Movie magic

Using software and a reasonably fast PC, you can easily upscale your existing DVD movies so they are nearly High Definition (HD) quality. Read on as WINDOWS walks you through the process....

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  June 1, 2008

Using software and a reasonably fast PC, you can easily upscale your existing DVD movies so they are nearly High Definition (HD) quality. Read on as WINDOWS walks you through the process....

With the advent of High Definition (HD) resolutions such as 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) and 1080p (1920 x 1080), video quality has taken a sizeable step forward.

However, for those of us who have already invested in huge DVD collections, which are encoded in older Standard Definition (SD) resolutions of 576p (704 x 576) or 480p (704 x 480), it's not feasible to get rid of everything and re-buy it all over again on Blu-ray.

Thankfully, if you've got a reasonably fast PC hooked up to your HDTV, you can use software to ‘upscale' or ‘up-convert' your existing discs in real-time.

‘Up-scaling' is essentially a process in which a combination of software and hardware are used to improve or upgrade the resolution, and thus quality of a video from a lower resolution to a higher one.

And although up-scaling won't necessarily make your movies look as good as those that have actually been encoded in HD format, quality will increase significantly.

You should particularly consider up-scaling your existing DVD movies to HD quality if you're watching these on a HD TV because HD TVs can actually make SD videos look worse.

This is mostly the case on HD TVs that don't have built in scaling hardware and thus, when you're watching SD movies and videos, the HD TV is forced to run at a lower, non-native resolution, which is detrimental to quality.

Ingredients

To up-convert DVDs to HD quality on the fly, you'll need a reasonably fast PC so the framerate is maintained and you don't have audio/video synchronisation problems.

Besides this, you'll need to grab hold of software to get the job done but you won't have to spend a dollar as the two bits of code we're using are completely free.

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