Ask a Pro
Q. Can You Tell The Difference Between a Standard and Upconverted DVD Signal?
Bryant Moore of Moore Audio Designs explains why an upconverted DVD signal offers a much better picture.
March 31, 2008 by Bryant Moore

Q. I’ve noticed some retailers have reduced the price of the Xbox360 HD DVD player to approximately $49. This seem to be a great deal but given the fact that HD DVDs will no longer be produced, I’m wondering if it will be a good idea to purchase the Xbox360 HD DVD player to use for upconverting purposes only. Is there really a noticeable difference between a standard DVD signal and an upconverted DVD signal?  - Don, Bowie, MD

Yes, you should see a noticeable difference in the picture between a regular DVD and an upconverted DVD picture. This assumes that you are using a good DVD player to begin with (a $99 DVD player with upconversion from your local whatever-mart does not apply here) and you are using a high-quality HDMI cable. Without going into a discussion on interlaced vs. progressive output, a regular DVD has an output of 480 lines of resolution, and an upconverted DVD signal is 1080. And also, the 480 standard (component video) output is analog and the HDMI signal is digital. You are eliminating the opportunity of acquiring nasty artifacts in the picture because you aren’t subjecting it to a digital to analog to digital conversion process. But I would think twice about investing any amount of money into an HD-DVD player. That $50 bucks could just as easily go towards a Blu-ray player in a couple months… 

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A classically-trained musician and former network administrator, Bryant Moore has turned a lifelong passion for music and A/V equipment into a thriving business with Charlotte, NC based Moore Audio Design. He has over a decade of experience in designing and implementing home electronics systems.

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