So we got a new HDTV, a Toshiba REGZA.

Notable for being 1080p but forget about that, it has Resolution +.

Funnily enough the TV has a cell processor in it, using Toshiba's spursengine technology to scale up all standard definition content to near HD resolutions.

About a year ago I tried out the DVD player:

Resolution +: A God send for Standard Definition content on HDTVs?

It actually works better than the TV because it has Resoultion + and something called the XDE, three additional video processors to give you a better control of the picture.

Anyhow, so we got this TV back and firstly, the SD TV picture through the television aerial was pretty assey. Not only that DVD SD content through a scart cable looked crap too. I was not impressed.

It's not a great dvd player though and the TV signal is only 70% strength so I think a signal booster will give the TV more info to turn into a better picture.

So by now I was pretty down, the old warhorse SD Sony Trinitron was gone, here begins the age of shitty looking Wii.

Then I tried it out. And wow. Oh yes indeed. This is nice.

For the tech heads out there, realise that I was using an interlaced signal through the cable, this is important because an internal TV scaler will always work better with a progressive signal i.e when I use components at 480p it will look better.

But screw that, because even an interlaced image looked schweet. It's important because it means that other consoles like the Dreamcast and Euro Gamecube can look just as good on this set. :) Games that don't support 480p can now look great on an HD set. Hello motherfucking RE4 and Shenmue 2! I've missed you, you magnificent bastards :)

So the manual for the set is pretty crap, its only once you dig into the advanced settings of the picture menu where you stumble onto Resolution +

Crank it up to max. Here is the tradeoff, sharpness vs jaggies. You can have it sharp, sharper than a wii has ever looked on an HD set but it will also create more jaggies that way. It will be up to you what setting you want.

How does it compare to a SD picture? Well if we can say that wii looking its best on an SD set is 100% then the picture here is about 92% as good. Not a bad trade off, especially when its splashed across a 42" screen.

The only real difference is the jaggies, a scaler will create these, there is no way around if, but its noticebly less than several other HD sets I have tried. There doesn't seem to be any artifacts, the colour is fabulous and the vibrancy is there. There is even a game mode to make things smooter.

First I plugged in Metroid Prime 3, this is an easy test as it will look good on most TVs, HD included, but wow, on the (other) HD set it lost alot. Here, aside from a couple more jaggies it was on par with the SD set.

I tried other games but the important one was Endless Ocean. This is a game which relies on immersing you in its world so any imperfections can really break you out of that. I booted up the Marige Atoll level and was just wowed. It is going to be freaking sweet playing EO2 in the next few months.

Oh yeah, realistic looking games like Dead Space Extraction came out well too, although the textures weren't as dense or detail and there were a few jags, it came out relatively unscathed.

Little Kings story was interesting. Because of the saturated lighting its one of the blurriest games I've ever seen. On this set, at 1080p there were defintely more jags on the characters because they are so small you're bound to notice more, but hell the picture was definetely sharper than even the SD set. I started noticing details that weren't visible before. I warped to an area I knew well and hell if that cow cannon didn't look sharp as anything.

The bad news was that mario galaxy, one of the best looking games..... fared not well :(

I think because it relies on a clean rounded look, when you see what was once a perfect line, now with jaggies, or a perfect circle now with imperfections it breaks that lovely clean look it has. :(

Anyhow, I can now, after testing fully reccomend the REGZA line of Toshiba TVs - just make sure it has Resolution + in it.


I have to retract some of that above^ I would say it only looks 82% as good, sometimes less, sometimes more. I tried a few more games, NSMB looks like crap, mostly because the camera is zoomed out. For small characters or objects the pixellization gets worse. This TV is strange, it seems to depend on the source material. Some TV programmes or movies look decent, others bad. I tried flicking through some channels, most looked poor, the movies looked good.

Then I tried the dvd player again that looked bad last night, this time with Ponyo and it looked amazingly good considering it was a bog standard 480i signal dvd player. No artifacts, no jaggies, smooth as butter.

I tried Overkill again, all is good there. Then I tried Mario Kart, sheesh! This is a 60 FPS game and playing splitscreen with a friend it seemed laggy and the brightness was so low. Then I tried Madworld and for some reason, well this has nothing to do with the scaler but the backlight isn't bright enough, the parts in Madworld which should be white come across as a dark grey unless you crank up the brightness.

COD REFLEXs textures were all PS2-ey. They weren't great to begin with though. Oh and Animal Crossing was jaggy. It seems like the games which rely on simple clean artstyles suffer, whilst the more detailed games get away with it.

Cursed Mountain looked great on it.

I wanted to plug in my XDE dvd player but I left the cable somewhere else. Have to check it next week.

So all in all a mixed bag.

I guess the only proviso is that:

a) I'm using an interlaced signal - I will have to try with components and a progressive image for wii and HDMI with a decent dvd player. The picture will improve.

b) My wii still has red and green dots on the screen which tarnishes any image quality.

But Resolution + is supposedly there to work with any input so I thought it would work well with interlaced too. Turns out it changes depending on what your source material is.  

Posted by gamingeek Thu, 31 Dec 2009 11:34:29 (comments: 17)
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Fri, 01 Jan 2010 04:20:41
Sounds a bit mixed.

480p sounds easier to manage! Pity it doesn't do 576P.
Fri, 01 Jan 2010 11:23:54

Well I tried Madworld again last night and after fiddling with the settings it looked fine, nowhere near as sharp as on an SDTV though. Disaster looked a tiny bit more soft focus then on an SD set but the whole game is soft focus even on SD. Booted up Prime 3 again, looks amazing. Did the Ridley boss fight.

I figured out why the signal was cutting out. I had the scart going through a switcher and that was interupting the signal. When I plugged it straight in, no problems. Also what I noticed is that in 4:3 mode the wii pic looks much sharper but then if you play in this mode a lot you can burn the image of a 4:3 box onto a 16:9 screen. Ack.

Raven I agree with you, I am so sick of HD f****** up SD content. And you dont find out until you get yout first HD set and everything is screwed. I still have the 32" SDTV but now have no room to put it anywhere. Oh joy.
Fri, 01 Jan 2010 11:25:29
I'm going to get a signal booster for the aerial next week. Will update this when I also try out with components and HDMI.
Fri, 01 Jan 2010 14:03:54
Fri, 01 Jan 2010 16:32:21
I hope it works well for you.
Mon, 04 Jan 2010 15:07:23

Okay I got my components back, plugged them in.


HD Gaming lag eliminated. Nice and smooth again. Unfortunately other than that it didn't seem to improve the clarity of the picture or the jaggies count one bit.

I did notice that when you set the TV to 4:3 you get a much sharper picture, but of course then you are playing with black borders on the sides. Still with a 42" TV its still a big picture.

I also got a signal booster for the TV reception. It marginally improves the picture but not by a huge amount. Meh.

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