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Cinemateq Picture Optimiser with SDI input

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by JJCoolSpray, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. JJCoolSpray

    JJCoolSpray
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    Has anybody seen this new unit?
    I've been looking at these units carefully for the last little while, but unhappy with the quality of the DVDO IScan unit. From what I've read, it's specifically made for the american market (NTSC). When I saw it I just couldn't see the benefit for the money.

    But I saw a demo recently of the Cinemateq, which I'd heard about through some geek friends, running into a crappy first generation plasma, and it totally cleaned up the image - as much as you can when you're limited by a rubbish plasma. Anyhow, it acts like a switcher, scaler, and video cleaner.

    This thing does colour saturation and anti aliasing like I've never seen. We ran digital DVI out, so as to bypass the poor internal processor in the plasma.

    You can adjust absolutely everything about the various inputs, and program the output resolution down to the pixel.
    You've gotta know what you're doing, and if you do you'll be rewarded.

    I saw the unit at a show. Can anybody tell me who in the UK :thumbsup: I can buy one from? It doesn't say on Cinemateq's website (www.cinemateq.com)
     
  2. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    We have been approached to become Cinemateq resellers but I haven't yet got to see a demo unit. Sounds like I should pull my thumb out, had just assumed it was an iScan HD wrapped up in a pretty box!! Spec didn't highlight what chipset it uses so it ended up at the bottom of my inbox. Think i'll grab that guys number back...
     
  3. D J Fryer

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    By all accounts a rep of Cinemateq (a german firm) posts over at AVS Forum. Maybe you could pick one up at a good price from Germany?

    The cinemateq site lists www.maverick.co.uk as dealing and they have the Optimizer II SDI unit for £1,072 (doesn't say whether with VAT or not) - the non SDI is £845
     
  4. Liam @ Prog AV

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    Just seen an Optimiser Plus II running into Panasonic 42PWD5. Very tasty. Anti-Aliasing is definitely a huge strong point JJ, and colour and depth. Menu system is dead simple to wonder around (could be quicker to navigate but no-one could get lost here) and simple picture calibrations are a doddle.

    There's not the hugest amount of advanced settings. Directional Interpolation On/Off, Noise Reduction On/Off, Film Mode settings and H + V Sharpness and that is about it! Then you've got the usual brightness, contrast, gamma, colour temp etc with 3 memories to store into. The expert menu brings custom resolutions and frame rates into play with a handful of memory settings - each having a PAL and NTSC variant. Again very easy to use. The cinemateq website is loaded with custom resolutions for various popular plasmas and projectors and their customer support is fantastic. If they have the means too they will setup an optimiser at their place in Germany, email you the settings they found optimal and then post it to their website for anyone else who might need it!

    From Sky Digital the improvement is huge. It's not here to magically remove mpeg artefacts etc but you are distracted buy the razor sharp and deep picture such that except for large areas of the same colour, mpeg artefacts go wholly unnoticed. After spending a bit more time tweaking and adjusting the image I've got exactly what I want out of it and one by one as everyone came home this evening and wandered into the lounge they've sat down and not stopped watching Harry Potter (Sky Movies) despite having all watched it far too many times before! All engrossed in this new lease of life the over a year old plasma has been given.

    Got the DVD cranked up and does everything it should - but better! Here I could really go to town on setup (because now I can pause the picture!!) and have also given it the AVIA treatment. I just wish I had an SDI player! Spent 15 minutes getting thoroughly lost in the opening chapters of Any Given Sunday but while adjusting colour temp and gamma couldn't help but want for more to play with! The plasma has plenty more control to get the pic just perfect but not all displays will have this flexibility, especially through DVI.

    I would like to say it's better than the iScan but not having seen an iScan for a good couple of months I might be speaking too soon. I think the picture is a little sharper, or maybe tighter is the word i'm looking for. However lip sync issues are such a pain that with this house not having delay functions in the AV amp, any picture improvements the Cinemateq offers over the iScan could be evened out by the iScan's audio delay (if it were needed of course). I doubt the luxurious picture Lumagen HDP will be beaten however, and with the Cinemateq's lack of HD scaling and DVI input, functionality again plays a part in any comparisons.

    As a video switcher the picture optimiser has a weirdly large amount of video pass thru modes! There are three outputs in total which can all be used to send the same signal in three different directions, and there are also some interesting pass thru modes where display two can receive a pass thru signal while display one is showing the Optimisers main output. Can't think of any immediate advantage of this in a Home environment since everything passed thru is not processed. Pass thru is useful if a HD source was mixed in the system and you didn't want to run that directly to the display.

    Hopefully i'll get a chance to hook this up to a TX100 when I get back to my place tonight - 1280 x 720 pixels and DVI connection :D
     
  5. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Hi JJ.

    What was the plasma and what resolution and refresh rates did you use?

    Gordon
     
  6. Liam @ Prog AV

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    Tried some iScan HD settings this morning, nameley 720P in RGB colourspace (no terminal card to do 720P YUV). A bit better but needed to fiddle with horizontal settings just to get a picture that would fit into the Panny without needing max image shift! Think I ended up with a H Start of 250. Still not happy i've got perfection this way with but the picture is bloody good.

    Gonna try JasonJo's HD settings (852 H-size) later. Plus I've just realised that frame rates can only be adjusted in whole numbers not to decimal points like with the iScan. Add that to the lack of test patterns and you can see why i'm struggling to know if i'm locked in (although that checkerboard on the HD always gave me a headache anyway!). I'll have some time later to play around some more so probably gonna search around for other HD settings used on SD Panny's then i'm gonna try for NR one more time!

    Still can't believe how good DVD pic is from this box into my dad's SD panel! When i'm finally happy that the plasma pic is utter perfection (which I bet I never will be but will still blindly go on trying!!!) i'm gonna set it through the TX100...
     
  7. parky43007

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    A couple of things that appeal to me are 1) the switcher capability, ideal for a set-up with a plasma and a projector and 2) the RGB input via scart for Sky.
     
  8. Liam @ Prog AV

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    The scart input is no different to using RGBs on any of the equivalent alternatives (albeit requiring a new cable). But it does give you a 2 RGB inputs in addition to the two YUVs which the others don't have....

    Have had it on the TX100 now and it's even more impressive with all those extra pixels to play with!! Can't find a DVI lead though (d'oh!).
     
  9. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    The Lumagen HDP Pro has two two RGBComps and two component inputs as well Liam. HDP is the one that you loose the component inputs if you use them both for RGB.

    JJ: Can you also tell me what the first gen plasma was that had DVI input?

    G
     
  10. Liam @ Prog AV

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    Was thinking more of the similar priced competition where the Lumagen DVI and HDP, and the iScan HD all have to lose a YUV input to gain an RGBs one. The HDPPro has plenty of other reasons that make it superior to the Cinemateq!
     
  11. cineprince

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    hi all, interesting discussions going around here.
    i have recently bought a cinemateq picture optimizer plus (decided against the iScan hd by the way) and use a sanyo z1 projector (resolution 964 x 544) with it – since connected to the cinemateq both watching dvd (using a yamaha-player) and tv (using a really simple stereo vcr as tuner, that's wha the SCART input is absolutely useful) is a real experience whereas before it was "just a big picture", it is now absolutely great! All resolutions my projector can accept match perfectly - never ever had to go into the expert menu really.
    i'm also thinking to get an sdi upgrade kit and get my player modified with an sdi output ... as i had the chance to watch at my dealer's place this makes a tremendous difference whilst you - as he told me - bypass one analog/digtal conversion and so transfer 100% of the original video stream.
    i have never before seen such a brilliant picture from a dvd on a screen.
    looking forward to what these guys implement into their software next.
    seems they really know what they're doing - not to mention the fantastic technical support they deliver both on their webpage and personally on the phone (or by e mail).
    hope for them, the market will recompence them for their great job.

    best regards
     
  12. Neil F Holland

    Neil F Holland
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    Noticed in what Hi Fi this evening that a Cinemateq scaler has beaten the DVDO iScan in a comparitive test...

    Was this the same model as discussed above?

    Is the Lumagen better than the DVDO?
     

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