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Do native 720p games benefit or hurt from upscaling to 1080p?

NeoXDeath

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Sep 6, 2007
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So I've recently spent some money getting HDMI cables for my 360 because my TV only supports 1080p through HDMI and not component. I've looked at the cases of my 360 games and most of them say that they are native at 720p. I have a 60" flatscreen projection, and I know that its better to play games in 720p instead of 1080i, but does the upscaling to 1080p help the games, or did I waste my money? I wish I could see some comparison picks in each resolution, but all my searches on google have come up short.
 

Full Recovery

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Jan 2, 2008
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You're usually best off running the native resolution.

Sounds like you paid too much for your HDMI cables.
 

somuchwater

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Oct 31, 2007
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I may be wrong about this, but I think that scaling can sometimes be a factor in introducing lag. So if a 1080p signal goes into a 1080p TV, it's already 'pre-scaled', so there's no processing necessary by the TV, reducing the time taken from the signal to get from the box to the set.

Of course, it's entirely possible that I'm talking out of my ass. This could be hearsay that I've read around the 'net.
 

LCfiner

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Feb 23, 2008
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If you paid more than 10 bucks each for the HDMI cables, you wasted some cash. You can buy HDMI for the convenience, not for amazingly better imagine quality (over component or VGA)

edit. you're OK.
 

Truespeed

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May 6, 2007
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Content looks better in the native resolution it was created in. There is no replacement for missing data.
 

Full Recovery

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NeoXDeath said:
Meh, if I made a bad decision at most I'm out $8 or so.
Then use the HDMI, I was almost thinking you got suckered into buying Monster or some 'high-end' cables.
 
May 19, 2005
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NeoXDeath said:
Meh, if I made a bad decision at most I'm out $8 or so.
In the end, native or not, HDMI has the optimal signal quality over component and it was only $8 so why worry, it's not like you're going to go back to component right?
 

Darkpen

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Mar 14, 2007
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if you have something like a 50", HDMI is the way to go, but component is fine for something like a 26", as far as what's worthwhile is concerned.

As far as the 360 is concerned in particular, though, I don't think PQ is going to diminish from the upscaling, since it has that upscaling chip and whatnot.
 

tak

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Dec 25, 2006
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Depends on what is doing the upscaling and what kind of methods it is using to upscale. Some newer, high end TVs use some high quality upscaling algorithms, but there are more then a few TVs that are really, really bad at upscaling. I'm not sure how good the 360 upscaler is though.
 

NeoXDeath

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Well, I just took a look again at my 360 games and it looks like all my older games only go up to 1080i but all my newer games say 720p/1080i/1080p on the back. Does this mean that they can support native 1080p or that they can simply be upscaled? I don't know.
 

GaryD

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Jan 15, 2007
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somuchwater said:
I may be wrong about this, but I think that scaling can sometimes be a factor in introducing lag. So if a 1080p signal goes into a 1080p TV, it's already 'pre-scaled', so there's no processing necessary by the TV, reducing the time taken from the signal to get from the box to the set.

Of course, it's entirely possible that I'm talking out of my ass. This could be hearsay that I've read around the 'net.
Nup you're pretty right, any extra processing is going to take time. However, most decent TV's should do it fast enough not to have any noticeable lag though.
 
May 19, 2005
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NeoXDeath said:
Well, I just took a look again at my 360 games and it looks like all my older games only go up to 1080i but all my newer games say 720p/1080i/1080p on the back. Does this mean that they can support native 1080p or that they can simply be upscaled? I don't know.
Mostly upscaled. Only a handful of games are native 1080p.
 

Liabe Brave

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Jan 23, 2007
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NeoXDeath said:
So I've recently spent some money getting HDMI cables for my 360 because my TV only supports 1080p through HDMI and not component. I've looked at the cases of my 360 games and most of them say that they are native at 720p. I have a 60" flatscreen projection, and I know that its better to play games in 720p instead of 1080i, but does the upscaling to 1080p help the games, or did I waste my money?
You pretty much might as well. Very few TVs are native 720p; they're either 768p or 1080p. If the image is going to get scaled anyway, it's usually better to scale it higher, as this should reduce shimmer from interpolation. Too big a difference--games that render well below 720p--might start to get too blurry, however.

It all depends on your eyes and your preferences. Since you already have the cables, just hook it up and check. Some folks see no advantage, some see a lot.
 

dirtmonkey37

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Feb 1, 2006
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If I have a TV that's 1080p capable, does setting the 360's resolution to 1080p (instead of the 720p it's running on right now) negatively affect how a game runs?

I ask this because IGN posted an article around the 360's launch, claiming that Call of Duty 2 experienced more framerate dips when they ran it in 1080i than when they ran it in 720p.
 

jstevenson

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Aug 17, 2006
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If you have a 1080p TV... it's going to get scaled either way.

Either the TV will scale the 720p image to 1080p and then display it.
Or the 360 will scale to 1080p and then send to the TV, which will then display it. I don't believe there are performance hits to games getting scaled 360-side --- but others here would know better.

Depending on the quality of your TV, you may or may not want to scale. If you have an XBR Sony or a nice Pioneer Elite, you probably want the TV to do it. If you have the Costco bargain TV of the month, you may want the 360 to handle. Try both and see what looks better to you.
 

Beer Monkey

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As far as picture quality goes, it just depends on the quality of the scaler in your TV, like others have said. The ATI/Avivo scaler is pretty damned good, at least for games.

As far as speed goes, the ATI/Avivo scaler is really damned fast and I'd be surprised if your TV scaler is as fast.

Use the Rock Band video lag test to compare the scaling speed. If you have the new RB2 guitar, you can even use the electric eye to measure the speed and take human error out of the equation.
 

supermackem

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Oct 4, 2005
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tak said:
Depends on what is doing the upscaling and what kind of methods it is using to upscale. Some newer, high end TVs use some high quality upscaling algorithms, but there are more then a few TVs that are really, really bad at upscaling. I'm not sure how good the 360 upscaler is though.
Yep this, my new sony lcd is amazing running 720p where as my samsung makes 720p games look like ass so i let the 360 scale them on that tv. If your set is native 1080p then do the test yourself try it running both 720p on the 360 dash then 1080p see which one looks better then you will know which to chose to do the scaling.
 

soco

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Oct 3, 2006
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you'll get upscaled DVDs (and HD-DVD if you still have that thing ;) ) and overall better quality.

if your tv was a native 1080p tv and the image was taking up the full screen, it was upscaling anyway. it's just a matter of who has the better upscaling -- the tv or the 360.
 

dirtmonkey37

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Feb 1, 2006
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jstevenson said:
If you have a 1080p TV... it's going to get scaled either way.

Either the TV will scale the 720p image to 1080p and then display it.
Or the 360 will scale to 1080p and then send to the TV, which will then display it. I don't believe there are performance hits to games getting scaled 360-side --- but others here would know better.

Depending on the quality of your TV, you may or may not want to scale. If you have an XBR Sony or a nice Pioneer Elite, you probably want the TV to do it. If you have the Costco bargain TV of the month, you may want the 360 to handle. Try both and see what looks better to you.
Awesome, thanks. I actually do have an XBR, and 1080p on my PS3 looks very nice--I'll try switching between the different settings to see if my games take a performance hit under 1080p or not.

And I did check out Arcade Fire's Funeral that you recommended me a while (ages) ago (if you even remember). Really good stuff. Gives me that childhood vibe of playing dodge-ball on the "black-top" for some reason. But yeah, it's a breath of fresh air.
 

Hammer24

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Feb 15, 2007
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If your TV has an option that says "just scan", then put this on and set the 360 to 1080p output. "Just scan" means the TV will display the signal as it comes in without scaling itself. Gives by far the best picture.
 

Fafalada

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Jun 22, 2004
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tak said:
I'm not sure how good the 360 upscaler is though.
The only real difference to the TV upscaler(assuming the TV isn't really bad) is that 360 one is under developer control, and can therefore be different for each title (there's a set of most standard scale-filters to chose from).
 

Jtrizzy

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Jun 20, 2007
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My roommate just got a 52" Toshiba 1080p lcd. What should I be doing ps3 wise other than getting an HDMI cable? (I've been playing it on a 720p only tv over component)
 

Grayman

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Hammer24 said:
If your TV has an option that says "just scan", then put this on and set the 360 to 1080p output. "Just scan" means the TV will display the signal as it comes in without scaling itself. Gives by far the best picture.
On my "720p" tv just scan still scales. What it does is it fits the image to the screen and avoids overscan that is present in 16:9.
 

boco77

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Oct 29, 2007
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Do 360 games look better on 1080p sets if they aren't 1080p to begin with? (which most aren't anyway).

I have a 720p tv and it looks fine through vga running in the native res (1360x768). But was wondering would 1080p with 360 really make games look any better?
 

supermackem

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Jtrizzy said:
My roommate just got a 52" Toshiba 1080p lcd. What should I be doing ps3 wise other than getting an HDMI cable? (I've been playing it on a 720p only tv over component)
Apart from movies your stuck with what dev offer, some games offer 1080p or a scaled 1080p some you can force 1080p some you can only get 720p its a mixed bag.
 

jett

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supermackem said:
Apart from movies your stuck with what dev offer, some games offer 1080p or a scaled 1080p some you can force 1080p some you can only get 720p its a mixed bag.
The PS3 doesn't scale to 1080p at all, it's always handled by the TV, right?
 
boco77 said:
Do 360 games look better on 1080p sets if they aren't 1080p to begin with? (which most aren't anyway).

I have a 720p tv and it looks fine through vga running in the native res (1360x768). But was wondering would 1080p with 360 really make games look any better?
Things will always look best at native resolution, but a decent scale up from 720p to 1080p shouldn't look bad.

The difference in image output is like

and
 

brain_stew

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NeoXDeath said:
So I've recently spent some money getting HDMI cables for my 360 because my TV only supports 1080p through HDMI and not component. I've looked at the cases of my 360 games and most of them say that they are native at 720p. I have a 60" flatscreen projection, and I know that its better to play games in 720p instead of 1080i, but does the upscaling to 1080p help the games, or did I waste my money? I wish I could see some comparison picks in each resolution, but all my searches on google have come up short.
If your TV is 1080p native then it is toally dependant on which is the best scaler, your TV or the 360. 90%+ of the time it'll be the 360, and this also has the added advantage of eliminating any potential lag and also prevents sub 720p games from double scaling.

Make sure you enable the "just scan" or"no overscan" option on your TV so that it 1:1 maps the incoming signal and doesn't rescale it again itself due to overscan.

Regardless of the benefits of upscaling, the HDMI should give you a much better image anyway as the 360's component is far from ideal. Considering a HDMI cable is $10 or less, you'd be crazy not to make use of the functionality.


tak said:
Depends on what is doing the upscaling and what kind of methods it is using to upscale. Some newer, high end TVs use some high quality upscaling algorithms, but there are more then a few TVs that are really, really bad at upscaling. I'm not sure how good the 360 upscaler is though.
Its really quite good, I believe its based on the lanczos algorithm, which should be better than the algorithms that most TV scalers use. Speed is a major, major advantage as well, since there's as close to zero lag you're going to get, whereas many TV scalers suffer very badly in this area. For that reason alone, I'd let your 360 do the scaling for your games.
 

Fafalada

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Jun 22, 2004
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brain_stew said:
Its really quite good, I believe its based on the lanczos algorithm
lanczos is just one of the selectable filters. Ultimately each game 'could' opt to use a different filter/sample count combination (though I suspect most don't bother).
 

brain_stew

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Fafalada said:
lanczos is just one of the selectable filters. Ultimately each game 'could' opt to use a different filter/sample count combination (though I suspect most don't bother).
Ahh thanks for the info, didn't realise the system was so flexible, any other particular algorithms used?
 
Feb 7, 2008
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The 360's scaler, from my experience, does a better job of scaling than the TV. You set the 360 to the TV's native resolution (1360x768 using VGA cables, in my case) with the best cable available (HDMI in your case) and the 360 takes care of the rest.

The only two games I know where the selected resolution affects performance are Tomb Raider Legend and Dead Rising. Tomb Raider has frame rate issues when running at 720p or above, but at 480p it's solid as a rock. Dead Rising suffered from screen tearing when I ran it in 1360x768 but when I set my system to 1280x720 (same TV, same cable) there were no problems.

Apart from those two, I've never had to change the selected resolution on the 360, and even with Tomb Raider I take the frame-rate hit for the higher quality graphics. For the games that do run at 1080p native, you'll be glad you've got the HDMI and the machine set to 1080p.
 

AlexM

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that would be nice if we could actually select the sharpening filter, that would be a good system update for me.



Also in terms of upscaliong (on ps3) I've noticed some games have a more profound effect than others. For instance COD4 has a very noticable difference (52 inch sharp 1080p TV)
 

Rolf NB

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Executive summary: leave your Xbox 360 configured to output 1080p.

1)Your 720p games were already being upscaled to 1080p before you switched cables. By the TV instead of the console, but still, they were upscaled. Otherwise you would have seen a little box filling roughly half of the screen with the rest taken up by black borders.

2)It's not really the 720p games that stand to lose or benefit. Maybe if your TV scaling was complete shit, but you didn't complain about that, so I guess not.
It's all the games that don't render in 720p natively that will look marginally nicer, because they were previously scaled twice, and now only once. Scaling is a slightly lossy process, and doing it less often is preferable. Also, as mentioned a bunch of times, scaling can introduce lag, and that's another problem you're less likely to see.