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i have a progrerssive scan dvd player hooked up to a sony 50 inch lcd rear projection hdtv. i'm happy with the picture but i recentely discovered that you can buy a dvd player that steps up the signal to almost hdtv quality.. ....i was wondering if ther was anything on the after market that i can install between my dvd player and hdtv to acheive the same results?????????? and if there is, will the picture quality improve very much???????....thank you in advance to anyone who may have an answer,i'm very new to home theatre in general,so again thank you.............................m29g
 

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I believe they only step up the qulaity on non-copyprotected titles, of which there are few. And a seperate scaler would cost much more than just replacing your current dvd player, with one of the newer upscaling players. This question would be much better suited for the dvd player forum and not here..
 

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Moving to the DVD Player Section...
 

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m29g,

The type of device you are talking about is made by DVDO. Check their Iscan products (there's a link to them among the equipment vendors collection at the top of this page).


However it is unlikely your old, progressive DVD player has a sufficient quality output to make it worth the effort. You want to feed a very high quality 480-interlaced signal to the Iscan, and the best you've probably got is a Component output which will already be subject to whatever quality issues are in the video output stage of your older player. The external device can't fix any damage that's already been done to the signal.


Despite that caveat, there ARE some older players that have an excellent reputation for the quality of the 480i signal they put out. You may just happen to have one of those. Why don't you tell us the make and model of your current player?


If not, for the money you would pay to get an Iscan, you could get a very very good newer player.


Keep in mind that if you feed a 480i or 480p signal to your HD ready LCD TV, it probably already includes a "line doubler" or the like which does a lot of what any upscaling player would do. So what you are paying for in an upscaling player is a circuit that does a BETTER job than what your TV could do for you. In getting a new player, you might also be paying for a "universal" player that can play not only DVDs and CDs but higher quality audio formats such as DVD-A or SACD. Depending upon your interests, this may be a better use of your cash than just paying to improve the video.


Another issue is whether your TV has a "digital" video input. The better upscaling DVD players will only put out the upscaled 720P or 1080i signals over a DVI or HDMI cable. They will refuse to put out better than 480P over analog video cables such as Component, S-video, or Composite. This is due to industry pressure related to copy protection. Of course an external scaler like an Iscan doesn't know it is being fed video from a DVD so....


In any event, the DVD data is only at 480 to begin with, so upscaling the resolution can only do so much. It will never really by "HDTV quality" since the data isn't there to begin with. There are other equally important characteristics of quality such as the ability of the player to de-interlace the video on the DVDs without error (a surprisingly tough challenge) and the purity of the color processing.


For example, your older player may be generating a lot or artifacts in the video image because it does a shoddy job of de-interlacing the data off the DVD -- producing the 480-progressive signal from the 480-interlaced data. If so, the most important thing something like an Iscan would do for you is fix all that nonsense -- likely a much bigger win than what you would gain from the resolution upscaling alone.


Setting aside "exotic" equipment, as you probably should, the "best there is" DVD player will set you back something in the range of $1000 to $2000 with the higher end being newer models, or models sold through limited distribution and the lower end being models sold through discounters or older models -- where older here means maybe as ungodly ancient as 9 to 12 months since it first came out. As you can see, that's in the same ballpark as some of the Iscan stuff and for that price you would get a "universal" player.


Of course if you want to spend less, there will be compromises of one sort or another. There are lots of threads in this forum that can help if you take the time to do some studying.

--Bob
 
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