Saturday, February 26, 2022

Upscaling Analog Laserdisc in a Digital World.

Today I hooked up my Panasonic DVD Recorder DMR-E55 because it has a good digital comb filter and so I basically have one composite video cable going directly into the Kramer switch/scaler and another composite cable going directly into the Panasonic and then have component video output going from the Panasonic into the Kramer, which then outputs both depending on what I choose to 1080p/60 via HDMI out into my Samsung 4K LED UHDTV in my bedroom. Then I have a coaxial digital audio cable for AC3 on Laserdisc going into the Sony Decoder and from the decoder I have the SPIDIF TOSLINK fiber optic digital cable going into a four port TOSLINK SPIDIF Switch so I can choose between devices because in keeping with their minimalist approach, the SONOS Playbar only has one digital input because SONOS expects the user’s television to act as a switch. 

So now I could experiment and tune up the picture using Video Essentials. So what were the results?

I found Video Essentials helped me tune in the fleshtones, but more often than not I prefer to do it by eye to get the best possible picture though the disc is still very good and I intend on using it again as I learn how to fine tune the image.

Composite video direct looked softer than I expected, but the colors were rich. Running it through the Panasonic with the digital comb filter to output the image at 480p progressive scan and then upscale to 1080p/60 yielded cleaned results, but I had to recalibrate for component separately. 

The image quality was very sharp and solid, but not blu-ray quality. I have to tell the truth here so sorry for disappointing anyone. I still need to do more work, but in both cases it is a definite improvement, but since this is a model from 2012, I don’t expect it to look like the 773 and I have not seen a 773 in person so I am assuming that it is better because of the new chipset and so forth. 

Yet for $56 dollars off EBay, I think this is a can’t go wrong deal. Now I also wanted to see how DVD and VCD looked from the Panasonic into the Kramer and so forth and the DVD playback was what one would expect from upscaled DVD. I can confirm that the Sonos did a great job with both Dolby Digital direct into the Playbar and DTS sounded even better. I had forgotten how great DVD DTS can sound. Aggressive and sharp.

The biggest surprise was trying a genuine Malaysian import copy of Star Wars and with the CD stereo and upscaled and cleaned up image, I have never seen a VCD look so good in my life. Amazing. I was the most impressed by that because my expectations were low.

So that is it. Thank you for reading. 


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