Originally Posted by mndfreeze
Topic says it all. Bought myself a new plasma, went to upscale my samsung HD-950 only to find out it wont let me over component, only HDMI apparently, so before I go grab the cables I'd like to ask, how much of a quality improvment is it? My old 36" CRT looked nicer and less grainy, etc then my 50" plasma (no, its not broken in quite yet and does not have proper adjustments, just some minor ones)
I can answer your question with great certainty. The certain answer is "it depends".
DVDs have a lower resolution than your display and so processing for de-interlacing and scaling will need to be performed somewhere. The question then is where the best place is for each of the various types of processing to take place. In some systems this processing could take place in the source component, in the receiver, and/or in the display.
Each person needs to look closely at the strengths and weakness of each of their components for each type of processing and decide where they would like that processing to be performed.
For example, NEC plasmas are known for their video processing strength. NEC folks typically keep the signal in 480i until it reaches the display thus allowing the display to perform all the processing. There are some source components that will output 480i over a digital connection and some receivers that will pass this through without further processing allowing the display to handle it from there. So with a NEC, you might take that approach.
Others with other displays might prefer to have the source or a receiver/processor perform some/all processing. Ideally, if a signal is processed prior to a display, it should be processed completely and input in such a way that allows the display to be driven at its native resolution and rate with 1:1 mapping. This allows the video processing in the display to be bypassed and effectively removes a layer of processing. This, however, is not always possible.
It is my understanding that while scaling per se is not trivial and that different scalars yield different quality results, de-interlacing is far more difficult to do well. Therefore, I would look first at the component offering the best de-interlacing and have that component perform the processing if possible. BTW this is why the better external processors cost 4-6k. These are tera-flop processors with very sophisticated de-interlacing algorithms dealing with motion as well as various types of noise reduction.
So as you see it all depends on your specific components and their relative processing strengths.