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Murideo Fresco Six-G Video Generator Review

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All singing and all dancing

by Steve Withers Dec 2, 2015

  • SRP: £2,100.00

    What is the Murideo Fresco Six-G?

    In simple terms the Murideo Fresco Six-G is a pattern generator but of course, it’s also much more. This clever handheld device is portable thanks to a built-in battery and can generate over 100 different test patterns for setup, calibration and troubleshooting. There’s a three-inch colour display with simplified menus but also free PC control software. It includes HDMI 2.0 at up to 2160p60 4:4:4 with a video bandwidth of 18GBPS and support for both HDCP 1.4 and 2.2. There’s also Hot Plug Detect, EDID read/write functionality and the ability to create custom resolutions. There’s the option for either RS232 or USB control and support for CalMAN calibration software. The Fresco is ISF certified, the firmware is field upgradable and it even includes audio confidence tests. That’s a lot of features for one small device and goes some way to justifying its $2,495 price tag, which is roughly £1,700 at current exchange rates but you'll need to add VAT and import duties as well. So, let’s see how effective it actually is in practice.

    Design & Accessories

    The Fresco is ergonomically designed to be handheld and portable, so there’s a built-in battery. The device measures 14 x 11 x 3cm and weighs around 400g. The build quality is good, although it could perhaps be a little more rugged since it's intended to be used out in the field. There's a three-inch colour display with simplified menus so that you can just connect the generator to a display and select the pattern you want.
    Murideo Fresco Six-G Design & Accessories
    Murideo Fresco Six-G Design & Accessories


    There are a few simple buttons that you can use to control the Fresco directly and it’s the central OK and directional keys that you use to scroll through test patterns, setup the device and check the battery life. There’s a yellow button that is used to select the output resolution and frequency, including custom resolutions created using the free PC control software. There’s an HDCP button for testing HDCP 1.4 or 2.2 support and a back button for returning to the pattern menu. There’s also a power button for turning the Fresco on and off.
    Murideo Fresco Six-G
    Murideo Fresco Six-G

    There is a metal support that can flip out of the back of the unit in order to place it on a flat surface with the display and buttons at a convenient angle. This makes it easier to use the device with one hand whilst using the other to the control the display your calibrating or using a connected laptop. The Fresco also comes with a lovely custom Peli case and a number of accessories including a power adapter, a USB cable and an RS232 cable, giving you a choice of control options.

    The handheld capabilities and intuitive design make the Fresco the ideal field testing device.

    Connections & Control

    In terms of the connections, these are positioned at the top of the unit and here you’ll find an HDMI 2.0 output with support up to resolutions of 2160p60 4:4:4 and a video bandwidth of 18GBPS. There's also a USB port and a RS232 connector for controlling the Fresco remotely and an analogue stereo input for audio confidence tests. Finally there’s the connector for the power adapter and a small light that indicates when the battery is charging.
    Murideo Fresco Six-G Connections & Control
    Murideo Fresco Six-G Connections & Control


    In terms of control there are a number of options, the first of which is the previously mentioned manual control using the buttons on the front of the device. This approach is intended for basic setups and testing in the field, allowing you to quickly check a display's capabilities and pull up necessary test patterns. However for more detailed options there is also the ability to control the Fresco using the free PC control software. This software is broken down into six screens, each controlling different aspects of the generator’s performance.

    The first screen is titled Timings and shows the various resolutions and frequencies that can be selected, including 4K and 3D settings. The second screen is called Timing Details and allows you to create custom resolutions, whilst the third screen shows the various patterns you can select. The fourth screen shows the Settings and here you can select HDMI/DVI, HDCP, Colour Space, Colour Depth etc. and the fifth screen shows the TV EDID information. The final screen is the RGB Triplet where you can select the window size, the window colour and the background colour.
    Murideo Fresco Six-G
    Murideo Fresco Six-G

    The third method for controlling the Fresco is to use it in conjunction with the CalMAN calibration software. To do this you connect the Fresco and a colour meter to your laptop and then run CalMAN. Then all you need to do is select the Fresco under the options for different sources and the calibration software will directly control both the pattern generator and the meter. Once you have set the Fresco up in CalMAN once, it should default to it the next time you open the software. For professional calibrators this is a very useful feature allowing them to control everything via CalMAN.

    The Fresco has an impressive set of features combined with a remarkable level of flexibility.

    Features & Specs

    In terms of features the Murideo Fresco Six-G is a portable, handheld and battery operated device that can be controlled via USB or RS232. It has optimised ergonomics with basic control buttons on the device itself and a three inch colour display with simplified menus. There is an HDMI 2.0 output with a resolution up to 2160p60 4:4:4 and a video bandwidth of 18GBPS, 3D is also supported and custom resolutions can even be created. The device supports HDCP 1.4 and 2.2 and a High Dynamic Range (HDR) metadata test will be added in a future update. There's also Hot Plug Detect and HDCP lights, an EDID read/write functionality, PC software control and compatibility with CalMAN.

    The Fresco is ISF Certified and includes over 100 test patterns including PLUGE, Chroma Multiburst and moving test patterns to verify image stability processing. There is also APL (Average Picture Level) support and RGB Triplet support via software or direct dial on the device. The Fresco has a left/right stereo input, allowing you to attach an external PCM source to embed into the HDMI output. You can also select up to 32 different speaker configurations from 2.0 to 7.1, with a maximum of 8 channels of audio at up to 24-bit/192kHz thus allowing you to conduct audio confidence tests. The inherent internal architecture of the Fresco means that it can also be upgraded via firmware updates, making it suitably future proof.

    Murideo Fresco Six-G Generator Video Review


    Setup & Operation

    Setting up and using the Fresco couldn’t be easier, you don’t even need to be a professional calibrator as the generator is designed to be intuitive to use. If all you want to do is run test patterns into your display, then all you need to do is connect the Fresco to the HDMI input, select the desired resolution and frequency and then choose the test pattern. Modern TVs can accept a number of different resolutions and frequencies, so the Fresco allows you to choose whichever one you want. This is really handy because it means you can check whether a TV actually can accept the resolutions and frequencies the manufacturer claims it can. You can also select either HDCP 1.4 or 2.2, which again is very useful because it means you can check that the HDMI ports do support the correct copy protection. This has become more important than ever because many TVs now have a mixture of different HDMI ports.
    Murideo Fresco Six-G Setup & Operation
    Murideo Fresco Six-G Setup & Operation


    If you want to use the Fresco in more detail then all you need to do is install the free PC control software on your laptop and you can control the generator that way instead. The software will detect the Fresco and then provide you with six screens that provide a great deal more information than is possible with the small display on the device itself. The first screen shows the Timings and here you can select the desired resolution and frequency, as well as 3D video using frame packing. The second screen, called Timing Details, allows you to create custom resolutions and frequencies that can then be saved on the Timings page. The third page shows all the patterns you can select and the fourth page allows you to setup the Fresco in terms of DVI or HDMI, HDCP, Colour Space, Colour Depth, Audio Source Selection, Audio Sample Rate, Audio Bit Rate and Audio Channel and Speaker settings. The fifth page shows all the EDID information read from the display and the sixth and final screen is RGB Triplet where you can select the window size, the window colour and the background colour.
    Murideo Fresco Six-G
    Murideo Fresco Six-G

    All of these available options and the overall flexibility of the device make the Fresco an ideal choice for a custom installer who wants to check the integrity of any distributed network in terms of both video and audio. The ability to quickly check just about any aspect of a modern display's video capabilities with a single handheld device is obviously very handy for anyone testing a display in the field but it's equally as useful for reviewing displays here at AVForums. For example we used the Fresco to check that the HDMI inputs on JVC's new DLA-X5000 projector actually met the specifications listed by the manufacturer. Assuming you have the budget, it would even make a good purchase for an enthusiast who wanted to test, setup and calibrate their own displays; although you're probably better off just getting a professional calibration from a pure cost perspective. Any professional calibrator that uses CalMAN will find the Fresco the perfect pattern generator with both flexibility and upgradability complimenting the exhaustive test patterns. We found that running CalMAN Ultimate along with the Fresco and a Klein meter delivered fast and effective results, making performing calibrations a real pleasure.

    The Fresco is highly effective as a calibration tool and, thanks to an upgrade path, it's future-proof as well.

    Conclusion

    10
    AVForumsSCORE
    OUT OF
    10

    Pros

    • Intuitive to use
    • Highly flexible
    • Future-proofed
    • Easy to control
    • Fast and effective

    Cons

    • Build quality could be a little more robust
    You own this Total 0
    You want this Total 0
    You had this Total 0

    Murideo Fresco Six-G Video Generator Review

    If you're an AV enthusiast who wants to tinker with his display settings it might be hard to justify the price of the Murideo Fresco Six-G generator compared to the cost of a professional calibration. However if you're a video industry professional such as a calibrator or custom installer (or even a TV/projector reviewer for that matter), then the Fresco is an essential purchase. You won't find a more intuitive or better designed pattern generator, with the ability to produce any resolution and frequency currently used and at full video bandwidth. You can also test for HDCP compliance and will also be able to test for HDR compatibility with a future firmware upgrade. That makes the Fresco the ideal device for these changing times and that's before you even take into account over 100 test patterns, APL (Average Picture Level) and RGB Triplet support.

    You have the option to use the Fresco as a handheld device, controlling everything via the buttons on the unit itself, but you can also connect it via USB or RS232. This allows you to use the free PC control software which provides the same setup and testing options but also six different screens that provide far more information than could be shown on a three inch display. The Fresco also supports CalMAN, making it ideal for professional calibrators and making the calibration process as easy and effective as possible. As if all that wasn't enough, you can even run test tones in up to 8 channels for 38 different speaker configurations, so it can even help you you set up and test the audio system as well. So is it worth the roughly £2,100 price tag? Let's put it this way, we've had the Murideo Fresco Six-G for two weeks and it's already indispensable!


    The Rundown

    Build Quality

    8

    Connectivity

    8

    Control

    9

    Ease of Use

    9

    Features

    10

    Performance

    10

    Value for Money

    8

    Verdict

    10

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