Originally Posted by stratogustav
Yeah, some upscalers fake it better. Some chips are smarter and know where to saturate for example. Also some panels are naturally better for low resolution content like OLED vs. LED, etc..
For the most part content has always been designed with whatever technology they had at hand. So obviously content that was ment for CRTs will always look better on CRTs, or plasmas, or VGA computer monitors, etc..
As long as i've been involved in these types of conversations, and technology, the general rule of thumb is the TV will always upscale better because it's the display and usually has higher quality upscaling technology then an external device.
It also depends on the quality of the source content, and size of the display being used. For me, my 4K TV is a 43" TV and regardless the content, it can typically look sharper, then say the 48" 1080p TV in the bedroom. The pixels are smaller and closer together so it helps sharpen things up.
I've been going through my copy of Knight Rider which is 4:3 content, and was done way before HD, or 4k / HDR were around, and I'm really impressed with the quality i'm getting on both TVs for the content age.
One other thing is to sit a little further back, TVs, especially LCDs tend to look better the further you are from them, when it comes to clarity and detail.