Video Quality – Calls Vs Content

Updated on 26 January 2009 by

Steve has already talked about the camera quality on the Compal MID today, but I wanted to quickly mention the video quality. I think I’d agree with him that video side is a little disappointing.

“Video quality on the device I have here isn’t up to the same quality as the images unfortunately. The quality is low-end smartphone level and should really be much better, inch wrote Steve.

I think the first thing to note is that video in a MID device has two core uses. The first is video telephony, especially online using IM services such as Skype. In that sense having a small screen and sometimes poor definition is expected, and thus the Compal is comparable to the built in camera on mid-range laptops. Unless I specifically say that I’m on a MID device, video chatting

It’s when you look at recording and editing video for upload to services like YouTube or Vimeo that the Compal starts to fail. The video that I have recorded on the Compal, even when viewed on the device, has a habit of the audio being out of sync with the video. That’s not something that is acceptable for any sort of internet video work.

This is something I see in many devices, and it normally comes down to a log-jam somewhere in the hardware. The obvious culprit is processor speed, but I don’t think this is the case here – I’d be more inclined to look at either the amount of data that can flow from the camera circuitry, or the write speed to the memory chips. If either of those is slow, then there will be a lot of video recording problems.

Early smartphones had the same problems, and as technology improved (and the phones had a guaranteed ‘ inchthis will sell X hundreds of thousands of units", inch the price of components came down till they were able to cope with the flow of information. MIDs are still in their early days, but as they develop and mature their markets, the same economy of scale should improve their media capturing quality in the same way.

2 Comments For This Post

  1. chippy says:

    Despite the (lets be honest) very poor video quality, i have hopes that it is improved on later firmware. Apparently Compal are already delivering newer versions.

  2. Ewan says:

    A lot depends on where the problem lies – if it’s in software it could well be optimised – my worry is that this is a hardware issue, which means waiting for the mk2. But I await the update with keen interest.

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