Initial PSP Observations

It’s again one of those rare times when Futureshop actually has something for a decent price. To boot, it’s something that I was looking for: a 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo for my new PSP. I visited the Futureshop at Dixie and Dundas in Mississauga after work but found the rack empty. Bah, sold out. So on my way back home to Niagara Falls for the weekend, I rushed into the St. Catharines Futureshop with 3 minutes to spare before 9pm, thinking that was closing time. In fact it wasn’t, so I leisurely browsed through the PC games section, on the lookout for Medieval II: Total War. Unfortunately, Futureshop has decided to sell only the deluxe pack, which includes every single Total War game together for a whopping $90. I already have the others (well, I am missing Shogun: Total War now that I think about it) so no sense in paying twice. In the end I walked out of the store happily brandishing my new 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo for about $80 all told; not too bad. It was a matter of plugging the card into the machine.

Memory Stick and PSP

After that difficult task was completed (I actually tried to put it in upside down at first; just goes to show, when in doubt RTFM) I transferred over a re-encoded episode of The Office using PSP Video 9. I had initially used the 368×208 resolution, variable bit rate QB7 setting which seemed to be a middle ground between filesize and quality. However I immediately noticed pixelation and some ghosting/smearing. I decided to go for the high quality QB4 setting the second time. This time quality was much, much better but the ghosting is still there. I’ll chalk that up to the PSP’s display response time. Videos like The Office still look fine, with a bit of ghosting here and there, but I don’t think an action movie would work too well.

As well, the re-encoding process took an awfully long time on this P-M 1.6GHz with 1GB RAM laptop that I’ve got at home. I’ll do a more in depth look at the encoding times across a set of computers when I get the chance, but I’m hoping the new Core 2 Duo system I built will go through the process a bit quicker. On the downside, PSP Video 9 isn’t multi-core aware (yet) so any speed improvements will have to come from one core alone. I’ll write something a little more detailed on the PSP as I get to using it more. For now I need some sleep.

Don't you love this guy?

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