Please Recommend Processor(s) to Scale DVDs to 1080p

ekayo

Novice Member
I need advice deciding between two schemes for deinterlacing and scaling 480 content to achieve the best results affordable on a late model 1080p 50" plasma TV. I decided against even the best Sony 48 or 55" OLED TVs as all TVs today are 4K, and however intelligent the algorithms in their processors are, scaling 480 to 4K is too likely to generate too many artifacts.

I won’t deal with monthly streaming fees and the lossy audio quality. I don’t even subscribe to a TV service. Since the last few years I always buy the BD version if available-and also because the BD’s DTS MA lossless track makes a great score sound better. My collection of movies and TV series is sizable but only 30-odd movies and one TV series are on 1080p BD. The rest are on DVD, though pressed from Warners, Sony, Universal, Fox, CBS/Paramount, Studio Canal, et al. Of course, I can also borrow DVDs and BDs from local public libraries.

Rather than continually use my excellent hardwired Oppo 95 or Pioneer LX500 players which have limited service support, I'd want to more often use the BD drive in the HTPC that I want to build-outputting the video via HDMI and the audio via USB to a DAC. The good news is I do no gaming, so I may not need a super powerful video card. But how much horsepower will I still need to make my DVDs look their best on a plasma?

I only know of two ways to do this. The first way is this expensive box, not that I have any experience using it. Lumagen The second way is certainly far most popular: Use an HTPC with a suitably powerful graphics card and madVR software, or the Jinc utility which I believe is built into JRiver player. But while Jinc's learning curve might not be very steep most users say madVR can take you days or weeks to produce decent results. I don't mind putting in reasonable time to learn as much as I can so long as my efforts bear good looking fruit.

However, the big concern here is fan noise, power draw and/or heat emission. My HTPC build is way overdue but it also needs to be virtually (~ 80%) silent-and in a case no bigger than this. SilverStone GD04 INTRODUCTION

But a madVR user said this silent card's too weak. https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/graphics-cards/gt-1030/specifications/ and to scale DVDs for a 1080p plasma-even when viewed 10 to 12 feet away-I'd at least need a card idling at 82 watts like this one. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics Card

And the card's idling fan noise levels really aren't rated too well. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Review, Feat. Zotac: Fighting Brute Force With Power Efficiency

Same with this card. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super Review, Feat. EVGA SC Ultra: Recalibrating The Mainstream Market

There is a fanless version of the 1650. Is Silent GPU Any Good? Palit GTX 1650 KalmX

But that's assuming I wouldn't actually need some stronger and even noisier card for great looking DVDs on a 50" plasma @ 10 feet, using madVR or Jinc.

So is asking for low fan noise and stellar DVD to 1080p scaling from a video card pretty much asking for the impossible?

If so, then unless this less costly model would give exceptionally good results on my screen and viewing distance https://www.kramerav.com/us/product/vp-424c , would this processor produce indispensably better images? Lumagen

BUT I'll be sending the audio to an external DAC via USB, so any problems syncing the video with the audio while the pc's playing the DVD via JRiver?
http://www.lumagen.com/testindex.php?module=learn1
 

zhir

Standard Member
As you know, if you transfer the DVD files to a USB drive, any TV set these days should play them directly, including upscaling and AC3 decoding. And they also have options to apply denoising filters if you want them.
I must assume you already tried that route with your TV setup and discarded it. However, I fear you expect a bit too much from upscaling algorithms out of 576i/576p material. Recent noisy video cards will not give you any better DVD playback. They focus their silicon on 3D performance and H265/HDR decoding (and even H265 encoding) but not upscaling.

Assuming most of your DVDs are progressive (therefore no de-interlacing needed), any 3D PC videocard you have will do nearly the same job. What Windows video players do is use Direct2D/Direct3D videocard functions to upscale frames to any screen size. The options these hardware functions offer are not that many (bilinear, trilinear, bicubic). It's exactly like asking which videocard shows static textures better in a 3D video game. Any card will do pretty much the same job, since that's truly child's play for videocards these days. I'm afraid there are no "exceptional results" to be had there.

But in addition to strict upscaling, I assume you were also thinking about other video filters that these cards can apply to the frames (de-noising, temporal smoothing, sharpening). That's a matter of taste. I would better disable all these options in the player before the frames are sent to the TV, and let the TV set apply its own equivalent filters. Maybe the only such filter worth keeping is MPEG de-artifacting (for some low-bitrate badly encoded DVDs). Also many filters are purely software based, thus making the PC videocard choice irrelevant.

For what it´s worth, in my opinion ATI cards do better de-interlacing than NVIDIA, thus it might look better. I have myself built a new HTPC during lockdown, using a purely fanless motherboard with a cheapo AMD chipset that no one wants today (A68N-2100K) and it does video de-interlacing, upscaling, and H264 decoding perfectly. The built-in 3D videocard (extremely similar to ATI cards of years ago) does it all to perfection, as long as you don't want 4K nor H265. When I switch instantly from watching a TV channel to the same TV channel but coming from the HTPC instead, the picture difference is indeed noticeable. So it is possible to have zero fans and stellar 1080p video output.

The VP424C device you mention can indeed take a PAL 576p input and upscale it, but I fear you won't configure your videocard to output 576p through HDMI. Thus, what you would be doing is upscaling first on your video card (to 768p for instance) and then use that device to upscale it further (to 4K for instance) when in fact your videocard could have done it all in one step, saving the planet in the process. Plus, applying 2 upscaling algorithms one after another is technically not good (artifacting).

Not sure if this helps, but some people are using a Raspberry PI to upscale video in real time. Unbelievable what you can do with these things. With this, you can create your own HDMI upscaler to your liking, or at least experiment to learn what upscaling truly can and cannot achieve.
 
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ekayo

Novice Member
Raspberry PI
As you know, if you transfer the DVD files to a USB drive, any TV set these days should play them directly, including upscaling and AC3 decoding. And they also have options to apply denoising filters if you want them.
I must assume you already tried that route with your TV setup and discarded it. However, I fear you expect a bit too much from upscaling algorithms out of 576i/576p material. Recent noisy video cards will not give you any better DVD playback. They focus their silicon on 3D performance and H265/HDR decoding (and even H265 encoding) but not upscaling.

Assuming most of your DVDs are progressive (therefore no de-interlacing needed), any 3D PC videocard you have will do nearly the same job. What Windows video players do is use Direct2D/Direct3D videocard functions to upscale frames to any screen size. The options these hardware functions offer are not that many (bilinear, trilinear, bicubic). It's exactly like asking which videocard shows static textures better in a 3D video game. Any card will do pretty much the same job, since that's truly child's play for videocards these days. I'm afraid there are no "exceptional results" to be had there.

But in addition to strict upscaling, I assume you were also thinking about other video filters that these cards can apply to the frames (de-noising, temporal smoothing, sharpening). That's a matter of taste. I would better disable all these options in the player before the frames are sent to the TV, and let the TV set apply its own equivalent filters. Maybe the only such filter worth keeping is MPEG de-artifacting (for some low-bitrate badly encoded DVDs). Also many filters are purely software based, thus making the PC videocard choice irrelevant.

For what it´s worth, in my opinion ATI cards do better de-interlacing than NVIDIA, thus it might look better. I have myself built a new HTPC during lockdown, using a purely fanless motherboard with a cheapo AMD chipset that no one wants today (A68N-2100K) and it does video de-interlacing, upscaling, and H264 decoding perfectly. The built-in 3D videocard (extremely similar to ATI cards of years ago) does it all to perfection, as long as you don't want 4K nor H265. When I switch instantly from watching a TV channel to the same TV channel but coming from the HTPC instead, the picture difference is indeed noticeable. So it is possible to have zero fans and stellar 1080p video output.

The VP424C device you mention can indeed take a PAL 576p input and upscale it, but I fear you won't configure your videocard to output 576p through HDMI. Thus, what you would be doing is upscaling first on your video card (to 768p for instance) and then use that device to upscale it further (to 4K for instance) when in fact your videocard could have done it all in one step, saving the planet in the process. Plus, applying 2 upscaling algorithms one after another is technically not good (artifacting).

Not sure if this helps, but some people are using a Raspberry PI to upscale video in real time. Unbelievable what you can do with these things. With this, you can create your own HDMI upscaler to your liking, or at least experiment to learn what upscaling truly can and cannot achieve.

A few basics: This desktop pc that Quiet Gaming PCs, HTPCs, Rackmount PCs, Workstations | STEIGER DYNAMICS is building for me needs to be as quiet as possible, even though it will use a BD drive, as I won’t be transcoding movies/TV shows from DVDs/BDs to storage drives. My Windows player will usually be JRiver as it has fully functional zoom, a feature I’ve yet to find in any other software, or even in most hardwired BD players, save my Pioneer LX500. The latest version of JRiver is also said to have a greatly upgraded JRVR scaler, which most here say that with the right GPU I should have no issues scaling DVDs to 1080p.

Building a virtually silent HTPC

But I’ve made further inquiries to insure minimal heat and noise of an “ideal” GPU card for the job.

https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php/topic,132961.msg921398.html#msg921398

Thanks for advising me against using a standalone scaler box, presumably one even this good. http://www.lumagen.com/docs/RadianceMini_3D_Brochure_030111.pdf

I’m not surprised that you get so much done with improving video with AMD chipsets, though AMD support said they could not guarantee me the reliable ECC RAM support I need, so it’s either chipsets that support Xeon 35-watt 1290T or 1390T CPUs or select Alder Lake Core processors. I won’t be viewing much less collecting any 4K content, which no CPUs after Comet Lake supports anyway.

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/alder-lake-systems-arent-able-to-play-uhd-blu-rays

FYI, RedFox’s AnyDVD HD might be a workaround, which JRiver needs anyway to play 1080p BDs.

I’ve heard of the Raspberry PI approach to upscaling though much of any description of its operation exceeds my knowledge base. But I would invite you to discuss this at the JRiver forum, and you’re certainly welcome to comment at my two threads above. I’m zoom+slomo.

Also, would you know if JRiver or some simple plugin utility can detect whether a DVD loaded on the pc’s BD drive was progressively scanned or not?
 

zhir

Standard Member
Sorry, I have never used nor seen Jriver.
Most movies on DVD movies were progressive. Most TV shows on DVD were interlaced.
A good de-interlacer (GPU hardware or software filter) should be able to detect the need to activate de-interlace or not, on the fly. That was especially important for TV recordings, because they switched from progressive to interlaced depending on the content.

It's nice to see that HTPCs are not fully dead yet. :cool:
I might create a thread about my fanless HTPC, if people have some interest (not related to Jriver at all). It looks quite a lot like these slim Steiger ones, but smaller.
 

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