Originally Posted by Dark Rain
Depends on the quality of scaler and de-interlacer inside the cable box, TV. or upconverting DVD player.
At the end of the day, you're still taking a 4:3 grid of 640X480 pixels and smearing it out over a 4:3 grid composed of 960x720 square pixels, or over TWICE the surface area. This is bound to introduce some degree of softness, no matter how good the interpolation. In short, upconversion can't create data that wasn't there to begin with.
You also have the potential of double conversion, as an HDTV will usually have to further re-scale the HD output from an upconverting player or cable box to fit the native resolution of the display. This is probably why many people compain about upconverting players putting out a SOFTER picture than progressive scan players.
DVDs looked a lot better on my 42" Sony LCD RPTV than they did on my 30" Sony CRT.
Your CRT must be really old then, as basically any flat SD CRT with a 16:9 mode produces a better SD picture than an LCD. The picture might not be quite as big or bright, but it will always be sharper, since it hasn't been rescaled.
On my current 42" Samsung Plasma, DVDs look gorgeous and show a lot of detail. I've never seen that amount of detail on any CRT I owned.
No doubt you can see MORE, because the image is larger. That doesn't mean, however, that the image has a higher resolution. Many people prefer watching full frame DVDs of widescreen films because it allows them to see more. That doesn't mean that full frame DVDs have a higher resolution than anamorphic widescreen DVDs.
Your comment about DVDs not looking any better than VHS is simply ludicrous.
Why then is the web filled with complaints about poor SD quality on HDTVs? It can't all just be cheap TVs and bad cable compression. I've seen countless complaints about this problem - including many in this forum - and name brands are cited just as often as the cheaper brands. It also can't just be bad SD cable, as there isn't a similar level of complaints about SD cable quality on analog TVs. The only conclusion you can really draw is that SD material simply doesn't look good on an HDTV, and that the degradation in PQ is mostly caused by the necessity of upscaling SD video onto a HD screen. Most people are used to a certain level of SD quality on their TVs, and they aren't getting that on their brand new HDTV, thus the complaints.