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PS3 down converts Blu-Ray movies to 480p instead of 720p?
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Joey
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Default PS3 down converts Blu-Ray movies to 480p instead of 720p? - 01-03-2007, 13:47 | posts: 4,156 | Location: Cambridge, England

This is from an interesting article on Ars Technica.
I'm not talking about the games here. I read the about lack of scaling thing was a few weeks ago. I didn't think it applied to movies though. Please some one with a PS3 tell me it's wrong because if it is true then.... wow, that's a slap in the face for PS3 owners. And from reading the entire article, since the PS3 has no hardware scaler at all, it's not going to be a trivial firmware update when they fix this.

http://arstechnica.com/articles/headstart.ars/3

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So far I just don't see much difference in quality between the two systems in terms of graphics, although a few things look better on the 360 simply because developers have had longer to work on the hardware. It's a wash between the multiplatform games, but the lack of a hardware scalar hurts Sony badly at the 1080p resolution; they simply can't upscale the games into that resolution, and the PS3 comes off worse when you look at both versions of a title like Call of Duty right next to one another. It also complicates things for Blu-ray playback since the PS3 can't show a Blu-ray movie in 720p.
90% of HD sets must be 720p. So NONE of them are going to be able to play HD movies with a PS3? That's can't be right.

edit: oh wait... it does do 1080i though doesn't it. Dam it.
   
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Default 01-03-2007, 15:05 | posts: 6,867 | Location: GTA, Ontario, Canada

It's true, there was an something about it in the games forum a while ago. This is one of the reasons why I've been saying Sony should have waited a few more months to released the PS3.

Call it an bug if you will, I think it's a tactic to get people to fork out huge amounts of money for 1080p TVs, namely Sony's 1080p TVs. Even if it runs 1080i, you'll still get interlacing artifacts on LCD and plasma based HDTVs in high speed sequences.

I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think Xbox 360 is able to display variable resolutions where as the PS3 is limited to 480p, 1080i, and 1080p. If you want to spend the money on an HD console, Xbox 360 seems to be the better choice.

Last edited by orenda635; 01-03-2007 at 15:09.
   
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Default 01-03-2007, 18:18 | posts: 2,535 | Location: NYC

I'm sure they released it when they did because they didn't want to lose any holiday sales to Nintendo & Microsoft. As for all the HD madness, I think they're expecting most people to be satisfied by the results they get from plug & play into their HTS and LCD/plasma TVs. People will be more wowed by the graphics then by the high def presentation (or lack of) and at least will perceive everything to be fine because of psychological expectations.
   
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Default 01-03-2007, 20:33 | posts: 1,153

The PS3 supports 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p. But, (and this is a big but) the way the PS3 works is strange. Both games and Blu-Ray discs are encoded at one of the above mentioned resolutions. If a game supports 720p, it must be outputted in 720p or 480p. It will not scale to 1080i/1080p. The reverse is true. If a game was developed in 1080, it cannot be outputted in 720p. Same thing for Blu-Ray movies.

Many older rear projection CRT HDTVs do not accept a 720p signal. So any game or BD movie encoded at 720p won't work at a 1080 signal. The result is that you only get 480p.

So you cannot run a BD movie at 720p on the PS3. All BD movies so far have been 1080p (perhaps a rare 1080i). So...no 720p Blu-Ray playback from the PS3...

The 360 and virtually every modern HD set top box (cable, satellite, upscaling DVD player, etc) has an internal hardware scaler that allows a fixed resolution no matter what. The PS3 doesn't. It's a big oversight. Sony has been unclear if this can be fixed with a firmware update. It's entirely possible that this cannot be fixed with software and is a hardware issue.

The vast majority of HDTVs out there are closer to 720p native resolution than 1080i/p. But the vast majority of those TVs will accept a 1080i/p signal anyway. The people who need to worry are those that have HDTVs that cannot accept both 720p and 1080i. Most of these sets are CRT based rear projection and will not accept 720p. Sony completely underestimated how many of these sets are still out there, or they didn't want the added cost of an internal scaler.

Switching gears...

The lack of a hardware scaler has other problems for PS3 games as well. Developers must choose 720p or 1080i/p. Obviously 1920x1080 pixels is going to be much more hardware intensive to render than 1280x720 pixels. With the 360, getting 1920x1080 output from a 720p game was "free," it costs developers nothing in terms of framerate. With the PS3, it costs quite a bit in terms of framerate...

So, the lack of "free" scaling on the PS3 has consequences as to what game developers can do. If the majority of games are 720p in order for better framerate, and you set doesn't support 720p, you're in for a big headache, cause you're stuck with 480p.

Also, it's been mentioned before that the PS3 does not upscale DVDs at all, whereas the 360 will scale all the way to 1080p over the vga connection...

Last edited by HanShot1st; 01-03-2007 at 20:37.
   
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Default 01-03-2007, 23:29 | posts: 1,153

Quote:
Originally Posted by orenda635 View Post

I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think Xbox 360 is able to display variable resolutions where as the PS3 is limited to 480p, 1080i, and 1080p. If you want to spend the money on an HD console, Xbox 360 seems to be the better choice.
Absolutely correct! The PS3 supports only 720x480p, 1280x720p, and 1920x1080i/p resolutions. The 360 supports those standard resolutions as well over component, plus many other standard computer type resolutions over VGA, such as 1024x768 (most 42" plasmas), 1280x1024, 1366x768, 1280x720, 1920x1080...plus it has the option of 4:3 and 16:9 modes for those resolutions. But on the other hand, the xbox 360 doesn't have an HDMI/DVI digital video output, which is something to consider.
   
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