What is Super Upconversion?

What is Super Upconversion?

With the recent rumors of Toshiba challenging Blu-ray once again, I decided to search around a bit online and see what I could find out about the so-called “super upconversion” technology. One of the most interesting tidbits that I found was the following comment from Deadmeat, posted on the dvdtown messageboards.

“The upconversion Nishida’s talking about is “Super Upconversion” or Real-Time Super Resolution technique that has been used in astronomy and by intelligence services for decades. CELL’s computational power allows real-time super resolution processing of SD video to increase its native resolution to 960p, by fusing 9 frames front and back.

The Super Resolution(aka Super Upconversion) output is truely 960p, and journalists who have seen the demo at trade shows like CEDEC and CES vouched that it really worked. Previously, Super Upconversion was scheduled to appear on Sharp and Toshiba HDTV sets only, but the death of HD-DVD changed all that it is now confirmed that Super Upconversion will come to DVD players as well.”

We also found this image on the Japanese website Impress:


My thoughts on this are:

1) A Toshiba plan to compete against Blu-ray with DVD super upconversion is certainly plausable, especially if they continue to avoid Blu-ray technology altogether (which they appear to be doing).

2) Cell processors and the hardware needed to power this technology could be expensive. Toshiba is going to need these super upconversion players priced significantly lower than Blu-ray players in order to have any chance.

3) Is this too little too late? Many consumers are already aware of Toshiba’s massive failure with HD DVD. Would these same consumers be willing to ‘buy’ in to the latest Toshiba hype?

4) I would like to personally witness a demo of this super upconversion video technology. Until then, I won’t draw any conclusions on its’ effectiveness (or lack thereof).

What do you think about super upconversion?

Sources; comment: dvdtown, Image: Impress

About Wes Novack

Wes is a Technologist working in the software industry, with extensive experience building and managing highly available applications, services, and systems in the public cloud. He has extensive experience with online publishing and building internet communities. Wes enjoys hanging with his family, getting outdoors, skateboarding, hiking, pickelball, tennis, the vegan lifestyle, and a good cup of tea. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) @WesleyTech.

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7 Comments on “What is Super Upconversion?”

  1. I remain unconvinced. It is an interesting idea – it sounds like they will average over a number of frames to improve resolution in video that is static.

    Keep in mind that this technique will only work on static video or portions of the video…

    It will indeed be interesting to see the price points of this no doubt relatively expensive processing hardware – might be cheaper to make a Blu-ray player…

  2. I’m very skeptical myself, hence my item #4. Someone mentioned in a messageboard post somewhere that they may have been showing this off somewhere at CES. If I would have known about it, I would have tried to check out the demo.

  3. I doubt it. I remember in Empire of the Sun when young Christian Bale was moving through the town with hundreds of people moving in mobs through the street the image was very poor with so much movement. The compression couldn’t handle it. I highly doubt they’ll be able to add faces back into the swarm.

  4. I saw this in action at CES. I asked them to put in the Barney the dinosaur video, it rocked!

  5. If this is fact it is a shot in the arm for all of those with a standard DVD collection. To be honest there is more chance of me grabbing a player that does this than a BR player.

    There is no way I am doing all my DVD’s on BR, already done that with VHS to DVD.

    I guess the Holy Grail is this Technology (if it works) attached to a BR player (that will do Reg1 and 2 DVD).

    Having said all that, I still need to move from CRT to LCD – LOL.

  6. Hi Kasabian, a Toshiba super upconversion + a Blu-ray player all in one is an intriguing possibility, but it is highly unlikely that such a product would ever see the light of day if Toshiba strategy continues to focus on opposing Blu-ray.

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