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post #1 of 26 Old 11-01-2019, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Upscaling - An exploration

Would perhaps be a better fit for a different forum, but then all the nuances involved would be better suited for the calibration community to appreciate fully, so I'm posting it in here.

So the default stance of every calibration enthusiast is to turn off post processing. This is an exploration into what if not.

And its highly subjective.

Background:

I already owned a HDFury Linker (scales 1080p to 4k all framerates, no other resolutions), and recently bought a mClassic (from Marseile Inc) as an impulse buy - finding out that both chained together produce next to no input lag, and significantly enhance some of my gaming sources (720p output) had me pleasantly surprised.

But the mClassic always had this distinct ringing around edges (oversharpening) I was kind of urked by - which is why I recently bought a DVDO iScan Mini (initially for the ringing filter, but its so much more) just to test it in this chain - and the outcome is -- fantastic.

Not so much on the 720p gaming sources I originally planned to use it with (DVDO iScan mini adds a little (beat em ups still playable) input lag with its scaler disabled (image enhancement can be left enabled seperately - so this is not a problem), and very noticeable input lag with the scaler enabled), but on 720p movie/tv sources.

To say it outright, the subjective impression of a low bitrate 720p internet source movie, becomes that of more than 1080p content of a high bitrate source. To put it bluntly - its day and night.

Almost jokingly - the result is 'best' with all three scalers chained, and here are their separate 'effects'.

TV input settings have all post processing disabled as usual (DVDO is faster to navigate and more granular, and also can be turned off (passthrough) at the press of a button).
--

HDFury Linker
Only upscales 1080p sources to 4k. Does so cleanly - does so without introducing noticable artifacting. Does a much better job of it than my B6 OLED from 2016 (which has a notoriously bad scaler). In my chain this is the last item before the signal goes into the TV. Compared to the DVDO iScan Mini upscaling an image to 4k, this adds more 'sparkle'. Its hard to explain otherwise, but the DVDO iScan Minis 4k output looks a bit dull in comparison. Its hard to describe why - there is no obvious sharpening or artifacting present - but thats just the visual impression I'm left with.
PC fonts are mostly left untouched - its just 'a good upscaler'.

DVDO iScan Mini
This is the second to last item in my chain - and its a post processing powerhouse. Two user setable preset slots, four presets in total. Much faster to access and tinker with, than your in TV settings, much more granular. Has the highest impact on subjective output quality overall. I use it exclusively for detail enhancement (-5/+5 scale), edge enhancement (same scale) and the deringing filter (because of the mClassic).
Produces most artifacts on PC fonts of anything in the chain. (If set to an ideal state for movies.)

mClassic
This is the first item in my scaler chain. It mostly does edge enhancement (with ringing), but it also does some deblurring and some image smoothing, but only a very slight one - and also the best one of the scalers in my chain - with any reasonably detailed (even low bitrate) 720p source.
Can only output 1080p or 1440p - I use its 1080p output in my case.
PC fonts show noticable ringing with this enabled. But no other artifacts.
--


DVDO settings will depend heavily on the source.
I always have the deringing filter enabled.
I always have Output smoothing disabled (as the mClassic already does 'enough' on that front).
I always have basic settings like sharpness and others zeroed in

On detail enhancement, anything between 3 and 6 can be ok (depending on the source, slightly higher quality allows more enhancement - if the visual noise gets too much, you'll niotice it.

On edge enhancement anything between 2 and 5 can be ok, depends mostly on how the film was mastered. On 'soft' with frequent boka, or on cartoons you can push this higher, before the separation between forefront and background content becomes too comical. This one is pretty easy to dial in, depending on the content. Also - interestingly this changes image characteristics similar to what a gamma slider would do - so it changes perceived image depth. On some content this makes the overall content look more 'natural' (pleasant) only because of that.

Again, the DVDO will by far produce the most artifacting on lets say a still interface image (f.e. Kodi Media Center UI), but it also produces the most positively noticeable effects on perceived image quality in film.

And, crucially - its interface is very fast, which means, you are actually willing to use it.

On the downside - on SD content, you have to dial in detail and edge enhancement much lower (about 2 for both (f.e. low preset)), or the image will just start throwing fake detail artifacts in your face like there is no tomorrow. Instantly noticable, and mostly unbearable.

The DVDO also has an OFF button on the remote, which quickly allows you to compare before and after - which is very nice as well. I frequently go through at least 3 presets per content and also look at the off state, it helps.

The DVDO also has a distinct info display for input and output resolution and framerate, which helps immensely. (LG Oleds do not. )
--

Input chaining for me is
any resolution>mClassic>1080p>DVDO>1080p>HD Fury Linker>4K

All devices but the mClassic are 12bit capable.
None of the devices except for the HD Fury Linker are HDR capable - so this is a SDR only usecase.


As far as price is concerned, I picked all the devices up a the following pricepoints:

mClassic - 70USD
DVDO iScan Mini - 200USD
HDFury Linker - 80USD

And of course not at once, but over a few months, so I didn't notice up front, that I was 350USD into this, before I tested.

I've also put in an HDMI splitter, so I can look at the source quality without getting up and recabling.


The interesting thing for people in here probably would be to know the effects of all those different scalers, as well as the input latency they add ('none' for HDFury Linker and mClassic combined - more for the DVDO iScan mini, even more when it has scaling enabled (which it doesnt have to in my chain)), and what they do to the image.

Also the main input I want to leave you with is, that on 720p sources, the difference is night and day - and yes, it very much makes a difference that with the DVDO you can finetune postprocessing (detail/edge enhancement) depending on your source, which you cant (and wont do (slow interface)) with your TV.

Have fun,

h.

edit: Oh, and my input source is 1080p (mClassic will still do the post processing, while then also outputting in 1080p), even with 720p sources. There are no postprocessing filters on the source (simple Android TV box in my usecase, running Kodi).
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post #2 of 26 Old 11-01-2019, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Useless comparison images. (Chain enabled/disabled on a 2016 LG B6 OLED, source is 720p (internet stream quality, highly compressed) edit: Actually HDFury Linker upscaling was enabled in both cases - so the before already is better than native B6 upscaling quality. )

On the second set of images, dont look at the white balance differences, only detail. (Smartphone cam, what can I say.. )
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On material with heavy film grain, its better to switch off the mClassic, I've just found (it has a switch that enables passthrough). With it on it tries to smooth out a little too much, resulting in a plasticy look of the image.

With it off, btw - details arent as 'pronounced' it really does a great job of highlighting (oversharpening) details if no film grain is present.

edit: Also when turning off the mClassic (because of film grain) make sure to also turn off the ringing filter in the DVDO. That also preserves a little more detail.

edit2: Disabling the ringing filter together with the mClassic did the trick, detail (not edge) enhancer can be left at the usual (higher) settings that way.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by harlekin View Post
On material with heavy film grain, its better to switch off the mClassic, I've just found (it has a switch that enables passthrough). With it on it tries to smooth out a little too much, resulting in a plasticy look of the image.



With it off, btw - details arent as 'pronounced' it really does a great job of highlighting (oversharpening) details if no film grain is present.



edit: Also when turning off the mClassic (because of film grain) make sure to also turn off the ringing filter in the DVDO. That also preserves a little more detail.



edit2: Disabling the ringing filter together with the mClassic did the trick, detail (not edge) enhancer can be left at the usual (higher) settings that way.


What’s the cheapest way to upscale dvds they look horrific on my 4k non hdr tv?


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post #5 of 26 Old 11-01-2019, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm playing some more with the mClassic removed from the chain. On old material with film grain in it, or filmgrain artificially removed, it produces too much smoothing, with the usual ringing artifacts in the mix. So I'd reserve it for clean sources on newer material only - in those cases where you'd like an extra detail punch. (If you look at the images above, the deblurring on the piece of cloth, is solely the mClassic.)

The mClassic also is the least necessary piece in the chain.


Regarding the question above (cheapest and 'best'):

The HDFury Linker still is nice for upscaling 1080p to 4k - I've now done several double blind tests on different material in comparison with the DVDO upscaling to 4k and the LG B6s native one, and I can always tell the difference, and it always comes out better with it in the chain. But then also - the B6's upscaling is notoriously bad. So your TV might handle upscaling from 1080p to 4k better. Or not.

For people that have never heard about the HDFury Linker, its usually used to strip HDCP 1.4 out of an HDMI signal, or inject HDR 10 metadata for HDR calibration, or remove HDR metadata for devices that cant handle it, or to fake a different EDID for your TV - its pretty much a multitool, that also includes a scaler (but only from 1080p to 4K) - and that scaler actually turns out to be pretty good. But the HDFury Linker doesnt do any obvious image enhancements (detail enhancement, edge enhancement, smoothing) - it just scales.

So as said above, the most 'important' tool in the chain is the DVDO iScan Mini (not Micro). It does the most to the signal. It has a fast UI, so you will be willing to use it, and it allows you to make very granular adjustments - which will improve results with different source material (As a general note - lower quality (older content) lower settings, or enable some of its smoothing and anti ringing filters first (which remove some detail from the signal, allowing for higher settings)).
-

The market for cheap external scalers in general doesnt exist.

mClassic was mostly interesting to me because of the low pricepoint (and zero lag). But its a one size fits all solution. If your TV has some sort of noise reduction feature (MPEG Noise reduction preferably), you can buy it, and then set MPEG Noise reduction to high to deal with the ringing (oversharpening) it produces. This will get you to 4K on some TVs (actually to 1440p packaged in a 4k container - but good enough), depending on their EDID - but only to 1080p on most. So - its cheap. It would be an improvement. But its hit and miss. And dont buy, if you cant counteract the visual ringing it produces with something like MPEG noise reduction.

The HDFury Linker alone does too little.

The DVDO iScan Mini - is your best bet, but its also the most expensive of the three. But granular settings and UI speed are important, first and foremost.

It has a cheaper brother - without many control options at all (Micro), that I actively decided not to buy, and I believe at its pricepoint (200 USD for the Mini), there arent many other options available.
-

People would usually tell you to maybe go with an Oppo or Panasonic DVD player - but usually high end models, that have better scalers included - but they arent as versatile.

A media center PC might also be an option (there you can put different software filters in the video chain, but its the opposite of 'easy' and intuitive. )

When it comes to external scalers, the three I've listed (/described) and now own, probably are the most interesting, least expensive ones on the market. Please correct me if this statement is wrong.

edit: Also, as an interesting tidbit - none of those scalers will do cadence transformation (think 3:2 pulldown) (make sure pans dont judder), so your TV still has to do that correctly on its own. But they handle all kinds of resolutions and frequencies, and bitdepths. (Linker only handles 1080p or passes through signal in other resolutions unscaled.)

edit2: The alternative to removing the mClassic from the chain on old material with film grain is to enable both the deringing filter and output smoothing on the DVDO, while keeping detail and edge enhancement low as well. You could think about the mClassic as adding a bunch of artificial detail - that doesnt look so artifical in newer material, but might in older one (with filmgrain (/removed)). And to add it, it smoothes surrounding areas a little. As it looks a little misplaced on older material (even with extra output smoothing), its a matter of taste, if you include it or not.

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post #6 of 26 Old 11-03-2019, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is s good comparison piece to illustrate what I see in my setup as well. This is the new 'AI upscaling' feature in the 2019 nVidia Shield TV, which does excatly what my setup does, just a but more 'pronounced'.

The video is excellent to compare what current state upscaling can do on 720p material, and serves as a great point of reference.


There is an aspect in it I'd call "artificial detail enhancement" (deblurring, sharpening), which is also what the mClassic does in my setup - although it produces ringing (just search for some videos on the mClassic on youtube - and you'll see that characteristic immediately), on most content.

Then there is the part of detail enhancement (you see on the black and white clip comparison in the video above) that includes what I'd call microblocking (you can also see it in the first of the shots I've uploaded above), from normal viewing distance, this normally gets perceived as 'extra detail', but if you get closer, you notice a 'mosaic'. As said, this is also present in the video example above (on the b&w content). This you can dial in (more/less), with the DVDO (detail enhancement).

And then there is edge enhancement - which in the video above, on the black and white scene, immediately makes the two figures 'pop out of the scene' (separate from background) in a way - that to me is instantly artificial looking, and in the video above is the result of too much edge enhancement in that scene. But then again, you can also dial this in with the DVDO.

On the nVidia shield, the AI upscaling feature is only enabled for a select few apps - but that should easily be circumventable (hopefully without root), by f.e. installing Kodi with a different package name. Homebrew hacking scene is on it I'm sure.

I thought that the video above is a great visual aid for what I'm also seeing and trying to describe in long winded written excerpts.

Uspscaling in 2019. This is where we're at.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by harlekin View Post
Here is s good comparison piece to illustrate what I see in my setup as well. This is the new 'AI upscaling' feature in the 2019 nVidia Shield TV, which does excatly what my setup does, just a but more 'pronounced'.



The video is excellent to compare what current state upscaling can do on 720p material, and serves as a great point of reference.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmqa3c-oiAk



There is an aspect in it I'd call "artificial detail enhancement" (deblurring, sharpening), which is also what the mClassic does in my setup - although it produces ringing (just search for some videos on the mClassic on youtube - and you'll see that characteristic immediately), on most content.



Then there is the part of detail enhancement (you see on the black and white clip comparison in the video above) that includes what I'd call microblocking (you can also see it in the first of the shots I've uploaded above), from normal viewing distance, this normally gets perceived as 'extra detail', but if you get closer, you notice a 'mosaic'. As said, this is also present in the video example above (on the b&w content). This you can dial in (more/less), with the DVDO (detail enhancement).



And then there is edge enhancement - which in the video above, on the black and white scene, immediately makes the two figures 'pop out of the scene' (separate from background) in a way - that to me is instantly artificial looking, and in the video above is the result of too much edge enhancement in that scene. But then again, you can also dial this in with the DVDO.



On the nVidia shield, the AI upscaling feature is only enabled for a select few apps - but that should easily be circumventable (hopefully without root), by f.e. installing Kodi with a different package name. Homebrew hacking scene is on it I'm sure.



I thought that the video above is a great visual aid for what I'm also seeing and trying to describe in long winded written excerpts.



Uspscaling in 2019. This is where we're at.


Can you hook this thing to a dvd or Blu-ray player. ? Or does it only work for steaming ? Very interesting find !!! Sheild tv my roku premier is not too good .


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post #8 of 26 Old 11-04-2019, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
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No. It has no way to accept an input signal. And no, currently only streaming apps have support for this feature (it only gets enabled, when you launch certain apps). The later part should be able to be circumvented eventually (the question is if you need root for it or not), because the way android works is, that they most likely are looking for the package name of the app that is currently running to decide wether to enable it or not, and app package names can easily be faked.

Question is, are all supported apps preinstalled, do they check hashes, stuff like that (havent looked into this, but some people will eventuelly try to hack normal video player support into it - once that is achieved, with a software like Kodi, you can play back DVD iso's easily (Blueray iso's also arent out of the question), so then its as simple as hocking up a Harddrive/USB Stick with your DVDs on it to it).

Probably read the xda Shield TV subforum for a bit. https://forum.xda-developers.com/shield-tv-pro
(It isn't achieved yet.)

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Upscaling - An exploration

Quote:
Originally Posted by harlekin View Post
No. It has no way to accept an input signal. And no, currently only streaming apps have support for this feature (it only gets enabled, when you launch certain apps). The later part should be able to be circumvented eventually (the question is if you need root for it or not), because the way android works is, that they most likely are looking for the package name of the app that is currently running to decide wether to enable it or not, and app package names can easily be faked.



Question is, are all supported apps preinstalled, do they check hashes, stuff like that (havent looked into this, but some people will eventuelly try to hack normal video player support into it - once that is achieved, with a software like Kodi, you can play back DVD iso's easily (Blueray iso's also arent out of the question), so then its as simple as hocking up a Harddrive/USB Stick with your DVDs on it to it).



Probably read the xda Shield TV subforum for a bit. https://forum.xda-developers.com/shield-tv

(It isn't achieved yet.)
Wow looks amazing for streaming Netflix and stuff !! So now do you up convert Blu-ray or dvd to 4k they often look Blu-ray’s in my 4k Sony Blu-ray player the x800 or whatever the $300 model is .
Or would dvd look better if I try a DVD player ??





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post #10 of 26 Old 11-04-2019, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't own a Nvidia Shield TV right now (will buy one later this year, once it can be rooted), so all my upscaling goes through the chain I mentioned in the first posting.

All my DVDs output (I've all digitized them long ago) is done through Kodi on an Android Box. The isos get streamed from a NAS. I don't do physical media for DVDs anymore.. There is nothing special there scaling wise. I'm outputting on 1080p, for the UI's sake, and then go through the entire scaling and processing chain I described up to 4k. I've found it to produce better results with my first item in the chain (mClassic), than if I'd output native 576p/720p.

Bluray and DVD player I've used interchangeably. As in - when I said you might want to use a DVD player with a good scaler, I meant DVD or Bluray player. Its expected, that DVDs would look better in Blurayplayers by now - because as they have higher price ceilings, they get the better scalers built in currently already.
-

To explain the difference to what I am doing - I doubt, that Bluray Player manufacturers these days would 'invent' much of the detail they show you, when playing back DVDs - so I suppose, they do what in my case the HDFury Linker is doing - and they just produce a good upscaled image - that still looks neutral (enough) when you look at it.

What the other two scalers in my chain do is that they 'invent' detail to a large extent, that isn't in the original signal. In the video example above, notice how the center of the flower gets a lot brighter and bigger (white)? Thats what they do. So deblurring, extensive sharpening, edge smoothing - this is (heavy) post processing and not just scaling. Standalone DVD- or Bluray players usually wont do that.


In regards to that kind of upscaling I find, that 'configurability' is key to get the best results (For future reference, the 2019 Shield TV at least has low medium and high as settings.. ) - and this varies from material to material.

For shows with a soft image characteristics (itv's Endeavour f.e.) on the DVDO, on a low quality 720p signal I use

detail enhancement/edge enhancement of
6/5

for shows with punchier detail to begin with
4/4 or 4/3

For shows where artificial detail for some reason cant seem to negatively impact image quality, the high preset which comes down to
8/8 (with more smoothing) or even higher

And for lower quality shows/movies that dont have much detail to begin with
3/2

might be adequate sometimes.

Also - edge enhancement lowered by one might produce better results on certain material - but mostly the settings above seem to cover all material fine.

I cant stress this enough. It depends on the source material, what upscaling looks most pleasant.
--

Some detailed information on setup.

When the DVDO gets fed with a 4K signal it just passes it through and cant alter it (enhancement doesnt work).

When operating it with a scaler that auto detects EDID in the chain before it (like I use it (mClassic)), I have to 'clone' my TVs EDID in the DVDO and then disable all 4k resolutions in the EDID settings in the DVDO (they are input facing), so the mClassic outputs 1080p instead of 4k (which is wanted, so the DVDOs enhancement features work).

Also I have to set the scaling mode to custom (called 'DVDO') with 1080p/24/24/60 selected depending on the content I watch. Otherwise the DVDO would scale up to 4K. But in my case - I want the HDFury linker to do that.

Compared to the mClassic upscaling to 4K on its own, this gives me the more visually appealing results.

So setup was a bit fiddly.

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Upscaling - An exploration

Quote:
Originally Posted by harlekin View Post
I don't own a Nvidia Shield TV right now (will buy one later this year, once it can be rooted), so all my upscaling goes through the chain I mentioned in the first posting.



All my DVDs output (I've all digitized them long ago) is done through Kodi on an Android Box. The isos get streamed from a NAS. I don't do physical media for DVDs anymore.. There is nothing special there scaling wise. I'm outputting on 1080p, for the UI's sake, and then go through the entire scaling and processing chain I described up to 4k. I've found it to produce better results with my first item in the chain (mClassic), than if I'd output native 576p/720p.



Bluray and DVD player I've used interchangeably. As in - when I said you might want to use a DVD player with a good scaler, I meant DVD or Bluray player. Its expected, that DVDs would look better in Blurayplayers by now - because as they have higher price ceilings, they get the better scalers built in currently already.

-



To explain the difference to what I am doing - I doubt, that Bluray Player manufacturers these days would 'invent' much of the detail they show you, when playing back DVDs - so I suppose, they do what in my case the HDFury Linker is doing - and they just produce a good upscaled image - that still looks neutral (enough) when you look at it.



What the other two scalers in my chain do is that they 'invent' detail to a large extent, that isn't in the original signal. In the video example above, notice how the center of the flower gets a lot brighter and bigger (white)? Thats what they do. So deblurring, extensive sharpening, edge smoothing - this is (heavy) post processing and not just scaling. Standalone DVD- or Bluray players usually wont do that.





In regards to that kind of upscaling I find, that 'configurability' is key to get the best results (For future reference, the 2019 Shield TV at least has low medium and high as settings.. ) - and this varies from material to material.



For shows with a soft image characteristics (itv's Endeavour f.e.) on the DVDO, on a low quality 720p signal I use



detail enhancement/edge enhancement of

6/5



for shows with punchier detail to begin with

4/4 or 4/3



For shows where artificial detail for some reason cant seem to negatively impact image quality, the high preset which comes down to

8/8 (with more smoothing) or even higher



And for lower quality shows/movies that dont have much detail to begin with

3/2



might be adequate sometimes.



Also - edge enhancement lowered by one might produce better results on certain material - but mostly the settings above seem to cover all material fine.



I cant stress this enough. It depends on the source material, what upscaling looks most pleasant.

--



Some detailed information on setup.



When the DVDO gets fed with a 4K signal it just passes it through and cant alter it (enhancement doesnt work).



When operating it with a scaler that auto detects EDID in the chain before it (like I use it (mClassic)), I have to 'clone' my TVs EDID in the DVDO and then disable all 4k resolutions in the EDID settings in the DVDO (they are input facing), so the mClassic outputs 1080p instead of 4k (which is wanted, so the DVDOs enhancement features work).



Also I have to set the scaling mode to custom (called 'DVDO') with 1080p/24/24/60 selected depending on the content I watch. Otherwise the DVDO would scale up to 4K. But in my case - I want the HDFury linker to do that.



Compared to the mClassic upscaling to 4K on its own, this gives me the more visually appealing results.



So setup was a bit fiddly.
Struggle to calibrate non hdr Sony
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Is there a free good program for digitalizing dvds ?? How do you get digital media onto the nivid sheild ? Flash drive ?
If there’s no way to directly play dvd without a massive up conversion they look horrific on my non hdr 4k tv!! I think I got a post on calibration that tv.
This tv
Sony 4k tv why movies look bad.?
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Free the reptile aliens

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post #12 of 26 Old 11-04-2019, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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DVDFab
AnyDVD
CloneDVD

see:
https://alternativeto.net/software/dvdfab-hd-decrypter/

Any of them should do. (Afair AnyDVD was sued a while ago and changed operating location of the business - just make sure the software you buy has been recently updated.) They all are dealing with circumventing copy protection measures in some way or another, so they might be illegal in your country. There are many copy protection schemes within the DVD format, so newer discs may require up to date software to rip them. (Just as a general note.)

Once you have them as .isos - they are just that, files. You could store them on a thumbdrive, or a harddrive, or a NAS, ...

And thats the last time I'll do 'smartphone support guy' in 'how do I connect USB stick' matters for you..

Software that can play back DVD .isos is also common place. I use Kodi, or the native player on my Android TV Box (Zidoo), both can. Both also can stream content via SMB from my NAS (Network Attached Storage = harddrives connected to the 'WLAN' network).
--

edit: It would also be possible to connect a generic bluray or DVD-Drive to the nVidia Shield it seems.

https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce...d-android-tv-/

Not all may be compatible. Its trial and error. Kodi doesnt seem to pick up the drive though.

So later on - when some 'homebrew hackers' have ensured, that AI Upscaling can be used with other apps, that may also be a route you could go.

Digitizing your DVDs is cleaner though - more convenient, more future proof... (harddrives or solid state lasts longer.. ) Make a backup, once you've made them.

edit: isos will be above 4GB in size, so the thumbdrive/harddrive probably should be formated exFat (or NTFS (if the Shield supports that (ParagonNTFS (Android App) if you need it and it doesnt))). With NASes you dont have that potential pitfall.

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post #13 of 26 Old 11-04-2019, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Ehm, kind of huge design mistake on the DVDO....

Just got around to testing 1080p movies through the upscaling chain - and the DVDO adds white sharpening lines at the top and bottom of where the letterboxing of any movie starts
(previously tested it only on full field (16:9 or 4:3) content).

What a drag.

If you set it to 1/1 its barely noticeable, but even at 2/2 it distracts from the movie viewing experience. At 1/1 in my chain 1080p movies still get a good detail boost, and you alter none of the image character, which is great, but still, white sharpening lines alongside the letterboxing? Really?

Unbelieveable how something like this could slip through quality control.

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post #14 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Short little update (probably the last one).

I wired the chain into my permanent setup today.
I'm still using it every day.

The aformentioned oversharpening line is most visible on 1080p movies, and there mostly on cinemascope content. (Field of view guides the eye. ) Using 1/1 works to get it faint enough that it doesnt bother you that much anymore. Coincidently 1/1 also turns out to be a good (neutral) setting for 1080p content.

On 720p content the settings I use most often are:

1/2, or 2/1 or 4/3 depending on most content.
On containt with a very fragile image characteristics and decent detail level 6/4
On some content (not very frequently) the high preset (which is 6/6).

Also remember, that I have smoothing disabled in the DVDO (the mClassic does some), so the contents outputs 'sharper' than with it enabled. Ringing filter is always on.

I still love the effect on 720p low bitrate content.

If anyone would like to jump for it (spending 300+ USD on the setup), I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

Also - while testing, I found out, that on early (2016 in my case) LG OLEDs, setting the output to 1080p25 for 24p content produces less judder than 24p natively, while also having motion resolution set to custom 2/1 on the TV (2 is top 1 is bottom in the menu). That way I have more motion resolution and less judder. There is some though (the usual little 25p flick every second on long slow pans).

In my setup I also use a Zidoo X9S as (an Android) mediaplayer, which is decidedly average by todays standards (struggles on 4k60 content), but has the option to output 1080p60/50/25/24 as a menu toggle (forces it system wide) which is very helpful).

If your TV does pulldown correctly, you dont have to deal with that, and can stick to 1080p60 (output resolution).

Thats it - have fun.

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post #15 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Heres another set of comparison images at 1/1 for older (grainy, less detail) low bitrate 1080p content (loved watching the film at that setting (subjectively)).
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post #16 of 26 Old 12-31-2019, 09:32 PM
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I was looking at the mclassic for the switch to help improve, it does support 1080, and i have it going through a 4k receiver, isnt the receiver doing the scaling to 4k? Would i still benefit from the mclassic or other device for switch gaming? Other than the switch everything else is 4k in my system
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post #17 of 26 Old 01-03-2020, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, either your TV or your receiver will do the upscaling.

The mclassic was sold as magic - which it isn't, at least not at 1080p output which I am seeing (dont have a device in here with an EDID that the mclassic would do 1440p60 on, which it can do as well).

The device alone is - well a mixed blessing. It will remove minor aliasing, it will remove some depth of field blur, and it will do sharpening, but that result in excessive ringing artefacts ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringing_artifacts ) and it will bring out highlights more.

The problem is, that the main image characteristic you are left with as an impression - is the ringing. Especially when you use it for movies. Which is why I initially got interested in the DVDO Mini, because it had a filter that could suppress that.

That said, I use it (with the HDFury to upscale to 4K) on some Switch Games, and there is a benefit I only played though one Switch Game recently (Vampyr) which mostly was dark and moody - and the ringing wasn't so much an issue there, indeed the bad (compressed) texture quality of that game profited somewhat - but with ringing always present on most games, and the outcome not being night and day - I'd say its not a clear buy, it falls more into the 'something to play with' category. As the only post processing item in the chain. Its definitely not, that you'l put it in there and be amazed right away.

But - in the scaling chain I described above, on video material, it helps immensely. First it pumps contures (sharpening), without them becoming too unnatural looking (just the ringing), so when you put a ringing filter over it - the negatives mostly go away, and the DVDO has an easier way with applying its sharpness and edge filters (as there is already more edge contrast present). Moreso - as you see in the first comparison images I posted - the depth of field removal can actually effectively deblur detail in 720p content, which can lead to pretty impressive results, and third it pumps highlights, so it does some minor contrast changes (minor smothing, and edge enhancement) which tend to accentuate highlights a little more - which in general, as an effect I find quite pleasing. So in the chain above, its contribution is actually significant, and great.

It breaks on low res SD images though, or on content with heavy film grain - where even the small amount of smoothing can lead to a waxy/smeary image.

That said the DVDO still does about 80% of the visual impact of enhancing the signal, the way I'm using them - but the 20% accentuation (and the better image smoothing in the mclassic) help immensely.

I watched Ed Wood toady (more modern film with a black and white aesthetic), here I could push detail enhancement as high as in the first image comparison above (6/4 actually ) - and the result was an immense addition to perceived realism. Its hard to describe, but with the right edge enhancement setting on the DVDO sometimes, its almost as if you can remove the 'camera characteristic' and have the movie feel more like a window into reality. Sounds corny. But thats the effect of more detail and 'better' more accentuated lighting details, as well as contures that seem natural (no artificial seperation between depth layers in the image). And lighting (highlights) is actually such a large part of this, that the mclassic is worth every penny in that case.

On games, and with only the mClassic in your chain, yeah, you get minor AA, sometimes a cleaner image - but most of the time youll get more ringing than you'd want.

Actually watch a bunch of youtube videos on the mClassic - you see that characteristic actually featuring pretty prominent in pretty much all of them.

So the mClassic is imho a maybe if you plan on using it on its own. Its fun enough to play with it, you will find usecases - its not a must.

And again - you are buying none of those external scalers "because they can do 4K" every 4K TV or compatible receiver can. You buy them for their post processing potential (and in the case of the HDFury in my chain - simply because its a better "normal" scaler (from 1080p to 4K) than the one in my TV. But thats probably because the one in the B6 came in 'extra bad' to begin with.

And again - if you buy one of them - buy the DVDO Mini - although not for gaming (latency).

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Upscaling - An exploration

Might as well feed my 4k tv to the reptilian steel eating marmot spider goats

I’ve yet to find a dvd or Blu-ray player under $200 sale price that can upconvert dvd or downconvir to sdr 4k

Sony XBR55X810C 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
Probably not getting another Sony after this bs .

Reptilians invading in year 2027
Tesla spoken to them
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post #19 of 26 Old 01-04-2020, 05:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are 2 sets of comparison images

entirechain vs. only mClassic vs. original

on a low bitrate 1080p source - any artifacting you see on "entirechain" can be tuned down, as I chose an aggressive preset (6/4), but that was also what I chose watching the movie on this time.

Chose a b/w movie (Ed Wood (1994)) this time, to put emphasis on the (invented ) detail level and nothing else.
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post #20 of 26 Old 01-04-2020, 05:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Second set of images.

edit: Also - I just looked at those two sets of images on a Macbook with a 100 nits screen calibration and noticed, that artifacts in the entire chain setup showed a bit more than on my TV - which I have calibrated to a 90 nits target. So detail level was set up for 90 nits (flat power line gamma of 2.2 actually, if you'd have to know.. Because I thought about web publishing standards. ).

Meaning, if you view the images on a laptop, simply play with the brightness slider to see, that it can mask some of the artificial detail details, by just bringing down brightness a little. I definitely don't look at them blown out in reality. (Details. )
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post #21 of 26 Old 01-04-2020, 03:08 PM
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For me since the only low res device i have is the switch i figured the mclassic or mcable would be best due to AA, i have watched several youtubes of both devices but am unable to really tell a difference unless they zoom and show you exactly where the improvement is which could be due to youtube compression

I have the Xbox X and PS4 Pro so i was trying to improve the switch quality as much as possible on my LG OLED, my receiver has 2 outputs so i could plug either a mclassic, mcable or other device into the 2nd and have that go into a separate hdmi input on the tv so the other devices wont be affected as they are both 4k

I am looking into the DVDO and HDfury as well i imagine since they arent targeted for gaming they wont have AA

Until recently my switch was being displayed at 1080p, so the LG was not automatically converting it to 4k, when i went into my receiver settings i enabled the conversion and now the switch is being displayed in 4k, i am trying to compare with it off and on to tell if there is a quality difference
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post #22 of 26 Old 01-05-2020, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
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DVDO Mini introduces at least some lag, making it somewhat unfit for gaming.

If you have trouble identifying what the mclassic does on videos, you've answered your question.

Here is what it does zoomed in:


Please disregard the color difference thats due to the capturing gear and not present, if the signal path is correctly set up.

View it with the browser window in full screen. You see ringing on the ear (and in a few other places), you see deblurring. You see some smoothing. And you dont see much AA (but thats because the source is Pixel art, so high contrast (distinct steps of color between pixels)).

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post #23 of 26 Old 01-05-2020, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Replaced the gif above with an edited version to bring color levels closer together. Still not perfect, but a better representation of what the mClassic does. Use fullscreen to view it as a larger image size.
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post #24 of 26 Old 01-10-2020, 11:26 PM
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Yes there i can tell a difference, the effects are subtle but definitely there, guess ill need to decide if the lets say 8% increase in PQ is worth it
There is apparently a rumor about a Switch pro or an adapter that will make it pro floating on the internet

If there is some lag on the Switch, i dont think it would be a deal breaker since lag is usually only an issue in quick paced shooters such as call of duty/ halo etc;

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post #25 of 26 Old 01-12-2020, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Dont forget, its zoomed in.

If you are not too sensitive about input lag you could use a DVDO mini in the chain with its scaler function disabled (but with post processing on). I opted not to do that after a while, and just go mClassic into HDfury on the Switch. Switch games usually have too little texture detail to profit much from sharpening/detail enhancement - I've found (again, subjective assessment).

I cope with the ringing there for a little more AA, and a bit more edge definement (mClassic).

In movies its the other may round, I'd actually prefer mClassic off, vs it as the only item in the chain, because of ringing. Something to do with ringing not making games too artificial looking but in movies it does. (Animation genre excluded..)). And again, all of it - highly subjective.

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post #26 of 26 Old 01-19-2020, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Found another good setting, that depends on an LG (2016 (W)OLED B6) TV in addition to the chain.

This one kind of works out as a minimal touchup (almost no artefacting) for good 1080p source material. (Still not extremely high bandwidth but good source/transfer quality).


You start with the high preset on the DVDO Mini, bring it down to 2/1 (so with ringing filter high and smoothing filter medium (instead of off) on the DVDO Mini), and if you then also engage LGs super resolution: medium, that actually smoothes out the image a little more, getting rid of sharpening artifacts. Why its called super resolution, when it actually mostly does smoothing... eh, I dont know..

So normally on that type of content I'd use 1/1 but with smoothing filter medium (instead of off) and LG super resolution: medium - it smoothes it out to a point, where 2/1 looks proper.

Same setting tested out well with 2/2 on other content (shot on video, where a little bit more of edge enhancement worked well).

This is probably the most subtle setting I've posted so far. I couldnt get it to show up properly on images . but well.. Here you go. Guess which is which this time..

(Looks better from a distance than in the images.. )
-

Also - when you do that much post processing, you can disable 'just scan' on the LG OLED as well (in case you own one). Gives you a little bit of a bigger image.. (And hey, the softening we can deal with. . ) I have to say that I might have switched away from just scan as my default on my post processing HDMI input..
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