In my reviews of the GeForce GTX 275
and the GeForce GTS 250
, one of the things that really stand out for me is CUDA. CUDA gives developers the ability to tap into the video card and use the power available to do some general purpose computing. With the tools available, one can speed up processing time on many tasks. vReveal
takes advantage of CUDA to clean up video at a quicker rate. Click on the READ MORE link to see the effects of it in action.
One of the cool things about NVIDIA cards are the CUDA applications available. Most though are multimedia centric for now but I'm hoping to see more diverse applications take advantage of the GPU as a general purpose processor. ATI has their ATI Stream which is the same idea but they only have a few items right now. But, there are are few selections available that take advantage of NVIDIA cards and one of the more recent ones is vReveal
You probably have seen crime shows use computers to clean up footage. Well, vReveal does something similar as well. No, you won't get crystal clear images from blurry camera videos but what you do get can be of great improvement over what you originally have. vReveal takes advantage of CUDA to decrease processing time by many factors. I tested the application out with two of my own videos that you can see below. The interface is very simple and easy to follow. The first one that was taken at a Las Vegas gun range was taken with my HTC Touch Pro cell phone. I applied all the options available trying to clean up the video as best as I can. The stabilization process reduces the window size a little to compensate for all the shaking I'm doing but it does an admirable job in cleaning up a cell phone video. CUDA helped saved me 8 minutes of time as the process took 1 minute and 42 seconds to finish.
The second one I tested on was also taken with my HTC Touch Pro cell phone and features a lot of jittering as I played with my son. With this video I increased some of the items such as sharpness, stabilization, and how well it cleans the video. Here CUDA saved even more time with an estimated 12 minutes saving and the process finished in 3 minutes and 5 seconds. And as you can see from the result, the picture is a lot easier to view.
Now while I do love the fact that there are programs taking advantage of NVIDIA cards through CUDA, I am worried that if you decide to move onto another brand of video card, you're stuck with a program that won't receive any benefits at all if you decide to give up your NVIDIA card. Your only option is to continue purchasing NVIDIA cards or hope the developers of the program enhance the product with support for other acceleration technologies. For example, PowerDirector 7 by CyberLink offer support for both CUDA and ATI Stream so you're set with the two leading video card manufactures. That topic though is probably best saved for another piece but I just wanted to put that caveat out there for those considering purchasing a product such as vReveal which only support CUDA for now. (UPDATE - I just got word from the folks at vReveal that they will be supporting Window 7's DirectX11 Compute and OpenCL so that will open up the product to be used by other vendor hardware.)
vReveal is a pretty slick program that has some real world benefits from CUDA. It can help enhance videos to make them look a lot better than the original. Some of the ones I tested didn't see as much of an improvement but for the most part, vReveal did a great job on most of the ones I tried. Well, you can see for yourself how well they do.