Faroudja Improves Quality Algorithms

Faroudja Enterprises_-_beforeBandwidth restoration – before. Click for a larger image.

Faroudja Enterprises, founded by industry veteran Yves Faroudja, demonstrated image quality improvement technologies to ‘protect the visual beauty of content from SD to UltraHD for any viewing screen’.

The three enhancement technologies introduced at NAB are intended to provide high-quality images, even when bandwidth is at a premium. The focus is on cleaning encoded digital images and minimising artefacts, to provide higher image quality on TVs, tablets and smartphones. The company showed bandwidth restoration for edges and details; 1920 x 1080-to-UltraHD upscaling (described as ‘significantly superior’ to UltraHD TV upscalers) and detail preserving de-blocking. All of these will be available for mobile, home, consumer and broadcast applications.

“The biggest disappointment any viewer can experience – especially a UHDTV viewer – is low-quality video when they expect high-quality perfection”, said COO Bill Herz. “These technologies could be deployed easily in consumer devices such as smart TVs, set-top boxes, DVRs, smartphones and tablets, to increase consumer satisfaction”.

Faroudja Enterprises_-_afterBandwidth restoration – after. Note the fur detail.Bandwidth restoration technology (BR1) uses large edge detail improvements, through amplitude adaptive algorithms. Fine details and large edges are enhanced without introducing or amplifying noise or compression artefacts, said the company.

Deblocking and debanding technology (DB1) looks at regions of uniform value, while detecting and tracking small variations. These are usually introduced by the quantisation stage of compression. The artefacts are recognised and eliminated through intelligent threshholding. This technology can be used to get rid of blocks and banding introduced during compression, without affecting details and edges.

Finally, Faroudja’s multi-dimensional upscaler (US1) uses proprietary multi-dimensional processing to scale video from SD to HD to 1920 x 1080 to UltraHD. Details and images remain sharp, without introducing aliasing or blur. The company could not go into more detail on the technology at this time.

Faroudja Enterprises’ new improvement solutions are encoder- and decoder-independent.