New to VP's, help needed!!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Ian_S, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    I'm coming to the conclusion (dunno if rightly or wrongly) that the weakest link in current setup is effectively the picture processing and in particular the de-interlacing of the TV and/or other sources. The TV is a Sony 40V2000, the sources a Denon DVD-2900, Pace Sky+ and for those familiar with it a Pinnacle ShowCenter.

    Future plans include upgrading to Sky HD (although not until they get to the next generation of HD boxes), and once things become much clearer one of the new HD disc formats. I'm not overly concerned about 1080p at 50Hz or 60Hz, hence the 40V, and I think it will be a while before we know what the new HD formats have in store for us in the 24p output stakes. I'm also not planning to get a projector at this point.

    So, as far as I'm aware, I can't get 1366 x 768 over HDMI on the 40V, so if I want something else to do the de-interlacing I'll have to send the final signal as 720p and let the TV scale that. As such, I guess what I'm looking for is something that will de-interlace properly 480i, 576i and 1080i. It may also in the future need to be able to downscale 1080p to 720p, and also perhaps have a 1080p output capability although I'm not sure how important 1080p is.

    My current devices use component for the DVD at 480i or 576i, RGB scart for Sky+, and component for the ShowCenter at whatever resolution you choose up to 1080i at 60Hz. I think for future use I'll need a minimum of 2 HDMI/DVI HDCP compliant ports perhaps 3 if I end up keeping separate HD and SD DVD players, I guess this will depend perhaps on any video processors capability to turn an SD signal from an HD disc player into something better than a decent SD player, and whether I want to retain a DVD-Audio and SACD capability. 2 HDMI/DVI inputs wouldn't necessarily be a killer as my surround processor (an Arcam AVP700) has a 2 to 1 HDMI switch that I could use if pushed.

    In terms of price I don't want to go mad as without a bigger screen or PJ, I'm not sure I'd see the full benefit. I've done a bit of digging around in these forums on what's available and the three models that sort of cover most of the bases seem to be the Lumagen Vision DVI/HDP and the DVDO VP20/30 with the ABT102D card.

    From what I've read, the ABT102D seems to be about as good as it gets for SD de-interlacing, but currently the VP20/30 do not do anything much with 1080i, so are unlikely to sort out film or sport coverage from Sky HD. Both Lumagens seem to handle 1080i de-interlacing, but the only the HDP will do true film frame reconstruction for best quality movie viewing.

    So, questions are (but not limited to)

    • Am I right in my research so far?
    • Will the Lumagen's make a big difference to SD de-interlacing?
    • Is the ABT102D a lot better for SD than either Lumagen?
    • Is the Vision DVI 1080i de-interlacing actually worth much?
    • Will the rumoured VP50 be a lot more expensive than any of these boxes?
    • Will any of them work particularly well with the Sony V40 or are they a waste of money?
    • Is there anywhere you can go to see any of these in action to get an idea of how much of an improvement they make?

    I also notice on the DVDO website that they are currently selling the VP20 complete with a free ABT102D card? Is such a deal available in the UK and if so what would the price be. If it were low enough, I might be tempted with that and then wait to see if the next generation of Sky HD boxes and HD disc players include better 720p output. If they did, then I might be able to get away with just an SD solution, for which I'm guessing that the VP20 would be OK. If so would it have sufficient connections on the back for 2 component ins and a scart RGB in as I really don't want to go composite or s-video on the Sky+...

    Any help is obviously greatly appreciated. If any forum members live in the Southampton/Portsmouth area and could arrange some kind of demo then I'm sure I could cross your palms with a nice bottle of whiskey or similar substance... :smashin:
     
  2. Tarbat

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    I've certainly seen a significant improvement in picture quality of SD material from a SkyHD box, but it probably depends how good your TV is at processing a SD image. You might find my experiences of using a Lumagen HDP with SkyHD etc. useful - see http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3334536#post3334536
     
  3. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    Thanks, I'd read that thread, very useful. I guess I'm wondering just how much better the ABT102D is given that everyone seems to rave over it... It would also be nice to see what the Lumagen's can do to a 1080i feed as well, be it Sky HD or an HD-DVD/Blu-ray 1080i input. One of those things thats hard to know without seeing it I guess. :confused:
     
  4. NonPayingMember

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    • Correct so far
    • Yes. The Lumagen and ABT102 are equal at film processing (when DVDO unit set to film bias) however the DVDO has a better edge-correlation to clean up VIDEO mode material such as SD sport or Studio shot material.
    • ABT102 vs Luma you should probably see for yourself. For a more "TV" environment the better SD VIDEO procesing will be enjoyed with smoother edges and more extracted detail. On SD FILMS the performance is the same. However remember with HD the Lumagen does HD film processing to the kind of standard the Crystalio II does, and does HD video processing far better than the DVDO does. With Sky HD being grabbed up so quickly I do wonder how good an idea an SD only processor was on DVDO's part. VP50 should straighten all that out nicely though!
    • Surprising as it sounds, the VisionDVI 1080i deinterlacing is actually very good! But the HDP/HDQ models do everything better by operating through a 10bit rather than 8bit datapath
    • I don't know about VP50. I would guess below 2k or around that point if it's gonna have the kind of power for HD that the ABT102 has for SD (i.e. a lot).
    • There isn't usually a case where one processor works better than another for a specific LCD or plasma display. Both DVDO and Luma can create custom resolutions and timings
    • A few of us have processors on demo, however I doubt you will find anywhere with multiple processors for some kind of side-by-side. Also when calling around your local stores ask one or two questions you know the answer to in order to test the guy on the phone!! Sounds childish but good backup with a video processor is a must - these are far from simple to integrate well. Installed poorly and you may as well not bother. We always recommend ISF calibration of the whole system with a video processor installed.
     
  5. tryingtimes

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    It certainly is a tricky time to buy a VP.
    My worry is that with everything except the Crystalio II there is some kind of MAJOR compromise.
    You are either going to give up calibration options, video-material performance or HD performance.
    My advice currently would be to get a demo of the Lumagen with SKY and watch a variety of video material. If you think the quality is good enough for your use (I guess that might mean better than your display), then it's a no brainer as you will no doubt be happy with the rest of the features.

    Unfortunately, for me it wasn't so I'm saving up for the Crystalio, but keeping a close eye on the other manufacturers in the meantime.
     
  6. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    Thanks Liam,

    My comment about working well with a V40 was more about will the benefit I see on a screen of that size and type be enough to justify the cost. Hard for me to judge without having seen one in action, I guess I was wondering what people's opinions were in general on that.

    I guess the next question really is where are any dealers near the south coast where I can see one of these devices?
     
  7. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    Anyone? I really would like to get to see just how much of a difference something like the ABT102D makes to video pictures to help make a decision on what to do.
    :lease:
     
  8. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Gordon's the only person who'll know for sure where all the Lumagen demo centres are.
    Henry at crt projectors is the only person who'll know where all the Crystalio demo centres are.
    Owl video would know about the DVDO places.
    I bet there isn't too much crossover.
    I'm not sure there is a Vantage HD anywhere on demo.

    You'll be really lucky to find someone on the south coast, but you never know - not everyone is on the forums.
     
  9. NonPayingMember

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    According to forum rules a dealer can't actually tell you that he is a dealer or that he has a demo unit available to see. I don't think Gordon can either. But this is only gonna drag on ridiculously so quick before the mods delete my post:

    I have HDQ on demo here (and HDP for home demo) in West Kent, Gordon has HDP and HDQ on demo in Surrey (and home demo visit for a small fee), MAW might have something up in Cobham. Not sure of any others in the South.

    ABT102 powered VP30 will be harder to find. MAW might have one, Owl might have there own outside Brighton. But given you might have some HD use the Lumagen is probably the best bet for the price (new VP50 @ £2000 would be very interesting though)
     
  10. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    If folk need to know who has what on demo where they can fire me an email. South coast has no dealers really. The ones I particularily want to do it are never available to see me......if anyone has a dealer they feel is confident at video and who may actually understand video processing then I am all ears!

    Gordon
     
  11. creative-av

    creative-av
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    Where on the South Coast are you based Ian?

    Steve
     
  12. NonPayingMember

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    .
     
  13. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    Well, I contacted OWL to see about getting some kind of VP30 with ABT102D demo so I could see for myself how good this is, and potentially make up my mind whether I thought the DVDO VP50 would be a worthwhile investment...

    They arranged this through a local Sevenoaks, who assured me that OWL were supplying the right model with all the extras. Get it home and what do I have? I rather battle scarred VP30 at firmware level 1.00 :(

    Hmmm... thought don't think there will be an ABT102D in there somehow. Decided to update the firmware to 1.10 just in case, but no, definitely no ABT102D, none of the game or 3:2, 2:2 options on the de-interlacing menu are available... :mad:

    So, I've got my Pace Sky+ box connected to the VP30 over s-video, and the VP30 connected via HDMI to my 40V2000, and configured to output in 720p so that the VP30 is doing the de-interlacing. I have to say that the results so far are disappointing. The scaling seems to be better, but the de-interlacing does not for video, more combing is evident than the TV displays from the RGB Scart connection from the Sky+ box.

    The aspect ratio control of the VP30 is a little difficult to fathom, but I guess that's something you can get round with time and playing.

    So, in short so far I'm a bit disappointed with the VP30. Very disappointed with OWL. Does the ABT102D make a massive difference to the VP30 performance or is my TV not as bad as I though it was?

    A little confused!!! :confused:
     
  14. NonPayingMember

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    ABT makes an ENORMOUS difference.
     
  15. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    Grrrrrrrr............:mad: :mad: :mad:
     
  16. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    VP30 is okay, VP30 with ABT102 is a completely different animal. All the weaknesses with VP30 are fixed except HD and at that it ain't bad. Speak to one of the forum regulars Ian like Joe or Liam. They might be further away BUT UK support is important here.
     
  17. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    New question, is the Lumagen HDP SD de-interlacing on a par with or better than the standard VP30?
     
  18. Welwynnick

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    The Lumagen HDP and DVDO VP30 are similar at SD de-interlacing. That is, very good with film, but behind the front runners with video. The difference between the two is really in the HD processing.

    Nick
     
  19. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    The Lumagen doesn't use the SIL CO-PROCESSING chip that VP30 does. Lumagen use their own code for that part of the job. This appears to result in Lumagen being more robust in its detection of what form of de-interlacing to use over other implimentations of the SIL504 chip.

    Gordon
     
  20. choddo2006

    choddo2006
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    Ian, if you find yourself at the other end of the M3 any time soon, I've got a vp30 & abt102 you're more than welcome to take a look at. The difference is pretty stark from the base vp30.

    If you can wait about a month, with luck, I'll have a vp50 you can check out, and I guess I could probably swap between the two without too much hassle until I send back the vp30 for a trade-in.

    In fact, thinking about it, once I get the vp50 and unplug the vp30, I go down towards your neck of the woods about once a fortnight, happy to bring it with me one time if you're still undecided by then.
     
  21. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    Wow... either will be great. I'd love to take you up on that. Do you know when your VP50 is due to arrive yet??

    Very generous, thanks :thumbsup:
     
  22. choddo2006

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    "early October" is all I know at the moment, so I'm guessing 15th ;)
     
  23. choddo2006

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