Originally Posted by darklordjames
Most likely not. The Wii spits out 480p, which is called 480p and not 720x480 for a reason, as the horizontal is effectively infinite in resolution, being an analog signal. While the Wii is rendering a roughly 640x480 image, a widescreen ED display has a resolution of ~848x480. So 480p out of the Wii is still scaled to fit the display on the horizontal, and that isn't even considering the likely overscan correction that will take place resulting in probably the middle 640x448 of the ~720x480 image being scaled up to 848x480. No matter what, that 480p will be scaled, it's just a matter of by how much.
That's very interesting. I had assumed that it wouldn't be scaled if it matched, but I guess that only applies if the source is digital.
The Wii actually renders at something like 640x480? Ha, I remember that back in 1994, I spent days configuring Windows 3.11 to display at 800x600 with 256 colors, rather than 640x480 with 16 colors, which was the default.
For reference, both my 2008 50" Panasonic plasma and 2009 32" Panasonic LCD test out with the Rock Band 2 auto-calibrating guitar at 32ms of lag, or roughly two frames. Given that 16ms lag is an absolute must seeing as that the length of a frame, my displays lag by a single addition frame. It is unnoticeable in even the most dire of time-sensitive situations.
Hmm... so, if I can find a TV with a scaler that allows it to perform at 32ms or better, it's good enough. I'll keep that in mind. I've been told before that anything over 8ms is horrible.
Nope. Once the display has made the decision to scale something, the resolutions in play don't really matter. The physical act of calculating the stretch from 720p to 1080p, or 1080p to 768p, or 480p to 1080p, or 480p to 768p are all extremely fast. Stretching an image is not computationally intensive. Exaggerated lag usually comes from other sources, such as taking 16ms to capture an entire frame's worth of information to work with, and comparing frames to the previous and next one in order to do any sort of temporal filtering.
That actually makes sense. When I try to scale an image in GIMP on my computer... how much I scale it doesn't seem to make a difference in processing time, as long as I have enough memory to hold an image of the size specified. Image quality pretty much remains consistent as long as the aspect ratio is maintained, and especially if it's an even multiple of the original size. It might look blocky if I increase the size too much, but that's just because you can see each individual pixel. And that disappears with distance.
My advice? Pick a size that you want. Look for a display with good black levels. On plasmas that means looking for black that looks black, not grey. On LCDs that means looking for black that doesn't look dark neon-blue. Then pack up your Wii, Rock Band 2, and the official Rock Band 2 Wireless Guitar and go down to a store to start testing for lag on the displays that you like. I'd start with the current Panasonics and Samsungs. Samsung still has a reputation for being laggy, but is merely a hold-over from ~2006. Modern LCD/plasmas really are better displays than any CRT or ED plasma ever made, even for 480p rendered content. There is just a serious case of people looking back with rose tinted glasses at how great they remember their CRTs being.
Okay, okay... I'm thinking you might be right.
I've been looking at the Wii on some modern LCDs and plasmas... while there doesn't seem to be an appreciable difference in lag, the Plasma seems to have somewhat better color and brightness.
So, now I'm going to focus my question as narrowly as I can. What is the best/fastest scaling technology available on a television today, and how can I get it? Would it be found in a specific model or brand of television?
I would think that with so much 480p and 480i content floating around, there would be a lot of effort by someone, somewhere into making that content look as good as possible on HDTVs. I have to be honest... even if I view anything other than a Wii, I'm likely to be stuck using a lot of 480p devices, if I'm lucky enough not to get stuck with 480i. That's why I'm so focused on this. Most of the movies I like, and output devices I want to use, can't handle HD resolutions.