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What’s the Difference Between DVD Upscaling and Blu-Ray?
With the advent and popularity of HDTVs over the past decade, there have been many developments for gamers trying to adapt and utilize the high resolution offered by HDTV. One of these developments was the “scaling” capabilities of the standard DVD player, which allowed the DVD player to work much better with HDTV and produce a higher quality picture.
But now that Blu-ray players are on the scene, how effective are these “upscaling” DVD players? Some may be confused as to what to buy and which device is the best? What is the difference between upscaling a standard DVD and a Blu-ray?
The answer comes down to output resolution.
The standard everyday DVD player that you can find in most homes has an output video resolution of 480i (720×480), unscaled of course. A progressive scan DVD player can produce an output video resolution of 480p (720×480).
Most HDTVs have the ability to display video resolution up to 720p (1280×720) – 1080p (1920×1080). (Remember, 1080p is the highest video resolution.) So you can clearly see that by just using a standard DVD player, you won’t get the full benefit of your HDTV. What the DVD scaling function does is mathematically format the number of pixels from the output to the DVD signal to the number of pixels on a high definition television. The resulting effects produce a superior picture display better suited to your HDTV.
But while the upscaling method does a pretty good job of upscaling the pixel output of a DVD to match the pixel display resolution of the HDTV, it can’t upscale standard DVD images to real high definition. What DVD upscaling mainly accomplishes is to smooth the edges of the images, but it doesn’t add extra detail to them.
A few points to remember:
* 480i: 720 pixels per line which has 480 horizontal lines displayed alternately. In other words Interlaced scan where all odd lines are displayed, then followed by all even lines.
* 480p: 720 pixels per line which has 480 horizontal lines which uses progressive scan each line displayed after the other. Progressive scan is best because it produces smoother video that has a clearer picture, especially with fast moving scenes.
* 720p: 1280 pixels per line which has 720 horizontal lines – displayed in progressive scan – each line displayed following another. (720 high definition TV)
* 1080i: 1920 pixels per line which has 1080 horizontal lines – displayed alternately. Interlaced scan – all odd lines are displayed, followed by all even lines. (1080i HDTV)
* 1080p: 1920 pixels per line which has 1080 horizontal lines – displayed progressively. Progressive scan – each line displayed following another. (1080p HDTV/Blu-ray Disc)
In conclusion, you can only get high definition images by using Blu-ray player and Blu-ray disc. An enhanced DVD will look slightly bland and soft compared to a Blu-ray player. When it comes to colors such as reds and blues, the difference is very noticeable. DVD upscaling tends to knock out details, whereas in a Blu-ray player those details are very crisp and clear. DVD upscaling produces a very good similarity to the high definition experience, but to really get the best high definition experience you need to have a Blu-ray player (with a Blu-ray disc) connected to your HDTV via a HDMI cable.
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