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One of the fundamental problems with the VDK is that it performs two image processing passes, one to upscale and the other to compress. Both passes use block copying, which introduces errors, and the errors from the upscaler are compounded by the compressor.

This might be why Dimension went for upscaling only, they figured that dropping the compression feature would be an easy way to eliminate a large error source. In TMM’s case, they need to do both passes together with a single algorithm (or use an upscaler of better quality), greatly increase the bandwidth utilization, and have it still work fast enough for realtime decoding.

It is a hard job. Block copying is decode-friendly, but quality is poor unless blocks are split. But block splitting hurts the compression ratio. It is damned if you do and damned if you do not. There is just not enough compression at an acceptable quality level. Whatever the work with Raytheon accomplishes, I suspect it will include a sizeable departure from the block copying methodology, so we could be waiting a while.

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