Upscaling, is it the TV or the Source?

Ken Burkstrum

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Dec 19, 2003
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149
http://www.joystiq.com/2006/09/20/tg...-bullet-point/

I'm trying to figure this out. In the article they say that xbox 360 normal xbox games to HD. What confuses me is, don't TVs do that automatically to fit the image to the screen properly? If it's true, whats the point of taking 480p and upscaling it to 720p, the image quality wouldnt be any better right? They say xbox 360 is having a software update that lets you display in 1080p, but they said it will just "upscale" 720p and 1080i to 1080p. Again, what's the point exactly? I know that video games arent like DVDs, they are rendered on the spot so they can output at any resolution (system performance willing). Are systems different somehow? I always thought that normal xbox games couldnt be in high definition not because they werent made to, but because the original xbox and the dvd drive itself couldnt handle the performance requirements.

As far as I understand it. If you take a 480p image, and blow it up to 1080p, it doesnt look any better, it's just a 400,000 pixel image being represented with 2 million pixels.

Where am I wrong?

I would of thought they were just talking crap but yah know, normal xbox games look alot better on my monitor using 360 then they did with xbox, not HD good, but better. I always figured it was because my 360 uses a VGA or something, and....now...I'm just damn confused.

If you had a dvd scaled up to a billion pixels, the picture still wouldnt look any better right??? The screen door effect.
 

Jeff Gatie

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Aug 19, 2002
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Actually, it depends on the scaling algorithm. Some are better than others. If you just (essentially) squared the pixels, it would be "just a 400,000 pixel image being represented with 2 million pixels." But some algorithms do smoothing, shading and color blending (among other techniques); thus better interpolating what the HD picture should be. This can make for a close to HD picture out of a SD source if the algorithms are very well done. So it really all depends on just how good the upscaling is.

In addition, you are still taking advantage of a higher resolution, whether the source is HD or not. This can be better or worse, but with video games it tends to be better because the source is originally digital and does not have the flaws of an analog TV signal.
 

Ken Burkstrum

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Dec 19, 2003
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149
Do the first gen HD-DVD and Blu-rays do this upscaling also or are they true 1080p masters?

Jeff do you know why they are upscaling it to 1080p instead of just having it rendered properly? Is it system performance or because dual layer dvds cant handle it or because the drive cant handle it or what? Computer games are different right? The games that can run 1920x1200 are really full 1920x1200 and not just upscaled from a lower resolution?

Thanks for the help.
 

Jeff Gatie

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Aug 19, 2002
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6,531

Can't really answer. I know a bit about upscaling algorithms, nothing about game consoles. Sorry.
 

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