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HD DVD with 480P plasma

cwconrad78

Standard Member
My plasma is only a 480P screen, however it has both DVI and VGA inputs and the picute is EXCELLENT. It produces an incredible picture using the DVI connection with my Direct TV. The HD channels look so much better than even the DVD's i play (using VGA cables with my xbox 360 in 1366x768)

My question is this: If it's only a 480P why is the feed better with the HD channels than it is with my DVD player using VGA cables?

If I were to invest in an HD DVD player, would my screen produce a better image than with my standard DVD player that is upscaling? Even though my TV is technically only a 480P screen?

I'm starting to think the whole ED vs. HD is a scam! ;). I say this because I have a 720P 27" LCD Viewsonic and I like the 480P plasma better because not only does it produce outstanding HD pictures using my DVI with Direct TV, but it also has much better standard definition pictures when watching regular TV than my LCD is able to provide.

Any input on if I would benefit from a HD DVD player with VGA (the xbox 360 model) over my current DVD player?
Thanks!
 

MikeK

Novice Member
Not sure exactly what you are asking here - if you are asking if the XBOX360 HD-DVD will produce a better picture with DVD than you current player on your 480p plasma, then it's unlikely TBH.
However if you are asking whether it would look better playing HD-DVDs than your DVD player does playing upscaled DVDs, then almost certainly it will.

Why?

Because your panel is 852x480.

DVD is 720x480, but even that is misleading - due to interlacing and the vertical filtering applied to avoid interlace artefacts, the real detail level contained in those 720x480 frames is more like 720x350, (and that's assuming no horizontal filtering is applied).

HD-DVD is 1920x1080, so downscaling to 852x480 (a relatively simple task), retains detail to 852x480 resolution levels - compare that to DVD which can only manage detail levels to about 720x350.
 

cwconrad78

Standard Member
Not sure exactly what you are asking here - if you are asking if the XBOX360 HD-DVD will produce a better picture with DVD than you current player on your 480p plasma, then it's unlikely TBH.
However if you are asking whether it would look better playing HD-DVDs than your DVD player does playing upscaled DVDs, then almost certainly it will.

Why?

Because your panel is 852x480.

DVD is 720x480, but even that is misleading - due to interlacing and the vertical filtering applied to avoid interlace artefacts, the real detail level contained in those 720x480 frames is more like 720x350, (and that's assuming no horizontal filtering is applied).

HD-DVD is 1920x1080, so downscaling to 852x480 (a relatively simple task), retains detail to 852x480 resolution levels - compare that to DVD which can only manage detail levels to about 720x350.

Thanks for the information, this helps immensly. So that's also why my HD channels look better on my 480P display (through Direct TV) than my DVD player can provide? Even though it's a 480p display either way, there is more bandwith coming from the original source on the HD channels than there is using DVD, therefore the HD channels from Direct TV downscales to my display but the display displays it at it's max potiential...which is not the case with standard DVD....Is this correct?
 

Welwynnick

Distinguished Member
Yes, on an SD display, down-scaled HD video always looks better than straight SD video. Where both are subject to lossy compression, neither will actually retain the full fidelity of what was originally captured before recording or broadcast.

Nick
 

Kilian

Novice Member
Although downscaling HD DVD to 852x480 would produce a better PQ than upscaling DVD (720 to 852), there is so much downscaling that I doubt if it's worth it. Though to be fair, I haven't witnessed it.

The other thing is, you're comparing LCD with plasma.
 

MikeK

Novice Member
Thanks for the information, this helps immensly. So that's also why my HD channels look better on my 480P display (through Direct TV) than my DVD player can provide? Even though it's a 480p display either way, there is more bandwith coming from the original source on the HD channels than there is using DVD, therefore the HD channels from Direct TV downscales to my display but the display displays it at it's max potiential...which is not the case with standard DVD....Is this correct?


Almost, yes!
Your plasma will probably show DVD to DVD's max potential too, it's just that's DVD's max potential is lower than HD's max potential, even on a 480p screen.

DVD was designed for playback on interlaced screens - ie CRT TVs (when it was designed, plasma wasn't around). To reduce what is called "interline twitter", the detail cannot be at 480 pixels vertically (or 576 in our case) - if it were, any horizontal edges/lines etc in the picture would flicker at 30Hz (25Hz in our case), as these edges appear in one field, and disappear in the next and then reappear in the next....and so on. Vertical filtering ensures that such detail cannot be in one field only - at least some must be in both fields. Typically, around 30% of the vertical detail is filtered away in order to achieve the best compromise between twitter and detail retention - this is an artefact of interlaced images designed to be shown on interlaced displays (such as standard CRT TVs) - it's the same with broadcast TV too.

Even progressive scanning by the DVD player, cannot recover this detail, as it was filtered away in the mastering/production stage - it's simply not there on the DVD to be recovered (although progressive scanning, done properly, brings other benefits).

Don't forget too, that DVD's horizontal detail is only 720 max - while HD can retain horizontal detail up to 852 on your plasma - not a massive difference perhaps, but it all counts.
 

pjr918bmw

Active Member
Nice one to all - especially MikeK!

This is probably the most informative thread I have read on the subject.
Sure beats the BR vs HD-dvd ad nauseum ones!!:devil:

Thanks.
 

nwgarratt

Member
I have played 720p material (quicktime and WMV trailers) through my 480 projector and I also notice the jump quality. Even though it is downscaled, the picture was still impressive and better than SD being downscaled. I straight away assumed it was down to the source being better resolution to start with.
 

hornydragon

Well-known Member
DVD is 720x480, but even that is misleading - due to interlacing and the vertical filtering applied to avoid interlace artefacts, the real detail level contained in those 720x480 frames is more like 720x350, (and that's assuming no horizontal filtering is applied).
NTSC DVD is 720x480i PAL 720x576i HD-DVD should look stunning on a 480p screen some 852x480 panels do better with 720p as its easily scaled to 480 what screen do you have? HDCP may be a stumbling block tho hdmi inputs include hdmi as standard dvi can but not always
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
Concurr with hornydragon - high def material can look stunning on a standard def screen. I had my XA1 connected to a standard def Panasonic PW7 plasma and the picture looked amazing through both component and HDMI. :thumbsup:
 

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