GPU APPS GAIN MOMENTUM

by Drew Henry

I love meeting with our customers.  They are very passionate about their business, and direct about the things they need from us to help them grow.  Recently I was on a week-long whirlwind trip through Europe with stops in Barcelona, Frankfurt and London (lots of frequent flier miles) where we hosted over 150 customers from the top European PC distribution companies.  In detail we discussed how Windows 7 will affect the PC market.  The great news is that everyone believes customers will quickly convert to Windows 7.  It has great features and, most importantly, it’s rock solid, which I can attest to that since I’ve been running the release candidate at home for months with no serious issues.

We spent a lot of time discussing new video and photo applications consumers can use to enrich their ever growing libraries of digital photos and videos.  These discussions really hit home for me as my family and I have amassed over 30,000 digital photos and countless hours of video on our very well protected PC with a RAID 5 storage system.  Using the GPU as a video and photo application processor is a significant new capability of Windows 7 and a major trend in the industry, so I showed our customers three new applications that exploit this capability:

– MotionDSP’s vReveal takes the shakes and noise out of cell phone videos
– Arcsoft’s Total Media Player with SimHD turns DVD content into near HD-quality (BTW, HP is shipping this app with their new NVIDIA ION based HP Mini-Note 311)
– Cyberlink PowerDirector makes editing videos at home fast and easy

The first two apps I personally use and recommend.  vReveal can make even the lousiest cell phone video look good.  If you’ve ever captured video at a concert, you know how dark and shaky the video can be.  Run it through vReveal with an NVIDIA GPU and voilà, clear as day there are The Rolling Stones!  (Well maybe some rockers should stay blurry.  Just kidding, Mick.)

You’ll appreciate Arcsoft’s app if you’ve ever watched a DVD on a notebook.  Expand the movie to full screen and it blurs and gets blocky.  But not with Total Media Player with SimHD.  This app uses the GPU to improve the DVD to what the Arcsoft guys call “near HD-quality”.  I can tell you from recent experience that “The Bourne Supremacy” looks great!

I’ve used PowerDirector and find the GPU effects to be cool, though I prefer Adobe Premiere for editing my family videos.  (I also use Photoshop for editing my photos.  The GPU features are very cool).

The European customers loved the demos and were very positive about the future of the PC.  Now I can’t wait to see these applications spread across the continent!