Upconverting DVD [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Upconverting DVD

04-07-2007, 08:23 PM
My system is nearly complete new TV, Toshiba 37HL86 new AV reciever Yamaha htr5960 Star Choice DSR505 HD Sat reciever and an older Samsung progressive scan DVD player

HD TV Blew me away at first. and watching a DVD is a pleasure compared to the old TV but I need to know

When I watch a DVD there must be some form of upconversion by the TV. after reading a few articals on the web about upconverting DVD players, I was wondering how much better is the picture in such a player. Is it worth laying out another bunch of cash for an Upconverting DVD or is the TV doing a fine the job.

04-07-2007, 11:23 PM
Televisions of this type will convert any signal to the sets native resolution,in your case 768.So if you add an upconverting dvd player that goes to 1080,your set will then downconvert that signal back to 768.Having 2 levels of conversion is seldom a good thing,but you could always give it a try.Let your eyes be the judge.Btw you did not mention speakers,remember audio is a least half of the movie experience.


04-08-2007, 12:50 AM
I have a samsung upconverter, and on balance think its worth it, even tho I bought it for the sacd sound, not this feature.
THE last poster was mistaken, your average upconverter actualy just scales your pic to 540 p instead of 480, your tv will display that in
SO if your tv is 720 p it will convert it to that.
MY samsung has a dvi button that changes output to 480,720,760, and 1080i, i run it at 760.
BUT you wont get any extra rez this way, so why bother? Well, its just a better pic to me, smoother, but when I changed to the HDMI from the
componet this gave the biggest boost.
My player was 129 from hsn (yes HSN) AND AT THAT PRICE WHY NOT TRY IT?
Samsung still makes some nice players that upconvert, sleek and very nice looking in a rack, I luv mine when I use it:ciappa:

04-08-2007, 04:44 AM
Most flat panel displays do not have a native resolution that matches the output of an upconverting DVD player. If your display is not a 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720, it is of no advantage, and probably a disadvantage to get an upcoverting DVD player since your display is just going to rescale to its native resolution anyway.

One should be far more concerned with the quality of deinterlacing and mpeg decoding and forget about all the hype of unconverting sales ploys.

I would suggest browsing through the attached link to find a DVD player that has good base performance. This will be a much bigger factor in good video quality.

Denon DVD players are consistently the best performers with a few Panasonics and Oppo Digital DVD players in the mix.

Secrets of Home Theater (http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cgi-bin/shootout.cgi?function=search&articles=all)

Great site with lots of information on video and audio. I strongly recommend reading every article they have available. A real eye opener from the experts.

04-08-2007, 07:11 AM
Thanks for your replies. great info I am pleased with the quality from my current dvd. it seems that form your answers I wont get a huge difference with an Up converting DVD so the Samsung That I have will stay unless I decide on a recording DVD. but that is another day.

to Musicman1999
I did fail to mention speakers. this is one part of the "nearly" in my nearly complete system.

for the front L+R I have a pair of Paradigm Export BP Bipolar speakers that after 12 years of owning them they still often amaze me in the quality of sound they produce. the clean deep bottom end on these specs lower than many subs out there. The 32 foot pipe organ pipes shake the place more than they are audible. and the mid and highs are crisp clear and clean the only fault these have is that they are picky on location and size (they are big) fortunately these seem to work well in there current location but I do move them to a tested and tried location when I want to listen to fine music. I have no centre speaker since the Paradygms seem to produce a very distinct image in the center of the screen when sitting in most places in the room except when viewing at a large angle. to add a centre speaker I would need to add someting comperable to the L+R and that will probably be costly. for rear and side speakers I have some less than impressive 20 year old radio Shack Minimus7 speakers. I dont like them but since the room does not cater to good palacement for rears I havn't realy spent much time to research a replacement yet this I plan to do soon. I will be looking for something that can work well in the space limitations. (couch againt the rear wall in a corner and a wife who for some reason she wants things arranged to look nice not to sound good Hmmmm)

04-08-2007, 09:53 AM
THE last poster was mistaken, your average upconverter actualy just scales your pic to 540 p instead of 480, your tv will display that in
1080i. SO if your tv is 720 p it will convert it to that.

I don't see anything mistaken in musicman's post. A 768p TV will convert a 1080i signal to its native resolution, and 480i doesn't have to become 540p at an upconverter's output in order for 1080i (or any other resolution) to be the end result in a TV. In fact, a feed of 540p (assuming that a display could accept it) would defeat the very purpose of upconversion, leaving a TV to do all of the heavy lifting that external upconverting was supposed to eliminate. Furthermore, any TVs incapable of buffering 1080p for the purpose of deinterlacing would have to divide 540p into two fields of 270 before constructing 1080i--an unnecessarily convoluted process. A smart processor upconverting 480i for a 1080i display (no digital version of which exists) will take a 480i signal, scale it in the buffer to 1080p, and then interlace the frame to display consecutive 540 fields. The scaler/ deinterlacers that default to 540p tend to be the ones inside those consumer CRTs that show all hi def content as 1080i. A synthetic resolution of 540p would not be of any interest to a simple NTSC DVD upconverter, which would have no reason to anticipate such a CRT on the receiving end. Scaling to 1080i, or 720p, can, and should, occur completely within a DVD player itself if it is a genuine upconverter.

The only DVD upconversion in my experience that goes through a 540 stage in its scaling procedure belongs to the first series of HD DVD players, which, oddly, had to make a stop at 540p before converting 1080i disks to 720p. This roundabout maneuver softened the picture so much on 720p displays, however, that even Toshiba recommended that users set output at 1080i under all conditions, allowing displays to downconvert to 720p or 768p by themselves.

04-09-2007, 02:34 AM
The output on my samsung is 540p according to my manuel, and it says some tvs wont be able to handle this, but some will interlace it to 1080i. Dont know about the other resolutions you can get on it.
MY point is that most "upconverting" players have to use some kind of cheat to technically be "upconverting", since an authenic scaler
costing several grand wouldnt be feasible.
I think you and I are on the same page but speaking a different language

04-09-2007, 06:24 AM
Scaling certainly has its fine points, and it can deposit artifacts if not done well. But the important complement to scaling is deinterlacing. Since most DVD players have to deal primarily with film content, their bread and butter processing is inverse 2:3 pulldown of DVD's inherent 480i content. If the flags and edits are all in order, this type of processing isn't terribly rigorous; it mainly consists of reassembling frames originally shot in 24fps from fields alternated in a 2:3 cadence for interlacing at 30fps. All things being equal, most DVD players can perform this chore reasonably well, though they don't all pick up the cadence with the same aplomb. Since no new data needs to be interpolated wholecloth from film frames, the effectiveness of this type of deinterlacing depends only on external factors. Deinterlacing of video-- which doesn't originate in a "progressive" format--however, is a different story. The cadence for some of this material is arcane--sometimes even alternating with a film cadence, thereby giving a processor fits--but even the simplest of video shot in an interlaced format presents problems for assembling frames, generally because of motion, which prevents contiguous fields from lining up perfectly when melded. The algorithms invented to compensate can get incredibly complicated, and, as you say, expensive. Faroudja made a name for itself providing affordable solutions for DVD players to implement, though other companies like HQV are also respected players. Some TVs even incorporate such processing solutions, but a DVD player will often scale/deinterlace better--that is, if a viewer can even tell the difference.

The upconverting/deinterlacing that relatively inexpensive DVD players do isn't really a "cheat"; after all, convoluted ways of reaching a stated pixel count won't improve on what a display device can do by itself. It simply stands or falls on its performance, as measured by visible artifacts (jaggies, line twitter, etc.) and picture softness. Many people never notice many of the blemishes intrinsic to NTSC interlaced video unless someone deliberately points them out. Then things that never seemed capable of looking any better suddenly do.

The Samsung's inclusion of 540p seems directed at CRTs that either default to this resolution, rather than 480p, or are merely capable of it, but don't appear to achieve it gracefully. The old RCA DTC-100, the first hi def satellite receiver and OTA tuner, also upscaled 480 to 540, automatically, in the days when CRTs ruled the world. No digital display device, however, stands to gain anything from this format, if as you say, it will even work.

04-10-2007, 01:20 AM
I got to thinking after my last post, my samsung is several years
old, and probably was designed for CRTS, the only real display device that "does" interlace, anyway it worked fine with my 47in samsung HD
that I had before, and works really good on my new vizio
As for "cheat" what I meant was that most "upconverters" are just marketing ploys, since you cant get more resolution without some expensive equipment, if then. I myself bought the samsung for the great SACD sound, not really expecting any great rez increase anyway

04-10-2007, 05:31 AM
No, you can't get more resolution by upconverting regardless of how much you spend. In a variation of the Las Vegas cliche, what comes as 480 stays at 480. The only issue is how well a scaler is able to adapt standard definition to displays with HD pixel counts. As for the marketing-ploy point, manufacturers certainly wouldn't have a problem with people buying into upconversion because they think that it's a means to achieve genuine high definition, but scaling in itself isn't a marketing ploy, and some inexpensive "bundled" scalers work better than those incorporated into TVs. The only way to know is to watch, and measure.