Upscaling - Which source should do it and how do i set it?

Oldboy

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Hello all,

I've been looking at my dvd collection lately and started watching the wire again last night but was struck by just how rubbish the picture was so i presumed i needed to mess around with the source that was doing the upscaling to see if i could improve the picture.

I'm not entirely sure how i go about changing the source that does the upscaling despite having a good grasp of what is happening to the image, for the life of me i couldn't find an option on my Panny 310 BD player that stopped it from upscaling because as it's set now (automatic) i beleive it's my player doing the upscaling so how do i change this do i just change the resolution to 576p/480p?

If that is correct then how do i then swap between the amp and the tv as the source doing the upscaling to see which is better? I presume the amp would need to be set to a specific picture setting perhaps...but that the tv needs no adjustment as it will upscale any incoming signal to suit the screen resolution, is that correct?

I'm a tad confused so any help would be appreciated, many thanks.
 

John Duncan

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The manual's not exactly clear...

In the setup menu, choose TV/Device Connection, then 'HDMI Video Format'. You should be able to set scaling up there, though the manual doesn't tell you what all the options are, other than 'automatic', which I think will do the upscaling if it senses a 1080 TV. So something other than that...:-D
 

Oldboy

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Tell me about it, the manual is far from clear on the subject!

But then my Onkyo manual is equally vague on the subject so it's very difficult to figure out what i do to change the source doing the upscaling in either case, from what i've read i think the amp has to be set to 'through' but i'm far from sure that this is the case and when i tried it that mode introduced a red tinge to all the blacks in the image including the black bars, perhaps because i've yet to figure out how to stop the player from upscaling?

I remain slightly confused and when i put the Planet Earth bluray on earlier i noticed that despite it being a 1080i disc the tv was saying that a 1080p signal was being displayed which just confused me further as i thought blurays were never upscaled if indeed this is what was happening here? :?
 

laserman16

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Oldboy said:
I remain slightly confused and when i put the Planet Earth bluray on earlier i noticed that despite it being a 1080i disc the tv was saying that a 1080p signal was being displayed which just confused me further as i thought blurays were never upscaled if indeed this is what was happening here? :?

Hi Oldboy.

My understanding on the BD player is that if set to automatic it will upscale anything to the max that the TV will take, whatever the resolution of the source.
 

Oldboy

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Many thanks laserman16.

In that case i will have to change the resolution everytime i (rarely) watch a 1080i disc to view it in it's native resolution which is bit of a pain but i'm guessing the differences in picture quality will be minimal at this level of resolution?
 

laserman16

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Oldboy said:
but i'm guessing the differences in picture quality will be minimal at this level of resolution?

Oldboy

Suppose there will be a bit of a difference, perhaps try both and see which you prefer.

One thing about the BBC bds even at 1080i is the quality of picture.

Gather you are still pleased with your TV, must say in my search for a new TV that i am having a serious look at the Pannys.
 

Oldboy

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laserman16,

Yes the picture quality of the BBC BDs is extremely good although it still annoys me that only a select few are 1080p releases, it just seems like you are being short changed a little but overall i'm very happy with the quality for a 1080i disc. Tried the Planet Earth disc at native 1080i and although there is very little difference in picture quality it was slightly sharper when you took the upscaling out but motion was far better at 1080i, some scenes that stuttered slightly suddenly were much smoother which was nice.

Yes i remain extremely happy with my tv, i have to say that it's the sort of tv i have been striving to buy for some time (years infact) and i only have some very minor gripes about the set which just amount to things such as the absense of numerical values for the picture settings in all but 2 modes and some compatabilty issues with my Nas drive but as i say very minor stuff and nothing to do with picture quality.

I would say give the Pannys some serious consideration but as always demo before you buy, i'm sure if that's what you ended up getting you would be very happy indeed...i know i am :)
 

laserman16

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Oldboy.

Well at the moment I'm waiting to see one of these in action.

If its as good as the 50GT/VT30s I've seen it will be a serious contender.
 

Oldboy

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laserman16 said:
Oldboy.

Well at the moment I'm waiting to see one of these in action.

If its as good as the 50GT/VT30s I've seen it will be a serious contender.

From the review on here i doubt you will be disappointed but i would be really interested to hear your thoughts on the GT50. I got a quick demo last friday from my local Panny dealer in town and it seemed great to me but as a GT30 owner there wasn't enough to tempt me to upgrade but i could certainly see where the improvements are over my tv.

I've noticed them starting to arrive at dealers now so hopefully you will get the chance to demo one soon.

Back on topic i'm still struggling with my upscaling issue....i can see that the only way around it will be to try all the available options one at a time to find out how it affects picture quality which is a pain in the behind to put it politely, why can't upscaling be better named and explained in manuals? Frustrating.
 

laserman16

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Oldboy said:
Back on topic i'm still struggling with my upscaling issue....i can see that the only way around it will be to try all the available options one at a time to find out how it affects picture quality which is a pain in the behind to put it politely, why can't upscaling be better named and explained in manuals? Frustrating.

I'm afraid thats perhaps the only way to do it. I suppose each of the three items ( BD player,Amp and TV) are going to give different results and its then up to you as to which you and your eyes perceive to be the best.

But no easy way as you say, just got to go through all the options.
 

psurquhart

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I have been reading this post with interest as I too am the proud owner of a brand new GT30 42" (well maybe not brand new in the sense of the new models but bought brand new) and the whole upscaling thing confuses me too. I got the tv for a bargain £629 as a price match from Richer Sounds - hot deal of the year imo.

At least Oldboy you have an advantage over me ! I cant even work out how to tell what source to upscale - can anyone explain this even more in detail please.

I have a Sony DA5400es av amp, a Sony 370 Blu Ray player (settings must be fine for this because it goes into 1080 / 24 frame mode), Sky HD (set to Auto in resolution) and then my lovely new Panasonic tv.

Im not sure if my amp is upscaling or the Panasonic ??? And I wouldnt know how to change it either. Any more advise please - would be interested to see what was best.

I obviously did something wrong because at first the tv's picture was awful - standard definition tv was blurry and even high definition stuff from my Sky HD Sky Sports channel had a shimmer to it - I mucked around with both tv and amps settings and eventually got it all sorted. It was more luck than judgement though, at first I thought I had a faulty plasma. It was as if the upscalers on both amp and tv were conflicting with each other ??? But thats only a guess.

Would be nice to know if its all set up as it should be.

Thanks.
 

Sizzers

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Hi. You have your Sky box set correctly at "Auto". This means that either your amp or TV will be doing the upscaling as the Sky box is generally pretty awful at this.My understanding is that under "Video Settings", "Auto" lets the amp do the upscaling and "Direct" just passes the signal straight through for the TV to do it (this is obviously more relevant when watching SD TV).Regarding your BDP if you go into Screen Settings>Output Video Format>HDMI, if this is set to "Auto" then your BDP is doing the upscaling. If you go through "Original Resolution" then it will be either your amp or TV doing the job depending upon which you've selected . I don't have AV so obviously my Blu Ray is plugged straight in to my TV, and although I haven't really done much switching between the two my preference at the moment is for the BDP to do the job. It's just a case of switching around to see which one you prefer, that's all.Hope this might have been a little help, but there are far better minds than mine on here

Hi. You have your Sky box set correctly at "Auto". This means that either your amp or TV will be doing the upscaling as the Sky box is generally pretty awful at this.

Regarding your amp under "Video Settings", "Auto" lets the amp do the upscaling and "Direct" just passes the signal straight through for the TV to do it (this is obviously more relevant when watching SD TV).

On your BDP if you go into Screen Settings>Output Video Format>HDMI, if this is set to "Auto" then your BDP is doing the upscaling. If you go through "Original Resolution" then it will be either your amp or TV doing the job depending upon which you've selected . I don't have AV so obviously my Blu Ray is plugged straight in to my TV, and although I haven't really done much switching between the two my preference at the moment is for the BDP to do the job. It's just a case of switching around to see which one you prefer, that's all.

Hope this might have been a little help, but there are far better minds than mine on here to advise!
 

Oldboy

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psurquhart said:
I have been reading this post with interest as I too am the proud owner of a brand new GT30 42" (well maybe not brand new in the sense of the new models but bought brand new) and the whole upscaling thing confuses me too. I got the tv for a bargain £629 as a price match from Richer Sounds - hot deal of the year imo.

At least Oldboy you have an advantage over me ! I cant even work out how to tell what source to upscale - can anyone explain this even more in detail please.

I have a Sony DA5400es av amp, a Sony 370 Blu Ray player (settings must be fine for this because it goes into 1080 / 24 frame mode), Sky HD (set to Auto in resolution) and then my lovely new Panasonic tv.

Im not sure if my amp is upscaling or the Panasonic ??? And I wouldnt know how to change it either. Any more advise please - would be interested to see what was best.

I obviously did something wrong because at first the tv's picture was awful - standard definition tv was blurry and even high definition stuff from my Sky HD Sky Sports channel had a shimmer to it - I mucked around with both tv and amps settings and eventually got it all sorted. It was more luck than judgement though, at first I thought I had a faulty plasma. It was as if the upscalers on both amp and tv were conflicting with each other ??? But thats only a guess.

Would be nice to know if its all set up as it should be.

Thanks.

Hi,

Sizzers advice is correct but what should be pointed out is that upscaling is mostly about SD material, although depending on the settings used you can upscale a 720p or 1080i image to 1080p to more closely match the resolution of the screen.

Ok so today i have had a little fiddle around with all my settings and first off my particular player needs to be set to 576/480 in order to allow either the amp or tv to do the upscaling and when watching a standard dvd i found the amp the worse source for upscaling (not really surprised here but still disappointed), but it was a little closer between the BD player and the tv as to what was best but i thought the tv edged it as there was less noise and grain.

The BD player image was perfectly acceptable after my eyes had adjusted to the loss in resolution from blu ray lol but the tv displayed the more enjoyable image with far better detail as well because the BD player did display a rather soft image in comparison. I did have an issue trying to figure out which amp setting sent the signal through with no changes but it seems that 'direct' is the setting i needed and not 'through' as i had previously thought as this was introducing a strange red tint to all blacks which was strange and rather odd to look at.

So upscaling is far from easy to get right from my experience and the miriad of menus you need to go through in order to change the setting every time is a complete pain in the you know what but it does pay dividends in the end, the only problem is the experimenting that needs to be done in order to get the best source for the upscaling...why is there not a button on the remotes or a shortcut that is named properly in the menus to make this easier?

After my results i'm now wondering if i upgraded to a better BD player if i would get better upscaling....perhaps the upgrade bug will bite soon now :grin:
 

Sizzers

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Oldboy said:
...why is there not a button on the remotes or a shortcut that is named properly in the menus to make this easier?

Couldn't agree more.

My Sony is a real faff to change around if there's a disc playing. It's the best of a 5-minute job to do if you just want to compare the two options, but IMO the Sony does an excellent job so I just leave it as it is
 

Oldboy

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Exactly!

With my Panny 310 BD player you have to stop the disc and go through the player menus which is quite a faff like your Sony and then restart the disc and watch all those pesky unskipable adverts and trailers again before you can view the same scene, such a pain!

You have just given me an idea Sizzers...i have a Sony 570 BD player in the bedroom, i think i'm going to hook it up in the living room and see if it upscales better than my Panny 310 BD player as i might well get even better results with that player :?

Will hook it up this evening and report back with the results ;)
 

Sizzers

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Oldboy said:
Exactly!

With my Panny 310 BD player you have to stop the disc and go through the player menus which is quite a faff like your Sony and then restart the disc and watch all those pesky unskipable adverts and trailers again before you can view the same scene, such a pain!

Well when you go in to the menu on the Sony the disc stops, and then when you've finished fiddling you have to scroll across the menu bar to the "Video" column and select "DVD Video" to re-start.Okay, it starts the disc where you left it, but why can't you just press "Play" on the remore and have done with it? *Grrr*

Well when you go in to the menu on the Sony the disc stops, and then when you've finished fiddling you have to scroll across the menu bar to the "Video" column and select "DVD Video" to re-start.

Okay, it starts the disc where you left it, but why can't you just press "Play" on the remore and have done with it? *Grrr*
 

Oldboy

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That does sound better than the Panny solution though and at least it starts the disc where you left it, it does seem like an oversight in design to tbh on the part of Sony and Panasonic and i can't help but think a more expensive player may have better ergonomics when it comes to menus but i may well be wrong about that.

I'm eager to break out the Sony 570 BD player when i get home to see how it performs at upscaling dvds...more faffing around ahead though for tonight :cry:
 

Sizzers

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Well I'm really looking forward to hearing your comparisons, Oldboy.

I've no plans to upgrade my BDP any time soon (wish I could, though!). Sony's do have a good reputaion for upscaling so this might be interesting!
 

Dermondo

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Sizzers said:
Hi. You have your Sky box set correctly at "Auto". This means that either your amp or TV will be doing the upscaling as the Sky box is generally pretty awful at this.My understanding is that under "Video Settings", "Auto" lets the amp do the upscaling and "Direct" just passes the signal straight through for the TV to do it (this is obviously more relevant when watching SD TV).Regarding your BDP if you go into Screen Settings>Output Video Format>HDMI, if this is set to "Auto" then your BDP is doing the upscaling. If you go through "Original Resolution" then it will be either your amp or TV doing the job depending upon which you've selected . I don't have AV so obviously my Blu Ray is plugged straight in to my TV, and although I haven't really done much switching between the two my preference at the moment is for the BDP to do the job. It's just a case of switching around to see which one you prefer, that's all.Hope this might have been a little help, but there are far better minds than mine on here

Hi. You have your Sky box set correctly at "Auto". This means that either your amp or TV will be doing the upscaling as the Sky box is generally pretty awful at this.

Regarding your amp under "Video Settings", "Auto" lets the amp do the upscaling and "Direct" just passes the signal straight through for the TV to do it (this is obviously more relevant when watching SD TV).

On your BDP if you go into Screen Settings>Output Video Format>HDMI, if this is set to "Auto" then your BDP is doing the upscaling. If you go through "Original Resolution" then it will be either your amp or TV doing the job depending upon which you've selected . I don't have AV so obviously my Blu Ray is plugged straight in to my TV, and although I haven't really done much switching between the two my preference at the moment is for the BDP to do the job. It's just a case of switching around to see which one you prefer, that's all.

Hope this might have been a little help, but there are far better minds than mine on here to advise!

Thats interesting I always thought to set the blu ray scaler you set it to the resulotion and not auto.

So its the reverse procedure for the blu ray from the sky box or am I confused. :quest:

My settings as present

Results as follows

Equipment: Samsung LED D5520, Sony BD760, Sky HD Box and finally Denon AVR2311.

1. Watching Blu Rays, Sony Blu handles scaling.

2. Watching Sky HD, Samsung D5520 handles scaling

Note: (No Sky Hd Involved here) I have found the scaler in my Denon avr 2311 in my opinion and set up is the least efficent scaler in this test, I came to this conclusion when running an option in the Spears & Munsill calabration disc with text scrolling across the screen the Denon did not handle it very well, was inconsistant, jumpy and not as legible compared to my tv and blu ray which was smoother, a matter of fact there was very little between the tv and blu ray, but the blu ray just edged it here.

To note also the Amp did a better job of scaling compared to the Sky HD Box which was bottom of the list when it came to scaling abilities, but my LED now handles scaling duties here.

Order of Scaling:

1: Blu Ray

2. LED

3. AV Amp

4. Sky HD
 

Sizzers

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On the Sony, going through....

Screen Settings> Output Video Format>HDMI>Auto>Finish....means your BDP is doing the upscaling.

Screen Settings> Output Video Format>Original Resolution.....means that the BDP is outputting the original input signal direct to the TV, so the TV is doing the upscaling.

This is based on the BDP connected directly to the TV which I would suggest you do just for comparison (obviously only relevent for DVD's etc), or through whatever "Direct" option there is on your Denon. My "humble" 380 does a better job at upscaling than my TV, but I am blind! lol
 

Dermondo

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Sizzers said:
On the Sony, going through....

Screen Settings> Output Video Format>HDMI>Auto>Finish....means your BDP is doing the upscaling.

Screen Settings> Output Video Format>Original Resolution.....means that the BDP is outputting the original input signal direct to the TV, so the TV is doing the upscaling.

This is based on the BDP connected directly to the TV which I would suggest you do just for comparison (obviously only relevent for DVD's etc), or through whatever "Direct" option there is on your Denon. My "humble" 380 does a better job at upscaling than my TV, but I am blind! lol

Ok, many thanks for that correct info and as I was saying I was taking the same approach with the BD as the SKy HD Box. :)

But as you were also saying whether the BD is connected through the amp or directly to the TV I presume the same approach applies.
 

Oldboy

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Sizzers said:
Well I'm really looking forward to hearing your comparisons, Oldboy.

I've no plans to upgrade my BDP any time soon (wish I could, though!). Sony's do have a good reputaion for upscaling so this might be interesting!

So i set up the Sony 570 BD player in the living room yesterday and the result was that it's the best upscaler for dvd, conversely with bluray it didn't fair as well, my panny 310 has better picture quality but far superior sound than the Sony.

When it comes to upscaling a dvd the Sony 570 was a clear step up from both my Panny 310 BD player and the tv, the picture is ever so slightly softer than through the tv but in all other respects such as motion, black levels, contrast and brightness it's a far more cinematic experience than either of my other sources.

The ideal BD player would be one that combined both of the strengths of my 310 and 570 so now i'm convinced that a BD player upgrade is the way to go now to really get the most from my system so i'm currently looking at players in the £300-500 price range.
 

Sizzers

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Oldboy said:
So i set up the Sony 570 BD player in the living room yesterday and the result was that it's the best upscaler for dvd, conversely with bluray it didn't fair as well, my panny 310 has better picture quality but far superior sound than the Sony.

When it comes to upscaling a dvd the Sony 570 was a clear step up from both my Panny 310 BD player and the tv, the picture is ever so slightly softer than through the tv but in all other respects such as motion, black levels, contrast and brightness it's a far more cinematic experience than either of my other sources.

The ideal BD player would be one that combined both of the strengths of my 310 and 570 so now i'm convinced that a BD player upgrade is the way to go now to really get the most from my system so i'm currently looking at players in the £300-500 price range.

Thanks for the feedback Oldboy, and glad you were suitably delighted!This is only my second BDP (my previous one was also a Sony, the 360), so I don't have anything else to compare it with. I don't have many Blu Ray's to be honest as I find upscaled DVD both on this and my previous TV to be pretty damned good! Around £20 for a top notch BR is bit steep for me considering I may only watch it once in a year, unlike a CD which I will play many times. However, my local HMV (do they still exist?!) have some £5 offers which I'm just starting to partake in!

Thanks for the feedback Oldboy, and glad you were suitably delighted!

This is only my second BDP (my previous one was also a Sony, the 360), so I don't have anything else to compare it with. I don't have many Blu Ray's to be honest as I find upscaled DVD both on this and my previous TV to be pretty damned good!

Around £20 for a top notch BR is bit steep for me considering I may only watch it once in a year, unlike a CD which I will play many times. However, my local HMV (do they still exist?!) have some £5 offers which I'm just starting to partake in!
 

psurquhart

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psurquhart said:
I have been reading this post with interest as I too am the proud owner of a brand new GT30 42" (well maybe not brand new in the sense of the new models but bought brand new) and the whole upscaling thing confuses me too. I got the tv for a bargain £629 as a price match from Richer Sounds - hot deal of the year imo.

At least Oldboy you have an advantage over me ! I cant even work out how to tell what source to upscale - can anyone explain this even more in detail please.

I have a Sony DA5400es av amp, a Sony 370 Blu Ray player (settings must be fine for this because it goes into 1080 / 24 frame mode), Sky HD (set to Auto in resolution) and then my lovely new Panasonic tv.

Im not sure if my amp is upscaling or the Panasonic ??? And I wouldnt know how to change it either. Any more advise please - would be interested to see what was best.

I obviously did something wrong because at first the tv's picture was awful - standard definition tv was blurry and even high definition stuff from my Sky HD Sky Sports channel had a shimmer to it - I mucked around with both tv and amps settings and eventually got it all sorted. It was more luck than judgement though, at first I thought I had a faulty plasma. It was as if the upscalers on both amp and tv were conflicting with each other ??? But thats only a guess.

Would be nice to know if its all set up as it should be.

Thanks.

Now that I am getting my head around this, and also thanks to the other posters for setting me in the right direction it seems that when I set my av amp to non direct - this seems to be the source of my previous problems.

For instance when the amp is upscaling - HDMI / Video Setting - set to OFF - the picture on my Panasonic Plasma is really, really bad - the shimmering / slightly stuttering image I was talking about above ? Why would this be ? Surely a, back in the day flagship amp - my Sony DA5400es shouldnt do this ? But its causing all sort of problems - why is it clashing with the tv ? Any ideas ?

As stated earlier, it took me so long to stumble, by fluke, to the right setting, I thought my new tv was at fault ? My Sony av amp has been brilliant before - is there something else I am missing ?

Just happy its all sorted now but it still mystifys me ? Perhaps I have a setting on the plasma incorrectly set ?
 

Sizzers

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Again, my understanding of the settings in your amp are by selecting "Auto" in "Video Settings" means the amp is doing the upscaling, by selecting "Direct" then it will be the TV.Now I have absolutely no intererest in AV whatsoever but a friend of mine picked up this same amp last week and I phoned him beforehand to ask for his advice, so if it turns out to be incorrect blame him! He does seem to know his stuff, though, so I'm reasobaly confident that these are the right settings.As a matter of course I have all picture enhancements turned off on my TV with the exception of "Pixel Orbiter". Only a thought, but if you are using any of these then perhaps try turning them off too to see if this makes any difference. Sorry I can't be more help, but my knowledge of AV is pretty limited to say the least. Perhaps try posting this in the "AV Receivers" section.

Again, my understanding of the settings in your amp are by selecting "Auto" in "Video Settings" means the amp is doing the upscaling, by selecting "Direct" then it will be the TV.

Now I have absolutely no interest in AV whatsoever but as it happens a friend of mine picked up this same amp last week and I phoned him beforehand to ask for his advice, so if this turns out to be incorrect then blame him! He does seem to know his stuff, though, so I'm reasonably confident that this is the right route.

As a matter of course I have all picture enhancements turned off on my TV with the exception of "Pixel Orbiter". Only a thought, but if you are using any enhancements then perhaps try turning them off to see if this makes a difference. Sorry I can't be more help, but my knowledge of AV is pretty limited to say the least. Perhaps try posting this in the "AV Receivers" section maybe?
 

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