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PlasmaEnhancer PE-1000 Pro Video Processor

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by RobbieTT, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. RobbieTT

    RobbieTT
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    PlasmaEnhancer PE-1000 Pro Video Processor

    Anybody know anything about this VP, the search has not found anyone who has used it? It seems to do pretty much all I could want. It looks like no scaling on HDMI, although I am not to sure about SD over HDMI as that may be an option.

    Thoughts anyone?

    Like many putting a toe in the water of VPs, I'm looking for a better Sky picture on a 436XDE - not the most friendly of plasmas when it comes to Video Processing I gather.
     
  2. nicke20

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    I would stick with an iscan or a lumagen if i was you, then at least you know what you are getting
     
  3. Welwynnick

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    There was a thread a little while ago about the plasma enhancers. I don't recall the details, but the conclusion was there were some significant gaps in its functionality.

    Nick
     
  4. gizlaroc

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    The processing is superb, and the depth from the image is amazing, to be fair image wise it is in a different league to the iscan HD+, but, it is too limited.

    And the bigger Crystalio can be had for around £1500 at the moment and that does everything, the Plasma Enhancher is a small Crystalio with a load of features removed.
     
  5. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    As Giz says - the image is out and out highly impressive (Lumagen HDP quality), but it is really quite limited in connectivity and functionality. I don't quite agree with the baby Crystalio comment though, the Crystalio gives an even better detailed and smoother image again rather than just functional differences.

    I seem to be doing nothing but shouting Lumagen praises at the moment, but again relevant here is the fact the Lumagen will deal with the interlaced HDMI output of your 868. By giving the Luma an interlaced, but still digital signal you get Lumagn processing but no a-d or d-a conversion dirtying up the picture.
     
  6. gizlaroc

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    I must admit that I have not seen a Plasma Enhancer set up properly, I made the comment about baby Crystalio based on what was said on the PMS forum, given the same input signal they should perform the same. But that may have been befor its release and things may have changed? don't know?
     
  7. RobbieTT

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    Gents, thank you.

    Lumagen get the nod then, I gather perfection does not come cheap. Which model do I need (inc future growth to Sky HD).

    What about the limitations of the 436 XDE with its media box. Will I still get good results?
     
  8. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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  9. RobbieTT

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    Thanks for the link, but it is way above my pay grade. I'm also not that keen on using VGA; picture nirvana yes, but not at the expense of having a cable plugged into the front of the media box.

    There must be an easier way.

    I have an easy-to-cancel order for the 436. I'm attracted by the convienience of the media box but perhaps a panel with a single connection to a video processor would be better, as I do not need speakers and the like. I just need one that can take component, scart RGB, a couple of HDMI/DVI HDCP, VGA and composite with a little room for growth. I do not need SDI etc.
     
  10. Liam @ Prog AV

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    If you do have the opportunity I would go for a more scaler friendly screen. A Pioneer or Panasonic basic monitor would give you better results, especially if the tuner/speakers/media-box holds no real advantage for you.

    The Pioneer 43MXE1 can be had for good prices, is absolutely perfect for use with a video processor, but you will need to rely on HDCP stripping gadgetry when Sky HD becomes available.

    The Panasonic 42PHD8 does have HDCP but won't run native resolution at 50Hz which means UK Sky and DVDs will undergo a frame rate conversion (frc) which can introduce judder on some panning shots. However good results have been had running 720p for 50Hz, and native for 60Hz. With the Lumagen it is also possible to assign a memory for PAL converted to 60Hz and running native which you can flick in and out of depending on the material.
     
  11. gizlaroc

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    Robbie I didn't mean go for the Crsytalio scaler, I was mearly pointing out that the XDE range is a bit of a mare when it comes to adding scalers and getting 1:1 mapping.
    Although the Crystalio can be had for £1500 now.
     
  12. RobbieTT

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    Thanks Liam,

    By coincidence I was looking at the PHD8 this am. Did not know about the native 50Hz issue. On the HDMI board it lists 625 @ 50Hz, I suppose they ran out of space on the board to say '625/50P [but crap at it]'

    Still stuck.
     
  13. Liam @ Prog AV

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    Well I would probably go Panny PHD8 and Luma HDP. Bags of contrast and oodles of black, Luma will run interlaced HDMI from the 868, feeding 720p @ 50Hz and 1:1 @ 60Hz DVI to the screen, with the option to flick between the two settings (you will probably find for most movie use the FRC isn't noticeable at all anyway).
     
  14. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    You see, now I would say iof you are going to spend that sort of money you should look at the Crystalio for £1500, SDI from dvd, SDI from sky and RGBhv into the screen.
    DCDi deinterlacing with Pal material and all 1:1 mapped onto a PHD8.
     
  15. Joe Fernand

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    gizlaroc

    You've just cost RobbieTT about a grand in SDI mods :)

    Keep in mind for an extra £80.00 the Lumagen VisionHDP can be specified with Analogue BNC Outputs.

    That way you can do 1024x768P(50) on Analogue into the HD15(VGA) socket of the PHD8 and 1024x768P(60) via the DVI socket.

    You only need the 'compromised' 1280x720P(50) Digital Output from the Lumagen for your R2 Disks from the DV-868AVi's HDMI Output; that said 1280x720(50) via DVI from the Lumagen does look very good on the PHD8 and a lot of folk are using it with SKY+ and the like.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  16. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Sorry! :)

    I forget that SDI mods cost alot because I do them myself, so I always think of them as £100 for the board.

    But you could sell your 868 and buy and sdi machine for less money.
     
  17. JetJockey

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    Hi Gizlaroc

    Got to ask.

    How much difference does it make using SDI. :suicide:

    Also, Liam. Why take an interlaced signal out of the DVD player? Is this a less
    "processed signal" than Progressive out? Also, why are two settings needed on the Lumagen. :eek:

    Also Joe. Why is 1280 x 720p "compromised? :rolleyes:

    In a nutshell gents, I assumed the addition of a scaler allowed one lead from the scaler to the display, and the scaler would take care of any signal that was thrown at it (once programmed) with the touch of a key?? :confused:

    Sorry for the questions, but for someone who has been out of the electronics game for many years, I am playing catchup here as a prospective Lumagen purchaser. :smashin:

    Cheers, Gerald. :)
     
  18. Joe Fernand

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    Hello JetJockey

    Being able to Output/Input a 1:1 Pixel Mapped Image into any Display is the closest you can get to 'bypassing' the Video Processing in the Display.

    As the TH-42PHD8BK has 1024x768 pixels then the best 'theoretical' set up would be having all of your sources pre processed in an external Video Processor with the Video Processor set to Output 1024x768 pixels at 50Hz for your PAL sources and 60Hz for your NTSC sources.

    As the TH-42PHD8BK only takes 1024x768 at 60Hz on its Digital Inputs then for those that want to have a single Digital connection between the Video Processor and the Display you have to set the Video Processor to 1280x720 at 50Hz for your PAL sources and let the Displays do a final re scale to 1024x768 - which whilst not meeting the theoretical 'optimum' set up requirement still works very well.

    SDI between your Source and Video Processor done well is very good - it gets you as close to the raw data from the source as your likely to get.

    With the Pioneer DV-868AVi (plus Arcam DV79 and FMJ DV29) you can get pretty close to SDI quality using the HDMI Output from the players - these players are unusual in that the manufacturers give you the option of outputting an Interlaced YUV or RGB signal via the HDMI socket; doing so you bypass most of the pre processing modern DVD players normally apply to Outgoing video signals so the signal arriving at your Video Processor is again as close to the source data as you can achieve.

    If you set the Players to Output a Progressive signal your then not making the most of your Video Processor as it will undoubtedly have better deinterlacing than that built into the player.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  19. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    :rolleyes:

    What he said! :)
     
  20. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    What I will say is this, I have never seen anything look as good dvd wise as a Philips 963SA SDI modded. The player can be had for £119 from www.play.com and the SDI board for £149, and it is a really easy job to do yourself.

    If you get a scaler that can take SDI you must get one of these.
     
  21. JetJockey

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    Thanks all.

    BUT.......... I am going to ask a really stupid question here:- :oops:

    Why cannot the Lumagen, put out an exact 1024x768, or 1366x768 (in the case of the 50" panel) signal at 50 or 60 Hz, thereby negating the need for the panel to do any processing at all??

    I will now stand back and wait for the obvious explanation :lease:

    Regards, Gerald. :)
     
  22. Liam @ Prog AV

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    The processors can all generate the required signals, but the panels don't accept it. The only plasma that does understand it's own native resolution is the Pioneer MXE1.
     
  23. Liam @ Prog AV

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    Should read - the only panel that can understand it's own native resolution, at 50Hz, via DVI or HDMI, is the Pioneer MXE1.
     
  24. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    On the digital inputs that is.

    They can all do it using RGBhv.
     
  25. Liam @ Prog AV

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    ha ha - beat you to it Giz!!!
     
  26. JetJockey

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    Ah!

    So this is only a problem when feeding the panel with Digital (DVI - HDMI).

    If we feed the panel analogue RGBHV via it's BNC or VGA socket, then we can feed the panel what it wants. Is this correct?

    So why use digital (necesarily). I know in theory it's a "purer" signal. But I have heard people saying that they often prefer component fed in analogue format as opposed to digital.

    Am I missing something blindingly obvious here? :confused: Is there some other limitation or problem (more A-D-A processing).

    Many thanks, Gerald. :rolleyes:
     
  27. Liam @ Prog AV

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    I would still rather use analogue where I can, but now HDCP has reared it's ugly head. On anything HDMI the copyright encoding means the signal must remain digital, Sky HD will eventually only use HDMI connection and from many DVD players now the best output is via HDMI. I am still running analogue setups myself, and there are devices out there which accidentally-on-purpose remove HDCP from their output!! But how reliable these will be over time I do not know.
     
  28. JetJockey

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    Accidentally on purpose? Love it!

    Must accidentally ask where one gets one of these.

    Anyway, Sooooo............. could one ultimately, take the RGB feed from a SKY HD box (next Jan) and feed that thru the Lumagen to a panel in RGB analogue? :confused:

    Or.............Will there be no HD RGB out on the SKY HD box. :thumbsdow

    Or............Will this whole scenario be pointless because the SKY HD box will put out such a good HDMI signal at 1080, that a scaler will be superfluous? :oops:

    (I seem to remember being told that a scaler will benefit anything plugged into it though).

    Cheers, Gerald. :)
     
  29. Joe Fernand

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    Hello JetJockey

    Its dead simple really!!!

    The Lumagen Video Processor can Input and process an HDCP encoded signal - it will Output it on Digital only with the HDCP encoding re applied.

    There are ways of taking the Digitally encoded Output from the Lumagen and removing the HDCP encoding or even turn the Digital signal to Analogue - the one proviso being at some future date the Black Box you purchase to do that last stage in the 'conversion' process may cease to function if the HDCP Licensing system is as smart as its supposed to be.

    As it stands your probably best preparing for your system having to deal with HDCP signals and that means Digital Out from the Lumagen at 1366x768P(60) and 1280x720P(50) to the DVI Input on the TH-50PHD8BK; with the Option to do 1366x768P(50) from the Analogue RGBHV Output for non HDCP sources.

    The Lumagen VisionHDP will do a better job of Processing 1080i signals than the Display will so no worries about anything becoming 'superfluous'.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  30. JetJockey

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    Yup, thought so. :suicide:

    Dead straightforward really, don't know why people have so much trouble with it all. Good thing I don't mind pretending I don't know this stuff so that other people can learn from the answers. :oops:

    Well then. I now have to ask another obvious question! If a non HDCP encoded signal is to be fed from the Lumagen to the Panel at an "ideal" 1366x768p @50 Hz (I'm warming to this now). Should one feed it to the Panel via the usual BNC via RGB or Component? Or should one use the VGA (PC Style) socket? Which is best and why? :confused:

    Also (there's no stopping me now)............ Should one use RGBhv using all five cables to the BNC's on the Panel? Or should one use RGB with sync on green? Or am I talking absolute rubbish because a scaler has to use all five leads (RGB & hv) because of the vast range of different timings it uses for the different resolutions. :eek:

    Further to the above (wait for it)............ What sort of material is likely to be carrying a HDCP signal in reality? Is this currently used on any DVD's I may have rented? Will it be present on the new HD Sky box HDMI output? Will it be / is it present on all HDMI digital output, purely as a function of the HDMI interface?

    Also, will High Def be available from the new HD SKY box via RGB (from Scart)

    or

    will it only be available from the HDMI socket?

    If anybody can answer the above questions (Joe, Gordon, Liam, Maw, Giz, etc), I would be eternally grateful. This would help a great deal with my decision on which options to specify connectivity wise, for my Lumagen and Panel. I would hate to specify a panel with no BNC's, only to find that under certain circumstances they are quite advantageous. It could well be that HDMI alone, is not the Nirvanha that some might believe! :nono:

    Anyway, any help appreciated. Off to bed now, my head hurts.

    Regards, Gerald. :)
     

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