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Pio MXE with KeyDigital card or iScan Ultra???

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by rscott4563, May 31, 2003.

  1. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    I'm about to take the plunge and get myself a Pio 50MXE as soon as I move house in July, I made my mind up after many months of looking around, it was either the Panny or the Pio, but the lack of problems and complaints on these boards for the Pio just pushed me in that direction.

    Now the questions...

    Firstly have I been thinking about what to get for so long that now that I've made my mind up on the Pio50MXE theres a new screen about to come out and just blow the competition away, if so what is it and should I wait for it?

    Secondly I've been thinking about getting the KeyDigital card as from what I've read it would make a great deal of difference in terms of image quality and the formats it supports. I think I am right that this card has inbuit de-interlacer and so will convert any signal going in to it, like Sky or games system? Also it supports audio delay to prevent lip-sync problems. My real question is would this be a better choice than getting the standard 50MXE with the iScan Ultra as this has recently dropped in price (a lot cheaper than the KeyDigital card). What would people recommend the KeyDigital card or the iScan Ultra???

    Has the KeyDigital card got anything more than or better than the iScan Ultra, from the information I've seen, and can make any sense of they're both pretty similar in what they do????

    Thanks in advance for your help
    :hiya:
     
  2. briandzo

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    What would people recommend the KeyDigital card or the iScan Ultra???

    Seeing as the Key digital is yet to be released, your not going to get any genuine recomendations.


    Has the KeyDigital card got anything more than or better than the iScan Ultra, from the information I've seen, and can make any sense of they're both pretty similar in what they do????

    The key digital's specs are pretty impressive. if it does what it says on the box and your pocket is deep enough then the key digital card will be where to put your money.

    All that lovely processing will be done locally to the plazma display rather then externally.

    But time will tell as they havn't been released to an eager public as yet
     
  3. Urotsukidoji

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    This link may change your mind regarding the mxe - I was all set on the mxe but the there is loads of info on avsforums about the mxe vs the fujitsu p50 and 42vh (both based on the pany glass).

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=213749&highlight=jersey+shootout

    The KD card will do nothing to improve the pioneers poor black level. The Fujitsu is said by many (including very highly regarded isf calibrators) to have much better blacks, less noise and a htcp dvi input.
     
  4. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Strange, they seem to be on sale right now from Joe at http://www.tmfsolutions.co.uk/homecinema_videoscalers.htm
    for 1686.25 inc vat

    And if you go to the KeyDigital website there on sale there as well?

    So here's hoping someones got one and will chip in with some feedback soon...
     
  5. briandzo

    briandzo
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    Strange, they seem to be on sale right now from Joe at http://www.tmfsolutions.co.uk/homec...ideoscalers.htm

    Rscott,

    If you mail the UK importer your find out that there arn't any in the Uk as yet.

    Also if you do a search on the US AVS forums you will
    also notice no one has any as yet.

    Just a matter of time.

    Some people are buying tickets to mars.
    There also on sale before the space ship is ready to fly Em.

    Happy hunting.

    ive my eye on one of these babies too......
     
  6. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Suppose I should have done a bit more research and not relied on what the suppliers claimed on their websites!! :nono:

    Oh well....

    But as the technical specs are available for the KeyDigital card and the iScanUltra is out there already, I was wondering if anyone who would understand the technical details better than me could give their input on what the differences will be between the two (other than one being external and one being part of the screen, as I already gathered that ;) ) and what they think would be the best option, keeping in mind the thousand pound difference in price??
     
  7. StooMonster

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    Where the iScan Ultra does wonders for the likes of Sky Digital on my Panny5 50" -- some 42" MXE owners reported (in these forums) they could not no difference on their screens. Even the chroma-bug filter...

    Perhaps I'll take my iScan Ultra over to RAMiAM's 50MXE and see what it does to Sky Digital on his screen.

    On my screen the iScan Ultra is almost an essential purchase for non prog-scan sources -- particulary now the price has dramatically reduced.

    StooMonster
     
  8. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    rscott4563

    First off apologies if my site has mislead you - we (Key Digital resellers) have all been awaiting the release of the KD PIO768P card for quite a while now; its been delayed about three times and still looks like it will be a while before it arrives in the UK.

    Just like the new KD HD Leeza external processor (£3.7K) KD will take a forward order for those wishing to take a punt on them producing the goods* based on past experience of this manufacturers product range; so we can take an order at the price indicated we just cant fulfil it as yet; not that unusual if you look at cars, bikes etc.

    (*KD are not a 'mass' producer so expect that even once the card is launched and you finally get to see it working you may then have to wait a further month or three before any order is fulfilled as the quantity of cards being delivered will not match the demand).

    The KD PIO768P card and the iScan Ultra are very different beasts. The iScan Ultra is a line doubler with high quality deinterlacer and a CUE Chroma bug fixer - whilst the KD card is a deinterlacer and programmable* scaler with audio delay and Chroma filter.

    You can have an iScan Ultra for just under £520 (+ a VGA or DVI cable) whilst the KD will launch at near £1700. If you wanted a more immediate option and are keen to have an add on processor in your system you could do a lot worse than consider the new Lumagen Vision external programmable* scaler and deinterlacer at just over £1.1K. (Drop me a note and I'll forward info on the Lumagen range)

    (*Programmable in the sense that you can set the output resolution and refresh rate to suit the optimum setting for your display or projector).

    The iScan Ultra works well with the PDP-433MXE - though does not produce a 'startling' difference as some have required/wanted having spent extra cash on a processor.

    The MXE in-built processor is rather good and its the Chroma bug fixer that makes the biggest difference on the MXE - though I still feel the Ultra is a worthwhile addition to the MXE; especially at its Special Offer price.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  9. RAMiAM

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    The iScan Ultra is a great piece of kit and you should see some improvement with the Pio503, although maybe not as much as other panel manufacturers.

    I too am waiting for the KD card.
    The key benefits for me would be:
    • The additional inputs - 2 x component (one HD compatible), 1 x VGA (also HD compatible), 1 x s-video, 1 x composite, 2 x DVI (1 x HDCP compatible, and 1 possibly doubling up as a SDI input)
    • Excellent scaling engine that will output a 1 for 1, i.e., negating the need for the panel to perform any scaling
    • Variable refresh rates i.e., 72Hz to give a nice smooth 3:3 telecine
    • Audio delay
    • Firmware upgradable
    • Future upgrade path - hopefully if or when I replace my current Pio panel and can reuse this card in another Panel.

    RAMiAM
     
  10. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    This does sound like excellent piece of kit -- and should be for 30% of price of the 50mxe plasma. ;)

    Don't want to waz on your bonfire, but "Excellent scaling engine that will output a 1 for 1, i.e., negating the need for the panel to perform any scaling" is only true for DVD input. With digital television based sources (e.g. Sky, cable, etc.) there is the problem of overscan.

    Yes you could have 1:1 pixel match with digital television's 720 pixels wide scaled to native 1280 pixel resolution of the screen; but, there will be big fat vertical borders on either the left, right, or both depending on which channel you are watching. Furthermore, there is no "official" centre, or width that all channels will adhere too.

    To remove overscan borders you will have to use screen's scaling to overscan the scaler's 1280 pixel picture. i.e. stretch it so that it's bigger than 1280 physical pixels. This is unless the scaler can crop pixels from either side, I don't know if they can. Would be a cool feature if they could, and for example crop 20 pixels off each side and scale 680 pixels to 1280. Although overscan is a lot more than 20 pixels off each side.

    Note: this is true for any scaler, not just the Key Digital one discussed above.

    StooMonster
     
  11. philipb

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    I'll throw in my two pennorth which may help. Not very technical and I have the 433 not the 503, but principles should be the same.

    Firstly let me say that after having the 433 calibrated by Gordon and now with over 1000 hours clocked up, the performance of the Pio is top notch.

    I've been trying out a PC as a scaler on the basis its the cheapest option available. I am one of those who saw little benefit from the Iscan apart from the chroma delay feature.

    I can post the PC details if anyone is interested, but just to say that DVDs are immense - PQ leaves my Denon 3800 standing. I adjust aspect ratio using Theatertek to 1024x768, and width is perfect but there are black bars top and bottom but I don't mind.

    I watch freeview digital TV using a Nebula card and the PQ is awesome - leaves Sky input via a John Sims RGB/VGA adapter standing. I can also watch this in a "proper" widescreen format using the pan and scan setting and PQ is even better than the setting which fills the screen.

    So I would suggest to anyone that a PC as a scaling device is a viable if more fiddly option to improving PQ. I am looking at maybe hooking up a H3D card as a way of improving Sky pictures, but at about £800 I'm not sure its worth it.

    I have been waiting for the KD card to arrive, but I am now wondering if it could be that much better than the PC to justify ca. £1700. Certainly it would be more convenient but at what cost?
     
  12. RAMiAM

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    Quality comes at a price :D

    I have no idea what your waffling on about ;)
    Well actually I do, but personally I think your making more out of it than necessary.
    If overscan is an issue then why do I not see borders as you described. If the native Pio can handle it then I do not see why a scaler can't.
    You make it sound as if all scalers can only handle a DVD input :confused:
    Sounds like Panny jealously to me :D

    RAMiAM
     
  13. StooMonster

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    The default setting of your screen will be set to overscan the image; it will not be showing all 720 pixels by default.

    If you set your screen to show all 720 pixels wide (by adjusting the horizontal width and position) and then scroll through channels you will see how much overscan there is -- and why you won't get 1:1 match.

    To adjust to 720 pixels wide and 576 high you to display something like Sky menus or BBCi or someother graphic image that is not overscanned. Resize to screen, then go through the channels and you will see big black borders.

    Some DVDs have similar problems, Disney ones noticeable don't use all 720 pixels wide, and have black bars either side.

    StooMonster
     
  14. DEO

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    Hi RAMiaM

    I do agree with you and am considering buyin the KD card. However, how can you be sure it is going to be top quality? It is not even out yet, it may be just quite good.

    Dave
     
  15. RAMiAM

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    True, True.
    My Quality statement was based purley on:
    • Produced by the people from KeyDigital
    • The repulation of the Leeza
    • The initial reports from the US on the new Leeza
    • The PioCard is basically a Leeza

    But then again it could all go pear shaped :(
    RAMiAM
     
  16. Dutch

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    Hi Stoo,

    I believe those black sidebars you see on the Disney DVDs is due to the fact that they anamorphically enhance their 1.66:1 films on DVD. Admittedly, most folks' TVs will overscan and these bars are rarely seen. Disney should be applauded for doing 1.66:1 DVDs anamorphically, something MGM and Warner sadly don't do in the US.

    Steve
     
  17. StooMonster

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    Dutch. Interesting! Had no idea that some Disney movies were at 1.66:1 ratio rather than 1.78:1 (16:9) ratio; just checked the box and there it is.

    For DVD’s I've got my screen’s geometry set to display 720x576 or 720x480 on 1366x768 with no overscan; well, perhaps a tiny bit to get geometry absolutely right (i.e. circles are circles).

    For digital television though, geometry had to be adjusted – so 720x576 is about 10% bigger than 1366x768 – because the semi-random black bars with blurred edges due to different horizontal positioning are too unsightly; they are even on some 16:9 channels.

    The problem is that with older analogue technology, video pictures are designed to exceed the size of the physical screen. The edge of the picture may or may not be displayed, to allow variations in television sets. This extra area is called the overscan area. Video productions are planned so titles appear in the centre “title-safe area”, and action appears within the “action-safe area”; both are approximate areas. Furthermore, some broadcasters do not use the entire horizontal width, and also different programmes have a differing horizontal positioning too.

    Plasmas and monitors are capable of displaying the entire video image including the overscan area, which causes problems if you set geometry to display the entire broadcast image.

    Here’s a link about overscan on NTSC http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,838693,00.asp

    Sorry mate, not making a mountain out of a mole hill or dissing Key Digital kit; just saying that you won’t get your 1:1 pixel match with digital television pictures, unless you don’t mind varying thickness vertical black bars on some television channels, or the KD card does “underscan” output.

    But DVD should be perfect, unless it’s a 1.66:1 ratio one, in which case you would expect vertical black bars; but not as thick bars as 1.55:1 (14:9) ratio, like you see on some segments of the news. But that is expected. :)

    StooMonster
     
  18. peter350

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    I have a 433 and a Rock+ currently. If you send a sky signal via the scaler at native rate without any adjustments you will see black borders and video garbage as the Rock will process the whole signal and the 433 will display it. Hence the Rock has an overscan adjustment so you can still send the 433 native rate with the borders and garbage cropped off, so no problem.

    I would expect KD to offer something similar but of course they may not!

    The real worry I have about KD (and the rock) is that Pioneers convert the vertical refresh to 70hz at native rate (or anything else they classify as a pc input). Thus if you set your scaler to 60 or 75 or 50 you will get tearing of the image. Only 70 or 72 are ok.

    72 is ok in Ntsc land with a scaler that can do 3:3 (like the rock or KD) as it a multiple of the original 24 film frames. However here in pal land 70 or 72 is not optimal (we need 50 or 75, i.e multiples of 25) and you will get a degree of judder. The rock looks pretty good at 72 even with pal but there is sometimes a lack of smoothness to the motion.

    Kd's card competitors Aurora make cards for pioneers that send 720p or 1080i letting the pioneer scale the last little bit itself. The result is not native rate but a signal close thereto which the pioneer treats as a video signal so no conversion to 70hz.

    I suppose there's no perfect solution:)

    Cheers Peter
     
  19. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Peter,

    I asked Mike Tsinberg ab out this exact issue and he replied that it wasn't a problem and it was just that other manufacturers hadn't worked out how the panel actually operates.

    Pretty cryptic but we can but hope.........

    Gordon
     
  20. peter350

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    Gordon,

    do you mean the potential issue with pal? If the KD card outputs pal input at native rate without tearing and at a refresh suitable for judder free pal: where do I sign?

    Cheers Peter
     

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