madVR Envy Extreme Video Processor Review & Comments

mb3195

Distinguished Member
Thanks Steve, certainly goes to show the limitations of the JVC in-built tone mapping, whilst clearly better than not having one, it can’t compare to an external dedicated processor.

I’ll be interested to know if the 10/10 score remains once you test the new lumagen 5348, pretty much everyone who has run them side by side has clearly preferred the lumagen, plus is has added benefits of producing better quality audio. It’s also around £6k cheaper 😃
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Thanks Steve, certainly goes to show the limitations of the JVC in-built tone mapping, whilst clearly better than not having one, it can’t compare to an external dedicated processor.

I’ll be interested to know if the 10/10 score remains once you test the new lumagen 5348, pretty much everyone who has run them side by side has clearly preferred the lumagen, plus is has added benefits of producing better quality audio. It’s also around £6k cheaper 😃


Yup! Totally agreed. Although JVC are the holy grail in PJ-world for actually offering DTM, it feels like their offers are very mild in comparison to the dedicated solutions.
 

Steve Stifler

Well-known Member
Nice review Steve!

Deep pockets are needed for the MadVR, but then again, IMHO it’s the modern day equivalent of a Snell and Wilcox Interpolator, which retailed about £30k. If that is correct, that was an even big ticket item way back in the day. That S&W was the creme de la creme of the time.
 

Apollo

Well-known Member
Very informative, thanks Steve.

Sounds like an ‘extremely’ powerful platform for future updates, but at a price!
Makes a Lumagen look like a bargain for mere mortals, especially if you can snag a used unit. Value wise a far better match for ’consumer’ market priced projectors?
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Thanks Steve, certainly goes to show the limitations of the JVC in-built tone mapping, whilst clearly better than not having one, it can’t compare to an external dedicated processor.

Yup! Totally agreed. Although JVC are the holy grail in PJ-world for actually offering DTM, it feels like their offers are very mild in comparison to the dedicated solutions.
That's not the conclusion I came to after testing the Envy. Personally I think the HDR performance of the JVCs is awesome, and definitely superior to any other projector manufacturer. There's very little difference with 1000 nits content, which covers the majority of HDR content, and while the Envy does handle 4000 and 10000 nits content better, the images I used in the review are especially difficult to tone map, and the difference isn't as obvious with less demanding material. It's also worth remembering that since the 'cheapest' Envy costs more than the JVC N7, the law of diminishing returns quickly applies.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
I’ll be interested to know if the 10/10 score remains once you test the new lumagen 5348, pretty much everyone who has run them side by side has clearly preferred the lumagen, plus is has added benefits of producing better quality audio. It’s also around £6k cheaper
I did ask for a Lumagen to review at the same time, but since they didn't provide one, I can't really comment on its performance.
 

PascalP

Active Member
I did ask for a Lumagen to review at the same time, but since they didn't provide one, I can't really comment on its performance.
Great review and the Envy is a great unit for sure!
Yet I find it strange you label it ‘best in class’ without testing/comparing it against the competition.
Hope you get a review unit soon to make a comparison, especially at 1/3 of the price of a Envy Extreme the Lumagen is an absolute bargain and very easy and straightforward to use (once setup correctly) ;)
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Great review and the Envy is a great unit for sure!
Yet I find it strange you label it ‘best in class’ without testing/comparing it against the competition.
Hope you get a review unit soon to make a comparison, especially at 1/3 of the price of a Envy Extreme the Lumagen is an absolute bargain and very easy and straightforward to use (once setup correctly) ;)
My review, my decision – take it or leave it. I hear the Lumagen is a nightmare to set up, with an interface that looks very dated. The Envy is incredibly easy to set up (almost plug and play), despite its sophistication. But as you mention, the Lumagen is significantly cheaper, and would definitely be easier to fit in my equipment rack!
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
That's not the conclusion I came to after testing the Envy. Personally I think the HDR performance of the JVCs is awesome, and definitely superior to any other projector manufacturer. There's very little difference with 1000 nits content, which covers the majority of HDR content, and while the Envy does handle 4000 and 10000 nits content better, the images I used in the review are especially difficult to tone map, and the difference isn't as obvious with less demanding material. It's also worth remembering that since the 'cheapest' Envy costs more than the JVC N7, the law of diminishing returns quickly applies.
I agree on the price, shame you haven’t tried the superior tone mapping on the lumagen. 2nd hand price on the 42xx series is around £3k which seems like a comparative bargain.

The 5348 is a step up again.

Might be your review, but as @PascalP has mentioned, you can’t call it best in class when you haven’t tested anything else. Fact is, it isn’t best in class, numerous comparisons tell us so. Just one example Video Processors In-Depth Evaluation, Analysis &amp...
 
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Steve Withers

Reviewer
I agree on the price, shame you haven’t tried the superior tone mapping on the lumagen. 2nd hand price on the 42xx series is around £3k which seems like a comparative bargain.

The 5348 is a step up again.

Might be your review, but as @PascalP has mentioned, you can’t call it best in class when you haven’t tested anything else. Fact is, it isn’t best in class, numerous comparisons tell us so.
Well there's always the Best Buy badge if Lumagen ever bother to send me a review sample.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
Well there's always the Best Buy badge if Lumagen ever bother to send me a review sample.
I think “Best Buy” is a bit derogatory tbh, you haven’t even tried the tone mapping on the lumagen yet make comments like this? Maybe you should do a bit more research before making such statements?? I know people that have swapped out the madVR for a number of reasons and moved over to Lumagen, yet don’t know anyone else who has gone the other way, maybe you do??

Lumagen are selling out all of their stock, so can’t spare the review samples…..unlike madVR 😂😂😂
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
I think “Best Buy” is a bit derogatory
No it isn't, it means exceptional performance at an unrivalled price. Anyway, this thread is specifically about the Envy, if you want to argue about whether one is better than the other, there's already a thread for that.
 

1080 jawbreaker

Well-known Member
there a MADVR PC software plugin thats afordable, well free actually wonder how that compares
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
Performs very well, although not very convenient or easy to setup and you are limited to playing only certain sources from a PC. If you have a local ripped library and Kodi along with a very good (preferably nvidia) graphics card the results can be stunning and rewarding.
 

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
What a cracking read. Thanks Steve for this huge undertaking. As a Lumagen guy myself 'ease of use' seems to be the only USP here.

This is a PC. With that being the case, the price is beyond absurd. I build PCs both for fun and by commission, and to justify that price there would have to be 8-10 RTX 3090s in there. I doubt there's even one, with the Extreme looking to be rocking an RTX 3080. And a 6-core CPU? I mean. We're looking at a £1500 PC here. For 10x the price. I personally would have given this a 4/10 irrelevant of how it performs based on the temerity of that price point.

I cannot think of any justification for the insanity of where this is priced. It's just lunacy.
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
What a cracking read. Thanks Steve for this huge undertaking. As a Lumagen guy myself 'ease of use' seems to be the only USP here.

This is a PC. With that being the case, the price is beyond absurd. I build PCs both for fun and by commission, and to justify that price there would have to be 8-10 RTX 3090s in there. I doubt there's even one, with the Extreme looking to be rocking an RTX 3080. And a 6-core CPU? I mean. We're looking at a £1500 PC here. For 10x the price. I personally would have given this a 4/10 irrelevant of how it performs based on the temerity of that price point.

I cannot think of any justification for the insanity of where this is priced. It's just lunacy.
Can you tell me if you build this yourself which HDMI input card you'd put in this to allow you to play non-PC based HDCP commpliant HDMI sources? As far as I know they dinb't exist and that's part of the USP, along with the fact it's different software to the free version. If you can tinker and don't mind limiting what can be played on your PC then fine..
 

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
Can you tell me if you build this yourself which HDMI input card you'd put in this to allow you to play non-PC based HDCP commpliant HDMI sources? As far as I know they dinb't exist and that's part of the USP, along with the fact it's different software to the free version. If you can tinker and don't mind limiting what can be played on your PC then fine..
Any decent videocard along with the right software would do the job. The way I see it, this is a software issue. And 'We solved one sticky engineering problem' does not justify a 10x pricepoint. IMO. YMMV.
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
I honestly don't think that's the case due to HDMI/HDCP copy protection, I think they may need to be specifically made by nVidia and may not be avaiable to the public due to HDCP licensing constraints. I had a demo of a pre-production unit from the guy who distirbutes them in the US over a year ago now, it was fantastic and very slick but I got the impression that was one of the main challenges.
Don't get me wrong I'm not defending the price it's out of range of what I could justify and I'm happy with my own hand built PC for MadVR, however I don't think it's simple or maybe even possible to replicate the input functionality on a standard PC.
 

Canary_Jules

Well-known Member
It should be said with regard to comments about pricing that this is of course a review of the top madVR Extreme model. However, the madVR Pro model is cheaper and, relatively speaking, more competitively priced. I have the Pro model in my demo room (alongside Lumagen which I am about to install).
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
I'm totally in agreement with some of the comments about pricing, and I discuss it at length in my review. The pricing of the Envy Extreme seems especially high, and I can't understand why it costs six grand more than the Envy Pro. As Jules mentions in his post, the Envy Pro is equally impressive and does everything you need at a price of £9,000, which puts it much closer to the Lumagens.

With regards to general pricing, you can't simply list a load of PC components and suggest that you could create something similar for a fraction of the cost. As others have pointed out, it isn't that simple, and doesn't take into account the value of intellectual property, not to mention support, firmware updates and future developments.

Finally, this is a luxury product aimed at the ultra-high-end, and thus will always have a significant mark-up. I have an Omega Speedmaster that's worth £5,000, but I'm pretty sure the components are only worth about five hundred quid. We all appreciate this reality, and accept it with most luxury products, but when it comes to electronics people are always up in arms about pricing.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
It should be said with regard to comments about pricing that this is of course a review of the top madVR Extreme model. However, the madVR Pro model is cheaper and, relatively speaking, more competitively priced. I have the Pro model in my demo room (alongside Lumagen which I am about to install).
Be very interested to hear your thoughts once you've compared your Envy against your Lumagen Jules.
 

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