jPSXdec is a cross-platform PlayStation 1 media decoder/converter.
Get the latest version here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

PSX Video Converter Deathmatch

UPDATE: This comparison has been superseded by a newer one

I took 8 different video converters and lined them up for the showdown of the decade!
Ok, so it's not really that dramatic. Some points of interest:
  • PCSX shows the most amount of blocky artifacts, which is understandable because its converter was designed for speed over quality.
  • PsxMC, PSmplay, PsxTulz, and PCSX all show very similar coloring. PsxMC and PSmplay are especially similar; however, they are not pixel exact matches.
  • Q-gears seems to have the darkest and warmest colors of them all, while ffmpeg is the brightest.
  • jPSXdec seems to produce softer images than the others, and its colors are quite similar to PSXPlay.
The differences may not seem very apparent side-by-side, but if you align the images on top of each other (like layers) then toggle the top image's visibility, the differences really stand out.

Now which is the most accurate? That depends on your definition of accurate.
  1. Do you want the exact values the PlayStation 1 hardware produces?
  2. Do you want it to match how you see it on the television?
  3. Do you want it to more closely resemble what the original designer created?
  4. Do you want a more mathematically precise conversion?
I don't have modded PlayStation hardware, and I don't have any way to very accurately capture composite video output, so I can't investigate #1 or #2.

You need to have the official Sony PlayStation 1 movie converter tool to investigate #3. If some shifty soul wanted to convert this video to STR and send it to me, I could investigate further. ;)

I made my best effort to ensure jPSXdec is very mathematically accurate, so I can at least recommend jPSXdec if you want #4.

Download all the converted images, along with more details (including some source code) on how I did all the conversions.

25Oct2009: updated download with corrections and included convertible test STR.

23Nov2009: updated download with better PsxTulz screenshot (thanks T_chan!).