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Sagem Axium questions

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by andyatkins, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. andyatkins

    andyatkins
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    Well there I was all ready to spend £3.5k on a Panasonic 42" HD panel & I went & dropped in Comet & was gob-smacked by the HD demo on the Sagem Axium they had in there.

    Anyhow I've got my senses back & now I've been through some recent posts & have read the downloaded manual I've got some questions that may sway me back to the Panny:-

    1. I've read in a post the Axium DVI interface isn't HDCP compliant, but have also read there may be an upgrade available at least in the US for a badged equivalent product. Is this the case & is if so is the upgrade going to be available in the UK?

    2. THe manual refers to 'Resolutions Accepted' for the DVI & VGA ports & seems to only accept 4:3 ratio signals (640x480, 800x600, 1024x768 etc) plus 1280x720 (60Hz) with none of them @ 50Hz, although 75Hz is available for some of the 4:3 ratios. Is this a fundmantal problem for wanting to display PAL 50Hz signals (Sky+, Region 2 DVDs) via the DVI port- IE will it present the judder / 'tearing' problem?

    3. Related to the above question as the manual states only 1280x720 @ 60Hz does this mean 1:1 pixel mapping for future 50Hz HD material is unattainable?

    4. Similar question again, assuming Sky go for a 720p 50Hz HD signal (I understand this is what Astra are going to implement) does this mean the Sagem would be incompatable as it only seems to support 60Hz @ 1280x720? The blurb says the TV supports 720p? The manual also refers to being able to adjust the 'data display frequency' for VGA input at least to match your computers graphics card.

    Any feedback would be helpful - especially from Hellicopter as you seem to be well up on this stuff.

    Thanks
     
  2. Loada

    Loada
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    I've just had a very similar experience to Andy today in the Teesside Park (Middlesbrough) branch of Comet - they were running a Sagem Axium with the WM9 HDTV demos (F1 racing one?) and it looked very VERY impressive indeed and I've been smitten.

    Now this TV seems to be a bit of a dark horse - it doesn't seemed to have grabbed a great deal of press and it isn't talked about much on this (and other) forums, despite its pretty impressive specifications and this worries me a little - I'd like to find out a bit more before I think of going to buy one.

    I'm pretty much in the market for the same info as Andy - my worry is more of a future-proof issue, especially regarding the HDCP side of things. Although the Axiums main use (for me) will be Sky+ and DVD watching, I would also like to play my USA Dreamcast, USA Gamecube and modded Xbox through it and I will be definitely signing up for Sky's HDTV supply (if/when it arrives).

    So, in a shameless bumping of Andy's original post, can anyone who knows about these things (or has some real experience of using this set in "the real world") add some words of encouragement before I potentially make a £2800 mistake??

    Thanks in advance :thumbsup:
     
  3. Kramer

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    Haven't seen this myself so can't comment but someone in the TV forum may be able to help.



    Moved (I'll leave a redirect here though.) :)
     
  4. Mad Mikeyboy

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    I will be taking delivery of one from comet on wednesday.
    Dont know much about the technical questions your asking , but I will give you my "layman's" verdict when I get a chance to play around with my new toy.
    That said though I am an expert on the "juddering" effect or "smearing" your talking about as I just parted company with a sony LCD RP set due to this. I was assured by the guy in the shop that it would not happen with this one but we'll soon see and if he's wrong he'll get this one back too!!
     
  5. Mad Mikeyboy

    Mad Mikeyboy
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    Well.................... Took delivery of my new toy yesterday and oh boy, am I glad I got rid of the sony LCD RP and replaced it with the sagem DLP.There is no comparison in picture quality the sagem wins hand down. Perhaps the sony is a better looking set but I dont sit and watch the stand all night.

    As yet I must say I have no complaints apart from a little "shadowing" on some sky channels. But thats to be expected with sky. Also when the menus are on screen it moves around a little but I can put up with that.
    Hooked up my DVD player and bought an S-Video connector for it and the picture is out of this world. I would recommend it to anyone.
     
  6. Hellicopter

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    Andy-I am very impressed with the Sagem having lived with it for 8 weeks.It is terrifc for Sky+ using RGB which it scales up and stunning for the HDTV broadcasts on Astra and Hotbird.

    OK I am biased because I bought it but so far absolutely no regrets.The highlight so far though has been watching the Euro 2004 HD feeds before they were scrambled.

    Let me try and answer at least some of your questions.( The best place for Axium info though is on the French Home Theatre forum which is now up to 109 pages!)

    -The Axium is not HDCP compliant.Optoma in the USA (which the Axium is a mechanical clone of) has just made available a fix ,at a cost in the US.There is no way of knowing whether it will come to Europe.However I am not counting on it (nor are they on the forum) as the French did the software development and it is quite different from the Optoma.Remember though the HDCP only applies to the DVI input and most HDTV in the USA is watched via the component input.

    -The Axium accepts both 16:9 and 4:3 through DVI and VGA inputs but only as the source is set up .You cannot change the aspect on the TV for these 2 inputs.You can however adjust the VGA input to match your computer.

    -The TV accepts both 50 and 60 Hz.


    So what don't I like.

    -Cabinet is not the most attractive feature but wife loves the picture so not a problem.

    -On delivery, geometry was not perfect and is only adjustable mechanically (PM me if you want to know how) Mine is now perfect.

    -Only one DVI input will become increasingly frustrating.


    So there you have it and I am the classic early adopter! Should point out though that both Thomson and Samsung will be releasing 50" DLPs in the Autumn.That was much too far away for me!

    Please remember that the Pana 42" plasma is not high resolution.
     
  7. 38H21543

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    Generally, Comet displays TV's with very poor feed, but they now have the Sagem connected to a NEC Powermate PC showing WMVHD material (looks like it is the material from http://www.wmvhd.com/), and it looks absolutely incredible.
     
  8. acanning

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    Hi Hellicopter

    You seem to be the authority on these Sagem tvs!

    I also own an Axium and am similarly thrilled with the performance. I do have a few questions though which you may be able to answer.

    1.You talked about scaling-up the Sky picture – what does that mean exactly?

    2.When Sky eventually does High-Def (which they said they are going to do) will the Axium be fully compatible? (I appreciate you may have to guess at this one)

    3.Do you know where I can get some High-def demo stuff. I tried connecting my computer via the DVI input but wasn’t too impressed with the result as it didn’t fill the whole screen. Is it possible to get widescreen out of a PC? I also wasn’t sure what resolution to run the PC at or what software to use for the video output. I've had a quick look at wmvhd.com but remain a bit confused.

    4.How did you check the geometry? I’m not unhappy with the picture but would be interested all the same. What should I look for in the image. You asked Andy to PM you but I’m not sure what that means! (sorry to be thick).

    5.Finally, how do you connect your DVD player and what make is it. I’m thinking about upgrading mine but am not sure which connection method I should use. I currently use RGB on one of the scarts.

    Any guidance you can give would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks.

    Ashley

    p.s. You don't know where I could get the remote control codes for use with a Pronto do you?
     
  9. Hellicopter

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    I'm not sure whether I can cope with being an authority on anything but I'll try and answer your questions anyway. I do not have a deep technical knowledge but other subscribers will no doubt correct any mistakes I make.

    1. The natural resolution of the Axiom is 1280 x 720. This means that any picture fed to it with a lower resolution is scaled up to this level. For example, a pal picture has 625 horizontal lines (well, 576 actually, but I won't complicate it). This then is converted by the TV to 720. You can sometimes see the effect of this in very small steps showing up on a diagonal line. In a higher resolution picture, this would be smoother.

    2. When Sky does transmit HD sometime in 2006, or maybe 2007, your TV should be OK. However, you may have noticed that the Sagem does not always handle well the transition from NTSC to PAL. This is because the refreshment rate of NTSC is 60 HZ whilst PAL is 50 HZ. Sky is likely to use 50 HZ (the same as Euro 1080). Likewise, I think it is unlikely that the new Sky HD box will have DVI out as well as component. For more info., have a look at the postings on the HD Forum under the heading of "Qualitv".

    3. Perhaps the easiest way of getting high-def material currently is using a Qualitv satellite box for Euro 1080. I've not experimented with downloading material as I do not have a fast enough PC. There will shortly be on the market DVD players capable of showing WMVHD discs.

    4. If you are happy with your picture, I would not look too hard for geometry problems as, once you've seen them, they will drive you mad! However, a perfect picture will have straight horizontal and vertical lines with perfect circles on the appropriate test card. (PM = personal email.)

    5. In view of the development I've mentioned in (3), I would definitely hold off from buying a new DVD player. Because of the quality of the TV, you will notice very little improvement from one current DVD player to another. (My DVD player is a Samsung 935 with DVI output.)

    Hope the above helps.

    Alan
     
  10. acanning

    acanning
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    Hi Alan

    Thanks very much for your rapid reply.

    Sorry to be a pain but I don’t quite understand a couple of your answers.

    1.Why would the changeover issue between PAL and NTSC be a problem for SKY HD. Will they broadcast in a different format?

    2.I was thinking of getting the Samsung player because of it’s relatively cheap price and the DVI output. Does it remember that you can’t use HDCP or do you need to tell it each time you watch a disk? Do you find the DVI input to be considerably better than RGB or Component?

    3.I’ll give the geometry thing a miss – thanks for the advice.

    4.Do you know anything about the remote control codes for use on a Pronto.

    Sorry to be a bore but your help is appreciated.

    Regards

    Ashley
     
  11. Hellicopter

    Hellicopter
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    1.On my Sagem at least , 50hz inputs into Component and VGA cause a problem though DVI is fine.Have a look in the HD forum here in AV forums for more detail.It is not clear whether this is a sat box problem or a TV one.It is however mentioned on the French Sagem forum(this is is a good source of info)
    If this situation continues and the Sky Box does not have a DVI output there may be problems.

    2.With the Samsung 935 , there is no HDCP problem even though the Sagem lacks it.The difference in the picture through DVI is not great because of the quality of the scaler in the Sagem.Some people , more expert than I , reckon the Sagem is best fed an interlaced picture to allow the scaler in the TV to do the rest rather than the DVD player.

    3.Good decision.

    4.Not tried to use the Pronto.Worth checking on 'remote central' to see whether anybody else has.Input select maybe a pain as the only access is to cycle through rather than go direct and as far as I can see the inputs cannot be allocated a channel number (which can be done on Sony TVs for example.)

    Hope this helps.

    Alan
     
  12. acanning

    acanning
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    Alan

    I'm going to leave you in peace now except for one last thing. Please could you tell me the url of the french Sagem forum. I've had a quick search via yahoo and can't find it.

    Many Thanks, you really have been helpful.

    Ashley
     
  13. Hellicopter

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  14. acanning

    acanning
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    Thanks once again, all I have to do now is find that french phrase book!!
     
  15. jonwilde

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    How much better is the Sagem compared to the LG DLP rear projector at the moment, has anyone compared them together ?

    Jon
     
  16. Mad Mikeyboy

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    one of my mates bought the LG, and I have the sagem. I dont know if im just biased, but to me the Sagem is way better.

    About the only thing I can say in favour of the LG, is that it has the glass screen and the Sagem has the flimsy plastic one. on the other hand the plastic screen is non reflective so its a personal choice there.

    The sagem also wins on connectivity,sound quality,overall looks..........

    make up your own mind.
     
  17. TheBoingoBandit

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    I saw the Axium in Comet today too.


    I'm presuming that Sagem themselves came in and installed it. It made every other TV each being fed a crappy composite signal look complete pants.


    I mocked the fact the store where I work brought in a 'old technology' rear projection, but like you I was gob-smacked when I saw high-def running through it. I haven't seen high-def being demoed for many years. And that was 'only' 1280 x 720 too.

    One of the best rear-pro's I've ever seen.
     
  18. Lizzard

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    Time comes and go and Thomson is releasing new DLP HD2 RPTVs in September with a design that the Sagem doesn't come close to, also the Thomson is only 18cm deep.

    This will compete directly with plasma, only that they produce a better picture due to the TI HD2 chip.

    I am for sure waiting for these.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Mike.Smith

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    I have just bought a sagem axium. I hooked it up to a denon 500 sd and tried switching to progessive scan. when I did the screen was distorted on the axium although interlaced is fine - can anyone help?
     
  20. shortround

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    are you hooking up by component? looking at the specs of the axium, it seems to suggest that only 1 of the 2 component inputs will accept progressive scan. are you sure you have it connected to the correct one?
     
  21. thecasementkid

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    I have just spent an hour in John Lewis in amazement looking at the Axium....

    Realising they will only show it off using the best input quality available, has anyone any experience with it using say a sky+ box or a standard dvd player. It the picture still jaw-dropping?
     
  22. Mad Mikeyboy

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    As you will see from previous replies posted in this thread, Im a big fan of the Sagem having just bought one a few weeks ago.
    As you would expext the pictures through sky are not great but neither are they poor.

    DVD is superb!! My player is a bog standard Panasonic cinema system and although not perfect it is near as dammit. Although I expect a trained eye may find faults with it but my untrained eye thinks its the mutts nutts. :smashin:
     
  23. Hellicopter

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    Good to know that the Sagem is now getting wider availability than just Comet.I would expect the price to drop.This has already occurred in France.
    As regards Sky,fed through the Scart Rgb ,it is very good compared to a normal TV but not as good as DVD .Of course the tighter the picture the more broadcast picture defects show up.
    Re future Dlp sets , the Thomson is available already in France and has been criticised for poor contrast and no VGA input.To anybody though I would say see it yourself before deciding.
    I would expect the new Samsungs,due in September to be strong competition for the Sagem.
    Finally I would commend to everybody the customer service from Sagem.On a number of queries from me they have been very responsive and helpful.
     
  24. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Resurrecting this thread as I too have been treated to the Axium running on that demo. Are you owners out there still happy? More specifically, are any of you running a DVD picture through the DVI? I am hoping (emphasis on hope) to pair this unit with a Marantz DV8400 via DVI (finances pending).

    The other question is the killer. Who other than Comet sells it? I have nothing major against them for cameras etc but don't want to fork out the best part of £3k with them unless I absolutely have to. Did one of you say John Lewis? (Or even better are Alders in on the sale as well?).
     
  25. TheBoingoBandit

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    John Lewis at Oxford Street has got them.
     
  26. Hellicopter

    Hellicopter
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    Still very happy with the Sagem but you should be aware that new Samsungs DLPs are due next month.They are now shown on the UK website.
    Am using Samsung 935 DVD player into DVI amongst other things.
     
  27. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Thanks for the answers people :). Got to do some financial work and see where it goes from there.
     
  28. acanning

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    Hi

    You need to be aware that the Sagem does not have any support for HDCP so you will need to partner it with a DVD player where HDCP can be disabled. I am not aware of many models which do this although I know that the Samsung player Helicopter is using can be disabled. I very much doubt the Marantz player will allow the protection to be disabled.

    Apart from that, I have a Sagem and think that it is absolutely fantastic and I'm using an old Sony DVD player with an RGB scart connection. One day I will upgrade to a player with a component output. Probably won't bother with a player capable of progressive scan as the Sagem seems to do that bit very well. There are several threads which discuss the various connection methods possible with the Sagem - try doing a search using the word Axium.

    The picture quality with Sky can sometimes be very good although it often shows some pixilation but I believe that is a problem with Sky and not a symptom of the Sagem. When Sky Hi Def arrives the picture should be awesome.

    Regards
     
  29. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Thanks for the heads up. It would spoil my entire day if this is the case.

    This is the intention. In the meantime, I will probably use an RGB-YUV convertor on my box as this has had a positive effect on other screens I've seen it used.
     
  30. phunt

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    Ive just been to the samsung site to look at the DLP's but when i put the model number (SP46L3HX) into google it brings up an LCD rear projection :confused: Here is an example. Can anyone explain this? and does anyone have any idea of the price these DLP samsungs are going to be?
     

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