Video playback with 3rd party software
Although the video files generated by the VIDEO4 have the extension VD4, they are completely standard MPG files, and can be played back using other software if required.
The reason why the system uses the "non standard" VD4 is simply so it can be associated the Race Technology software without changing the configuration of the users machine.
We've tested a number of 3rd party applications:
In fact irrespective of the software that is used to play video on the PC, it is never as good as you get from a "real television", and there are a number of factors that effect performance:
- Smoothness of update rate
This is always a compromise on a PC as the refresh rate of monitors is variable. All PC players we're aware of only update the screen at approximately 25Hz - in comparison a TV is fixed at much higher 50Hz or 100Hz.
- Colour saturation and contrast is also an issue on LCD computer monitors
They just seem to lack the vibrancy and "life" that you get on proper TVs. The only option here is to increase the colour saturation in the software but they are still not a match for a TV.
However the biggest issue is de-interlacing:
All standard cameras capture video in interlaced format, but the PC is a progressive display. So a conversion is necessary, otherwise we will get "jaggies" with movement.
Currently the RT player uses quite simple de-interlacing method that simply filters the 2 fields together into a single frame. This eliminates the "jaggies" but in doing so you are losing some vertical resolution. De-interlacing is quite a complicated and "subtle" subject and this is the main reason why some PC based DVD players are better than others. Whilst we don't claim that the Race Technology player is as good as the very best of the commercial DVD players, it is very good and simple to operate - so for 99% of applications this is more than sufficient.
Note that if you wish to experiment with different de-interlacing settings they can be accessed from the Decoder Settings in the Race Technology player.