AVFoundry VideoEQ Pro Review

Tech News

News Supplying Robot
<img src="http://reviews.images.static-avforums.com/reviews/139/thumb.jpg" align=right>Reviewed by Stephen Withers, 17th August 2010.
The VideoEq Pro is an exceptional product that provides a staggering level of control over a display's greyscale, gamma and colour gamut. In conjunction with CalMAN V4 it also offers a degree of automation that is as impressive as it is effective.
Read the full review...
 

IcetomLT

Active Member
Thank you for another interesting review.

Still I don't clearly understand positioning of this product for such high price:confused:.

For example, DVDO iDuo costs about 950 GBP which also has calibration menius.

With all respect to hard work of creators to develope such product, I, may be, would be interested in it, if it would cost under 300-400 GBP.
 

Steve Withers

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the comments Basil, it's always nice to know are work is appreciated.

You have a point IceTom and I did mention the price as a possible issue in the review. As I also said in the review I suspect the VideoEq Pro will appeal mostly to installers or hardcore enthusiasts.

I didn't notice any latency when I was watching real world material but when I get a chance I'll test for it and see what the result is.
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
I was an EAP user and had the original 'Beta' unit which was then upgraded to the full Pro version. In the meantime they have added a single memory upgrade to allow CMS on one memory on the Basic model which might be all many users would need: I have a JVC HD350 that I only calibrate for one input (BluRay rec709 use) so it would have been suficient for me in hindsight. I don't know the price off hand for the basic but it is a fair bit less than the Pro and that one single memory works the same as the Pro. However at launch only the 'Pro' version was supposed to have CMS... Also the Duo now allows CMS as well as the other features my Edge provides, so in even bigger hindsight this might have been a better option for me. :(

In it's defence the results are very good as far as my current i1LT sensor allows (I plan to rent the i1Pro complete with Chromapure for a week to recalibrate all of my displays including my VEQ/HD350 combo). The CMS results are virtually spot on and my gamma and greyscale less than a delta of 2 (all manually adjusted using the supplied control software and Chromapure). There isn't any delay according to AVFoundary as there is no processing or buffering as such (no I don't fully understand this, but the explaination I read elsewhere seemed to make sense at the time).

In all a useful piece of kit and had I not been an EAP and obtained mine at a special price (under NDA not to reveal BTW ;)) then I might feel a little sore at the current alternatives.

BTW I posted a thread about this device in the calibration section about 4 months or more ago if anyone is interested in seeing the calibration results using it with a HD350.
 
Last edited:

Steve Withers

Distinguished Member
Yes Kelvin, I added the VideoEQ Pro to my JVC HD100 and the results were spectacular. I think this is where the VideoEq Pro can really add value, when combined with a projector that doesn't have CMS such as the JVC HD350 or HD550. These projectors cost around 3,000 pounds so for an additional 1,000 pounds you can have a projector that is equivalent to the 6,000 pound HD950 or even the 9,000 pound HD990. In this case the VideoEq Pro offers considerable value for money and is well worth considering if your projector doesn't have a proper CMS.
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the great review.

Steve, from what you say this appears to be far easier to use than usual calibration tools, is that correct? How long did it take you to calibrate the display.

Even then, what a shame it isn't fully automated - plug everything in, press one button, and let it do its work.

It would be interesting to see how well this works with a really crap display.

It'd also be interesting to test out your theory and stick a 950 next to a 550 with one of these attached.

Steve W
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
The only caveat being that the VEQ won't add the extra 20,000:1 or so of contrast that the dearer models have. ;)
 

Steve Withers

Distinguished Member
Ha ha, well put Kelvin.

In answer to your question Steve, the automation tools in CalMAN V4 do indeed make calibration much easier. The time it takes to calibrate depends to a large extent on how close the initial readings are to your targets, the greater the error the more iterations are needed to complete the calibration. I deliberately chose a setting that was quite a bit out to test the VEQ and it took me about an hour, with a setting that is closer to the desired targets the process would be much quicker. What I actually ended up doing was using the automation tools initially and then finishing off with a manual calibration to get the measurements perfect.

Yes it isn't one touch calibration but it is very impressive none-the-less and you have to think that genuine one touch calibration can't be that far away.

I have seen a demo where AV Foundry took a $300 TV and produced an amazing image using the VEQ, as long as the display has a wide enough colour gamut the VEQ can work miracles.

I honestly think in a blind/blind test people would be unable to distinguish between a 550-VWQ and a 950 but that's just my opinion.
 

breadvan

Standard Member
I would suggest a detail review of the DVDO Duo, which also has a full CMS, and even better a side by side comparision. :smashin:
 

Sam Ash

Active Member
Yes Kelvin, I added the VideoEQ Pro to my JVC HD100 and the results were spectacular. I think this is where the VideoEq Pro can really add value, when combined with a projector that doesn't have CMS such as the JVC HD350 or HD550. These projectors cost around 3,000 pounds so for an additional 1,000 pounds you can have a projector that is equivalent to the 6,000 pound HD950 or even the 9,000 pound HD990. In this case the VideoEq Pro offers considerable value for money and is well worth considering if your projector doesn't have a proper CMS.

Hi Steve, I see your point and it definitely makes sense. However, do take note of the fact that the HD950 / 990 offer higher contrast ratios.

I did not know that the VideoEQ Pro costs £1,000 - that is a bit steep. Do they have an entry level version that is more cost effective ?

I'll try and research it a bit more.

Cheers,

Sam
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Hi Steve, I see your point and it definitely makes sense. However, do take note of the fact that the HD950 / 990 offer higher contrast ratios.

Cheers,

Sam

Whilst that is of course true, the point being made was that the HD550 (or HD350) with a videoEQ offers a performance level that cannot be acheived at the moment for under £4.5k with a JVC projector. Also remember that the HD550 has a higher lumens output than the higher end projectors, so better positioned for 'normal' rooms and with the EQ, offers complete calibration. That is where the EQ makes sense in my opinion.
 

Sam Ash

Active Member
Whilst that is of course true, the point being made was that the HD550 (or HD350) with a videoEQ offers a performance level that cannot be acheived at the moment for under £4.5k with a JVC projector. Also remember that the HD550 has a higher lumens output than the higher end projectors, so better positioned for 'normal' rooms and with the EQ, offers complete calibration. That is where the EQ makes sense in my opinion.

Hi Phil,

Really nice to hear from you. I agree, VideoEQ in conjunction with the HD550 would be awesome and you're right about the higher lumen rating on the HD550.

Would VideoEQ work effectively with ColorHCFR and DTP94 ?

I read somewhere on the forum that the iScan Duo offers the same CMS control plus upscaling for about the same price as the VideoEQ. The poster mentioned the fact that iScan Duo is also easier to use. What's your opinion on that ?

Oh, by the way on a different note, have you had the opportunity to test or use the Runco LS3/5, InFocus SP8602 and the JVC HD550 ? Would be nice to hear your personal opinion and performance comparison ?

Cheers,

Sam
 

Sam Ash

Active Member
I honestly think in a blind/blind test people would be unable to distinguish between a 550-VWQ and a 950 but that's just my opinion.

Hi Steve,

I realised I missed the above very interesting statement that you made :smashin: It would be awesome to to establish the results of a side by side comparison just for our own knowledge :lesson:

At the moment, I use HCFR with DTP94 :) Just out of interest, would that suffice knowing that I'd have to work manually ? Your opinion please ?

Cheers,

Sam
 

Steve Withers

Distinguished Member
Personally Sam I tend to take manufacturer's contrast ratio measurements with a huge grain of salt; besides there are so many other factors to consider such as the screen you're using, the viewing environment etc.

A side by side comparison would be interesting but is limited by factors such as availability of equipment, time and space!

I can't really comment on the DVDO Duo as I haven't seen it personally.

I think you'll be fine using HCFR and your DTP94 in conjunction with the VideoEq Pro and yes there is a cheaper version but it doesn't have the CMS so it somewhat defeats the point of the exercise.
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Just to correct you on a point there Steve: The Video EQ Basic does include a CMS now thanks to a recent update, however it only has ONE memory with this feature compared to the four in the Pro version (plus other differences like non remote operation that the Pro has). This was particularly annoying to existing owners of the Pro version like myself who paid the extra for the 'Pro' version just to get CMS (especially for those who could manage with only one memory for the CMS). In a setup like mine with a JVC projector that mostly only need one calibration for BluRay use (PAL being 'close enough' IMHO for the amount of DVDs I watch and in anycase is still way better than the JVC can manage alone), perhaps the cheaper Basic is all that some will need?

I can't seem to find pricing for the Basic model, but this link shows the firmware update (build 32) for the CMS within the 'Basic' subforum. If you go up a level and read through the Pro subforum, you'll see some terse posts from Pro owners relating to this update.

CalMAN &bull; Login
 

Steve Withers

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the update Kelvin, I didn't know about the software upgrade. In that case as you say the cheaper version would probably be adequate for most people, does anyone know what the price is?
 
I calibrated a JVC 350 for a friend using one of these. He had a VideoEQ Pro, but for some reason, the VideoEQ unit thought it was a Basic, so we couldn't access the CMS through the software.

We tried everything we could think of (FW updates, etc) to no avail. But finally, using the command line tool, I managed to dump out and then re-send text files which contained the CMS data and got everything into spec. It's a shame that the unit is on the pricier side, but until the general public starts to care more about accuracy, I'd guess it'll stay that way - it's implemented using FPGA chips instead of cheap mass-produced ones which I suspect has a lot to do with the price.
 

Steve Withers

Distinguished Member
I had to do exactly the same thing with mine initially but once I'd done that it worked really well. I thought at first it was because it was a pre-production model (it's the one you sent me actually) but I think it might be a common problem with early VideoEq Pros (the ones with black rather than silver sides I think).
 

Sam Ash

Active Member
Personally Sam I tend to take manufacturer's contrast ratio measurements with a huge grain of salt; besides there are so many other factors to consider such as the screen you're using, the viewing environment etc.

A side by side comparison would be interesting but is limited by factors such as availability of equipment, time and space!

I can't really comment on the DVDO Duo as I haven't seen it personally.

I think you'll be fine using HCFR and your DTP94 in conjunction with the VideoEq Pro and yes there is a cheaper version but it doesn't have the CMS so it somewhat defeats the point of the exercise.

Thanks for your response Steve, good to know that I can make use of HCFR and my DTP94. From what I understand the basic Video EQ does have a CMS. Any indication of price ?

Cheers,

Sam
 

Sam Ash

Active Member
Just to correct you on a point there Steve: The Video EQ Basic does include a CMS now thanks to a recent update, however it only has ONE memory with this feature compared to the four in the Pro version (plus other differences like non remote operation that the Pro has). This was particularly annoying to existing owners of the Pro version like myself who paid the extra for the 'Pro' version just to get CMS (especially for those who could manage with only one memory for the CMS). In a setup like mine with a JVC projector that mostly only need one calibration for BluRay use (PAL being 'close enough' IMHO for the amount of DVDs I watch and in anycase is still way better than the JVC can manage alone), perhaps the cheaper Basic is all that some will need?

I can't seem to find pricing for the Basic model, but this link shows the firmware update (build 32) for the CMS within the 'Basic' subforum. If you go up a level and read through the Pro subforum, you'll see some terse posts from Pro owners relating to this update.

CalMAN &bull; Login

Kelvin, thanks for that clarification. Nice to know that the basic VideoEQ does have a CMS now. In fact, that would make sense for me as I don't really need more than one memory for my settings.

Any idea what the price is ?

Cheers,

Sam
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
I can't seem to find any prices on the Pro or Basic, but I did find this for sale which mentions the list price in the ad (hope it's OK to link to videogon). It says list was $798 in case the link gets removed later.

AV Foundry Video EQ Basic w/CMS For Sale | Videogon

I was starting to think I imagined seeing the Basic for sale, but at least this proves I'm not mad...
 

Steve Withers

Distinguished Member
I think anyone interested in buying the VideoEq should contact AV Foundry directly and ask them about pricing and distribution in the UK.
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
I calibrated a JVC 350 for a friend using one of these. He had a VideoEQ Pro, but for some reason, the VideoEQ unit thought it was a Basic, so we couldn't access the CMS through the software.

We tried everything we could think of (FW updates, etc) to no avail. But finally, using the command line tool, I managed to dump out and then re-send text files which contained the CMS data and got everything into spec. It's a shame that the unit is on the pricier side, but until the general public starts to care more about accuracy, I'd guess it'll stay that way - it's implemented using FPGA chips instead of cheap mass-produced ones which I suspect has a lot to do with the price.

I had to do exactly the same thing with mine initially but once I'd done that it worked really well. I thought at first it was because it was a pre-production model (it's the one you sent me actually) but I think it might be a common problem with early VideoEq Pros (the ones with black rather than silver sides I think).

This is a great shame.

One of the great beauties of this item is that it appears to make calibration extremely fast and easy.

But when you start to talk about "...using the command line tool, I managed to dump out and then re-send text files which contained the CMS data and got everything into spec," well that may as well be in Greek to me, and I suspect to a lot of other people.

It actually makes the manual process sound simpler!

People want plug-and-play, or as close to that as possible, and this sounds like a nightmare. No one wants to spend £1k and end up with a product they can't use.

Steve W
 

The latest video from AVForums

Panasonic LZ2000, LZ1500 & LZ980 Hands-on Launch Event | No QD-OLED for 2022, new 77-inch for LZ2000
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

Astell&Kern announces new Kann Max DAP and Pathfinder earphones
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
McIntosh unveils flagship MCD12000 CD/SACD player
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Sonos announces new Ray soundbar
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Sony set to launch WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
VIDEO: Panasonic LZ2000, LZ1500 & LZ980 Hands-on Launch Event
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom