Originally Posted by CherylJosie
I should probably do more reading before posting this, but I am sort of lost in the wilderness and launching a cry for help.
Wow. You've got like a million questions there!
It would take a lot longer to address them properly than what I have at the moment. And some of them really aren't suitable for discussion in this topic (very tangential). But I will say it seems like there is a desire to have all the gee-wiz, whiz-bang, hot-buzzword goodie features... without really knowing what any of them are.
There's no crime in that, but you do need to know a bit more about what
you want, before you can start to move towards making it happen. Like most things in life.
For example: "Would MadVR help with upscaling to HDR?"
, the answer is 'no' because you have to start with a source that already has HDR. You can't upscale TO it, with madVR or anything else. And even once you do have HDR throughout your chain, not everyone is in agreement that it is all that great.
No matter how heavily it gets promoted.
We are trying to figure out what strategy makes sense for him given the limitations of budget (pretty much gone)
Well, if the budget is gone, that makes things easy! You just have to work with what you've got, and try to optimize that. Though possibly doing some research and analysis BEFORE the budget was gone may have been helpful.
I take it that he needs to capture his cable box RF output with a digital TV tuner card and then play it back through HDMI with 4K upscaling and motion interpolation via MadVR?
No, capturing RF output from his cable-box isn't going to work. The modulated-RF out there isn't even HD to begin with. You mentioned Xfinity, and they encrypt everything
coming down their pipeline now, including free-OTA content. So while you could insert a splitter and send the signal to both the cable box AND a digital TV tuner card, unless that is one that handles 'protected content', you won't even have a signal to work with. [and to be clear, such cards DO exist... I'm just not sure what can be done with the signal inside the 'protected domain' once you've acquired it. a topic for somewhere else.]
The biggest question is how much value he is going to get out of 4K in the first place. I understand he now has a 55" UHD-TV (which are selling like hot-cakes), and probably would like to see some value out of that purchase.
And sourcing that with Netflix 4K and a UHD disc player will give him the best quality, the fastest, and most easily. But to take advantage of madVR upscaling of his existing 2K source materials will take a better vidcard than he currently has (to have anything meaningful beyond the upscaling either his TV or his planned UHD disc player could provide by themselves). And that may not be worthwhile. It depends a lot on how far from his TV he will be sitting (and how good his eyesight is!
) But if he's not sitting very close, what he will already have may be all the upscaling quality he will need. Thus potentially no role for madVR in that particular configuration.
So he could discover with some surprise that he's just fine with playing his BR-discs in his new UHD player (letting IT do the upscaling), and letting his new TV handle upscaling to its 4K panel of all his other
existing source materials. Thus my recommendation would be for him to start there, get his feet wet with what he has (and has planned), and then
move on from that point. He will then be in a position to know if he's just throwing away money, or buying himself some real value. Otherwise he might wind up spending a lot of time and money to get all this set up; and one day accidentally flip between A and B, and say "I can't see anything different! Why did I waste all that money?"
I hope this starts to clear away the fog a bit.