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Improving 433 mxe - Iscan Ultra?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by philask, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. philask

    philask
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    I know that there are several threads in the archives discussing this but my question is subtly different...

    My current setup:

    Sky Digital -RGB--> John Sims RGB/VGA -VGA--> 433 MXE

    My proposed setup:

    Sky Digital -RGB--> John Sims RGB/YUV -YUV--> iScan Ultra -YUV--> 433 MXE

    -- or --

    Sky Digital -RGB--> John Sims RGB/YUV -YUV--> iScan Ultra -DVI--> 433 MXE (I have the 5002 board)

    I also have my DVD as so:

    Pioneer 757Ai -YUV--> 443 MXE

    First question is:

    1. Am I likely to see a major improvement over my current Sky Digital image?

    2. Which is better from the iScan Ultra to the plasma, YUV (component) or DVI? (I would think DVI).
     
  2. oreoboy13

    oreoboy13
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    Pioneer Native Pixel card KD-PIO768P

    The native pixel card is designed for the current generation 433 and 503MXE plasma's from Pioneer. This scaling solution has been designed with the sole intent of providing the highest quality of playback of video material be it originally from film or video camera. Multiple digital inputs make it compatible with future digital STB's and DVD players. It also features a non-linear stretch mode to help prevent burn in when watching 4:3 material. If you own one of these plasma displays and want the best image quality possible then this is the solution.


    Key Features

    • Flexible inputs support: 2 x Digital DVI with HDCP (upgradable), two Component, RGBHV, S-Video, Composite Video, Analog Audio L,R; Digital Audio PCM;
    • Accepts all HDTV resolutions: 480p, 720p, 1080i/540p.
    • Scaling SDTV and HDTV to Plasma's Native Rate. For Pioneer 433CMX 1024x768 and Pioneer 503CMX 1280x768.
    • Audio propagation delay compensation.
    • Picture adjustment include: brightness, contrast, saturation & hue.
    • Scaler card equipped with advanced, motion assisted de-interlacing algorithm “Clear Matrix Pro”.
    • Non Linear Stretch Mode "Dynamic Stretch Xtreme" (DSX)
    • Film detection with inverse 3:2 or 3:3 telecine. Supports 50Hz/75Hz with PAL sources and 2:2 pull down.
    • Six user programmable input and output aspect ratio settings.
    • Output Refresh rate is 60 Hz or 72 Hz.
    • RS232 port equipped with discrete command protocol compatible with Creston control system.
    • Infra Red Remote Control with "hot" buttons. Discrete IR commands available.
    • DVI, BNC, RCA, DB15 and S-Video connectors for inputs and outputs.

    Key Benefits

    • SDTV and HDTV Scaling to Plasma's Native Resolution
    • User friendly on screen display.
    • All world formats accepted in composite and S-video: NTSC, PAL and SECAM.
    • Firmware upgradeable.
    • Plugs into Plasma internal slot.
    • Easy to install and integrate – Custom Installer’s Dream.
    • No fan noise.
    •Two years parts and labor warranty.



    Technical Specifications

    Inputs:
    • DVI 1.0 (HDCP optional)
    • Standard DVI 1.0 input

    Standards accepted:
    •1080 interlaced 59.94/60 Hz
    • 720 progressive 59.94/60 Hz
    • 480 progressive 59.94/60 Hz

    One Component Standard and High
    Definition Video Inputs for resolution scale:
    3 RCA Female
    Luma: 1 V p-p, @ 75 Ohm terminated
    Pr, Pb: 1 V p-p, @ 75 Ohm terminated
    SDTV: 6.5 MHz bandwidth for Luma 2.5 MHz bandwidth for each
    Pr and Pb Standards accepted: 525 interlaced 59.94 Hz or 625
    interlaced 50 Hz
    HDTV: 37 MHz bandwidth for Luma 18 MHz bandwidth for each Pr and Pb

    Standards accepted:
    1080 interlaced 59.94/60 Hz
    720 progressive 59.94/60 Hz
    480 progressive 59.94/60 Hz

    One RGBHV High Definition Video Input for resolution scale:
    One standard 15 pin Female VGA connector
    R,G,B: 1 V p-p, @ 75 Ohm terminated
    H&V:5 V p-p TTL, positive sync
    HDTV: 37 MHz bandwidth for R,G,B
    S-Video Input for resolution scale:
    Svideo connector - Female
    Luma: 1 V p-p, @ 75 Ohm terminated
    Cr: 1 V p-p, @ 75 Ohm terminated
    6.5 MHz bandwidth for Luma
    4 MHz bandwidth for Chroma

    Standards accepted: NTSC, PAL, PAL-M, SECAM

    Outputs:
    Digital internal interface to Plasma display;

    Scaler Process:
    • Advanced, motion assisted Clear Matrix Pro deinterlacing and scaling algorithm
    • 3:2 pulldown detection processing for 60 Hz rates
    • 2:2 pulldown detection and processing for 72 Hz rate

    Output refresh rates:
    60 HZ and 72 Hz.

    Input Aspect Ratios:
    1.33, 1.66, 1.78, 1.85, 2.00, 2.35;

    Output Aspect Ratios:
    1.33, 1.66, 1.78, 1.85, 2.00, 2.35;

    RS232:
    Discrete controls through the RS232 by PC or similar to Crestron
    CNMSX-PRO unit.

    Infra Red Remote control:
    • The discrete IR codes are available for IR integration.
    • Hot buttons on the IR remote:


    link


    And from what others say on this forum you could do a lot worse than to deal with

    Gordon av
     
  3. Dutch

    Dutch
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    Hello,

    Unfortunately there is still no firm delivery date yet for the KD card - I don't expect it within the next 3 months at least. As for using the iScan Ultra with the 433MXE, I think people have had varying results with it. Maybe you could find a friendly dealer that would lend you one for a home audition. Also consider Aurora's cards for the Pioneer plasmas which are somewhat cheaper than the KD one - they should have a competing card for the KD one, out by November.

    Steve
     
  4. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Don't know about the Iscan but I can say that for last few days I've had DVI out of my HD-Leeza to the MXE. Flicking from HD15 to DVI input you can see obvious improvement in detail and punch to my eyes. This is at 1024 x 768 res 60Hz. Before everyone gets too excited I can say that there are still some issues I need to resolve before I proclaim this the second coming......

    Gordon
     
  5. briandzo

    briandzo
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    I think the DVI output of the iscan is NTSC only.

    Not a major problem as the 433 can accept this signal.

    but this means sky would be internally converted to a ntsc signal.
    These conversions can cause problems.
     
  6. philask

    philask
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    Yeah, I thought this too so I would probably stick to component... Are you happy with your iscan ultra? I was also looking at the brite-view 'cause that can do 720p....
     
  7. StooMonster

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    720p, doesn't that make it a scaler and not a deinterlacer? Better to compare like-for-like.

    One plus for the iScan Ultra is the chroma filter that removes chroma problems from Sky digital.

    StooMonster
     
  8. briandzo

    briandzo
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    Philip

    I am happy with my iscan. I only use it for sky digital.
    It's razor sharp. Ive commented on many previous threads about its pro's and cons.

    The only 'major' downside i seem to experience is
    occasional frame lag. eg when theres movement in a scene you get tempory judder. I will say that in an hours viewing this may happen 2 or 3 times(only for a split second).
    i havnt been able to pinpoint why.

    i have the same deinterlacer chip in my dvd player and this doesnt exhibit any such problem.

    ive put it down to some sky programs being more compressed than others.

    but as for image performance ive never seen sharper images on any domestic display. Sky is otherwise faultless.

    all be it a 'fault' this setup does have.

    if any other users experience this too then please comment.

    i use a breakout cable 'YUV' fed to my amp.
     
  9. Dale Adams

    Dale Adams
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    The iScan Ultra's DVI output is definitely not NTSC only. With a PAL source, the DVI output will produce a 720x576 resolution, 50 Hz progressive signal.

    With NTSC sources you have the option to output a 640x480 or 720x480 60Hz signal. The 640 pixels/line option is not available with PAL sources as the 640x480 option is only there to make the signal more 'VGA-like'.

    You're not the only person who has thought the Ultra didn't support PAL source on the DVI output, as there's an error in the Ultra's user manual.

    - Dale Adams
    DVDO Home Theater Products
    by Anchor Bay Technlogies, Inc.
     
  10. philask

    philask
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    Cool... So Dale would you recommend connection by DVI or component?
     
  11. Urotsukidoji

    Urotsukidoji
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    Welcome Dale,

    So I cant upconvert all my gear to component via my denon a1sr and then feed the component out to the iscan ultra and then use the DVI output to my plasma?
     
  12. Dale Adams

    Dale Adams
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    Philip,

    If you have a digital display (plasma, LCD, etc.) with a DVI input, then I'd definitely recommend that you use the DVI output of Ultra. There's no sense in introducing an extra set of digital-to-analog-to-digital conversions if you don't have to. I'm assuming here that your display can handle a 720x576 input signal on DVI. Many displays can't, and either show no output at all with such an input signal or interpret it as an SVGA (800x600) format and produce a reduced image size.

    Also note that there are a couple of the iScan Ultra's functions that are not available with the DVI output - Y/C delay and sharpening. The reason for this is that the hardware for these is actually located in the iScan's DAC chip, and so cannot be used for the all-digital DVI output.

    - Dale Adams
     
  13. Dale Adams

    Dale Adams
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    I don't see any reason why you couldn't do this. The iScan Ultra will accept an NTSC or PAL interlaced component input, deinterlace it, and send the progressive signal out either the analog or DVI port.

    However, if you have a progressive or high-definition component signal, then the iScan can't process it. You could feed such a signal to the iScan's pass-through input, but then it wouldn't be available at the DVI output as the pass-through signal only is forwarded to the analog output.

    - Dale Adams
     
  14. briandzo

    briandzo
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    Dale

    welcome to the forums.

    Could you possibly comment on my other iscan queries listed above. (the judderring etc)

    i need reassuring that this isnt an individual unit fault.
    if it is a fault then its still in warranty.

    thanks
     
  15. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Brian, in another thread we discussed the fact that mine does the same too -- so i don't think that it's an individual unit.

    But other kit that we have between us or seen in action -- that use the same chipset -- does not have the problem. (e.g. Arcam and Denon DVD players, CenterStage scalers, etc.)

    I wonder if it's a setting?

    Also, there can be problems with fast scrolling text (either horizontal or vertical) over the top of complex moving images -- never see the same problem on my Arcam FMJ DV27+.

    StooMonster
     
  16. Dale Adams

    Dale Adams
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    I'm not directly familiar with Sky Digital as I'm in the USA. However, there is a issue similar to what you describe on some of our digital satellite systems here (e.g., DirectTV). This problem is actually in the video source and is not caused by the iScan.

    Here's the problem: On some channels, they've shortened the active program time to squeeze the program material into a shorter period. (I suspect this is to increase the time available for commercial advertisements.) They do this by periodically dropping a frame. This generally goes unnoticed if there isn't much motion in the image when a frame is dropped. However, when there is motion, particuarly something like a smooth pan or an object moving at a regular speed across the screen, then a dropped frame appears as a stutter or jerk in the motion.

    I don't know if Sky Digital does the same thing or not.

    One other problem that can occur is when the iScan drops into or out of lock on a progressive source sequence (i.e., 2:2 pulldown or 3:2 pulldown). This can sometimes cause a 1-frame stutter in the image. This doesn't typically happen on scenes with a good deal of motion (such as pans) since the iScan usually maintains lock on the original progressive sequence in cases like this.

    We haven't ever seen a problem such as you describe that we could track to a fault in one individual unit, so I don't think you have a faulty iScan.

    - Dale Adams
     
  17. Dale Adams

    Dale Adams
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    I can understand why you may not see a problem such as I described in the previous post on a DVD player, as the signal quality into the deinterlacer is generally much better than that from over-the-air or satellite broadcasts. Because of this, the deinterlacer is not likely to be dropping into and out of source lock nearly as much. I don't understand why you wouldn't see the same problem with a CenterStage CS-series scaler, however, as it uses the same deinterlacer and even the same video decoder as the iScan Ultra.

    There aren't any settings that I'm aware of that could cause (or cure) this problem. Most equipment which uses an SiI504 deinterlacer use the same settings for the 504 (with the possible exception of a setting for 'video' or 'film' mode).

    Scrolling text which is overlaid on top of a 2:2 pulldown source can sometimes be a problem. The issue is that the text is generated without respect to the 2:2 PD pattern. If the iScan locks to the 2:2 PD pattern, then the scrolling text will show interlace motion artifacts (i.e., 'combing'). You're much more likely to see this sort of thing on broadcast sources, particularly on commercial advertisements or news shows, than you are on a DVD.

    The occurence of this problem on the Ultra and not your Arcam player may simply be an issue of different source material. Have you ever seen the problem from a DVD source played through the Ultra? If so, does your Arcam player show the same problem on that DVD?

    - Dale Adams
     
  18. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Dale, as I'm sure you've figured out ... Sky Digital is UK's satellite platform, transmitting several hundred channels (many of which in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen) at 720x576i@50Hz at varying bitrates averaging 4Mb/s. Owned by, you guessed it, News Corp.

    RE: your answer to briandzo's post sounds interesting, but may not be the same problem of dropped frames. You see the same thing happens on BBC channels too (on Sky Digital platform), and the BBC doesn't have commercial breaks.

    My description of the problem is that it seems like area of the screen (that is in fast motion) goes into slow motion, and then speeds up to catch up with the rest of the picture; it's not the whole frame.

    For example, sometimes it may be someone's head moving, or a car entering a scene; but not the objects/background around them. I think it nearly always happens to the titles of Voyager when the ship is zooming through space, the ship appears to slow down and then speed up until back in sync with the background.

    It doesn't judder, it's smooth; just strange timing. Perhaps it is dropping in/out of 2:2 pulldown after all?

    I should also say this this is using component input to iScan Ultra -- and I believe Brian is too -- and VGA RGBHV output.

    Thanks for your detailed explaination of the scrolling text issue! And yes I have some television shows on DVD that have the same problem as they do when broadcast. (Horizontal scrolling titles on 'Phoenix Nights' for anyone interested in UK.)

    Dale, I have had an iScan Ultra since they were first available to buy and have championed them on this board because I believe they are excellent pieces of equipment -- I've also contacted technical support and found them to be friendly and helpful. No one reading these posts should be put off by them, it's a couple of niggles not serious problem (and it does only seem to affect Sky) on an otherwise great product.

    StooMonster
     
  19. saabfan

    saabfan
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    So for Pal users :
    -Iscan ultra outputs 720*576@50HX on DVI
    -5002 board does not accept this scan rate on DVI input
    -However, I believe the Aurora A303 (?) card accepts this rate through the DVI input.
    Anyone tried this ?
     
  20. philask

    philask
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    Did I miss something, according to this:

    http://www.avdeals.com/pioneerplasma/pdf/PDA-5002.pdf

    The DVI port supports: 640 x 480, 800 x 600, 1024 x 768 and higher resolutions by compression.
     
  21. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    But it doesn't list 720x480@60Hz (NTSC) or 720x576@50Hz (PAL) does it? It only lists standard "PC" resolutions.

    iScan Ultra has a mode to downscale 720x480@60Hz to 640x480@60Hz to make the unit more compatible with boards like this one; but I think PAL progressive via DVI is out the question with this board.

    StooMonster
     
  22. Dale Adams

    Dale Adams
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    If there's something odd that happens on one area of the image but not on others, particularly if that odd behavior involves variations in motion, then I don't see how it can be the iScan that's doing it. The iScan will treat the entire screen the same way - i.e., either it thinks the source is progressive (2:2 PD) and reassembles fields into frames with no other processing, or it does motion-adaptive deinterlacing. In either case, it never uses pixel data from more than 2 fields at a time to form an output frame, and those 2 fields are always temporally adjacent. (Motion sensing and source-type detection do use data from more than 2 fields, but that data never goes directly into the output image.)

    The behavior you're describing sounds to me like a compression artifact, where the bit rate can't keep up with level of changes in the source and different areas of the image get out of sync with each other. I've seen this sort of thing on poorly mastered DVDs or on digital satellite sources, although it's often the opposite of what you describe - i.e., the background becomes static and later 'catched up' with the foreground objects.

    In any event, it's very curious and I'd really like to understand the root of the problem. Have you ever seen this behavior on a DVD? If so, then I can get that DVD and have a reproducible source to study the problem with.

    - Dale Adams
     
  23. Dale Adams

    Dale Adams
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    I have seen a few projectors with DVI inputs interpret the 720x576 signal from the iScan Ultra as SVGA (800x600) and display the Ultra's output in a smaller frame within the overall projector image. There's also a slight bit of aspect ratio distortion with this mode as the 720x576 image doesn't have square pixels.

    - Dale Adams
     
  24. briandzo

    briandzo
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    Dale Adams

    If you have contacts in the UK,
    then request that they record some shows digitally for you from our sky sat system. I would suggest our two biggest Soaps as starters eastenders and coronation street. You can almost guarantee the said effects everytime.

    Unfortuneately I dont have a DVD recorder otherwise id quite happily send you a recording.

    Naturally you will require a 1:1 recording if these recorders actually work that way.
     
  25. jmack

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    sorry to butt in guys i just managed to get myself a iscan ultra and was planning on connecting it to my toshiba plasma via vga lead straight to vga imput on plasma,

    my component imputs on the plasma are being used for my dvd player.

    i will be connecting ntl digital via a js rgb to yuv converter to iscan, is the way of doing it ok ? can any of you see any problems in my plans?

    is the vga output on the ultra the same as the js rgb to vga box i`m using now ? ie. male or female (hope its the same)

    cheers guys
     
  26. vonhosen

    vonhosen
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    That should be fine.

    I have DVD player to component on Panny plasma

    &

    Sky (thru JS RGB to Component) into Iscan
    with Laserdisc & S-VHS thru the Iscan as well then Iscan VGA out to Plasma VGA in.

    All work fine
     
  27. jmack

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    von
    just reading the iscan manual online what should i set my signal too on the plasma ,sync? rgb colour space etc. anychance you could tell me your settings ?

    cheers
     
  28. vonhosen

    vonhosen
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    My Plasma signal set up is Sync H&V

    On Iscan RGB , H&V (Chroma filter definitely ON)
     
  29. miniman

    miniman
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    Just received my replacement ultra as the last one had a faulty chroma filter and I must say I'm really impressed with the difference in PQ (cheers brian d), it seems to add a more 3D feel to the picture, although I have also noticed the faults in this thread. I just put it down to sky.

    Does anyone know which dvi-d cable to use? is it the single or duel link cable? as I would like to try one (just to see).

    I will be connecting the i-scan to my mxe via a 5002 card
     
  30. Dutch

    Dutch
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    Hi miniman,

    As stated previously on this thread and others, the DVI on the PDA-5002 will not accept 576p, only 480p by luck rather than design. You would need the Aurora A303-HDCP card to accept 576p. Hope this helps. Btw, a single link cable would do for 480p but as dual link ones are only a couple of quid more, it might be wise to get one of those.

    Steve
     

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