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Am I upscaling ?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by dUnKle, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    Have a HCPC with MCE - works fine

    Desktop res is set to 720- does this mean that when I watch a DVD via the "watch DVD" option its upscaled to 720p ?

    If not how do I get it to be so

    Thanks
     
  2. evolution400

    evolution400
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    Yes you are upscaling because your using f 1:1 pixel mapping your display is set to 1280*720 so anything you play on there is upscaled to 720p.
     
  3. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    cool - so buying a DVD player that would upscale would be a waste of money ?
     
  4. evolution400

    evolution400
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    Yes it would.
    I have a 17" LCD TV in the bedroom and I use my 2nd xbox as an upscaling dvd player by using XBMC you can set the native res to 720p so then any files played are upscaled nice cheap upscaling dvd player and so much more :)
     
  5. richjthorpe

    richjthorpe
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    Ducan,

    I don't think it works that way ! Evolutions only upscales because he's using an xbox which when set to 720p will upscale. Setting the desktop to 720 isn't enough. You need a something like Theatretek or use Pure Video codecs if you have a graphics card.

    Richie.
     
  6. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    So how do you go about getting videos and DVDs to play via the MCE front end and be assured that they are upscaled to 720p
     
  7. evolution400

    evolution400
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    Well your wrong if you use 1:1 pixel mapping and VGA or DVI your constantly using the mapped res i.e 1280*720.
    I also have a 50" DLP TV which I have set to 1280*720 which is my native maximum res I can guarantee you that all my files are upscaled to 720p as thats what my desktop res is set to and thats the maximum native res on my tv.

    Duncan what TV do you have ?
     
  8. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    God - now I am confused

    Have a 50" Samsung DLP as my TV - connected via DVI to HDMI via a Rad 9800 pro
     
  9. evolution400

    evolution400
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    Mighty DLP owner top man :)
    Yes I can assure you then that if your desktop res is set to 1280*720 you are certainly upscaling to 720p on what ever you play.
    The other guy is wrong if you don't want to take my word for it post in the HD forum all ths guys in there use HCPCs to view thier HD and will confirm what I have just said.
    Even if you set your TV to a lower res your TVs built in scaler will upscale it to 720p anyway just 1:1 pixel mapping is the better so the HD guys tell me :)
     
  10. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    thanks for that
    is it also true that DVI to HDMI can result on overscan ?
     
  11. nigelbb

    nigelbb
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    This is true if using a proper HTPC with Dscaler or whatever but is not true of MCE which flips into 800x600 or 1024x768 when it's started. The OP was asking about MCE.
     
  12. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    Argh

    My head hurts

    So how - using MCE - can I upscale ? - or can I not ?
     
  13. Bl4ckGryph0n

    Bl4ckGryph0n
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    Excuse me! What are you on about! MCE can easily run in 1280x720. What a nonsense! Ofcourse you are scaling DVD up...ehumm...display a 768x576 picture fullscreen as 1280x720, what is that called...Scaling....

    Are there different methods to achieve that, sure...Are some better than others sure again...But you can do it directly from wihtin MCE...
     
  14. Rambles

    Rambles
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    What settings to be sure this is happening?
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  15. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    interested to know that to -half people say yes you are upscaling - half say you are not - would say that the main menu is 720p but not convinced about DVDs etc
     
  16. nigelbb

    nigelbb
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    I'm in the latter camp. Until this post came up I hadn't ever heard of anyone claiming that MCE upscales DVDs. If it did I think that Microsoft would make a big deal about it & we would have heard other HTPC types talking about this for the last couple of years.
     
  17. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    Well I asked over at teh MyMovies forum and the author of that fantastic piece of software states that yes it will be upscaled

    also over at the green button I have been told that MCE does not tend to resize video

    im so confused

    think im going to go back to MCE and use TheaterTek by MyMovies and just add more films as offline

    excpect more questions shortly

    why is nothing ever easy
     
  18. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Thats interesting... I guess if you are using ffdshow it is definitely upscaling to whatever you set resize to - but does it do it anyway in MCE? What is the resolution for your display device that you are upscaling to? There must be someone on these forums that knows the definitive answer....?
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  19. rdhir

    rdhir
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    I think its all about the jaggies. That is to say the stair-step effect you see on diagonal lines.

    Basically the computer will output at whatever resolution you ask it to so if you are connected via VGA or DVI A/D in computer mode on a display with that level of resolution then you are being upscaled, but I'll caveat this in a second.

    If on the other hand you are running a PC display at a higher resolution than your display is capable of then no matter your desktop resolution you are probably downscaling (so this is most true if you are using composite/svideo/component). The screen will do its bes, but it doesn't have the ability.

    Now if you are upscaling the computer can do either a crude job or a good job. A good job needs processing power or clever video circuitry.

    Lets make some assumptions to make things easier.

    Imagine a still frame of video is a jpg picture at say 640 x 360. And lets also assume that your desktop resolution is 1280x720. Now when you have simplistic upscaling the computer simply draws each pixel twice horizontally and vertically. This does not change the effective resolution and you end up with a picture that has more pronounced stair stepping.

    Now if you have smart upscaling then what happens is that the computer tries to "interpolate" the pixels that is rather than simply mapping a single pixel to a square of 4 pixels the same colour, it blends the colours with the surrounding pixels and ends up with a newly shaded block the following rather crude diagram may help a little

    Original pixels
    OOOXXO
    OOXXOO
    OXXOOO

    Crude rescale
    OOOOOOXXXXOO
    OOOOOOXXXXOO
    OOOOXXXXOOOO
    OOOOXXXXOOOO
    OOXXXXOOOOOO
    OOXXXXOOOOOO

    Good rescale
    OOOOOOXXXXYO
    OOOOOYXXXXOO
    OOOOXXXXYOOO
    OOOYXXXXOOOO
    OOXXXXYOOOOO
    OYXXXXOOOOOO


    I've highlighted the Y pixels to show what difference the clever scaling makes. Notice the smoother diagonal line.

    This effect is also called antialiasing.

    Now smart upscaling also I believe tries to sharpen the picture as well. This means it needs to both smooth the picture and try and emphasise detail at the same time. This all takes CPU time.

    So MCE on its own won't do a good job. dscaler, ffdshow and the rest are all there to do the job in a smart way. The same with purevideo.

    Now the example I gave above is a simple doubling because it is the easiest to illustrate. Obviously the scaling is much more fractional in reality and necessity for a good method is essential.

    The reason it is processor intensive is that for example antialiasing is achieved by supersampling. Effectively it scales the picture by 2, 4, 8, 16 and then re-averages the picture down to the required resolution. This averaging creates the second part of the definition of superscaling eg 16bit, 24bit, 32bit. This same technique is used in games and is what people talk about with x2AA, x4AA

    Now remember that a DVD stream is 720x480 or 720x576 with fields (half frames). So it is more complicated still,as piecing together the right frames to construct that original picture (movie frame) has to happen first. It then gets scaled to any number of resolutions, and don't forget that widescreen means the whole picture is a bit distorted, and that's before you get to displays with non-square pixels.

    So the idea for a quality set up is to know your displays true resolution, send the signal to the display at that resolution and perform all the correct scaling upfront.

    So if you want good upscaling you must install it with software on MCE or the media player of your choice by using a filter/codec such as purevideo, ffdshow, dscalers.

    Hope that helps!

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     
  20. Bl4ckGryph0n

    Bl4ckGryph0n
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    Well the resolution doesn't all of a sudden change...So if you run your desktop for example in 1280x720, the DVD will run in 1280x720....Surely you can check the input on your display device as well, and it will show something like 720p or 750p depending on the resolution that you are using....That is exactly the reason why some PC's struggle to display DVD, and why lowering the resolution will make everything smooth again because they have less work to do...

    There are no specific settings within MCE to ensure this is happening. It just follows the resolution the PC is in. Perhaps the one thing to do is not Though saying that, the pre-cursor is that you use a HD compatible output ie. DVI or a component ready video card. Maybe NigelBB was referring to an s-Video output resolution, no idea otherwise...


    I didn't notice the second page yet! ;-) That is a very good explanation put in, but it also shows that what is referred to as scaling is getting blurred. I agree fully with it is said here...Yes it scales, but depending on your hardware it might not be the best quality you can get...Of-course there are a lot more elements to creating a good quality picture...

    Yes you may get better end results when pause and look at individual frames, however if you watch (note the watch, not analyse) a movie using MCE, a fanless 6600GT with purevideo decoder using MCE and consider the whole package with userfriendliness completeness, no need for constant tinkering...I think you have a very hard to beat package....But that is just my opinion....
     
  21. evolution400

    evolution400
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    MCE is not doing any of the decoding so it is your installed codec which is doing all the decoding so its how that is setup.MCE is just GUI.
    Also Duncan has a DLP if his TV is similar to mine then the TV automatically upscales everything to its native res of 720p this is unalterable on my TV.
     
  22. richjthorpe

    richjthorpe
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    All TVs that have a higher resolution that PAL/NTSC will upscale to the resolution of the TV. The problem is that not all TV upscaling routines are that good. They are OK, but not as good as the upscaling routines that a PC can produce.

    So, feed the DLP with 576i and the TV will upscale to 720p with OK results.

    Feed the DLP with 720p from a PC with scaler software and the TV doesn't do anything to the image meaning better PQ.

    Richie.
     
  23. nigelbb

    nigelbb
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    OK, having done some testing I now need to revise my opinion. Upscaling of DVDs does indeed occur when the connection is made over DVI (I assume VGA too although I haven't tested this). This does not occur when connected via s-video as even if you have the desktop set to e.g. 1024x768 when the MCE 10' interface is started it flips into 800x600.
     
  24. Bl4ckGryph0n

    Bl4ckGryph0n
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    Welcome to the wonderful world of Video ;-)

    But please do not make the mistake that this has anything to do with MCE...s-Video just can't do anything more....Yes graphics cards may be able to squeeze a higher desktop resolution inside an s-Video frame...But you just have the standard PAL resolution on your display....
     

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