ENGADGET: More information on PS3’s inability to upscale to 1080i.
CNET: Holy crap! CNet says it also does not upscale DVDs. So it appears one can definitively say that the PS3 has no upscaling capability, period — it can’t upscale 720p games to 1080i, and can’t upscale DVDs at all. http://reviews.cnet.com/Sony_PlayStation_3_60GB/4505-6464_7-31355103.html
I’m shocked at this. It would appear that this is true from various discussions I’ve read although we have yet to hear from Sony on the topic:
"PS3 won’t internally upscale game visuals to 1080i."
(Translation: If you lack 720p, you’re screwed because it’ll downconvert all your game visuals to 480p quality which is what will be displayed on your TV regardless of what resolution you have available and thus your expensive 1080i TV investment is useless.)
What Sony’s doing is frankly bizarre. They assumed that everyone in the world owns a 720p capable HDTV set, which is asinine considering up until 2005 it was very rare to find HDTVs that supported anything except 480i, 480p, & 1080i. (Notice the lack of 720p in that list) I fall into this category with my 65" Mitsubishi Big Screen HDTV. I mean, just think about it: People that spent $10,000 on their TV sets between 2001 and mid 2005 – a significant investment mind you – will get horrific picture quality because they can’t get anything other than 480p out of a PS3 on their TVs.
This isn’t a "small number of people" either. Every Audio/Video enthusiast I know has TVs that they purchased back in 2005 or before – particularly DirecTV owners that I know that all loved the digital quality they were able to enjoy on their big screens, regardless of whether it was 480p or 1080i.
Basically, it would appear that if you don’t have 720p capability on your set:
1) The PS3 takes its games and within its hardware, downscales the visual to 480p. Most if not all PS3 games are designed for 720p rendering and if you don’t have 720p, the PS3 hardware won’t upscale the video to 1080i/p.
2) The PS3 then sends the 480i/p content to the TV which then upscales the video image to 1080i, which of course always looks awful.
"If you don’t have a TV with 720p output capability i.e. a TV purchased within the last year, and you want 1080 resolution – don’t buy a Playstation 3."
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=4971