How important is upscaling in HDTVs?

Episode 1267 (1:34:03)

Jerry from Cameron Park, CA

Jerry's elderly mother has UVerse cable, and she can't afford the HD service. Currently she has an old Sharp 720p TV, and Jerry wanted to replace that for her. Should he buy a 720p TV or a newer 1080p? He was told that the newer, smaller 1080p TV sets don't upscale. Leo says it's a big deal if an HDTV doesn't upscale, because standard definition will look a lot worse. The set top box may upscale, though. Better cables may also help. It also would help to use HDMI instead of composite if it's a possibility.