Video Processing in DVD Players, Receivers and Displays
It has come to our attention many times in the past that people are generally confused about video processing. They are confused about which components are responsible for doing what, and they are confused about which products should receive the most attention. If you are confused - you're not alone. If you don't think you're confused, you probably should be. Let's take this scenario:
Joe has a high-end DVD player connected to his high-end receiver. He also spent tons of money on a brand new standalone video processor that feeds to his top of the line front projector.
To test your knowledge of video processing, here's a question: When Joe presses 'Play' what happens? Which component is doing the deinterlacing? Which one is scaling the image to the projector's native resolution? Which one is providing noise reduction?
Don't know? That's OK - Joe doesn't either. You see, he was convinced he had to buy the very best of everything. And as a result - he's got some very nice pieces of gear… but much of the processing that goes into the cost of that gear is going unused - at least potentially.
This article is going to quickly (and we hope "simply") go through the process of explaining how and why you will utilize video processing in your AV components - and when you should be concerned about video processing and when you can get by with spending a little less. We'll do this through the use of examples and generalizations that can be applied to your own equipment. With the right amount of A-B testing we'll help you to see for yourself what each component should be doing and simplify the process of finding out how to get the best performance out of your own system.
- AV Processor - Any component or part of a component that changes the
incoming or source video signal in any way shape or form. This can involve
taking it off of a medium like a hard drive, DVD or HD-DVD or a dedicated
unit that does fancy noise reduction and scaling. All displays are video
processors of some sort as they all need to process the incoming signal to
ready it for display on the screen.
- AV Receiver/Processor - A component which takes audio
and video inputs and routes audio and video to the display and speakers
(respectively). It may or may not include amplification or the ability to
handle digital (HDMI) video. The newest and most feature-rich AV
processors have been adding many more video processing features of late,
leading to enhanced capabilities which have to be used carefully.
- Deinterlacing - This is the process of converting an interlaced signal
(like that found on a DVD or in many cableTV signals) to progressive scan
demanded by most HDTVs and EDTVs. The tricky part is that DVD sources are
stored at 24 frames per second and video plays back primarily at ~30
frames per second. To do the conversion, video processors must correctly
convert by using "pull down" technology to interleave (combine)
fields (every other line of a frame of picture) and create an image that
is smooth and error-free.
- ABT/DVDO - Anchor Bay Technologies DVDO video processing systems.
DVDO processing is available within other AV hardware or as a standalone
- Gennum/VXP - "Visual Excellence Processing" from
Gennum. This technology is available within other AV hardware or as a
- Silicon Optix/HQV - Hollywood Quality Video processing. This is video processing
provided by Silicon Optix. HQV processing is available within other AV
hardware or as a standalone unit.
- Scaling - This is the process of taking an incoming video signal and changing the output resolution to match a particular set of dimensions. This can be to fit a display's native resolution, or to ready the signal for an anamorphic lens that projects onto a theatrical widescreen presentation.
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Recent Forum Posts:
As a follow up on my earlier post, I had a chance to connect my DTR 8.9 to my Sony changers. It appears that via HDMI output, the best option is to feed the 8.9 1080i signal, otherwise, the picture appears blotchy on my TV. I have 8.9 outputting 720p to my TV. I don't see much difference on my Samsung between 1080i and 720p, so I went with native resolution. I will post my impressions of the receiver as a separate thread. I hope Clint and the gang will have a chance to review new Integra receivers. It looks like there are a lot of options that are available to professional installers to calibrate all home theater sources. I would be interested in Audioholics opinions on those.
Thanks for advice, Clint, but my Sony changers don't output clean 480i via HDMI … ;-(
With that said, your TV is likely 720p native and merely supports 1080i. As a result, set the AV receiver to output 720p.
Good article. I liked how it was laid out.
I am still a bit confused on processing options. I recently bought a new Integra DTR 8.9 Receiver, and I am looking forward to using its Reon chip with my DVD changers, but was should I set the output to?
My DLP TV is a 720p / 1080i TV, and I usually leave it at 720p.
My Dish outputs 1080i (I tried outputting 720p and it looks worse)
My DVD changers can output anything (480i, 720p, 1080i), but their scaling/processing was rated subpar
I am contemplating having the receiver output of 720p, but I am not sure what I should feed it from the sources if I want to utilize the power of Reon chip.
I am thinking outputting 480i from all sources to have my receiver to do all the work, as recommended in the article, the question is, will this limit the amount of details (data) output from my Dish and DVDs if I limit output to 480i, shouldn't I feed my receiver 1080i and let it do video processing?
I wanted to see what smart people think
I will, of course, tinker with the settings when I set it up and pick the best one and report on it, but I wanted to see what people think.
I have a Hitachi 46F500 RP CRT TV, this will not be replaced in the near future. My question is does all the stuff in the article apply to RP CRT?
Also how would I find out what the native resolution is for this TV?