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Scaler choice - HDMI

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Bill4, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. Bill4

    Bill4
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    Are there any scaler/processor available with HDMI input/output?

    I've been following this group for over two months now, and I can't make up my mind which scaler is best for me. I like the Lumagen, but it only has DVI.

    My current screen is the Loewe Xelos SL 32HD, to which connected via HDMI>DVI - DVI cable an Arcam DV29.
    No external speakers, amplifier etc. been purchased yet.
    I would like the best possible picture quality, but I'm also concerned about DVI only on processors/scallers. I do unserstand sound processing is not required in this boxes, but a HDMI connection would be ideal. If I could input HDMI, the processor could introduce an audio delay (does not need to process audio), then I could output HDMI with sound in sync. An internal HDMI-HDMI switcher would also be handy too, as I would like to connect a second pannel (Sharp 45"?) in the near future.
    I'm also thinking of future Sky HD boxes. They will have (or likely) HDMI only (not DVI) digital outputs, as well as component. Hence the need for a HDMI equipped scaller.

    Is there such a beast available, or be available within 2 months?
    What about this new hollywood type processor?
    What sort of quality improvements I can expect from such a setup (say with the Lumagen)? I know the lot need to be set-up and calibrated, but that can be done at the time of installation.
    Thanks

    Bill
     
  2. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Bill,

    Currently there are no amplifiers that can accept HDMI multi-channel hi-resolution audio. When there are I would expect that they will have HDMI inputs and HDMI outputs as well. You would of course route your HDMI source to them, where the sound would be stripped off and processed/delayed, then the video would be output to your display/scaler. There would be no requirement for audio delay or processing in the video processor.

    The Lumagens accept video signals from HDMI outputs in to their DVI outputs and their DVI outputs are compatible with HDMI inputs on displays.

    The Holywood thing that you mention is just a chipset. As with any chipset it is a small part of a product and it's implimentation will be important just as the current ones are. You can compare two devices using the same de-interlacing engine and find significant differences in some cases.

    What sort of improvement you would get is something that needs to be answered by trying a device in your own system

    Gordon
     
  3. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Bill4

    Just to expand on Gordon's notes.

    HDMI is an interconnect and a specification for the type of signal that can be transmitted via that interconnect - its not a guarantee that the signal your sending is any good.

    HDMI vs. DVI - there are small technical differences between these two standards; though as far as the video signals they transmit goes these are essentially interchangeable for Home Theatre purposes (as long as you remember that HDMI always includes HDCP encryption whilst DVI may or may not include HDCP encryption compatibility).

    HDMI connectors vs. DVI connectors - HDMI seems to me to be a flawed connector in that it doesn't include any thumb screws to tighten up the connector/socket interface.

    Digital Audio Delay - most mid market and above AV Receivers now include user adjustable delays and if its not included a sub £200 box can be added to most systems.

    (See http://www.felston.com)

    For a Delay to be really useful in a high end audio system you would want it adjustable on a per input basis - this is not the implementation that many manufacturers have undertaken at this time.

    Digital Video Switching - its possibly a bit early to include costly multiple Digital Video Inputs in multi purposes devices. For those who do require multiple Digital Inputs we can supply from stock Zektor and Gefen solutions.

    (See http://www.zektor.com/dvs51/index.htm and http://www.gefen.com/kvm/product.jsp?prod_id=2590 )

    Digital Video Distribution - again as only 10 - 15% of potential customers will require this facility it makes more sense to do it 'off board' of your Video Processor. Again from stock.

    (See http://www.gefen.com/kvm/product.jsp?prod_id=2520)

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  4. Bill4

    Bill4
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    Thank you both.

    Couple of more questions.
    One of the main difference between DVI and HDMI is the colour space they use and the number of bits.
    DVI is restricted to RGB and 8 bits 4:4:4.
    HDMI can output 4:2:2 YCbCr 8, 10, or 12 bits.
    Since 4:2:2 is closer to what's stored on DVD (4:2:0), I think it will give better results. Similar or more or less the same as SDI.

    This is what I would like to know:

    Can the lumagen take 4:2:2 YCbCr on it's DVI input from the Arcam DV29 outputting from it's HDMI output 480i/576i? Will the DV29 be happy with this? I know the DV29 can output 480i/576i 4:2:2 YCbCr, but if it sees DVI input, it may switch over to 480p/576p 4:4:4 RGB. In other words, will the DV29 ignore that the lumagen is a DVI device and send out one of thisYCbCr formats? Can the lumagen process intermally 10 or 12 bits, or is it restricted by the DVI 8 bit?

    Given my present display (Loewe Xelos SL32HD) that has 1366x768 resolution, DVI+HDCP, can I achive 1:1 pixel mapping?
    I know the Xelos can take HD signals, but the manual is next to useless regarding 1366x768 DVI+HDCP (or anything else regarding resolutions), so I just don't know.

    I use the Xelos as a bedroom TV, so I don't want to invest in a suround sound system or worry about lipsync issues. The inbuilt speaker are good enough for bedroom use, but the various aspect ratios, limited control when I input via DVI drives me nuts. PQ for me is very important. Hence the lumagen.
    Later on, I will use the lumagen with a bigger pannel and with full surround sound, in which case lipsync issues should not arrise.
    The DV29 has adjustable audio delay. It's fixed (I think) for the HDMI output, but maybe it can be adjusted to compensate for the dalay introduced by the processor. Does anyone know for deffinate? Will I have problem with this?

    I also read somewhere that lumagen is planning to introduce per pixel deinterlacing (per-pixel motion-adaptive deinterlacing?). Is this ready now? Any PAL specific issues I should be awear off?

    Given the above, what sort of quality improvements I'm looking for?
    I'm assuming the lumagen is now in full production, and the software is not in beta anymore. I know there will be future updates, but it's stable and it works.

    Can anyone tell me what resolutions, refresh rates etc. are supported by the Xelos?
    I'm also confused by the 720p mentioned in the Arcam DV29 manual. I read in several places that 720p is HD. Does this mean the DV29 upscales to HD, or just progressive scan output at SD?
    Will the above combination work?
    I also plan to add Euro 1080 soon, so I will be interested in 1080i to 1080p deintelacing, and scaling to 1366x768 (1:1 pixel mapping).

    Bill
     
  5. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Can't answer your Lumagen questions (perhaps Gordon might) but the DV29 can be forced to output interlaced HDMI video into DVI and its audio delay is applicable to HDMI as well as analogue video. So no worries there :)

    BTW the DV29 does not upscale to 720p - we consider this unnecessary as the scaler will be very good at doing the scaling, that's one very good reason for buying it!

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  6. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Indeed I can. Lumagen designed the new generation of products hardware to be able to take advantage of the 480i/576i capability of HDMI interface. Speaking with the development team at Lumagen it looks like the first firmware with this capability is around a week away. We have a DV79 in the office to test this. I agree that the 4:2:2 YCrCb is closest to SDI and what's on a DVD. It should look good.

    The Lumagens have 10Bit capable processing path. I don't know of any devices that have 12 bit or more. I'll ask the guys see what they have to say.

    Gordon
     
  7. NaimBoy

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    Hey guys,

    One of the other reputed benefits of HDMI over DVI is the support for longer cable lengths.

    I'm also considering the Arcam DV79 for use with an HDMI equipped projector (probably Sony HS50...) and as a result have a 15m HDMI cable buried in the floor/walls in preparation.

    Would a DVI based scaler be happy driving a HDMI pj down a 15m cable or am I going to have to wait for an HDMI scaler to become available ?

    On a similar note, given the similarity between HDMI and SDI is there a significant benefit in going the SDI route ?

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  8. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Benefit of SDI is lack of copyprotection issues and it's closeness to what is on a disc or broadcast although HDMI component SD interlaced output from a DVD player should be pretty indistinguishable.

    I believe the spec for HDMI cable is higher than that of DVI for a start. This combined with the noise cancellation stuff in the HDMI receiver chip means that you should be able to go further to an HDMI Display than to a DVI display. It's a function of the Silicon Image receiver chip so DVI outputting processors or players should perform as well as HDMI ones in this regard.

    Gordon
     
  9. Bill4

    Bill4
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    Thank you John and Gordon.

    Gordon.
    It't sounds very good. I can wait max. until Xmas, so we will see how the Arcam works out with the Lumagen (with the updated software).
    When I buy it, I will need someone to set it up and calibrate my gear, hence my questions regarding the Xelos. I need to know this, since I have absolutely no info on it, and the installer need to know it to calibrate the screen and to make sure I can get 1:1 pixel mapping. If it's not compatible, then it's back to the drawing board.
    Any news regarding per-pixel motion-adaptive algo?

    Thanks

    Bill
     
  10. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Bill: The unit does per pixel motion adaptive for SD already. They use Sil504 for this but are working on improvements.

    I have no experience of your display so can't comment on whether it is able to work at native resolution on DVI input when fed at 50 or 60Hz by a scaler. It's likely to be one of those "suck it and see moments". Who/where is your dealer. Perhaps I can visit them to try.

    Gordon
     
  11. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Mark

    With a suitable adapter to convert your HDMI(M) to a DVI(M) you will be fine driving 15m of HDMI cable from a Lumagen - assuming its a decent quality HDMI cable you've used!!!

    If you did have problems you can always add in a line driver to the Digital cable.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  12. NaimBoy

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    Gordon, Joe,

    Thanks for the info....

    I'll be interested in the results of your DV79 HDMI tests Gordon....

    As for the HDMI cable - it's the new (and far from cheap) Chord cable - looked OK when we tested it in the shop on a DV79/Sim2 setup :D

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  13. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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  14. NaimBoy

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    Excellent :clap:

    Glad to know I haven't spent the weekend chiselling out cable channels in a concrete floor for the use of crap cable !

    But seriously.... as a Naim addict I've had quite a few Chord cables over the years and haven't had a bad one yet so I figured it was a reasonably safe bet. Given they're still list on Chords website as 'email for more info' I was surprised when Elliot and his boys got it so quickly.

    Now just need to sort out the DVD & PJ.......
     
  15. Bill4

    Bill4
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    Gordon

    The Loewe Xelos SL32HD is widely available in Newcastle upon Tyne from John-Lewis, House of Fraser, Seven Oaks. I'm sure there must be at least one of this stores in your area. I got mine from www.shop.petermartin.co.uk/

    As for the pp-motion adaptive algo, I meant it for HD. Sorry I wasn't clear. I know there are two chips in the Lumagen, and Lumagen will try to switch over to their own for HD stuff sooner or later.
    If/when you manage to find out about the Xelos-Lumagen 1:1 pixel mapping via DVI 1366x768, please let me know. Hopefully by this time the new software will be ready too.

    Thanks

    Bill
     
  16. sapkan

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    What are the copyprotection issues with HDMI?
     
  17. Dutch

    Dutch
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    You would need an HDCP compliant input on your display.

    Steve
     
  18. sapkan

    sapkan
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    ah ok, cause I got kinda worried. Got too many DVD-R movie "backups"!
     

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