During my recent visit to my local Best Buy I encountered a 46" DLP projection television on display. On the television was Lord of the Rings: Return of the King playing on a DVD player with upconversion. Upconversion allows a standard DVD to be played in 1080i resolution instead of 480p. Though you lose the progressive display, the resolution gains (slightly) by having a little more than double the lines of resolution.
How did it look? The movie looked incredible and I found myself wanting to sit down (in the display leather couch) in order to fully enjoy LOTR in a format that showed off more details than I could ever believe. But that is just the beginning!
Since 'upconverting' a video source has such a gain on resolution, we can only imaging the increased picture resolution with HD-DVD and Blu-ray. Though I am still disappointed that both mediums are still coming out-- meaning you will need two separate high-def DVD players --I am giddy to see what a movie looks like when it belongs in either 1080i or 1080p format; 1080p is only beginning to come out with new DLP televisions.
But will it be that much better?
High Definition vs DVD- Lord of the Rings
Though we have no direct comparison between high-definition DVDs (Blu-ray or HD-DVD), we have an example that is pretty close and, if anything, shows that the next generation of DVDs will be insanely better than the first generation.
In a comparison between the DVD version of Fellowship of the Ring and the cable-provided high-definition version, cornbread has discovered some astonishing differences. Even with upconversion or cable output alone, high-definition is so much better than DVD.
Take a look at the sample two images below. Each image was taken from the same frame of Lord of the Rings, one from a DVD and the other was from a high-definition stream from cable.
Roll-over mouse to see HD version of image. (poor example)
Ok, ok, due to size our example sucks big-time. However, you should head over to cornbread to check out the image examples that are mind-boggling.
Remember, this is only video that has been upconverted, meaning the new high-definition DVDs will look even better.
Now if Sony will finally release their PS3 we can begin to enjoy the increased resolution offered by Blu-ray.