HQV Benchmarks Now in HD

June 29, 2007

HQV Blu-Ray & HD DVD

The good folks over at Silicon Optix were kind enough to send over a couple of their new HD HQV Benchmark discs (available in both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats) which are designed to evaluate a variety of video processing tasks and take a lot of the guesswork out of just how well (or poor) your HD source, display and scaler devices are performing. These discs will immediately go into our review repertoire alongside their standard definition counterparts.

So what better way to christen the disc(s) than to revisit a few of our most recent HD disc playback device and display reviews and update them with HD HQV benchmark results? I decided to start off with the PS3 feeding the JVC DLA-HD1, (going in reverse chronological order) but before I could get started I was prompted to update the PS3 to firmware version 1.82, which I happily obliged. With the update out of the way I popped in the Blu-ray HD HQV benchmark disc and was pleasantly surprised to see a few looped HD video shots before prompted to enter the discs menu. It’s always nice to have a bit of reference video on the disc itself.

Another nice feature of the HD HQV discs are the introduction segments that go into detail about the tests performed and the technology behind HQV processing, overall a very nice introduction to those unfamiliar with the discs and process. With that out of the way I advanced forward and got down to benchmarking the PS3 with the HD HQV disc.

The tests are broken up into 5 categories with multiple tests in each category. The first test up was the “HD Noise Test” which guides you through several shots of moving objects and instructs you on how to spot loss of detail due to improper noise reduction in the shot. The PS3 scored a 25 out of a maximum 25 for this test. Next up was the “Video Resolution Loss Test” which tests for resolution loss due to improper or poor de-interlacing of video based source material; the PS3 scored another 20 of 20 here.

From there the disc moves onto the “Video Reconstruction Test” or jaggies for short. This test evaluates “video reconstruction” and gauges how well the player is rendering data in moving areas of the image. Once again a solid 20 out of a 20 possible score here for the PS3. The “Film Resolution Loss Test” measures horizontal detail in which the PS3 scored a 25 of 25. The last test up was the “Film Resolution Loss Test – Stadium” which looks for moiré patterns and flickering ala the race track sequence of the SD HQV disc. You guessed it, 10 out of 10 for this test as well.

Keep in mind that the HD HQV discs are 1080i so in essence any test that involves de-interlacing are dependant on the video processor in the display and or outboard processor. That is until (or should I say if) a future PS3 firmware revision adds 1080p de-interlacing to the consoles feature-set. So to sum up the PS3’s score with the HD HQV Benchmark disc paired with the JVC DLA-HD1:

•Noise Reduction: Pass – Score 25 of 25
•Video Resolution Loss Test: Pass – Score 20 of 20
•Video Reconstruction Test (Jaggies): Pass – Score 20 of 20
•Film Resolution Loss Test: Pass – Score 25 of 25
•Film Resolution Loss Test – Stadium: Pass – Score 10 of 10
•Total Score: 100 out of a possible 100.

Moving onto the Toshiba HD-A2 feeding the DLA-HD1, I was interested to see how well the player/projector would perform with the same battery of tests just thrown at the PS3 and HD1. So without further delay here are the results for a Toshiba HD-A2 at 1080i. (De-interlacing performed by the HD1′s Gennum VXP)

•Noise Reduction: Pass – Score 15 of 25
•Video Resolution Loss Test: Pass – Score 20 of 20
•Video Reconstruction Test (Jaggies): Pass – Score 20 of 20
•Film Resolution Loss Test: Fail – Score 0 of 25
•Film Resolution Loss Test – Stadium: Pass – Score 10 of 10
•Total Score: 65 out of a possible 100.

As you can see the HD-A2 feeding the JVC DLA-HD1 failed a rather important test, the “Film Resolution Loss”. This would appear to be a result of the way the HD1’s Gennum VXP video processor handles this particular test sequence as evident in this response from Gennum on the subject. It would seem as if this can be remedied by means of a firmware update to the projector, whether it will be is of course an entirely different matter. Of course as the Gennum representative points out this is of little consequence in real-world scenarios i.e. the VXP passes the subsequent test with flying colors. Unfortunately I don’t have a HD-XA2 on-hand to test but as it’s equipped with a HQV chipset I can only assume it would fair better at 1080p than the A2 at 1080i.

Moving onto the next and final player up for a revisit we have the Sony BPD-S300, like the PS3 the S300 was configured to output video at 1080p. Test results for the Sony BDP-S300 were as follows:

•Noise Reduction: Pass – Score 25 of 25
•Video Resolution Loss Test: Pass – Score 20 of 20
•Video Reconstruction Test (Jaggies): Pass – Score 20 of 20
•Film Resolution Loss Test: Fail – Score 0 of 25
•Film Resolution Loss Test – Stadium: Pass – Score 10 of 10
•Total Score: 75 out of a possible 100.

The BDP-S300’s results perplexed me a bit, I was expecting to see a full pass in the first “Film Resolution Loss” test but once again no dice. The S300 came a tad closer, the vertical bands weren’t as pronounced as with the A2 but they did strobe on/off, according to the supplied scorecard this constitutes as a fail. So as you can see, real world image quality doesn’t always match up with benchmark results. Interesting anomalies aside I welcome the HD HQV benchmark discs into our testing regime here. Now if I could only procure myself a Samsung BDP-12000 and another Toshiba HD-XA2…



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Calibration


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