It happens in discussions about upconversion or video scaling, during which everyone is talking about something different: de-interlacing, 3:2 pulldown, or other video processing. This is tech talk, so why bring it up to customers? When a customer buys a new big-screen HDTV, they’ll need to understand that not all programming is in high definition and must be upconverted. You’ll want to suggest they add an upconverted DVD player. To which their response will be “What’s that?” How do you explain it quickly without oversimplifying to the point of misinformation or discussing the complex algorithms of a video processor without losing your customer completely?
When discussing upconversion, it might help to refer to something easily understood, like resolution. Upconversion is the process that takes a low resolution signal, like that of a current analog TV program, and adding pixels to fill the HDTV screen. Upconversion is accomplished by a video scaler. Video scalers look at the incoming signal and guess what pixels can be added to simulate the resolution of the HDTV. It does not double the lines.
An upconverted DVD player is not true high definition like HD DVD or Blu Ray. It’s still 480 lines of resolution, but it uses a scaler to upconvert the signal, creating a picture that's almost HDTV quality. If the DVD player is doing the upconversion, an HDMI or DVI digital cable is required to send the upconverted picture. Digital video is optimized when it remains digital from source to screen. A DVD, digital cable or satellite signal is best when it isn’t converted to analog, sent through analog cables—component or S-video or composite cables—and then converted back to digital used in fixed-pixel TV displays (DLP, LCD, plasma, etc.).