tremon said: "Upscaling for me has been nothing but a tale of woe."
Whereas for me I've had an excellent experience. The upshift in picture quality when my Onkyo 607 receiver converted DVD 576i to 1080p compared with the TV was very significant, and simply involved plugging the receiver in between the player and the screen.
tremon also said: "My point was that in the case of a 576i signal, I don't care whether the TV converts it to 1080p before displaying, or whether it does it in the process of displaying it."
As has been said, it's the same thing. Something somewhere needs to convert the 576i signal recorded on the DVD to a 1080p image that the screen will display, otherwise you get a postage stamp. In this process about 3/4 of the information displayable by the screen doesn't exist in the source data, so something has to "invent" this extra information. The quality of the processing involved in this inventive step is what dictates the final image quality.
The player could do this, or an AV receiver, or the TV. Essentially the first one in the chain will do it, unless told not to. In my setup all 3 devices have got upscaling built in, I will need to test which one does the "best" upscaling but my question was whether a potentially new AV receiver could outperform the upscaler in my TV (which I suspect may now be the best one in my rig).