If you've ever watched an upscaled DVD movie, you'll know they can look great, but also that there's something decidedly odd about the picture quality at times.
It's hard to pin it down, but the technology that enhances each part of the image equally can distort parts of the frame in subtle, unnatural, ways. That's why Hitachi has taken a different approach in building its next-generation upscaling technique.
The company's 'Super Resolution Technology' is still under wraps, but we do know that it treats each part of an image differently. Foreground detail, for example, is processed more intensively than backgrounds that don't need to be sharpened.
Using the new method, standard DVDs can be converted to something approximating 1080i images, while HD TV sources stand to benefit just as dramatically.
As for the science, Hitachi says, somewhat gnomically, only that, "The resolution is estimated by analysing the luminance signals of input images before performing the super resolution processing for multiple regions at a time."
Presumably, we'll find out exactly what that means well before 2010, which is when the company hopes to offer LCD and plasma TVs with the technology included.