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Home Theatre Myths: Are we kidding ourselves?

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vidrad

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Found this article in tech2.com, written by Siddharth Bhatia

Tech2.com India > Home Theater Myths: Part One > Features > HiFi & TV > Home Theater Systems

As technology zooms ahead, we tend to get left behind. I was talking to some middle-aged relatives who were deciding on some new TVs for their house. They were confused, and I don't blame them. Each year, at places like CES, we get newer, bigger, better products in the brilliant realm of Audio Video entertainment - but not without new sets of confusing jargon. New upgrades/features are always interesting, but we have to understand them first before we can have fun. This article is dedicated to dispelling some new and also very old myths about HDTVs, Speaker systems
, surround sound etc. It covers a lot of basics, and is more directed at the new consumer than the tech veterans.


Myth: Upscaling
Upscaling is always done by the HDTV. LCDs and plasmas are fixed pixel displays, meaning the panels are made of a fixed number of pixels. Generally it is 1920 x 1080 pixels for Full HDTVs and 1366 x 768 for HD ready TVs. This is how the market has coined the terminology, so this is what you will be seeing, regardless of the signal. Thus you should not give too much thought to your DVD player's upscaling claims, especially if it is a budget model. Having said that, there are debates going on for years on whether upscaling actually makes any difference, as its finally stretched to the native resolution of the TV. Thus if you have what they call an HD ready TV (generally 32- or 37-inchers with 1366 x 768), then there is no need to upscale to 1080p on your DVD player. It's redundant.

Myth: Buying an HDTV will improve our cable TVs quality
It won't. Our cable in India is in standard def, thus on our LCDs and plasmas they will be displayed the way they are - stretched to fit of course. Abroad, there are over the air broadcasts available in HD, plus subscribing to HD channels is picking up. It is not yet in our country, so we still have MPEG2 broadcasts, of standard PAL definition. This is also true about the new Set top boxes out by Airtel, Hathway, Tata etc. The HDTV obviously will 'upscale' (read previous myth) to its native display, but that will not be some magic. It looks ordinary most of the time, sometimes worse than it would on a non-HDTV, good old CRT set.

Myth: The more expensive the speaker, the better it will sound
This is one of the most hilarious ones ever, and if you truly love audio, you'll know. The PC industry is more accurate as we can test and benchmark all the specs easily with software. But Audio speakers and home theater systems come with so much claim that it gets hazy, and expensive for sure. The niche of floor standing speakers, bookshelves, amplifiers etc. is brimming with too many brands, most of them great no doubt, but many a time you are paying for a feature or specification that is completely baseless. Unbiased reviews must be read thoroughly. Don't just flip through the specs.

Myth: You need fancy speaker cables to get better sound
This is going to make all the vendors cringe, but spending tens of thousands on fancy teflon coated, silver stranded, and other BS that is marketed by reputed manufacturers is not really of any use. We hear frequencies only from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, so stuff like skin effect etc. does not even matter at such relatively low frequencies. The only thing that matters practically is resistance per foot, which is controlled by the gauge we choose, and the length of cable used. Even capacitance and inductance can be neglected at our audible spectrum of sound. Just do not buy the cheapest speaker cable, as the quality of copper in the wire is important. This too does not vary so much, so just getting a medium priced branded cable, but one with a thick gauge, will do.

Myth: DVDs cannot have HD video.
They can. This is actually a simple one. Studio produced DVDs have been made with MPEG2 compression, which has video in 480p( NTSC) or 576p( PAL). But the story does not end there. A regular DVD has about 4.7 GB of space, and a dual layered DVD can double that. Thus DVD-RWs can be recorded with HD video, but what matters is the codec. So downloaded and recorded HD content can use MPEG4 compression techniques which can be stored on DVD. Now here is the catch, not all players support the codecs, but newer ones do, and of course you can watch it on your laptop or PC.
 

venkatcr

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There are a number of errors in Myth No.1

Upscaling is always done by the HDTV. LCDs and plasmas are fixed pixel displays, meaning the panels are made of a fixed number of pixels.

If I understand this right HDTVs are not fixed panel displays? HDTVs also have fixed number of pixels.

This is how the market has coined the terminology, so this is what you will be seeing, regardless of the signal.

This is grossly incorrect. It is wrong to assume that upscaling is always only to 1080P. A SD DVD is usually at 480i/480P. So if you scale that to 720i, 720P, or 1080i, you are up-scaling. And this picture will certainly be better than 480i/p.

Having said that, there are debates going on for years on whether upscaling actually makes any difference, as its finally stretched to the native resolution of the TV.

This is too general and a statement meant to confuse people. A person who cannot make out a difference between 480, 720 and 1080 should just stop watching TVs.

Thus if you have what they call an HD ready TV (generally 32- or 37-inchers with 1366 x 768), then there is no need to upscale to 1080p on your DVD player. It's redundant.

As I said before you can scale upto 720i/p and get a much better picture than 480i/p.

Cheers
 
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amol12

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There are a number of errors in Myth No.1

Upscaling is always done by the HDTV. LCDs and plasmas are fixed pixel displays, meaning the panels are made of a fixed number of pixels.

If I understand this right HDTVs are not fixed panel displays? HDTVs also have fixed number of pixels.

This is how the market has coined the terminology, so this is what you will be seeing, regardless of the signal.

This is grossly incorrect. It is wrong to assume that upscaling is always only to 1080P. A SD DVD is usually at 480i/480P. So if you scale that to 720i, 720P, or 1080i, you are up-scaling. And this picture will certainly be better than 480i/p.

Venkat,
What the article means in short is that the HDTV has fixed number of pixels. So whatever is the input to the TV, if it is of lower resolution, it will upscale to its native resolution (Full HD or HD Ready).

Without upscaling can you tell me how else a Full HD will display the input source of say 480i? If it doesn't upscale then one would view the content in only one part of the HDTV.

I had pointed out this to you in 2 other threads but you did not reply back to those threads on this point. So please think about the above para and let me know your views.

I had gone through similar discussion on AVForums and what I can conclude from there is as below:
Upscaling of SD material can take place in 3 components of the HT chain
1. source - e.g. upscaling DVD player
2. AV receiver - (upscaling)/ Special upscalers (I dont know of any)
3. The HDTV itself - All HDTVs have to upscale to their native resolution. If the above 2 are incapable of upscaling/ the TV has to upscale.

1 and 2 are as such unrelated here. For point 3 I guess you are mistaken/confused a bit. Without upscaling to its native resolution, the HDTV cannot display if it is fed with non HD material.
 
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particleman

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I am sorry to say that this article contains more errors than facts. It seems to be based on misinformed assumptions rather than experience, knowledge or research.

1) Venkat has already covered this one. To say that 3rd party upscaling adds no value is laughable. It is this very feature in DVD players and Video Processors that has retarded the growth of Blu-ray. Simple test: try playing a DVD on your computer (which would have a resolution well above PAL's native 720x576) - doesn't it look great in fullscreen mode? Sure you're not going to see any extra information or greater detail (how could you?) but the result is a definite improvement.

Or are companies like Crystalio, DVDO and Gefen wasting their time?

2) Related to 1. An entry-level TV without a 3D comb filter will do only a passable job. As you go up the ladder the quality does improve quite a bit. Besides, Reliance and Airtel have both hinted at HDTV programming in the next couple of years.

3) It isn't very clear what the author is saying here. That a cheap speaker is as good as an expensive one? And is he is actually saying there is no way to measure a speaker's performance?! Damn, someone tell Stereophile magazine. Yes there a couple of brands that are iffy on value but the overwhelming majority of speakers get better and better as you pay more and more. I will also accept that this is a logarithmic curve. But to say "This is one of the most hilarious ones ever" is rather immature and "if you truly love audio, you'll know" is so obnoxious in assumption and irony that it cannot even be commented on.

4) This is hotly debated. Won't touch it with a ten-foot pole.

5) No they can't, smarty pants. Because most people use the term "DVD" to refer to the DVD Video standard, which enforces a strict standard of 720x576 @ 25fps PAL or 720x480 @ 29.97fps NTSC. Yes, we realise that a DVD-R can contain just about any kind of file that you can burn on your computer and that most players support DIVX.

I apologise if my post comes across as particularly angry or offensive but this horrible excuse for an article got me hopping mad. And the awful non-journalistic writing style (clearly not edited) made it worse.

@vidrad - please pardon my candid response. I hope that it is clear that my disappointment is directed at the author of this article alone and nothing/no one else. My apologies in advance.
 
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particleman

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Venkat,
What the article means in short is that the HDTV has fixed number of pixels. So whatever is the input to the TV, if it is of lower resolution, it will upscale to its native resolution (Full HD or HD Ready).

Sorry to interrupt the discussion between you and Venkat but I don't think anyone is disputing that LCD and Plasma have a native resolution that they convert all incoming signals to. The point is that the author of the piece in question seems to be implying that upscaling performed by a device other than the TV itself offers no improvement.
 
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amol12

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Sorry to interrupt the discussion between you and Venkat but I don't think anyone is disputing that LCD and Plasma have a native resolution that they convert all incoming signals to. The point is that the author of the piece in question seems to be implying that upscaling performed by a device other than the TV itself offers no improvement.

I would say that upscaling performed by other devices may offer improvement. A high end TV might have better upscaler than a low/mid end DVD player/ AV receiver. So before concluding I would look at specs and more importantly test for a given combination of devices.

I wanted to restate that LCDs and Plasmas do upscale it to their native resolution especially to Venkat, because I understood his statements in other threads saying the opposite.
 
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thevortex

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Sorry to interrupt the discussion between you and Venkat but I don't think anyone is disputing that LCD and Plasma have a native resolution that they convert all incoming signals to. The point is that the author of the piece in question seems to be implying that upscaling performed by a device other than the TV itself offers no improvement.

Particleman - what the author of the article says is indeed correct. Lets say you have a HD ready TV. And lets say you are looking at a budget DVD player which upscales to 1080i or even 780i. He says you should buy the DVD player without much ado. Because that DVD player which upscales to 1080p is of no use to you because you do not have a Full HD TV in the first place!

I agree though that the author could have put this point across a little better so as to not contribute to confusion.

Point 3 - I am with him there too. Shelling out more money does NOT get you better speakers. You have got to look at the kind of space you have, the kind of music you listen to and then look at the speakers. Simply buying a costly speaker does not guarantee aural satisfaction. As otherwise one can simply make the decision based on price lists without the need for any complicated auditioning! Horses for courses, if you will.

Sometimes the lower priced bookshelf variant in a particular line may sound far better than a higher priced floorstanding one. There are many cases in point.
 
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marsilians

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Venkat,
What the article means in short is that the HDTV has fixed number of pixels. So whatever is the input to the TV, if it is of lower resolution, it will upscale to its native resolution (Full HD or HD Ready).

Anmol, No offence meant. But when you drop this kind of articles, it leads to a lot of flames/opinions and back and forth. You have to decipher what the folks are trying to get at and then take it from there. Most often than not, i don't reply to such postings but this is one of those few times when I am pushed (again nothing against you but just the contents).

At best the statements are confusing.

Without upscaling can you tell me how else a Full HD will display the input source of say 480i? If it doesn't upscale then one would view the content in only one part of the HDTV.

This happens all the time esp. if you have setup HT systems for cable/satellite systems. If you pass-through a signal (meaning no upscale/convert), then you will get the boxed (4:3) image for SD channels (vertical bars to the right/left on a widescreen display). This is because the native resolution of all old programs was down in 4:3 aspect ratio. This is one way to tell if the signal is being upscaled or not.

this is not dependent on the size/resolution etc. of the TV.

I had gone through similar discussion on AVForums and what I can conclude from there is as below:
Upscaling of SD material can take place in 3 components of the HT chain
1. source - e.g. upscaling DVD player
2. AV receiver - (upscaling)/ Special upscalers (I dont know of any)
3. The HDTV itself - All HDTVs have to upscale to their native resolution. If the above 2 are incapable of upscaling/ the TV has to upscale.

I have a similar setup as you describe above. The best way to read this is that "the TV is the ultimate determining factor to display the programming". This means if your AVR/source do upscale to 1080P say but your TV can only handle 1080i/720, then you will get the lower resolution pic.

If the input signal is not upscaled at all, then that is what will be displayed on the TV.

On the other hand if all components can upscale to a common metric, then you will get the upscaled pic.

This is the reason I am amused when I read people buying 1080P capable TVs while watching downloaded movies or standard cable. There is no black magic that will make the input signal look better.

Garbage in-Garbage out! because of this your point (3) is partially true.

1 and 2 are as such unrelated here. For point 3 I guess you are mistaken/confused a bit. Without upscaling to its native resolution, the HDTV cannot display if it is fed with non HD material.

Not right! I sense a fair bit of confusion. Instead of whiplashing the article, put out what you want to understand and I am pretty sure you will get the right answers.
 
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marsilians

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Point 3 - I am with him there too. Shelling out more money does NOT get you better speakers. You have got to look at the kind of space you have, the kind of music you listen to and then look at the speakers. Simply buying a costly speaker does not guarantee aural satisfaction. As otherwise one can simply make the decision based on price lists without the need for any complicated auditioning! Horses for courses, if you will.

Sometimes the lower priced bookshelf variant in a particular line may sound far better than a higher priced floorstanding one. There are many cases in point.

I understand your point conceptually but there is also a truth to getting better value for more money upto certain point. My crappy home office speakers (Teac bookshelves) don't sound the same as my HT speakers in the same environment. (yes I did hook them up initially to my HT system and did A/B comparison).

However as with any purchase, there is a point of diminishing returns with price and thats why its better to like what you are listening to rather than try to fit the music to the components thinking it will sound better.

Mind you, to get quality sound, a number of variables have to line up appropriately - the source quality, transport, listening environment, setup, cables, tuning, and most important of all your mental state. This is a very hard thing to achieve all at once!
 
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venkatcr

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I would say that upscaling performed by other devices may offer improvement. A high end TV might have better upscaler than a low/mid end DVD player/ AV receiver. So before concluding I would look at specs and more importantly test for a given combination of devices.

I wanted to restate that LCDs and Plasmas do upscale it to their native resolution especially to Venkat, because I understood his statements in other threads saying the opposite.

Amol, my apologies if I have not answered your question before. But I think Marsilians has done that very well indeed.

A simple thing we must all keep in mind. In a HT set up, we have three units:

1. A Source - A DVD Player or a STB
2. An AVR
3. A TV.

Other than the STB (at least current ones in India) all the other units will have some processors that does de-interlacing or scaling. Which one to use is the user's choice. All the units will allow you to set on or off the process of de-interlacing or scaling. That is the reason some of us scramble for DVD Players such as Oppo 983 that has one of the best scalers in the world. When I use this, I would rightly set the scaling OFF on all other units. Similarly if I have an AVR with a good scaler, I would set the scaling parameters correctly to match the TV specs, and set the scaling in the TV off.

Cheers
 
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amol12

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Anmol, No offence meant. But when you drop this kind of articles, ...
I havent dropped this article.
This happens all the time esp. if you have setup HT systems for cable/satellite systems. If you pass-through a signal (meaning no upscale/convert), then you will get the boxed (4:3) image for SD channels (vertical bars to the right/left on a widescreen display). This is because the native resolution of all old programs was down in 4:3 aspect ratio. This is one way to tell if the signal is being upscaled or not.

this is not dependent on the size/resolution etc. of the TV.
what you are confused here is about aspect ratio and resolution.

consider a case where you have a 4:3 aspect ratio content in SD resolution.
Even to display a SD picture of 4x:3x (aspect ratio 4:3) in a HDTV with higher resolution with vertical bands (say a resolution of 4y:3y) upscaling is still required and is done automatically by TV. How else is the TV going to reproduce more pixels than the input?
Boxing/streching are also kind of upscaling - To display content of m x n input in p x q pixels some sort of scaling is required.

I have a similar setup as you describe above. The best way to read this is that "the TV is the ultimate determining factor to display the programming". This means if your AVR/source do upscale to 1080P say but your TV can only handle 1080i/720, then you will get the lower resolution pic.

If the input signal is not upscaled at all, then that is what will be displayed on the TV.

On the other hand if all components can upscale to a common metric, then you will get the upscaled pic.

This is the reason I am amused when I read people buying 1080P capable TVs while watching downloaded movies or standard cable. There is no black magic that will make the input signal look better.

Garbage in-Garbage out! because of this your point (3) is partially true.
Well you didnt get point 3 correctly. All I was stressing upon was that the HDTVs upscale if not fed with its native resolution.

Not right! I sense a fair bit of confusion. Instead of whiplashing the article, put out what you want to understand and I am pretty sure you will get the right answers.

Based on the above, can you tell me what is not right in my statement "Without upscaling to its native resolution, the HDTV cannot display if it is fed with non HD material"?
Also let me reiterate that I havent posted or asked a question about the article. Please reread the thread right from the start to have a better understanding of what I was discussing.
My comments were only a response to venkats denial of the statements "Upscaling is always done by the HDTV. LCDs and plasmas are fixed pixel displays, meaning the panels are made of a fixed number of pixels. " and "This is how the market has coined the terminology, so this is what you will be seeing, regardless of the signal" which are indeed correct and which he has also agreed in his last post.


Amol, my apologies if I have not answered your question before. But I think Marsilians has done that very well indeed.

A simple thing we must all keep in mind. In a HT set up, we have three units:

1. A Source - A DVD Player or a STB
2. An AVR
3. A TV.

Other than the STB (at least current ones in India) all the other units will have some processors that does de-interlacing or scaling. Which one to use is the user's choice. All the units will allow you to set on or off the process of de-interlacing or scaling. That is the reason some of us scramble for DVD Players such as Oppo 983 that has one of the best scalers in the world. When I use this, I would rightly set the scaling OFF on all other units. Similarly if I have an AVR with a good scaler, I would set the scaling parameters correctly to match the TV specs, and set the scaling in the TV off.

Cheers

Venkat no need for apologies as we are all learning here and not all of us know everything.
This post of yours summarizes upscaling very correctly and that is all what I wanted to say - 1. Tv can upscale (though it might not be the best. 2. Which component upscales best depends on the scalers in the components.
 
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marsilians

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what you are confused here is about aspect ratio and resolution.

consider a case where you have a 4:3 aspect ratio content in SD resolution.
Even to display a SD picture of 4x:3x (aspect ratio 4:3) in a HDTV with higher resolution with vertical bands (say a resolution of 4y:3y) upscaling is still required and is done automatically by TV. How else is the TV going to reproduce more pixels than the input?
Boxing/streching are also kind of upscaling - To display content of m x n input in p x q pixels some sort of scaling is required.

No I am not confused here. All I am saying is that you can decide to not upscale the incoming cable signal (480i) and still display on a 720P resolution TV without upscaling. This is why I reference the final picture which is shown (not in any stretched format) but the default 4:3 format at 480i resolution. Just because you set the resolution of TV at 720P does not mean that it upscales every incoming signal. For SD signals, it still displays at a lower resolution like 480P or so at best.

When I lived in the US, I had to set 2 resolutions depending on the signal - one for SD signals and the other for HD. As a second step I stretched the picture (not zoom) to fill the screen. This was not upscaling anywhere close to the 720P.

Well you didnt get point 3 correctly. All I was stressing upon was that the HDTVs upscale if not fed with its native resolution.

Again I reiterate, this is not true. Standard DVDs will probably be shown at 480P even if you set your resolution to 720P. Going by your logic, then it would make sense for eveyone to buy a 1080P TV and be prepared to be get high resolution signal even from cable/satellite due to the auto upscaling. Alas this is not true is it? If you check the signal info, then you will probably see something less than the HD resolution for this.


...And yes I have read the thread from the beginning.
 
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thevortex

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I understand your point conceptually but there is also a truth to getting better value for more money upto certain point. My crappy home office speakers (Teac bookshelves) don't sound the same as my HT speakers in the same environment. (yes I did hook them up initially to my HT system and did A/B comparison).

However as with any purchase, there is a point of diminishing returns with price and thats why its better to like what you are listening to rather than try to fit the music to the components thinking it will sound better.

Mind you, to get quality sound, a number of variables have to line up appropriately - the source quality, transport, listening environment, setup, cables, tuning, and most important of all your mental state. This is a very hard thing to achieve all at once!

All said and done I am only pointing out that it is not necessarily true that spending more on a speaker will get you a better speaker. The 'you' in that sentence is as important as anything else.

I heard a Paradigm speaker - a floorstander - the other day at one of the showrooms here. It costed about 80K with discounts. It shrieked like that winged creature upon which the Riders sat in Lord of the Rings!:)

And this is not an exception. There are many cases where for a given requirement it is best not to overpurchase. Buying a large floorstander for a small room - for example.
 
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amol12

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No I am not confused here. All I am saying is that you can decide to not upscale the incoming cable signal (480i) and still display on a 720P resolution TV without upscaling. This is why I reference the final picture which is shown (not in any stretched format) but the default 4:3 format at 480i resolution. Just because you set the resolution of TV at 720P does not mean that it upscales every incoming signal. For SD signals, it still displays at a lower resolution like 480P or so at best.

When I lived in the US, I had to set 2 resolutions depending on the signal - one for SD signals and the other for HD. As a second step I stretched the picture (not zoom) to fill the screen. This was not upscaling anywhere close to the 720P.

marsilian, when a SD picture (480) is displayed on a HDTV (720) such that it fills the screen, what do you call this process as?
Also note that I am not discussing quality of picture. I am only discussing resolutions.


Again I reiterate, this is not true. Standard DVDs will probably be shown at 480P even if you set your resolution to 720P. Going by your logic, then it would make sense for eveyone to buy a 1080P TV and be prepared to be get high resolution signal even from cable/satellite due to the auto upscaling. Alas this is not true is it? If you check the signal info, then you will probably see something less than the HD resolution for this.


...And yes I have read the thread from the beginning.

The signal info is info about the signal being input to the TV which will be definitely lesser than HD for SD content. If the content spans across the resolution of TV it is because the TV upscaled it to its native resolution. Again please note that i am not talking about quality. The quality may be low than an external upscaler (AV receiver/DVD player).

Also please have a look at an interesting discussion here http://www.avforums.com/forums/integrated-av-amplifiers-receivers/906207-video-upscaling.html
There are other threads on that forum where this has been discussed. I will post a reference as an when I find them.
EDIT: here they are
http://www.avforums.com/forums/inte...71-upscaling-sky-hd-av-receiver-poinless.html
http://www.avforums.com/forums/inte...234-why-you-shouldn-t-pay-upscaling-amps.html
This is a poll http://www.avforums.com/forums/integrated-av-amplifiers-receivers/822744-up-scaling-do-you-use.html - check comments there - posts 8, 13 - people are using TVs scaler over some really hi end AV receivers' scaler.
 
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realactivex

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Folks,
we all agree that fixed pixel displays need some kind of upscaling (to match the native resolution of the display) somewhere in the chain.. If all fails, then the display processor has to do the upscaling.
Upscaling is just a processing logic and there are many ways to achieve that.
The pioneer Kuro has the best upscaler in TVs, and so does the oppo at the source end.
It is important that we dont use all the upscalers in the chain. if you have a dvdplayer->TV set up, and if you have a pioneer kuro for the TV, then no need to buy an upscaling dvd player. just send the signal in the native format and let the tv handle it.
Likewise, if you have an oppo, you dont need a pioneer tv, you can do with any working HD panel to be happy.
COming back to upscaling, some low level upscalers just interpolate the pixels, meaning say you have a 100 by 100 pixels source and a 400 by 400 pixels display, you could upscale to show every four pixels in the display to contain the exact info as each pixel in the source.. This would still qualify as upscaling, but the results would be that it is pretty much like your digital Zoom function. The other way could be predictive interpolation, wherein the upscaler decides what should be shown in the 4 pixels.. and this information per pixel might be vastly different to the info stored inthe source pixel. This is where some upscalers are pleasing to the eye and some are not.
So i agree here with everybody that quality upscalers somewhere in the chain do make a noticeable difference.
Regards
Murali
 
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vidrad

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How can the original poster who has not written the article, be playing a prank? I am just forwarding someone's opinion
I am just a newbie, new to the world of AV, and I highly respect the opinions of people like venkat, moser etc.
There is a lot of mumbo jumbo for people like me, since I dont have the experience of others, I rather read others opinion, and learn a bit hear and there, then unnecessarily post an opinion just for the heck of it.
Also the original article made some sense to me, healthy debating just opens up a forum like this I feel.
Most of the debate in this thread of just concentrated on the upscalling part of it.
As far as upscalling realactiveex makes absolute sense, the rest is im afraid mumbo jumbo to me, but for the rest it just helps others in improving their knowledge base:
"Upscaling is just a processing logic and there are many ways to achieve that.
The pioneer Kuro has the best upscaler in TVs, and so does the oppo at the source end.
It is important that we dont use all the upscalers in the chain. if you have a dvdplayer->TV set up, and if you have a pioneer kuro for the TV, then no need to buy an upscaling dvd player. just send the signal in the native format and let the tv handle it.
Likewise, if you have an oppo, you dont need a pioneer tv, you can do with any working HD panel to be happy."

Nobody has discussed things like cabling, and in my opinion expensive cables from people like monster etc. is just a rip off, playing on people sensibilities for presumed better quality.
I also feel if you have the money, then spend on a great home theatre / audio system, however I hate to believe the fact with a little or quite a bit lesser, you cant get an equivalently good system with really no noticeable difference. This I guess is the premise of the article.
Debate on :)



Hi Guys,
I think this is a prank:D
The OP is nowhere to be seen. Don't waste your time. We all know better :)
 
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moserw

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To start off... I don't have a Full HD TV, only a HD Ready TV in the Panasonic PV8, but I will be the first to admit that there is a world of difference when the same content is played on my Philips "budget" DVDP and an Oppo 983 that I borrowed from a friend to test on the PV8 (meaning the very 1st point made in the article goes for a toss, the Oppo does make a world of difference in upscaling SD content and obviously the reviewer has not seen an Oppo in action, much more likely not even heard of one).

I also have my doubts about "online reviewers/journos". Not everyone really knows what they are writing about and quite a few are even "paid reviews" i.e. a company pays for a good writeup/good review of a product. Finally, it needs to satisfy your eyes and your ears above all else since you will be paying/using the product so go with your convictions above all else. I say this from "personal experience". For all the reviews I have come across online that DTS and Dolby Digital are the same blah, blah we all know (at least I know IMHO) that DTS is better than Dolby and again in the case of LCD is better than Plasma, Plasma is better than LCD (again IMHO) Plasma absolutely kicks LCD ass all over for anything over 40", yet I can show so many reviews which will say LCD is better, Dolby is better. Funnily after reading so many online reviews about LCD is better, why LCD is better, etc. I was a staunch supporter of LCD over Plasma (even aruguing with my friends), but I ended up eating my own words/humble pie after doing numerous side-by-side comparisons where Plasma absolutely beat LCD in everything I threw at it like cable, DTH, DVD, Divx, etc. Only in the case of HD content via a HDMI cable was an LCD able to hold its own. Every other scenario the Plasma triumped... (hopefully not offending the LCD brigade here). So what I mean is... don't believe everything you read online!!!
 
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vidrad

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But for newbies, you got to believe in somebody, you need trusted sources to believe in to some extent, and hope they are not being paid to push a product.
If it was not for all these helpful debates, I would be now watching a Sony 40V Lcd, or a LG scarlet, but I finally bought a Plasma (Panasonic PV80), a total turnaround, like you mentioned. It was the positive reviews from so many people that made me take that plunge. And to say the least I am grateful to all those people, because the product is fantastic and true VFM.
A lot of us also would like to know about AV, but not necessarily become experts, and I guess it anyway takes years to know a fair bit.
We need to base are purchasing decision based on these forums (better then taking help from pushy salesman in storefronts, who have targets to achieve).
The article posted just had someones opinion, in simple language, low on jargon. I did not see the author pushing any products there, or trashing some product.
I guess it would be great if we could have a poll system in the forum, with different threads for different product types, where say 5 plasma tv's of a certain price range are pitted against each other and are polled on, and so on.Best, prices could also be mentioned.
This would be great for quite a few of us.
 
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