What is scaling?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Alex_C, May 23, 2003.

  1. Alex_C

    Alex_C Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm deciding between the rp82 and rp91. I've read that if my TV doesn't do scaling I should get the rp91, otherwise the rp82.

    I have a 65" mits, HD ready.

    Help!
     
  2. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 1998
    Messages:
    2,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scaling is the reformatting of the picture to occupy more or fewer scan lines than it did before. With large screens, the 480 scan lines of DVD are coarse enough to be visible and the picture can be made to look smoother by using more scan lines spaced closer together.

    Sometimes you don't have any choice in the matter of scaling or the amount of scaling. Some TV sets, in order to reduce the number of convergence and geometry adjustments, have only one scan rate, for example 1080i HDTV. The TV will have a built in scaler to convert the usual analog video (480i) but not necessarily all of the HDTV formats. Nowadays HDTV sets rely on the HDTV tuner box to scale some of the HDTV formats.

    You will have to speak with someone with technical knowledge about your TV to find out whether it scales everything to 1080i.

    Scaling needs good processing (formulas; algorithms) and scalers vary widely in quality. I don't have enough experience with different kinds of scalers to tell which are the best. Diagonal lines and edges are a good test of a scaler's quality.

    If the TV displays 1080i only and scales all other video inputs to 1080i, some folks ask, why not feed in 1080i from the DVD player and skip the TV scaler? The problem is, DVD is 480p and the DVD player now needs a scaler to convert the video to 1080i. The new question is, who has a better scaler, the DVD player or the TV. I can's answer that last quesiton. (Nowadays very few DVD players have scalers.)

    Adjusting the drawing of the scan lines slightly, 480p comes out as 960i with just as good quality as 1080i HDTV and with no scaling. 960p (and 1080p) is better still but you have to pay for that extra quality.

    Actually, if you don't absolutely need scaling, no scaling is better. Provided the TV can keep the convergence correct, using (unscaled) 960i for DVD and genuine 720p and 1080i for HDTV as needed is better than scaling everything to 1080i.

    More:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/vidscale.htm
     
  3. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 1999
    Messages:
    630
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think there is some confusion here. Alex_C needs to know if his TV locks into anamorophic mode when fed 480p. If so, he needs a DVD player that will adjust the geometry of the image of non-anamorphic widescreen DVD's.
     
  4. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    5,987
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    The BK
    Real Name:
    ManW
    Maybe we need a different approach to this question. [​IMG]

    Alex,

    I suspect you have either Titanic or True Lies on DVD, no?

    Play it on your existing player w/ the 65" Mits and watch it at your viewing distance, etc. Assuming you want the picture as big as possible (but still OAR), apply the appropriate TV zoom mode. How does the picture look to you? Are you satisfied w/ it? If not, what looks "wrong" to you? Do you see distracting gaps in the image? Do you see jagged edges that bother you? And so on...

    If the PQ looks satisfying enough w/out anything particularly wrong, then you probably don't need a scaling player.

    Do you watch lots of foreign films w/ subtitles? Pop in such a DVD and watch it as you normally prefer. Can you see the subtitles? If not, then you'll need a scaling player to handle the subs.

    BTW, I notice that you're an attorney and specialize in technology(!). Maybe you can help us start a crusade to make scaling a required feature in the DVD-V player spec, especially in the future HD-DVD spec. [​IMG]

    _Man_
     
  5. Sanjay Gupta

    Sanjay Gupta Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    753
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Sanjay Gupta
    Hmmm, I don't know about Alex_c but I am still a little confused about this whole scaling business. Personally I am more interested in getting an answer to what 'Jim A. Banville' mentions in his post, which is, what all players adjust the image geometry of non anamorphic DVDs for Televisions that lock into anamorphic mode with their 480P inputs. I currently have a Philips 55" 16:9 HD compatible TV (480P & 1080i) which locks into the anamorphic mode when the 480P input is used, luckily for me I also have the Pioneer 755Ai (47Ai in the US) DVD player which has an option in TV type called '16:9 Squeezed', which horizontaly squeezes the picture of non anamprohic DVDs to make up for the vertically squeezed picture on the TV. What I end up with is a picture with correct aspect ratio, albeit with black bars on all four sides.

    What I need to know is if and how this is related to the term 'scaling'. Also I would like to know what all equivalent or better players than the Pioneer have this feature, specially does the Denon 2900 have it or not. I am thinking of changing my Pioneer for the Denon 2900 and this feature is of the utmost importance to me.

    Thanks,
    Sanjay
    Member since 1997
     
  6. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    5,987
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    The BK
    Real Name:
    ManW
    Sanjay,

    The Denon 2900 will not do what you want. It has a 4x3 shrink mode that does the same thing as your Pioneer's 16x9 Squeezed mode, but no scaling of a non-16x9 letterbox image.

    The kind of scaling Allan described earlier is not exactly what you want. What you want is correct aspect ratio w/ the image filling more of the screen to the point that there are no side bars (like you have w/ the Pioneer's 16x9 Squeezed mode).

    For now, the Panny RP91 still seems to be the best player w/ the letterbox scaling capability you want. Maybe one of the upcoming Denon players w/ a Faroudja chip will have it.

    Personally, I'm hoping someone will create a firmware hack for the Philips 963sa to enable this feature since it has the Faroudja chip w/ that capability.

    _Man_
     
  7. Sanjay Gupta

    Sanjay Gupta Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    753
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Sanjay Gupta
    Thanks Man-Fai Wong. If I understood you correctly, then you are saying that the Denon does have a similar feature to what the Pioneer 47Ai has, except that it is called '4x3 shrink mode' instead of what Pioneer calls it, which is '16x9 squeezed mode'. Also that the results in both cases is the same, that is a corrected picture aspect ratio with black bars on all sides.

    Also if I understand correctly, then the RP91 uses 'scaling' to correct the aspect ratio, but in this case it does it without putting black bars on the sides.

    Thanks
    Sanjay
    Member since 1997
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Michigan
     
  9. Sanjay Gupta

    Sanjay Gupta Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    753
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Sanjay Gupta
    Thanks Scott for finally making things clear.
     
  10. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 1998
    Messages:
    699
    Likes Received:
    78
    JVC 40B and the new Panny S35 have Zooms that re-format letterbox to 16 x 9. It is the same feature that comes standard with Toshiba HD 16 x 9 TV's and they call it "Theater Wide". Toshiba's zoom employes 3 stretch modes that re-formats the incoming signal to 16 x 9.

    The S35 uses a pretty good filter so the picture does not become distorted and it allows the user to zoom step by step, or 1:85x1, 16x9, etc. This eliminates over scanning. The JVC also uses a very good filter but their zoom starts at 1.8 which is fine for 2:35 x 1 or larger, but results in over scanining anything for formats less than 2:35 x 1.

    If your TV locks in "Full" (I always thought that was a programming bug and we would not see it in newer models) I recommed the S 35, progressive scan, that sells for $99.00 less $20.00 mail in rebate. If the rebate is still active. The player also plays RAM which can come in handy if you own a R/RAM recorder, like the E80.
     

Share This Page