4306 quality & capability of video scaling/upconversion

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by madmanaenewman, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. madmanaenewman

    madmanaenewman
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    I've probably spent a solid 24 hours in total trying to find a definative answer to whether the Denon 4306 scales or merely converts. I finally decided to write an email to Denon to ask them directly. Well guess what, none of their sites gives an email link/address. No problem, just phone the 1-800 line. Well, after two hours I finally hung up. Now I understand why many people seem in love with the product line but rather less than impressed with the service when they need it.

    If someone from Denon takes the time to scan this forum (a sensible thing to do), than perhaps you could answer my letter. You might also explain the silly hold times on the phone and the lack of an email address.

    Here is the letter I wrote:

    Gentlemen:

    I have just purchased a Sony VPH-G70Q, this being a very good CRT front projector, for use in a home theatre 7.1 surround system. My speakers, Quad 22L, center, and surrounds, are also decent. However, none of the various source signals that currently feed the system are High Definition.

    As my screen will be 100 to 120 inches, I want some sort of scaling capabilities. My understanding is that this will use advanced algorithms to “guess” at and “fill in” the “missing” lines when going, for example, from 480i to 1080i.

    An entry level stand alone scaler will cost at least $700 on sale, with much more expensive ones available. But my research also led me to your 4306 AV receiver.

    As a neophyte into this whole area, I read your manual and interpret it to mean that this machine will in fact accomplish the scaling that I want, basically scaling any input signal and converting it to my choice of 720p or 1080i (with a 480p/576p option also available which apparently de-interlaces 480i/576i signals). After all, how can you claim to be sending out a 1080i signal if it does not have 1080 lines of data, and where can such data come from (given a lower resolution source) if the receiver does fill in the blanks, and what would it fill the blank lines with if appropriate algorithms do not exist?

    The general consensus from the various AV forums is that I am dead wrong. I have both asked the question myself and read threads where others have asked the same question. Many claim that no AV receiver has any scaling capabilities whatsoever. All they do is convert an analogue signal into a digital one. The signal is not cleaned up. The resolution remains unchanged. Anyone would be a fool to buy an AV receiver, including the 4306, for the sake of its video conversion capabilities. This is doubly true when using a CRT projector, as none of these accept digital signals. I would simply have to re-convert the digital signal back to analogue. If no gain in resolution is achieved, than surely converting to a signal that I cannot use only to reconvert it to one I can is foolish indeed. At best the end result would be unchanged, at worse it would be degraded due to translation losses. Many advise to get a cheap AV receiver (unless you can actually tell the difference in sound quality) and spend the money on a decent stand-alone scaler such as the Lumagen or DVDO. Of course, these do have more flexibility and thus may be a better choice in any case for some, but the Sony VPH-G70Q supposedly does an excellent job at projecting 1080i so the added flexibility would not be worth significant extra money to me.

    There are others who believe differently, but they appear altogether unsure of themselves. I have seen snippets that allude to the 4306’s use of something called the Faroudja chip, which I gather to be cutting edge, very good technology. However, your manual makes no mention of such a chip, nor does it list any other technology it uses to up-convert.

    So, what is the true story? Does the 4306 scale to a higher resolution or does it simply convert to a type of signal inherently capable of higher resolutions but equally capable of carrying lower resolutions? What technology is used? Do you know of any good independent reviews that test your conversion technology and rate it relative to alternative solutions available?
    I plan on posting my question and your reply (or lack thereof) on a number of forums because I know many others are asking the same sort of questions and would be most interested in definitive answers. If the 4306 does what I hope and suspect it does, it looks like an excellent buy. You get a great surround system that scales all incoming signals one is likely to encounter to your choice of 720p or 1080i all in one box. Suddenly the $2000 MSRP looks like a real bargain. Sweet.

    Jules
     
  2. Jase

    Jase
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    The 4306 will scale analog sources (480i/576i) and output them via HDMI and uses the Faroudja scaling algorithms. You have a choice of output resolutions (480p/576p, 720p, 1080i). It will also convert Composite or S-Video sources to Component if you wish but they will remain at the same resolution as the Input signal. In addition it will do straight analog to HDMI conversion (480i/576i analog in, 480i/576i HDMI out, 720p analog in, 720p HDMI out etc etc).

    Other models offer purely analog to HDMI conversion with no scaling (3806), others will de-interlace a 480i/576i signal but not scale (2807) etc etc. Most now have standard video up-conversion (Composite or S-Video to Component) and even down-conversion (Component to S-Video or Composite). Just depends on the model and the features it has.
     
  3. plaver

    plaver
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    I have a 4306 and it does a very good job of up scaleing/converting, sound is execellent to, the down side is build quaility it's not that great its as good as their customer service, I'm now on my 3rd, each time a different fault..
     
  4. andykn

    andykn
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    You could try here:

    http://www.denon.co.uk/site/frames_main.php?main=kont&MID=5&ver=

    I found the tech support line to be quite knowledgeable.

    The tech specs for the UK 4306 give the Faroudja FLI-2310 chip. The manual on page 15 states that:

    'If you do not wish to use the function for converting analogue video signals to HDMI signals, select "OFF" for "Analog to HDMI Convert" at "Setting the HDMI Out Setup" (page 72,73).
    In this case, the function for Video up conversion to the component video terminal operates.'
     

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