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ISF Calibration, Scalers, HDTV, Upgrades, £££'s!?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Xstyle, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    I have the Pioneer 435XDE, only 1 months use... so I'm aware it needs "running in" for a couple hundred hours before it's worth getting the ISF calibration.
    I have used the DVE discs ... however it did not really make much difference to the PQ / shades etc.
    It IS a good picture already ... but I am a perfectionist (and I know that means £££'s! :eek: )

    Eitzel has commented he uses a Lumagen DVI scaler, and this does make the blacks even more black and improves PQ further.

    With Sky High Def coming out soon... will a scaler like the Lumagen DVI be much use?

    Another option is to buy the 436XDE ... but opinions from retailers are that although there is a slight improvement in the black tones, it perhaps does not warrant enough to sell the still very good 435XDE at such a loss.

    Also on DVD's... I have the Pioneer 868AVi, connected to the AX5ai amp/receiver via I-Link, and all hooked up to the plasma via HDMI.

    Will the Lumagen improve the HDMI picture??
    or would getting the yet to be released Pioneer DV989, with its inbuilt scalers be a better choice ... IF there is much difference from the 868, that is??

    So many options = more confusion!

    My custom install is not even finished yet, and I'm thinking of upgrading and/or buying more kit!

    The wife will want to kill me! :suicide:

    Cheers,
    Xstyle
     
  2. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Hi Xstyle,

    AFAIK if you want to scale/process hi def video you'll need one of the more expensive lumagens, the HDP or the HDP pro, rather than the DVI.
     
  3. yellowpostit

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    I think one of the retailers on another thread said that there is no point having a scaler with the media box pio's, as the media box does it's own scaling, and overrides extermal scalers. I may have misunderstood, though. I can't find the thread now. It might have been MAW saying it. It was only a couple of days ago.
     
  4. Eitzel

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    The Lumagens will improve picture quality via HDMI.

    The DV-868AVi already has an internal scaler. But this will not be as good as that in an external processor. Go to MENU. Select OPTIONS/ HDMI Settings. Try the different resolutions to see which looks best. Also, another tip. Go to HOME MENU. Select VIDEO ADJUST. Then select MEMORY 1. Set PURE CINEMA to AUTO 2. This setting deinterlaces better than the others. See here:- This is the USA equivalent. It works for the DV-668AV too.

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cgi-...facturer=30&maxprice=0&deInt=0&mpeg=0#Pioneer EliteDV-59AVi (HDMI)

    Also, here are some tips about setting black levels on plasmas from Gordon Fraser:-
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=187849&page=2&highlight=Blacker+Black

    But there really is no substitute for ISF calibration. Get it done guys!
     
  5. Eitzel

    Eitzel
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    There is a massive point in having an external processor. I see the point every time I watch my plasma! Again, it really is all about getting the gear correctly set up.
    :smashin:
     
  6. yellowpostit

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    Then I did misunderstand, as I had suspected!
     
  7. Eitzel

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    No. The DVI will process and scale HD. But you are sort of right. The component inputs and DVI inputs will accept 720P and 1080i HD signals for de-interlacing and scaling. While film detection is carried out on the SD sources it is not on HD sources in the DVI model. That's when a HDP or HDP pro will be needed. :smashin:
     
  8. X3ELS

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    NOT ELLIOT

    Any dealer who says that there is no point in using an external processor with a Pioneer with media box has obvioulsy not seen a decent video processor feeding the media box.....

    Gordon,
    Convergent-AV, using Elliots log in from CEDIA USA.
     
  9. yellowpostit

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  10. X3ELS

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    Hi Gordon Convergent AV here....

    I think Martins point was more about the fact he thought the Pannny scaler combo more suitable than the XDE scler combo. I'd suggest that as no-one has seen a 436XDE with a scaler it's a pretty pointless comparison.

    Gordon
     
  11. yellowpostit

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    I see. So the 435XDE definately improves with a scaler, but the 436XDE might be that good that a scaler would be pointless?

    edit, sorry, maybe that's not what you meant. I think I know what you mean.
     
  12. X3ELS

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    It is very unlikely that the 436 won't be improved by a scaler, the question is, by how much.......
     
  13. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    Would a scaler still benefit when used with Sky's new HD service (with their new box/equipment)?

    And the scaler still improves PQ better than just 868avi on its own (with HDMI to the 435XDE)?

    I really would like to see an ISF calibrated XDE ... and then with a Lumagen scaler, so that I can decide to spend my money on this (money I don't really have... but I want PERFECTION!) ... or sell up and buy the 436XDE ... which I would get ISF'd anyway.
     
  14. yellowpostit

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    Do you think you'll be testing it out when you get a 436?
     
  15. MAW

    MAW
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    I think I was taken out of context, thanks for the vote of confidence Gordon!!! I still stand by saying that the XDE is not the place to start if you want to play with this kit. You should start with a different plasma, one that takes native res. If you must buy XDe's and expect perfection, then a scaler of course will help, but not nearly as much as on say an MXE or PHD. I just do my best to discourage folks who are after video perfection from buying XDE's for this reason. Yes, I'd have tried to dissuade you Sid, but you'd already bought it.
     
  16. Piers

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    Xstyle,

    I've been away for a few days so have only just caught up with this thread.

    A Lumagen scaler should provide a substantial benefit when used with Sky HD (I base this on the benefit that I see with Euro 1080 HD, but until the Sky HD box is released this has to be conjecture).

    Bear in mind that the scaler is doing far more than just de-interlacing / scaling (though it likely does this job better than the scaler in the DVD player or plasma) - it is the extra picture "tweaking" that is possible that gives the greatly improved picture quality.

    As Gordon has said, until we get to see the 436 in the flesh we are all guessing, but I would lay big money that it too can be substantially improved with a Lumagen / ISF calibration.
     
  17. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    With or without the Lumagen... I suppose its too early to say if the DV-989 is much of an improvement over the DV-868?
    What can you tell by looking at the specs though ... its all pretty much the same, tho the 989 weighs almost twice at c. 10kg.

    FutureHome said the 989 does Video Scaling to 1080i, which my XDE can't handle truely? The 868 doesn't scale that much does it?
    And I take it will be possible with a Lumagen (if the previous answer is No)
     
  18. Eitzel

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    Yep. The 868 can scale up to 1080i. It seems that the video processing will be better in the 989 but the 868 is still a very grand beast indeed. Oh, and the 435XDE screen has 1024 X 768 pixels. :D
     
  19. MAW

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    And it does handle 1080i.
     
  20. yellowpostit

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    Sorry MAW, yes I think I took you a bit out of context - apologies for that!
     
  21. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    The Lumagen HDP has 2 HDMI's slots ... which I'll need for Sky HD and 1 for the DV-868.

    How much difference does the scaler make to the blacks though?? It's not going to make the grey screen any more black than it is, cos it is grey
    ...or is it possible to get the 435XDE pretty close to the screen when it is on standby (almost same colour as surround!)??

    :confused:
     
  22. Eitzel

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    My blacks do look great. I'm really very happy with them and on some discs, such as "Sin City" the blacks are just stunning. Correct set up is so vital for black with the XDEs. Back to ISF. Also, in the near future, Lumagen plan to add "Input Black Enhance" to one of their software updates. This will expand the lowest 2% of the input range and will help black backgrounds appear darker.
     
  23. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    can u put up an unmodified screen shot?
    I am thinking its best to get the Lumagen HDP and ISF my 435xde rather than sell it for the 436xde with ISF.
    :rolleyes:
     
  24. Eitzel

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    There is no point in putting up screen shots. The only way to assess things is to see the gear in the environment that it was calibrated for. You clearly have the jitters. You have to decide on either keeping the 435 and getting a Lumagen and ISF calibration or waiting a few weeks and checking out the 436 and then making a decision. At least then you've had a look at the new screen before making a move. I've no doubt though that either screen will be better off with a video processor and ISF calibration is a no brainer. It makes no sense to me to pay a lot of money for a screen and then not to get the best out of it. If it was me, I'd wait and have a look at the 436 first. But the choice is yours. Only you can make it. Take your time because then you'll have to live with it. Fun all this, isn't it?! :rotfl:
     
  25. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    It is fun... but I've decided to keep the 435XDE... as getting the 436XDE would mean:
    - loss of £1000 on the 435XDE for only 6 weeks use
    - another £400 to spend on the 436XDE
    - Pay more money to make sure the smaller 436XDE fits in my wall & make a surround for it ... while the 435XDE looks perfect as it is built into my wall.

    Save the money (that I don't really have!) and get the Lumagen HDP and ISF at same time.

    Therefore there's no point in getting the Pio DV-989 player...


    I'm going to another user's house 2moro evening to have a look at his ISF calibrated 435XDE ... taking my 868 with me, as he wants to see the PQ with it.
    I'm sure this trip would cement in about the ISF positives!
     
  26. Eitzel

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    That all sounds great. :smashin:
     
  27. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    Thanks to "Hillster" for the viewing of his screen last night :thumbsup:

    The screen was ISF'd by Piers in April, and took around 5 hours!
    On the print-out there were a few graphs which looked pretty, although I had no idea how to interpret them!

    My first impressions were that the tones in the picture were spot on ... made me realise I had too much colour in mine (and that was after me using DVE!)

    TBH, I wasn't too impressed with the black level... as it was still dark grey, thats a fact we simply cannot escape from with the 435XDE (I wander what the 434 was like!)

    SKY:
    We viewed Sky+ and the picture was good on the higher bitrate channels like BBC and Sky Sports. Footy on ITV (the Bolton UEFA match) was also good, and Hillster assured me football matches on Sky are even better (I've always been satisfied with mine for this too).

    DVD:
    Later the 868 player was hooked up via HDMI playing various dvd's. The detail in the picture was crystal clear. The cinema scope lines in widescreen at the top and bottom were still dark grey, however due to the finer details now visible in the picture, I felt more immersed into it which took my notice away from this problem.
    I was impressed... especially on the Lord of the Rings.

    We then swapped the DVD player for Hillsters' Samsung with HDMI, and it was still a very good picture, and had we not put on the 868 before that I would've been happy.... but the 868 with the ISF'd 435XDE is a true winner!

    Conclusion:
    Via Sky there is an improvement in the picture, maybe not enough to convince me to spend £250... but watching via DVD/HDMI everything about the picture was alot better, and the details shone through making me almost forget about the blacks, and enjoy the whole experience. The picture was outstanding!!

    Taking everything into consideration, I believe it IS worthwhile treating the 435XDE to the ISF Calibration.

    I'm sure adding the Lumagen scaler will improve both Sky & DVD yet further, which will then make me (hopefully) 99.9% happy ...I'm a perfectionist!!
    :devil:

    Another thing I have to realise is that my plasma has had fairly little viewing time so far, and I believe the PQ gets better the longer it is run-in? Hillster says his is still getting better after a few thousand hours on the clock. ...can only be good news!

    Thanks once again Hillster!! :smashin:

    I hope to "Pimp My Plasma" just before Xmas...

    Would still like to view someone's 435XDE with a Lumagen scaler please... :lease:
     
  28. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    I think, in my instance... Rather than losing money after forking out so much on the 435XDE, I'll make do with the ISF and Lumagen ... then get the 437XDE when it comes out! Only a year away...
     
  29. Eitzel

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    It's a great way to "make do"!!!
     

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