Upconversion question

Discussion in 'GENERAL AV Discussions' started by sheap1, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. sheap1 Audiophyte

    sheap1
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    I am new to all the video stuff. I am looking to get an AV receiver and see that the new Denon 2807 advertises upconversion to 1080i ( I think) for all analog sources and outputs to HDMI connector. I have a Sony 60XS955 TV with HDMI inputs so it would be nice to have 1 cable between the AV & TV. I also see that some new DVD players can do upconversion. Is there a preferred way to do this? I wonder what the value is on a receiver if the DVD player and I guess satellite boxes in the future will be able to output the high resolution?

    Should I get a receiver with upconversion or not? If not I could get a lower cost receiver as I have external power amps. If so does anyone think there is a much better value than the 2807
  2. jcPanny Audioholic Ninja

    jcPanny
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    Upconversion and upscalling

    You are confusing two different features:

    Video conversion or upconversion: The ability to take an inpur composite, s-video, or composite video signal and output over composite video, HDMI, or DVI cable. This does not improve the picture quality it only reduces the number of cables between the receiver and the TV.

    Video upscaling: Conversion of a 480i or 480p input signal to 720p or 1080i over composite video or HDMI. Many new DVD players perform this function. The Yamaha RX-V2600 is the only receiver I am aware of that includes upscaling.

    Also note, the upscalling DVD or receiver is only benificial if its scaler is better than that in your HDTV display. If you have satellite, the HD channels are output in 720p or 1080i from the cable box.
  3. Buckeyefan 1 Audioholic Ninja

    Buckeyefan 1
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    From CNET's site:
    Don't forget DVD's are 480i, and will always be 480i. Your picture will be optimized using a quality player like an Oppo, Denon, or Elite as will the sound. I wouldn't expect a better picture with an average player and an upconverting receiver. And no 480i player will match the pq of a HD-DVD or Blu-ray player at 1080i - as long as the media was shot with HD cameras.
  4. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

    BMXTRIX
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    This is actually a very relative question... A good video processor will outperform the Oppo or most other upconverting DVD player and certain companies have better processing inside of them then others do.

    Format conversion (transcoding) is taking one format like composite, s-video, or component, and converting it into another - like HDMI. But, the conversion from 480i material to 480p is indeed upconversion. Yet, how good the Denon does this really needs to be seen in the labs before it is judged.

    The Yamaha uses Faroudja processing which is world class stuff and far better than many DVD players have inside of them. Plus, it does the full conversion up to 720p or 1080i which can help with the final quality signal that is delivered to the display.

    DVDs actually aren't 480i specifically. There are a combination of 480i and 480p material that is natively encoded on the disc and perhaps the number one issue manufacturers have is that they do a very poor job of deinterlacing. The Panasonic S77 for 200 bucks has a very high reputation for the deinterlacing, then scaling to 720p/1080i. Plus, at 200 bucks or so, it is really a great price.

    But, if you have many non-HDMI sources that you are hooking up or you really need the simplicity of a single connection, I would think that the upconversion feature is totally secondary. Look at the HDMI switching, the audio performance, the connectivity, the power capability... etc., etc. Basically - the overall performance and value of the product you are getting.

    Either way, for the price, I would get a upconverting DVD player if I needed one, but not go more than about a couple hundred bucks with the new HD disc players coming out soon.
  5. sheap1 Audiophyte

    sheap1
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    Upconversion

    Thanks to all for the replies. Sorry for my jargon confusing transcoding & upconversion. I really mean scaling up in resolution not just changing protocol at a given resolution.

    Someone mentioned that this may not matter if the AV receiver is no better than my TV's scaler? Let me be more specific about my setup.

    My TV has both HDMI and component video in. My DVD player is currently set to output 480 progressive on component output (no HDMI connector). What does my TV do with this signal? It must scale it I suppose but is this the same thing that the AV receivers are doing? It would seem pointless if HD TV's already do it for you?

    I thought the "upconversion processing" likely used in the Denon/Yamaha Receivers (and good upconverting DVD players) was based on some sort of sophisticated algorithms designed to interpolate in a visually appealing way. So that my standard 480P DVD material would appear as if it were actually higher resolution. Of course I understand that its not as good as if it were natively shot at higher res.

    What I really want to accomplish is get the most visually appealing picture from my current DVD collection and I thought that adding some "fake" via up conversion would accomplish this. I am not a video purist yet so being a little fake is OK if I think it looks better:) Am I missing something?

    Shea
  6. jcPanny Audioholic Ninja

    jcPanny
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    HDTV scaling

    Every HDTV must up/down scale the incomming signal to its native resolution (1080p or 720p for HD, 480p for ED). They all have a fixed # of pixles on the screen. As BMX suggested, it is a matter of whether the internal scaler in your set performs as well as the scaler in the receiver or DVD player. The HDMI and component video connections on your set have no bearing on the quality of the scaler.
  7. sheap1 Audiophyte

    sheap1
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    Jc/BMX

    Thanks for your replies. It seems that the only way to know where upscaling is best achieved would be to compare each component or find reviews. I did not find any real info on the Sony KDF-60XS955 online.

    You indicate that the Yamaha receiver is likely of great quality in this regard-probably not worse than in the Sony TV. Also since I have a non-HDMI DVD player, it looks like I should get one to avoid the D/A-A/D steps. From reading I get the feeling that staying in the digital domain is preferred.

    Am I on the right track?

    Shea
  8. jcPanny Audioholic Ninja

    jcPanny
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    A/D conversion

    Using your DVD player with composite video cable does not add or remove D/A and A/D steps by connection through a receiver with HDMI output. Either the HDTV converts the analog video signal to digital (composite to TV) or the receiver does it (composite to receiver, HDMI to TV).

    Also note, most people see no difference in picture quality when switching from composite video to HDMI. Judging by posts on the forum, people are also having problems with HDMI compatability between cable boxes, DVD players, receivers, and HDTVs.
  9. jcsprankle Audioholic

    jcsprankle
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    Generally speaking...

    Ok, let's back up and say we're putting together a decent HT system on a budget. Where would we prefer to do the up-scaling? Sounds like we have three options: DVD up-scaler (on, say, the Denon 2910), Receiver up-scaler (on the Yammy 2600), or TV up-scaler.

    From this example, let me ask two questions:
    • How do you determine which up-scaler is best from the data in an average spec sheet?
    • If you don't know the relative quality of each up-scaler, how would you know which device should do the up-scaling?
  10. ~JC~ Audioholic

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    That is an excellent question, Mr Sprankle. I have a Panasonic TH 50U, and if I feed it a straight 480i image from the Oppo, the picture is terrible (although theoretically scaled to 760 the native resolution) If I send it a 780p image from the Oppo, it is fantastic. So i guess the scaler on the 200$ Oppo is better than the $2800 Panny. Go figure.
    ~JC~,
  11. bigmac94 Audiophyte

    bigmac94
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    Upconversion to 1080i

    IMHO the answer to that is a resounding yes,as we all strive for the best picture & sound possible,using the components we have to work with.
    The Reciever is responsible for both,therefore IMHO the best Reciever you can manage to get will help in the Quest for the best picture & Sound!
    You asked About Denon & the AVR4306 has 3 HDMI ins & 1 out.
    This feature IMHO will make it much easier to upscale,upgrade,upconversion call it what you wish,the closer we get to HDMI with in my case Direct TV HR10-250 HD DVR in 1080i the picture is outstanding on my Sony KF50WE TV.
    Now Keeping in mind its how you hook up your Componets(DVD player DVD Recorder) using the RCA jacks,Componet Jacks or the HDMI Cable.
    As for me im slowly switching over to all HDMI Because IMHO its the best picture available.

  12. villeneuve Audiophyte

    villeneuve
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    I have a 1080i LCD TV with one HDMI input. I got a Sony DVP-NC85H upconverting dvd player. I have noticed a wide variance in upconverting quality from disk to disk. Some disks look really good upconverted, some don't look that great at all. The newer the disk the better it looks it seems, which makes sense. But even on the discs that don't look that great the colors are much, much better than thru a non upconverting dvd player. I put the same disk in my ps2 with component video, which is 480p....and compare by switching from input to input the upconverted discs have much better color, no comparison.
    I watched apocalypse now the newer remastered version and the colors compared to what i remember from seeing the movie before were unreal. There were some things that has almost no color before now are bright and vibrant.
    I know that it does not compare to true HD, but I have wayyyyy too many dvd's to change over to HD.

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