Convince me to buy a Scaler

T800

Well-known Member
I'm interested in scalers, not sure how much of an advantage they are.
Is there any threads/sites that you know of that can give me simple explanations and possible visual proof to the difference they make ?
Which one is the best value for money ?

Cheers
 

UrbanT

Distinguished Member
Although I'm not going to give you advice on scalers (I'm currently in the process of buying one myself but not expert enough to offer advice), I can tell you that its a good idea to post what equipment you have, and what equipment, if any, you are expecting to buy in the near future.

Scalers have varying abilities and your choice can hinge on the kit you own.
 

Welwynnick

Distinguished Member
T800 said:
I'm interested in scalers, not sure how much of an advantage they are.
Is there any threads/sites that you know of that can give me simple explanations and possible visual proof to the difference they make ?
Which one is the best value for money ?

Cheers
This forum is one of the best places to search around, though specific evidence is difficult to find unless you get a demonstration (friend or dealer).

However, what initially convinced me was how much better DVDs looked on my PC compared with a player and TV. It was like looking at a real scene, instead of an approximation of one. It allows you to forget the mechanics of video reproduction and enjoy what is being reproduced.

The scaler market is in a state of flux at the moment, so I wouldn't buy the first you see. There is quite a bit to understand first, but plenty of people here to help. UrbanT is quite right. No scaler is perfect, and the best choice depends on the sources and the display that you plan to use, and the sort of video that you watch.

BR, Nick
 

T800

Well-known Member
Thanks for the reply's, I've put my equipment in my signature.
 

Mark_a

Well-known Member
Which is better than putting your signature on your equipment.

As for a scaler, both your Pany 900 and your Denon player both have scalers built in, so you're already using one or the other, or both. All an external scaler will give you is a better version of what you've already got. Hopefully it would make the picture a little bit nicer to look at. It's up to you at what point the law of diminishing returns kicks in. How much do you want to spend to get that last five or ten percent that may, or may not, be available? Remember, it's possible to spend more on a top end scaler than all the rest of your equipment put together. So are you a picky perfectionist with money to burn, or are you content with what you've got?

Regards

Mark
 

creative-av

Active Member
Mark_a said:
All an external scaler will give you is a better version of what you've already got. Hopefully it would make the picture a little bit nicer to look at.

Well I think a dedicated Video Processor does a little bit more than this and is a lot more advanced & powerful than what you have in your pj and dvd player!

The point of having an external vp is to take the signal you are feeding it and get the best possible output signal to feed your display. The scaling is just a small part of the functionality. The real processing is done in cleaning up the signal, removing as many of the artefacts as possible, giving advanced picture correction.

Current options are:

Iscan VP30+ABT card, approx £1300. The best SD scaler out at the moment but as you have SkyHD and if you plan on getting a HD player probably a bit of a waste.

LumagenHDQ, SRP £1595. Superb HD film & video and SD film processing. Not as good as the VP30 for SD video processing but not far behind.

Crystalio II, starting SRP £2999. Current top of the range scaler available using the next generation chipsets. Awesome SD & HD processing and adjustments.

I would say the Lumagen probably has the edge with HD film, only just though, but the Crystalio II is the better with SD film & Video & HD Video.

Steve
 

Mark_a

Well-known Member
All of what you say is true, but ultimately no matter how you tart it up, what is does is make the picture a little bit nicer to look at.

And I say this as an owner of a calibrated Lumagen system.

Regards

Mark
 

creative-av

Active Member
Thanks Gordon. Not being affiliated with the VP30 I don't know the exact SRP.

Mark_a - if that is how you want to look at it then that is your opinion.

Steve
 

T800

Well-known Member
I'm a very picky person but don't have a lot of money to burn.

Could a good "vp" make a Sky SD broadcast like Sky Movies look DVD quality or Sky Movies HD look near HD-DVD quality ?

Can they convert analogue to digital like Component - HDMI/DVI ?

Could I use one in conjunction with a HDMI splitter ?

Do they have auto set-up's or is there timely calibration involved ?
 

creative-av

Active Member
T800 said:
I'm a very picky person but don't have a lot of money to burn.

Join the club!

T800 said:
Could a good "vp" make a Sky SD broadcast like Sky Movies look DVD quality or Sky Movies HD look near HD-DVD quality ?

That is subjective. You need to see it to make that decision. The vp will scale the signal to your native res at 50/60hz and will make a difference to what you see just straight out of the Sky box

T800 said:
Can they convert analogue to digital like Component - HDMI/DVI ?

Yes. With the Lumagen you have a combination of analogue and digital inputs and outputs. You can then set it up to output out of one or both. The same is true for the Crystalio II.

T800 said:
Do they have auto set-up's or is there timely calibration involved ?

Setup is not overly complicated for most of the vps. If you purchase one then your dealer can supply the vp with a preconfigured tset of resolutions.

Steve
 

Mark_a

Well-known Member
creative-av said:
Mark_a - if that is how you want to look at it then that is your opinion.

It's not an opinion, it's a fact. A video processor will do nothing but make your TV picture a bit nicer than it was before. It won't change your life, it won't make the tea, and it won't whisper sweet nothings in your ear.

Or perhaps you imagine yours does?

Regards

Mark
 

Madders

Active Member
T800 said:
Could a good "vp" make a Sky SD broadcast like Sky Movies look DVD quality?

If you get an SDI'd Sky+ box and a good scaler I would say yes. So much so in fact that I am in no rush to get Sky HD.
 

NGD Boy

Active Member
Madders said:
If you get an SDI'd Sky+ box and a good scaler I would say yes. So much so in fact that I am in no rush to get Sky HD.

What is SDI'd ?
thanks
Carl
 

T800

Well-known Member
SDI might have been worth if SkyHD wasn't about.
 

Welwynnick

Distinguished Member
Tarbat said:
Does SDI have any advantages over HDMI?
It shouldn't have, but in practice it always seems to be better. The SDI interface captures the digital video data immediately it comes off the MPEG decoder. HDMI ought to be able to carry the same data, but in practice it always seems to go through additional digital signal processing that invariably robs it of the ultimate quality. Some say it's a small difference, some say it's large. It's really for enthusiasts, but most of them won't do without it.

Nick
 
Mark-a,
Hi there,
Your right to a certain extent but your having a very simplistic point of view. VP's do so much more than just make a picture "look nicer" a few examples are things like,shifting the image when needs must. Be it horizontally or vertically and resizing an image again H/V. Changing colours/hues etc also when you say "nicer" thats always a matter of opinion as in i prefer slightly softer images for movies which are a little easier on the eye to watch but if i'm watching the footie i prefer a sharper image which only takes a minute to adjust on my VP.
Don't get me wrong mate i'm not trying to pick a fight but all i'm saying is if you have a nice lumagen video processor you should try playing with it because it will do a lot more than just give you a nice picture. Don't forget to write down your settings first though:rolleyes: :suicide: .
Cheers
John.
 

Mark_a

Well-known Member
BY 'nicer' I mean 'better' and if that means shifting it about to please you then that falls into my definition, I think.

As for messing with it, I think I'll leave it be. It took Gordon several hours to get to where it is now, and I very much doubt I'll be able to improve upon it.

Regards

Mark
 

spurs09

Active Member
Mark_a said:
It's not an opinion, it's a fact. A video processor will do nothing but make your TV picture a bit nicer than it was before. It won't change your life, it won't make the tea, and it won't whisper sweet nothings in your ear.

Or perhaps you imagine yours does?

Regards

Mark

Mark's about right here. When VP's can make tea then they will be a must, as of now they are just plain nice.
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
I'd go with a Lumagen purely for 1080i film processing. The fact that every other signal in your setup will also see substantial improvement is a very happy bonus! It is also the only one at the moment successfully taking 576i out of the Sky HD HDMI output (a good thing as it means the Sky box is not interfering anywhere near as much). All in all, should see substantial improvement.

You will probably need to budget for a couple extra cables (1m HDMI-DVI Sky HD, 1m component for DVD, DVI-DVI to feed 1:2 DVI DA, longer cables to run to the displays) as well as the budget for the DA too.

Also bear in mind only the Lumagen HDP (£1,295) and upwards have per-pixel deinterlacing and inverse telecine for 1080i signals, the VisionDVI (£825) does not have the inverse telecine bit, and current DVDO products do not have anything useful for 1080i processing (although do have leading SD performance).
 

David PluggedIn

Active Member
SDI might have been worth if SkyHD wasn't about.

If only it were that simple :D

The picture quality of Sky SDI is significantly better than the SD quality coming out of Sky HD, so unless you are exclusively watching HD content on Sky (of which there isnt that much at the moment) then SDI is the way to go.
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
Unless of course you have a Lumagen video processor. You can get 576i HDMI which while not quite as good as SDI from a modded box, is more than close enough to save having to run two boxes (one for SD SDI, one for HD HDMI!).

Hoping Crystalio II will have the ability, same for DVDO. But they both seem to be doing EDID differently, and PMS have their hands busy with HDCP. Hoping the DVI detective will do it, but don't have anything to test with yet. So for the moment, if you have a Lumagen processor I think SDI sky box is pointless if you are going to be a Sky HD customer.
 

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