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Lets talk 4K upscaling

Discussion in 'The HTPC, HDTV & Ultra High Definition section' started by DSparil, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. DSparil

    DSparil Ancient Guru

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    So recently I picked up 4K TV and thought if I made the leap for that investment, why not make my existing blu-ray library look better? Since I've been breaking the bank lately, I opted for a 4K upscaling player vs an actual native 4K blu-ray player. This being because I don't have any Ultra HD movies anyway, and wanted to upscale all of my existing 1080P content for something a bit easier on the pocketbook.I ended up going with the Sony BDP-S6500 4K upscaling blu-ray player.

    My experience with it thus far has been mixed. I'm not certain the "4K upscaling" looks any better than my old Sony native 1080P blu-ray player! Has anyone else had this experience? Perhaps my settings on the new unit are not optimal, although I believe I've done my research and have selected the proper settings to get the best possible picture. One thing I'm unfamiliar with on newer Sony players is the SBM or "Super Bit Mapping". I have read that this is supposed to be enabled for a better overall picture? Does anyone know anything about this feature?

    Does anyone have any experience with 4K upscaling that could share some words of wisdom? Does it sound right that blu-rays upscaled to 4K look no better than native 1080P content? Perhaps there are some hidden settings or tricks I am unaware of. Needless to say I am a bit disappointed in the picture quality, as I was expecting a bit more. I mean, I didn't expect native 4K quality, but I thought there would be atleast a noticeable boost! :confused:
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  2. tensai28

    tensai28 Maha Guru

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    I use madvr with potplayer and it looks great.
     
  3. DSparil

    DSparil Ancient Guru

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    ^ well I'm sure that's great on your PC but I'm talking about a home theatre setup here lol. I have noticed something new. Some blu-rays look quite different from others. Last night I was playing Jason Bourne and it looked fantastic! The upscaling seemed to be working. But then I played Spectre (James Bond) and it looked fairly poor. It really looked more like 1080i. What could be causing some blu-rays to look better than others? Confusing...
     
  4. Redemption80

    Redemption80 Ancient Guru

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    It could just be the same situation as BD players that were upscaling DVD to 1080p in that the effect is subtle and in general the image is just scaled up instead of additional post processing filters being used.

    I remember watching some DVD's being upscaled and thinking this must be near BD quality, but most of the time i struggled to tell the difference, and this was on several players.

    It's always being upscaled anyway, if the player isn't doing it then the TV will be, so disabling upscaling on the UHD player is just passing it onto the TV to do.
     
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  5. pegasus1

    pegasus1 Master Guru

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    Check your TV settings. Turning off most of the flashy sounding added processing makes a huge difference, as does adjusting the colours. I found a YouTube guide for my 4k 50" and 55" Panasonic screens, took about 40 mins each to set up correctly.
     
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  6. anxious_f0x

    anxious_f0x Maha Guru

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    No reason why it would look better than using a native 1080p display, all upscaling does is make 1080p image fit a 4K display which is something the TV itself already does, with no upscaling all you’d have is a small 1080p box in the middle of the sceen surrounded by black bars, if anything upscaling lower resolutions on a higher resolution screen usually looks worse than running it on a native 1080p display due to a lack of 1:1 pixel mapping.
     
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  7. DSparil

    DSparil Ancient Guru

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    So I think I have this thing figured out. It really took some time tweaking settings, especially on the Blu-Ray player. Now, it appears to be properly upscaling everything to 4K/24P, as evidenced by the "display" details when playing a disk. The only kicker is, I've noticed some Blu-Rays just upscale (or look better) than others. I can offer a couple of examples from my tests. Predators and Jason Bourne looked fantastic and looked noticeably better than 1080P, while Spectre and LotR just looked alright and almost 1080i-ish. I really just think its a matter of some films being better coded and translating to Blu-Ray better than others.

    Oh well, it is what it is! At least now I am confident I have my settings optimized for my current setup. I don't think its going to get any better than this unless I start buying Ultra HD discs and a native Ultra HD player and I'm just not there yet. They all cost too much in my book. :cool:
     
  8. pegasus1

    pegasus1 Master Guru

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    Can you post what settings you changed please.
     
  9. DSparil

    DSparil Ancient Guru

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    First, make sure your player has the latest firmware. Connect to wi-fi, go into settings and look for "update" or software, something along those lines. Then, most everything important was under "Screen settings". I researched the color fidelity of my TV and discovered that my display can do 10-bit. So I set my Blu-ray player to specifically that under "HDMI Deep Color Output". If you don't know or can't find it, you can probably leave that to auto. Under BD-ROM 24P output, I set that to enabled/ON (ensure your TV can support 24P first). Then my Sony player had a "Output video resolution" although I forget what they called it exactly. You need to leave that to "auto", because otherwise it is going to force whatever other resolution you select and the highest individual option it may show is 1080P. If you select Original there, it will just use the native res of whats on the disc. Then it will not upscale. It will not list 4K there, as 4K upscaling is covered under "auto", so just use that.

    Now under 4K output, there were three options. I selected "Auto 2", because from what I was reading, Auto 1 pertained more to Sony televisions specifically. Auto 2 automatically outputs a 4K signal with compatible hardware, which my TV is. Umm, then I enabled Super Bit Mapping (SBM) and I just turned the 3D output setting to off because I will never be playing 3D Blu-rays. Finally on my television, I was sure to go into settings and change the HDMI support from the default 1.4 to 2.0. This is to support high speed data transfer for 4K and HDR.

    When you're playing a Blu-ray, tap "display" on the remote, and somewhere on the screen it should say 4K/24P. This is how you know you're properly outputting your video signal to an Ultra HD television. I hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
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  10. XP-200

    XP-200 Ancient Guru

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    Yeap, as far as i can tell all my BR's just pop in colour and sharpness and i am loving it.
     

  11. tsunami231

    tsunami231 Ancient Guru

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    My dad has the Bluray 4k upscaler with his 4k 65 XBR.

    I will say this Upscaling makes 1080p blurays look "better" but to me is not that "wow" factor actual 4k content has, just like 1080p on sat/cable dont have that "wow" factor a 1080p bluray has

    upscaling is and never will be the same as actual content, especially when said content is compress badly like most cable/sat feeds that still are 720p/1080p if lucky and they so badly compressed you would question if it really is true 720/1080p quality, example hbo is supposed to be 1080p some time it look like 1080p of bluray and then later in same movie i questioning if i looking at HD.

    Upscaling makes assumptions how the image might or should look at 4k, vs actual visual data on how does look at 4k as such some movies will look better other will not
     
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  12. pimpernell

    pimpernell Master Guru

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    I usually avoid upscaling. Luckily i was a "pirate" the whole 1080p blu-ray area (burned by vhs and dvd's, they are all in the trash now).
    Now i enjoy netflix 4k hdr and to my surprise some upscaled blurays played on my plex server is actually good. But the important thing is that it must be a really high bitrate to be worth it 30+, or you can just watch the 1080p version instead.
     
  13. pimpernell

    pimpernell Master Guru

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    Bitrate and mastering, they can vary extremely from label to label and between movies.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  14. PrMinisterGR

    PrMinisterGR Ancient Guru

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    Do not upscale. 1080p content should be mapping every one of its pixels to four on a proper 4k tv.
     
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