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Scaler/component converter for use with Plasma?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Pacha, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. Pacha

    Pacha
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    Hi,
    I've got a Hitachi 42PD3000 plasma which i am very pleased with, particularly with DVD. However, the excellent PQ with DVD is making me notice all the bad points with the Sky picture (particularly football - everyones plasma bugbear!). Whilst I am pretty competent with tech/connections for my equipment, I am pretty clueless regarding scalers/converters.

    Has anyone any experience of using any of these devices with plasma TVs/Sky boxes and achieved a NOTICEABLE jump in performance?

    Currently I am considering one of the 'presenter' type scalers from Lektropaks or Keene electronics. Again, has anyone used one of these or the JS-Tech products and had a successful result? Should I be looking to utilise the PC input on the tuner box for max PQ?
    I would particularly welcome comments from fellow Hitachi plasma owners for closest comparison but all feedback would be much appreciated.
    (P.S. Sky box is currently connected to tuner box by QED scart cable.)

    Thanks in anticipation
     
  2. smurch1

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    Patcha, I'm in the same boat as you, but with a 42PD5300, more than happy with DVD pq, but sky could be improved, . Any responses most welcome.............please.
     
  3. MAW

    MAW
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    Assuming you have enabled RGB on sky, merely converting it to component video is unlikely to achieve much. You will not be adding anything, just changing the colourspace. Which, incidentally, the plasma has to change back to display. Hitachi have always recommended RGB connections even for their panel only models, rather than component anyway. It is certainly possible to connect a scaler to the VGA port, though this is slightly problematic with alis screens, as the VGA port may only accept 1024x768, whilst the screen itself is 1024x1024. This negates part of the scaler argument. Not to say it would do nothing for you, just it would not be working at maximum potential. The iscan HD has a 1024x1024 output mode, I have not yet tried it, nor do I know of any Hitachi or Fujitsu alis owner with one. With a PC, you cannot get 1:1 pixel mapping, maybe in the video processing forum you could get Dale to tell you more about this, he is the iscan man. Gordon from Convergent is the UK Lumagen agent, and will hopefully add his 2 penny worth, or perhaps Joe, but I know he doesn't sell alis plasmas either.
     
  4. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    You could go halfway and get an iScan Ultra. Since the iScan HD has been launched the price on this has lowered favourably. It isn't a scaler so it won't change the resolution of your signal (the plasma will still have to do that bit) but it is a deinterlacer so will turn your Sky (and DVD) signals into progressive scan format. It uses a relatively recent Silicon Image chipset and has the Chroma Fix so you should see plenty of improvement so long as you take time to setup properley etc. Only six months ago this was the box choice for many of our customers to boost their DVD and Sky signals, and that was when it was nearer a grand...
     
  5. MAW

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    And as it has 2 YUV and 2 s-video inputs, it's a useful switch, adding more inputs to your screen.
     
  6. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    Just noticed one going for a little over £300 in the classifieds forum... You could do with an RGB to Component converter for your Sky box too. At last look there was one of them in the classifieds somewhere too!
     
  7. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I'm going to visit a dealer who stocks and sells Hitatchi alis units next week. All being well I'll let you know how I get on after that.

    Gordon
     
  8. Pacha

    Pacha
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    Thanks for your replies to date guys, very helpful. :thumbsup:
    3 points/queries:
    1. Am i right in assuming thet the iScan ultra is capable of producing Sky pictures slose to DVD quality?

    2. Surely there would be no benefit to connecting my DVD player to an iScan Ultra? ( I have a Denon DVD2900 outputting prog scan via component)

    3. Gordon, please do let us know what you find out re: the hitachi visit next week because not only am i a bit of a novice in this area but i am even more hesitant because of the ALIS technology.

    Cheers all for the help to date!
     
  9. Piers

    Piers
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    Pacha,

    I am the guy selling the iScan Ultra on the classifieds. Going to ebay if it doesn't sell in the next 24 hours. Offers?

    Piers
     
  10. Pacha

    Pacha
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    Piers,

    What's your reason for selling?
     
  11. Liam @ Prog AV

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    The iScan won't give you DVD quality since the source signal is still compressed so is difficult for any processor to work with. It will make a more than just noticeable difference however and is a very worthwhile upgrade.

    You're right on the DVD, it won't make much of a difference to the 2900! And you may be interested to know it uses the same Silicon Image sil504 chip as your Denon (as does the HD).

    [might wanna keep the trading talk over on the classifieds forum tho]
     
  12. Pacha

    Pacha
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    Liam,

    Thanks very much for your help to date.

    I know it's difficult to describe but could you enlighten me as to the possible results for football through Sky? Will the grass look....more like grass? Will it drastically reduce the smearing which occurs when the camera pans from one end of a pitch to another? etc, etc.
     
  13. Liam @ Prog AV

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    Unfortunately grass nearly always looks like a mess of green, this is mostly down to the compression used in Sky and is difficult to reverse. The picture will certainly sharpen up and have a much smoother effect with the iScan. There'll be less noise in trickky areas of the picture, and less deinterlacing artefacts on screen compared to the picture the Hitachi internal deinterlacer would produce. It's not something you can describe so easily in words - hence the phrase a picture paints a thousand words!!! I would try and get yourself a demo if you are unsure if you want to go for it, for more info on Progressive Scan in general and the various chipsets used to achieve it see here:

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_7_4/dvd-benchmark-part-5-progressive-10-2000.html

    HTH
     
  14. idhutt

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    Correct me if Im wrong, but the Hitachi is an Alis panel. Won't it interlace the picture the the iScan Ultra has just deinterlaced? This is what has put me off shortlisting the Hitachi 37PD5200, as I have external scaling and deinterlacing available via a Meridian G98.
     
  15. Liam @ Prog AV

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    The proof is in the pudding, the Hitachi's I have seen have done better from Prog Scan source than not. I don't pretend to fully understand how ALIS technology works but it's not a simple translation of interlaced video onto the panel bypassing any deinterlacing. Plus there are many more benefits to dedicated Video Processing than simply combining fields, 3D comb filtering, motion adaptive processing, minimizing of CUE etc etc.
     
  16. MAW

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    Liam, I don't think anyone fully understands alis, it's 1/2 the trouble with it... My concerns over hitachi are mostly to do with warranty issues, they do not seem as reliable as other makes, judging on what's reported here.
     
  17. willberry

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    Gordon, did you manage your visit?
     
  18. Gordon @ Convergent AV

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  19. Pacha

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