My Crystalio II VPS3100: Reviewed.

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Premier, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Premier

    Premier
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    I've bought one, never convinced these things worked - now, still unconvinced... Am I delusional?
    [​IMG]
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  2. Hoax

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    nice pics.. but can u tell us why u are not convinced?

    I mean.. what kinda review is this? :confused:
     
  3. Premier

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    Well...

    1. Psychological
    I cannot help but be convinced that Scalers are merely tricks on the mind, i.e. the power of suggestion. Having just paid a four figure sum for something that everyone claims works, even the reviews citing gradiose phrases such as, paraphrasing, "My Crystalio II really squeezes these 480i DVDs to looking near HD" makes me very much think this should work. My Pioneer 60 Inch has always been a great TV, I might even say phenomenal, but I cannot help to think how much the psychology of me believing the picture is better, actually accounts for the "improvement"

    2. Unbiased, Guest Reviewer
    Having been unconvinced, or so starkly convinced that I couldn't see it, I had asked an impartial reviewer to see for themselves. "Wow, that looks good..." but 1080P stuff always had, did it look better?! This, I do not know.

    3. A Million (and one) Options!
    So much to configure, so little idea. I am by no means an utter "noob" - but bear in mind, there is the settings one must account for in the TV, Crystalio, and Media Device. How does one ensure synergy for all three? One can't...
    I was watching media with my partner and I spent half the time fiddling with it, Noise Reduction, etc. - can one get bogged down with the bespoke details everytime you watch something that you forget the actual purpose of all this?!

    4. Lost (and Found).
    Watched the introduction to a movie on my iMac, children film that I rarely ever have to bear but for the request of my partner - and I groaned, "this picture is so blurry, I don't know if I can do this." Yet, when I fired this up from my DVD Player, 480i, upscaled to 1080P 60Hz, I felt the picture was better - was it merely the difference between a £5,000 screen versus my £2,000 iMac? I do not know...

    Still undecided. The only video processing that I've ever been wowed by is Pixel Plus in my old Philips CRT... I question my latest purchase.
     
  4. tryingtimes

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    This is an interesting and well expressed post.
    I think many people will expect them to make a bigger difference than they do. Especially as they are roughly the price of a very good 46-50" display and that most have invested in natively progressive content like HD-DVD, HD Gaming, etc.

    I can't imagine going back to not having a VP, but that's because the process of using one has become so engrained. Having one cable to my projector, calibrating for display weaknesses (gamma in my case), etc.

    You may find that once you've got used to it, you can't go back either. But I can imagine the initial impact may not be that big. Especially as internal processing is improving all the time and more and more content is natively progressive.

    I'm also locked into using some kind of VP as I have a CRT projector (with no internal processing), but I'm glad that whenever I look at a new PJ I can dismiss it's processing ability and flexibility and just focus on image basics.


    The CII manual is pretty good at explaining the calibration order, but in general;
    1) Use the built-in CII test patterns to setup the display. All the video controls for this are under 'Output'.
    2) Once you are happy that you are seeing everything correctly, move to your sources and make sure that they are inputting the correct resolutions, colourspaces and levels (I tend to use YPbPr Video-levels (16-234 as opposed to PC levels 0-255). Personally I don't touch any brightness/contrast/etc settings on the source.
    3) Then calibrate the CII inputs. They are saved automatically by input, or you can store multiple profiles if you need different settings on any one input (I don't use them). All the controls for this are under the 'Input' and 'Image' menus.
    4) Then use any automation you may want in Dynamic VP - for example I output 75Hz when a 50Hz source is detected and 72Hz when a 60Hz Film source is detected and 60Hz when a 60Hz video source is detected.
     
  5. Barcoing Mad

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    The job of a scaler is to take the source and deinterlace and scale it to the desired resolution, often the native pixel res of the panel.

    It can't add detail which isn't in the original signal. It can't remove artefacts without compromising the image in some other respect. A good scaler will introduce the minimum of artefacts when deinterlacing and scaling and not loose detail. It can do no more.

    Therefore, SD can only ever look like SD - but with e.g. good 2:2 pulldown and plenty of scan lines or pixels, you'll be loosing the nasty look of interlaced SD. It can never look like HD, because it isn't HD.

    Certainly for those of us which use CRT PJs a good scaler is a must, and these setups clearly demonstrate how good scalers can be. Even for a small panel (32"), however, I've found my C2 makes one hell of a difference.

    Interestingly, I find Pixel Plus to be absolutely appalling, so of course, it's horses for courses and each to his own.
     
  6. tryingtimes

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    I agree about Pixel Plus.
    Everytime one of these techs gets hyped I get sucked in, but most look worse.
    The latest is Sony's MotionFlow - I've yet to see it, but I'm skeptical despite a few lovers on AVS.
     
  7. choddo2006

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    So are you saying that it looked better but you are trying to ask yourself if you're kidding yourself? There are some very good test disks which can show the truth, try the opening scene of an R1 Pulp Fiction & watch the blinds. The opening of The Good Shepherd where the typewriter style title text slowly zooms in a little. Watch them with an upscaling DVD player (or just let your TV do it) then try with the C2. On my VP50 there's a world of difference.
    Not sure I get this. How are you expecting it to improve 1080p content?
    I think if you aren't happy doing it yourself (and the C2 has quite a nice UI) you just pay a couple of hundred to get someone else to do it for you.
    So was the iMac playing through the C2? Doesn't sound like it. Not sure how this is relevant?
    Now I think that really WAS psychological ;)
     
  8. Premier

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    I do not know.

    That is how I can best sum up the Crystallio II VPS3100.

    An unbiased friend said that the Planner of Sky HD was a world of difference through the scaler - I, do not recall.

    I think I must also apologize to.

    I actually read the manual - turns out I was foolish and set most my sources still outputting at 1080p, when the ideal option is the sources to output 1080i...
    (My first mistake...)

    I am concluded about one thing, I think the world scaler is misleading - the correct term is "Deinterlacer".
     
  9. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Actually I think the correct term is video processor.

    1080i is also not the best resolution to set all sources to unless they are all native 1080i sources.

    Using a static text banner as a source for deciding on the value of a processor designed to work on moving images will tell you a little about its performance but I think other content may be more useful.

    Thanl you for posting your thoughts though Premier, at least you have one of the devices you are commenting on when many forums seem to have folk who own nothing but speculate alot.
     
  10. choddo2006

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    To be honest mate, I think you need some qualified help to set this up properly.

    As Gordon alluded, you don't want sources like SD DVD players outputting 1080i - you want everything outputting it's native format & let the C2 do all the work. 1080p out of the xbox 360 or PS3 I see there would be fine (for everything except DVDs)
     
  11. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    Well, if you want my opinion, it looks just as silly as all of the other motion vector interpolation systems do :D - a (degrading) solution looking for a problem.

    In fact, the people at Sony Pictures that I got to speak to agreed, I think the phrase used to describe their initial reaction was "WHAT? How is that even POSSIBLE?"

    Which brings me to what I'm about to say - I think if you can evaluate the processing that your own display has, then you'll know its weaknesses and have a more realistic idea of how a video processor can bypass those weaknesses - rather than it being a case of "plug it in and be amazed".
     
  12. tryingtimes

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    OT
    Re: frame interpolation. What would be really nice is, instead of showing a simulated picture of what the interpolated frames look like (i.e. a complete lie), if they actually showed what the algorithm comes up with - then we'd all be saying ughh! I'd love to see that - I wonder if it's possible to capture somehow.
     
  13. cj

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    Actually I've gone from using a scaler to not using one at all - it's still something I think I should have, but I think most of my viewing is now HD (Sky HD/BD/HD-DVD), and can't bring myself to spend a few grand on a scaler anymore, for what I consider will be marginal improvements. And IMO nothing can make sport on ITV look anything near watchable :D
     
  14. HiTracey

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    I have a Crystalio 2 for my CRT and, whilst still a bit shell shocked at the expense, I appreciated the difference over my older scaler. Due to my screen size, any problem is a big problem, so needs to have the best solution, which the Cry 2 provides.

    However, it has not seriously occurred to me to plug the scaler into my Sony 52"x3500 LCD tv. At that (peanut - I'll be lynched) size, I'd be surprised if I could tell the difference, and even more surprised if I cared.

    Spending serious money on a scaler for a very recent tv has got to be questionable. I'd have thought one would be better off improving the other components in the system (including maybe the tv itself).

    I could be very wrong here, in which case fire away guys, and I'll buy another cable.
     
  15. Barcoing Mad

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    Plug it into your Sony - you will see a difference.
     
  16. choddo2006

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    I absolutely see a difference on my 42" screen. A lot of modern TVs can't do anything useful with 1080i
     
  17. Peter Baker

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    Ihvae the Crystalio 2 3300, and use it mainly to feed my Fujitsu 50" plasma. I do find that it has taken SD film to a new level, cleaning up the picture and giving a feeling of depth that I simply didn't get before. And that's just on cable SD! On DVD it also does the business, although the picture processing on the Fuji was always pretty good on this source. ON SD Video, the difference is most marked, with many programmes rivalling SD film for smoothness and quality. Sport on SD Video is still a bit of a mess, and I don't find the noise reduction is all that good. Don't get me wrong, it does reduce the noise in the picture, and around moving images, but ithe trade off of detail is also pretty obvious.
    On the little HD I can access, the picture is superb, but probably was before anyway.
    I did get the picture set up on installation, and I think this has made a big difference to the feeling of contrast.

    I also have an INfocus 5700 576 PJ. With this, the improvement is far more obvious, and I am now able to watch a TV feed via PJ, which was pretty much impossible previously. Of course I am restricted by the 576 image, but the size is still awesome

    My only problem is in switching within my TVDrive cable box, which just doesn't seem to want to recognise the HDMI output, meaning I'm stuck with RGB scart. Of course this enables me to get the benefit of the C2 fro SD programming, but cuts me off from the little HD that I could otherwise enjoy.
     
  18. HiTracey

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    Thanks for the advice. I'll have to persuade James The Man round to help me. A nice meal might do it.
     

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