Opinion sought on SD upscaling

tsummerall

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 4, 2008
45
0
Hey folks:

I'm this close to upgrading my whole Dish-based home thater system to HD. (If Dish announces Comedy Central HD I'm there.)

My only concern is that we still watch a lot of SD channels that aren't HD yet. How is the upscaling of such channels? Will I perceive it as actually worse than the Sony trinitron SD TV I have now because suddenly the image will have digital scaling artifacts in addition to the compression artifacts? Or is it simply not an issue anymore? (I work in computer graphics, so badly scaled text, for example, is super distracting to me.)

What's your advice on how to minimize image degradation? Should the Dish DVR be doing the scaling, my new HDTV (whichever I get), the home theter receiver?

Any and all opinions or links will be greatly appreciated!
 

KAB

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 20, 2005
20,633
3,974
Fishers, IN
Most everything depends on your HDTV, some are better at up scaling than others. I would do some searching on brands/models that upscale SD the best. Keep in mind, if you let the TV do it, you will have to re-set the resolution on the Dish HD receiver each time you watch an SD channel. In the long run, it will boil down to experimentation.
 

tsummerall

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 4, 2008
45
0
Anyone else care to comment on just how bad SD from dish network looks when scaled up on an HD monitor?
 

Carl B

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Dec 13, 2003
920
0
Arvada, CO
The Dish HD receivers give you a choice of settings, either 720p or 1080i. TTBOMK, they do a pretty good job with everything coming out at 1080i and a mediocre job with everything coming out at 720p. For the SD channels off those receivers, you get what you get (seems sharper at 1080i setting) and it is up to your HDTV to provide good PQ on the display.

Not all HDTVs are equal in PQ from an SD source. Check the Consumer Reports ratings in their December issue. They include PQ ratings from 480p and 480i sources. Samsung LCD HDTVs usually do quite well in these ratings. I bought CR's top rated 32" Samsung LCD HDTV last XMas and I am very pleased with the display of SD content, whether from my Dish ViP222 receiver or from the TV's digital tuner. To me it looks every bit as sharp as the SD content on the 27" Sony Trinitron it replaced.

Bottom line, buy the right HDTV and you won't have much issue with SD source PQ and you won't be wasting a lot of money on other electronics and cabling.
 

Pepper

DVR Addict~Mad Scientist
Supporting Founder
Mar 16, 2004
8,191
1,058
Satsuma, AL
With a Dish HD receiver, you don't have an SD source into the TV. It's already upconverted to 720p or 1080i.

Of course, you can also run S-video cable and swap the TV inputs when watching SD, if your TV upconverts better than the dish box.
 

8bitbytes

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
3,239
0
NoVA
With a Dish HD receiver, you don't have an SD source into the TV. It's already upconverted to 720p or 1080i.

Of course, you can also run S-video cable and swap the TV inputs when watching SD, if your TV upconverts better than the dish box.

Sorry, no. There is also a 480p and 480i selection.

Regardless, the SD channels even upconverted by a setting of 720p or 1080i look less than acceptable without some video processing except on a few rare channels.
 

Pepper

DVR Addict~Mad Scientist
Supporting Founder
Mar 16, 2004
8,191
1,058
Satsuma, AL
Yes, I knew about 480p and 480i, neither of which would be used for viewing HD content on an HD television.

Those modes are available, as are the SD-only outputs on the box. Using one requires a configuration change on the box, using the other requires switching the TV's input, every time you switch from watching HD to watching SD.

Maybe my TV is a piece of junk, maybe my eyes are bad, but most SD channels look just fine to me, upconverted to 1080i by my dish receiver. The actual HD channels look much better, obviously.
 

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