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Pros and Cons of Upconverting...???

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Old 01-22-2005, 08:57 AM   #1
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Question Pros and Cons of Upconverting...???

For two days, I've looked through postings to understand better about different scan formats and upconverting. Yet I am still confused and not convinced whether upconverting is a good thing or not.

I understand that in most CRT TVs, 720p is unconverted to 1080i. If everyone does it, no problem... But I understand that there are some TVs that directly shows 480i (like Samsung), p in their native scan format and some others unconvert to 1080i (like Sanyo).

Simply put... is this a good thing or a bad thing? (other than OTA or Cable HD setting... in that case, 1080i rules)

Particular in question is DVD viewing. I believe it's in 480 format (i or p). When I saw my DVD's in Sanyo which upcoverts everything to 1080i, I was not satisfied with its quality. It looked like watching DVD on my computer LCD screen. Is it because its upconverting? Or would I get the same result even if the TV is capable of native 480 format?

Also if I want to watch my DVD in Sanyo at 1080i with the best quality, should I set my DVD to progressive scan or interlaced? It is capable of both.
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Old 01-22-2005, 11:06 AM   #2
How can anyone watch standard def?
 

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HD capable TV's have line doublers etc. to upconvert 480 signals. This is a good thing, usually resulting in a clearer, more solid looking picture than what can be had with only 480 lines.

If your DVDs do not look as good as they should, the first thing I would look at is the connection to the DVD player. While using only an RCA (yellow) jack to transfer picture, I've noticed very poor picture quality on some darn fine TV's. DEFINATELY use a quality set of component cables (red green blue) if not already doing so.

Progressive scanning from a DVD player only works over component/DVI inputs. Try running it both ways to see if there is a difference.

One other thing, is the DVD movie itself a 4:3 format? Is the Sanyo? Stretching/zooming can and does reduce picture quality. Also DVD players have a menu where you can tell it which TV you have, 16X9 or 4X3 This makes a differece as well.
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:59 PM   #3
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Hi Pastorsoh, you have every right to be confused, it's a confusing time. And you have a lot of people singing the praises of technologies they don't get, simply because that's the flavor of the month and that's the bandwagon of today.

I'll be brief (hopefully).

480p is an improvement over interlaced, but not much of one. And it is an improvement in concept, not necessarily in practice. 480p in practice depends on many factors. The equpment you're using being not the least of it.

So it's definitely not as big an improvement as videophiles and the spin doctors would have you to believe. It replaces the jaggies of the interlaced system, caused by the delay in building the picture during fast moving scenes. That's a good thing, a minor improvement, that it does by utilizing a 3-2 cadence [2-2 cadence is rarely used in material mastered for the states so I won't discuss it]to simulate the 24fps "look" of film in our 60hz NTSC system.

Simply put the 3-2 cadence is problematic, it's like a stutter step.. you're given images in this frame of time, and they alternate between 3 pictures in that time and 2 pictures in that time. Our brains understand cadence, we pick up on these dozens of flashes of light in the blink of an eye, that's how the illusion of television has worked so long.

And our brains catch when something hiccups. When something drops out of step. Such as in interlace, on occasion, on a good set (where you could see the detail), and in fast sequences can sometimes pickup on this stutter step, this place where half the picture is being drawn when the other half has already moved over. How annoying or prevalent this is, is debateable. It didn't happen all the time.

However the 3-2 cadence of a 480 progressive output is constant. So how many more chances does your brain have of catching that trick?

3-3 cadence, which would have required a little more math would have been a far cleaner way to output a progressive signal. I'm convinced that a lot of times they engineer crappy the first time, just so they can come out in a year and say "we have new players on the market that output the new 480pUltra signal which gives you a 3-3 cadence!"

Would it be too hard to do it right the first time?

Sorry had to vent. Went off topic a little, I'm back.

Okay so for today we have a bunch of TVs and a bunch of DVDs that will take an interlaced signal and produce the current 480p signal, in all it's 3-2 glory(infamy).

Bottom line, failings to the side, it produces a smoother picture to interlace, a preferable static picture. Whether this translates to a superior viewing experience is a matter of taste, and how well you see or don't see motion.

480i and 480p are the same resolution. The only difference is in how that exact same info, the illusion of motion is put on the screen. I think that gets lost in all this hyperbole, ideally both illusions should be nearly transparent to you. The optimum word there being ideally.

They are both the same old NTSC guts, that we have had since 1953.


Okay so now we are in the age of HDTV. And everyone has their HDTV big screen, that will do 480p, 720, and 1080. Unless you have a high definition source, then all you have is 480 DVDs to wow yourself with.

So how do you sell 1080 capable screens to people that have 480 source material. You tell them they can upconvert it to the HDTV quality of 1080.

I have to take a deep breath on this one, because it's worse than the bs surrounding 480p. At least there you do have a little improvement.

Here's the bottom line. I've worked on tvs, computers, etc. We're making great, great strides in technology and extrapolation of information, and creating AI systems of some use. All that said, right now, today, you are not going to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

The source material, the information, en masse, of what exists in this film, is 480 lines of information. That's it. That's all any current DVD holds, 480 lines of useable information.You want to now add almost 600 lines of information, more info than is stored on that DVD, and then say your TV, or DVD, or Line Doubler is going to do this for you beautifully.

In a word no. It will put in 600 lines of info, but it does it by adding noise. Bottom line that's all upconverting as it exists today, in any system that you or I or any average joe can afford to get (or charge), will do for you. It will add noise to the picture to give you the number of lines you want.

Upscalers work by spacing out those 480 lines of info over a now gigantic canvas of 1080, and inbetween lines of real information, will fill it in with gradations/morphs of that information, as it gets to the next line.

It's in theory perhaps a commendable idea (I have my doubts) but in practice, it's just noise. When people "ohh" and "ahh" about a 480 pic scaled to 1080, I say they must be legally blind.

For proof you have to look no further than your computer screen/ A pic formatted for one resolution, blown up to a higher resolution, looks like absolute garbage. Again todays scalers and line doublers do an admirable job, so the picture does not look horrible, it just doesn't look better.

I've looked at quite a few screens, testing a samsung 3064w as I type, and what I noticed Pastorsoh is the same thing you did, the picture looks worse scaled to 1080. It looks best in its native format of 480. And this makes sense people, you can not extrapolate 600 lines of info, and hope to get superior quality. All you can hope to do with the best scaler is fill that space on your big screen-thousand line TV, with a blown up pic that does not look... so obviously degraded.

If you have a HD-TV and want an impressive picture, that takes advantage of it, you need impressive high definition source material.

480 dvd, will always be a 480 dvd. And you know what, there's nothing wrong with that. It's a pretty darn good picture, watch it in its native resolution... and you'll see that. You want to watch something in 1080 subscribe to HD-TV programing, or wait around for HD-TV discs, just don't buy into the hype.

And the whole thing with resolution now being the holy grail of picture quality. Resolution is about real estate, screen real estate. I'm typing this at 800 by 600, even though my computer supports much higher resolution. Why? Because resolution relates to realestate, not picture quality. Quality is determined by the composition of the picture. An 800 by 600 photograph or picture, looks perfect on a 800 by 600 screen, but a little underwhelming on a 1280 by 1096 screen. Only great reason for higher resolutions is for 1/ realestate so you can multi-task between multiple applications or 2/Detailed work such as cad programs where you're working on detailed compisitions of hundreds and hundreds of lines.

Bringing that real estate dertminator into the area of home electronics, as some kind of determination of picture quality is again more slight of hand. We're pushing bigger resolutions because the manufactures want to sell bigger TVs. 480 may be a few too few lines for an ideal system, to paint a picture with, which is what a TV is for.

I think just as in the computer world, for straight viewing (not muti-tasking) 800 by 600 or what they call 720p is the spot where viewing is at its best. At 1080 you have a lot of realestate, that hits that point of diminishing returns. Why not 20 thousand lines, why not 50000 lines.

We have to remember, it's the info on each of those lines, and how well, quickly, brilliantly those lines are recreated that is the holy grail, that defines true definition. Better a few hundred masterly paint strokes, than thousands of geometric lines.

Okay, here endeth the "quick" comment. With this advice: avoid a monitor/tv that does not accept a native 720 signal, or forces you to upconvert it (Such as the samsung 3064). The 720 will be the sweet spot for HDTV broad casting, and for HD DVDs. Also avoid a monitor/tv that does not support dvi connection from a PC, or does not allow progressive processing via its component or non-dvi ports.

In short avoid the samsung 3064. Actually I'm being very hard on it. It is a good price point, good picture, dvi connection, etc. And very few monitors/tvs remain that accept DVI from a computer. But having company in its failings, does not make it any less of a failure. A capable looking monitor, crippled by too much hdcp protection/engineering. Same with its DVD player, the 841. Anyone who can recommend a HDTV that succeeds where the samsung fails, please send a reply.

Wow, that was a long posting. Sorry about that. If you actually read all this, I admire and appreciate your time and patience.
Well hope that was helpfull.









Quote:
Originally Posted by pastorsoh
For two days, I've looked through postings to understand better about different scan formats and upconverting. Yet I am still confused and not convinced whether upconverting is a good thing or not.

I understand that in most CRT TVs, 720p is unconverted to 1080i. If everyone does it, no problem... But I understand that there are some TVs that directly shows 480i (like Samsung), p in their native scan format and some others unconvert to 1080i (like Sanyo).

Simply put... is this a good thing or a bad thing? (other than OTA or Cable HD setting... in that case, 1080i rules)

Particular in question is DVD viewing. I believe it's in 480 format (i or p). When I saw my DVD's in Sanyo which upcoverts everything to 1080i, I was not satisfied with its quality. It looked like watching DVD on my computer LCD screen. Is it because its upconverting? Or would I get the same result even if the TV is capable of native 480 format?

Also if I want to watch my DVD in Sanyo at 1080i with the best quality, should I set my DVD to progressive scan or interlaced? It is capable of both.
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Old 01-22-2005, 08:49 PM   #4
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Checkhere! Thank you very much for your thorough explanation. I actually read through the entire post. ^_^

Regaring your recommendation, I have a few questions/comments.

The problem with recommending native 720p monitor is that there aren't many. Almost all CRT based TVs upscale 720p to 1080i. There are few in $2000 range for 30".

I guess the question is whether the price justifies some ommition of features. For example, Samsung 3064 and 3075/1 support native 480i/p and 1080i. 70p is unconverted. 3075 with built-in HDTV receiver is about $900 when on sale. On the other hand, Sanyo HT30744 from Walmart is $650. (Sony one's $1000 withouth built-in tuner) It's $250 cheaper with almost identical inputs and features exept native 480i/p support. All the formats are upconverted to 1080i. As you said and I noticed, the quality of DVDs are not as great as it should be but for $250 cheaper price... I am debating whether I should stay with Sanyo. (I just bought it a few days ago and thought about returning it for Samsung or Sony.) Of course, it's not an easy task to haul 130 lbs TV back to Walmart. (Sanyo has Picture and Picture feature that lets you watch digital content and analog content side-by-side)

For sure in a few years, I will want to get a new, better TV with features that are not just available now. Then why don't I save $250 for that one feature? HDTV contents will look the same. ... What do you think about my argument? Of course, if I have $5000 for LCD, I wouldn't even bother to research this but I don't. ^_^

Regarding DVI feature... I think Samsung has DVI where as Sony and Sanyo has something called HDMI. I guess HDMI is the later technology. What do you think? Will HDMI dominate DVI soon? Or vice versa?
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Old 01-23-2005, 05:39 AM   #5
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Regarding DVI

DVI is a carry-over from computer world to Home Theater (HT)

Y,Pb,Pr cable is analog - DVI is digital

HDMI is the newest of all and is the same as DVI (digital bandwidth)
with one exception ,

HDMI also carries Audio signal...

So HDMI is "the new standard" on its way IN (DVI on its way out)

HDMI (looks almost like USB) is the do-it-all digital cable (audio/video)

if you notice most tv's that have HDMI inputs on back,
also have an Audio Fiber Optic output too...

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Old 01-23-2005, 10:00 AM   #6
How can anyone watch standard def?
 

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ok i promise my post will be short and easy to understand. Interlaced, half of the information on the screen at one time. Porgressive, double the information at one time, whats the difference? Depending on the dvd your watching it could be great.For example, All the starwars movies look great, those are old movies yet the transfer was done be a company that wants them to look great. too bad all transfers arent done to that standard. Remember the old rule garbage in garbage out, hopeful Hd dvd will help solve this isssue. As far as HDMI goes,Its an uncompressed signal bigger pipe more info,dvi is less information still digital but compressed. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-23-2005, 02:09 PM   #7
What is HD?
 

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Hey you're welcome.

I agree, taking back a large TV is not a recommended past time.

If you're happy with the Sanyo, I say stick with it. Especially if you just see it as an interim TV anyhow.

However if the quality bugs you, then definitely take it back.

As far as HDMI and DVI, it's not about compressed and uncompressed. They will both submit the same digital source, with the addition of audio and control signals on the HDMI port. And there's the rub.

It is designed to be the successor to DVI but not in a good way. It's designed to work hand in hand with HDCP. And HDCP is not a good thing people. There should be a happy medium between defeating piracy and creating useable, functional products. HDCP and HDMI isn't it. It's control to really orwellian levels over the equipment and data in your very home. It's idiotic. HDCP/HDMI is a crippled product, and this will become increasingly evident. But it is a product being forced on us.

But if people refuse to buy HDMI/HDCP devices, similar to the consumer boycott of circuit city's short lived Divx (disposble) DVDs, then they'll be forced to abandon it.

Otherwise the mad media minded machine will progressively tighten the reigns. A few years ago the concept of HDCP working in America would have been unthinkable, now here we are. And what's next? with control signals, spyware, hdcp in every product in your home, it's mind boggling the amount of profit they can begin squeezing out of you. DVDs that will not play, will only play once, old stero equipment/computer equipment made obsolete, just the tip of the iceberg.

Awww don't get me started. Where's my blood pressure medicine? Gosh Darn it ! The lid is encrypted! DOH!

But seriously, the FCC which should be protecting the American consumer from such heavy handed market manipulation, and monopoly of the airwaves... is spearheading it. Mandating digital conversion, the selling off of the American airwaves to the highest bidder(corporation) is unthinkable!

It really is a digital landgrab, imminent domain of the most hostile kind. It really is tantamount to the governenment going into Florida and saying to all the residents "this state just isn't 21st century enough, we have a new hi-tech state we're going to move you to. Of course in that state, there'll be a few adjustments, you'll have to pay to drive on the streets, and you'll have to pay to leave your house, and you'll have to pay to enter your house, but boy will the sun be brighter, and weather seem nicer... as long as you pay for the best definition view.

And in the meantime we're going to sell off your nasty old state, with houses you built, and playgrounds, and memories, we're going to sell off your entire state to the highest bidder(not paying you the people, anything)... and being the nice FCC type government we are, we're going to use the money we make, to do this in another state, and help subsidize the builders of your new hi-tech state! God bless America... and pay me for the air you breathe!"


It's funny, huh. But not very, it's too close to the truth to be very amusing.

The move is on. Slow it down.

Support small film/movie companies, independent studios that don't buy into HDCP.

Lobby the FCC via your local representative, ask them what you're going to get for your airwaves. Lobby against the taking of your media platform. Think TV news is bad now, you haven't seen bad.

Don't buy HDCP products. If people were more aware of how obtrusive these devices are, and left them on the shelf, or returned them, then you're speaking the only language business understands. Reduced profits, and dollars and cents. Hold onto that old movie collection, limit what crippleware you buy and rent. Make renting circles, where one of you watch the flick, and pass it out to everyone in the circle to view. Or movie nights. Why do you and all your friends need HDCP home theater systems? four of you kill your TV, and hang out with the 5th for that must see Football game or Boxing match.

Cost them.
them... the media machine, conglomerate of MPAA, RIAA, Sony, Phillips, Time Warner, Samsung, Etc...

Cut their profits
Cut their profits
Cut their profits,

make their greed... their disrespect for the consumer... cost them.

Okay, I'm off the soapbox. Really.

I'm going to hack the lid on my high blood pressure HDMI/HDCP virtual medicine now.

Fair use... RIP. What will be the next right... to go?
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Old 01-24-2005, 10:18 AM   #8
How can anyone watch standard def?
 

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I understand what your saying, hey dont get me wrong i have a huge bin full of interconnects and monster cords ill never use again, but i like the fact that its always improving. If you dont like the changes the industry makes choice not to buy, but for those home theater junkies that are always looking to try new things and injoy the hobbie i dont think theres anything wrong with always looking to improve your system. To each his own HAVE FUN ITS ONLY A HOBBIE
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