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Just sold my HDP, now find I need another scaler, which to get?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by zAndy1, Sep 4, 2004.

  1. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Hi all,
    Well having just sold my Lumagen HDP I now find myself in a situation where I can't connect everything up unless I use a scaler (it's the Qualitv Euro1080 box that's done it!). So I'm going to have to get another scaler by the looks of it (god knows how I'm going to get this past the wife!). Anyway, so I get another Lumagen HDP (Gordon is probably thinking please no!) or do I get a Crystalio? Can anyone in the know explain what the Crystalio can do that the Lumagen HDP can't to explain the significant difference in price? Do I need HD processing as I presume my display devices (Panny HD plasma and probable 1280x720 DLP projector) won't accept a 1080p signal anyway? If it helps I need to connect up the following:-

    Sky+ (RGB and S-video output)
    Philips DVDR75 dvd recorder (RGB & component)
    Denon 3910 (think I'll be getting one of these!)
    Qualitv 1080IR (component & DVI output @ 720p or 1080i)

    I want to use the best possible connection on both my plasma and forthcoming projector (Optoma H77 is on the shortlist) bearing in mind my plasma will only accept a DVI signal at 60hz

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  2. SimonO

    SimonO
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    :oops: !!!!!
     
  3. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    lol, yeah , could only happen to me!

    Andy
     
  4. cj

    cj
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    If you try a Crystalio and don't like it - at least you can get your money back :)
     
  5. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello CJ

    Is that it?

    Lumagen VisionHDP - UK SRP - £1,199.00
    Crystalio VPS-2300 - UK SRP - £2,299.00

    And the only difference is you can send the VPS-2300 back!!!

    I'm sure if anyone wants a Home Trial of a Lumagen product they will find most UK dealers can accommodate that request with a loan unit.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  6. cj

    cj
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    I wasn't making a comparison - that's been done in this forum already, and I've not seen one of the new Lumagens in action. Oh I forgot - the Lumagen is STILL in Beta so it's not a fair comparison etc. etc.

    I think Andy has already done a 3 month(?) 'trial' of a HDP and had to sell it at a loss, so I'd imagine getting his money back if he's still not happy might be important to him this time?
     
  7. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello CJ

    I thought zAndy asked for a comparison of the relative merits of each box and you gave one :)

    Personally I see the Lumagen, DVDO, Crystalio etc products as always being a 'work in Progress' as each manufacturer seems to always be looking to answer their customers drive for more flexibility and usability (they all have 'Update' pages on their respective web sites).

    If zAndy had requested a 'Trial' I'm sure it would have been provided - I'm not the only dealer that keeps products available for Home Demo's (am I?).

    Lumagen currently have Three products in Beta testing and optimising and as far as I'm aware the timetable for release of the first non Beta software release is happening at the pace they had expected at the outset.

    Best regards

    Joe

    PS Lets ask a question then - What's zAndy looking for in the VPS-2300 that wasn't in the VisionHDP?
     
  8. cj

    cj
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    As i said I've not seen a Lumagen or iScan in action - have you seen a Crystalio?

    Here's a merit of the iScan and Crystalio - they both had production firmware in their boxes before they decided to sell them to the general public.

    All "work in progress"? If you think unfinished firmware is the same as providing enhancements to production firmware, then I wish you were my boss - would save me a whole stack of late nights :)

    Cheers,

    Colin

    PS I don't know what Andy is looking for, or if the Crystalio is indeed what he needs. Most people advise "try before you buy" and I'd suggest the same.
     
  9. JimmytheSaint

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    As I've posted before, I have seen all three in action and had a second play with the most recent firmware model of the Lumagen. The Crystalio is still the best performing model of all three at the moment, IMHO and although the Lumagen is STILL apparently beta, all three models are effictively 'work in progress', so I think comparisons can be made!
    As you have already had the Lumagen, I would recommend taking a look at the Crystalio. I believe the RRP is not necessarily what you would have to pay and as has been mentioned before, you would be able to return it should you not be satisfied. It really depends on what requirements you have, so I would demo as many units as possible!
    By the way, unlike some here, I don't sell any of these products. ;)

    Regards

    Yas
     
  10. Joe Fernand

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    Hello cj

    As you say Lumagen have chosen one path to market DVDO and PMS another - though not without the normal level of software glitches I would say.

    A quote from KenB on these Forums on 20-08-04 on his experience with the VPS-2300 - 'The only down-sides I have hit with this product (so far); have been with the stability of the firmware – which is still a little flaky'.

    And have a look at the release notes on the HD Software update page of the DVDO website - you'll see New Features, Enhancements and Bug Fixes! with each release.

    I've seen a PMS Crystalio VPS-2300 - though not had a play with one in my own system; so cant really comment on how or why, as zAndy asks, it justifies the extra outlay.

    I'd say looking at the images and tech spec that features such as front panel display, front panel controls, pre sets for some displays etc will be part of the answer!!!

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  11. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Blimey, stirred things up a bit here haven't I! Ok, here's the story. Yes I've had the Lumagen HDP, I sold it because I decided to concentrate on my HTPC instead. Now I've got the Qualitv hidef receiver and I just plugged it in and it worked it was like a breath of fresh air so I'm going for standalone stuff now. That means most likely a Denon 3910 dvd player (although currently got an SDI RP82 so perhaps might be as well keeping that). So I will have the following equipment:-

    Denon 3910 (DVI/HDMI and component outputs I believe) or Panny RP82 SDI modded
    Qualitv hidef receiver (dvi and component out at 720p or 1080i at 50hz or 60hz depending on the channel)
    Sky+ (RGB and S-video)
    Philips DVD recorder (RGB & s-video)
    Humax digital receiver (RGB and S-video)

    These need feeding to a panny TH42PHD6 which has DVI, component and s-video inputs (**** Joe I still owe you for the dvi board!). Also I need it feeding to a future projector, most likely an Optoma H77 with DVI and component inputs. I'm just trying to ensure I can connect stuff up the best way possible and can't figure out a way of doing it without bringing a scaler into the equation (perhaps I haven't thought about it enough though!). I'm open minded as to which scaler (if any) I get next, but for now I'm going to sit down and try and figure out if I can connect all this up without the added expense of a scaler, if I can't then I'll have to get one, then it will come down to which one can do what I want, for example the qualitv box outputs 50hz over DVI for Euro1080 which the panny plasma dvi board won't accept so the scaler will have to be able to convert 1080i DVI 50hz to 1080i DVI 60hz (unless I decide to just use component with the Qualitv box which might be an option). Obviously I've got some thinking to do which is what I'm going to do tonight and go from there...

    Cheers,
    Andy
     
  12. SimonO

    SimonO
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    I thought the Lumagen was the only one that will have HDCP available, albeit via a future firmware update..? The Crystalio will be a return to factory upgrade for HDCP and the iScan HD is not upgradeable... This will be an issue if you decide to go the Denon/HDMI route...

    I would still recommend the Lumagen and run the plasma from the analogue outputs and the PJ via the digital outputs...

    BTW my plasma will do 50Hz via DVI, but there's no HDCP!!! :rolleyes:
     
  13. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Ok, now that's confused things even more.. so are we saying that e.g. the Denon dvd player if I route it's DVI or HDMI output via a scaler it won't work as it will be HDCP protected? That is until such time as the scaler is upgraded to make it HDPC compliant which is on the cards for the lumagen in the form of a firmware upgrade and for the Crystalio as a hardware upgrade of some sort, have I got that correct? I like the fact you have switchable DVI/HDMI output on the denon for use with a plasma and projector but if I use that I've lost the DVI input on the projector and plasma, I can then send Euro1080 to the plasma component inputs which is fine but there's no way to get Euro1080 to the projector then. Bit of a conundrum....

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  14. SimonO

    SimonO
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    Assuming it doesn't suffer any bugs, I think it's safe to say that the Denon will be a fantastic DVD player especially audio wise... BUT if you want to avoid the HDCP issue and you can live with the RP-82's audio (which I don't think is bad at all) then keep it and run it SDI into the Lumagen... Euro1080i via DVI, then you've got 2 x RGBs and 2 x S-Video inputs available for your other bits... 1024 x 768 analogue to the plasma and 1280 x 720 digital to the PJ... I don't think the iScan will output two different resolutions, I'm not sure about the Crystalio...
     
  15. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Hi Andy,

    I'm sure that with some nifty switching and routing there must be a non scaler solution. Unfortunately I go off to USA to see the new toys tomorrow so am busy working and packing today. If I get the chance I'll try to sketch out your issue and come up with a cost effective solution. If I don't manage it today then it's something entertaining to do on the flight.

    PS. I'm sure that the scalers without HDCP will pass through the signals unprocessed. While those with HDCP will actually process, scale and transcode...change refresh rates etc. So if you will need that funcionality then you'll have to look to these for that.
     
  16. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    'Unfortunately I go off to USA to see the new toys tomorrow....' , well if you don't want to go Gordon I'll go for you! Geez have you got the best job in the world or what... any vacancies?

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  17. cj

    cj
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    Hi Joe,

    I don't think we want to get into a quoting peoples experiences with the BETA Lumagens - after all they're still a BETA product. I'm not sure why that's so hard to accept - Lumagen freely admit they're not ready yet, and from what I've just read over at AVForums PAL de-interlacing still isn't what it should be. But that's OK as they're in BETA, and it will be sorted in the release firmware.

    Anyway, I don't sell scalers I just buy them - the more choice for me, the better. In fact I'd like a scaler for my Plasma as well - are you saying the Lumagen's are now ready for me to do a home demo against my Crystalio and the iScan HD/iScan HD+?

    Cheers,

    Colin

     
  18. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Hi Colin,

    The DVI unit should be out of BETA by end of month. The others possibly at same time. Interestingly with firmware as it is whenever Lumagen have had to compare the older units with SIL CO-PRO working against the new ones with their own the new ones are better. They do still have work to do to make it better still, as do all the other manufacturers. So firmware enhancements will continue after they are out of BETA.

    Thanks for asking.

    Gordon
     
  19. gandley

    gandley
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    As a complete noob to scalers and SDI etc could i ask a couple of questions.

    1,
    with say an SDI dvd player the signal is pulled straight from the mpeg decoder, so as long as say its a good decoder will there be a difference in pic between say a SDI modded £400 sony dvd player and for instance SDI modded denon A11?

    2
    Will i gain a better pic with SDI say over HDMI?

    3.
    will PAL pass at 50hz and NTSC 60hz(also without having to manuly set anything on the scaler. will it auto switch)
    4,
    im thinking of buying the new lumagen HD (not pro version) i take it they use there own de-interlacers-scalers etc, and not faroudja,silicon?

    5, will it let me pass interlaced HDMI to the DVI input on the lumagen? and i take it bar the audio side it will be compatable with HDMI to the DVI input.

    6,
    will going to the SDI/lumagen realy give me a good performance gain?

    Thanks for any advice and sorry for nicking the thread
     
  20. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    1: Well that's an interesting point. I've seen the dfference betweeen SDI image from a couple of quality DVD players with different MPEG decoders and there is definately a difference in image quality. How the mod is done also can affect the quality of the remaining analogue video outputs.

    2: No one knows yet as no-one has had the chance to compare HDMIvSDI out of the same player. We should know soon though on a player by player basis. (estimate 10 days for this info with luck)

    3: It is possible to set the Lumagens to auto-load different output resolutoins/refresh rates based on whether incoming signal is 50 or 60Hz. This is set up during initial installation then is seamless and requires no intervention.

    4: For SD material they currently use a SIL504 chipset but they don;t use SIL's co-processor they are doing this part themselves. They have stated that they may disable the SIL504 and use their own proprietry motion adaptive de-interlacinig in the future if they have enough processing gates left and if they can do it to a better level than the chip based solution from SIL. HD processing will be with their own algorithms. Scaling is done in fpga's with their own code too.

    5: That's the plan.

    6: Depends on how good the analogue output is of your chosen DVD player, how bg a screen you have (and it's resolution) and how far away you sit from it. Generally I'd say that SDI should offer an improvement.

    Hope this is of use,

    Gordon
     
  21. gandley

    gandley
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    Thanks for the time Gordon, much to think about :confused:

    I like the idear of a scaler because i guess it will boost pic quality of my other sources and make the most of the sim2.

    Looks like i`ll try and demo somewhere or get a home trial..(where)
     
  22. _Sin

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    Regarding the first point on different players having varying quality SDI output - I'd imagine one other thing to factor in is the quality of the drive mechanism and machine firmware. A good player may have a top-notch mech with good buffering, and solid, responsive software. So layer-changes and dirty/scratched DVDs will be less of a problem than on a cheaper model where corners have been cut. Pausing, rewinding, and skipping forward might be faster and smoother. Navigating menus is that bit faster - etc.

    Having been presented with numerous DVDs by friends with cheap players and told "oh, this DVD is bad, it doesn't play back on my player" or "this DVD skips a bit in the middle" only to find that my unit plays them flawlessly, I'm glad I spent a bit more.

    Also, even with the same decoder hardware, there could be differences it's programming or usage which would affect the output.

    I'll certainly be testing out these kind of features next time I'm shopping for a DVD player, even if I think it's got a good decoder.
     
  23. xa200

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    Hi , i am quite new to scalers and would like to ask.
    On the visionhdp will it be possible to output one resolution to dvi and a different resolution to analog. Also if you input a progessive signal will it just be scaled and nothing else.
    thanks
     
  24. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    xa200: Yes you can set up different outputs on DVI and analogue but it wont do both at the same time. If you want to input a progressive signal it will just be scaled if that's all you want.

    Gordon
     
  25. xa200

    xa200
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    So Would you need to change the output each time. ie. if i have my projector connected to the component and my plasma through dvi how would the scaler know which output i would be using or would i need to manualy change it everytime i change output.
     
  26. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I will test this somehow but I guess that when the DVI display is inactive it knows to change to analogue output resolution...or they may just have implimented both being active at different resolutions and not told me. It was something that was discussed.....

    When I get home I'll see what I can rig up..

    Gordon
     
  27. xa200

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    I am currently using a dvd32r with an av192 with a psm module would the picture quality increase dramatically by using a visionhdp to a sony vw12ht and a p50xha10es.
    Also how much is the visionhdp likely to cost and when will the firmware software be ready.
    regards
     
  28. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Speak to the dealers on pricing. The SRP is £1199. Don;t have specific date for firmware of HDP being called "production".I'd say its close....

    Gordon
     
  29. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    xa200

    How flexible is the DVI input on your PlasmaTV? - some of the Fujitsu panels have some fairly odd quirks when inputting DVI signals; like not showing 50Hz signals in colour and not displaying some resolutions in full screen mode.

    You may also want to consider bypassing the PSM192 module and inputting Interlaced into the VisionHDP - deinterlacing in the external processor may be a better option for you.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  30. xa200

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    I have never had a problem running the fujitsu plasma through dvi, using a pal or ntsc progressive signal, via the psm module.
    I would rather use the video switching that the av192 provides as the vision hdp does not have sufficient inputs to cover all my equipment. I do have the option of switching off the psm video processing in the tag's menu, to see which is the best option.
    After researching video scalers a bit, it seems that the Crystalio VPS-2300 is the best budget class model, although i am not to keen on the lack of on screen menu. I would rather get the vision hdp as it is half the price and has osd, but there is a question of quality and ghosting at the moment.
     

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