Actual output of up-conversion DVD player?


Nov 3, 2006
Real Name
Scott Graham
I'm fairly new to the whole HDTV thing. I finally upgraded my 36 inch tube TV to a Mitsu 1080P dlp about 2 months ago. I was shopping yesterday for a new receiver and the guy grilled me on my setup and he threw me for a loop. He stated that I should get a DVD player that "upconverts" because of the digital HDMI output. I agree with him insofar as I'm loosing some resolution because the component output I'm using now has to be redigitized at the TV. But where he really threw me was he stated that DVD players that claim to upconvert, do not actually output a 1080i or 1080p signal. That the term "upconversion" DVD player is simply a marketing term and they all in fact rely on the TV to actually upconvert the signal to a higher resolution. Is this true?


Senior HTF Member
Aug 19, 2002

No it's not true. He's an idiot.

Now, any digital display will need to convert everything to the native panel resolution, so there is video processing in the set that does the same thing. HOWEVER, the big question is the quality of the video processing, and you may get better results using external processing to feed the TV a native resolution, such as with an external video processor or an upconverting DVD player.

But no, an upconverting DVD player actually does output a higher resolution, and this varies depending on the particular player, etc. In cases where the display also upconverts, this may seem like a moot point, and indeed if the display's processing is superior it is redundant.

However, where the display's processing is inferior, or where the display does not upconvert (such as with some CRTs), the difference can be minimal (in the first instance) to HUGELY significant (in the second instance).

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