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Pioneer Exapnsion Cards for 503, 433, Elite 800 & 1000

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by pharris, Dec 27, 2003.

  1. pharris

    pharris
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    Hello Everyone,
    My name is Paul Harris and I am with Aurora Multimedia Corp.
    The reason for the post is to inform people of this forum of the products we make for the Pioneer plasmas that give it capabilities beyond the standard models. I am also posting because I find forums are the best places for feedback on existing products, for better or worse, as well as future products by finding out your needs & wants.
    If you are interested please vist www.auroramultimedia.com and give me feedback on your needs or just questions about what the cards do. You can find the products under products on the web site.
    I look forward to your posts.
     
  2. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Paul

    Welcome to the Forums.

    How about some info for potential UK resellers too :)

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  3. pharris

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    Hi,
    We do sell internationally as well. The cards are the same except for the tuner cards which have PAL/SECAM versions instead. In the menu there is a place to setup the freq vs the channel number. The cards can do all versions of PAL(I, BG, DK, M, N) and SECAM.
     
  4. peter350

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    Hi Paul,

    a few questions

    so are you saying that there is now a TVP100+ with pal tuners?


    Do your cards perform 2:2 pulldown for pal film sourced material?

    I understand that your cards scale to 720p or 1080i, but what do they do to the vertical refresh for pal input at 50hz, leave at 50hz or transcode it to 60hz?

    Do your cards pass the scaled image to the panel as digital or analogue (albeit scaled to hi-def)?

    Where does one buy a pal tvp1000+ or indeed any of your cards to ship to the uk?

    Regards Peter
     
  5. pharris

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    It does 3:2 and 2:2 pulldown. The refresh rate is scaled to 60Hz. We found it looks better that way with the plasma. Actually we are shipping the TVP-1000 Pro to the international market at this time which has even more features. It has the same features as the XTune Pro listed on our web site. As for who to buy from send an e-mail to sales@auroramultimedia.com and they will be more than happy to tell you where and who to get a card. I am an engineer so I do not get involved in the typical sale.
     
  6. sticker

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    Looks very interesting :)
     
  7. peter350

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    I don't think there are any UK dealers.
    I have jumped in and ordered a A304 from plasmaextreme.us -nice people and cost £404 inc fedex(the exchange rate is good at the moment) plus duty and vat to pay. You need paypal to make the purchase.

    Paul if your listening can you help with cable planning:

    what is the length of the breakout cable and is it a male dvi connector and male bncs?

    Regards Peter
     
  8. Arty

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    Hi everyone,
    I have a pioneer 503 mxev, I think it has the standard video card which I believe is the PDA-5002 ( info from the Leading edge web page ). Can anyone advise me if there will be any difference changing my original card for any one of the cards offered for sale on this site? I am new to this technology and would welcom any advice. Thanks in advance.
    Arty H:hiya: :)
     
  9. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Arty

    In theory the A-304 HDCP card should be a step up from the PDA-5002 as the A-304 looks to have a better scaling engine and other features not found on the PDA-5002.

    The problem here in the UK is that so far we've not seen a fully working A-304 with PAL signals and the one UK distributor I know of that was/is (not sure of the current position on this) supplying the Aurora cards were not having much luck with PAL from what I was told.

    Maybe the latest A-304 cards have been fully tested with PAL signals - over to Paul Harris on that one :)

    Using an internal card with High Resolution scaling to replace the PDA-5002 has been promised by two or three US and one Taiwanese companies but so far none have delivered a card that is any good with PAL input signals and you would possibly be better sticking to using an external scaler/deinterlacer like many of us currently utilise.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  10. Arty

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    Hi Joe,
    thanks for taking time to answer my question. I have a JS plasma to VGA unit from my old philips digi box to my screen, i thought one of the newer boards would be an improvement to what I already have. I also thought one of these boards would offer a route to HDMI via the DVI socket, is that the theory?

    Many thanks,

    Arty:smashin:
     
  11. Dutch

    Dutch
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    Arty,

    Yes, you are correct that these cards will allow HDMI to be input to the plasmas using a suitable cable or adapter. Unfortunately, I don't think the Aurora cards allow native rate on the DVI-HDCP input if fitted to a 3rd gen model, but I think it will be corrected in the 4th gen by a card firmware update. Hope this helps.

    Steve
     
  12. peter350

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    My A304 arrived yesterday. Very easy to install despite my table top stand which restricts access to the slot.

    It worked out of the box and delivered a very pleasing picture with Ntsc dvd via component (I don't really watch R2) and also with sky+ via svideo.

    It definitely works with pal and is definitely a step up from the 5002 although I have limited experience of the 5002 having always used an external scaler. It particularly doesn't suffer from the digital smearing on movement which I always noticed with the 5002 card at 50 hz(and also with an Iscan pro with non-film material at 50hz).
    I don't think 433s work well at 50hz and I have been watching up to now with a Lumagen vision at 720p or 1080p at 60hz (an excellent picture IMHO). Aurora cards also scale pal to 720p/1080i at 60hz and I haven't noticed any jerkiness as yet.

    How does it compare to the Lumagen? I have only just started with the card so this is only a v provisional view:

    1. Dvd via component is certainly a close call between the two.

    2. Film material on Sky was perhaps slightly behind the lumagen (more noise in the background).

    3. Video material on Sky was not as good as the Lumagen (less sharpness and more noise), but perfectly watchable.

    I also thought blacks looked better with the lumagen and I suspect 433s benefit from the Lumagens expanded black function.

    Having said all that there are lots of settings still to try. Also I will be trying the dvi port using the hdmi output of a 868 I have on order (that's what I want the cable for, Joe). However this is not a pure digital path, Arty, as the card addresses the panel as high def analogue component video. It will however eliminate one analogue to digital conversion at the input stage. Also I think I will have to use the progressive output of the 868 as Dvi is limited to progressive input. This is a drawback as on previous models Pioneer deinterlacing was not the best.

    On a 433 this is not a native rate scaler, but then because of the refresh rate issue discussed elsewhere very few scalers can feed a 433 native rate without tearing.

    regards Peter

    edit: I have now discovered a couple of pal issues. First pal dvd via component has crazy wrong brightness that cannot be corrected. Pal via svideo is clipping the bottom end of black according to DVE. Switching the dvd player to 7.5 ire fixes this (i.e it seems to follow the card is incorrectly set to expect pal with black as 7.5(per Ntsc) not 0 ire. Unless I have overlooked a setting somewhere (more than possbile:) )
     
  13. sparkz

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    peter350

    I wondered how you were doing with the Aurora now? Any more comments?

    I'm interested in getting either a A304 or the TVP-1000 (which ever works best) for my 433 but I'd want it to work with NTSC and PAL.

    When I spoke to Aurora sales they said they were just about to launch the PAL version of the TVP-1000 in Europe via a company called TechSupply in Switzerland. I wasn't too sure it that was for the A304 as well. He did say the new PAL version was called the TVP-1000 Pro? I don't know if that just a marketing gimmick to justify a price hike :D

    I emailed TechSupply but haven't had any response yet.

    Does anyone know if theses sorts of cards will improve the picture to a PC running Media Center via DVI? I currently have to run mine at 1280x768 else windows won't acknowledge the fact it's widescreen (because the pixels aren't square). Doing this means the normal window text is not very readable even with "Clear Type" turned on.

    Regards
    Mark
     
  14. Joe Fernand

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    sparkz

    Yes the boys in Switzerland do seem to be a bit shy at present.

    I've also tried a couple of times with no feedback so far - I'll get back to Aurora for an update.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  15. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Crushing black with 0IRE sources is a typical US product fault. Hopefully aurora can correct this.

    Gordon
     
  16. StooMonster

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    Any plasma in particular?

    Don't want to sound cynical here but if it could do 50Hz PAL wouldn't you leave it as a option -- for user to decide which looks better -- rather than fix it to 60Hz, with the inevitable judder of framerate conversion (displaying 50fps at 60fps).

    Saying that, I wish these guys -- or anyone -- made cards for Panny plasma, other than Pansonic obviously. ;)

    StooMonster
     
  17. peter350

    peter350
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    Update:

    1. As indicated this card seems to handle the pal black level incorrectly. DVE shows this for svideo. I think the pal component problems is related as DVE shows that the card is crushing the white end of the spectrum. Not the first time I have had this problem on a US product - remember the quadscan anyone?

    When I emailed Paul Harris he responded promptly indicating that he planned to add to the firmware (this card is updateable and the necessary cable is in the box) to try to resolve this, but he couldn't give a date for the update. Thus I have shelved using this card for pal pending the update.

    2. I got my Pio 868 and hdmi/ dvi cable and I have been using the card to input 480p via dvi with the card scaling to 720p. This is one less adc than my external lumagen scaler but still has a trip to analogue and back once scaled. The picture is sharper via Aurora but it shows more background noise. Thus it looks at its best with high quality material. Overall on a 43 inch screen I think the Lumagen and the aurora are close for R1 films.

    3. Off topic I have been pleasantly surprised by the deinterlacing of the 868. I appreciate that on tests it may struggle with difficult material but on R1 films I can't see any problems in normal use. Indeed unless one watches very critically there is little difference between dvi on aurora, component into lumagen and progressive component directly to the screen.

    4. Overall there is no doubt that the best thing I have for pal is the lumagen. I am glad I bought the aurora as (I admit:) I like to play and I look forward to firmware improvements. However I would not use the aurora as my sole scaler at present.

    5. Stoo, that the aurora uses 60hz is a plus to me. My 433 is rubbish with any form of 50hz (gross digital smearing of flesh tones on any horizontal movement is my best description) and I have my lumagen set to 720p or 1080p at 60hz. I don't see significant judder on the lumagen nor did I on my pal use of the aurora. I gather from what I have read here that panasonics don't have this 50hz issue.

    6. Sparkz, I think the TVP1000pro has some improvements over the TVP1000+ in the analogue tuner bit and the US version is also called the pro now.
    I don't know anything about HTPC but I doubt aurora via dvi would be an improvement over the 5002 because you are putting a dac and adc into the path. However the a304 manual does refer to supporting all sorts of pc resolutions via their dvi.

    7. It was zero hassle buying from the US. I ordered on monday and received the card on friday. Plasmaextreme gave very good communication. I haven't had the duty bill yet but I am estimating circa 100 to 150 gbp.

    Regards Peter
     
  18. sparkz

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    Just an update if anyone's interested.

    I just had a reply from TechSupply in Switzerland. It seems they've been busy at the ISEurope show. Anyhow, they tell me the Pioneer cards will be available at the end of February. They'll send me further info and a price list when the time comes.

    Still, I'd like to know if they've nailed that PAL issue though? Has anyone seen the new version of the TVP1000+ (called Pro now) which I was told would have an updated firmware to address this issue. They have this on the Aurora web site now. It seems to have some extra audio features as well.

    Mark
     
  19. ancientgeek

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    peter350:

    Any update on your A304-HDCP/868 combination? I was going to get this card for the scaling only available on the 868 for HDMI, but your R2 problems have put me off. Any solution yet?

    Perhaps I'll wait for Momitsu 880N and get the benefit of native scaling for the PDP433 and network playback too.
     
  20. peter350

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    Ancientgeek, thanks for your pm on this subject. Herewith a copy of my reply:
    Re: A340-HDCP
    In my view the card is not yet ready for pal/R2 for the reasons set out in the thread. This was using the component and svideo inputs on the A340 i.e. 576i

    I see you want to input R2 via hdmi. This is a total no go for the A340. Whilst the 868 can output 50hz material via hdmi at 576i/p, 720 and 1080 all at 50hz, the A340 will not recognise the signal at all and I doubt they will ever change that. The card spec does not claim this ability as it only accepts 50hz at 576i and dvi is progressive only (it doesn't accept 480i at 60hz from the 868 either).

    BTW for R1 material hdmi out on the pioneer is better than prog scan directly to the 433 but its not a huge difference. Remember the a340 is not a pure digital path unlike your pc into the 5002.

    Hope this helps

    Peter
     
  21. sparkz

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    Update on European versions.

    In case anyone's interested. TechSupply in Switzerland emailed me with a price list for the Aurora products.

    They have the A304-HDCP at 804EUR and the TVP-1000Pro at 1281EUR. That's around £538 and £857 respectively and doesn't include VAT or shipping.

    Still want to know if they've dealt with this PAL issue though. Said they'd speak to me in a few days.

    Mark
     
  22. Joe Fernand

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    sparkz

    That's 804.00 Euro for the A304-HDCP - just in case anyone thought you had a wild conversion rate :)

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  23. sparkz

    sparkz
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    Thanks - corrected! 304 for 304 had a nice sort of symmetry though :)

    Mark
     
  24. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    sparkz

    I think us dealers prefer asymmetrical pricing :)

    Joe
     

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