Does Upscaling Matter?

Joe McNeilly writes: "As GamesRadar's "video guy" I'm constantly babbling in technojargon about codecs and frame sizes and quantizing gamma variances in chrominance channels. I love geeking out on topics like the difference between 680p and 720p. But I really don't get all the beef about upscaling in recent popular games - it's a tool developers use to help bring you the goodness you crave. Just think, if games look this great now imagine how slick they'll be when developers figure out how to use the other 25% of their brains. I've composed this video response to you, the internets, for never being happy with anything ever. Enjoy!"

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truncheon3811d ago

"when developers figure out how to use the other 25% of their brains" is a great line.

Winter47th3811d ago (Edited 3811d ago )

When Anti-Aliasing is implemented, look at COD4, not HD, couple'a AA, best graphics of '07.

Halo3, not HD, no AA, looks like sh!t.

tplarkin73811d ago

Play KOTOR on an original Xbox. Then play it on Xbox 360. The difference is night-and-day. The upscaling gets rid of the jaggies.

LinuxGuru3811d ago

Run photoshop, open up a picture, scale it to a larger size, and then I dare you to tell me that it was effective in making it look better.

Upscaling is a cheap way of making things look just *OK* on a bigger screen.

I'd rather take native resolution output any day.

That's why I have a PS3. Native 1080p games will be much more common, starting late this year and onwards.

ar3811d ago

Of course upscaling impairs the picture quality. But that's beside the point. The important thing is the gameplay. If the gameplay is good who cares if it's upscaled a few percent?

Zeevious3811d ago (Edited 3811d ago )

You may need to re-evaluate or upgrade your tools.

With Photoshop, Gimp or many free, low-cost video & photo editors you can achieve previously impossible results, with the right methods. Just switching to a Laczos3 interpolation will improve even an inexperienced editors results.

A technology called 'Super-resolution' can now be used to go beyond upscaling and replace lost still & active frame information.
The process is mathematically intensive which makes it perfect for the cell . . . especially just going from something like 720p to 1080.

The cell has previously been shown decoding, upscaling & displaying numerous HD videostreams, with a three SPU model being used by Toshiba in HD Displays. It was designed for just this type of application.

This may be an example of the type of upscaling we can expect in the future on a PS3 and could take even a low-resolution image and produce print-quality & HD media from it.


...and YES, the final image was created from the blocky, poor-resolution images above the processed results.

Improvements can be subjective, but using one of these advanced methods the trade-off would be 1080p 60fps and indistinguishable from native-res.

Technically, you could even improve over the native-res image with adaptive techniques to smooth & enhance edges, motion compensation & sub-pixel rendering.

ReBurn3810d ago

Spoken by someone who truly knows nothing about the topic. You can't compare upscaling of the contents of the frame buffer of a video game console to resizing an image in Photoshop. They are two completely different kinds of technology.

And even if you were able to make a direct comparison, there are graphics formats that are way less lossy than the average JPEG image. JPEG's are already compressed as far as they can be, with relatively low DPI. But formats like PNG and RAW upscale 20% - 25% quite well.

Zeevious3810d ago (Edited 3810d ago )


If your referring to my comment you are mistaken about my experience.

You're also mistaken about frame buffer/Photoshop image comparisons.
Though terminology may vary, the technology behind many common scaling methods originated with still-frame raster image processing research. The most common techniques are NOT different technologies as you are stating, they are simply operating on an image in different mediums.

As a simple proof of this compare Photoshop to the settings for a dedicated graphics card:
Options for image scaling in Photoshop start with Bilinear, to Bicubic, to more advanced scaling algorithms.

Options for image scaling in your graphics card start with Bilinear, to Bicubic, to Tricubic, to more advanced settings.

Whether your using an advanced technology such as Lanczos3 or a novel 8th dimension Perlin Noise implementation, the active medium of the image is irrelevant. The cell processor has more than enough power to generate upscaled, live imagery using these and other techniques as outlined in my previous reply showing the substantially improved results. (The Angelina video frames ALONE are a 400% increase in detail & resolution!)

You are welcome to attach ANY Lo-res 320x240 photo or similar size lossy JPEG image, and I'll be happy to use some of the developed tools to demonstrate a full 200% or larger resize with a level of quality your stating is impossible. (after MGS) The images & reference links I've included speak for themselves.

Considering your statement that YOU can only get quality enlargements of 20-25% with PNG or RAW images...I'd have to question if your statement was in fact what was "Spoken by someone who truly knows nothing about the topic."

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El_Colombiano3811d ago

This is a bit offensive if you ask me. I care if my games are running at a native high definition resolution. I didn't buy this 40" HDTV so some lazy developers could decide to take the cheap and easy way out and render MY games at a sub-HD resolution! If I'm paying the full price of a game, I should get a full game. This is why I refuse to support EA and such, as them selling a file in the 10-100kb size range for $1.99 is insanity because they're just unlocking something you already paid for...anyway rant over...I just really dislike EA...

truncheon3811d ago

lots of people were buying hdtvs before the content production infrastructures of tv, movies or games were ready for it. producers are still struggling to catch up to display technology. most game developers are anything but lazy. remember the "ea wife" scandal a couple years ago? those guys work like dogs to get stuff out on time. if they insisted on 720p, the games would have frame rate issues, lower rez textures, lower poly models, fewer things happening on screen at once etc. which would piss people off worse.

Time_Is_On_My_Side3811d ago

For the XBOX 360 it's hardware issues but for the PlayStation 3 we already seen 1080p video games. The highest the XBOX 360 can go is 720p and than upscales on your display. The PlayStation 3 can push games at 1080p at 60fps (frames per second).

Meresin3811d ago

Game developers cater to the masses, especially in the console world. Unfortunately, the masses haven't generally purchased a new TV recently, so they can get away with sub-720p graphics, and most people never even notice. Sad, but true.

If those developers had to design games for my TV, everything would be in 1080p, because even 720p doesn't look that hot on a 61" DLP HDTV. ;)

ambientFLIER3810d ago (Edited 3810d ago )

Some One Plays:

I love listening to people who have no clue what they're talking about. The 360 is fully capable of and HAS 1080p native games. That's what the hdmi port is for. Case closed.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3810d ago
1stKnighT3811d ago

Upscaling is better for movies. Upscaling on video games creates a slight lag that might be noticeable on certain games like Rockband.

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