scaler question?


Novice Member
Being new to this scaler business I would like to ask a simple question if I may.
These scalers are meant to be the mutts knutts where PQ is concerned, and I will most proably be going down this route, but if they are reportadly much better than the screens processing, and if you can get 1 2 1 pixel match to your screen thus negating the onboard processing. Also the colour etc can be set up from the scaler? why would you buy an expensive screen? because the picture would only be as good as your scaler, and the screen to a certain extent would be just a 'canvas' for the scaler to put it's image on. Is this to simplistic on my part?
What I am basically asking is would a very good scaler look as good on a cheap screen as an expensive screen as long as the pixel count is equal? Baring in mind it by passes the on board processing with 1 2 1 pixel matching.


Established Member
Screens can have differing quality inputs and A-D convertors which may introduce noise and non-linearity. The display still has to do a final stage of conversion from the input (digital if HDMI or analogue if component) to drive its display electronics and send the appropriate voltage to trigger its pixels. Some of this electronics is better than others; some is more sensitive than others and introduces less colour banding and noise, for instance.

Displays differ in other ways:
  • Contrast and black level (most important on any screen)
  • Dithering and low-level noise
  • Response time on LCDs
  • Viewing angle on LCDs
Those are the obvious ones that come to mind. Each screen has its foibles too, for instance, I believe I read somewhere that on Samsung LCDs it is not possible to turn off its DNIe processing at all - now that may or may not be true (I don't have one myself) but it is a warning to check that the display will in fact give you as unadulterated a picture as you're after.

If you consider the extremes there has to be a law of diminishing returns where on one hand you've got expensive large displays which will show up every little defect and on the other hand a cheap 26" display where the scaler costs more than the display!

Your system needs to be balanced; its no good sticking a Ferrari engine in a Mini (hypothetically :)) - the brakes, steering etc wouldn't be up to it. I think of a scaler as just another step in the display chain - you need good sources too, and good signal cables... and a good display... and a light controlled room etc.

I suppose what I'm saying is that there is more to a good picture than top de-interlacing and native rate - although those are important stages - but the display will make some differences that the scaler can't compensate for.

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