What is upscaling?

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Upscaling is the automatic conversion of a low resolution image or video to high definition resolution. Usually carried out by high definition televisions, upscaling or re-dimensioning an image or video can lead to resolution issues. Multimedia such as images or videos in standard definition have a lower resolution than that of images or videos of high definition quality. Optimising the images after conversion depends on the hardware being used. High definition multimedia interface can handle upscaling well. Switching to high definition support is recommended to avoid problems such as distortion, loss of color, etc. High definition is supported in Blu-Ray DVDs and HD DVDs.

When you are watching a DVD movie on a HD (high definition) screen, there can be image resolutions problems. The video resolution (number of pixels) on DVD SD (standard definition) is lower than the HD screen. For optimum performance, you can convert files to high definition. This is called upscaling (basically changing the dimensions of the image).

HD resolution v/s SD resolution

SD DVD resolution: 720x576 pixels
HD resolution: 1280x720 or 1920x1080 pixels. The HD definition corresponds to the 16:9 format, as per modern TVs (Plasma/LCD).

Upscaling / Conversion to high definition

The conversion of a SD video signal is performed by some SD DVD / HD or high definition televisions. A mathematical calculation is used to change one resolution to another. Optimising the image is more or less successful depending on the quality of your hardware.
Note: If you have a DVD player and a HDTV Ready (new standard), make sure your player has an HDMI (high definition multimedia interface). Connected to the TV, HDMI allows you to resize a video in HD SD.

Skip to high definition support

To avoid upscaling and possible loss of quality, opt for new media including HD videos such as HD-DVD and Sony's Blu-ray.

Jean-François Pillou

Jean-François Pillou - Founder of CCM
Better known as Jeff, Jean-François Pillou is the founder of CommentCaMarche.net. He is also CEO of CCM Benchmark and digital director at the Figaro Group.

Learn more about the CCM team