Let Tivo or Pinoeer Pro-FHd1 do up-conversion

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by puppypuppy, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. puppypuppy

    puppypuppy New Member

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    Nov 26, 2001
    Moss Beach,...

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    Hi all,

    I just got a new Pioneer Pro-FHD1 Plasma (thanks to my wife's generosity). My understanding is that it contains Faroudja technology for it's up conversion to 1080p. So ....

    Am I better off letting the Tivo up-convert everything to 1080i and then let the TV make the last step to 1080p. Or ...

    Should I have the Tivo output 480i (or 480p which is better) for the SD and 1080i for the HD and let the TV handle the main lifting. Or ...

    Is there an option I'm not thinking of ....

    Thoughts?
     
  2. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

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    Sep 6, 2004
    Assuming your display has a native resolution of 1080p:

    When you upconvert 720 to 1080, as you would if you set your output rez on the HR10 to 1080 and watch a FB game on FOX (oops! can't do that again until September), That preserves the original 720 resolution. Your display is then displaying 1920x1080 pixels, but at the equivalent of 1280x720 resolution. IOW, 720p rescaled to 1080i. This will not have the higher resolution of 1080i, due to the original being 720 and rescaled to 1080.

    If you watch the SB from CBS OTA HD which is already at 1080i, that preserves the 1920x1080 resolution on your display.

    If you output at 480 and allow it to be rescaled to 1080p on that set, you will only preserve the lower 704x480 resolution, and possibly only the 640x480 resolution letterboxed to an effective resolution even lower than 480.

    IOW, you don't want to do that, because you will lose resolution and sharpness.

    I have the Faroudja upconversion in my JVC AVR, and while Faroudja has made great products for both pro and consumer markets for many years, I was greatly underwhelmed by the performance of this circuitry. Of course I was only intending to use it for sources that were already 480, but as it turned out the rescaling in my Sony display blew the doors off the Faroudja for that particular task, and the HDTV is 2.5 years old.
     
  3. puppypuppy

    puppypuppy New Member

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    Nov 26, 2001
    Moss Beach,...
    Tyrone,

    Thanks for the info. The Pioneer Elite Pro-FHD1 monitor is a native 1080P plasma. One of the strengths they list for this panel is superior video processing. I'm wondering what people feel about the general video processing capabilities inside the Tivo.

    My understanding is the SD programming of the satellite is 480i. Is that correct?
    If so I can just setting the tivo to 480i and 1080i compare the final results letting the TV take care of what it can.

    I can't get any OTA programming because of a my location (big mountain in the way). So I have the D* Network HD feeds so what it the resolution of those? It was my understanding that CBS, NBC and ABC are 1080i and Fox is 720p. Is that correct?
     
  4. Dssturbo1

    Dssturbo1 New Member

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    Feb 22, 2005
    yes the SD programming is 480I, usually it is best not to try and strectch it at all, just watch it in the standard 4:3 ratio as it was intended and that will give you the best picture your gonna get with SD material.

    the pio fhd1 is a nice 50" display and does a good job with 720p/1080i/1080p HD sources, but sd is just sd, any scaler internal or external is not gonna help it much.
    nbc and cbs are 1080i, abc and fox are 720p.
     
  5. rcbray

    rcbray New Member

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    Mar 31, 2004

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    There are several factors involved and I'll tell you what I do with my SXRD XBR1.

    For 1080i and 720p I output the broadcast resolution (720p for ABC, FOX, and ESPN; rest at 1080i). Reason is for less processing. 1080i is not processed by the Tivo and deinterlaced and scaled to 1080p by the set. 720P is not processed by the Tivo and is merely scaled by the TV. If I output 720p as 1080i, the Tivo would scale and interlace the signal and then be deinterlaced by the TV. The difference is subtle; but definitely there.

    I output 480i as 1080i because the HDMI inputs on the SXRD "over filter" 480i and 480p. If I were using component, I would probably send 480i directly to the TV. If I were you, I would experiment with 480i output versus 1080i /720p output and see which looks best.
     
  6. puppypuppy

    puppypuppy New Member

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    Nov 26, 2001
    Moss Beach,...
    Thanks everyone. I get the TV tomorrow so I'll post my experiment results.
     
  7. Mikehdtv

    Mikehdtv New Member

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    Feb 18, 2004
    The Tivo SD upconversion is terrible. The Pioneer is far superior.
     
  8. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

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    Sep 6, 2004
    "Conversion" is probably a misleading term as used here, because it usually implies an intricate process fraught with potential artifacts. All we are really talking about is rescaling and deinterlacing/reinterlacing.

    Rescaling uses very simple math to interpolate pixels. Such interpolation does not carry with it the potential for artifacts as typically cause by converting video from format to format, or from analog to digital or back, or problems such as the rounding errors or concatenation found in recompressing, because none of that very simple math ever needs to be rounded off in a rescale algorithm.

    Rescaling from a lower resolution to a higher one is therefore totally non-destructive and completely reversible, and is a common practice that is typically transparent to the process. Going from higher to lower is also just as transparent, but is not non-destructive, in that reversing the process does not restore the original resolution, which is why you don't want to use 480 to display 1080, for instance.

    That said, there is little that Faroudja or any one else can do to make the process of rescaling better than it already is in virtually every consumer application already available, as it is already very transparent and does not typically add artifacts of any kind. So as far as rescaling goes, the Tivo probably will do that as well as any consumer-level display or A/V processer you can buy.

    Interlace is a little more of a problem, because not all deinterlacers are created equal. Those that began to show up in the majority of displays since 2005 typically do a pretty good job, but a few still don't and most before 2005 also do not. The best thing to do is try your particular source/destination (HR-10/HDTV in most cases) in available configurations, and find the one that seems to work the best, which will typically bring the better deinterlacer available into play. For the record, Faroudja handles interlace quite well, but again there is not much they can improve upon that any good interlace circuitry hasn't already done right. In 2007 there is no magic that Faroudja or anyone else can do that isn't already matched by pretty much everything else on the market.

    But while that's true today, it was not the case just a couple years ago. In my case I have a 2004 Sony 60XS-955, which while a terric set and the king of HD PQ in its day, was LCD technology at 768 native rez and did not have great interlace. Only three manufacturer's top models available at that time did interlace properly, and while at that time this set had an arguably better picture than the rest, it was not one of those three. By 2005 most sets had proper interlace.

    The later SXRD, for example, has better interlace and better black performance, and I suspect a late-model Panny plasma also does quite well, but it's best to try the options and see for yourself. I set my output to 720 because that gives a 1:1 rescale for 720 and deinterlaces 1080i in the Tivo instead of the set. Outputting at 1080 means the TV must rescale 720 instead of the Tivo, which it appears to do equally well, but that the TV must deinterlace 1080, which the Tivo does a tiny bit better.
     
  9. Dssturbo1

    Dssturbo1 New Member

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    Feb 22, 2005
    the SD PQ is better in 4:3 just watch it that way.
    i've never seen any display/stb/scaler upconvert/scale a 4:3 SD source and it look better than the original 4:3 SD pic.
     
  10. puppypuppy

    puppypuppy New Member

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    Nov 26, 2001
    Moss Beach,...
    o.k. here are the results of my experimentation over the weekend:

    SD output:
    The best results were setting the TIVO to 408i and let the Pioneer Pro-FHD1 to the rest. When I output the SD at 1080i there were pixelation artifacts in the picture and (perhaps more disturbing) there was a line of white pixel artifacts at the top and bottom of the screen that seemed to crawl along the screen like marching ants. Another observed behavior was that the TIVO did a poor job of centering the image within the letterbox. It was off center slightly to the left. I ended up setting the TIVO to output "full panel" to disable the letter box. When outputting at 480i the TV automatically detected this and letter boxed it centered. If you forget to change the TIVO resolution when switching from a high def source to a low def one the chubby "Cartman" effect is a good reminder. I played with the various stretch modes on the TV but found all of the more disturbing that letter boxing.

    HD 720p material:
    It was better to let 720p output go to the TV at 720p and let the TV resize. When I output it as 1080i and there was a lot of action on the screen there were some artifacts observed. I'm not sure who was responsible (TV or TV) but it was there.

    HD 1080i material:
    The obvious choice (and clear winner) was to output this at 1080i. I tried 720p to see if the TIVO interlacing worked better but there was a fuzziness tot he image that I conclude came from down-converting the resolution.

    Don't know if this helps anyone.
     

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