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A video scaler is a system which is capable of converting video signals from one resolution to another. It increases or decreases the input resolution for video output at the specified ratio. Video scalers can be internal or external to the device. They are used in a wide range of applications such as broadcast, imaging, video effects and video surveillance.
Although all video displays have a built-in scaler for most varieties of inputs, the products are not designed for wide variety of formats and resolutions. On most digital devices, video scalers scale in both horizontal and vertical directions. If the resolution is increased from low to high, it is called upscaling, whereas if it is decreased from high to low, it is called downscaling. It typically accepts NTSC/PAL/SECAM signals and decodes them after which upscaling or downscaling is performed as needed. In other words, a video scaler first decodes the signal after which de-interlacing is done on it. Most of video scalers support bicubic, bilinear and polyphase scaling. A video scaler is considered essential if the input resolution is significantly different from that of the output, as without the video scaler, the images could be compromised or distorted.
There are many benefits associated with video scalers. They can output high quality, multiple-resolution VGA video signals, unlike a video switcher. They automatically scale any input signal received to match the resolution of the native display. They are also capable of switching between digital and analog sources.
Video scalers are typically used in consumer electronics such as televisions and AV devices.