Monday, April 03, 2006

CineForm compression used for HD game development

Although CineForm has focused on compression and tools for the independent film and TV production / post environment, we have been getting a significant amount of interest from high-end game developers. The new consoles from Microsoft (XBOX 360) and the upcoming Sony Play Station 3 are producing HD images (1280x720 or higher) at 60 frames per second, that are sharper than anything gathered by a lens. So real-time compression from gaming consoles is an interesting challange, yet we now have customers using Prospect HD and/or Wafian HR-1 to real-time capture the latest games on the most advanced consoles. The applications are varied, from game testing and developement, to cutting together promotional demo reels (some as exciting as feature movie trailers -- thanks Richard for your great examples.)

So why CineForm? Basically we are a lot less expensive than an HD tape deck, and much more convenient than tape. Where you capture using an HR-1 or a Prospect HD system, your data is stored instantly of a computer for fast review and manipulation. As people play these consoles in a fixed location, the tethered acquistion into computer system is an easy solution. Next is quality, while capture 720p60 into DVCPRO-HD deck works, it will only samples at 960x720, limiting is usefulness when full pixel detail is important (again the deck is a more expensive solution.) Finally very long captures of entire gaming sessions will be beyond most tape systems and many uncompressed disk systems. All pretty obvious stuff, we are just excited by the opportunity of this alternative HD production market.

No comments: