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iScan HD - Have a look at this!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by esta56, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. esta56

    esta56
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    Just spotted this:

    http://www.dvdo.com/hd/

    Looking to ship in January but they don't say the price. But with the performance of the iScan Ultra added to a scaler!! This could be good, very good.
     
  2. Dale Adams

    Dale Adams
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    I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about the iScan HD. For starters, you might want to take a look at a thread on this new iScan which is on the AVS Forum. There's quite a bit of information there already (and it may save me a lot of typing :D ).

    Here's the AVS Forum thread:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=338670

    - Dale Adams
     
  3. loonatic

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    Well it certainly sounds interesting.

    I currently have an iScan Ultra and have been very pleased with it except for one thing. When watching live or studio type programs - not films - it seems to slow-down or drop frames (sorry not technical enough to describe properly). Will the HD cure this problem or is it something that all deinterlacers/scalers would suffer from ?

    Also, can you create your own output resolutions like you can on the CS-1 ? so could I create an output of 1366 x 768 to match my screen ? and if so how is this acheived ? the CS-1 has a neat Windows application to do this.

    Lastly, when can we expect to see them available in the UK ? and at what price ?

    Plus how does it compare to the new CenterStage HD ?

    Cheers, Lee
     
  4. Dale Adams

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    The Silicon Image SiI504/MC504 (that's the deinterlacer chip and its companion microcontroller) has a problem when it drops in and out of film-lock. The frame delay for film-lock is 4 frames, but the frame delay for video (i.e., when the motion-adaptive deinterlacer is active) is 3 frames. This can sometimes cause a slight stutter in motion when the deinterlacer goes in and out of film-lock since the frame delay before and after this transition are 1 frame apart. You should never see this if there are no mode changes.

    The iScan HD will fix this. Extra hardware is required for the fix, so it can't be applied to the Ultra. Whether this is exactly what you're seeing or not, I don't know.

    Yes, although you wouldn't need to in your case since there is a predefined resolution which matches your needs. (You may need to slightly tweak the timing, however.) You don't need a PC to do this - it can be done right from the front panel of the unit.

    The US MSRP is $1499 (US dollars), and first availability in the US is currently targeted for the end of January. We do have a UK distributor, but I don't yet know what the projected pricing or availability outside the US is.

    Did you read the AVS Forum thread I referenced above? It has a lot of information on the iScan HD which I'd rather not re-type here. There are comparisons to the CS-1 (which is a superset of the CS-HD) in that thread.

    In a nutshell, the iScan HD will provide more features, higher performance, more I/O, and a lot more system flexibility than the CS-HD. It's much closer to the CS-1, but I think it is really a functional superset of that as well. It's price is about halfway between the CS-HD and CS-1 (based on current US pricing).

    - Dale Adams
     
  5. loonatic

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    Thanks for the comprehensive reply Dale :smashin:

    The stutter you describe sounds like what I am seeing and if the HD cues this then that's excellent news.

    I did browse through the AVS link but it was all a little to technical and all a bit too late in the day for me - I'll have another read later.

    Are OWL still the UK disti for the iScan range ?

    Cheers, Lee
     
  6. Dale Adams

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    You may also want to check the DVDO website at: http://www.dvdo.com/hd/

    It contains an high-level feature list for the iScan HD. (Be sure and go directly to the link above, as the HD page is not reachable otherwise.)

    Yes they are.

    - Dale Adams
     
  7. Chris Bellamy

    Chris Bellamy
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    Hi, Dale,
    Thanks for your frank and informative appraisals on AVS. This looks to be a very interesting and well-featured product.

    I’m not very technical I’m afraid, but has the provision of the progressive 24/25Hz film source-lock mode and facility to move between this and an unlocked frame rate conversion been a very major technical hurdle? I ask just to help me understand, since it seems “bad edits” or film-video transitions have made frame rate conversion of film-based material to an even multiple of the source frame rate rather problematic throughout the video processor market.

    chris
     
  8. Dale Adams

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    Well, it's not a trivial thing to implement. The one thing that's really necessary is an indication of the original progressive film source rate. We may be the only ones who can do this with an SiI504 deinterlacer due to the fact that some of us designed it in the first place. (A couple of the original designers are still at Silicon Image.)

    Bad edits are a problem. There's simply no perfect way to handle this. As long as you can maintain lock on the film source, the conversion to a frame rate which is an integer multiple is fairly straightforward. However, when you lose lock on the film source, the nature of the frame rate conversion changes from being source-locked to unlocked conversion. As long as the conversion is unlocked, you have to repeat or drop frames to maintain the output frame rate. This can cause judder in the output, but outside of true motion compensation, there's not much you can do about that aspect.

    The other aspect of this is how you handle the transitions into and out of source-lock. We've spent a fair amount of time analyzing the different possibilities of where you leave and enter the cadence, and try to make sure we do the right thing (e.g., not repeat a frame too many times). We don't really have any problem re-locking to source once the deinterlacer reacquires lock, although I've read that some other video processors do have this issue. The tricky thing for us was handling the transitions into and out of lock.

    3:2 pulldown is worse to deal with than 2:2 pulldown, simply because there are more phases in the 3:2 cadence than the 2:2 one. With 3:2 PD you have 5 phases to worry about; there are only 2 with 2:2 PD. Of course this type of frame rate conversion is more valuable with 3:2 PD sources (to remove the 3:2 judder), so it was important that we had a solution to the 3:2 PD case.

    - Dale Adams
     
  9. Chris Bellamy

    Chris Bellamy
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    Thanks, Dale, very informative and obviously a very welcome feature!

    Are these "bad edits" that break cadence very prevalent in 576i 50Hz film-based material? I had sort of assumed they were much more common in 480i film-based material, although again I couldnt put a figure to that, and have no sense of whether the problem is reducing in newer discs or not. I know Secrets of Home Theatre had started to log them in reviews, but have only seen a couple of such reviews.

    Also, as a sneaky aside, do you have anything in the near future pipeline to tackle 1080i deinterlacing , or is that not something you're keen to discuss!

    thanks again for taking the time to explain,
    Chris
     
  10. Dale Adams

    Dale Adams
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    I don't know, actually. The vast majority of the program material I have access to here (in the US) is 3:2, not 2:2. While we have some PAL discs and other source material to test with, I'm sure it's not a comprehensive spectrum of what you typically see. The main cause of many of these is editing film-sourced material in the video domain, and I would imagine this would apply to 2:2 sources as well as 3:2, although perhaps not with the latter's regularity.

    This is certainly a problem we know there's interest in. We have things in the works here, but it's our general policy not to comment on unannounced products, so I can't really tell you any more than this.

    - Dale Adams
     
  11. buns

    buns
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    doesnt happen to do sdi does it?
     
  12. Dale Adams

    Dale Adams
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    Yes, it does. That option won't be available right when the product ships, but it should be within a couple of months thereafter.

    - Dale Adams
     
  13. buns

    buns
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    oh thats interesting....... id be very interested in a mid level machine that would do that until the whole situation settles a bit. I will watch and listen carefully

    ad
     
  14. alwyn

    alwyn
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    Question to Dale adams,I have a proceed dvd/cd with a madrigal pvp card .would this new iscan be an improvement on this?
     
  15. Dale Adams

    Dale Adams
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    The new iScan won't play DVDs.

    Seriously, I'm not personally familiar with this combination. I haven't been able to play with one for any length of time, so I'm not sure I can comment too meaningfully.

    The main limitation of the PVP, as I understand it, is that it only outputs a 480p (also 576p?) signal. I.e., it's not a scaler like the iScan HD. So, depending on what type of display you have, there could be a really big difference or not much of one. If you could tell me a bit more about the rest of you system I might be able to comment a bit more.

    One question: The Proceed player doesn't have any type of digital video output, does it? If so, then I'd bet the iScan would be the better choice. If not, then it's an issue of the display digitizing the analog signal from the PVP (assuming you have a fixed-pixel display), or the iScan digitizing it. The iScan HD's scaler is probably as good as that in your display, and may well be a lot better.

    I don't think the Proceed player has a CUE problem, but the PVP probably doesn't fix ICP problems like the iScan will. The iScan almost certainly has better aspect ratio control than the PVP, but your display may handle this to your satisfaction already.

    What type of display are you using?

    - Dale Adams
     
  16. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    ...but originally posted in plasma forums because of usefulness as an option for improving Sky Digital on plasma screens.

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=108898
    This thread contains questions about the unit and answers copied from avsforum.com

    I think this product looks great!

    StooMonster
     
  17. alwyn

    alwyn
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    Thank you for yor reply Dale,the display is the pioneer 504 hde.
     
  18. Stephen Wilde

    Stephen Wilde
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    I'm getting a very good SKY+ picture on a Fuji 5004 with the J. Sim Scart to VGA converter. Is your device likely to show a significant improvement?
    My brother is disappointed with Sky+ on a new Panasonic but he is using a scart to scart connection. He says the VGA input is much clearer.
    Would he be best advised to use your device or just use a VGA converter?
     
  19. Dale Adams

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    The iScan HD has a predefined 1280x768 resolution which should work nicely with your display. If your player is just feeding the Pioneer a 480p or 576p signal, then you should see an improvement if the scaler in the Pioneer isn't first-rate. We've tried the iScan with an older Pioneer model (503) and there was a big difference in scaling quality. I don't know if the 504 has improved on that however, so I can't be sure that you'd see the same improvement with your display.

    - Dale Adams
     
  20. Dale Adams

    Dale Adams
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    We haven't had the opportunity yet to test the iScan HD with the newest Panasonic plasmas. (Does your brother have the 42" (SD or HD?) or 50" model?) I've heard that the scaling section of the Panasonics isn't as good as the Fujitsu, so I suspect the iScan would be an improvement there. I have also noticed a difference between the iScan'd deinterlacing and the Fujitsu's, with the iScan having fewer combing artifacts on film-sourced material.

    I'm not familiar with the converter you mentioned above. Is that a deinterlacer?

    - Dale Adams
     
  21. Stephen Wilde

    Stephen Wilde
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    He has the 50" model but not sure which one. The converter is used to get a signal into a sreen which has no tuner or scart input. I did not think it did any processing but elsewhere I saw it stated that VGA input is better than scart input which is in accordance with what we have seen. The question is whether your device would improve pq any further given that the vga input on broadcast Sky+ movies seems as good as DVD.
    Most domestic plasmas now use scart to scart often through a seperate tuner box so I wonder if that is having an adverse effect on picture quality.
     
  22. tedy

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    Hi Dale,

    The test you did with the 503 was it on NTSC only or PAL as well?The video inputs and outputs of the IScan HD are they RCA or BNC?

    Theodor
     
  23. alwyn

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    Faroudja inform me that they are introducing a special scaler for the uk market,and that it will be available jan/feb 2004.
     
  24. Dale Adams

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    All the 50" panels are going to be HD, not SD, I suspect, so a scaler would ideally be required (rather than a simple doubler).

    I wouldn't think the VGA input would accept anything but a progressive signal with the minimum format type being standard VGA (640x480 @ 60 Hz). I didn't think a Scart connector had anything but an interlaced signal available on it. If this is all true, then this converter would have to include a deinterlacer. What am I missing here?

    - Dale Adams
     
  25. Dale Adams

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    It was NTSC only. The iScan HD's input composite and component input connectors are RCA. The analog output connector is VGA (DB-15).

    - Dale Adams
     
  26. Stephen Wilde

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    Converter details available from www.js-technology.com. The unit involved is the RGB to Plasma VGA converter. Would you expect your device to produce a better picture? I would be willing to run tests for you if you would lend me one of your units.
     
  27. Dale Adams

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    I'm having a hard time figuring out what this device actually does. As nearly as I can tell from the manufacturer's webpage, it simply takes the composite sync signal on a SCART connector and separates the H & V syncs - i.e., it's a sync separator. Am I reading this correctly?

    If so, then how does this possibly work with a VGA input which expects to see a progressive signal with a minimum of VGA timing?

    - Dale Adams
     
  28. Stephen Wilde

    Stephen Wilde
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    Sorry, I cannot answer you. All I can say is that I seem to be getting a much better than normal Sky+ broadcast picture through the D-Sub VGA input.
     
  29. cybersoga

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    The JS Box does not output VGA, it doesn't do scan rate conversion in any way. I think the point that needs to be made is that we really need a scaler that has an RGB scart socket(s), as well as YPbPr RCA component inputs.
     
  30. Dale Adams

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    The iScan HD supports RGBs input via 4 RCA jacks. Both of the 2 component inputs support this. (You can also use YPbPr input by just using 3 of the RCA connectors.) Do you see any problem with this? We didn't have any trouble finding a SCART-to-RCA cable (and we're in the US).

    - Dale Adams
     

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