Crossed purposes?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by zAndy1, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Hi all,
    I'm getting a bit confused about the conflict between having a scaler and an expensive dvd player. I'd like a nice dvd player with dvd audio and SACD but most of them are very expensive. With a scaler most of the expense on the dvd player is surely wasted as the video processing shouldn't ideally be used, there's no point using a DVI output as it's progressive already hence the scaler is wasted. Using a HDMI output makes more sense I suppose as some can be interlaced and fed to a scaler DVI input but again it seems a bit of a waste of an expensive dvd player. So I guess where I'm getting at is , is it better to spend a lot of money on a dvd player with e.g. HDMI output (eg Arcam DV79 or Pioneer 868) or is it better to spend less on the dvd player and use a scaler? Will the Arcam or Pioneer hooked up to a projector via HDMI / DVI be as good as using a scaler with a cheaper dvd player modded to have an SDI output?

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  2. 1ofaKind

    1ofaKind
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    You posted virtually the same question as I was going to ask - mine is reference to plasmas not PJ but same issue.

    I'm look at a HD plasma - (the usually 2 (Panny 42HD or Pioneer 43.) at the moment but I'm always open to suggestions).

    I've been reading with interests posts regarding Denon 3910 (and also Arcam 79 & 868 Pioneer). Now it seems that you can only have the image scaling features using HDMI or DVI (I know the arcam doesn't scale?). However from reading the plasma section it seems using DVI/HDMI on either seems to be a minefield of problems when dealing with 50hz/60hz etc...

    So is it better to get a scaler and then say get a bargain DV88+ or DV89+ and use this rather than wasting money on a higher end DVD player? The scaler / DVD combo is more expensive but probably makes sense with connecting other equipment?

    If I buy a HD panel I'd like to the make the most of it, at the moment with all of these issues it seems the simple mans answer is a decent DVD player and SD panel :rolleyes:
     
  3. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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    An interesting question as I currently have a Denon 3800 and a Iscan HD scaler and have been looking at the 3910 and have been mulling over the exact same issues...

    I was looking at the 3910 as a good universal player with good CD replay but as I only output interlaced YUV from my 3800 I guess that the video side of the 3910 would be very wasted...

    Personaly after having a scaler I would probs say this is the better route as it improves all inputs and will normally outperform most dvd players in terms or scaling and de-interlacing...you also get lots more video tweaking options...

    JJ
     
  4. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Something else I'm also wondering about is how long is a scaler going to be relevant and useful? There's more and more hidef material becoming available, in just over a year Sky will be broadcasting hidef and most likely mainstream movies will be available in some hidef form or other (blueray/HD DVD etc). When that day comes what use is a scaler going to be? There won't be any point upscaling anymore (720p or 1080i look mighty fine anyway!) , there won't be much point deinterlacing 1080i material as how many displays can accept a 1080p signal anyway? All a (current market) scaler will become will be a box for routing hidef signals through with everything being passed through from the input to the output. Am I being unfairly sceptical here or is a year or 2 max really the effective lifespan of current market scalers (at the rate I upgrade stuff that's pretty much irrelevant anyway I suppose!).

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  5. 1ofaKind

    1ofaKind
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    I have spoken to someone who has a 5 series Panny plasma today who bought a Lumagen to scale his Sky and an older DVD recorder. He said the picture difference was well worth the outlay.

    I can see where your coming from regarding the future but if we have HD capable displays (whether plasma or PJ) are we not doing ourselves out of image quality by staying SD.

    It just seems an expensive minefield - I'd be gutted if I bought a 3910 and DVI/HDMI module for plasma and then found it didnt work properly! I suppose at least you have piece of mind in the fact that scalers work (he said hopefully :) )

    I don't know about anyone else but if I get a plasma I expect it to last a fair few years.

    We all end up with black boxes kicking around thats the nature of technology I suppose. I mean I barely use my VCR now (Sky+ is excellent) - never thought I'd say that a couple of years ago - heck I've still got my old Akai VCR from the late 70's - don't know why :D
     
  6. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Andy,

    What do decent scalers do? They process disparate video signals and output them in the ideal configuration for the display device they are attached to and for the programme material.

    What is this processing? Well they take incoming signals in one colour space, fix chroma errors where applicable, de-interlace using appropriate methods, scale (up or down) change refresh rates if required removing 2:3 judder if possible, then output in appropriate colour space and format. Amongst all that they fix overscan and component video level output issues as well as possible gamma issues with sources. Some remove noise from image too. You went to Event1 didn’t you? Remember when we started with the Insurrection clip and the DVD set to 4:3 and film mode off? Remember the MESS the scaling of the image was with the rooftops pumping up and down. Well that’s what happens when you get less than ideal resolution signal to deal with and have to upscale an interlaced field. Remember what a difference we got when the 2:3 detection was put in to allow the scaling to actually work from the full 480lines of resolution from a frame…..well the same thing applies with 1080i. The higher the resolution displays we start using the more you’re going to see these artefacts all over again. With 480line plasma it’s not such an issue but with current HD plasma’s there is going to be a difference and with the 1080 line ones we are bound to get in the next gen (or one after that) it’s going to be obvious too.

    For the next few years..3-5 at least we are going to have SD analogue and digital video output sources as well as HD analogue and digital video sources. These will be various resolutions and refresh rates from source material recorded on film and video and PC graphics. The resolution of our displays is not going to get smaller……it’s going to get bigger. Will our display devices work with all these sources at the ideal rates we want? Will the sources be able to match the ideal characteristics of the displays?

    Do I foresee a need for scalers in our future….er….yes.

    Gordon
    p.s. just my thoughts....
    edit: Regarding the DVD player issue. I have a £1000 hdmi DVDplayer and a £200 ish SDI'd Panny. I'll do thhe demo soon to let you know which is best for video. I can already say for Audio that it's no contest....I'll keep the DV79 ta.
     
  7. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Thanks for the excellent reply Gordon, makes a lot of sense what you have to say there. I'm thinking perhaps a DV79 or Pioneer 868 feeding HDMI interlaced to a scaler might be a very nice solution. I can't imagine the colour space conversion that has to take place with HDMI is going to be visibly inferior to an SDI signal, surely we're splitting hairs there! Only problem is it won't work at the moment as the HDMI signal will be HDCP encrypted I assume?

    Cheers,
    Andy,
     
  8. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    By the way I wasn't arguing as to whether scalers are going to be necessary in the future, I was more concerned with the lifespan of the current scalers on the market when video sources and displays are changing so rapidly at the moment and we're in a period of transition from SD to more and more HD sources and displays. Are the current scalers up to the job?

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  9. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Yes the testing is waiting for HDCP on the scaler. Almost done though.

    The colourspace issues I was mentioning were more to do with HD and SD component(the matrix for turning these to and from RGB is different) and also for RGBcvS. I'm hoping that the HDMI is going to be as good or better than SDI myself....we'll see.

    Gordon
     
  10. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Whether the current ones are up to the job remains to be seen. I think "some" current ones are going to be up for the job for next 3 or 4 years....more if you don't change to higher than 1080P displays (which are going to come).

    Gordon
     
  11. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    mmmmm I wonder which current ones you mean Gordon? lol

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  12. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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  13. cj

    cj
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    Maybe I'm a pessimist, but hardware development moves so fast these days I can't imagine anything staying "state of the art" for very long. With scalers already the next generation of chips will soon be here - the Gennum VXP and Silicon Optix Realta chips will be appearing in products next year which will be a level above anything we currently have. Of course I'll also need a new projector, new plasma, new DVD player etc. etc.
     

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