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Key Digital HDXplorer card for Pioneer PDPMXE1 panels

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by DeanFivo, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. DeanFivo

    DeanFivo
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    Hi Mr. Wilby & TheCrow,

    I have not had much time to update you, but here is a quick status report.

    KD have been working on the first update and I have now briefly tested a beta version of 1.14.
    This expands the steps in "Picture Controls" from +-15 to +-45 and removes that problem.
    A hot key has been added (remote button 0) for toggling the PAL Film mode on/off.
    Remote control sensitivity is improved.
    There was a problem with the remote sensitivity but KD are fine tuning now and should have the final version soon.

    The RGB PAL problem is being looked at for the following release.

    The firmware upgrade is very easy to do with a PC and the supplied cable.
    Basically the same as upgrading any other video processor.

    KD have continued to be helpful in this their progress in fixing these issues is, for me, a good sign.
     
  2. Mr. Wilby

    Mr. Wilby
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    Sounds positive, thanks Dean.

    I hope to test my card with the Pio 868 the weekend after next. Can't wait!

    TheCrow, do let us know how you're getting on :)
     
  3. TheCrow

    TheCrow
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    Hi Guys,

    Firstly I am glad I bought the Xplorer card, using my Pio 868 I am getting superb pictures via HDMI, the best I have ever seen, better than my HTPC which connects at native res' (1280x768/50Hz) via DVI.

    However for the record here are the issues I've come across.

    At the moment the RGBHV input does not accept any 50Hz signals (other inputs are fine) as Dean says this is to be fixed in an update scheduled for mid November. The Pioneer VGA input will accept RGBHV @ 50Hz so that is a fall back until the update (if you are not using it for anything else).

    The composite input gives a poor image, bad colour bleeding and hence poor resolution. The Pioneer 5003 is much better with composite. But I guess no one is going to use composite video into such a high end setup. Component gives a very nice picture but I don't use this at the mo'.

    When connecting my 868 via iLink to my AX10i initiating a HDMI connection to the Xplorer will fail. If I initiate the HDMI connection first everything works OK. This is caused by the Xplorer being upset at not receiving audio over HDMI when it was expecting it (which is what happens when iLink is active on the 868). The immediate update Dean is testing should fix this behaviour.

    I must say Key Digital have been very responsive to questions/problems.
    In fact it is a nice change to deal with a company who is willing to admit to issues and give honest and realistic feedback regarding fixes. I hate big corporate companies who deny the existence of problems and promise immediate updates that don't appear.

    All in all at the moment the card is not perfect but the scheduled updates should address most of these issues.

    PAL film mode (inverse 2:2 pulldown) on a button is a good idea as that really does add the icing to the cake for DVD picture quality. (This will only apply to interlaced signals? I am using 1080i)

    It will be intresting to hear your comments Mr. Wilby
     
  4. Mr. Wilby

    Mr. Wilby
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    Thanks guys, that's excellent info.

    I'm currently using a Yamakawa upscaling DVD player at native res into the plasma, so I'm very keen to see whether the 868 over HDMI betters it. The PQ with the Yamakawa is good, but the usability of the device is not the best (for one thing, the Pio Plasma standard remote signals interfere with the yamakawa dvd!).
     
  5. Baron357

    Baron357
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    I am also a 50MXE1 owner. I see there are problems with 50Hz and the VGA input. Does the same issue arise with S Video? I currently connect my Sky+ box using S Video.
     
  6. TheCrow

    TheCrow
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    No problems with S-Video, Composite, Component or HDMI @ 50Hz it's only the RGBHV. But this will be fixed with a upcoming firmware update. In the short term you can use the Pioneer VGA input (Input #1) for PAL RGBHV @ 50Hz as this still works.

    I have actually been sent V1.15 to try, which fixes my issue with iLink and HDMI and also shows some progress with the RGBHV fix in that it now locks to 50Hz signals but the colours are all wrong. I guess it is still work in progress.
     
  7. Mr. Wilby

    Mr. Wilby
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    I've finally installed my Key Digital card and connected up my new 868 player over HDMI.

    However, I'm seeing some strange looking green & white cross-hatching when I switch to a different input and I'm sure its not supposed to do that. When I try to change back to the HDMI input, I get no picture or then the green cross-hatching persists.

    Anybody seen anything like this?

    I'm sure the card is seated correctly.
     
  8. Mr. Wilby

    Mr. Wilby
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    Somehow (not sure how) have got rid of that green cross-hatching. Seems okay now. Worked out how to get the display to switch to WXGA once I could get in the menu. Picture is now full screen and looking good.

    One problem (I think unrelated to the KD card) is that I cannot get my 868 and 5AXi receiver to handshake correctly over iLink. The two displays keep displaying "Link Check" over and over but neither can see the other (this Link Check mode never ends). I did, albeit briefly see the iLink light come on *once* when I was playing but now I can't get it on at all.

    I will have a read of the receiver forum and see if I can spot anything to sort it out, then I will start playing with the KD card.

    One thing i can say off the bat is that the S-Video appears to be as good as the standard Pioneer card's S-Video. That is a bit of a relief as I use SVid for my Humax 8000T box.
     
  9. Mr. Wilby

    Mr. Wilby
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    All sorted now. Switched iLink cables and the problem went away. The HDMI picture is great. At least as good as the momitsu. Off to try some other dvds now :)
     
  10. flexiondotorg

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    I am very interested in going for a 43MXE1 and HDxplorer card as I really want to get native resolution at 50hz working.

    I have a Lumagen VisionDVI which I want to continue using as my video switch and scaler. How does the scaling in the HDexplorer compare to the VisionDVI?

    I am guessing the can just configure the VisionDVI to output 1024x768@50hz using the DVI-D output use a DVI-D to HDMI cable to connect to one of the HDMI inputs, then HDxplorer will not monkey about with the image?

    Can these cards be sourced in the UK? If not, can you let me know where you ordered yours from?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  11. TheCrow

    TheCrow
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    Hi,

    The HDMI inputs only accept video resolutions 480i/p, 576i/p, 720p and 1080i at 50 and 60Hz.

    They don't accept native resolution of the panel 1024x768 or 1280x768.

    Therefore if you plug your scaler into a HDMI input it will be rescaled by the HDXplorer which is obviously not ideal.

    Not sure if you could get Key Digital to enable native res' via HDMI in a firmware update, but it would be worth asking.

    The Pioneer DVI input will accept native res' at 50Hz but this is not HDCP compliant.

    I ordered mine from Digital Connection in the U.S.

     
  12. flexiondotorg

    flexiondotorg
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    Damn :-(

    Thanks for the info, I did not realise the HDxplorer could not accept native res signals. Real shame that because I have just been to Richer Sounds in Southhampton and agreed a very nice deal on their 43MXE1 should I have wanted it. I am not gonna take it now, so if anyone else in the area is interested get down their fast. It is an in store deal only.
     
  13. TheCrow

    TheCrow
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    Hi Guys,

    Could you double check something for me with the HDMI inputs?

    When I use my Pio' 868 to play DVD-Audio discs I don't see the disc menu via HDMI but it is obviously there via component.
    I switch on the system, initiate iLink and HDMI connections successfully, I see the player OSD when opening the disc tray and inserting the DVD-Audio disc, I see the 868 recognise the media as DVD-A via the OSD but then the screen goes blank. Using the info button on the Xplorer I see I still have a valid signal.
    Using the component input I select a track to play but still no picture via HDMI.
    If I select an extra from the disc that contains video I then see that via HDMI but once it has finished the display goes blank again.

    Can anyone confirm they see the same behaviour with a 868?
    Can anyone try this with a different DVD player?

    Additionally I’ve had an email from Key Digital, they have posted a link for new firmware on there Web Site. Version 1.15 is current but there may be a new version next week. :thumbsup:
     
  14. Mr. Wilby

    Mr. Wilby
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    I would test, but I don't have any DVD-Audio discs... (yet).
     
  15. oliverlim

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    I have emailed their support dept about the hdmi input accepting 1024x768 and 1280 x768 for both 50 and 60hz and they did say that they will look into it. I also have a Lumagen HDP and in certain cases, I want the HDP doing the scaling instead of the HD Explorer. But current as they do not accept native, there is no way to avoid double scaling....

    Perhaps all who want this feature can send them a email as well.

    Oliver
     
  16. Mr. Wilby

    Mr. Wilby
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    Will also mail them.

    If its possible, it would effectively give you 5 native-res digital inputs. That would mean I could buy a dual DVI output card for my HTPC and drive both my PJ and Plasma over DVI.
     
  17. TheCrow

    TheCrow
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    I actually sent them an email a couple of hours ago and requested native res' via HDMI as well.
     
  18. Mr. Wilby

    Mr. Wilby
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    Is anybody getting any joy from KD about the NR over HDMI issue? They are trying to dodge it with me...
     
  19. TheCrow

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    I was told "1024x768p 50/60 hz, 1280x768p 50/60 hz will be added but I am not sure when it will be."
     
  20. oliverlim

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    KD has done this many times before. I do hope that they won't but lets continue to pester them. Although they are saying that 720p into the HD Explorer will still result in better then native input due to a multitude of reasons, I am sure NR into the HD Explorer will result in even better result. Esp if there are better processors coming very soon. =p

    Oliver
     
  21. Mr. Wilby

    Mr. Wilby
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    Sorry, but don't believe that for a second.

    Anyway, here's their latest reply to me:

     
  22. oliverlim

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    Not in the near future sounds like at least 3-4 months. I guess we can probably forget about it. KD seems to have too little programmers but their responses on firmware seem to be really slow as compared to the Lumagen or DVDo folks....

    Oliver
     
  23. TheCrow

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    I think you are being a little unfair on KD.
    I have had two firmware updates from them within the past three weeks.
    I am now up to V1.18

    I don't pretend to know how to program a custom hardware digital video signal processor but I am sure it's not as easy as programming for MS Windows.
     
  24. TheCrow

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    In my experiance this is not true.
    I run my HTPC @ 1280x768 into the Pioneer DVI input.
    I have tried connecting it via an Xplorer HDMI input @ 720p (1280x720) and it is no match for Native Res'.
    It is so obviously not as sharpe/detailed so I switched back within 10mins.
     
  25. oliverlim

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    I had not really had the chance to do a detailed comparison on this as It requires me swaping cables and I have not had time ot tune the explorer unit as I have been busy. But initial thoughts are that my lumagen DVI NR out to the PIO dvi input results in a slightly sharper picture. Notice I said sharper. I cannot compare colors and motion details as I have not had a chance to calibrate the explorer so would be unfair if I said anything. My guess is that the reason they are not pushing for this to be added asap is that there are not many people would need this.

    If it is a 480i/p or 576i/p signal, just go direct into the HDMI input and let the xplorer do its job. No double scaling. If it is already a HD signal such as 720p or 750p, again just let the xplorer do its job. But for some users such as us, we have legitimate reasons be it a better scaler or HTPC where we want to output NR so as to avoid the double scaling in this.

    My note on that KD is slow has nothing to do with my personal experience. They have been quick to response to my emails on questions but rather just a general comment from the many forums I have frequent. I have noted though that there are many users who defend and say that KD is a great company and are extremely responsive. I guess it is probably a matter of how they response to the questions sometimes that upset alot of people. I know I would be if I was one of their existing users during the Leeza time =p.

    Oliver
     
  26. creative-av

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    What are you using as your main DVD player - the HTPC or 868? Just wondering as if you are using the HTPC then has the KD card been alittle bit of a waste of money(am assuming that they do not put in NR support for a while)?

    Steve
     
  27. TheCrow

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    I am using my 868 via HDMI @ 1080i for DVD playback.

    This gives me as good an image if not slightly better than the HTPC but with much better motion.

    Windows is fundamentally flawed for video playback in that the frame rate timing of a files playback is locked to the audio renderer and hence the sound card sample rate. This is not synchronous with the graphics card frame rate so even when the two are running at the same refresh/frame rate there will be drift between the two and certain playback frames will be omitted or repeated giving visible judder.

    The only solution I have seen to this is Reclock which actually synchronises playback to the graphics card clock and does something clever with audio but I couldn't get this to work with live TV and the developer appears to have abandoned the project.

    I still love MCE especially for HD playback but a standalone DVD does have advantages.

    I never look at things as a waste of money they are just learning experiences :D
     
  28. oliverlim

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    Hi,

    Just curios why you do not use the 480i or 576i hdmi output on the 868 instead? I would believe that this would give a even better PQ?

    Have your tried it? =p

    Oliver
     
  29. TheCrow

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    That's exactly what I thought too.

    But I tried all options VGA, 567i/p, 720p and 1080i.

    I was initially reluctant to use 1080i as it didn't seem to make sense to upscale that far then downscale back to 768 but it does give the best picture detail.

    By comparison the others look a little softer.

    It has been suggested that the 868s HDMI output is not a clean feed (it certainly has an outrageous number of adjustments) and the lower resolutions suffer because of this.

    Alternatively you might think that the 868 is making a better job of upscaling than the Xplorer :eek:

    I must stress I have not had a lot of time to make any real detailed comparisons these comments come from a quick setup and normal daily use.

    Plus KD are still fine tuning PQ for the Xplorer.
     
  30. creative-av

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    Point well made :smashin:
     

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