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confused!!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by baldybonce, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. baldybonce

    baldybonce
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    I have recently purchased:

    Pioneer 505XDE
    Denon 3910,

    and am currently running a Denon 3803 but am looking to upgrade to 3805 next year. I get a great picture from the 3910 but Sky and PS2 pictures need improvement, especially Sky.

    I have thought about purchasing a scaler to improve these images, but as am new to plasma screens am unsure what if anything would help.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, Thanks in advance
     
  2. sparkz

    sparkz
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    I must admit I had my doubts about the pros of a scaler particularly when it came to Sky.

    I got an iScan HD to go with my TH42PHD7 and I must admit I've been pleasantly surprised. I wasn't really expecting to see that much of an improvement on Sky, mainly DVD. However, the Sky picture is excellent although this may depend on what you're watching - rubbish in and rubbish out concept.

    Other scalers may even give you a better picture. It's certainly worth serious consideration...

    Mark
     
  3. baldybonce

    baldybonce
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    I have spoken to Sevenoaks today and they say that it would not make a huge difference in picture quality on Sky. Suggested I wait till Sky goes digital in 2006.
    Like you say some of the broadcasts are really poor quality that show up big time on the 505.
    Any other peoples thoughts are surely welcome!
     
  4. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    Erm- $ky has been "digital" for many years !
    I think you meant until $ky go HDTV.

    Chris Muriel (normally Manchester- but in Tel Aviv hotel right now on business, presenting data converter seminars)
     
  5. sekrof

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    Hi baldybonce, if you can wait till Tuesday I can tell you ... I've just purchased an iScan HD+ and I've also purchased a SCART->RGBSYnc break out lead for Sky+. I'm planning to wire it into my plasma tomorrow, but Sky+ will only be installed on Tue. Should be noticeable (from all accounts) I'm hoping so.
     
  6. baldybonce

    baldybonce
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    chris... meant HD, oops

    sekrof... will be waiting till i get enough info as dont like wasting my cash!. keep me posted as to improvement, do u have same screen?
     
  7. sekrof

    sekrof
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    No I have a Panasonic TH-42PWD3 Plasma Screen - but the principle should be the same which ever screen - i.e. will a scanner improve the picture - from my reading & discussions so far, I believe (hope) so - especially using an RBG break out cable instead of a straight SCART/composite feed. :thumbsup:
     
  8. sparkz

    sparkz
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    sekrof: I received my scart->rgbs cable last week and that in itself made a noticeable difference to the svideo I was using before. :D

    baldybonce: Rather than relying on Sevenoaks I'd ask an expert on scalers. Many can be found in this forum. Gordon et al.
     
  9. baldybonce

    baldybonce
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    sparkz: thanks for the advice,

    Here goes: Gordon, can you throw some light on the subject above as am a bit confused by the need for scalers or not. The picture I recieve on the screen for dvd is great but as mentioned above Sky and PS2 and not that great. With a scaler would it make that much difference to warrent spending 1k.
    3910 is fed through HDMI and understand this has a built in scaler and reading other threads you cannot use a scaler on this unit. Sky is connected via RGB scart and PS2 through RGB component with sound fed to 3803 via optical lead.
    Have looked briefely at iscan hd+ and will wait for sekrof's response after tuesday as to the improvement he acheived. Need a bit of advice from the people that know about these units, ie ease of set up, which one to purchase. I am not that clued up with all the technical lingo!
    Look forward to more input on this, thanks in advance
     
  10. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Baldybonce

    I'd respectfully suggest the boys at the local dealership you spoke too have never seen a decent Video Processor doing its stuff!

    The XDE is not the perfect partner for a Video Processor as you can never fully bypass the R05 Media Box – its HDMI Input is not capable of inputting a 768P signal; you are always limited to inputting a 720P signal and letting the Media Receiver convert 720 lines to 768 lines.

    That said the overall improvement in picture processing, signal adjustments and even just basic things like resizing the input signal (there's little or no adjustment in an XDE to resize the input signal) mean that once you use a decent Video Processor with your XDE your unlikely to go back to not using one.

    SKY will benefit big time – though you'll still see the good, the bad and the ugly channels. PS2 can be hit and miss – some folk find the video delay the processor introduces is a no-no with certain action games.

    For processing SD signals and not having a requirement for a Digital Audio Delay (the AVR-3805 you mention already has that feature covered) a Lumagen VisionDVI (UK SRP £815.00) will be ideal for you.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  11. sekrof

    sekrof
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    Sorry balbybounce, but Sky installers have let me down - it was raining (surprise), and they couldn't risk getting on the roof (!) therefore I won't have the system to test now until Jan 17th (f**king t**sers!!!!!!).
    :mad: :rolleyes: :thumbsdow

    Makes you wonder how they cope when they get that stuff called 'moving air' (!) ... arh, but then again, they are full of that already. :D
     
  12. sekrof

    sekrof
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    sparkz, do you know whether the cable will work with a standard panasonic sky digibox ?

    I tried plugging in the Scart->RBGS cable to my HD+, but I didn't get any picture out. Probably the old (2001) Panasonic Digibox not able to output via a scart->rgbs lead. ?
     
  13. baldybonce

    baldybonce
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    No prob Sekrof, rain was an excuse, pub more important than your digital pleasure!
     
  14. sparkz

    sparkz
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    AFAIK the original Sky digibox should have the same capability with RGB output. Stupid question maybe but is the "RGB" (RGB or PAL) option set in the Sky Display menu?

    Have a look at the HD+ Configuration/Information menu. See what input it thinks it has. This might throw some light on the situation. It should say something like:

    Input Status
    Video source: RGBS 1 (if you've used component 1 - on the bottom) else RGBS 2
    Signal type: 576i
    Audio source:
    ...

    That's a bummer about the next available date for Sky+! Surely they could have done better than that when it's not even your fault? :thumbsdow
     
  15. sekrof

    sekrof
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    Thanks Sparkz, I'll have another go with the digibox. I did check that it was set to output RGB and not PAL, but maybe it requires a hard-reboot in order to change?. I'll see what I find.

    Don't get me going about the Sky+ (!) ... (opps, too late) ... the attitude I received from their customer service (joke!) department was aweful, if not damn-right rude! "We cannot be held responsible for the weather!" (err - neither can I!! but I don't have 250 quid of your money!!!!!!) "We cannot predict the weather" (but surely you could anticipate that it might rain, this being the UK? and plan for it you moron).... etc etc. It makes my blood boil when scum like Sky are making money and don't have the decency to respect the customers who are giving it to them. W**kers!.
     
  16. sekrof

    sekrof
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    Thank you once again sparkz - I went away and had another play ... here's what happened:

    Check this again, made sure I 'saved' the options selected, hard repowered the panny digibox. Nothing on screen - blue.

    The HD+ reports that it recognises that RGBS is present, but reports no signal. When I pull the 'Sync' (Yellow) lead out of the HD+ is reports 'Passthru' as the signal, and I see random garbage on screen.

    Could it simply be the SCART->RGBS cable that I have, it has a very nice weighty Scart connector, excellent sheilding, and 4 phono plugs on the other end Red Green Blue & Yellow.

    I purchased the lead from Keene's, it was described thus: "SCART TO 4 PHONO RGB TTL SYNC (C2RGB OUT) (2.0M)" http://www.keene.co.uk/pages/cat/11lea/11F.html

    Wrong Lead, or bad/old digitbox ??
     
  17. sparkz

    sparkz
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    sekrof: You may have needed this one.

    I got my scart->rgbs from Lektropacks - code PSCRGBSO-P but it's a bit more expensive.

    If you want to check the connections on your cable I can give you my connections details.
     
  18. sekrof

    sekrof
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    Thank you sparkz - I think you maybe right, wrong sync on the cable - DoH! I've ordered up the same one as you to be sure, I'm sure the other cable will come in handy some day. Thanks for the offer of a connection detail swap! But if you'd ever seen my soldering skills you'd think twice about asking me to start opening electrical leads :D
     
  19. sekrof

    sekrof
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    Just a quick follow up. I received the cable from Letropacks fine (after the lenghty Christmas break), plugged it in, configured the digibox to RGB and wollah - wow! What a picture improvement!! I only had it via composite before, via the HD+, but now the picture is absolutely crystal! Couple this with the 720p-50 mode of the HD+, a quick run through of the DVE DVD and blimey! what a difference.

    So in order to confirm the original post, yes, this combination adds a considerable improvement to straight-thru connections.

    One thing still puzzels me is a setting on the digibox (well Sky+ to be precise). In the Settings Menu (Sky+), under "display" it mentions an option called "SCART Control" with values of "On or Off". Does anyone know what this does/means?
     
  20. sparkz

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    Glad you've got a better picture after all that! :thumbsup:

    As for scart control. There are certain pins (8 and 16) on the scart which are used to indicate various states of the box (standby, widescreen play, etc). As these are not connected to anything on the cable it will not make any difference.
     
  21. Chris5

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    trouble is that if you disable the option on the sky menu then you seem to lose RGB output
     
  22. sekrof

    sekrof
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    That's odd Chris, cos I set mine to OFF, and it all seems fine, but then again, if there is nothing coming out of pins 8 & 16, then maybe it doesn't effect anything ?

    Thanks Sparkz.
     
  23. sparkz

    sparkz
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    As far as I'm aware it doesn't actually change the picture transmission. The issue is one of the status. If you're using a scart connection, this may confuse the TV into thinking there isn't a RGB signal present.
     
  24. sekrof

    sekrof
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    arh, mines feeding directly via RGBS to the HD+, so maybe this is a little more intelligent?
     
  25. Stonedragon

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    When I saw this thread I was really pleased because I'm thinking of going down the scalar route, but had some very 'disturbing information' :confused: I'll explain in a minute, but to put things in context I have a Philips 42PF9966 and a SKY+ box. Now the set up I have is producing very good results. Really. The colour is fantastic, no halos, artifacts or problems with moving images :) However never being 100% satisfied, I'm thinking if it is this good with just an ordinary feed, cor blimey things would be a knock out with a scaler.
    Well that was my reasoning until talking to CRT Projectors on the phone. The dealer told me that most enhancers, scalers etc DO NOT WORK well on plasmas because the scaler inside the plasma will always undo the work the external scaler has performed. Then he went on about that pixel sizes on most plasma dont allow the scaler to perfom some kind of 1:1 pixel mapping as another reason. Finally he said scalars weren't plug and play and that they were incredibly difficult to configure properly. In short he said I would be wasting my money buying one. Now to be fair, he is a salesman that sells scalers, so I'm inclined to give him the benefit of doubt. But what I cant understand is that I see so many scalars being advertised as product enhancements to plasmas. So is everybody lying? Is this a case of the Emperors clothes?

    We then went on to discuss dvd players and he said that with the right mpeg decoder a 'cheap' (£200-600) player could outperform an expensive dvd player (he used meridian as an example) as far a PQ was concerned because they use poor mpeg decoders. Now from what this guy has said he is either very enlightened and honest or he is a complete 'madman'. Which? Any views on his comments? I would very much like to buy a scalar, but I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing and would appreciate anybodys experience. :lease: :lease:
     
  26. loonatic

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    Was that Henry or James you spoke to ?

    I would say they are kinda correct but not completely...remember that they do not sell nor deal with plasma screens...they are mainly CRT projector based historically and in that area they are masters.

    That said I would say that the majority of plasma screens available would not benefit greatly from an external scaler for various reasons...either they do not have the correct connectivity...or provide support for the necessary resolutions and refresh rates...or they screw around too much with the signal once they have received it.

    To get the best from an external scaler you really want to be feeding the it the best possible signal you can...ideally that means SDI, followed by interlaced HDMI, interlaced YUV, RGBs...but a digital signal is preferable.

    Then you really want to be feeding the plasma screen it's native resolution...again ideally digitally via DVI or HDMI...to avoid any unnecessary A-D and D-A conversion stages.

    Then you want to make sure that the plasma screen itself is performing as little processing to that signal as possible and that it does not perform its own internal frame rate conversion on the signal...or if it does that it will not introduce and annoying judder.

    If you can achieve the above then the results are really rather good…if you are having trouble with some or all of the above then its not going to work for your configuration...or at least not without its drawbacks/issues which you may or may not find annoying.

    Some examples are the Pioneer TV range of plasma screens will only accept 720p input from an external scaler meaning that the source image has to undergo two scaling stages…one in the scaler to 1280x720 and then again in the panel to either 1024x768 or 1280x768.

    The Panasonic Viera range of plasma TVs have no digital input so you are either forced to use the front mounted VGA socket – nice – or the component inputs which do not support 720p :mad:

    The PW6/7 range of plasma screens will only accept native resolution via their DVI blade at 60Hz meaning any 50Hz sources have to be converted to 60Hz which can introduce judder on panning shots. And their HDMI blade does not seem to offer anything better just yet either.

    The best suited plasma for use with an external scaler at the moment, well that I know of anyhow, is the Pioneer MXE1 range. This is because they have native resolution support via DVI and an FRC setting which allows 50Hz sources to be displayed at 100Hz internally thus eliminating judder.

    Anyway…it’s not as straightforward as saying all scalers are bad with plasma screens…especially as they are about to start selling one called the ‘Plasma Enhancer’ :rolleyes:

    Cheers, Lee
     
  27. Stonedragon

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    loonatic,

    Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated for the time you spent :thumbsup:

    It was Henry. He did say my screen may benefit because of the resolution of 1024*1024 with the DVI connection (compatible with HDMI and HDCP) but from what you say if I go down the scaler route I may be making life more difficult for myself. As I said before, the picture is very good, but I just wanted that more - kinda of 'poor' mans HD in a way. But as you said, with the so called Plasma Enhancer on the way things may change for the better?
     
  28. hornydragon

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    stonedragon your ALIS screen (1024x1024) is a nightmare to use witha scaler as it will always need ALIS'ing by panel that said there was talk of a scaler with an ouput specificly for the ALIS panels but Hitachi ALIS wont accept it properly, not sure if philips will... I think it was a lumagen try asking gordon......
     
  29. Stonedragon

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    Thanks Hornydragon... :)

    I'll let you know what Lumagen says.
     
  30. newbiebie

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    Hi everyone and thanks for this thread on the XDE with scaler.

    I have been looking at the XDE specs lately (comparing them to the Pana HD7's) and if anything it says the (analog) PC input accepts 1024x768 at 60 or 75Hz (not 50), which seems to me to imply that a 720p @ 50 signal will be FRC'ed when converted to native.

    Anyone knows if the Media box will actually FRC a 720p @ 50Hz to 60 (bad for PAL source) or 75 (good).
    Does the HDMI input definitely refuse a 720p @ 75 signal fed from an HD+ scaler?

    Thanks a million.
     

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