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Scaler as intermediate solution ???

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by jont, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. jont

    jont
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    Ok ... having had a hi-def softmod to my xbox and thinking I'm seeing a better pq now than before on the SD panny my mind has turned to looking at how I can get the best from my other sources ...

    I was looking at some form of scaler ... working on the assumption that

    a) I will get a better pq if I can feed in through dvi and do the a>d scaling in a dedicated box and give the panny something easier to work with ... assuming that a 720p dvi signal will convert and display better than a 525i component analogue ... or am i mistaken ??

    b) as I am not bothered (just yet) with the issues of hdcp and sky's hdtv as I know my series 4 panny dvi is not hdcp compliant ... although I will be later ...

    c) I could get the sky+ and DV29a SDI-modded and give a digital path all the way through ... will this be significantly better than the analogue ?? will it be enhanced further by the scaler ?

    So ... the $64,000 question is which scaler ??

    I have a single component source as all three sources currently go to the AV8 and have a dvi out of the scaler ... or would I be better not passing the sources through the AV8 ?

    If the pq is *much* better I would consider sdi-modding the sky+ and DV29 so would need 2 x sdi inputs on the scaler ...

    If I went skyHiDef I guess I would need to go hdmi>dvi(hdcp) into the scaler ... and then maybe out to a suitable projector if it's a cheaper route at that time than a new plasma ...

    Any thoughts from the esteemed members ??

    cheers

    Jon
     
  2. dilsher

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    Talk to Gordon at Convergent or Liam at Progressive AV foir best advice mate...
     
  3. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Hi Jon,

    If you use a scaler then you are best to use it as a switcher. If you send each component to its own input on a scaler then each input can be optimised specifically for that device. It's unlikely the levels from three component devices will be the same...

    DVI in. At present the implimentation of DVI inputs on some plasmas is not that great. Just as the implimentation of DVI out on some DVD players is not that great. With the gen4 PanSD panel you may find that going in on the PC socket at higher resolutions than the display and letting it downscale could give you better image than going in at native resolution pxiel for pixel.

    Going in to the scalers digitally is a benefit. In my experience it sharpens the image up quite a bit. However the real benefits of this may only be apparent when you move up to a higher res larger panel.

    Gordon
     
  4. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Jont,

    The Arcam DV29 already has a digital output - HDMI - so it's not necessarily the case that getting it SDI modded will be of benefit. (It might - I don't know if the HDMI output can produce an interlaced signal. If not, then using SDI and an external deinterlacer would be be helpful, as the Vadis V processor isn't the best progressive scan processor in the world. It'll also allow you to use chroma bug correction.)

    I'm a little hazy with the details of the Xbox setup, but, if I understand correctly, you were previously making the console output an SD signal, you've now switched to it outputting an HD signal, the plasma is downscaling that to the resolution of the screen, and you think that the picture quality has improved. This is quite possible - but it doesn't necessarily mean that upscaling other SD sources to HD will have the same effect.

    The output of an Xbox is not a pre-determined image, it's actually generated dynamically, pixel by pixel. By switching the xbox to produce HD output you have added additional information - there is more detail to the picture than there was. (More pixels!). Downscaling a high resolution generated image preserves some of that original detail: you are effectively adding an extra antialiasing stage to the original (SD) signal. But simply upscaling an SD image doesn't add any new information.

    It's quite possible that doing what you're suggesting would improve the picture, because the electronics inside the plasma TV may do a better job of downscaling HD than they do downscaling SD. And, if you allowed an external scaler to scale direct to the resolution of the panel, that would probably look better again. And an SDI mod to Sky+ would allow you to bypass the dodgy video DACs in the sky box and avoid an unnecessary D/A and A/D conversio. But don't expect the improvement to be as dramatic as it is with the Xbox.
     
  5. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Nicolas: The HDMI output of ARCAM dvd players can output 422 component interlaced 480i/576i. The Lumagen scalers can accept such a signal on their DVI inputs. I do this myself at home....however the DVI input board for the GEN4 Panasonics is not HDCP compliant. So you're back to SDI....

    Gordon
     
  6. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Er... why would the output from a DVD player be HDCP encrypted? :confused:
     
  7. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Perhpas because the license for HDMI says that if a source is copyprotected then HDCP MUST be applied.....So if you just want to watch non copyproteted discs you're laughing....however you're going to have a pretty small amount to view,,,,,,and most will probably be test patterns...

    Gordon
     
  8. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    So the HDMI output from an Arcam DV29 nearly always has HDCP encryption applied to it? Hm. Well, okay, I hadn't realised that. :)
     
  9. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Indeed...as do the hdmi and dvi outputs of virtually all other DVD players...Denon,Pioneer, Panasonic, Meridian, Linn etc...

    Gordon
     
  10. shane515

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    Hi Gordon

    Hopefully you havent answered this somewhere else, had a look around but no joy: If I SDI mod my sky + box would this improve PQ? Its currently put through a standard signal through my Lumagen.

    Thanks for any info

    Shane

    PS I see your location is currently in South East...emmm how long are you down for.. looking for calibration sometime next month if poss????? :smashin:
     
  11. Joe Fernand

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    Jont

    Your definitely up for the 'Most complicated to answer Post' for the month of April :)

    01. FMJ-DV27A vs. FMJ-DV29 - keep in mind both players can have an SDI mod fitted.

    02. FMJ-DV29 HDMI vs. SDI - as Gordon says SDI is non HDCP so works with your current Display; though in the longer term as and when you move to an HDCP compatible Display/Projector this will most likely be less of a problem.

    03. FMJ-DV29 SDI - modifying a New Player invalidates the manufacturer warranty; not ideal for everyone and quite a price to pay if your going to have an HDCP Display/Projector at some point and may not then 'require' the SDI Output.

    04. FMJ-DV29 SDI vs. HDMI - the consensus seems to be that SDI has the edge over HDMI; but its very close and if you have an HDCP compatible Display/Projector SDI is a fair bit more costly to implement.

    05. SKY+ SDI - keep in mind not all SKY+ boxes can have an SDI mod applied; you need to source of have sourced a mkI SKY+ box.

    06. SKY+ SDI vs. RGB - the difference here is much more pronounced in favour of SDI over RGB.

    07. Which Video Processor - how much do you want to spend and what level of support backup do you require from your Dealer ?

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  12. jont

    jont
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    Thanks guys ... would have helped if I'd remembered that I have the DV27a *not* the DV29 !! so I'll look at the DV27 comments

    One of my sky+s is a mkI so can be sdi modded ... the other is the SO's !!

    I guess my xbox question related to the principle of giving a more easily downscaled signal ... mathmatically is 720p>480p and easier scale that 575i>480p ??

    Jon
     
  13. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    :rotfl:

    Yeah, it would have. ;)

    The Sil504 chipset in the DV27A is actually rather good at deinterlacing, so progessive-scan output (via component) will be pretty good quality. SDI mod into external scaler would probably be a little sharper (assuming that it leads into an all-digital signal path) and also (as mentioned before) would allow full correction of the chroma bug. (The DV27A hides the chroma bug more successfully than most players that suffer from it but it doesn't actually remove it).

    Well... yes. But the interlaced signal (Sky or DVD) has got to be deinterlaced somewhere along the line, it's just a question of where it happens. The best solution (other things being equal) is to feed the screen with a digital signal at the native resolution of the screen. But, as we all know, Panasonic don't make that very easy.

    See also my previous comments about the output resolution of the X-Box - I think you're starting from a genuinely HD (and progressive) source there, rather than starting with an SD source and upscaling.
     
  14. jont

    jont
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    Thanks Nicolas

    I think that the bigger 'pq increase per £' will come from an sdi-mod to the sky+ rather than the DV27a ... although that will cost around £500 for the sky+and the scaler mods ...

    I'm going to borrow an iScan HD+ for a few days and see how I get on ... will report back with details !!

    Jon
     
  15. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    That sounds plausible. You would expect the RGB or component output of the DV27a to be better quality than what you get from a Sky box, and hence less improved by going to a digital solution (such as SDI).

    Incidentally, if you feed the scaler using the DV27A's RGB output, you would still be able to make use of external deinterlacing and chroma bug correction. I think you can make the player output RGB from its phono outputs (you can on the DV27) - I forget if this is interlaced or progressive. If it's progressive then you could just take it interlaced from the SCART socket. (You'd expect phono outputs to be marginally better quality, and it's slightly easier to find a high quality component interconnect than a similarly high quality RGB SCART cable).
     
  16. darkness1

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    Hi, I have a similair question. I have a Pany Th42pw6 panel and i've just got my hands on a Tosh SD9500
    dvd player for £400. My question, is it worth forking out for a scaler to increase pq? If so which would be best to go? ATM i connect via component.
     

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