Published On: October 9, 2013

Video Up-conversion

Published On: October 9, 2013

Video Up-conversion

Video up-conversion uses a computer processor to scale an image up to higher resolutions. Several different kinds of components have been developed for the process, be they stand alone units or source components that have the technology integrated

Crestron_HD-SCALER_Video_scaler.gifVideo up-conversion is the science of using a computer or processor to add resolution to a video signal. The first efforts in this space were made popular by the Faroudja LD-100 line doubler, which was an analog video processor that could de-interlace 480i NTSC video scan lines to offer consumers their first look at progressive video. The effect at the time – the early 1990s – was quite impressive, as was the cost.

With the advent of HDTVs, upconverting, also called “scaling” was a requirement instead of a luxury. To display a standard definition signal (480i or 480p) on a 720p or 1080p TV, the image needs to be scaled to fit the screen. How well the scaler does this is a major factor in the performance difference between different AV products.

Internal video processors that scale and deinterlace are inside DVD and Blu-ray players and even receivers and AV preamps. All HDTVs and projectors have internal scalers/deinterlacers as well. Some companies, like Anchor Bay, still make external video processors.

Converting 1080i (what you’d get from your cable/satellite box) to 1080p is not technically upconversion, but de-interlacing.

It is important to note that some purveyors of video up-conversion claim it can turn a standard-definition image (480i) into a perfect 1080p video signal. However, an unconverted image is not the same as a real, native HD signal. No upconverted image will look as good as a Blu-ray.

Check out reviews of Blu-ray players, all of which upconvert DVDs.

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