What Are Video Upscaling and Video Downscaling?

4 min read
17 April 2023

Video upscaling and downscaling are two processes that are increasingly important as our AV setups continue to evolve. These processes are used to improve the quality of video content and make it compatible with different display devices.

In this blog, we will discuss what video upscaling and downscaling are, how they work, and how they benefit your AV setup.

Video Upscaling

Video upscaling is a process that is used to increase the resolution of a video signal. This is typically done when you have a video source that has a lower resolution than the display device you are using. For example, if you have a DVD player that outputs a 480p signal and you are using a 4K TV, the TV will have to upscale the signal to fit the 4K resolution of the screen.

There are different techniques used for video upscaling, but the most common one is called interpolation. Interpolation works by analyzing the pixels in the original image and creating new pixels based on the surrounding ones. This is done using complex algorithms that can determine the best color and brightness values for the new pixels. (This video introduces image scaling algorithms.)

Although the image won’t have more details that do not exist in the original video, it does become a higher resolution without losing quality and it is better suited for the display device. You can play old/low-resolution videos on a newer device like a 4K TV.

Video Downscaling

Video downscaling is the opposite of upscaling. It is used to decrease the resolution of a video signal. This is typically done when you have a video source that has a higher resolution than the display device you are using.

For example, if you have a 4K video player and you are using a 1080p TV, the TV will have to downscale the signal to fit the 1080p resolution of the screen.

Like video upscaling, there are different techniques used for video downscaling. The most common one is called decimation. Decimation works by analyzing the original image and selecting only the pixels that are necessary to create the new image. This is done using complex algorithms that can determine which pixels are the most important for the new image. The result is an image that has fewer pixels and is better suited for the display device.

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The Benefits of Upscaling and Downscaling

Video upscaling and downscaling offer flexibility for users to adjust the output resolution according to their needs and help break the limit of the source & the output devices.

If you are using an old game console, or Blu-ray player, or play an old game that supports up to only 720p, the upscaling feature enables you to play it on a 4K TV without losing the quality.

If you are streaming with a rather slow Internet connection, downscaling helps bring down the file size and ensure smooth viewing that matches your network conditions.

In summary, video upscaling and downscaling help increase or decrease video resolution and make the source & the output device match and work in a way that improves your viewing experience.

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Original copy: https://www.avaccess.com/blogs/guides/video-upscaling-and-downscaling/

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Cecilia 276
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