Thursday, February 26, 2009

And By The Way

As a follow up to the CPotW, I wanted to mention that while Sony has pushed one kajillion updates to PS3 owners, they still haven't fixed the display issue with HD sets (mostly older CRT's) that don't support 720p resolution.

Seriously, you've got to be kidding me.

Here's the deal. Every HD set has a display resolution. Some have several. So when any video device sends output to the screen, that output, if necessary, is converted (or scaled) to match the display resolution of the HD device.

This conversion can be done by either the video device outputting the signal or the HD display itself. My Panasonic plasma has a terrific scaler, so except for non-HD signals, everything looks fantastic. That's why I output everything from the video device in the highest possible resolution, then have the plasma's scaler handle it from there (no, it's not closest to native resolution, and yes, it does look better the way I'm doing it, believe it or not).

Okay, let's move on to the strangeness.

Some older HD CRT's don't accept a 720p signal. They can't scale it to match the screen's resolution. It's unusable. The only HD signal they can't accept is 1080i.

For every other video device I've ever seen, that's no problem. Just uncheck 720p as an acceptable output signal and DirecTV, upscaling DVD players, the 360, etc., will just scale the signal to 1080i and output it that way.

Not the PS3.

For games that can't display in a higher resolution than 720p (which happens far more often than you'd think), if your HD display doesn't support a 720p signal, the PS3 can't scale the output to 1080i or 1080p.

With the PS3, for some totally bizarre reason, if a game doesn't support any resolution higher than 720P (which happens more frequently than you would think), the PS3 doesn't scale that resolution up to 1080i or 1080p for screens that support those resolutions. No, it outputs 480p instead.


The PS3, to the best of my knowledge, can upscale the resolution both DVD's and PS2 games (with one of the backward compatible models), but it can't upscale PS3 game resolution?

If you've never seen the difference in what a game looks like at 720p or 1080i versus 480p, it's a hell of a big difference, in most cases. It's not minor.

It's baffling, because Sony has added a gigantic number of features (most of which will go entirely unused by almost everyone) to the PS3 since its initial release, but this issue, which affects millions of people, is still unresolved.

Thanks to Robert Nicewander for reminding me that this is still in limbo.

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