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Topic: Will a DVD recorder featuring 1080p upconversion to convert cable to HD?
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Joined: Nov 5, 2005
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My latest Costco coupon book has a coupon for a Pioneer DVD recorder (with 1080p upconversion and 160g harddrive). No mention of model number.

Will this convert my Shaw Cable service signal to HD? If it did, it would save me the cost of buying a standalone converter!

Thanks for any answers.
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Joined: Mar 28, 2005
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Highly unlikely that it will, but I'm not sure why you would need/want a stand alone image processor anyway. Just get HD cable and let the cable box do its bit, then the TV will handle the rest. Basic cable looks pretty horrendous anyways above about 6" diagonal.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
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Joined: Jun 15, 2007
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Upconversion means that if an input signal is say 525 lines, the recorder will convert the stored recording to 1080p. While the recorded image will play back at 1080p, the picture resolution will still be 525 lines. (In other words, you will have double lines containing identical pixel information.) You can't get more information out than you put in. So, upconversion is simply a scan rate conversion, not a magical source of high definition pictures.
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Joined: Mar 26, 2005
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It's true that upconversion won't magically give you as good of a picture as an HD source. But modern scalers are much more than line doublers. They will not give you doubled lines with identical pixel information. They use digital scaling algorithms to try to approximate the results of the missing detail. Some scalers are better than others. Among the best are Farouda and Genesis, latest generations of the two being the best.
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Chris - don't be confused. Your TV already converts all incoming signals to the native resolution of the display. It is likely a cheap processor that does this and I promise you that any cheap DVD player or piece of junk out there won't do a better job.

You don't need a scaler or anything else - you need HDTV in the first place if you want a good image. Everything else is just everything else.

People are so gung-ho on 1080p that they forget that QUALITY actually matters. 1080p does not equal quality and garbage, cheap 1080p products are cheap... and look like garbage. A good progressive scan DVD player goes a lot further than a cheap upconverting model.

Better yet, a HD DVD or Blu-ray Disc player delivers true HD from the start and looks phenomenal.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.