Originally Posted by powerknowledge
It's actually kind of a tricky answer, but I'll try.
(EDIT: These notes apply to routing the video input directly into the 60A2020, and what the TV itself does with a 480i signal, in contrast to running it through the 805 at either the automatic or forced-720p resolution. If you route such a signal through the 805, it will output as either 480p or 720p, which disables the 60A2020's more "sophisticated" upscaling processing. I've noted that intermittently in the following, but want to put it up front too to be clear.)
As a fixed-resolution display, all input signals are technically upscaled to 1080p. It simply has to fill the pixels, so it "spreads them around." In most cases (say, SDTV broadcasts, either analog NTSC or digital 480i), this upscaling is a hit or miss affair: some things look fairly decent (digital 480i broadcast), some like garbage (analog NTSC broadcast).
When it comes to ANY 480i signal (analog NTSC broadcast, digital broadcast, or DVD input without in-player progressive scan processing), you can set the 60A2020 to engage a couple of modes: Cinemotion (deinterlacing) and Digital Reality Creation (DRC: Sony's version of SD-->HD signal upscaling). For these sources, you would set Cinemotion to "Auto" and DRC to "4X High Density".
If you input a signal that is anything BUT 480i, both of these modes will be disabled. (I also believe that the signal must be input over any non-HDMI connection for these modes to be available; could be wrong on this.)
Now, with a high-quality 480i input (say, DVD over component) and good software (a recent, well-mastered DVD, for example), the Cinemotion/DRC combination gives really respectable results. I don't know how these results would compare to the Reon processing in the 875 or 905; however, I suspect that the Reon would do a better job on balance, as it is about the most highly-regarded video processor around (in this price range, of course). The Cinemotion in the 60A2020 is somewhat legendary for having stability problems in deinterlacing that become more pronounced with video-based (as opposed to film-based) material, as well as with very intricate images. On good, well-authored material, I don't notice many problems save for some occasional aliasing and strobing on finely-detailed patterns (brick walls in backgrounds, for example, are sometimes problematic, even on well-authored discs like the Platinum Edition of Se7en). And the DRC, while it often looks very good (and provides fine details that get blurred out in standard 480p mode), can make certain images appear grainier than usual (large expanses of sky, for example), and also seems to come with a slight layer of edge enhancement that is pretty much undefeatable. The graininess is an artifact of the upscaling process which may be less severe on better-quality upscalers (like the Reon); the EE is usually unintrusive in casual viewing.
So the short answer is this: it is likely that the Reon in the 875 would do at least as good a job at upscaling at least a 480i signal to 1080p as the 60A2020, and probably better. How much better, how much you'll notice it, and how much it is worth to you ($600?) are all variables that, unfortunately, can't be accounted for without a direct A/B comparison (if I could do it for you, I would, but alas). I know this much: if I had the extra $600, I might have gotten the 875. But when you consider what you'll be using the video processing in the 875 for compared to how much extra you'll spend, you can make your choice easier. If you want it only for upscaling DVD content, that $600 will buy you a Reon-equipped Blu-Ray or HDDVD player that will do the same thing and give you a next-gen player to boot (this is the path I chose: I'll "invest" that "saved" $600 in a high-quality player of whatever wins the format war in a couple years). But if you want ALL sources to be upscaled with the best processor in its price class, and see yourself using a lot of lower-resolution sources for the foreseeable future, then the 875 might be a worthy investment for its video processing.
Hope that all helps!