Toshiba controversially announces their new 1080p upscaling technology will rival Blu-ray

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QOSMIO-UPSCALED.jpgEarly June a rumour emerged that Toshiba would be launching a new attack on Sony, via the magic of new ‘upscaling’ technology. Of course, this is nothing new, with Toshiba themselves working on similar products for “some considerable years, at least 3-5 years”, with DVD players, TVs and now laptops containing the upscaling chips, plus with their ‘Super-resolution’ imagery where SD-content is upscaled via an interpolation algorithm to 1080p.

However, today at a London event, Toshiba formally announced upscaling would be their next plan of attack on Sony, claiming they would be focussing on “taking standard content, and displaying in HD format”. This technology, upscaling standard definition content, such as a DVD, to a higher resolution, has long been controversial for not even comparing to the real high-def experience that comes via Blu-ray, or HD DVD.

Toshiba explained to the assembled press at today’s event that their technology would “add resolution”, and “fill in the gaps”, providing stronger colours and clarity where it was missing. They showed two TVs both displaying the same content, one at standard definition, and one using their upscaling device, and whilst the latter did look more impressive, it would pale in comparison if shown next to a true HD source. Which Toshiba obviously didn’t do, as they’re no longer endorsing HD DVD and will never support Blu-ray.

After receiving some far from publishable questions and insults from the assembled journalists (“fanciful nonsense” was one of the kinder remarks from a journalist during the Q&A session), the representatives, including Emily Shirley, Head of Product Marketing at Toshiba Europe were obviously getting irate. “Blu-ray is only a storage medium”, they retorted, explaining it was not the only way to view high-def content on your TV.

Digital downloads are proving to be a lucrative business for all concerned, particularly Microsoft, and it was obvious from today’s meeting that Toshiba will be supporting that side of the new format war for the foreseeable future. “The fact that Bill Gates and everyone in the industry is talking about downloads is illustrious”, one of the panel members responded with, when asked about the worth of downloads in comparison to Blu-ray, however they hastened to add “we’re not necessarily saying anything negative about Blu-ray”.

It’s unclear as to what products Toshiba will be launching in the next few months with the upscaling chip, however the Qosmio laptops announced today all feature the technology. All eyes will be on the IFA technology show on August 20th in Berlin, where Toshiba is expected to introduce their new Blu-ray ‘killer’.

Toshiba

Related posts: Toshiba to announce upscaling technology? | Toshiba announces Qosmio laptops

Katherine Hannaford

33 comments

  • This Whole Thing SUC’s!!!

    Maybe next Toshiba can make an audio upconverter that will make 10kHz (sample rate, 5kHz bandwidth) mono MP3’s into 7.1ch 96kHz/24bit LPCM, and it will sound even better than the Blu-ray equivalent 7.1ch HD audio!!! And they can upconvert my old Super 8mm movies into 7680×4320 Super Hi-vision/ UltraHDTV, and put NHK out of business!!! This is fantastic news ‘Deadmutt’!!! The future will now SUC with all this wonderfull FUD!!!

  • Does anyone have any updates on the full native super upconvert technology? You know, the FN SUC?

  • Ok amir…I will break it down for you,
    You and your so called followers are a bunch of cheap skates.
    You push super up-convert as if it was equal to blu-ray intern misleading consumers into investing there hard earned money..just like you did with HD DVD.
    you and your HD DVD dropouts/SUCers need buy yourself blu-ray players and enjoy true 1080p picture with real sound.

  • Sling , Its quite evident you don’t support the SUC cause but your last post was unneeded.
    If you think your going to take my place eating TV dinners with Deadmeat and Wewa you are mistaken.
    My HD DVD followers are growing strong here.I thank you for your push SUC participation.

    PS
    Deadmeat , don’t forget to bring that very hot movie “The Notebook” over tonight.
    We will SUC it!

    Amir

  • wewa,you install TVs and cant tell the difference between Upconvert and Blu-ray..as you say “they almost look the same” hmm your in the wrong business my friend and for you to push a half ass picture on family , friends and neighbors is even worse which leads me to my questions ,How long have you worked for Toshiba , How often do you and Deadmeat eat TV dinners together and how much does Toshiba pay you to mislead customers?

  • I have both HD and BD. So I’m good no matter which way the wind blows. I install HDTVs for a living.
    I have a recent Toshiba SD DVD player ($59) with upconvert 1080p and Divx.
    If I didn’t see it myself, I too, would be doubting that anything can look like BD.
    If their newer upcon units can do even better than this, all i can say is WOW.
    All my neighbors and relatives that have seen my upcon player, have bought one also, after I explained the price, and how they can just keep the movies and discs they now have.
    Sony Fans beware, this is going to be serious.
    Most folks will NOT be able to tell the difference, and for sub $100, why would anyone buy a $400 BD player and $30 movies?!
    Take care.

  • For all you Micro-Shaft and Toe-jam-ba fanboyz.
    WHHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Blu or get the screw!

  • although this article is biased it is also true, toshiba is claiming the impossible.
    i work in image orthorectification and interpretation, i know how these things work. interpolation cannot re-create missing source data, it can only guess what might be there. there is a reason why hollywood doesn’t film everything on a $25 webcam then “zoom in” 24x to magically get more detail, it is impossible. try this: find a 1920×1080 image, resize it to 640×480, then resize it back up to 1920×1080 and compare it to the original. even with the best algorithims and interpolation meathods it will *never* look as good.
    i for one am not so stupid to believe toshiba’s claim.

  • although this article is biased it is also true, toshiba is claiming the impossible.
    i work in image orthorectification and interpretation, i know how these things work. interpolation cannot re-create missing source data, it can only guess what might be there. believe it or not there is a reason why hollywood doesn’t film everything on a $25 webcam then “zoom in” 24x to magically get more detail, it is impossible. if your source is a 480p DVD then you cannot magically get 1080p detail out of it. try this: find a 1920×1080 image, resize it to 640×480, save it, then resize it back up to 1920×1080 and compare it to the original. even with the best algorithims and interpolation meathods it will *never* look as good.
    i for one am not so stupid to believe toshiba’s claim.

  • although this article is biased it is also true, toshiba is claiming the impossible.
    i work in image orthorectification and interpretation, i know how these things work. interpolation cannot re-create missing source data, it can only guess what might be there. believe it or not there is a reason why hollywood doesn’t film everything on a $25 webcam then “zoom in” 24x to magically get more detail, it is impossible. if your source is a 480p DVD then you cannot magically get 1080p detail out of it. try this: find a 1920×1080 image, resize it to 640×480, save it, then resize it back up to 1920×1080 and compare it to the original. even with the best algorithims and interpolation meathods it will *never* look as good.
    i for one am not so stupid to believe toshiba’s claim.

  • deadmeat are you really sure you cant tell upscaled and bluray apart? time to ditch the visio my friend and get a proper telly.

  • Ahah, I can’t believe he actually compared enhancing security camera footage to a high definition movie.

    Yes, Hollywood movies would have SO much more details and look 10,000 times better if they were shot with low quality low resolution security cameras. All they would need is to upscale and interpolate! ^_^

    In fact, they should shoot movies in 10×10 pixels and then upscaled to True HD.

    OMG THE DETAILS!! THE AWESOMENESS!!!! O_O

  • Ahah, Deadmeat must be the funniest comedian ever.

    >This is something CIA does for a living everyday. It’s the same technology good enough for CIA, US military, and NASA to do their jobs.

    CIA, US military, and NASA don’t use low definition equipment.

    But if a security camera caught a criminal on tape, they’re gonna have to do all they can to work out how he looks. Of course, most security cams have bad quality and low resolution with no color.

    They obviously have no choice but to upscale, interpolate, etc as best they can. But of course, there are still missing details.

    If upscaling and interpolation were able to RECREATE the missing detail, then every single criminal caught on low quality security cameras should be easily identifiable and caught by now.

    >95% of population.

    Yes, and back when DVD just released, 95% of the population also preferred tapes and CDs… until the prices went down and they saw how much better DVD was.

    >$350 for an obsolete(All Disney titles require BD-Live after October) gimped no-brand player plus $30 movie is too rich for my blood.

    Add $49 to that $350 and you can buy yourself a PS3 that can browse the internet, play video games, watch store media files, stream media files from your computer, do remote play with PSP, etc etc.

    >Actually it is the US that’s behind broadband speed war.

    Digital distribution of True HD content is still not plausible enough even for 95% of people with high speed broadband.

    People still prefer ordering movies, or buying them at stores. Its a lot less of a hassle.

    Downloading 50 gb movies? Most people only have around 200-500 gb hard drives. Download a couple movies and you’re maxed out.

    What do you have to do? That’s right, burn it out. What do you need in order to burn it out? Thats right, Blurays writers and Bluray discs. It defeats its purpose.

    It’s going to take at the very least 10 years before average hard drive space and download speeds have increased enough to make digital distribution of True HD content plausible.

  • > What, you thought the images from Mars were really
    > in HD?

    er, yes they we’re

    “The nominal maximum resolution of red images is 20,000 × 40,000 pixels, or 800 megapixels and 4,000 × 40,000 pixels (160 megapixels)”

    much higher than HD

    and you’re really comparing enhancing security camera footage to a movie?

    stick SRT in a blu -ray player so people can enjoy upscaled dvd and get the best possible hd experience as well

  • Deadmeat , Congratulations on you promotion.
    I’m glad Amir put you in charge of fud….you dish it out well and will make him proud.
    A great idea would for you to start a petition pushing a SUC way of thinking , stick your head in a micro wave then blow your noise on it.

    Good day

  • > Thus potentially adding information that wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place from grain, compression artifacts

    This is something CIA does for a living everyday. It’s the same technology good enough for CIA, US military, and NASA to do their jobs.

    What, you thought the images from Mars were really in HD?

    > Notwithdstanding the fact that if it works for DVD it will work in the future for Blu Ray when we get Displays superior to 2k.

    I can’t tell a good DVD upscaler and a Blu-Ray player apart. So does 95% of population with piss-poor TV sets and less than 20-20 vision.

    > If Upconversion is so awesome, why did you do the HD DVD in the first place ?).

    Because the technology wasn’t available back in 2003.

    > who wants outdated DVD technology

    95% of population.

    > while BD has larger growth rate than DVD at the same age.

    This is definitely not true. They are comparing PS3s against standalone DVD players during the first three years of availability.

    > but why settle for a worse technology while there is better one (Blu-ray).

    $350 for an obsolete(All Disney titles require BD-Live after October) gimped no-brand player plus $30 movie is too rich for my blood.

    > Digital download won’t be in a lot of countries for many years.

    Actually it is the US that’s behind broadband speed war.

    > Besides, where 1080p and PCM on DD?

    Most people don’t have the home theater set up to enjoy DD, much less lossless audio.

  • I supported HD DVD pushing fud for Microsoft for over a year.
    My loyal followers will once again hop on the micro train and we will defeat Blu-ray.
    Deadmeat,You are in charge for now.Push as much SUC fud needed..We will be victories!

  • I’m sure Sony is terrified.

    Give it up Toshiba. Just make some cheap Blu-Ray players and be on a winning team for once.

  • lol…. who wants outdated DVD technology, while BD has larger growth rate than DVD at the same age.
    DVD or HD DVD?? I chose HD DVD. but why settle for a worse technology while there is better one (Blu-ray). Digital download won’t be in a lot of countries for many years. Besides, where 1080p and PCM on DD?
    Toshiba is a joke. and so does microsoft

  • Well, I don’t think you can say Toshiba doesn’t play well with others, especially Sony considering Toshiba, Sony, and IBM worked on the Cell together. Kind of funny how the PS3 can be a double edged sword for Toshiba.

  • You are still interpolating, you can not magically through faries and pixie dust create a new perfect HD image, it’s taking a 480i/p image and bassically guessing at what “could/should/maybe” be in the empty space and making the image only 960p, which is still not 1080p. SUC tech does not equal 1080p, and I’m not just talking blu I’m talking ANY HD source. Open photoshop, take a true 1080p picture, reduce it’s size to 480p then re-up sample the image to your magical 960p, then compare it to the origonal….oh wait there is NO comparison. Toshiba should know when to bow out gracefully, They are just mad because they are going to loose royalties to Sony…it’s sad really, they are like a spoiled child saying “But MOM, Sony has HD I WANT IT TOO!!” poor toshiba, doesn’t play well with others.

  • Interpolating data still has too much room for errors.

    Even if it using several frames fast action and quick scene cuts are going to show where this system fails. Never judge by the material they demo. I want to see it in action on a high profile title with stressing material.

    Toshibas system still is not magically recreating lost data, it just takes existing data and making assumptions. Well you know what they say about assumptions.

    And as far as audio, it is still plain ol lossy.

  • “And Super Upconversion grabs additional data from nine adjacent frames to reconstruct 960p native HD output.”

    Thus potentially adding information that wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place from grain, compression artifacts (and god knows some DVDs have many), scratch, what have you.

    Notwithdstanding the fact that if it works for DVD it will work in the future for Blu Ray when we get Displays superior to 2k.

    No need to go backwards to please Toshiba and the HD DVD nostaligic (you will notice that Toshiba doesn’t adress the main question: If Upconversion is so awesome, why did you do the HD DVD in the first place ?).
    Laughable.

  • It’s CONSTRUCTING, not RECONSTRUCTING—not if the source was never 960p to begin with.

    Regardless: How is that better than having the ACTUAL data?

  • > BD contains ACTUAL DATA, not interpolated, made-up information. There can’t possibly be a comparison.

    And Super Upconversion grabs additional data from nine adjacent frames to reconstruct 960p native HD output.

  • “Fanciable nonsense” from Deadmeat. Nice.

    BD contains ACTUAL DATA, not interpolated, made-up information. There can’t possibly be a comparison.

  • Ah the infamous Deadmeat, is there any place you don’t run to when you smell a non-worshipful Toshiba article? It’s over, you lost, even the almost equally infamous Kosty and Lee Stewart gave up.

    Anyone who has seen a properly made Blu-ray (and even HD DVD) next to an upconvert knows there’s no comparison

  • This is a pretty biased article. The author assumes that the Blu-Ray version would somehow look much better than “normal”(Not CELL Super Upconversion) DVD upconversion when seen side by side which isn’t the case at all.

    Once the product hits retail, then you would have a chance to do your own test.

Comments are closed.