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Video escalation - Does it really work?

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rendu's picture
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Joined: 10 Sep 2008
Posts: 363

Hello, this year I moved to a modern AVR which has video escalation to 1080p which is supposed to improve low quality files.  I am using the AVR with the PS3 and I watch a lot of low quality file files which are in .AVI format most of the time.  I am using a projector, therefore the artifacts become much more visible.  The result that I get most of the times is pretty bad, so I do not know whether this function does anything at all.

I have switched on the escalation in the AVR settings however, I do not find any difference or better said improvement at all, on the contrary, I even think that the files look even worse than when they did not go through the AVR and went directly from the PS3 to the projector.

Could I be doing something wrong?  Is it possible that the PS3 is already escalating the files to 1080p therefore when they get to the AVR, the AVR does not do anything.  How should I set both up correctly in order to get the best results?

Many thanks,

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Joined: 17 Aug 2009
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RE: Video escalation - Does it really work?

What you describe as "escalation" is more commonly referred to as "upscaling." I presume your projector will also upscale lower resolution sources. If so, all three devices you mention are capable of upscaling to 1080p. The question is, which does the best job? 

There's no hard and fast rule to this and you'll only know by experimenting. If you set your PS3 to output 1080p, it will upscale lower resolution sources. If you turn off your receiver's additional processing (i.e. set it to pass through), you'll be able to see how good a job the PS3 does with upscaling compared with your other system components. 

Then set the DVD/BD Upscaler option to "off" in the PS3's system menu. Set the Denon to upscale to 1080p and again see what you think of the results.

Finally, leave any upscaling options off on the PS3 and AVR to see how your projector copes. Pick the option that works best to your eyes.

One last thing, while the PS3 is an excellent all in one machine and does a very decent job of upscaling, a mid-to-high end Blu-ray player such as an Oppo, Denon or Marantz will beat if with lower resolution sources. If you're using a projector, you'd benefit from upgrading the PS3 as a source.

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rendu's picture
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RE: Video escalation - Does it really work?

Thanks for the tips, I need to find out where the PS3 settings are and see if that makes any difference. Maybe by switching off the PS3 upscaler, the AVR will do a better job.  My projector is a very basic one so, I am pretty sure that it does not do upscalling.  I am sure that there are better sources than the PS3 but at this moment I am not planning to upgrade.  Maybe some time in the future...

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drichardb's picture
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RE: Video escalation - Does it really work?

If the files your viewing are lower than say 640*480 resolution the lack of information in the file is going to make it that much harder for any upscaler to do its work and no amount of playing with settings is going to fix that problem doh!

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RE: Video escalation - Does it really work?

Yep, there's no getting around that fact that low resolution images won't look stellar blown up on a large screen, no matter how sophisticated the playback equipment.

I'm afraid you'll just have to deal with that. It should be possible to make DVDs look perfectly acceptable on a resonably large projector screen, though.

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bigboss's picture
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Joined: 25 Mar 2009
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RE: Video escalation - Does it really work?

The purpose of video upscaling is to fill the screen and not improve quality. Some are better upscalers than others. If, theoretically, you turn all upscaling off, you'll only get a letterboxed (small) picture in the middle of the screen.

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