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Upscaling (1080p) DVD player running DVDs at half resolution

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#1
I have a Xenta VT-S205 1080p upscaling DVD player.

It was purchased in December 2013 for £15 from Ebuyer.

It hasn't been used in many years.

I plugged it in today (via. several different HDMI cables) into a Samsung UE46ES5500 TV (a 2012 model). I've also tried two other HD TVs.

All DVDs appear extremely pixelated. As in, below the standard DVD-Video resolution of 576p. They appear to be playing in half resolution.

There aren't many settings to change but those that do exist are all set correctly:
  • Aspect Radio: 16:9
  • View Mode: Original (not Pan & Scan or Zoom)
  • TV System: PAL (I tried NTSC, just in case)
  • Video Out: HDMI
  • HD Resolution: 1080p (I've tried 1080i also)
Anyone heard of anything like this happening before and what could be causing it?
 
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#2
Try many DVD media and see if it's consistent with all media
 
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#3

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#4
I can guarantee that the HDMI cable is not the problem - you either get a picture or you don't. It can't make the picture go low res.

Judging by the reviews that @Sasqui linked too, it's simply that rubbish. I also ask, did you ever see a decent picture out of it?
 
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#5
Try many DVD media and see if it's consistent with all media
Tried various DVD movies.
Did it ever look good playing DVD's in the first place? A few Amazon reviews here: Xenta VT-S205 1080p upscaling DVD player AMAZON , saying the same thing you are.
I can guarantee that the HDMI cable is not the problem - you either get a picture or you don't. It can't make the picture go low res.

Judging by the reviews that @Sasqui linked too, it's simply that rubbish. I also ask, did you ever see a decent picture out of it?
I'm sure it was not even close to this rough when I first bought it in 2013, or I would have returned it at the time.

It should, at the very minimum, look like a standard DVD (576p). In fact, it should be upscaling. If anything, it's running at lower than 576p.
 
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#6
More likely than not it's fake resolution labeling. It says 1080i, or whatever ,but I highly doubt that it's even 720p. Sometimes switching the aspect ratio to 4:3, or cycling through the different options can resolve resolution issues. I noticed this year's back with one of my kids portable DVD players. Whenever I hook it up to the television I'd have to select 4:3 aspect ratio for some reason, otherwise it would be like watching television in the 80s.
 

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#7
I'm sure it was not even close to this rough when I first bought it in 2013, or I would have returned it at the time.

It should, at the very minimum, look like a standard DVD (576p). In fact, it should be upscaling. If anything, it's running at lower than 576p.
That's weird, then. :ohwell: Seems your issue has been seen by those other reviewers on Amazon too, so there's definitely something funny with it. Perhaps fiddling with the settings like jboyd suggested will fix it. You're right about the minimum picture quality and being all-digital, it really shouldn't be a problem achieving it. After all, it has to read the disc at the same speed as any other player for it work in the first place, so the data rate is the same. Sounds like a really bad model, to me. Just buy a better one if you can't get a decent picture out of it after fiddling with it.
 
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#8
DVDs are not 576p , they are either 480i or 576i.

In other words it will look like utter garbage on any HDTV. Nothing you can do.
 
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#9
I'd try turning off the upscaling. It ends up looking worse with a lot of modern TVs.

Most DVDs are not 576p , they are either 480i or 576i.

In other words it will look like utter garbage on any HDTV. Nothing you can do.

Any DVD that offers "progressive scan" is 480p or 576p.
 
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#12
They don't look that bad on a TV with a good scaler, which Samsung TVs usually do.
You sure ? DVD is not even a quarter of the pixels on a 1080 display. To make matters worse both the horizontal and vertical resolutions do not evenly divide 1080p meaning the interpolation is horrendous , whatever the scaling algorithm is it can't make miracles.
 

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#13
You sure ? DVD is not even a quarter of the pixels on a 1080 display. To make matters worse both the horizontal and vertical resolutions do not evenly divide 1080p meaning the interpolation is horrendous , whatever the scaling algorithm is it can't make miracles.
Yes I'm sure, I regularly watch 480p content on my HDTVs.
 
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#14
I guess some people just don't have high standards for image quality. I avoid anything under 720p like the plague. I still think 576p on any HDTV through any scaling looks objectively bad.
 

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#15
@Vya Domus It's true about the resolution being less than a quarter of HD and the horizontal and vertical resolutions not dividing evenly, but it's still not true to give a blanket "it looks shit" in all situations argument. I've seen DVDs on a 42 inch Panasonic 1080p plasma TV look quite good, even though the edges are a bit soft. Sit back a bit and it's not that obvious at all, especially as you accustom to it after a few minutes.
 

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#16
@Vya Domus It's true about the resolution being less than a quarter of HD and the horizontal and vertical resolutions not dividing evenly, but it's still not true to give a blanket "it looks shit" in all situations argument. I've seen DVDs on a 42 inch Panasonic 1080p plasma TV look quite good, even though the edges are a bit soft. Sit back a bit and it's not that obvious at all, especially as you accustom to it after a few minutes.
And if it is the only method you have to watch what you want to watch, the picture isn't unwatchable. And, in my experience, watching a low resolution video on a high resolution TV it just looks blurry, not pixelated. When digital signals look pixelated, that usually means there is a connection issue or an encoding issue to me.
 

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#17
And if it is the only method you have to watch what you want to watch, the picture isn't unwatchable. And, in my experience, watching a low resolution video on a high resolution TV it just looks blurry, not pixelated. When digital signals look pixelated, that usually means there is a connection issue or an encoding issue to me.
Yup, crude antialiasing is slathered on thick, like cheap mayo on a ready meal salad! :laugh:
 
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#18
@Vya Domus It's true about the resolution being less than a quarter of HD and the horizontal and vertical resolutions not dividing evenly, but it's still not true to give a blanket "it looks shit" in all situations argument. I've seen DVDs on a 42 inch Panasonic 1080p plasma TV look quite good, even though the edges are a bit soft. Sit back a bit and it's not that obvious at all, especially as you accustom to it after a few minutes.
I haven't watched many DVDs but I had my PS3 plugged in several HDTVs when for some reason it was stuck at 576p and it looked absolutely horrendous. Maybe it's just me but I can spot below native resolutions from miles away and it always sticks out like a sore thumb.
 

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#19
I haven't watched many DVDs but I had my PS3 plugged in several HDTVs when for some reason it was stuck at 576p and it looked absolutely horrendous. Maybe it's just me but I can spot below native resolutions from miles away and it always sticks out like a sore thumb.
Agreed it doesn't look great, but can be reasonable as I've said above. I suspect that it could be that the combination of PS3 and that particular TV you were using looked especially bad. There are certainly differences. How good or bad it looks is all down to the effectiveness of the antialiasing.