Watch Enhanced DVD in HD Quality!
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Is this possible? With all the HD DVD and Blu Ray disk hype, the quality and improvements in todays DVD are being swept under the rug. I have been into HDTV since it's conception, and bought the HD DVD player when it came out, had 3 of them. What amazed me more than the actual HD DVD (I knew what HD looked like) was how much regular DVD had improved. I had the first generation up converters, they never made DVD look HD, so I never really watched SD DVD in past 6 years. Since I really wanted to see Rocky Balboa, I had no choice but to buy the SD DVD version, to my surprise, I could not believe the HD quality contained in the disk.
It is true that upconversion is a hard almost impossible task, if you're watching ESPN classic in 480i 4.3, the dynamics of that feed is of a standard definition element, so you can never get it to look like the Sunday afternoon game in 16.9 HD. The secret in geting a DVD to look HD is mainly in the down conversion, not up-conversion. The former generation DVDs were made with standard definition dynamics, they were made in a 4.3 ratio, and were not transferred in high definition. But most of todays DVDs are created in the high definition ratio of 16.9, and most of all they are transferred from a high definition format, it's dynamics are derived from a high definition source, not standard definition.
I thought you couldn't fully up-convert to HD?
The secret is that it is really down conversion rather than up conversion.
To better explain what I am talking about, try this. Put on a standard definition channel, say MSNBC, then go to a HD feed like Discovery HD Theatre. Next, put your HD box in 480i, (standard definition) and then ask yourself, does that look like the standard MSNBC feed I had just seen? Go back to MSNBC and see for yourself, Discovery HD Theatre still looks HDQ, not as good in 480i, but it is still very robust and more detailed than any standard definition channel. Why is that? This is because Discovery HD Theatre is high definition by it elements, the high definition signal is very robust, so you can never fully downconvert it to the old standard definition quality we had for many years before the advent of HD. The same way you could never convert SD to full HD, you could never really convert HD to SD. So what is really happening is that since the DVD is mastered from HD elements, it is down converted to the DVD from those HD elements, not up converting standard definition elements. The same way you down converted Discovery HD theatre to 480i is what is happening to the DVD that was transferred from HD elements. Now imagine converting that back up to 720p with the player! Looks totally different than trying to up convert a standard definition 4.3 channel to HD quality or an old 4.3 DVD, it doesn't work because it is standard definition from its conceptiion, it was never HD from the start.
Enhanced definition disks with amazing picture quality!
Here are just a few examples!
- Ghost Whisperer
- The Greatest Game Ever Played.
- Facing The Giants
- Ring Around The Rosie
- The Dark
- The Messengers
I had an up-converting DVD player, it didn't make DVD look HD?
Many things have happened since the time our first generation DVD's and up converters came out. As said above, most of todays DVDs are mastered from high definition elements. Todays Anamorphic DVD. The next big factor was the advent of the fixed pixel display, the fixed pixel display processes the signal and provides the extra pixels that the DVD needs to make the trip to 720p. The HDMI cable is a better connection than the previous ones & it handles and converts the DVD signal to HD quality. There is also the 768p resolution set. This type of monitor will display the DVD conversion better, because the disk ends up displaying close to one million pixels, a conversion to 1080 is an attempt to convert to two million pixels, it is asking for too much of a conversion.
Isn't 1080 better than 720p?
No, not necessarily, many side by side tests have confirmed no differences in comparing 720p to 1080p. This has to do with the maximum resolution capability of the human eye.
"at the average viewing distance, with the average size of consumer HDTV sets, the human eye would not actually be able to perceive the difference in resolution between 720p and 1080p. This is because the 720p image "saturates" the perceivable resolution of the eye at this distance"
"The good news is that amongst the 1080p sets they used (the 47-inch Westinghouse and the 50-inch Pioneer) the level of detail was "virtually identical." However, when they compared the image to sets with lower resolutions, they noticed it was harder to pick up on the differences in detail. Overall, they concluded it would be "practically impossible" to tell the difference between the image on a 1080p vs a 1080i or 720p. "
There was also a blind side by test with the same Blu Ray Disk movie on two Samsung 46 inch monitors, one a 1080p, the other 768p, although it is in another language, you can see nothing obvious jumped out the viewers, as some chose the 768p set and others chose the 1080p one.
How do I do it?
First, make sure you have a fixed pixel flat panel 768p monitor that has a good internal scalier, like Sony or Toshiba.
Get a good up converting DVD player, like Sony. For great results I use the Toshiba XA2.
Get a good quality HDMI cable.
Make sure the DVD is a post 2004 widescreen anamorphic DVD.
It may say one of the following on the box, "Mastered In High Definition" Enhanced for 16.9 TVs, widescreen 1.85.1 or 1.78.1, 2.35.1 or 2.40.1.
Set the DVD player to output in either 720p or 1080p (avoid interlaced formats). The monitors internal scalier will also convert and clean up the image a second time for it's display in 768p.
Using the above set up, the picture quality will amaze you, and you may find many of your friends and family members asking you if that is HD DVD or Blu Ray?
Enjoy your DVD's in HD quality. Toshiba's new Super 960p Upconverter will bring DVD into the limelight of High Definition!
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Note... if your 768p monitor is not designed to process the 1080p signal, put your DVD player in 720p. Easy way to find out is to put your DVD player in 1080p, then with your TV'S remote press display (not cable or Sat remote) but the remote that came with the TV. If it reads 1080p then your set is processing 1080p, if it reads 1080i, than your set is not one of the newer sets and automatically breaks down 1080p to 1080i. If you see 1080i when clicking display put the DVD player in 720p. Avoid interlace signals.