Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

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Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:59 pm

When you purchase a recent Blue-ray converter, you typically get varying levels of quality DVD up-conversion to Hi-Def. I have been looking at the Marantz players which reportedly have very good up-scaling.

Anyhow I have been hoping to make my old PC into a home-theater PC, and was wondering if Blue-Ray drives plus OS or anything on a PC also provides that level of performance (if at all)

Before I drop the buck in separates, I just want to know what I may be missing if anything.

-Mark
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:12 pm

If you're interested in DVD upscaling, there are numerous ways to do that well on the PC. None of them are dependent on having a Blu-ray drive in the PC. On the other hand, playing back blu-ray on the PC opens up several ways for things to go wrong at the same approximate cost as a standalone player that does just as well. Blu-ray on the PC is nice for when you want to do more than just play back movies (or if it's on a laptop that gives you mobility).

At some point, DVD is DVD, whether your player, receiver, or display upscales it. If your display doesn't do an acceptable job of upscaling and you don't have a receiver that does an acceptable job of upscaling, then maybe worry about how well your source does it. You only need one component in the chain that does an acceptable job, and if you really want the better picture you're going to watch Blu-ray whenever available.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:20 pm

you need a good videocard for performance, and powerdvd for the features.
powerdvd supports blu-ray hardware acceleration, and DVD up-scaling.
ati's cards can acclerate both of those features.
Nvidia requires separate software for accelerated DVD up-scaling (afaik), however powerdvd can still do it in on the cpu.

usually when you buy a PC blu-ray drive, you'll get powerdvd bundled with it.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:23 pm

PowerDVD and WinDVD 9 both offer upscaling
http://www.cyberlink.com/products/power ... en_US.html

Also the PS3 is renowned as a excellent upscaler if you want to go that route.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:41 pm

the system should generally do some level of default upscaling.
the newer tech video cards do a nice job of cleaning up videos with the newer techs involved, mostly based off what the video player can spit out though as far as the computer is powerful enough to make it so.
those programs you have to buy can do it, but free stuff like media player classic and vlc(dont know about vlc with vid acceleration tho, i prefer mpc) and whatever other programs allow playback should also handle just as well as powerdvd/windvd stuff.
generally dvds look really nice playing back on media player classic @ 1680x1050,
it just depends on the dvds, some dont look so well, like finding nemo didnt look as well as it should have or what i was expecting to see,
while something like 28 days later looked a ton better by comparison
probably drinking some tea.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:33 am

EVERY player does upscaling. If you can get a DVD to play fullscreen on an HDTV you are upscaling the DVD to fit the display.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:04 am

Well, there are varying degrees of up-scaling quality. Progressive to progressive up-scaling is cake for most systems. The up-scaling I am mostly concerned with is when you go from interleaved to progressive where different processing techniques have a large impact on quality. There are apparently quite a few different ways to accomplish this, few do it well. You need a lot of processing to not only interpolate in the X/Y direction, but also in the time direction.

Then the processing to eliminate or reduce compression artifacts is a biggie as well. Good chip-sets can take a lousy over-compressed recording and make it pretty darned impressive again. The question is if the brains will be in the player, receiver, or the TV. IMHO it should always be in the TV so it may be applied in the same way to all sources, but apparently you have to get into some high-end TVs to get access to the good chip-sets.

Anyhow, it has been a long time since I have dabbled into home theater, so a lot has changed. The best part is the receivers have gotten pretty damned impressive. Gone are the days of buying a rack of amplifiers and a preamp. Get it all in one, and it is so close to separates in quality it doesn't matter. Looking at Pioneer Elites for this purpose.

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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:39 am

SpotTheCat wrote:EVERY player does upscaling. If you can get a DVD to play fullscreen on an HDTV you are upscaling the DVD to fit the display.

This is not a useful post. Upscaling implies some sort of image clean-up on the part of the DVD player. That doesn't happen if your progressive-scan DVD player puts out a 480p signal to the TV and the TV just blows up the picture to fit the screen. Or worse yet, you've got an older/non-progressive DVD player that outputs over S-video or something, and now you've got a 480i image that has to be stretched to fit.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:42 am

liquidsquid wrote:Well, there are varying degrees of up-scaling quality. Progressive to progressive up-scaling is cake for most systems. The up-scaling I am mostly concerned with is when you go from interleaved to progressive where different processing techniques have a large impact on quality. There are apparently quite a few different ways to accomplish this, few do it well. You need a lot of processing to not only interpolate in the X/Y direction, but also in the time direction.
DVD movies are stored at 480i/60. Through 3:2 pulldown, they deinterlace to a 480p/24 image, IIRC. Even the cheapest player can properly deinterlace DVD movies if they are flagged correctly, with zero loss in quality. Then the upscaler takes over. So, with DVD movies, it's always a progressive to progressive upconversion.

liquidsquid wrote:Then the processing to eliminate or reduce compression artifacts is a biggie as well.
With digital noise reduction, which results in an overall softening of the image/loss of high frequency detail, waxy facial features, and smearing of fast motion.

liquidsquid wrote:Good chip-sets can take a lousy over-compressed recording and make it pretty darned impressive again.
No video processor in the world can add real detail or depth back into a lossy compressed video. At some point you are just shining a turd. A turd with 6 times less resolution, a ton more compression, and a bit less color depth than a true HD source.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:45 am

derFunkenstein wrote:Upscaling implies some sort of image clean-up on the part of the DVD player.
What do you mean by 'cleanup'? Strictly speaking, upscaling only implies a conversion from lower resolution to a higher resolution.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:15 am

Vrock wrote:
liquidsquid wrote:Good chip-sets can take a lousy over-compressed recording and make it pretty darned impressive again.
No video processor in the world can add real detail or depth back into a lossy compressed video. At some point you are just shining a turd. A turd with 6 times less resolution, a ton more compression, and a bit less color depth than a true HD source.


But shiny smooth turds, while they still smell, ARE better to look at than a sharp, square one (ouch!). Think: Old family movies, bad rips of TV shows, You-Tube videos, etc. Some of the processing engines truly are amazing in what they can pull out of a turd. While you cannot add more detail to a single frame, you can intelligently "stack" frames to extract a bit more data. I have seen some demos from chip vendors that simply knock your socks off when you do a side-by-side, though I cannot find a product that actually uses one of these chip-sets (I am under NDA, sorry).
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:12 pm

Vrock wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:Upscaling implies some sort of image clean-up on the part of the DVD player.
What do you mean by 'cleanup'? Strictly speaking, upscaling only implies a conversion from lower resolution to a higher resolution.

It has to do something with the neighboring pixels in the interim, though. By "cleanup" I mean that it has to figure out what color each pixel needs to be.

And still, not all DVD players upscale, so the post I replied to was still not useful.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:23 pm

liquidsquid wrote:
Vrock wrote:
liquidsquid wrote:Good chip-sets can take a lousy over-compressed recording and make it pretty darned impressive again.
No video processor in the world can add real detail or depth back into a lossy compressed video. At some point you are just shining a turd. A turd with 6 times less resolution, a ton more compression, and a bit less color depth than a true HD source.


But shiny smooth turds, while they still smell, ARE better to look at than a sharp, square one (ouch!). Think: Old family movies, bad rips of TV shows, You-Tube videos, etc. Some of the processing engines truly are amazing in what they can pull out of a turd. While you cannot add more detail to a single frame, you can intelligently "stack" frames to extract a bit more data. I have seen some demos from chip vendors that simply knock your socks off when you do a side-by-side, though I cannot find a product that actually uses one of these chip-sets (I am under NDA, sorry).
I'm opposed to DNR of any kind, because all the kinds I've ever seen take picture information away along with the noise. If you're saying there's something new out there that doesn't do that, well, I'd love to see it.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:26 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:It has to do something with the neighboring pixels in the interim, though. By "cleanup" I mean that it has to figure out what color each pixel needs to be.
I thought you were talking about something else video-processor wise, okay.

derFunkenstein wrote:And still, not all DVD players upscale, so the post I replied to was still not useful.
Yeah that's true too.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:30 pm

cleanup was probably too strong of a word, but I was thinking some sort of filter would have to be applied to the image to stretch it out. Maybe not.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:53 pm

when I hear dvd upscaling on the PC, I think of resolution increasing algorithms.
http://www.techreport.com/articles.x/16617
http://www.tgdaily.com/slideshows/index ... 904012&p=1
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/ ... html#sect0

Should be higher quality than just stretching a video to fit the screen.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:44 pm

Yes, that's it. Multiple frames of data are processed to increase "apparent" resolution and color.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:00 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
SpotTheCat wrote:EVERY player does upscaling. If you can get a DVD to play fullscreen on an HDTV you are upscaling the DVD to fit the display.

This is not a useful post. Upscaling implies some sort of image clean-up on the part of the DVD player. That doesn't happen if your progressive-scan DVD player puts out a 480p signal to the TV and the TV just blows up the picture to fit the screen. Or worse yet, you've got an older/non-progressive DVD player that outputs over S-video or something, and now you've got a 480i image that has to be stretched to fit.


I have to respectfully disagree with this. "Upscaling" is largely a marketing term. Granted, quality varies from device to device. Anywhere from basic nearest neighbor scaling to as much filtering and enhancing as one can have. While they may vary in output they are all technically "upscaling".
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:47 pm

I would say my post is more than useful. Upscaling is upscaling. Somebody who would really care and spend the money to get marginally (at best!) better upscaling should just spend the money to get better source material.

In my experience, keeping the image as true to the source looks the best in practice. I suppose things like cartoons look great when done properly, because of how easy it is to make up accurate information when everything is the right color. Often the fancy upscalers remove jaggies but soften the picture and reduce contrast as compared to the source. Too much post-processing is fugly.

Mr. Nyquist would agree with me.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:03 pm

Vrock wrote:DVD movies are stored at 480i/60. Through 3:2 pulldown, they deinterlace to a 480p/24 image, IIRC.


While slightly off topic this is not true most of the time. DVD video is produced using one of two methods. The video can either hard or soft telecined. Hard telecined video is compressed interlaced and the interlaced fields are flagged progressive or interlaced for better reverse telecine. Although some videos are badly flagged or completely lack flagging.

Most DVD video, however, is soft telecined. Meaning that the real compressed video rate is 23.976fps (480p24) and flags are inserted as filler frames to tell the player to repeat the previous frame during playback to produce the needed interlace 29.97fps (480i60) video.

Both methods are visibly indistinguishable on a 480i60 TV. The only difference being that a lesser compression can be used on soft telecined video since the filler frames aren't also compressed but are dynamically produced during playback.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:59 pm

My PS3 natively upscales DVD to 1080p, but the best quality upscaling I've seen is from an OPPO player.
http://www.oppodigital.com/
And yes, upscaling can vary quite widely in quality depending on the algorithm used. There are many I've seen that add artifacts galore and make the picture look like a psychedelic painting.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:52 am

Taddeusz wrote:
Vrock wrote:DVD movies are stored at 480i/60. Through 3:2 pulldown, they deinterlace to a 480p/24 image, IIRC.


While slightly off topic this is not true most of the time. DVD video is produced using one of two methods. The video can either hard or soft telecined. Hard telecined video is compressed interlaced and the interlaced fields are flagged progressive or interlaced for better reverse telecine. Although some videos are badly flagged or completely lack flagging.
My understanding was that DVD movies are always stored at 480i/60. Is this not the case? I'd be interested in reading anything you can tell me about it.
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Re: Blue-Ray DVD upscaling?

Postposted on Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:11 pm

Vrock wrote:My understanding was that DVD movies are always stored at 480i/60. Is this not the case? I'd be interested in reading anything you can tell me about it.


Technically this is true but with the previously mentioned caveats. The upside is that when you have a soft telecined video you can strip it of the field repeat flags in order to to create a 23.976fps video.

Here's a quick description of it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecine#DVDs
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