New Crystalio 2 VPS 3100

Welwynnick

Distinguished Member
Its a while since I started a new thread here, but the arrival of the new Crystalio II VPS3100 seems to have gone unannounced, so I thought it was worth some recognition. The VPS 3300 & 3800 have been the video processors of choice for some time , but their price was getting more difficult to justify when the latest projectors include VXP or HQV standard processing for less money.

So the VPS3100 has been introduced with a reduced spec and a price of $2900 instead of $4500 or $5500. The omissions compared to the 3300 are:

  • No analogue video or audio outputs.
  • No SDI video inputs.
  • RCA analogue video inputs instead of BNC.
  • No 3D comb filter (for composite video inputs).
  • No option of DCDi SD video de-interlacing.
  • No PIP and PAP.
  • No room-to room remote control
I'd say that was a well-chosen set of omission that would have very little inpact on most prospective users. The unit seems to have been simplified, too. The large rear panel of the 3800 was packed with connectors, but now it looks like the 3100 gets everything on on board, which must simplify things a bit.

http://www.crystalio.com/spec.html

Good move, I think.

Nick
 

choddo2006

Distinguished Member
Very interesting. Can you get SDI added later? Doesn't look like there's space there for an addon.
 

cj

Active Member
What's going on with PMS? They seem to be getting quite a lot of bad press with regards to the CII. :(
 

madshi

Active Member
What's going on with PMS? They seem to be getting quite a lot of bad press with regards to the CII. :(
I think the main problem is that they decided to cut the features of the integrated media player in the CII 3800 to the absolute minimum. IIRC the container and codec supports is extremely limited. Even their external media player boxes can do much more. And they are not top of the class, either. Obviously the CII 3800 owners are very disappointed (and maybe even angry) about that. Some people bought the 3800 based on their believe that the media player would be made equal to the external media players. There was no reason to believe otherwise from PixelMagic said about the 3800. But PixelMagic has decided that the 3800 media player only needs to offer very limited functionality.

However, from what I've heard the real video processing functionality in the CII is really good. Unless you need noise reduction and detail enhancement. Most of the competition have models in the market now with better noise reduction and detail enhancement functionality. But if you don't need that (or if you don't mind adding an Algolith Fly) the CII should be a very very good video processor.
 

tryingtimes

Well-known Member
I seem to remember a post somewhere from PMS saying that the Sigma chip in the VPS3800 was used for more than just the media player (which is why it's in the VPS3300 as well), so that was one reason why it couldn't do exactly the same codecs as the HD MediaBox. I've tried to find the post again but can't.
I think they also saw the support nightmare that internet-sourced AVI files can be and wanted to avoid it on their flagship product - even PS3 with all it's horsepower and newest firmware only plays about half of the XviD files I throw at it.

Everyone buying VPS3800 now would know exactly what it can and can't do though. I have to say I still rate the internal Media player as the best quality DVD source I've got. It beats my Oppo 970 HDMI, my HTPC with theatertek/fddshow/radeon over DVI and HD MediaBox. Zero layer change too. The only thing I haven't compared it to is the Philips or Arcam SDI players - it would be interesting.

There was a time when I was grabbing every HD .ts file I could find and playing those too (and they looked great), but now that HD DVD and Blu Ray are more common, I find it too much like hard work locating them all. There's also the fact that many files are H.264 now. I still have a terrabyte of stuff though!
I've got a 1080i formula one clip showing Schumacher standing in front of a mesh grille and I always try it on any comparable device. C2 is still the best.


Back to the VPS3100 - I think they've found a good compromise of features for the majority of users as Nick says.
 

madshi

Active Member
I've got a 1080i formula one clip showing Schumacher standing in front of a mesh grille and I always try it on any comparable device. C2 is still the best.
Yeah, that's what other people also told me. The PQ of the internal media player is really great. Now I don't dare to dream about a CII with a Blu-Ray / HD DVD capable media player chip inside. Now that would be a dream machine... :)
 

Barcoing Mad

Well-known Member
When I was considering going for either a 3300 or 3800, I wondered how many movies would be legally available to download as a supported format into the 3800.

Went for a 3300.
 

Peter Baker

Novice Member
I also have the 3300, and have to say I have been mightily impressed. In particular it does a stellar job in improving SD, both film and video sources, to a really good standard. On video, the ease of menu functionality to engage noise reduction for sports programmes is excellent. All in all, the user interface is a major plus.
On HD sources, it also does a good job, but the differenes are less marked. Finally, it enabled my installer to do a really good ISF very simply.
 

tryingtimes

Well-known Member
Where might one acquire said clip? Sounds like just the thing I need.

That's a good question - I was grabbing clips from all over the place. I'll find out what it's called and how big it is and post here.
It's possible I can get it off the CII HDD via FTP, but I've never actually tried. I tend to just delete stuff and put more stuff on.
 

JohnWH

Active Member
Does the 3100 have the same inability to pass anything other than stereo audio over HDMI? This is, in my opinion, by far the biggest problem the 3300 and 3800 have right now as it somewhat limits their usefulness going forward.

John.
 

-Hitman-

Well-known Member
Should have included 'PCM' in that sentence... It won't pass 5.1 PCM multi-channel audio afaik (or HD bitstream for that matter), this is a serious limitation.

John.

A limitation of digital toshlink/coax, HDMI is not limited and the only way to get full HD audio transfer.

BOT,

I'll be in the market a very soon for a New VP and now this has turned up it will be on my list to look into after the good reports i've seen with regard to crystallio.

I'm also interested in the new Radiance XD and wonder how these two compare?

Looking for HDMI 1.3 and full [email protected] compatibility.
 

JohnWH

Active Member
A limitation of digital toshlink/coax, HDMI is not limited and the only way to get full HD audio transfer.

It has nothing to do with the limitations of toslink/coax, my understanding is that the CII will only pass legacy bitstream or stereo PCM over HDMI, or at least that is certainly the case with the 3300 and the 3800, there is no indication that this isn't the case with the 3100 as well.

Edit : see this thread on the PMS support forum for confirmation http://www.pixelmagicforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2445&highlight=HDMI+Audio

I'll be in the market a very soon for a New VP and now this has turned up it will be on my list to look into after the good reports i've seen with regard to crystallio.

I'm also interested in the new Radiance XD and wonder how these two compare?

Looking for HDMI 1.3 and full [email protected] compatibility.

The CII isn't HDMI1.3, not sure about the radiance...

John.
 

tryingtimes

Well-known Member
The Radiance isn't 1.3 either - but they have an upgrade programme (main board swap) prepared. No firm date for its launch afaik.
Both the Radiance and Crystalio are quick enough at processing to mean that audio delay isn't necesary. So you can just route audio via the receiver. I agree it's not as straightforward as just having the support in the VP though (for easier source switching).

I'm certainly not concerned about it. Although to be honest my audio money has gone into 2-channel instead of a full-blown cinema setup. And I suppose I've already had 20 months enjoyment of my CII.
 

JohnWH

Active Member
Although I suspect the radiance will at least manage to pass mutli-channel PCM over HDMI (doesn't the VP50 also manage this?).

20 months use, hmm, a bargain at £140 per month of use ;)

John.
 

tryingtimes

Well-known Member
shhhhhh :)
I don't think I'll be looking for a replacement until CIII comes along though. There's no need for me.
In fact, unless there's something really compelling like effective mo comp, I'll probably skip a generation and see what's out in 3 years or so. In the meantime it's time for a digital projector.
 

-Hitman-

Well-known Member
Thanks alot guy's!

I was only refering to the limitation of coaxial/tosh in general not the VP's.

I don't know fully if the VP50 does HDA over HDMI, never had the chance to test it, not having a HDA amp at hand.

Due to sell off most of my AV equipment before i move house as i'm refurbing my next "fixer upper" home and want to get the latest full home cinema kit, plasma display etc.. installed!

So much to think about, read and plan, very stressing moving anyway, which should be in the next few weeks, can't wait.

All the best!
 

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