The truth about upscaling

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by rdsii64, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. rdsii64 macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    We have all seen the standard def dvd players that have HDMI output that claim 1080p upscaling. If I understand this correctly, if the sorce material is standard def. the picture with an HDMI cable will be no better than the pitcure with any other kind of cable. Do I understand this correctly? If not could someone please explain upscaling to me.
  2. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    I don't know about upscaling, but I can tell you that there will be a difference in image quality even withouot upscaling by using an HDMI cable since that is a purely digital signal as opposed to the analog signals on Componant cables, S-Video or heaven forbid...plain old video in through an RCA cable.

    Upscaling to me would certainly seem in theory, to more properly handle a 480i incoming singal and manouver it to a 1080p signal in a clean and crisper way with some processing power within the DVD player. And that 'better navigated' and expanded imagery will look better thorugh HDMI than any other cable.
  3. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    A typical DVD player can't play a DVD at full quality but with hdmi the full signal can get through not full HD but better than standered tv.
  4. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Not true...DVD video is 480i...some players will give you 480p, but it's still 480 pixels in height. 480i is standard def and has been since the NTSC TV signal was introduced in the 30s/40s. DVDs do not somehow include more visual data than a standard TV can display.

    I did some Googling and found that I was correct in some ways, upscaling does an internal conversion to properly match the 480i imagery to the max your TV can display, in this case, I suppose 1080p.

    "The upscaling process does a good job of matching the upscaled pixel output of a DVD player to the native pixel display resolution of an HDTV capable television, resulting in better detail and color consistency.

    However, upscaling, as it is currently implemented, cannot convert standard DVD images into true high-definition images. In fact, although upscaling works well with fixed pixel displays, such as Plasma and LCD televisions, results are not always consistent on CRT-based high definition televisions.

    Read more about it HERE.
  5. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    There are two kinds of DVD players out there. Progressive Scan and Upscaling. Pretty much all DVD players these days are upscaling.

    With progressive scan, the DVD player will take the 480i (or 576i for our PALs) and apply a deinterlacing filter and send that information to the TV via component cables.

    An upscaling DVD player will take the 480i video and deinterlace it. It will also scale the video to 1080p (typically) by using special algorithms and such. Most players will only upscale the HDMI output, although technically, component cables can carry 1080p.

    So to get the best possible picture from your DVD to your 1080p TV, you would have to determine which unit provides the best deinterlacing and scaling algorithms. For instance, if your DVD player had a great deinterlacer, but a horrible scaler, you might be best served by sending 480p to your TV and letting the TV scale to 1080p. There's tons of variables and combinations that can be involved, but for that most part, if you get a quality DVD (or BD) player, it will have the superior deinterlacer and scaler, so using HDMI to feed the TV 1080p will likely be your best bet. It'll certainly be the simplest to set-up.

  6. Football Dad macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2009
    Upscaling Comment

    I had an issue when I was using my Apple TV to scale to 1080p and sending it to my Sony ES receiver, which also had up scaling capability. About once a week or so the picture was unwatchable. I would have to do a hard reboot to be able to watch it. After the 3.0 Apple TV software it was not watchable, ever, and I had to do a factory reset. I then selected 720p as the Apple TV output and let my Sony ES receiver to the upscaling. It has worked flawlessly since.

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