PS3 and it's hardware scaler - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mmukalian View Post

Another thought (again, my opinion, not factual) is that the usage of a scaler to scale an image from its native resolution to another is not considered "True HD", given that it had to be scaled to that. Combine this with the fact that Sony's been trying to push the whole "True HD" thing, it does kinda make sense to have them not include access to the scaler to force developers to write games for native resolutions.

Again, an opinion.

Not really an opinion, more like conjecture. But I think that your conjecture could be right, which is my opinion.
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post #62 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by oldbucsfan View Post

Not really an opinion, more like conjecture. But I think that your conjecture could be right, which is my opinion.

hehe, humorous...in my opinion

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post #63 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by freestyle View Post

^^
Yeah, that's what I was trying to say here . Don't know if it is true or not.

This is what I had been thinking was possible as well. I think all of the complaints from developers and some consumers may be pushing them to enable use of the scalar.

I think the scalar could also be used to reduce the amount of lag that HDTVs create when scaling or deinterlacing signals to their native resolution. For instance, a 720P game scaled to 1080P by the PS3 may have less lag on my 1080P HDTV than having the PS3 output 720P and allowing the TV to upscale.
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post #64 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 01:13 PM
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Doesn't effect me either way. I just hope it fixes this for those who got the PS3 and can't enjoy it the way they should be able to.
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post #65 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by freestyle View Post

Darknight... you're confusing me... Isn't the article saying that the new SDK acknowledges the scaler and reveals a method for horizontal scaling?

What is the question about the validity? It seems to be saying what you are saying... Or am I not understanding?

What I'm saying is, there is some inconsistant information with what I know from firsthand. For starters, before the launch of the PS3, you could access the hardware scaler in the SDK. You just were not allowed to use it because your game would not meet approval if you did. Also it makes it sound like developers were not aware of the scaler which is untrue because there was specific documentation stating not to use it. So there's some inconsistant info on what was said in the article to what really happened. I have not checked recently if there has been a change to the information on the scaler, but this is not new news to the PS3 dev community.
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post #66 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Darknight View Post

What I'm saying is, there is some inconsistant information with what I know from firsthand. For starters, before the launch of the PS3, you could access the hardware scaler in the SDK. You just were not allowed to use it because your game would not meet approval if you did. Also it makes it sound like developers were not aware of the scaler which is untrue because there was specific documentation stating not to use it. So there's some inconsistant info on what was said in the article to what really happened. I have not checked recently if there has been a change to the information on the scaler, but this is not new news to the PS3 dev community.


Darknight!

What game are you developing for the PS3?

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post #67 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Tripjammer View Post

Darknight!

What game are you developing for the PS3?

I'm 100% sure that he is not allowed to say. He is representing himself on this forum and not his company.
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post #68 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Krevnik View Post

When rendering in this 960x1080 mode, you can get near-1080p visual quality, at 720p cost. The key to this is that the human eye doesn't mind horizontal stretching nearly as much as vertical stretching when it comes to pixel shape......
Not a bad solution for getting around the RAM limitations, if vertical scaling isn't possible/ready yet.

1280x720 scaled to 1920x1080 (horizontal and vertical upscaling)
960x1080 scaled to 1920x1080 (horizontal upscaling only)

I find it challenging to do horz-only upscaling from the game layout point of view. That resolution is beyond any aspect-ratio we used to. Games are probably more 1280x720 resolution optimized, but now left-side and right-side is clipped quite much.

Does this indicate PS3 splitmemory 256MB+256MB has a serious penalty. Game may have 1280x720 back buffer, another 720p backbuffer, upscaled 1920x1080 frame buffer. Memory issue is a challenge indeed. Sony engineers must think few more tricks to allow both horz and vert upscaling. After all, going from native 720p to 1080p upscaled buffer is good for aspects and image quality.
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post #69 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg T View Post

If they want my $59 for Motorstorm US, they'll get this ready before it's release. So, far PS3 is just a BD player and GTHD player for me.

I agree about Motorstorm and all other games for that matter. Currently, I use my PS3 the exact same way.
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post #70 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by murmur001 View Post

1280x720 scaled to 1920x1080 (horizontal and vertical upscaling)
960x1080 scaled to 1920x1080 (horizontal upscaling only)

I find it challenging to do horz-only upscaling from the game layout point of view. That resolution is beyond any aspect-ratio we used to. Games are probably more 1280x720 resolution optimized, but now left-side and right-side is clipped quite much.

Does this indicate PS3 splitmemory 256MB+256MB has a serious penalty. Game may have 1280x720 back buffer, another 720p backbuffer, upscaled 1920x1080 frame buffer. Memory issue is a challenge indeed. Sony engineers must think few more tricks to allow both horz and vert upscaling. After all, going from native 720p to 1080p upscaled buffer is good for aspects and image quality.

They say 960x1080 scaled to 1920x1080 will look better than
1280x720 scaled to 1920x1080, while not costing more.
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post #71 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Dralt View Post

They say 960x1080 scaled to 1920x1080 will look better than
1280x720 scaled to 1920x1080, while not costing more.


In order to benefit from the scaling, games will have to be designed to support 960x1080, which will be a performance hit compared to 720P. Logically, 960x1080 scaled should look better but we will have to see how well it is scaled.

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post #72 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dralt View Post

They say 960x1080 scaled to 1920x1080 will look better than
1280x720 scaled to 1920x1080, while not costing more.

It may look better, but it will be a significant effort for the developers. Not to mention that you will now need two different copies of models and textures and prerendered cutscenes. One set that is designed to be stretched horizontally and one for native 720p aspect ratios.
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post #73 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 03:19 PM
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I just saw the article. While I'm happy at the prospect of the PS3 not being so crippled as far as scaling is concerned compared to the other console, I don't like being a beta tester for a console that is clearly not finished.

Hopefully the devs will get full scaler support/permission soon.
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post #74 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by epsilon72 View Post

I just saw the article. While I'm happy at the prospect of the PS3 not being so crippled as far as scaling is concerned compared to the other console, I don't like being a beta tester for a console that is clearly not finished.

Hopefully the devs will get full scaler support/permission soon.


Dude if you did not want to be a beta tester then you would not have bought the PS3 when it came out...or a Wii or Xbox 360 for that matter....

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post #75 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by PridgNYC View Post

It may look better, but it will be a significant effort for the developers. Not to mention that you will now need two different copies of models and textures and prerendered cutscenes. One set that is designed to be stretched horizontally and one for native 720p aspect ratios.


Yep but they will come out with both horizonal and vertical scaling by March, in the March SDK...hopefully....but as long as they get all this worked out soon, we will be good.

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post #76 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Jetrii View Post

In order to benefit from the scaling, games will have to be designed to support 960x1080, which will be a performance hit compared to 720P. Logically, 960x1080 scaled should look better but we will have to see how well it is scaled.

Again, I'm rephrasing what Sony says. They say PS3 can handle 960x1080 and 720x1080 with little difference in performance, i.e. no performance hit.

True or not, I don't know. I am not expressing an opinion. I just try to make sense out of their claims.
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post #77 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Dralt View Post

Again, I'm rephrasing what Sony says. They say PS3 can handle 960x1080 and 720x1080 with little difference in performance, i.e. no performance hit.

True or not, I don't know. I am not expressing an opinion. I just try to make sense out of their claims.

Bluntly stated, it is not true. There will be a hit in performance simply because 960x1080 is a higher resolution. However, the hit may not be noticeable in games that support it since the performance hit was factored in. That is not to say a 960x1080 game can't run as fast as a 720P game, it just means that power is being reserved on the 720P version so they run equally fast. That extra power could have been used to add more content on the 720P version.

This does help people with 1080I only TVs though. I wonder how many cross platform games will actually take advantage of this assuming Sony doesn't released some sort of update to allow full scaling without the hassle.

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post #78 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by PridgNYC View Post

It may look better, but it will be a significant effort for the developers. Not to mention that you will now need two different copies of models and textures and prerendered cutscenes. One set that is designed to be stretched horizontally and one for native 720p aspect ratios.

No you won't.
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post #79 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 05:25 PM
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I highly doubt there is a hardware scaler. What Sony mostly did is provide a very optimized software implementation that runs on one of their reserved Cell SPUs.
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post #80 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by murmur001 View Post

I find it challenging to do horz-only upscaling from the game layout point of view. That resolution is beyond any aspect-ratio we used to. Games are probably more 1280x720 resolution optimized, but now left-side and right-side is clipped quite much.

Non-square pixels. The aspect ratio from a game developers perspective is still 16:9.
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post #81 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeLV View Post

I highly doubt there is a hardware scaler. What Sony mostly did is provide a very optimized software implementation that runs on one of their reserved Cell SPUs.

A single SPU is not capable of scaling the whole frame.

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post #82 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeLV View Post

I highly doubt there is a hardware scaler. What Sony mostly did is provide a very optimized software implementation that runs on one of their reserved Cell SPUs.

I know a fact that it's in there and now that I've checked out what's going on, I understand why they did what they did given that I have a general idea what it wasn't allowed to be used to begin with.
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post #83 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Phat on Beyond3D View Post

Folks, "horizontal scaling" does not require what people conventionally think of as a scaler. VGA cards and videogame consoles have been doing "horizontal scaling" for decades now. That's how 720x480-, 640x480-, 512x448-sized buffers from the PS2 all had the same horizontal size (more or less) on your TV. To "horizontally scale" your video output, you merely have to adjust the ratio of the RAMDAC's pixel clock to the horizontal scan rate. These are fundamental registers in every video circuit.

So, sorry, news of this "horizontal scaling" says absolutely nothing about the presence of a usable scaler in the PS3.

This has not been confirmed yet, it seems accurate though.

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post #84 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Darknight View Post

I know a fact that it's in there and now that I've checked out what's going on, I understand why they did what they did given that I have a general idea what it wasn't allowed to be used to begin with.


Care to shed some light? Why is this scaler situation so cloak and dagger? Let's get this out in the open.

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post #85 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by IeraseU View Post

Care to shed some light? Why is this scaler situation so cloak and dagger? Let's get this out in the open.

I'm trying to watch what I say just in case I could be violating NDA or anything so I cannot divulge any reasoning behind the issues of the scaler and why it hasn't been used before. It is there, and this new method is using it. I have said this before and people seem to have not believed it so take it for whatever you find it's worth but what I've said in the past has turned out to be true so far.
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post #86 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 07:20 PM
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http://www.beyond3d.com/articles/ps3...index.php?p=01
Good news.

I'm sure they are just using the Cell and/or RSX for scaling though. I mean, could be wrong, but scaling should be a trivial process for such advanced hardware. I always thought RAM would be the biggest limitation, with only 256/256, and appears I was right...
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post #87 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotty L View Post

Don't mean to be condescending, but if you *really* loved your CRT why not just get an external video scaler?

You got it because it was inexpensive plain & simple. That's fine, but then you also deal with the fact that it may have problems in the future, accepting only 1 HD resolution. My TV came out 2 years ago but I'm not complaining.

Just an FYI, external scalers can be very problematic with gaming by introducing delay. In addition, a good scaler that can handle HD resolutions over component and not introduce lag - not cheap (the world of video processors and scalers has historically been a high priced one). That's pretty much the cost of an entire new display, and for what - 720p games? We went through the same thing last generation when the Xbox couldn't scale the limited number of 720p games that were available (with 1080i capable being even more limited). Every other video component out there can tailor the input resolution. This should not be a problem at this point for any console or component claiming itself an HD device.

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post #88 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 08:31 PM
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BTW this forum has a more technical discussion of this: http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38026

This is post #19 and it brings up some interesting points specifically in the way scaling is being done does not really resemble what one would expect from a hardware chip developed for that purpose (especially since no one has been able to locate a physical chip).

Not to get in the middle or anything but it's an intelligent post and even takes shots at the XBox360's "secret" digital pins for HDMI so it's even far more non-partisan than we'd see here:

Quote:


I don't think they're claiming it can deal with the other resolution modes? This seems to be a 960x1080 -> 1080i/p transformation. I bet the SDK will actually use 1280x720p if the OS is configured for 720p output or the developer is asked to first detect the output and choose either 720p or 960x1080. Since real 720p is less of a workload than 960x1080, it's likely that the transformation will not produce any performance hiccups. For 480p, you can either render at that res, or simply downsample the backbuffer, since the memory requirements to hold a 480p buffer are not significant.

I think if Sony really had a true hardware scaler, they would have enabled it at the OS level and it would not need SDK support, nor would it be only a "half scaler"

My guess is, they came up with a trick for "scan doubling" the horizontal that would not require too much extra performance or developer headache (e.g. 960x1080 res) using some aspects of the RAMDAC or TMDS system. I'll admit, I'm not really sure how they're doing it, but I remember plenty of tricks you could do by playing with VGA clocks, so I would not be surprised if they are using some flexibility of the scan-out devices to implement this.

The reason this smells like a hack and not a real hardware scaler is:

1) it requires explicit SDK support rather than being something you can just toggle on and off (a HW scaler would sit between the framebuffer and HDMI out and would not need explicit SDK control)

2) the idea of a HW scaler that can only deal with one dimensional axis, and requires a nice, even power of 2 resolution to scale is very strange

3) no one who has done teardowns of the PS3 has been able to identify any such HW

4) if Sony really had a HW scaler, they would be releasing PR press releases, it would be in the marketing materials/spec sheets, and they would not allow MS to get away with all of the attacks on PS3 resolution issues

5) It's really stupid to launch a console worldwide in a heated race with MS, already 1 year behind, and not fully reveal all of your HW capabilities to buyers. If you were already 1 year ahead, you might choose to keep secrets since you're in the lead and don't need them. But if you're playing catch up?

Like the hopes and dreams of people who thought there would be an HDMI cable for the Xbox360, since there might be "secret" HDMI support or A/V pins on the 360 (again, why not launch with an HDMI cable accessory then if you went through the trouble of including TMDS hardware that is costing you on every box shipped!!) This "PS3 has a hardware scaler" issue will turn out to be a big myth IMHO, unless you want to play semantic games with the definition of "hw scaler"


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post #89 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 08:31 PM
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I thought it was already known from the get go the scaler was always there. I am confused why this was some shrouded mystery. The whole time this issue came up I though it was stated from the get go Sony purposly did not allow access to the scaler. Not if there is a scaler or not. ???????

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post #90 of 280 Old 01-26-2007, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darknight View Post

I'm trying to watch what I say just in case I could be violating NDA or anything so I cannot divulge any reasoning behind the issues of the scaler and why it hasn't been used before. It is there, and this new method is using it. I have said this before and people seem to have not believed it so take it for whatever you find it's worth but what I've said in the past has turned out to be true so far.

I can understand NDAs and the problems they cause but its hard not to be curious about this. It seems extremely odd that Sony would have a scaler and not allow it to be used. Especially when it seems to be one of their major PR problems currently. Plus to finally allow it to be used but only part way? It really seems half-assed.

[Edit] I guess it would make sense if they were using one of the 'tricks' from above and don't really have a hw scaler. Perhaps scaling was something they were going to have the Cell or RSX do and they found out the performance hit was too large? That might explain why Darknight sees/knows of an ability to use scaler functions but Sony forbids any developers to use them. Eh, its all guessing until Sony either turns the scaler on fully (if it exists) or we get the PS3 rev 2 and it includes a hw scaler chip people can identify when they break it down.
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