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Old 2007-10-08, 13:40   Link #61
Nicholi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
You too, Nich?

To make it short and sweet, you remember wrong. The show you're referring to is Clannad, not Shana. I can't believe that even YOU join this nonsense chorus. You honestly think I can't tell a SD show from a HD show, old buddy? Wow, thanks, very flattering.
Lul no of course not. I said it's obvious there is a difference in shows that are mastered in HD to those that are not, and that only GUTB himself would say otherwise. Are you GUTB? Hidden in disguise all along :3! I simply came here to say that personally I think SD broadcasts should never be used in high resolution encodes. Not even if the show was originally mastered in HD!

Not to mention at the same time I did say this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholi
If there were never going to be HD broadcasts of a show I could see how doing a high resolution encode might be warranted.
Chillax mein hoser friend. Truly I have no idea whats going on with this Shana, but I don't want to see more little encoders now throwing up high res encodes just because Mentar said "if the encoder is smrt enough you can do anything" n_n. They know not their limits, do not confuse them prease ;-;.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar
See Fluffy's screenshots, which prove that there IS quality loss by down/upscaling, disproving your theory. The softening and mild aliasing of the picture is exactly what makes a real difference when the softened-aliased part is re-upsized for fullscreen playback.
Come now...you know as well as I do that unless you used a custom quantization in Xvid it is by default less sharp then x264. Not to mention you could have used a simpler resizer like BilinearResize for the SD encode, again we have no idea. Those pictures do not say much in and of themselves. Can a low res encode match a higher resolution one for sharpness? Of course not, duh. Should you be using a high resolution on any standard def stuff that is "mastered in HD" just because it will be slightly sharper? Why not just use the HD broadcasts for high res encodes? "No you fool there are no HD broadcasts, now shutup!". Ok ;-;.

In the end I will agree with your choice only because of the fact that there will apparently be no HD broadcasts. I was under the impression there would eventually be (in the not so distant future) HD broadcasts, which made releasing an SD broadcast at high res absurd. Evul broadcasters, must be movax's fault.
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Old 2007-10-08, 14:10   Link #62
RaistlinMajere
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Their pictures used less-than-SD resolution and did not use Lanczos resampling. They were worthless.
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Old 2007-10-08, 14:10   Link #63
Zero1
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This thread gives new meaning to the term epic fail.

Sidenote: The MHD ready label got major lulz.
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Old 2007-10-08, 17:18   Link #64
Mentar
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Well, that's been very interesting and - kinda enlightening to me. I've got to admit that I'm a little bit puzzled, but I guess I shouldn't be too surprised either.

So, to sum it all up: Over the last 24 hours I've talked to alot of encoders about this issue which I considered intriguing (because it touched down on some research I've been doing ~1 month ago on my vacation), namely visual impression of above-SD resolutions, and their use for "HD" encodes. What does matter, what doesn't matter much, what works and what doesn't.

Initially I experimented alot with DVD sources (720x480 - the defined "SD" resolution), particularly with Elfen Lied R2, one of the cleanest and best transfers I've seen so far. I remembered the fullscreen impression of Hayate of Gotoku (the first show I worked on that deserved a "HD" label with MY understanding of the word), and I wondered if I could somehow recreate this with the Elfen Lied DVD source, now armed with x264.

The results were sobering. Even though the source seemed fine, I was unable to recreate a comparable level of sharpness. Consequently, I did some upscale experiments, but again, to no satisfactory end. I really tried, and I know a thing or two about handling DVD sources, but it all came down to one bitter truth: The source itself might have been "clean", but it didn't really fully utilize the full resolution. Most background details were in itself blobs of multiple pixels, there were no real clarity and 1-pixel-width structures. Attempts to sharpen without creating halos (the normal bane of too much sharpening) were made again and again, but - nope.

The _best_ (subjective!) results were reached with a combination of supersampling to 1.5x source resolution, sharpening, mild linedarkening, mild antialiasing, downsizing, and finally (key) slight _linethinning_ (originally, only to warp away sharpening halos a bit). Initially, I couldn't understand that, really. Why did linethinning have such an impact on the visual impression?

Eventually I understood - it was because my eye was drawn to contrasts - not background details - , and fullscreen playback of the usual sd-linewidth of ~3-5 pixels, the resulting lines looked "fat" and not realistic, especially in conjunction with mild residual halos giving it an "embossed" look. By thinning the lines, one didn't gain details or anything, but the resulting visual impression was more pleasing.

So I began looking for sources which had "finer" structures. And there they were - 1280x720 captures of HD-mastered material. Here, filtering could be done quite differently: Just to clean up the lines, doing some very mild line removal and sometimes line mending (mild antialiasing). So the background details were multi-pixel blobs and not really sharp? SO WHAT. That's not where the eye was looking.

And this is why HD-mastered raws aired in SD (case 2) are still way superior to what you get as SD DVD sources: They are much more detailed, SD or not. See the bell tree I used for my initial screenshot. You simply DO NOT GET structures this fine on common SD sources. Therefore, having even those "crippled" HD versions resized back up either by capper or (even better) by stations BY FAR surpasses what's well-known as normal SD. Because what really counts is the quality of the original material, the airing res is much less important. Upscaling back to HD res can be done cleanly, and it will still result in a balanced frame. The background structures will be harmed, but the visual impression of a sharp HD pic is salvageable. SD sources differ from other SDs already, and scaled-down HD material is most definitely NOT "normal" SD. See Kimikiss raws as a prime example of what I'm talking about.

So, to wrap it up, we need to agree to disagree. Type 2 cases _absolutely_ deserve a HD resolution release in my opinion. Here, going SD is in fact generally harmful, because the lines tend to be thinned too much, leaving a strange look of unstructured color plains. Whether you call them HD (I do and consider it justified), MHD (we can tag them "Middle HD" instead of the Mentar pun) - I don't care. They're an important and fairly large class of sources which deserve proper handling.

So far, every single encoder I've talked to who has compared the mkv with the avi agreed that the result is very obvious (and no, Nich, it has nothing to do with the sharpness advantage of h264 - I've made so many tests that I could puke them out). On the other hand, all those encoders criticizing this decision I talked to had one thing in common: They hadn't even bothered to have a look at what they were talking about. Some of them even with a flabbergasting aura of pride, because they just KNEW that they were right. They had to be.

Feedback for these MHD releases has been overwhelmingly positive. I'll definitely continue doing them, and many other groups do the same thing. I'd invite the naysayers to find a calm minute when nobody is watching them, to download MHD and SD releases, and to try to make honest assessments of the difference. And if anyone of them succeeds at what I failed at (making SDs look like MHDs without scaling to their resolutions), please gimme a holler.

Peace.
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Old 2007-10-08, 18:00   Link #65
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this thread has been great.

I'm a start releasing shows in MentarHD

I wouldnt compare shows mastered in HD then broadcast in SD, to maybe DVD's mastered in HD and released in SD though, I dunno.
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Old 2007-10-08, 18:13   Link #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Stuff
tl; dr

Please to be trying again.
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Old 2007-10-09, 01:45   Link #67
kMisuzu
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I dunno whats really going on in this thread, I don't really have the time or care to crawl over every post, but i felt the need to point out, in case someone hadn't already

In my humble opinion, upscaling provides no increase in quality.

The differences come in when you watch the broadcast content content at a higher resolution. In which case quality will differ depending on the device doing the actual upscaling. Most likely the television network upscaling equipment is faster and of higher quality than in the average HDTV.

(protip: this paragraph is mostly filler) So why do they downscale the content before rebroadcasting it? I would like to think that this is miscommunication. Usually companies like this don't do something without a reason. So, if true, it could be the result of inaction rather than poor actions. This could simply be that they're gearing up to 720p but don't have all the steps in place. Then why upscale back? Depending on how the system works to get the content from the air to their television, it may be more efficient to use that bandwidth (not talking about internet bandwidth) and then be able to market on the point that they broadcast in 720p. Many early-tech HDTVs don't upscale either. This could be speculated on forever, so I'm leaving it incomplete at that.

The question here should be, should fan subs use the 720p content or the 480p content? The answer should be obvious. Even if it is higher quality 480p, since it was produced at 720p, it is still only 480p now. So then it is only a matter of trying to retain as much quality as you can in your encodes (as usual). And if I recall correctly, you can get more quality per bit at the lower resolution. Computers don't need pre-upscaled content, so why upscale in advance like a television network.

Unrelated:
Hardware encoders are usually going to be better quality than software encoders.
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Old 2007-10-09, 03:04   Link #68
boggart
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After reading through the whole thread, it all comes down to the labelling of what 'HD' is. Mentar argues HD is based on perception; while others argue it's based on original intent of broadcast; i.e. resolution.

I find the same situation arises when you try and define what a 'person' is. Is a foetus a 'person'? Is the conceptus a 'person'? Is it only a 'person' when it is born? How about when logical thought processes are in place - i.e. is a 4 year old a 'person', whereas a newborn is not?

My suggestion: Remove the label of HD altogether from releases, unless it really is a HD-mastered, HD-broadcasted, HD-ripped encode. Then all is happy and prosperous in the world.

My opinion: I don't care if it's been re-upscaled as long as it looks damn good and it does. I'm happy.
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Old 2007-10-09, 06:38   Link #69
NoWai
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Over the last month, i've been thinking about when such types of encodes are justified(if at all) and what are the best choices one can make when encoding them. Seeing that Mentar has done his share of the research, i'd like to ask a few questions myself.

How can one easily tell apart from a source which was originally HD and then downscaled and upscaled by some broadcaster? How can we tell if they didn't take a very clean SD source, upscaled it then warpsharped(or some other line thinning filtering)? I have one such source where it lacks the background detail, and it's known it doesn't air in HD, yet there we see nice thin lines and contrasts. I'm unable to tell whether this was originally an SD source which was upscaled and sharpened or if it was a HD source which was downscaled then upscaled and sharpened. As for seeing if a source is genuine HD we can easily downscale/upscale then subtract() from original(avisynth) and we'll see clear thing lines as well as detailed backgrounds showing up in the subtracted result.
If you apply the same procedure to some better upscales like Mentar's MHD ShanaS02E01 and a few other ones, you can see that the lines have been enhanced and thus downscaling/upscaling loses some of that detail. (even if its made up detail!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
The _best_ (subjective!) results were reached with a combination of supersampling to 1.5x source resolution, sharpening, mild linedarkening, mild antialiasing, downsizing, and finally (key) slight _linethinning_ (originally, only to warp away sharpening halos a bit). Initially, I couldn't understand that, really. Why did linethinning have such an impact on the visual impression?
Just want to clarify a few things in that paragraph which aren't clear to me.
Source resolution? SD (704x396 for example?), WS or some other SD res.
What kind of sharpening was applied? limitedsharpenfaster, msharpen..
line darkening? msharpen or fastlinedarken or others?
Downsize? back to what resolution original? (then we'd have SD resolution in which case i don't fully understand what was the purpose of this?)
Linethinning? What filters are recommended for this? I've played a bit with some variations of warsharp, but i can't settle on using them as i notice how radically they change the image, even if i use only a bit of them, they don't just change the lines, they change the whole image.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
So I began looking for sources which had "finer" structures. And there they were - 1280x720 captures of HD-mastered material. Here, filtering could be done quite differently: Just to clean up the lines, doing some very mild line removal and sometimes line mending (mild antialiasing). So the background details were multi-pixel blobs and not really sharp? SO WHAT. That's not where the eye was looking.
What filtering do you mean by line removal?
What antialiasing is prefered? Doesn't antialiasing itself upscale the image once, filter it then downscale?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
So, to wrap it up, we need to agree to disagree. Type 2 cases _absolutely_ deserve a HD resolution release in my opinion. Here, going SD is in fact generally harmful, because the lines tend to be thinned too much, leaving a strange look of unstructured color plains. Whether you call them HD (I do and consider it justified), MHD (we can tag them "Middle HD" instead of the Mentar pun) - I don't care. They're an important and fairly large class of sources which deserve proper handling.
I've come upon a source which was captured in HD 720p but it's clearly upscaled from SD resolution. I'm not entirely sure if the original was mastered in HD, even if we have clear detail and clear thin lines in the HD upscale, however i know that by downscaling and slightly msharpen'ing(with some AA) i am losing some detail as compared to the original HD capture.

So my questions sum up to this in the end:
What are recommended ways of downscaling if we chose to go that way instead of leaving it in HD? When do we know we should leave it in the captured resolution and what filtering(both general ideas and specific recommended filters) is recommended for enhancing the lines in such captures.


These questions have been bothering me for the past month and i hope i didn't ask a bit too much.
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Old 2007-10-09, 10:05   Link #70
checkers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boggart View Post
Is the conceptus a 'person'?
Sounds like a Roman gladiator to me.

Anyway, mentar: I think you're trying to redefine "HD". HD doesn't mean High Detail, which is what you are suggesting it does. It just means the video has been 720p+ for its entire life.

...That's my original opinion. I was originally very much "naughty mentar, definitions are forever!" Then I read at work today wikipedia's page on the duck test. It's was probably just my natural tendancy to denounce upscaling as unholy that made me not like the idea of calling good upscales 'HD'. If it looks like HD, it is HD!

(is it just a coincidence I had duck for dinner tonight too?)
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Old 2007-10-09, 12:07   Link #71
outlaw97
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Since this is a matter of intent and semantics, just tag it HQ - I know some groups do it, and it sidesteps the issue of resolution definitions. After all, isn't the intent of releasing two different versions supposed to be that Version A (HD, HQ, h264, whatever) is better than Version B (SD, LQ, h264, whatever)?
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Old 2007-10-09, 15:28   Link #72
Mentar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by checkers View Post
Anyway, mentar: I think you're trying to redefine "HD". HD doesn't mean High Detail, which is what you are suggesting it does.
I never did that, nor did I ever suggest that. If anything, I've been arguing against "details".

Quote:
It just means the video has been 720p+ for its entire life.
Oh, really? I'd like to get the source of this "definition". Please go ahead.

In the meantime I'll go with the real definition (see Wikipedia). HD = High Definition, a set of resolutions. Nothing more. There is no such requirement that the footage delivered in HD has to adhere to certain quality standards. In other words, a 1280x720 video of a black screen is HD aswell.

The problem with the addition "has been 720p for its entire life" is that if you use this, some commercial BluRay releases stop to be HD. A peculiar result, isn't it?

Quote:
...That's my original opinion. I was originally very much "naughty mentar, definitions are forever!" Then I read at work today wikipedia's page on the duck test. It's was probably just my natural tendancy to denounce upscaling as unholy that made me not like the idea of calling good upscales 'HD'. If it looks like HD, it is HD!
Fair enough. Anyway, it's never been my intention to deceive any downloader by claiming a quality grade a source doesn't possess. It does exceed the quality of normal SD releases however, by far in fact. And this initial bitching/trolling "baaah, never HD, it's just a sucky upscale" is way more deceiving than using the definition I did: If it's mastered in HD and could be recovered to HD resolution (accepting the inherent loss of scaling down and back up) is HD.

My opinion. Nobody is required to agree though
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Old 2007-10-09, 15:55   Link #73
NoWai
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So to step back from all this flaming which seems pointless, now that we've established what is true HD and what is recovered HD(from what someone called MHD).
Mentar, could you give us some recommended processes and filters to enhancing station upscales of what used to be HD material, as well as for upscaling downscaled HD material(might be a bad choice due to chroma subsampling, maybe picking the station upscale is a better choice?).
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Old 2007-10-09, 16:12   Link #74
Mentar
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Just a brief warning, I'm writing this on 3 hours of sleep in the last 40 hours now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoWai View Post
How can one easily tell apart from a source which was originally HD and then downscaled and upscaled by some broadcaster? How can we tell if they didn't take a very clean SD source, upscaled it then warpsharped(or some other line thinning filtering)?
Eyes. There's a distinct difference between a HD-mastered and a SD-mastered source. Primarily seen at lines and fine structures. In the end, what counts is the visual result, not what the source might have gone through.

Quote:
Just want to clarify a few things in that paragraph which aren't clear to me.
Source resolution? SD (704x396 for example?), WS or some other SD res.
For Elfen Lied R2, 720x480 of course - it's a DVD.

Quote:
What kind of sharpening was applied? limitedsharpenfaster, msharpen..
line darkening? msharpen or fastlinedarken or others?
In various different runs, almost all of those mentioned (I dislike FLD though).

Quote:
Downsize? back to what resolution original? (then we'd have SD resolution in which case i don't fully understand what was the purpose of this?)
It's an old trick. Via supersampling, you can filter and especially linedarken/antialias more aggressively, and by rescaling it back down, many of the ugliness and manipulation artifacts get tossed aside again. Most top encoders in the DVD world have been using this technique for years.

Quote:
Linethinning? What filters are recommended for this? I've played a bit with some variations of warsharp, but i can't settle on using them as i notice how radically they change the image, even if i use only a bit of them, they don't just change the lines, they change the whole image.
There are several options for that, I prefer awarpsharp. Between (8,1) in most cases to (12,1) in extreme ones. Not more than that.

Quote:
What filtering do you mean by line removal?
To be honest, I dunno, must have been half asleep. I guess I meant line cleaning.

Quote:
What antialiasing is prefered? Doesn't antialiasing itself upscale the image once, filter it then downscale?
Many AA scripts do that, yes. The key ingredient is sangnom however. Check doom9 for a barrage of different script versions. Personally, I prefer a version supplied by Kintaro which masks everything non-line and only applies AA on the line edges.

Quote:
I've come upon a source which was captured in HD 720p but it's clearly upscaled from SD resolution. I'm not entirely sure if the original was mastered in HD, even if we have clear detail and clear thin lines in the HD upscale, however i know that by downscaling and slightly msharpen'ing(with some AA) i am losing some detail as compared to the original HD capture.
I don't understand this part. Why would you sharpen _after_ downsizing? I'd always do that _before_, to avoid or at least lessen the problem of the sharpening haloes.

Quote:
What are recommended ways of downscaling if we chose to go that way instead of leaving it in HD? When do we know we should leave it in the captured resolution and what filtering(both general ideas and specific recommended filters) is recommended for enhancing the lines in such captures.
I don't quite understand this part either. Ways of downscaling are clear - the different resize filters (lanczos3/4, bicubic, less recommended bilinear). And for the "when/how do we know", I can really only offer the "use your eyes and use what you like better" advice. A rule of thumb seems impossible for me to formulate, since you never really know what happened to a source you're in front of in the past. Then again, it really doesn't matter at all, does it? Pick the version you like best.

I'm afraid I offered very little useful advice, but - that's the best I can come up with right now.
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Old 2007-10-09, 16:16   Link #75
Red HamsterX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
More stuff
Maybe there's something wrong with my setup, but I'm not seeing true super-HDness here. Do I need to get HDCP working or something?
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Old 2007-10-09, 16:35   Link #76
NoWai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
I don't understand this part. Why would you sharpen _after_ downsizing? I'd always do that _before_, to avoid or at least lessen the problem of the sharpening haloes.
I didn't express myself quite right there. I have an upscaled but possibly warpsharped source. The original was mastered in either HD or SD, i cannot tell as the anime uses very clear lines and simple backgrounds. I believe this source was SD originally before upscaling, however either the station or capper thinned the lines somehow. So i have to downscale this source, however by downscaling it, then msharpening (maybe i did some AA too, i can't exactly remember, i should go look up my scripts), i end up with it looking more blurry/worse than the original upscale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
I don't quite understand this part either. Ways of downscaling are clear - the different resize filters (lanczos3/4, bicubic, less recommended bilinear). And for the "when/how do we know", I can really only offer the "use your eyes and use what you like better" advice. A rule of thumb seems impossible for me to formulate, since you never really know what happened to a source you're in front of in the past. Then again, it really doesn't matter at all, does it? Pick the version you like best.

I'm afraid I offered very little useful advice, but - that's the best I can come up with right now.
Most people seem to recommend Spline36 or Bilinear for downscaling compared to lancos3/4, and i'm under the impression that lanczos3/4 makes for more blurry images when downscaled, while bilinear makes edges more jaggy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
I'm afraid I offered very little useful advice, but - that's the best I can come up with right now.
Actually, your previous post clarified quite a few issues for me, thanks.
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Old 2007-10-09, 16:51   Link #77
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"Most people seem to recommend Spline36 or Bilinear for downscaling compared to lancos3/4, and i'm under the impression that lanczos3/4 makes for more blurry images when downscaled, while bilinear makes edges more jaggy."

Uh, I thought it was the reverse O_o Bilinear blurs/smooths while lanczos sharpens
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Old 2007-10-09, 16:55   Link #78
Zero1
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Here's an idea, how about labelling it as an SD upscale?

It's true that the common use of "HD" is nothing more than a set of resolutions, but it's also touted as a major step up in quality. If you ask someone what HD means to them, they will likely tell you something along the lines of much improved quality.

While you can upscale and sharpen all you want, it's still a far cry from a native HD source, and I sometimes wonder if what you do is counter productive, such as people leeching a "HD" episode (which is actually an upscale) and thinking "This isn't the major step up in quality everyone talked about".

Also for your consideration: Where you are encoding (or was encoding) 1024x768 fansubs, how about using 960x720 instead? I'll assume you use that resolution because you like HD, but on a 720p display it will cause rescaling anyway which kind of defeats the objective of what you do. With a 960x720 it should display 1:1, and if the end user wanted, it's easy enough to add borders to pad it out to 1280x720.
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Old 2007-10-09, 17:11   Link #79
Mentar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero1 View Post
Here's an idea, how about labelling it as an SD upscale?
Well - to be honest, to me, a "SD upscale" would be a (bad) upscale of a native SD source to HD resolutions. In other words, the abominations that gave "upscale" such a bad name.

So, we should go with something else. Rather "HD upscale" (HD mastered, downscaled, and eventually upscaled again) or MHD. Dunno.

Quote:
It's true that the common use of "HD" is nothing more than a set of resolutions, but it's also touted as a major step up in quality. If you ask someone what HD means to them, they will likely tell you something along the lines of much improved quality.

While you can upscale and sharpen all you want, it's still a far cry from a native HD source, and I sometimes wonder if what you do is counter productive, such as people leeching a "HD" episode (which is actually an upscale) and thinking "This isn't the major step up in quality everyone talked about".
Point taken, of course you're right. My point was to oppose the absolutism of "it's only HD if it has been 720+P from birth to deathbed, full stop". Of course, HD only makes sense if a significant quality gain can be achieved. It's just my honest opinion that the MHD stuff offers just that.

Quote:
Also for your consideration: Where you are encoding (or was encoding) 1024x768 fansubs, how about using 960x720 instead? I'll assume you use that resolution because you like HD, but on a 720p display it will cause rescaling anyway which kind of defeats the objective of what you do. With a 960x720 it should display 1:1, and if the end user wanted, it's easy enough to add borders to pad it out to 1280x720.
Er, no. I was encoding 1280x720 since the source was 16:9, not 4:3. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding you here somewhere?
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Old 2007-10-09, 17:13   Link #80
Mentar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galdamez951 View Post
"Most people seem to recommend Spline36 or Bilinear for downscaling compared to lancos3/4, and i'm under the impression that lanczos3/4 makes for more blurry images when downscaled, while bilinear makes edges more jaggy."

Uh, I thought it was the reverse O_o Bilinear blurs/smooths while lanczos sharpens
Correct. Lanczos is sharper, bilinear is softer.
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