is a scaler the answer?

mark rosser

Member
So, the ever present problem of interconnects....:rolleyes:

I am looking for a solution to connecting the following sources to my Pio 506XDE plasma and Marantz VP12S3 PJ:

Virgin Media V+ box (HDMI, 720 & 1080 output)
XBox 360 (Component or VGA, 720 & 1080 output)
Arcam FMJ 27 DVD (Component SD)
Panasonic HDD/DVD recorder (Component SD)

expect to procure (in the fullness of time) HD-DVD or Blu Ray (or both?), maybe even PS3 (plus whatever other gizmo not yet invented that i can't live without!)

Both Pio plasma & Marantz PJ 720P capable.

Currently I am using my Denon AVCA11SR amp as a switch for component, and a manual 'plug and unplug' solution for HDMI between plasma & PJ - which is less than ideal:(

I can see that a scaler such as the Crystallio II, would allow connection of all of my current sources, and then dual output via HDMI to plasma & PJ. This does however come at a price (£3k):eek:

Any other suggestions (other switching devices (Gefen?), new HDMI enabled amp (Sony, Marantz)???).

My key requirements are predominantly ease of use (have to factor in GF, and her current 'joy' of using multiple remote to 'simply watch telly!') and then picture quality - if there are real tangible benefits to using the scaler to improve picture quality above what the plasma and PJ do internally, then i will consider this.

Gordon, Liam, Joe F (or anyone) i would value any proposed solutions...:thumbsup:

cheers,

Mark
 

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hi Mark,

As ANdy says a cross switch would help. If you wanted to improve image from both devices as well then a scaler like a Lumagen HDQ and it's competitors with a 1 in 2 out hdmi/dvi on back end would work as well. The Lumagen has 4 memories per input and can be configured to load the correct ones automatically for 50/60Hz material. This means you can use two memories for one panels 50/60 material and two for the other displays 50/60 material. The only input required from ir control would be to fire off the correct memory command when you started using a different display and the scaler would do the rest

Hope this is of use.

Gordon
 

mark rosser

Member
Hi Gordon,

thanks for the response. I have looked at the spec for the Lumagen HDQ and have a couple of queries:

I can see that it has two SD/HD Component inputs, one of which i could use for the XBox 360 for the 720p output.:thumbsup:

This then appears to leave only one other Component input, but i have two devices (Aracm FMJ27 DVD & Panasonic HDD/DVD recorder) that would connect via Component. Any suggestions???:confused:

I appreciate that the Lumagen has DVI connections (not HDMI) but i assume that i would simply use HDMI to DVI cables (or inline converters)?

I have also done a search for HDMI spitters and found the Gefen 1:2 HDMI Splitter/ Distribution Amplifier, which would appear to suit my requirements. Will any of the picture improvements from the sacler be lost by passing the signal via a splitter?

All, feel free to comment...:smashin:
 

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Ah...good point....I'd probably send svideo from the dvd recorder and component from the Arcam...or you coul dgo nuts and SDI the Arcam for the best DVD playback.

I have had no reports from folk that sending digital output through these distribution amps has caused image quality loss. You are correct that although HDQ has DVI inputs it accepts all HDMI spec colourspaces and all that is required is an hdmi to dvi lead or an adaptor.

Gordon
 

mark rosser

Member
Thanks Gordon,

seem to be getting close to a workable solution here...:thumbsup:

what kind of reduction on quality could i expect if i dropped from component output to s-video from dvd recorder, with the inclusion of the Lumagen in between...

or alternatively, how much would the SDI mod for the Arcam cost???

Finally, what (if any) picture quality difference would you suggest there is between the Lumagen HDQ and the Crystalio II (i can see that the C II, with 2 HDMI outputs, negates the need for a 1:2 HDMI splitter, and uses HDMI ports instead of DVI)

cheers,

Mark
 

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I think it would be inapropriate for me to comment about the performance of other companies products. I can tell you that I think the Lumagens have the best film mode processing and scaling out there along with the best calibration and configuration features.

SDI mods for Arcams...I think you'd need to contact someone like Elliot at PJHIFI in Guildford to see what their current costs are.

Component v Svideo.
Component is Y, then PR PB colour difference signals. The VAST majority of the detail in a colour image is held in the Y part of that. That is the black and white detail. Turn the colour down on your tv and you'll still see virtually all the detail in the image.
Svideo is Y/C This is the same Y (black and white detail) as is in the component signal. The difference is in the C part. It is a compressed version of the PrPb bit. It is a lossy compression so you lose colour detail. However, as I've said above there isn't that much detail in the colour side. It's one of those things that you would have to look at to see whether you could tell any difference yourself.

The third alternative would be to get the Xbox VGA output lead and send that to the DVI-I input of an HDQ (the dvi inputs on HDQ are wired for both analogue and digital signals). It won't accept 1080P rom that but if the VGA dongle for xbox allows you to send 1080i/720p from it via that interface then you solved the issue there.

Gordon
 

jont

Well-known Member
Just to chip in about the SDI mod ... Elliot did mine a few months ago and was around £330 from memory ... gives a stunning SD pic from a player that was no slouch on the component outputs already !!

FWIW I have a Lumagen HDQ and run all my kit through it - SDI for the DV27A, DVI for SkyHD, DVI for my Mac, YPRPB for the SkyHD and XBox 360 and I use an svideo for the OSD for my AV8 ... and use DVI out to my Z4 and RGBHV out to my PHD6 ... very pleased with it and have had a good comments from the odd forum member that has popped round to take a look ...

Hope that helps

Jon
 

mark rosser

Member
Cheers Gordon;)

OK, bit of a curve ball option - any views on the Marantz SR8001 receiver???

it sports 4 HDMI inputs, and 4 Component inputs, 2 HDMI outputs, upscaling, blah, blah....

This would give me everything i need in terms of connectivity in and out, and the added benefit of no additions to the amount of kit to control (GF factor, mainly)

I know there will be some compromise in terms of scaling capability vs. a dedictaed scaler like the Lumagen.

Jon, thanks for the response re the SDI mod for the Arcam, and the use of the Lumagen HDQ (decisions, decisions)

cheers,

Mark
 

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