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PS3 Scales 1080i To 480p On HDTVs

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the when-it-rains-it-pours dept.

125

Dr. Eggman writes "According to an article from IGN, PS3 owners are finding that 1080i-only HDTV sets are scaling down launch games to 480p. The scale-down occurs because the launch games do not support 1080i, however they should be scaling down to an HD resolution of 720 instead of 480p. It is unknown if this is a technical or software issue and if it can be patched soon." ABC news is reporting that a patch which should be available to PS3 owners soon will correct the backward compatibility issues we discussed the other day.

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1080i 720p? (0)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873288)

I thought 1080i (576 lines) was less than 720p (720 lines). Wouldn't that mean that your set couldn't handle 720p anyway? Still not an excuse to dump you down to 480p without a choice

Re:1080i 720p? (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873338)

Hint: the reason it's called '1080i' is because there are 1080 lines, not 576, and they're interlaced.

Re:1080i 720p? (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873404)

But it only shows 540 (got my #s mixed up).

Re:1080i 720p? (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873458)

No 1080i shows 1080 lines.

Re:1080i 720p? (1)

pdbaby (609052) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873666)

1080i shows 1080 lines
Well yes, but 540 of those lines are stale. Why do we bother with interlaced formats nowadays? Progressive's nicer/more sensible/easier for us to work with in the cutting room!

Re:1080i 720p? (1)

Diomedes01 (173241) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873800)

Well yes, but 540 of those lines are stale. Why do we bother with interlaced formats nowadays? Progressive's nicer/more sensible/easier for us to work with in the cutting room!
Because bigger numbers sell consumer electronics to affluent but clueless suburbanites? Ooooh! 1080i! 1080 is bigger than 720, so it must be better! With older HDTVs, the only "progressive" number they would have had to advertise with would be "480", which doesn't sound sexy at all.

Re:1080i 720p? (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874356)

For non-time critical things, 1080i is better than 720p. I have my Xbox 360 hooked up to a small HDTV here, and I set the machine to 1080i because it just looks better because of the higher resolution. And the system will set to 1080i or 720p as appropriate - games tend to go to 720p.

Re:1080i 720p? (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875216)

Well yes, but 540 of those lines are stale.

"Stale" meaning that they may have been drawn as long as 0.0333 seconds ago. This is where Persistence of Vision comes in handy.

Why do we bother with interlaced formats nowadays? Progressive's nicer/more sensible/easier for us to work with in the cutting room!

Interlaced video allows the perceived framerate to be doubled without requiring an increase the bandwidth of the signal. Given the choice between 1080i @ 60fps and 1080p @ 30fps, I suspect the average person would find the former to seem more fluid.

Re:1080i 720p? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875746)

Well, 1080i@60Hz is the same quality as 540p@60Hz That's why 720p is considered better than 1080i

Re:1080i 720p? (1)

getnate (518090) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875814)

No, 1080i has greater horizontal resolution than 540p (1920 vs 960)

Confusing transmission with encoding (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876902)

You guys are confusing encoding with transmission.
720p is only the same quality as 1080i if you were working from a 720p or less source. If your source material is encoded at 1080p than broadcasting it at 1080p or 1080i is the only way to get all 1080 lines. And if you're using a Plasma, DLP or LCD HDTV (read: 95+% of HDTV owners), than your TV *is progressive anyway* - your TV is de-interlacing that 1080i/60 into a XXXp/30 signal before it is displayed. That "XXX" is the native resolution of your display.

Conclusion is, if your source material is 1080p (as in film-based content or computer-generated content, AKA video games), then using 1080i for transmission has the potential for *much more* information than 720p to be displayed. Whether or not it actually *is* all displayed depends on the native resolution of the set.

This is where a 1080p capable set gives you bonus: a 1080p native set (that is, 1920x1200 resolution) will display a 1080i signal the *exact same* as a 1080p signal because it will de-interlace it perfectly.

Where this gets a bit more hairy is when you have non-progressive content, like sports and other television that is actually encoded interlaced. When showing *that* content, 720p is essentially the same as 1080i since you're losing half of the 1080i signal lines before it even gets to your TV set.

Re:1080i 720p? (3, Insightful)

Diomedes01 (173241) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873730)

But it only shows 540 (got my #s mixed up).

On a CRT set, this may be the case. AFAIK, all fixed-pixel displays must internally convert a signal progressively before displaying it. Thus, a 1080i signal (1 frame of 540 lines sent 60 times per second) is internally interlaced to generate 30 frames of 1080 lines. Native progressive signals (480p, 720p, 1080p) provide the full number of lines 60 times per second, thus providing more natural-looking motion. This is why (IMHO) sports look better in 720p than in 1080i, despite the additional lines of resolution available in 1080i (which are essentially thrown out on any non-1080P capable TV, since they typically only have ~768 lines of resolution).

Re:1080i 720p? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876298)

Any decent deinterlacer generates 60 frames of 1920x1080 instead of halving the temporal resolution to 30fps. Dumb deinterlacers either dump the resolution down to 1920x540 while retaining the frame rate or keep the resolution but halve the framerate.

Re:1080i 720p? (5, Informative)

Temsi (452609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874538)

No, you're mistaken.
Sure, it only shows 540 lines "at a time", but the next 540 lines are not the same 540 lines, but the ones in between the previous 540 lines, making up the full 1080 line display. Your eyes don't work fast enough to see that one is off while the other is on, and the chemicals on the inside of the CRT keep their "glow" long enough to minimize or even eliminate flicker. Non-CRT sets, like dlp/plasma/lcd/d-ila/sxrd work a little differently and showing interlaced footage in a progressive manner can lead to visible "combing" unless the set de-interlaces, but I won't go into that here.

1080i has 1080 lines of resolution, but like your old standard definition television, it refreshes every other line alternately. So, the first half of the refresh mode (1/60th of a second) refreshes lines 1,3,5,7 etc (fields a) and the other half refreshes lines 2,4,6,8 etc (fields b). So that while it refreshes 60 times a second, it only shows you 30 full frames.
720p conversely, shows you 60 full frames of 720 lines in sequence, per second.

If it's shot at 1080/30p, it still gets broadcast as 1080i, and you still see 30 full 1080 line frames per second.
If it's shot at 1080/60i, it gets broadcast as 1080i, and you see 60 "half-frames" per second, because the movement of the subject changes between fields a and b.
If it's shot at 720/60p, it usually gets broadcast as 720p, but some stations only broadcast 1080i regardless of source, in which case each set of 720 lines would be interpolated to 60 full frames of 1080 lines, and then only half of each gets broadcast. Still looks great, but it's not as detailed.
If a station broadcasts at 720p regardless of source, it gets a little complicated. 1080i sources are basically converted to 540p and bobbed (fields b are moved up one line so the image doesn't shake up and down), and then gets stretched to 720p. It retains all the information of the 540 lines, but doesn't have as much detail as 720 lines, obviously. Now, if the 1080i source was shot 1080/30p and gets broadcast at 720p, each frame needs to be downsized, and then repeated, to make up the missing 30 frames from the 60p signal.
Additionally, if a movie comes in a 1080/24p source, it gets broadcast either as 1080i with 3:2 pulldown, or it gets broadcast as 720p with 2:3 frames (3:2 pulldown repeats fields, 2:3 frames repeats frames) in order to bring it up to 60 fields (for 1080i) or 60 frames (for 720p).

Confused yet?
It's not that hard when you understand why it is the way it is.

In the case of the PS3, it's pretty lame that 720p gets converted down to 480p, but since it's a slightly simpler process (1 full frame = 1 full frame vs. 1 full frame = 2 half frames), I can't really blame them for using it on the launch games.
I have an older CRT HDTV that only does 1080i/480p/480i and can't do 720p, so of course I'm disappointed, but all good things to those who wait.

Re:1080i 720p? (2, Informative)

ErMaC (131019) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873406)

1080i is 1080 lines of resolution, they're just not all refreshed in the same frame. The resolution of the stream is still 1920x1080. I don't know where you got 576 from, but even if you're talking about one field of a 1080i stream then it's 540 lines, but there's two of those every 30th of a second. So no, if you have a TV that isn't 1920x1080, then you'd want 1280x720 - not 640x480...

PAL (1)

gzunk (242371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873706)

576i is PAL (720x576) as used in most of Europe. Still have to clue as to why GP would think that 1080i was 576 lines though.

Re:PAL (1)

Diomedes01 (173241) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873866)

576i is PAL (720x576) as used in most of Europe. Still have to clue as to why GP would think that 1080i was 576 lines though.
Probably because old standard definition signals (480i) were actually made up of 525 lines to allow a CRT to reset itself to begin the scan of the next 2 frames.

Re:1080i 720p? (2, Insightful)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874126)

No. 1080i is 1080 lines interlaced. That is, each frame of 1080 lines is divided into two fields, odd and even, each containing 576 lines. All the odd lines are presented to the display first, followed by the even lines. Displays that use this as a native format are usually CRT screens where there is an electron gun that scans across the screen lighting up the phosphors continuously. Interlaced signals work fine for these types of displays, but for a non-scanning display such as a flat-panel display or a digital projector, an interlaced signal must be deinterlaced first to produce a single frame with all the lines appearing sequentially. There can be complications with this, so what is better for these types of displays is to have a progressive image to start with.

Oh yeah, 1080i can be better than 720p, for example if you have a 1080i native CRT. On the other hand, if you have a 720p-native LCD or plasma TV, the 720p image can probably look better. On the other hand, I have a 852x480 progressive plasma display which does a better job at handling a 1080i signal than it does at handling a 720p signal, at least from my hd cable box. Go figure. I also have a 30" Sony CRT TV. It's got an awesome picture, but the screen isn't so big and the thing is very large and weighs about 200 pounds.

depends on the video being shown... (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877086)

for somethings 1080i will be better. But for things with lots of motion like sports or say.... video games.... you'd prefer 720p. Or 1080p, which I gather can be done, just a question if its worth the rendering effort...

And so begin... (0, Redundant)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873296)

...the problems that plauge all consoles at launch. I really hope the PS3 makes it...While I preferred Xbox over the PS2, there were some PS2 games that were AMAZING (Ico, Katamari Damacy, God of War, FF series, etc.) I hope all three consoles do fantastic, and I plan on eventually owning all three.

ALL consoles? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873782)

Ha! This is one problem that certainly won't happen to the Wii!

Re:ALL consoles? (2)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873910)

I didn't mean this specific problem, I meant no matter what console it is, ALL consoles have at least some kind of issue or bug when they are launched...it's to be expected, really. It works just like how it works with a car: No amount of testing will equal the same as real world use, if for no other reason other than because people use and abuse things differently than others. I'm sure the Wii's problems will have to do with connectivity between the controller and the box. You heard it here first.

Re:ALL consoles? (2, Insightful)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874358)

So what were the launch issues and bugs with the 2600, the NES (remember, their big issue came well after launch), SNES, TG16, Genesis, Gameboy, Jaguar, Saturn, N64, Dreamcast, or Gamecube?

Can you name launch issues with even two or three of the above?

Most appliances work. Gaming consoles used to be appliances but the more they veer towards being general computing machines and the more they veer towards working with a wide variety of hardware, the more they veer towards having hardware and software issues. But for the record, most consoles DON'T have some kind of issue or bug at launch. Most of them work just fine at launch.

Re:ALL consoles? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874500)

Point taken, past tense...I should have been more specific. Recent-gen consoles tend to have more problems (like you mentioned) 360 had/has it's overheating and red light issues, ps3 has some small scaling issues and some seemingly heating issues (which we will see if those remain in retail units)...my prediction is that if the wii has any problems, it will be with the remote connecting to that bar you put on top of the tv (or wherever) Personally, I hope all three consoles do very very well. 360 seems geared towards a more tech-savvy crowd (what with it's networking integration with XP media edition), the ps3 sort of a central entertainment hub for content, games, and movies, and the wii with innovation andsomething to make you scratch your head. Each console has it's own purpose and demographic, and with any luck they will do well for all of them. For the record, next to the NES and SNES, the Dreamcast was the best system EVER.

Re:ALL consoles? (1)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874930)

So what were the launch issues and bugs with the ... Jaguar

Cybermorph and Trevor McFur come to mind here. You know, now I mention them both together, it looks like Atari were aiming at a Star(Fox|Wing) knock-off, but at the last minute stuck the furries in space* into their own R-Type knock-off.

* If you make a search on that phrase, I am not responsible for the results.

Re:ALL consoles? (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875410)

So what were the launch issues and bugs with [...] the NES (remember, their big issue came well after launch)

In North America/Europe, yes, the issues with the ZIF bridge on the cartridge connector didn't arise until later, when they started weakening. But the first release of the Famicom in Japan had motherboard problems so severe that Nintendo of Japan had to issue a recall for all consoles sold, spending millions of dollars to repair them.

Re:ALL consoles? (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875992)

I didn't know about that. One thing I didn't consider is that most (though not all) of the consoles I mentioned were released in Japan quite a bit before they were released here in the States. I suppose it is also possible that those system had issues that were resolved well before they were brought here (as in the Famicom example).

Re:ALL consoles? (1)

Dev59 (953144) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877382)

Any console with an optical drive. Is that better for you?

Re:ALL consoles? (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877596)

Gamecube, Dreamcast, and the Jaguar all had optical drives.

So? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16873346)

480p should be enough for anybody.

Summary is a bit misleading (4, Informative)

VertigoAce (257771) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873366)

The summary completley mixes up the resolutions involved. The problem occurs when a game supports 720p but not 1080i and the TV supports 480i/480p/1080i (but not 720p) as many older HDTVs do. In this situation, the PS3 doesn't scale the game's 720p to 1080i, but rather forces the game to output 480p. The Xbox 360, on the other hand, uses a chip in the hardware to scale the 720p from the game to 1080i for the TV. Any TV that supports 720p won't have this problem. Neither will games that can output 1080i.

Re:Summary is a bit misleading (3, Informative)

Tim_sama (993132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873462)

Maybe that's not a problem for you, but it punishes early adopters of HDTV (like me) who own sets that only support 1080i. And as far as only affecting some games is concerned, Resistance: Fall of Man, the only worthwhile game in the whole launch lineup, doesn't support 1080i, so if I decide to get a PS3 (now out of the question unless they come up with a firmware update to fix this), I'll be stuck playing Resistance in 480p. I'll stick with Gears of War in 1080i, thank you.

Re:Summary is a bit misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16873648)

Why would you prefer to play in 1080 interlaced (ugh) over 480 progressive? Do you just hate your eyes?

Re:Summary is a bit misleading (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876866)

Perhaps it would be *gasp* deinterlaced?

Re:Summary is a bit misleading (0, Troll)

dartboard (23261) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873682)

Don't worry, you won't be getting one anyway. By the time poor slobs like you can get one they'll have these issues ironed out.

Re:Summary is a bit misleading (2, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873850)

If a game isn't fun enough to be worth playing in 480p, it isn't fun enough to play in 1080i either! So why get it at all?

Re:Summary is a bit misleading (1)

Tim_sama (993132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874602)

If a game isn't fun enough to be worth playing in 480p, it isn't fun enough to play in 1080i either! So why get it at all?

True, but if I'm going to be playing games in 480p, I'm not going to be buying a PS3 for $500+, I'm going to get a Wii for $250.

Re:Summary is a bit misleading (1)

gutnor (872759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875082)

That's a little sad to say that. But that's the life of the early adopter. You pay more for your stuff and when the technology become mainstream the equipment you purchased could very well be obsolete. Sometimes it pays off ( early adopter of PSP firmware 1.0 ), sometimes it does not ( HDTV without HDCP )

See yourself as pioneer. You boldly go where no other consumer sheep (like me) has gone before :-)
While we were all watching crappy NTSC or PAL and only dreaming of DVD quality, you enjoyed exclusive HD content.

Re:Summary is a bit misleading (1, Flamebait)

mungtor (306258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873932)

That's because Zonk posted it.

Zonk was molested by Sony execs as a child and he's still ashamed of liking it so much.

Re:Summary is a bit misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876442)

Why would a 1080i set accept 480p but not 720p?

To display 480p it has to stretch by 9/4.
To display 720p it has to stretch by 3/2, which is an easier fraction.
Or is it displaying 480p by pixel doubling, leaving a black border around the image?

Article is unclear (5, Informative)

Saffaya (702234) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873386)

To state it clearly:

Some PS3 launch games outputs at 720p

Lot of 2-3 years old HDTV cannot display 720p, but can do 1080i just fine.

But the PS3 is incapable of upscaling the game's graphics to 1080i. (unlike the xbox 360 for example)

Hence, the only display available for them is 480p.

To sum up : buy PS3, hook up to HDTV, play in 480p. (some games, some TV)

Re:Article is unclear (1, Insightful)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873530)

Quick summary:
If your TV doesn't support a given resolution (720p), the PS3 prefers to downscale (to 480p) instead of upscale (to 1080i), giving you low resolution games (480p).

The games' only fault is being released at 720p. The PS3 does the rest of the crappiness by turning that into 480p.

Re:Article is unclear (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873902)

Quick quick summary:

The PS3 is inferior to the X-box 360.

Re:Article is unclear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874464)

Megasummary:

Go outside and get some fresh air and exercise you fat slob

Re:Article is unclear (0, Troll)

static0verdrive (776495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875860)

Quick quick summary disclamer:

Inferior in the parent post refers to graphics for a lament only. When your Xbox 360 dies after a year and a half, don't be surprised. YOU chose the shoddy product.

In my experience, first gen PS2s are still running, and almost no first gen xboxes are. This study was conducted with most of my friends, and the units that lived or died are not hypothetical (re: I am not a fanboy; I own neither system but would buy a PS3 LONG before a 360).

Re:Article is unclear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876384)

Heh... what are you and your friends smoking? The PS2 is absolutely famous for optical drive problems and the like. In fact, many people speculate that at least 1/3 of the PS2s sold out of the total were sold to replace broken PS2s. The PS2 has an absolutely horrible reputation for longevity.

Not to mention, the PS3 uses 2x the power of the XBox360 which amounts to more heat which will lead to more early failures.

Disclaimer: I own neither the PS3 nor the XBox360, I'm waiting on rev2 of each. I do own a PS2, GameCube, XBox, and PS and will soon own a Wii.

Re:Article is unclear (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877674)

Out of more then two dozen of my friends with PS2s I only know two first gen systems that are still kicking, or rather limping since one will only read movies and not games and the other will only read games and not movies. So regardless of wither they are still functioning or not something is nerfed in the optical drive of EVERY first gen PS2 I've encountered.

Wheeeeee! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874040)

To sum up : buy PS3, hook up to HDTV, play in 480p. (some games, some TV)
Sweet...for half the price I can get the same resolution on a Wii. Maybe Nintendo was smarter than I thought by avoiding this whole HD debacle.

Re:Article is unclear (1)

ZakuSage (874456) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874590)

And the problem of upscaling 720p will be fixed in a future firmware update, so users like myself who were an HDTV early adopter don't get shafted.

Re:Article is unclear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876350)

No it won't (dev talking here). There is no scaling hardware in the RSX (just like there is no "PureVideo" hardware). It is a very simple vertex shader and pixel shader (and a piss-poor pixel shader at that). The PS3 doesn't have the background resources to do the scaling in software while a game is running, so no firmware update will solve this problem. The only fix is for each individual game that runs natively in 720P (i.e. MOST PS3 games) to write a sofware 720->1080 scaler. Odds are most won't do that because of the extra RAM requirements. RAM is already tight on the PS3 because Sony's background OS takes up >80MB of the 512MB of system memory.

Summary is wrong (4, Informative)

hudsonhawk (148194) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873410)

The scale down occurs because the launch games do not support 1080i, however they should be scaling down to an HD resolution of 720 instead of 480p.


No, the problem is that they don't support 1080i. The PS3 should be scaling from 720p to 1080i (which the 360 does), not 1080i to 720p.

The issue here is that older HDTV's only support 480p, 480i, and 1080i - not 720p. This is all stated very clearly in the article.

I know that commentors don't seem to read the articles on Slashdot, but shouldn't the submitters?

Re:Summary is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16873860)

The issue here is that older HDTV's only support 480p, 480i, and 1080i - not 720p. This is all stated very clearly in the article.

I know that commentors don't seem to read the articles on Slashdot, but shouldn't the editors ?


There, fixed that for you. ... or wait ... this is Slashdot ... right ... sorry ... forget I said anything.

Re:Summary is wrong (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876178)

Out of curiosity, how much better does scaling up look compared to scaling down?

Re:Summary is wrong (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877660)

The truth is that it can only be judged on a per-game basis since frame rates will vary, level of real graphical detail will vary, etc. But, to get an idea how much display information will be lost in downconversion to 480p, here are some numbers:

480p = 720x480 = 345,600 pixels x 60 frames = 20,736,000 pixels/second.
720p = 1280x720 = 921,600 pixels x 60 frames = 55,296,000 pixels/second.
1080i = 1920x1080 = 2,073,600 pixels x 30 frames = 62,208,000 pixels/seconds.

So, all other things being equal, you lose 62.5% of the picture information going from 720p to 480p.

Re:Summary is wrong (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876988)

I am the submitter and I must apologise. I had actually submitted an article from 1up.com [1up.com] which said

"it's become apparent that 1080i is currently unsupported, at least by the machine's many launch games, as 1080i-only HDTV sets are forced to experience the visuals at 480p, rather than scaling to an HD resolution of 720p."

I had missed the IGN link in the text and thus missed the chance to get the correct information from the original story. I must be more careful in the future and fact-check as well as preview before I submit...

Reason? (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873440)

I'm curious about the reason that PS3 can't scale 720p to 1080i. Almost every HD component these days, all the way down to $50 DVD players, include a passable scaler. There's been some speculation that the limitation is that the 360 has analog outputs (which may be easier to scale in hardware) while the PS3 has digital outputs (which might be harder to do?)

Re:Reason? (2, Informative)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873906)

There's been some speculation that the limitation is that the 360 has analog outputs (which may be easier to scale in hardware) while the PS3 has digital outputs (which might be harder to do?)


The 360's scaling is done before the signal is converted to analog. Anyways, if this was actually the problem, Sony could have just made the PS3 only capable of scaling up to 1080i on analog outputs. I don't know of a single HDTV out there with digital inputs that doesn't handle 720p, and there's no question that for games it's better to use 720p than 1080i.

sigh (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875656)

"I don't know of a single HDTV out there with digital inputs that doesn't handle 720p,"

Panasonic Plasma 42PX20...

A whopping THREE years old... :(

(But I knew that it didn't have 720p going in... I just got a really good deal on it at the time)

Re:Reason? (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873950)

I would guess that it's perfectly capable of upscaling. More than likely, A: It was intended to upscale from 720p to 1080i, but a bug kept that from working- and the bug will be patched soon, or B: one of Sony's brilliant PHBs decided that there was no reason to upscale, and after sony starts catching heat about it, a patch will be released to enable properly upscaling.
My guess is that it will be a minor irrtation to a small portion of the early adopters, and will be fixed by the next shipment of units. If anyone out there is suffering from this problem, my TV supports 720p just fine, and I would be more than happy to take that PS3 off your hands for you ;)

Re:Reason? (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874564)

Are we sure it's even downscaling the games? how do we know it's not just rendering them straight to 480p?

The reason I ask is because there is a possibility that the PS3 doesn't have any scaler at all, meaning it will only support resolutions that it's capable of rendering to. The Xbox 1 had a few HD games and it suffered from this exact same problem, it was never "fixed" because it was a shortcoming of the hardware that didn't include a scaler. Since it was incapable of rendering games to a 1920x1080 frame and didn't include hardware to scale games up or down games that could run in 720p would only display at a max of 480p on TVs that could run 1080i but not 720p.

There is further reason to believe that the PS3 doesn't include scaler hardware because only some games will output at their coveted 1080p resolution. Since it's fall update _ALL_ Xbox 360 games can output at that resolution if desired because the console can scale up from whatever the game is rendering at. This leads me to believe that the PS3 might not actually have hardware required to scale the image. If that's the case then this issue could only be fixed with a change to the hardware.

So does anyone know if there are any documents or other definitive evidence of, or absence of scaler hardware in the PS3?

Re:Reason? (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875194)

It has to be capable of downscaling, since BluRay downscales if you are not running over HDMI- but the PS3 has other "insecure" output methods- so it has to be able to downscale the BluRay movies.

Re:Reason? (1)

getnate (518090) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876408)

RTFA. The question is not "Can is down scale?", it already is down scaling to 480p and that is the problem.

Re:Reason? (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876662)

If you would have read the post that I was replying to, you would see that the poster asked if it is actually downscaling, or if the games are rendering natively at 480p.
The article may say downscaling, but the article may have been using the term improperly, wouldn't be the first time.

Re:Reason? (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876756)

I did RTFM... but did you even read the first line of my post?
Are we sure it's even downscaling the games? how do we know it's not just rendering them straight to 480p?
I'm sure the journalist is completely infallible and incapable of not differentiating between a downscaled image and one rendered natively at 480p. I must be a fool to assume otherwise.

Just because BluRay downscales doesn't mean it can downscale games as well. I'm sure the hardware has enough power to downscale in software but if it scales it's movies with software that doesn't necessarily mean it will have the resources availble to downscale a video while it uses them up to produce HD game resolutions.

Patches for consoles (2, Interesting)

Cy Sperling (960158) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873580)

What do consumers do about patches if they have no internet? At least with PC gaming, you can download a patch somewhere else, burn it to a disc, and run the patch later. Will consoles allow updates via some sort of hard copy install?

Re:Patches for consoles (1)

KingCZAR (980137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873778)

I dont know, but you could do that for the PSP with a memory stick...

Re:Patches for consoles (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16873832)

Typically, carry the console to a friend's house.

Alternatively, you can borrow a laptop with a modem and set it up as a router till you have the patch (which at 56k will be quite a while).

I'm pretty disappointed that patching is standard for next-gen console games. Broken games suck, and a patch is better than nothing. However, broken games should never get shipped in the first place. Platform holders should fine companies that do so and refund consumers.

Re:Patches for consoles (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874062)

Xbox patches were a) available to download and burn onto a CD, and b) often included on game discs, and c) included on official demo discs and the discs that came with gaming magazines.

Re:Patches for consoles (1)

Bagels (676159) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874146)

Well, they've got to do something with all of that extra space on the BluRay discs. (seriously, such patches/firmware updates often get included - or even forced through - by newer games. see: PSP)

Re:Patches for consoles (1)

bumchick (201482) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874234)

For the PSP, if you ran a new game, the game's UMD would contain the firmware patch to be installed. I expect this will continue for the PS3 too.

Re:Patches for consoles (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874276)

What they did with the PS2 was include automatically-installing updates on game discs. I assume they'll do the same thing this gen.

Re:Patches for consoles (1)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874314)

You can bring them to a shop and have them flashed, or some systems have a mechanism where a game can update the firmware (often without notifying you, used a means of breaking modchips over time. I think the PS1 did this)

Re:Patches for consoles (1)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874388)

What do consumers do about patches if they have no internet?


I think it's a safe bet that consumers with no internet connection don't matter to Sony; at least not when it comes to the PS3.

Re:Patches for consoles (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875712)

"What do consumers do about patches if they have no internet?"

They'll bundle the update with a new game. My copy of Liberty City Stories for the PSP has a firmware update with it.

Out of curiosity (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16873660)

Could someone arrange a survey of what percentage of people can describe the difference between 1080i, 480p and television? I can't.

Re:Out of curiosity (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874054)

This is news for nerds. If you actually cared, instead of just trolling, you'd have looked at Wikipedia. Please go away and leave us alone. That is all.

Re:All you need to know (1)

pyite69 (463042) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874262)

Any mode that ends in "i" sucks.

Re:All you need to know (1)

Shai-kun (728212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874410)

Wow! It's like Apple... in reverse!

Re:Out of curiosity (3, Informative)

clydemaxwell (935315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874272)

Kindly put, the HDTV formats are (in descending order of quality): 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixels progressive scan), 1080i (1,920 x 1,080 pixels interlaced), 720p (1,280 x 720 pixels progressive scan), and 480p (720 x 480 pixels progressive scan).

There's some question as to 1080i vs 720p in quality, and I have never heard of a 720i or 480i (although I see no reason why they might not exist).

Re:Out of curiosity (2, Informative)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874970)

480i is just called either NTSC or SDTV, which is 480 lines interlaced. This is why you never hear it refered to as 480i. The whole naming by scan lines (ie: 480p, 720p, 1080i/p) is a reletively recent phenomenon since EDTV (480p) only came out about 10 years ago, and called for a new naming system.

720i does not exist, to my knowledge. By the time they got to the 720p standard, there was no reason to go interlaced anymore, because progressive scan will ALWAYS be superior in image quality when showing in a native format. Now, there is a bit of question as to whether 1080i or 720p is superior. I would say 720p is a safer bet, because interlacing causes a lot of weird flickery effects, and I would be totally up for sacrificing some screen resolution to get rid of those.

Re:Out of curiosity (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875150)

480i is essentially Standard Definition TV. Its the way signals are currently broadcast in the U.S.
This is why 480p is sometimes (often?) referred to as EDTV i.e. Enhanced Definition TV, since it takes the standard Ratio and broadcast size and removes the interlacing. I am not aware of any broadcasts using it, but quite a number of DVD players and the like will output it.

Re:Out of curiosity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874286)

The difference: about $300. That's the price difference for the PS3 from the Wii, and the latter only outputs 480p. If the supposed difference between the resolutions is that miniscule, then why shell out the extra money for Hi-Def hardware?

Re:Describe it? No - LOOK at it (1)

drhamad (868567) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874954)

Describe it? Who cares. LOOK at it. Put a DVD on (480p), then put a good HD TV broadcast on (1080i or 720p, depending on the network). There's a HUGE difference. Anyway, this is quite strange - that it can't scale. I can't believe that. That being said, please god somebody clean up the summary so it makes sense and is not completely misleading.

Re:Out of curiosity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875882)

Here just view it for yourself:

Gears of War
1280x720 to up-scaled to 1920x1080 won't hurt the individual frames unless the game is running at greater the 30fps at 720p, then it's possible to notice tearing at 1080p you wouldn't have seen at 720p.

http://static.flickr.com/107/298916653_4f98a2c78f_ o.jpg [flickr.com]

1280x720p scaled down to 480p and then displayed at the same size as the 720p. Since you TV isn't going to shrink.

http://static.flickr.com/110/298920837_b955360eb8_ o.jpg [flickr.com]

Can you tell a difference? I sure as hell can.

I guess next gen has starte.."let's just patch it" (4, Interesting)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873954)

All three consoles appear to allow patches, none of them have said they won't allow it (I assume Nintendo isn't going to go the extent the other two are). But this is a horrible thought. Forget QA, forget everything else, we're just screwing people over because if they get a game early they are screwed, we don't even need to finish the game because we can always patch in more later? Patches should add information, not fix bugs that shouldn't have gotten out of the shop. Patches are good but not if every game needs a patch out of the box.

We also have Microtransactions from all sides. EA is selling us cheat codes over the marketplace for money, People are selling tutorials? I thought Micropayments were going to save us? Not make us feel like tools.

Then assume patches and micropayments are OK (They arn't). What happens 10 years from now, you find a unused Console start it up and put in your game, xbox live is probably not going to be serving the data so you can't get the updates? What happens if you don't have an internet connection? You can't get the fixes. So we are bending people to our will even more now? (first HD and now almost necessary internet)

All this just makes me, a gamer, feel like Next Gen is just a pile of crap that is just out there to bring the computer to a console. I applaud Nintendo but even there they are doing parts of this stuff to an extent.

Re:I guess next gen has starte.."let's just patch (1)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874780)

Patches and microtransactions aren't going to go away, but we consumers can help cut down on some of the bullshit by not buying it. I can't imagine EA is getting many people to buy their cheat codes, and I imagine much of the other crappy marketplace stuff doesn't see too many purchases. The microtransaction idea will only work out for publishers if they offer up stuff worth buying.

Re:I guess next gen has starte.."let's just patch (1)

Durrok (912509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877530)

How much money did EA make on you putting in a cheat code before the 360? None. How much do they make now? Some. They are just trying to make a buck everywhere they can and personally I think it's crap. Same with their ads in games. Not only are the games not any cheaper with this new "business model" but they are still released unfinished and take way to long to patch. It would be one thing if these micro payments and adds made the game cheaper or free but they don't.

Thank you, FCC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874064)

For so totally fucking up the ATSC standard.

1080i is a stupid mode anyway (1)

pyite69 (463042) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874164)

Interlacing sucks - people should boycott all interlaced modes altogether. This is yet another example of how painful it is to deal with.

Re:1080i is a stupid mode anyway (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874784)

Don't be silly. 1080i is very useful for content distributors. It allows one to optimize bandwidth depending on the content involved, as it trades off temporal resolution for spacial resolution. The result is higher apparent resolution for slower moving content, while using less bandwidth than 720p.

Re:1080i is a stupid mode anyway (1)

Mprx (82435) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875186)

Pointless. Any content that won't look like shit in an interlaced mode will compress very well with any modern algorithm. Much better to display everything progressive and set the data rate as appropriate. Interlace should have died long ago, the only reason it still exists is because it's relatively cheap to build a 1080i CRT and dumb consumers think it's somehow better than 720p.

Re:1080i is a stupid mode anyway (1)

getnate (518090) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876154)

Why not trade temporal resolution by using 1080p@30fps (vs. 720p@60), 1080i60 is a mistake and should be replaced with 1080p30? 1080p30 has the same pixel rate as 1080i60 and 1080p30 will probably compress better resulting is lower bandwidth.

Re:1080i is a stupid mode anyway (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876328)

Good point, although I wonder, is it cheaper to make a 1080i display than a 1080p?

Re:1080i is a stupid mode anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876838)

As I understand it, unless the source is refreshing faster that 30Hz, there is no difference between 1080i and 1080p. Thus when it comes to watching films (usually at 24fps) there is no visual differences. Wouldn't the argument likewise be that if the reresh rate of a game's display is at 30Hz there is no different between 1080i and 1080p?

If the above is true then 1080i seems like a great standard as the only media I am aware of that is natively 1080p is *possibly* the "next-gen" consoles.

Um...? (1)

Doomstalk (629173) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874508)

Actually, it downscales to 480p on displays that do 480i/p and 1080i, but not 720p.

Did anyone bother to look at the cable? (1)

BeeazleBub (535448) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874886)

The japan units only shipped with composite rc cables not component video.
Last I checked composite can only play 480p or 480i. I would assume that the US units shipped with the same thing. Has anyone tried this with a true HD cable?

Re:Did anyone bother to look at the cable? (1)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875370)

Composite and S-video can only do 480i. The only way to do 480p (or better) is with component, DVI, or HDMI (which is DVI + audio + crap DRM + new connector)

Re:Did anyone bother to look at the cable? (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877762)

If you're going to correct folks, please use the correct terms. Composite and S-video (at least in the US) can only do NTSC, and while there are only 480 visible lines, there are 525 actual lines. The term "480i" is best reserved to describe an interlaced digital signal with 480 interlaced lines - for example, NTSC sources transmitted via cable or satellite digitally and then converted to NTSC in a receiver for output via RF, composite, S-video or component (though they can also sometimes convert the signal to 480p for output through component or better connections to a digital TV).

The PS3 is so awsome !!! (1)

monopole (44023) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875258)

That not only must you pay $600+ for the console, but you must upgrade your HDTV!
If it gets any better you'll need a third job to buy one!
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