with other enhancement video technologies by Nvidia, dynamic improvements of contrast and colour can be enabled and disabled from the driver, which means that users who would not like Nvidia to decide the way a movie should be seen, may disable appropriate feature.

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