Standard DVDs Get a Resolution Boost
Upconversion breathes new life -- and higher resolution -- into standard DVDs.
Oppo DVD-970HD
The Oppo DVD-970HD upconverts standard DVDs (480i resolution) to 720p or 1080i.
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February 15, 2007 by Rebecca Day

Even the standard DVD will get a performance bump this year. Look for both high-definition DVD players and some standard-def models to offer upconversion to either 1080i or 1080p.

You won’t get the same detail and quality from the interpolation as you would from a disc mastered at high resolution, but you’ll see an improvement. “We’re making up five-sixths of the information you’re seeing on the screen,” says Pioneer’s Walker. “We have to take 300,000 pixels and turn them into 2 million, and we’re guessing at that content, based on the information on the original DVD.” He says the process makes a DVD look a lot better than it normally does, “but you don’t get the same detail as you would with Blu-ray.”

View more of our New HD special coveragePlayers like the Oppo DVD-970HD ($149), Toshiba’s SD-6000 ($129), and LG’s DN788 ($79.95) upconvert standard DVDs (480i resolution) to 720p or 1080i to take advantage of the high-resolution capability of a high-end display. Note that only images sent via HDMI can be upconverted to 720p or 1080i. If you use component video connectors, the resolution bump is limited to 480p because of copyright technology. For 1080p TV owners, the LG DN 798 ($109.95) and Rotel’s high-end RDV-1093 ($1,499) upconvert standard DVDs to 1080p resolution.

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