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Best Scaler for Watching SKY?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by TheDoctor, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor
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    Hello All

    I have a Pioneer 505XDE and am looking to invest in a video scaler primarily to improve the picture quality of SKY and upscale my scart divx player.

    What would the job best with a 505XDE?

    Also would it be worthwhile investing in a SDI modded digibox or would the scaler alone provide adequate quality?

    I also require something that would accept my HDMI dvd player and SKY HD (for the future). Something with at least 2-3 digital inputs would be great.

    Thanks in advance.

    Doc
     
  2. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    The Lumagen DVI and HDP have been partnered with alot of XDE's. They have option of SDI input board if you want it. However the RGBcvS input is very high quality. You can see a slightly sharper image on a 50" plasma when you go SDI from Sky but for the extra outlay you may not feel it's worthwhile. The Lumagens have two DVI inputs that are HDCP compliant and will work with HDMI sources.

    Gordon
     
  3. scrowe

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    I have the 505XDE with Lumagen HDP and SDI-modded Sky+

    Despite the SDI option on Sky, I actually watch mostly via my UK TiVo which passes through the RGB-scart from Sky into the scaler. There is definitely an obvious slight increase in PQ from the SDI, but only enough to want to reserve watching it for Premiership games and the odd movie or quality drama. For general everyday TV-watching , the picture from RGB w/Sync into the scaler is incredibly good.

    P.S. Unless you really have the money burning a hole in your pocket, the SDI Sky+ box makes little sense, as we're possibly only 6-9 months away from being able to watch Sky's HD service.
     
  4. scrowe

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    Should also add that Gordon's comments to me suggest that the Lumagen scalers will possibly have a role to play in improving the quality of Sky's HD input, so a Lumagen is a worthwhile investment now, and in the future.

    I think, Gordon correct me if I'm wrong, that you'd need the HDP or HDP-Pro to be assured of this, as the DVI does not fully process HD, just SD.
     
  5. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    THe DVI has a basic set of 1080i deinterlacing processes which while still offering more than your display is likely to be able to do, its not going to set the world on fire! It is also limited to maximum 768p output. The HDP and ProHDP have a complete set of HD processing techniques, and also more powerful internal processing (10bit compared to 8bit) to achieve the better image (amongst other improvements over the DVI). The 2 DVI inputs can handle interlaced and progressive HDMI - useful for interlaced HDMI from DVD and 720p/1080i HDMI from HD services. And are able to pass-thru HDCP encoded signals to a compatible display. So to shorten all that down to one statement - buy the HDP, it's brill, it gets great results with the XDE, and it does everything you need!!!
     
  6. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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  7. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor
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    Thanks guys, sorry for the late response but I've been at work (to earn some money for a scaler !!!!).

    So a Lumagen HDP is the answer then according to the experts. I see there are 2 versions of the HDP. What are the extra benefits of the Pro version?
     
  8. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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  9. Mark_a

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    Seems to me a fair bit of cart-before-the-horse going on here. We don't have any native 1080p displays yet, they're all 720p devices. And even if/when we do get them in a year or two, there is no one broadcasting in 1080p format, and won't be for quite some time.

    Now we'd all like to see our A/V equipment last for decades, but the truth of the matter is if you get five years out of them you're doing well, and you've certainly had value for money out of them by then.

    So, I would contend that a Lumagen DVi is an appropriate buy now for the type of equipment we have now and the type of broadcasts we have now, and in the near future. Worrying about broadcast formats that may, or may not, come for at least five years, if at all (we may have come up with something even better and simply leapfrog 1080p as a format) seems somewhat pointless to me.

    So why not buy what is sensible now and see what four or five years time brings in terms of potential upgrades and appropriate equipment?

    Regards

    Mark
     
  10. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Mark: Some valid points. However the fact we don't have 1080p displays is not as relevant as folk seem to believe. Go have a look at a 576i feed to a 480P plasma where the plasma cannot do film detection. Then go have a look at the same material in 576P correctly de-interlaced. The display is lower res than 576P but the difference should be pretty massive on the right material.

    Being able to reconstitute the orignal full resolution film frames is critical for the removal of artefacts in the image regardless of the resolution of the display being used. It is incorrect to assume that we need 1080P displays to benefit from 1080P sources.

    1080i broadcasts, which we are about to get, will be made up of video and film source material just as 576i broadcasts are. De-interlaced correctly we can get 1080p sources from them.

    I would also suggest that not all displays are limited to 720P.

    By the end of the year this will all seem more relevant I think.

    Gordon
     
  11. Welwynnick

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    Gordon,

    The bit about the Lumagen HDP doing film mode at 1080i with a forthcoming firmware release caught my attention. This rumour has been going around for a while, but do you know when it is really likely to happen?

    And could there be any restrictions on where the 1080i comes from? Maybe this is too soon to ask, but will work on HDMI and DVI and component? Using Sky HD and Blu-Ray and D-VHS? 50 and 60 Hz?

    I think this is a big deal, and it would be good to know some more.

    BR, Nick
     
  12. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor
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    Sorry but this may sound like a stupid question, but what devices would make use of the SDI inputs on a Lumagen scaler, apart from SDI-modded digiboxes?
     
  13. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    It's not so much a rumour as a promised feature.....They are working on it and when its done it's done......no specified date. There should be no restriction as to what source format, ie component/hdmi.

    The Doctor; You can get DVD players that have SDI mods too. Basically any digital source with a modifiable MPEG2 decoder chip.

    Gordon
     
  14. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Hi Doc

    You could also grab yourself a deal on Crystalio1 , this gives unbeatable price/performance at the moment as the stocks are run down for Crystalio2 at the end of the year.

    regarding the whole SkyHD versus Sky SDI debate, then it really depends whether the content on HD is worth the extra subscription to *you* or not. If you dont care about football for example, or the limited range of HD material initially available but instead are more interested in the main UK TV channels which will remain standard def for some time, then a scaler or scaler and SDI remains the best option. The quality difference is very obvious with SDI, personally I wouldnt watch anything else on a large screen!

    Overall the whole market is in a state of transition to HD of course, but it is a lot further away than from being mainstream than we (as enthusiasts) like to believe. The BBC for example is talking about 20% of households being able to view HD material by 2010..That means there are a lot of 22" 4:3 CRT sets still to support with content!
     

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