The Media Player market is already very crowded with competent free softwares like WMP,iTunes,The KMPlayer, The GOM Player and so on. Amongst this crows premium products like NeuView stand out. So, does it have enough in it to justify it’s price tag? Let’s find out.
NeuView interface has two components as you can see below –
The Info Box (called the LCD Display) – This is docked at the top-centre of your screen. It has the seekbar, basic playback control buttons, settings button and file open/close buttons. Visibility of the LCD Display can be toggled with a right click.
The Display Screen – This is the separate movable and resizeable component which displays the video. It also includes on-screen display which allows you to tweak various settings.
I am a big fan of on-screen displays – I have been since trying out Crystal Player. However, NeuView’s Interface is a bit odd. Half of the functionality is present in the LCD Display and the other half in the OSD. Why not put everything on the on-screen display and eliminate the LCD Display?
NeuView Media player’s most hyped feature is QOLabs unique image resampling algorithm called Pixelfusion. Resampling is the process of increasing adding pixels to the video so that it can be viewed at a resolution larger than it’s native resolution. Most commonly using resampling are bilinear and bicubic. However, these method make the video look blurry and a bit faded out (dull). NeuView claims that Pixelfusion will eliminate these problems and allow you to enjoy well defined and crispy full screen playback.
Another unique feature of NeuView Media Player is IQ Lightning which is basically auto-adjusts brightness/contrast/sharpness to make the video look more lively. The product website claims that NeuView Media Player will make the picture spring to life. Does it live up to it’s claims?
To check it out I played the same video using NeuView Media Player and VLC (out of the box – default unoptimised settings). Here are the screenshots :
First two pictures are screengrabs from Standard Resolution Videos while the last one is from a High Resolution (1280×720) one(mainly intended to check out IQ Lightning).
In each of the cases NeuView manages to deliver noticeable improvements to the output video and indeed succeeds in making the videos look more lively.
NeuView also contians a Digital Noise Reduction Algorithm – which is generally present in any modern video player.
Instead of using VMR or Overlay Mixer (which are commonly used) NeuView uses Directdraw to enhance performance. It was able to playback High Definition videos without any frame skipping or stuttering. NeuView auto detects the capabilities of your system and accordingly configures itself. NeuView was able to provide smooth real-time frame preview while seeking even when I used large high definition video files. QO Labs also claim that NeuView includes Vsync and Pulldown stabilizer to eliminate video tearing and video judder.
Here are some other features included in NeuView :
Variable speed playback from x1/2 to x250 speed.
Ability to playback video and audio in reverse mode!
Frame Capture of the video with all the optimizations applied.
Crash Recovery – It can detect many crashes and recover from them.
Video renderer fallback mechanism, if one renderer fails it can try another renderer.
Drag and Drop Playback support.
Can Playback incomplete/broken avi files. It can also playback currently downloading files which is awesome as I am often too impatient to let the download complete.
Although NeuView comes with a lot of unique features it lacks some very common features. One of them is auto-subtitle detection. Subtitle and audio resync options are also missing. You need manually add external subtitles which is annoying. Although the audio output quality of NeuView is very good I do miss the equalizers and audio filters provided by The KMPlayer. But, the shocker is the lack of a playlist manager.
I can’t help but comment on the NeuView website. It looks atrocious. The first impression I got from the website is SCAM!! It looks uncannily like those affiliate marketing product (mostly ebook) websites. It’s amateurishly design and the matter on the website is almost condescending (the content seems to have been written for a child). It’s a good thing that they had the Softpedia 5/5 Rating and Softpedia 100& Clean (Adware/Spyware) logos right at the top. Because there is a good chance that I wouldn’t have otherwise dared to try this product.
So is NeuView Worth It?
In an age when most media players are free, NeuView Professional costs $12.50.It does offer a standard edition which is free, but that lacks the advanced post processing options found in the professional version. The shareware build comes with 5 minutes of free playback time. You can get 100 hours extra by registering for free, and you can gain even more free playback time by referring your friends.
Experienced users may claim that similar results can be obtained by using free filters like ffdshow, but they are infinitely more complex and configuring them properly is beyond an average computer user. Considering the fact that NeuView is able to dramatically enhance picture quality (especially on low resolution videos) without any user intervention $12.50 is not an unreasonable price.
Download NeuView (3.31 MB)
Filetypes Supported : ac3, ape, asf, asx, avi, bmp, dat, divx, dts, gif, jpeg, jpg, m1v, m2v, mka, mkv, mp3, mp4, mpa, mpc, mpe, mpeg, mpg, ogg, ogm, part, vp6, wav, wma, wmv, xvid
Platforms Supported : Windows All
License : Shareware
Cost : $12.50
Version Reviewed : 6.08
FootNote : A free Windows Media Player plugin is available from QOLabs that allows you to use a basic version of PixelFusion in WMP. You can download it from here.