Ever wondered if you can convert SD videos to HD resolution? New software claims to improve the overall picture quality
Many people have looked at their standard definition videos and wished for something more, preferably at little to no cost. With the rise of HD technology, we’re seeing remastering of old favorites into mind-blowing, super-sharp detailed pictures. In this article we’ll see if your home movies can be converted into the same kind of stunning picture quality at no cost.
Important: Don’t Get Your Hopes too High
As a rule of thumb, when a video is shot is SD resolution then you can NEVER fully convert it into HD. Why? Because the pixel material is simply not there, which means the image information needed to scale the picture is not available in the first place! So, in 99% of all cases the quality won’t be very promising and you should try to find a HD version of the video
Upconverting SD to HD is a tricky process. Quite frankly, an HD picture has more information than an SD picture does. To convert SD to HD, the converter needs to make a guess as to what this information should be. In the end, what most people end up with is a picture that fits an HD screen, and may be sharper than an SD picture, but it still doesn’t attain a fully HD feel.
The Free Geek Solution: Avisynth
Example Video converted from SD to HD using Avisynth:
A popular software amongst geeks is Avisynth (download here), an open-source program. Users report surprising results from it, saying the picture quality definitely improves. People experienced with technology praise its ease of use, but that’s subjective. The program requires at the very least intermediate levels of coding knowledge! Avisynth runs off of a unique scripting language, and the better the user understands this language, the better their results will be.
As seen in the example, you should also download Virtualdub – a dubbing software that works great.
HD Video Converter Factory $30
When looking up “Free SD to HD Conversion” on Google, one of the top hits is HD Video Converter Factory, which claims to be able to convert any video format to any other video format, including SD to HD. Many things about this program throw up red flags. Poor grammar on the site’s info page such as: “the SD video to HD video converter you choose only need handy handling process” don’t really inspire confidence. This product is normally $30, but has a trial version, so if you want to give it a shot, at least you can test it out for free.
Paid Programs Are Best
For now, conversion software is so new, that finding a reliable, quality, user-friendly upconversion program means paying for it. The good news is that many costly video editing suites, like Sony Movie Studio and Adobe Premier can get the job done and provide you with more features to fine tune video for the best possible effect. Yes, they can cost an arm and a leg, but for the best possible SD to HD results, it’s probably worth it. In addition, with a recognizable brand name, there’s a greater likelihood of good user support, which many free programs simply don’t have.
Just because SD to HD upconversion is new right now doesn’t mean it will be forever. In six months to a year, a developer may have come up with an SD to HD converter that’s both free and viable. Keep an eye on places like CNET or SourceForge to stay abreast of the newest breakthroughs.