Help needed. Buying kit now but planning scaler in future.

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andrewkay

Guest
Hi

Planning to get my AV equipment, initially without a scaler, but want the option of adding one either in the first few weeks (if there are PQ issues) or at some future date when the technology has improved and the kitty has been replenished.

Equipment Plans: Pioneer PDP436 or Panny TH42PHD8 or Hitachi 42PD7500 (not settled yet). AV Amp, posibly Primare or perhaps Denon - neither likely to have HDMI switching. Source material from DVD with HDMI output and freeview either from sep box or from TV itself. NO DVD selected becuase of the outstanding questions below. Initial plans are for (so called) upscaling DVD using HDMI to give high quality DVD viewing. All in one remote programmed to switch amp and scaler (when I get it) in one go.

I want to avoid changing initial kit if possible when I add the scaler. Any equipment suggestions or recommendations greatfully accepted. Here are my specific questions:-

1. How does it work if you purchase an integrated plasma TV? Should I be going for a Panel only if I plan a scaler?

2. What specific requirement are there for the DVD player if using a scaler?

I have read but not fully understood yet the question of interlaced and progressive etc etc outputs from DVD, but have got the message that the scaler needs the correct type of output to give the true benefits.

3. Does the choice of AV Amp have any bearing on the scaler decision. I am assuming not from what I have read here.

Thanks
Andy
 

Welwynnick

Well-known Member
The most important general requirement is that the source and the display should generate and accept video over HDMI with HDCP at the native resolution and refresh rate for that equipment. That is to try and get all video processing performed in the scaler.

For example, a PAL DVD player should output 576 line interlaced video; or a 768 x 1366 plasma should accept video at 768 x 1366 progresssive at 50Hz. Again, all over HDMI and with HDCP.

That's the only way a scaler will work to the best of it's ability. It doesn't sound too much to expect, does it? Sadly, it's quite a tall order, though.

I wouldn't let video aywhere near an amp. For one reason nor another, none of them seem to handle it properly, yet. (Though that will change given enough time)

Nick
 
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andrewkay

Guest
So no video through the amp at all? How will this work in my first config where I don't have a scaler? I had taken it that video switching would be done by the amp - this what they all seem to rabbit on about, but you are saying 'don't do it'?

Can you tell me what the problem is please?
 

Welwynnick

Well-known Member
andrewkay said:
Can you tell me what the problem is please?
I did generalise, but it is quite a big subject. There is an increasing trend for AV equipment to apply video processing at all stages of the chain. The important parts of the processing are de-interlacing of interlaced video into progressive, and scaling from SD to HD (or panel native resolution). You now get DVD players, AV amps, scalers as well as displays, that are all trying to do the same thing. Displays have to have that capabilty, to enable reasonable connectivity. Everywhere else, it is optional.

The best, though not most convenient place for video processing is in a purpose made scaler. in practice, this always gives the best performance, though some factors contrive to work against it. For example, most upscaling DVD players will not output 576i video over HDMI, and most high definition plamas will not accept native resolution at 50Hz over HDMI ( only over VGA, or at 60Hz, or at 720p....)

Video processing (VP) in AV amps just adds a whole layer of confusion to the equation. In some ways it is very rational to have all the video and audio processing in one box (even if the power amp isn't), but because there are both source and display interfaces involved, that capabilty has to be very versatile to be effective.

What often happens is that the amp only accepts analogue video, or if it is digital, then only at 480i resolution. Equally, the outputs are often limited to 720p and 1080i, which many DVD players output anyway, but which very few plasmas will accept without applying additional internal processing. VP/AP is very immature at the moment, and has a long way to go before it adds any great value.

You're quite right to think carefully about it beforehand, though.

Nick
 
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