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How exactly does upscaling work?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players' started by Justafan, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. Justafan

    Justafan Member

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    I understand the basic principles that a suitable player will take the resolution from standard DVD and turn it into a 720/1080i/1080p resolution.

    But where do those extra pixels come from that increase that resolution?

    I mean, if they were already on the DVD then there wouldn't be any need for a HD resolution, right?

    So does the player (or set, depending on what is doing the upscaling) just 'copy' the nearest pixel from the source or ... what? How does it work?! :confused:
  2. aniki

    aniki Member

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    There are various different types/qualities of scaling, but essentially you are correct. The scaler studies a group of pixels (or digital data pertaining to), these are called 'taps', surrounding the one it wants to create and uses these as a reference source to 'guess' what the new one should look like.
    Obviously the more 'real' pixels it has to study, the more processing power required but better the result.
    For example a HQV scaler uses no less than 1024 taps to produce each new pixel, whereas as cheaper solutions may only use 16.
    The one in my avatar is rather good :)
  3. PJTX100

    PJTX100 Active Member

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    Upscaling works by giving the manufacturer the opportunity to suggest the player is doing something special, when your display may well be able to do it already, and in the worst-case-scenario it may do it better than the player. :)

    And just to add icing, you may end up scaling twice if you are not careful. Which is seldom/never a good thing. :smashin:

    Seriously though, "inventing information that isn't there" (ie scaling) is not as good as the information being there in the first place (ie HD).
  4. Justafan

    Justafan Member

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    Hmm, see to my eyes, adding something that isn't actually there from the original source is going to result in something more akin to edge enhancement rather than a image with a higher (HD) resolution.

    I don't have an HD player yet but a blu-ray machine will be coming soon. I was wondering whether it would be better to display my plethora of DVD's by upscaling or leaving it to the standard def option, and I suspect the latter is going to give me a more natural, pleasing imagine.
  5. Avi

    Avi Well-Known Member

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    If you have a digital display and it's native resolution is greater than 720x576 then is will upscale SD DVD to fit its native res.

    What type of display are you using ?

    AVI
  6. Justafan

    Justafan Member

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    I have the Panasonic 37px80b. DVD's through my old Pioneer 565a look really good, better than on my recently departed Toshiba 32" CRT and so I was curious about whether they would look better, and how much better, with an upscaling player.
  7. Avi

    Avi Well-Known Member

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    Your display has a native res of 1024x720 thus it's aready interpolating i.e. adding data that doesn't exist to the 720x576 resolution of SD DVD to fit. If you use a player to upscale to 1080p the display will then downscale it fit.

    AVI
  8. PJTX100

    PJTX100 Active Member

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    As Avi has said, depending on your display you probably have no option. You will be upscaling whether you want to or not.

    To be fair, some upscaling technologies are very good. :)

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