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Microsoft Engineer about PS3 Horizontal Scaling in SDK


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#1 PS3Scene

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:19 AM

Microsoft Engineer about PS3 Horizontal Scaling in SDK
Posted by XanTium | 30-1-2007 19:19 EST

 
From Bruce Dawson (Microsoft senior software design engineer) on Andre Vrignaud's Blog:


I see no sign that the PS3 contains a chip that can do vertical scaling, and this new feature (horizontal scaling) is a poor substitute for a true hardware scaler. It is a step forward for owners of 1080i only HDTVs, once PS3 games support it, but it is nowhere near as good as the Xbox 360's scaler.

This recent announcement is just for horizontal scaling, and horizontal scaling is easy. To do high quality horizontal scaling you just need to buffer up a few pixels and intelligently average between them.

Cheap horizontal scaling is even easier: you just send pixels to the video output a bit slower (or send pixels at the same rate, but read them from memory slower). It's the sort of thing that consoles have always been able to do. This new horizontal scaling feature just sounds like they are adjusting the video output rate.

Vertical scaling, on the other hand, is much harder. You need to be able to buffer up (or sample from) two or more lines of data, and then intelligently average between them. For high quality scaling you want to be sampling from a half-dozen lines or more. The Xbox 360 can do this. I don't know whether the PS3 can do this, but if it could I think we would have seen it by now.

This new feature means that games that have previously only supported 720p can now, sort of, be modified to support 1080. When these games detect a display that can't support 720p they can switch to using a 960x1080 buffer. This is only 12.5% more pixels than 1280x720 so the increase in fill rate and memory consumption should be manageable. Then they can tell the PS3 to stretch this buffer to 1920x1080 at display time and voila, 1080 support.

Except, it will be pretty weak 1080 support with an odd and substandard result. The horizontal resolution will be worse than with 720p (960 across instead of 1280), and the images will be twice as blurry horizontally as vertically. 960x1080 is going to look worse than 1280x720 (although it's certainly an improvement over having to drop back to 480i).






#2 mike96sc2

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:04 AM

Yeah I think Sony pushed so much into we're going to have this and now they're looking at it in a more realistic fashon and saying okay maybe that wasn't the best way to go and trying to come up with a solution. It might not be as nice as what the X360 can do, but you do need to give them some credit for making a reasonable attempt.

#3 mlmadmax

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:28 AM

I will give them credit when i play a 720p only game at 1080i with them both looking and playing the same. Than i will give them credit.

I know i am hating but those dumbasses should have put a hardware scaler in in the first place, than all of this wouldn't be a problem to begin with.

Edited by mlmadmax, 31 January 2007 - 01:29 AM.


#4 ConteZero76

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:34 AM

Whoa, this is amusing, Microsoft is throwing shit against Sony...
Well some thing need to be explained, the first is that since PS3 isn't an XBox360 (and thus has a DIGITAL VIDEO OUT) you cannot use the "really cheap way", that's reading memory slower when driving a DAC since there isn't such a thing like a DAC in a HDMI interface (and this is the reason that make HDMI far superior to Component when "driving" a plasma or LCD display).
Anyway the HScarler is really a poor choice but keeps things working and add the feature, it will be a little tricky to use on a PS3 but not impossible, and this could work as a temporary fix until a proper scaler is added (this is unlikely because a DIGITAL scaler is EXPENSIVE to add on the fly).
And, by the way, this is something I think someone that is making an XBox360 V2 with HDMI shouldn't say, because they were the first in attempting to modify their console to catch the competitor, yet they are doing it impairing their existing customer base.
HScaler is only an added feature, a feature that even the first PS3 can get... to get a working digital out signal on the other hand you have to get a new XBox360 (codename Zephyr) when it'll come out... did you expect that the highly ranked "Next Generation Console", his highness the XBox360 is unable to drive a DVI/HDMI port ?
Having a sub par scaler is ugly, but is way better that being bound to analog out.
Yet MS people have no shame.

Edited by ConteZero76, 31 January 2007 - 01:44 AM.


#5 epsilon72

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 06:17 AM

No offense ConteZero, but I'm having a tough time understanding your post. blink.gif
Maybe it's all of the sudafed I took.. sleep.gif

Anyways, PS3 = pwnt in the scaler department. I'm fortunate enough to have been able to acquire a 1080p LCD, so resolution compatibility is not really an issue for me.


#6 mike96sc2

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 06:38 AM

Who say's Microsoft is releasing a v2 X360 with HDMI? Sure we saw pictures, but we didn't see anything in production. It's called speculation pure and simple. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for one, thats for sure. Can Microsoft not release a HDMI adapter for their current system? Survey says yes they can.

Nobody is getting alienated here and the fact is Sony has really burnt their bridge in the scaling department. What people don't realize is probably less than 50% of PS3s or X360s are hooked up to their televisions outside of composite video and running at 480p.

Microsoft has a scaler that can help in that department with the newer influx of bigger and better TVs, hower Sony can't begin to consider scaling in any reasonable manner short of all the way up or all the way down.

#7 stevenalvarado

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 06:45 AM

did you expect that the highly ranked "Next Generation Console", his highness the XBox360 is unable to drive a DVI/HDMI port ?
Having a sub par scaler is ugly, but is way better that being bound to analog out.
Yet MS people have no shame.



rolleyes.gif

#8 Thraxen

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 07:42 AM

QUOTE(ConteZero76 @ Jan 30 2007, 06:41 PM) View Post

Whoa, this is amusing, Microsoft is throwing shit against Sony...
Well some thing need to be explained, the first is that since PS3 isn't an XBox360 (and thus has a DIGITAL VIDEO OUT) you cannot use the "really cheap way", that's reading memory slower when driving a DAC since there isn't such a thing like a DAC in a HDMI interface (and this is the reason that make HDMI far superior to Component when "driving" a plasma or LCD display).
Anyway the HScarler is really a poor choice but keeps things working and add the feature, it will be a little tricky to use on a PS3 but not impossible, and this could work as a temporary fix until a proper scaler is added (this is unlikely because a DIGITAL scaler is EXPENSIVE to add on the fly).
And, by the way, this is something I think someone that is making an XBox360 V2 with HDMI shouldn't say, because they were the first in attempting to modify their console to catch the competitor, yet they are doing it impairing their existing customer base.
HScaler is only an added feature, a feature that even the first PS3 can get... to get a working digital out signal on the other hand you have to get a new XBox360 (codename Zephyr) when it'll come out... did you expect that the highly ranked "Next Generation Console", his highness the XBox360 is unable to drive a DVI/HDMI port ?
Having a sub par scaler is ugly, but is way better that being bound to analog out.
Yet MS people have no shame.



I wish MS had included HDMI just so we would have to listen to crap like this. I currently have my 360 running 1080p via component and my PS3 connected via HDMI and I can't really see any difference in video quality. People act like analog vs digital output is some huge difference, but it's really not. I do think MS should have supported HDMI, but I also think Sony should have included a proper scaler.

In the end though, neither one really affects me either way. My 360 looks great and even if they launch a model with HDMI, I'll likely just keep my 360 on component or VGA because my HDMI slots are currently occupied and I don't want to use a switch box if I don't have to. Also, my TV supports all the HD formats, so I'm not impacted the PS3's lack of a scaler... so I'm good to go.

#9 mikedavis2838

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 07:43 AM

QUOTE(stevenalvarado @ Jan 31 2007, 06:52 AM) View Post

Having a sub par scaler is ugly, but is way better that being bound to analog out.


Why?

sorry, meant to qoute ConteZero76

Edited by mikedavis2838, 31 January 2007 - 07:45 AM.


#10 Pheidias

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 08:24 AM

mike96sc2, wich survey says MS can do hdmi cable. I haven't seen anything pointing to the fact that they can. Sure MS has claimed the xbox could do a digital out, but as Conte says the scaler won't work then..

Niether the PS3 or the 360 has all its eggs in the basket, that just the way it is.. learn to live with it

#11 LJR

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 09:14 AM

HDMI guarantees absolutely ZERO benefit over a component output in terms of video quality. All that HDMI provides is a HDCP compliant stream of digital data. The old argument of digital is better than analogue doesn't quite hold water with video formats and instead of me going into the details of why I will simply link you to these two articles....

http://forum.ecousti...579/122868.html
http://www.greathome...s-COMPNENT.html

It's worth noting that pretty much all component cables are made from high-grade materials, the same cannot be said about HDMI cables.

Of course, where HDMI does kick butt is with the digital audio.

In any case, and to post somewhat on topic for this thread, the PS3 attempt at scaling is clearly a kludge and if you sent that stream of video through the world's best HDMI cable then it's pq will be no where near that of a correctly implementd 1080i (with full 1920) output.

#12 Pheidias

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:46 AM

Good articles but a bit outdated hdmi today with 1.3 isn't the same as in 2005.

#13 incognegro

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:54 AM

don't you guys get its not about image quality. Its all about bragging rights, the ps3 has very little going for itself the fanboys have talk about SOMETHING rolleyes.gif


yes it is true that the 360 cannot facilitate HDMI because of the scaler (its analog only) and yes pheidas is right that not all the consoles have all their eggs in a basket but the question is who made the right sacrifices? Sony just seems to be missing quite a few (eggs).

HDMI is still not important to gaming, its only important to sony's blu ray trojan horse dry.gif

Edited by incognegro, 31 January 2007 - 11:55 AM.


#14 ConteZero76

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 12:09 PM

This is all about features, right ?

As a matter of fact a PS3 v1.0 can scale to any resolution in a clumsy way via the HScaler.
As a matter of fact an XBox360 v1.0 cannot pull out an HDMI signal.

No, you're going to talk about the INTERNALS, about who placed what piece of hardware inside the box.
Ok!
So Microsoft added an analog only scaler and there's no way to get a digital signal out (scaled).
Sony on the other hand put a scaler, but it's a lower end scaler.
Who gave MS the right to criticize Sony for the choice ?
And, by the way, there are a lot of differences between analog and digital when it comes to high resolution, high refresh rate and digital displays (like plasma or LCD), you can try to figure out understanding why a Digital->Digital connector is better than Digital (Video card)->Analog (scaler/connector)->Digital (Display).

Maybe Sony will add a full fledged scaler on a new version (like Microsoft did in his Zephyr) but, as for today, PS3 v1.0 has a scaler and can scale to every resolution with a digital output, XBox v1.0 cannot.

Last but not least: Sorry boys, I'm italian so sometimes my english sucks... there's something wrong with this ?

PS: BD is a trojan horse, but is't probably the winner since HD-DVD (oh, I forgot, MS added something for this too, sadly it's analog out only) isn't getting all this supprt nowadays.

Edited by ConteZero76, 31 January 2007 - 12:14 PM.


#15 C o s m o

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:57 PM

QUOTE(ConteZero76 @ Jan 31 2007, 06:16 AM) View Post

Who gave MS the right to criticize Sony for the choice ?

Andre Vrignaud, that's who. He asked the question.
Bruce didn't call Andre and say, "Hey, I've got some hot opinions about Sony's shitty scaler. Wanna hear 'em?"
Vrignaud got the interview, and asked the questions. Bruce answered with his honest opinion.




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