All Blu-ray players have a built-in feature called upscaling. Upscaling will improve the resolution and quality of standard DVDs when you use an HDMI cable to connect the Blu-ray player to your HDTV.
There isn’t any trick to making upscaling work, but you must use an HDMI cable to connect the components. There isn’t anything else that you need to do because the process is automated.
Upscaling uses a method called interpolation to improve the resolution of standards DVDs. Interpolation takes a standard DVD image frame and increases the number of pixels from the standard DVD resolution of 720 horizontal pixels by 480 vertical pixels to a high definition resolution of either 1280 x 720 pixels (720p) or 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p), depending upon the capabilities of the Blu-ray player. The high resolution information does not exist on a standard DVD, but when the resolution is increased, new pixels are added to the image matrix. Interpolation compares the pixel colors on each side of the new pixels and mathematically calculates the colors that are inserted into the new pixels.
Does this give us a true high definition picture? No, because the process cannot create all of the fine details that exist in a native high resolution image. You will not see the fine hairs and minute details that you see in a good Blu-ray movie. However, the perceived resolution is greatly improved. Visually the upscaled image is somewhere in between a standard DVD image and a Blu-ray image.
If you have deep pockets and buy a lot of movies, it may be worthwhile to buy only Blu-ray movie versions. However, if you want to save some money, standard DVDs are currently a bargain. We typically buy Blu-ray versions for all action movies and movies that we may repeatedly watch. Standard DVDs are plenty good enough for movies that are not action-oriented or that we will only watch occasionally. Unless you consider yourself a movie connoisseur and require only the best of everything for your home theater, you probably won’t notice the difference between an upscaled DVD movie and a Blu-ray movie unless you have an HDTV with a very large screen. We use a 52 inch screen and really enjoy the upscaled movies.