A few of my videos have a reference count of 16 because that's the maximum value, and I've been experimenting with all of the available options to get the most compression for a given quality factor. Up until now, all of the options I've tried either worked all of the time, or didn't. A few won't play on my BluRay players, but that's understandable because they are at least 10 years old (probably closer to 20) and some of these options didn't exist when they were built. VLC is probably the best at playing anything, even if it isn't compliant. This is the first time I've run into an option that worked only part of the time: and since larger videos generally need more compression, it's counter-intuitive that a reference frame count that works at 720p and below won't work at 1080p.
Back in the days before the HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats arrived to tempt intrepid, deep-pocketed movie fans, someone shopping for a standard DVD player was well-advised to check out "upconverting" models - players capable of generating 720p, 1080i, or even 1080p video signals from the standard 480i signal encoded on DVDs. Even with recent high-def disc developments, upconverting players still remain a viable force in the marketplace. Though they can't quite make a silk purse from a sow's ear - upconverted standard-def signals never look as good as real high-definition - a player that does a good job of upscaling DVDs can make them look worthy of displaying on your new HDTV.
One such model that's received a bit of buzz is the Oppo DV-981HD upconverting DVD player. Although this machine doesn't play high-def discs, it can handle just about any other media that you throw at it, from regular CDs and DVDs to multichannel Super Audio CDs and DVD-Audio discs. Remember those?
Most full-retail games on Xbox 360 are upscaled from 720p to 1080p. But the games aren't outputting a native 1080p signal. It's sort of like how a blu-ray player will upscale a DVD to 1080p but it won't look as good as blu-ray even though they are outputting the same resolution on your TV because a blu-ray has a native 1080p resolution and a DVD doesn't. PS3 doesn't often upscale retail games with a few exceptions (MGS 4 for example runs in 1080p).
What's with the HD-Ready stuff on Giant Bomb? 1280x720 is a full HD resolution. A 1366x768 resolution exceeds 720p, and therefore is considered an HD resolution. A display that is 1368x768 however, is most likely a legacy display with roots in a PC monitor and therefore is not manufactured with the hardware necessary to decode an HD broadcast signal. Since these displays are without a tuner, they cannot be marketed as an HDTV. These displays however, will work perfectly as a TV if an external tuner, like a cable box is connected to it, hence it is "ready" for HD TV. Full HD is a silly buzz word. Right up there with Extreme HD and Ultra-HD. 2b1af7f3a8