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Author Topic: [PS3] Hardware Scaler unlocked for developers  (Read 4199 times)
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« Reply #40 on: January 26, 2007, 05:55:38 PM »

Quote from: Jancelot on January 26, 2007, 05:43:04 PM

Oh, and not to get all man-crushy on you, but I always enjoy reading your posts here and at QT3.

Ditto...maybe we need to start a Kevin Grey fan club?
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« Reply #41 on: January 26, 2007, 05:56:45 PM »

Quote from: Jancelot on January 26, 2007, 05:43:04 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on January 26, 2007, 05:26:09 PM

It was bashed (rightfully so) because a $600 piece of equipment couldn't do the scaling that not only it's $400 competitor can do, but that even sub $100 DVD players can do.  Honestly, the fact that it turns out there was a hardware scaler all along that just wasn't implmented is even more idiotic, though with the nice silver lining that it seems to have made the problem fixable. 

If they simply had it disabled it strikes me as another symptom of a rushed release.  As these issues are now starting be resolved and the PS3 is shaping up,  I think it's clear that this system could've used another 3-6 months in the cooker.  But they were really backed in a corner since there was no way they could miss this past Holiday season.  Except for the universal availability issue and a problem with a few bricked consoles, Nintendo seems to have had the best launch of the 3.


agreed. in the meantime, as they get up to speed, sony can either a) go on the defensive / respond to criticism or b) not say anything, & let their tweaking do the talking. being a group b -type person myself, i have no problem with the way sony's chosen to deal with things...
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« Reply #42 on: January 26, 2007, 05:56:54 PM »

Quote
I think it really strikes to the heart of their poor handling of PR.  The scaler issues or the BC issues weren't the end of the world as long as everyone knew they would be fixed.  360 has had some big issues too.  But MS has really excellent PR (at least in their Xbox division) and they smooth over these things much better.  Sony seems to be in the camp of just putting their head in the ground and hoping it will go away.

Or they weren't sure it could ever be fixed, so they chose to ignore it rather than make claims that would come back to haunt them later. And I expect that they still won't acknowledge the problem now, as from everything I read from the article that this is a "solution" that will only work if the developer chooses to support it on a game-by-game basis.

Sony may eventually mandate that all new games must support 1080i and 720p, but it doesn't look like we'll ever get a solution that will make Resistance or any other launch window games output at 1080i.
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« Reply #43 on: January 26, 2007, 05:57:54 PM »

Quote from: Jancelot on January 26, 2007, 05:43:04 PM


If they simply had it disabled it strikes me as another symptom of a rushed release.


That seems most likely - this isn't the kind of feature you plan to spring on your customers post-launch.  It's not a pleasant surprise, it's a missing necessity for many people and an adoption blocker for those with older HDTVs (like me). Additionally, it would only benefit developers to have access to it earlier in the development cycle.  Until they mandate it as a ship requirement on their technical requirements checklist, it'll continue to force end users to check the back of the box to find out what an individual title supports.

My guess as a software professional would be that the feature simply missed their ship date:  either the perf wasn't there, or the resources weren't there to code and test it, and their silence on the matter would imply that they weren't certain it would get there or else they would've trumpeted the upcoming support.

Disclaimer:  I do work for Microsoft.  Not in games.  I own a PS2.  Hi.
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« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2007, 06:00:42 PM »

Quote from: jblank on January 26, 2007, 05:54:14 PM

Quote from: Hetz on January 26, 2007, 05:48:43 PM

Quote from: shaggydoug on January 26, 2007, 05:30:07 PM

Hetz....I suppose this is as good a place as any to ask the question that's been niggling at me for a while.  Maybe you've explained this elsewhere and I missed it.  If so, please point me in the right direction.  Until the PS3 came out, you were hyping the 360.  I even suspected you were an MS employee yourself w/o knowing anything about you.  Or perhaps a "paid forum poster".  Now, you come across as a 360 hater (even though I don't think that is true....just perception) and the PS3 is the best thing since the wheel....predating sliced bread or perhaps even TiVo.   

What changed?   I'm not saying you don't like both systems but it does seem to me (a relative lurker with perhaps a 1 PPD average...I've just got longevity) that the PS3 hype meter has reached epic proportions.

- shaggy

It's funny to see how people react to me. They swear I work for company X when I like a certain game or system....then when that is proven wrong since I make critical comments about it at a later date...they then assume I am employed by Company Y.  icon_lol

I am not employed or paid by any game company nor to I receive any money from any company related to gaming or whatever. In the interest of full disclosure though, I have been a non-paid technical beta tester for Microsoft since Windows 98. All that I get from that though is free products (usually whatever I am testing from them).

I am just a gamer that loves gaming. My reaction to the 360 right now is more of a reaction to the negative wave of nonsense that has swept the internet and this forum ever since the PS3 came out, than about any dislike of the 360. It's the same reason I defended the 360 from all the people that claimed that the PS3 would destroy it and called it the Xbox 1.5 etc...

I do enjoy the 360 quite a bit and I play it nearly every single day.

So just to be clear, you are posting negative stuff about the 360 to combat the alleged negative posts about the PS3? That seems a bit disingenuous.

No, it's why I am trying to show more positive things about the PS3 and in doing so (in the arguments that always seem to happen) end up pointing out that things are not all roses and sunshine in 360 land sometimes.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2007, 06:04:12 PM by Hetz » Logged

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« Reply #45 on: January 26, 2007, 06:01:22 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on January 26, 2007, 05:57:54 PM

Quote from: Jancelot on January 26, 2007, 05:43:04 PM


If they simply had it disabled it strikes me as another symptom of a rushed release.


That seems most likely - this isn't the kind of feature you plan to spring on your customers post-launch.  It's not a pleasant surprise, it's a missing necessity for many people and an adoption blocker for those with older HDTVs (like me). Additionally, it would only benefit developers to have access to it earlier in the development cycle.  Until they mandate it as a ship requirement on their technical requirements checklist, it'll continue to force end users to check the back of the box to find out what an individual title supports.

My guess as a software professional would be that the feature simply missed their ship date:  either the perf wasn't there, or the resources weren't there to code and test it, and their silence on the matter would imply that they weren't certain it would get there or else they would've trumpeted the upcoming support.

Disclaimer:  I do work for Microsoft.  Not in games.  I own a PS2.  Hi.

Welcome to the site Brendan - I agree with you that it seems like it wasn't ready for primetime so they kept working on it post-release, much like they did with the online functions for many games.
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« Reply #46 on: January 26, 2007, 06:03:07 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on January 26, 2007, 05:57:54 PM

Quote from: Jancelot on January 26, 2007, 05:43:04 PM


If they simply had it disabled it strikes me as another symptom of a rushed release.


That seems most likely - this isn't the kind of feature you plan to spring on your customers post-launch.  It's not a pleasant surprise, it's a missing necessity for many people and an adoption blocker for those with older HDTVs (like me). Additionally, it would only benefit developers to have access to it earlier in the development cycle.  Until they mandate it as a ship requirement on their technical requirements checklist, it'll continue to force end users to check the back of the box to find out what an individual title supports.

My guess as a software professional would be that the feature simply missed their ship date:  either the perf wasn't there, or the resources weren't there to code and test it, and their silence on the matter would imply that they weren't certain it would get there or else they would've trumpeted the upcoming support.

Disclaimer:  I do work for Microsoft.  Not in games.  I own a PS2.  Hi.

Welcome! biggrin
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« Reply #47 on: January 26, 2007, 06:10:06 PM »

Quote from: Hetz on January 26, 2007, 06:00:42 PM

Quote from: jblank on January 26, 2007, 05:54:14 PM

Quote from: Hetz on January 26, 2007, 05:48:43 PM

Quote from: shaggydoug on January 26, 2007, 05:30:07 PM

Hetz....I suppose this is as good a place as any to ask the question that's been niggling at me for a while.  Maybe you've explained this elsewhere and I missed it.  If so, please point me in the right direction.  Until the PS3 came out, you were hyping the 360.  I even suspected you were an MS employee yourself w/o knowing anything about you.  Or perhaps a "paid forum poster".  Now, you come across as a 360 hater (even though I don't think that is true....just perception) and the PS3 is the best thing since the wheel....predating sliced bread or perhaps even TiVo.   

What changed?   I'm not saying you don't like both systems but it does seem to me (a relative lurker with perhaps a 1 PPD average...I've just got longevity) that the PS3 hype meter has reached epic proportions.

- shaggy

It's funny to see how people react to me. They swear I work for company X when I like a certain game or system....then when that is proven wrong since I make critical comments about it at a later date...they then assume I am employed by Company Y.  icon_lol

I am not employed or paid by any game company nor to I receive any money from any company related to gaming or whatever. In the interest of full disclosure though, I have been a non-paid technical beta tester for Microsoft since Windows 98. All that I get from that though is free products (usually whatever I am testing from them).

I am just a gamer that loves gaming. My reaction to the 360 right now is more of a reaction to the negative wave of nonsense that has swept the internet and this forum ever since the PS3 came out, than about any dislike of the 360. It's the same reason I defended the 360 from all the people that claimed that the PS3 would destroy it and called it the Xbox 1.5 etc...

I do enjoy the 360 quite a bit and I play it nearly every single day.

So just to be clear, you are posting negative stuff about the 360 to combat the alleged negative posts about the PS3? That seems a bit disingenuous.

No, it's why I am trying to show more positive things about the PS3 and in doing so (in the arguments that always seem to happen) end up pointing out that things are not all roses and sunshine in 360 land sometimes.

Trust me, in console land, its never roses and sunshine. I might be able to give you 30 things I like about the 360, but I can tell ya 10 things I don't.  icon_wink
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« Reply #48 on: January 26, 2007, 06:27:54 PM »

I have yet to see a verifiable quote by a Sony employee confirming the existence or nonexistence of a hardware scaler, whereas MS has confirmed its existence in the 360.  Am I mistaken and can someone point me to such a quote.
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« Reply #49 on: January 26, 2007, 06:28:28 PM »

Quote from: Hetz on January 26, 2007, 06:00:42 PM

No, it's why I am trying to show more positive things about the PS3 and in doing so (in the arguments that always seem to happen) end up pointing out that things are not all roses and sunshine in 360 land sometimes.

Even in happy pretty Pinata Island it rains and storms sometime. icon_wink
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« Reply #50 on: January 26, 2007, 07:13:44 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on January 26, 2007, 05:55:38 PM

Quote from: Jancelot on January 26, 2007, 05:43:04 PM

Oh, and not to get all man-crushy on you, but I always enjoy reading your posts here and at QT3.

Ditto...maybe we need to start a Kevin Grey fan club?


I subscribe to his newsletter.  It's a great way to start out the day.
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« Reply #51 on: January 26, 2007, 07:17:40 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on January 26, 2007, 05:57:54 PM

Disclaimer:  I do work for Microsoft.  Not in games.  I own a PS2.  Hi.

welcome to the boards!  Cute dog for your avatar! can we have free copies of Vista?  slywink
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« Reply #52 on: January 26, 2007, 07:21:24 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on January 26, 2007, 07:17:40 PM

welcome to the boards!  Cute dog for your avatar! can we have free copies of Vista?  slywink

Thanks - I've been lurking for awhile now, and I think I have a handle on the personalities involved here.  Don't antagonize Hetz, yes?  Have you guys heard that there's no internal hardware scaler in the PS3?

And sure, free Vista for everyone.  Send me a SASE with four hundred one dollar bills for handling charges...
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« Reply #53 on: January 26, 2007, 07:27:59 PM »

Quote from: warning on January 26, 2007, 07:13:44 PM

Quote from: Misguided on January 26, 2007, 05:55:38 PM

Quote from: Jancelot on January 26, 2007, 05:43:04 PM

Oh, and not to get all man-crushy on you, but I always enjoy reading your posts here and at QT3.

Ditto...maybe we need to start a Kevin Grey fan club?


I subscribe to his newsletter.  It's a great way to start out the day.

Aw, now you guys are making me blush  icon_redface Stop it! (actually keep going icon_wink)
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« Reply #54 on: January 26, 2007, 07:29:21 PM »



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« Reply #55 on: January 26, 2007, 07:41:25 PM »

Quote from: Purge on January 26, 2007, 05:53:30 PM

Quote from: jblank on January 26, 2007, 05:51:06 PM

Of course seeing that Hetz, who is on my friends list on XBL, seems to CONSTANTLY be using his 360 for HD DVD movie viewing or game playing, while I am on my 360 as well, I know he loves the system and plays the hell out of it.

+1

+1 again. He definately plays the crap out of his 360.
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« Reply #56 on: January 26, 2007, 07:43:24 PM »

Quote from: warning on January 26, 2007, 07:13:44 PM

Quote from: Misguided on January 26, 2007, 05:55:38 PM

Quote from: Jancelot on January 26, 2007, 05:43:04 PM

Oh, and not to get all man-crushy on you, but I always enjoy reading your posts here and at QT3.

Ditto...maybe we need to start a Kevin Grey fan club?


I subscribe to his newsletter.  It's a great way to start out the day.

He knows I heart him.
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« Reply #57 on: January 26, 2007, 07:48:40 PM »

+1 on the Kevin comments, although I'm all creeped out by the picture in the 'Admiration' poster.
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« Reply #58 on: January 26, 2007, 08:22:01 PM »

Warning, less homo-erotic grandfathers please... more skirts being pulled in animated gifs.
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« Reply #59 on: January 26, 2007, 08:28:08 PM »

I'm happy this will be fixed, but I am confused. If the scaler has always been in the hardware, why in the world would they withhold that from developers?

Maybe the scaler wasn't functioning properly until they updated the firmware? That would explain why they would withold the ability for developers to use it until now/recently.

Anyway, it's good it will be fixed for non-launch games. I keep waiting for the most important feature to be fixed - that completely broken price!  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #60 on: January 26, 2007, 09:07:57 PM »

Quote from: JCC on January 26, 2007, 08:28:08 PM

I'm happy this will be fixed, but I am confused. If the scaler has always been in the hardware, why in the world would they withhold that from developers?

Maybe the scaler wasn't functioning properly until they updated the firmware? That would explain why they would withold the ability for developers to use it until now/recently.

Anyway, it's good it will be fixed for non-launch games. I keep waiting for the most important feature to be fixed - that completely broken price!  icon_biggrin


Reading a bit more at the Beyond 3D link and it turns out the scaler isn't fully implemented yet so it's definitely not ready for prime time. 

Basically right now it can only do horizontal scaling, not vertical scaling.  However, the SDK also supports some new, funky resolution options.  So a dev could code for a funky resolution that uses the full 1080 lines of vertical resolution in the frame buffer but significantly less horizontal resolution and then uses the horizontal scaler to take the image the rest of the way to 1980 lines horizontally.  This allows for much less processing overhead since the number of pixels being rendered in the frame buffer remains relatively close to 720p while still allowing a 1980x1080 image. 

But that's also why it is game specific now- the dev has to specifically write the game to support that funky resolution.  Hopefully they will eventually get the scaler fully running with vertical scaling support and at that point, the control should be able to turned over to the user via setting display options in the interface. 
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« Reply #61 on: January 26, 2007, 09:17:52 PM »

Quote
But that's also why it is game specific now- the dev has to specifically write the game to support that funky resolution.  Hopefully they will eventually get the scaler fully running with vertical scaling support and at that point, the control should be able to turned over to the user via setting display options in the interface. 

I think it's more than just the oddball resolution that requires an in-game solution. Doesn't the 360's graphics card have something like 10-12  MB of onboard RAM dedicated solely to itself as a frame buffer? I think the 360 uses that to perform scaling operations independent of the game software.

If there isn't something equivalent to that on the PS3 then the developers have to manually allocate that memory from the RSX's video RAM or Sony has to reserve a portion of VRAM for system use, unless the PS3's mystery scaler has its own memory.
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« Reply #62 on: January 26, 2007, 09:18:51 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on January 26, 2007, 09:07:57 PM

But that's also why it is game specific now- the dev has to specifically write the game to support that funky resolution.  Hopefully they will eventually get the scaler fully running with vertical scaling support and at that point, the control should be able to turned over to the user via setting display options in the interface. 

Exactly.  And until that time I won't truly consider this issue fixed.  Which also may be why Sony hasn't officially said anything about this one way or the other. The average gamer would probably not understand or care that developers now have access to the scaler.  I agree with Sony not making a general announcement in this case.

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« Reply #63 on: January 26, 2007, 09:23:25 PM »

Quote from: Andrew Mallon on January 26, 2007, 09:17:52 PM

Quote
But that's also why it is game specific now- the dev has to specifically write the game to support that funky resolution.  Hopefully they will eventually get the scaler fully running with vertical scaling support and at that point, the control should be able to turned over to the user via setting display options in the interface. 

I think the B3D article addresses that.  I'm no developer but it sounds to me like anything the scaler uses is basically "free" while anything being done in the frame buffer takes more memory and processing overhead.  So by offloading the horizontal scaling, they can use a custom resolution that requires close to the same memory and processor footprint as they are already using for 720p rendering and then let the scaler take them the rest of the way to 1080i.
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« Reply #64 on: January 26, 2007, 09:27:17 PM »

Quote from: denoginizer on January 26, 2007, 09:18:51 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on January 26, 2007, 09:07:57 PM

But that's also why it is game specific now- the dev has to specifically write the game to support that funky resolution.  Hopefully they will eventually get the scaler fully running with vertical scaling support and at that point, the control should be able to turned over to the user via setting display options in the interface. 

Exactly.  And until that time I won't truly consider this issue fixed.  Which also may be why Sony hasn't officially said anything about this one way or the other. The average gamer would probably not understand or care that developers now have access to the scaler.  I agree with Sony not making a general announcement in this case.



I don't think the issue is truly fixed but it's almost there- the article indicates that Sony will likely mandate 1080i support in the next Technical Requirement Checklist.  So at that point, every game released would support 720p/1080i. 

Before this update to their SDK, the best way to provide 1080i support was to render a full 1920x1080 framebuffer (ie 1080p) which was a huge increase in the processing requirements and consequently something that most devs weren't willing to support. 
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« Reply #65 on: January 26, 2007, 09:43:17 PM »

Quote
Reading a bit more at the Beyond 3D link and it turns out the scaler isn't fully implemented yet so it's definitely not ready for prime time. 

Basically right now it can only do horizontal scaling, not vertical scaling.  However, the SDK also supports some new, funky resolution options.  So a dev could code for a funky resolution that uses the full 1080 lines of vertical resolution in the frame buffer but significantly less horizontal resolution and then uses the horizontal scaler to take the image the rest of the way to 1980 lines horizontally.  This allows for much less processing overhead since the number of pixels being rendered in the frame buffer remains relatively close to 720p while still allowing a 1980x1080 image. 

But that's also why it is game specific now- the dev has to specifically write the game to support that funky resolution.  Hopefully they will eventually get the scaler fully running with vertical scaling support and at that point, the control should be able to turned over to the user via setting display options in the interface. 

So it's looking like it was a half-assed implementation of an internal scaler?  Can it even be fixed with an update? 

I really do not understand the position that Sony took on this.  Why would you tout the PS3 as the ultimate HD machine and then cripple it with either no internal scaler or a half-assed internal scaler?  It makes as much sense as them not even including Hi-Def cables with their 500 or 600 dollar console that includes a Blu-Ray drive that can output 1080p that they built their whole console around.  In other words, it makes no sense. 

If I had to guess, I bet they cheaped it out or rushed it out with a crappy internal scaler with the intention of either replacing it later with an updated console or hoping to patch it with updates.  Either way, it's yet another example of how badly they handled the PS3 in general.  A 500-600 dollar console marketed as the ultimate HD console should come with a proper internal scaler and include hi-def cables.  At the price premium that the PS3's are, including these things should be a no-brainer because it ties into the whole reason why it's more expensive than any of the other consoles.   
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« Reply #66 on: January 26, 2007, 09:51:36 PM »

Quote from: deadzone on January 26, 2007, 09:43:17 PM

So it's looking like it was a half-assed implementation of an internal scaler?  Can it even be fixed with an update? 

Definitely should be fixable with an update (although it sounds like the updates are through the SDK in this case, not sure if firmware updates are required as well).  Basically, when Sony first started lettings people develop on the PS3 they were completely locked out from using the hardware scaler.  Sony has just now allowed them to use it for horizontal scaling but not vertical scaling yet.  Presumably, they will continue to work on it until they can allow the use of the vertical portion of the scaler.  But in the meantime unlocking the horizontal scaler should allow for widespread 1080i support. 
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« Reply #67 on: January 27, 2007, 01:06:36 AM »

It could have simply been a case of rushed SDK and PS3 OS.  Developers are going on and on about how bad the PS3 SDK is, well at least the initial learning curve is huge.  Perhaps this is part of a larger

However, it could also be a bit of a hack to get scaling working, perhaps they're using one of the cell processors dedicated to the OS to process the scaling information.  Or perhaps there was a hardware error that required a hack to get the real hardware scaler working.

Seems foolish to me that they wouldn't include a hardware scaler, but Sony's PR department, as we've seen, isn't the brightest bunch.
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« Reply #68 on: January 27, 2007, 01:45:24 AM »

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« Reply #69 on: January 27, 2007, 02:13:59 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on January 27, 2007, 01:45:24 AM



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« Reply #70 on: January 27, 2007, 12:19:27 PM »

Quote from: Purge on January 26, 2007, 08:22:01 PM

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« Reply #71 on: January 30, 2007, 03:02:48 PM »

Yeah, so there's a new perspective on this...

Microsoft. Tongue

Check out the comments on ozymandias.com.

Quote from: Bruce Dawson, Senior Software Design Engineer for MSFT

I see no sign that the PS3 contains a chip that can do vertical scaling, and this new feature (horizontal scaling) is a poor substitute for a true hardware scaler. It is a step forward for owners of 1080i only HDTVs, once PS3 games support it, but it is nowhere near as good as the Xbox 360ís scaler.

This recent announcement is just for horizontal scaling, and horizontal scaling is easy. To do high quality horizontal scaling you just need to buffer up a few pixels and intelligently average between them.

Cheap horizontal scaling is even easier: you just send pixels to the video output a bit slower (or send pixels at the same rate, but read them from memory slower). Itís the sort of thing that consoles have always been able to do. This new horizontal scaling feature just sounds like they are adjusting the video output rate.

Vertical scaling, on the other hand, is much harder. You need to be able to buffer up (or sample from) two or more lines of data, and then intelligently average between them. For high quality scaling you want to be sampling from a half-dozen lines or more. The Xbox 360 can do this. I donít know whether the PS3 can do this, but if it could I think we would have seen it by now.

This new feature means that games that have previously only supported 720p can now, sort of, be modified to support 1080. When these games detect a display that canít support 720p they can switch to using a 960x1080 buffer. This is only 12.5% more pixels than 1280x720 so the increase in fill rate and memory consumption should be manageable. Then they can tell the PS3 to stretch this buffer to 1920x1080 at display time and voila, 1080 support.

Except, it will be pretty weak 1080 support with an odd and substandard result. The horizontal resolution will be worse than with 720p (960 across instead of 1280), and the images will be twice as blurry horizontally as vertically. 960x1080 is going to look worse than 1280x720 (although itís certainly an improvement over having to drop back to 480i).
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« Reply #72 on: January 30, 2007, 03:22:44 PM »

Quote from: Calvin on January 27, 2007, 02:13:59 AM

Oh my sweet jesus jellybean.

Jesus had nothing to do with it  icon_twisted
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