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DVD Upscaling: How to Upscale DVD 480P to 1080P HD without Quality Loss?

After you switch to an HDTV or even Ultra HD 4K TV, you may find that the DVDs which look good on older devices are now awful on the bigger screen. There are smearing and pixelation that make the movie basically unwatchable. Why? The 480P DVD is so small that it takes only ~16% of the display area of a 1080P HDTV. To fit the screen, the 480P DVD video is often upscaled up to 1080P to cover the whole TV screen. That's called DVD upscaling. Computers, media players, DVD/Blu-ray players, and TVs generally feature an upscaling/upconverting function. But this doesn't mean they are doing a good job. In this post, we're going to explain what is DVD upscaling and teach you how to upscale DVD to 1080P/4K with good quality.

Play DVD on 1080P display

Part 1. What Is DVD Upscaling?

DVD upscaling refers to the process of using software or hardware to increase the resolution of a DVD video signal to match that of a higher-resolution display, such as a high-definition TV or a computer monitor.

DVDs are generally recorded at a resolution of 720 x 480 pixels, which is lower than the resolution of most modern displays. When played on a high-definition display, the image can appear blocky or blurry. DVD upscaling can help to alleviate this problem by smoothing out jagged edges and improving the overall image quality.

There are various ways to upscale DVDs, including using a dedicated upscaling DVD player, a Blu-ray player with upscaling capabilities, or software on a computer. These methods use sophisticated algorithms to analyze and interpolate the DVD image to create additional pixels, resulting in a sharper and more detailed image. However, it's important to note that while upscaling can improve the image quality of DVDs, it cannot magically create information that wasn't in the original image, so the final result will still be limited by the quality of the source material.

Part 2. What Software Can Be Used to Upscale a DVD?

Upscaling DVD/video often brings artifacts. But software with an advanced algorithm can offer better DVD upscaling quality. Here the best DVD upscaling software we find is called WinX DVD Ripper Platinum.

  • It upscales 576/480p/i DVDs to 640P/720P/1080P HD, etc. in MP4, H.264, MOV, AVI, WMV, and more.
  • Its High Quality Engine delivers better DVD upscaling quality by making the residual lines of an image edge thinner and adding more details based on the Deep Convolutional Neural Networks.
  • The De-interlacing feature will remove interlace artifacts and convert 480i to 480P DVD video for later upscaling.
  • It's able to upscale any DVDs, including DVDs with region codes, CSS, RCE, 99 titles, old DVDs, home-burned discs, new DVDs, etc.

Part 3. How to Upconvert DVD to 1080P without Quality Loss?

Download and install the DVD upscaling software on your computer and insert the DVD into the disk drive.
Free download the Windows version
Free download the macOS version

Step 1. Load the DVD

Run the DVD video upscaling software and click the DVD Disc button. Select your DVD and let the software analyze the disc.

Step 2. Select an output format

The DVD upscaling software will automatically remove any encryption on the DVD and detect the correct title. After that, a window will pop up asking you to set an output format. To get the best result, you're suggested to upconvert the DVD to MP4.

Go to General Profiles and select MP4 Video from the list. On the right of the MP4 Video profile section, drag the quality bar to HQ/Slow to get the best DVD to 1080P upscaling quality.

upscale dvd to 1080p software

Step 3. Upscale DVD resolution to 1080P

Back to the main interface, click the gear button next to the selected output profile to enter the DVD upscaling window. Find Resolution and open the drop-down menu. Select 1920x1080 to upscale DVD 480P to 1080P and click OK. In fact, you can upconvert a DVD to 720P, 800P, 1200p, etc.

How to upscale DVD to 1080P

Tips: If you want to upscale the DVD resolution to fit widescreen or other higher resolution display with a specific size, click the Customize button next to the Resolution and enter the width and height you need.

DVD upscaling for widescreen

Step 4. Start to upconvert DVD

After all the settings, click the big blue RUN button and start the DVD upscaling and ripping. Before that, don't forget to check the High Quality Engine and Deinterlacing boxes on the main interface. It will ensure the best possible DVD upscaling quality.

Start upconverting DVD to 1080p

By upconverting a DVD to a higher resolution, you can also create better videos for social media. For example, YouTube will compress unpopular videos to save space and bandwidth. In other words, your video will get lots of compressions and lose quality. If you're creating a DVD video for YouTube, you'd better upscale it so that on a normal HD monitor, the video looks better after the compression.

How Does It Work to Upscale DVDs to 1080P (DVD Upscaling Quality)?

When upscaling a DVD to 1080P with WinX DVD Ripper Platinum, the built-in High Quality Engine will apply. How does it work? It's based on Deep Convolutional Neural Networks to find the edge of the video image. Then the edge-refinement algorithm will work to make the residual lines thinner. The thinner the residual lines are, the less blurry an image is. This method can prevent pixelization and blurry outcomes, making the upscaled 1080P DVD video watchable on a bigger screen. Below are some upconverted DVD video results:

Upscale 480p DVD to 1080p
Upscale DVD to 1080p
Free Download WinX DVD Ripper Platinum to Upscale DVDs to HD 720P or 1080P Now

Part 4. How to Upscale DVD with AI-powered Video Upscaling Software?

There are AI-powered video upscalers that utilize advanced algorithms to elevate low-resolution videos to higher-quality files. One standout example is Winxvideo AI. This software boasts a Super Resolution feature, empowering users to upscale videos by 2X, 3X, and even 4X without sacrificing clarity or detail. So, you could take an old DVD video that's 720x480 and pump it up to 1440x960, 2160x1440, or 2880x1920. And it doesn't just stop there; Winxvideo AI can also clean up blur, reduce noise, and make your videos look way better overall.

Beyond video upscaling, Winxvideo AI excels in various other video-related tasks. It can increase FPS, stabilize footage, convert between formats, compress files, record content, edit videos, and even facilitate video downloads.

Now, let me walk you through how you can use Winxvideo AI to upscale your old DVD videos to HD:

Step 1. Download and install Winxvideo AI on your computer.

Step 2. Launch Winxvideo AI and navigate to the "Video AI" section.

DVD video upscaling software

Step 3. Import the DVD video you wish to upscale by clicking the "Add Video" button.

Upscale DVD video

If you haven't ripped your video from the DVD yet, consider using WinX DVD Ripper.

Step 4. Activate the Super Resolution feature and specify the media type (Reality or Anime), Level (if applicable, typically for Anime), and Scale (2x, 3x, or 4x).

Step 5. Expand the Export Settings to ensure all settings align with your preferences.

Step 6. Hit the "RUN" button to begin transforming your DVD video into an upscaled masterpiece.

Part 5. Upscale DVDs to 1080p on HDTVs and DVD Players

Common DVD resolutions are 720×480 pixels (NTSC) or 720×540 pixels (PAL). When you're playing a DVD on a 1080p HD display, namely 345,600 pixels or 388,800 pixels will be displayed on a 2,073,600 pixels screen. Obviously, making each pixel from the DVD occupy 6 or 5.33 pixels on the screen will lead to a blurred image. But that's what HDTVs and most DVD upscaling players upconvert DVD to 1080p - enlarge the image and don't improve DVD quality in essence. High-end players run an algorithm to determine when a pixel is one color or another, which requires a mathematical comparator operation.

When HDTVs and DVD players upscale DVDs, it usually uses an algorithm called 'nearest neighbor'. It adds a mesh of blank pixels to an image and guesses which color value each blank pixel should be by looking at its four neighboring pixels. However, this process could reduce optical resolution and result in a fuzzy image. Surely, TV or DVD player upscaling does more than that. It uses bicubic interpolation and bilinear interpolation to smooth and sharpen the nearest neighbor expanded image so as to enhance the DVD video quality.

Is there any quality difference between upscaled DVDs and Blu-ray discs?

Definitely, the quality of DVD upscaling won't match that of a native Blu-ray disc or HD DVD. This is because the scaling algorithm, whether it is applied by HDTV or upscaling DVD player, doesn't add more detail than is already present. Compared with Blu-ray, upscaled DVD looks flatter and softer in background, with reds and blues.

DVD upscaling on TV / DVD Player

2023 Best DVD to 1080P Upscaling Players

If you want to upscale the DVD from 480P/576P to 1080P on the TV directly via a DVD upscaling player, here we can recommend you some of the best in 2023. You can also check and find more choices in DVD upscaling players here. With an upscaling DVD/Blu-ray player, you can simply plug it into your TV, insert your DVD, and then your DVD will look great on an HDTV.

1. Sony 1080p Upscaling HDMI DVD Player - DVP-SR510H ($39.88). The DVD upscaling player can improve the DVD video quality to near HD 1080p via an HDMI cable. It makes it possible to watch the DVD on your HDTV with better quality than itself.

2. Sony BDP-S6700 4K Upscaling Blu-ray Player ($109.99). As its name suggests, the DVD to 1080P upscaling player is able to upconvert DVDs/Blu-ray discs to 4K for playback on a big screen. It's able to upscale the DVD resolution up to 5 times greater than DVD.

3. Panasonic DP-UB420-K 4K DVD/Blu-Ray Player ($199.99). Similarly, the Blu-ray player can upconvert DVDs to 1080P and even 4K via the HDMI interface. Therefore, you can enjoy great pictures on an HDTV even with your old DVDs.

4. LG 4K Ultra HD Built-In Blu-ray Player ($299.99). This player delivers great DVD upscaling performance. It ensures amazing output on HDTVs with Blu-ray discs and old DVDs.

DVD upscaling on TV / DVD Player

Part 6. FAQ on DVD Upscaling

1. How to upscale DVDs to 1080P with Handbrake?

Handbrake V1.4 adds the ability to upscale videos. Follow the steps below:

  1. Open Handbrake and insert your DVD. Note that Handbrake won't support protected DVDs.
  2. Click File to load in the disc.
  3. Select an encoding preset and choose an output format.
  4. Next, click the Dimensions tab. Under Resolution and Scaling, select a higher resolution, uncheck the box Optimal Size and check the box Allow Upscaling.
  5. Then click Start Encode.

2. What does upscaling mean on a DVD player or a Bluray player?

Upscaling on a DVD player, a Bluray player, or a 4K DVD player, is a technique that is designed to make your DVD look good on a high-definition screen. How does DVD upscaling work? A DVD usually has a vertical resolution of 480 lines while a modern TV can have 720, 1080, and even 2160 vertical lines. So DVD upscaling technique converts the signal so that it can artificially create the information for the extra lines using a series of mathematical calculations.

3. What is the highest resolution a DVD can have?

A DVD supports a resolution of 720 x 480 pixels per frame for NTSC (or 720 x 576 pixels per frame for PAL). But you can upscale the DVD resolution to 1080P to make an old DVD look good on a HDTV.

4. What's upscaling and upconverting?

Upscaling and upconverting in a DVD player and TV means the same thing - uses a computerized algorithm to increase the resolution of basic DVD video and fill the gaps to make it look better on a display with a higher resolution. It's a process to copy the pixels and add them to the picture to increase the overall number on the screen. While DVD upscaling or upconverting allows a DVD to match the size of 1080P or higher-resolution display, it may in fact result in visual artifacts on larger screens, such as ringing, blurring, and posterization.

5. Can I upscale a DVD to 4K?

Yes, there are DVD upscaling software and players that can easily increase the resolution of a standard DVD to 1080P, 4K, or higher. But it's not suggested to upscale a DVD from 480p to 4K as it may result in bad quality. In addition, the upscaled DVD quality varies among different tools.

6. How to turn on DVD upscaling PS4?

By default, PS4 is set to "Scaling: Full".


author - Donna Peng

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Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

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