Resolution ? For Sat & Cable Box Users

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Joined: 12 Aug 2007
Resolution ? For Sat & Cable Box Users

I've thought about this before, but a lot more recently since we got a 1080p Samsung LCD the other month and a 1080p Mitsubishi this week.  To you all that use a satellite or cable box, what resolutions do you set it to output?  I have had a Toshiba HD rear projection for years that was only capable of 1080i and 480p (actually it upconverted 480p to 540p).  So I just had the DirecTV receiver output at 1080i for everything.  I know everyone is into "upconversion", but until upscaling DVD players came along I always thought messing with a signal was a bad thing.  Besides, most all early HD sets upscaled signals to another resolution any way.  I have the receiver set to native and all resolutions checked.  So whatever the channel is, it's going to output at the channel's resolution.  Then let the TV decide what to do with it.  Doesn't the 1080p sets scale everything to 1080p?  So if I only chose 720p and 1080i, then when I watch a 480i channel it's going to scale it to 720p and then the TV is going to scale it again to 1080p?  Isn't that a lot of scaling and/or processing going on?

Just wondering what you guys do?

Aaron Ledger's picture
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Joined: 6 Aug 2010

You basically need to determine what is better at scaling, your source or your display. If it is your display, then you'll want to use the native resultion of the content. Scaling in both source and display should be avoided. A downside to native resolution output for some source devices like a DirecTV box is possibly the speed of switching channels, but this is probably YMMV depending on the device and circumstance.

For PCs, there is no choice to output native resolution due to the inherent video processing so you want to set the output to your display native resolution and use 1:1 pixel mapping. Scaling is therefore performed in the PC and not the display.

Senior Editor | @swoon_

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