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Scaler for the PannyHD8 for under £800?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Saltrock, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. Saltrock

    Saltrock
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    Guys.

    Decided to get the HD8 when they come in.
    Now looking at my options, i've asked Gizlaroc & MAW but thought i'd get some views from the crowd.

    I have Sky+ (will get SkyHD when available)
    XBOX (360 when available)
    DVD Player
    Arcaic consoles (composite & svideo through the amp and out through the monitor)

    I'd like to get the best PQ (obviously) for sky, xbox and the DVD but also have the correct inputs/outputs for the 360 (poss ps3 too) and skyHD.

    If I got the basic panel and no extra boards what would I need?
    BTW. apologies for such a newbee qu (I have used the search function i promise!) but i guess like a lot of people untill a few weeks ago after discovering this forum my heart was set on a 436!

    Many thanks

    Saltrock. :thumbsup:
     
  2. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    Lumagen VisionDVI @ £800 is about the lowest I would go, and it has so much more than £1000 or less processors you would be mad not too. With all that HD requirement it would be very tempting to go to the VisionHDP (£1300) which has far better 1080i processing, in addition to better (10bit) processing overall. But if budget is limited, the VisionDVI will still give you one big bang for your buck.
     
  3. Saltrock

    Saltrock
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    So no need for any HDMI inputs/outputs??

    Will i benefit form the extra money spent on the box for what I want it to do or will this be mostly for future proofing. Are we looking at a big improvment in overall picture quality between the 2 boxes. (am i going to be thinking i wish i'd gone for the HDp in a few months time?)

    I guess this will mean getting the DVI board with the panel?
     
  4. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    As yet I want to wait until I have seen the new DVI and HDMi cards before commenting on which is most appropriate. According to the spec sheet, the old DVI card in the new screen will work with 50Hz 720 and 1080!! But according to the same spec sheet the HDMI will not do 1:1. On that basis you would want the screen with the DVI card. It's wait and see really.

    As for VisionHDP over VisionDVI. The HDP is noticeably sharper and cleaner over the DVI, with the clearer picture you can make out detail better too. In the future it will deal with HD signals far better than the DVI will. But it's £500 more.

    If it helps, my DVI is finally being turned in for a HDP when my new equipment starts arriving this season.
     
  5. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Saltrock

    Definitely consider the VisionDVI (HDP if budget permits) though keep in mind not everyone likes playing consoles through a Video Processor - any video processing time the Processor adds to the video signal interrupts some folks style of play in certain games.

    For SKY+ and your DVD player the Video Processor will be invaluable - how it fairs with your consoles is something you'll have to try out for yourself; you may end up with a second video input board plus simple external SCART or S-Video switcher for the consoles; a plus point being you then have the PnP modes to play with!

    If your asking the 'I wish' question before you've even received your Display your definitely going to be asking it a few months down the line :)

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  6. hutchys

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    How does the I-Scan hdp compare to the either visions? Is the difference big seeing the I-Scan can be bought for approximatly the same as the vision DVI.
    Thanks
     
  7. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    Picture Quality wise the VisionDVI is even better to my eyes over the iScan HD, the picture is that bit more "locked in" and defined. When you go up to VisionHDP the image improves in both more accurate processing (detail, sharpness etc) and in the image as a whole being cleaner from noise. Unfortunatel it is not brilliantly easy to describe an image in words but I'll try!!!!

    Functionality wise it goes on much further. All Lumagens have better tools than the DVDOs when it comes to setting up your image. Many you can use by eye or with a test pattern disc, others are there for the pros with the right equipment. But with your own eyes you can take advantage of the highly accurate adjustment of grayscales and colour, y/c delay adjustment (a real killer feature imo, difference is massive on Sky with just two clicks one way and one the other!), genlock (another massive feature for a smoother, better controlled image) and for the pros an 11-pt gamma adjustment and other advanced calibration features in a hidden menu.

    You also have the massively configurable input/output memory architecture the Lumagen uses. It's a massive matrix of input signal, input ratio, on a per input basis, matched to one of 8 possible output resolutions. For a single display setup this is useful as you need to run a pair of auto-switching resolutions for PAL and NTSC, but then you can add memories with different settings for sports maybe, or different aspect ratios, or specifically for older 4:3 material etc. When you add a second display (e.g. plasma + projector) then you have two pairs of NTSC+PAL timings and a remote control button to switch. Plus any personal preference memories you want to use. The beauty is you can make it as complicated or simple as you like!

    And I haven't even started on HD performance but I'm afraid if I go on with all this Lumagen Lovin' someone might think me and Gordon have got something going on :rolleyes:
     
  8. Joe Fernand

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    Hello all

    Hutchys I'd concur with Liam - first impressions when you unpack the VisionDVI alongside the iScanHD being; is that it!

    The Lumagen is pretty unassuming until you get behind the scenes and understand its strength is its firmware - I have both the iScanHD and the VisionDVI and the latter is the better option.

    The most recent Firmware updates from Lumagen have stepped the VisionDVI up a few notches over the iScanHD - though the iScanHD does include the audio processing some folk will find useful.

    If you find audio delay an issue with the Lumagen and you don't have the ability to adjust the audio in your AV Receiver then a Felston DD340 or DD540 are good options; though the Lumagen processor is pretty quick and you don't always require this option.
    See http://www.felston.com/

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  9. nicke20

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    saltrock
    what you have here is two guys who sell lumagen scalers and know them inside out, that is why they recomend them. There was a while back a real handbags at dawn iscan vs lumagen arguement on this forum, and I think that at the end of the day if the scaler + plasma is pro set up the difference in picture quality will be considerable. The two scalers you mention will always have their fans and detractors but both will do a very good job
     
  10. VirusKiller

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    Yes they do, but they both also sell the iScans...
     
  11. hutchys

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    Thanks Liam,Joe,
    If I go down this route with the DVI this will most probably be put with a DLP (Samsung 46 or Sagem or opotma 50) Would this still give as good an increase in quality than with a plasma? in your humble opinions of course.
    Thanks
     
  12. Piers

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    Neither Liam nor Joe here but another Lumagen dealer. I am running an HDP with an Optima H57 DLP projector (and a Panasonic PHD8 plasma) - very substantial improvement in picture quality in both cases and the DVI will also give a big improvement (though not quite so big).
     
  13. David PluggedIn

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    and dont forget that the Pixelmagic PlasmaEnhancer range, they start pretty close to your £800 budget, and have the benefit of Faroudja DCDi processing (which is ideal for Sky)
    Also the Cinemateq units are worth at look...
     
  14. theo cupier

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    Sorry to hi-jack the thread, but this seems as appropriate a place as any:

    I'm also on the verge of buying a 42PHD8, which will be one heck of a change from my cheap, Beko 28in widescreen CRT.

    Initially, I'll be connecting
    Sky box (in 'freeview' mode), via RGB scart (probably through a JS VGA converter)
    component DVD player (not prog scan) and
    VHS player via composite

    Eventually I hope to add HD-DVD/Blu-ray and PS3 or XBOX360.

    Am I going to be disappointed in the PQ with this setup if I do NOT buy a scaler?

    TBH the £2+K which the screen, mount and boards will cost me is more than I was planning to spend and it'll be a long time before I can get WAF on another £800+ for a scaler.

    I'd read that the PHD video processing was better than the PWD's and assumed this was good enough. Are scalers one of those things that you can live happily without until you see one? If so, should I just avoid them until I can afford one?

    Am I spending the kids' pocket money wisely getting a PHD8 without a scaler?

    Other than ISFing it, what should I do to get the best non-scaler PQ? DVDs will be the main use of the screen, some TV and maybe a little gaming in the fullness of time. Would a better DVD player be the thing to get, or just use good cable, or...?

    Thank in advance
     
  15. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Every body has a different idea of what is 'good enough', but I had my plasma for about 2 years before getting a video processor and was very happy with the PQ. Then the upgrade bug started to bite and I found a s/h Lumagen for a good price, and the rest is history (as is the bank balance :rolleyes: )

    Yes & Yes!

    A good quality progressive DVD player will give a jump in PQ IMO. Good quality cables such as those by Mark Grant will also help.

    Mark.
     
  16. Liam @ Prog AV

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    Everything Mark has just said is spot on!!! You will be more than happy with your PHD Panasonic... until someone goes and sticks a processor into it lol! I would wait it out if the budget is tight, get yourself DVE/AVIA to setup your plasma well. ISF is worthwhile, but would need doing again come scaler time. I would do ISF and scaler together later, for now concentrate on decent cables, good setup, and maybe a progressive scan DVD.
     
  17. Liam @ Prog AV

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    nicke20 - what you have here are two guys who have been through every video processor in the price ranges/categories concerned, over the past few years of video processor development. The less pessimistic/conspiracist among us might think what we have to say may warrant a listen given we could install (and earn exactly the same money) on Lumagen, DVDO, Cinemateq, Crystalio and many other products that come and go, but importantly choose only those that do the job best. If we were installing inferior products we would only end up with them sent straight back to us for not doing the job, and we then have to deal with that now 2nd hand product. It is very much in our interest to recommend the most suitable.

    It may have been me in the handbags at dawn argument!! And I was fighting the kind of corner you would have taken a stand on too - the other guy worked for DVDO in the states and was essentially trolling the forum picking at any comment delivered against the iScan products. In his case he did have a vested interest in only one product, and he also never did say whether or not he had actually seen or used any other processor than an iScan!!!!
     
  18. Joe Fernand

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    Hello all

    Hutchys - no reason not to consider the VisionDVI as a partner product for the DLP RPTV's on your short list - the power of the Lumagen Firmware is being able to customise its Inputs to your source devices and its Output to your Display device.

    theo_cupier - its not mandatory to install an external Video Processor; lots of folk use the PWD and PHD Displays without them.

    As MarkE19 advises best not to go looking at the Video Processors until you have the piggy bank ready for another raid - once you've seen what the Video Processor can do in your system you'll want one :)

    I'd try your current DVD player with the PHD8 before you rush into a replacement - keep in mind the Display has its own in-built processing which is probably on a par with a lot of entry level Progressive Scan DVD players on the market.

    Connectivity wise I'd suggest you starter set up as follows:

    DVD - YUV 'Component' Out (Interlaced)
    SKY - RGB SCART Out to RGB2YUV converter
    VCR - Composite SCART to Composite In on Plasma

    I'd add the JS Technology Master 'Component' Controller plus a suitable 3RCA to HD15 (VGA) cable and switch your DVD and SKY as Interlaced YUV to the HD15(VGA) socket.

    Using the RGB2YUV converter with SKY retains the ability to adjust colour controls on the Display - you loose that function if you go in via the RGB2VGA converter plus you'd require a YUV Board in the Display for your DVD player (more cost).

    A slightly less costly option is to stick with Interlaced RGB from your DVD player and daisy chain it via the RGB In socket on the SKY box - you'd save around £80.00 going that way as you could drop the Master Component Controller plus an extra cable.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  19. nicke20

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    Hi liam
    the handbags thread was with a uk fitter who ebays (nuff said)
    Perhaps i was misunderstood I meant that as you both sell them, use them and know them inside out you recomend them :thumbsup:
    there are sometimes other considerations other than pq but these where not asked for, asthetics being one (some people will not buy av kit just because of the colour)
    As someone has just said you dont need one till youve seen one in action, after all I used to think years ago that prologic was great :eek:
    but i was young and easily led
     
  20. Liam @ Prog AV

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    Yeah I think I got the wrong end of your stick, nick!! Just used to being knocked just because I sell the stuff I love playing around with!!

    And yep, definitely other considerations which is why ultimately we still offer the various other manufacturers prodcuts. Cinemateq for massive input/output switching ability (very useful for two displays that may be on at the same time rather than a-one-or-other situation) and of course the silver styling. iScan if you really must go DVDO and don't want a Felston delay box, or need more than 2 sources delayed. Crystalio because it's bloody good and now at a very, very tempting price point.

    Would like to see the handbags thread tho! Nothing like bringing up an old argument for boredoms sake...
     
  21. Xstyle

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    Having said all that ... the Lumagen HDP wins hands down??!?
     
  22. Liam @ Prog AV

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    Nothing is hands down when it comes to video processors. The Crystalio has a characteristically different picture to the Lumagen, quite a few prefer this especially with video mode sources like Sky. But I would have to go with the Lumagen still with it's HD processing and the various toys a calibrator can play around with. Quite often input/output requirements will decide between the two more than performance factors i.e. at £1,500 the Crystalio has 3 SDIs, BNC output, one lot of BNC and one lot of RCA ins. The VisionHDP needs optional boards added (raises price to £1,600) has one less SDI but one *more* DVI, and the two DVIs run interlaced HDMI. But also has only RCA connectors.
     
  23. Mora

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    Dammit Liam.

    I'm gonna end up adding a scaler to my shopping list. :rolleyes: :)
     
  24. Liam @ Prog AV

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    Needless to say the wiring plan we've discussed Steve has left plenty of space for it :D
     
  25. VirusKiller

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    Am there now. About to do it. :suicide:
     
  26. nicke20

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  27. Liam @ Prog AV

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    Oh that one. Actually I'm talking with Future at the moment to try and persuade them to let me get involved with a video processing knowledgebase type article they are doing in a couple christmas editions. If you want something done right and all that!
     
  28. Mora

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    Arggg just spent 30 minutes reading that thread, and thats enough to convince me that if i want the best out of my intended home cinema (Due xmas 2005 - watch this space). and i want the best PQ then i need a scaler.

    Interestingly, also linked me to the Denon issues Liam, and i'm following those threads up now.
     
  29. zAndy1

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    Nobody NEEDS a scaler! Get your screen and your source and watch it and if you feel there's something so drastically wrong with the picture that it justifies spending £1000+ on it to fix it then a) borrow a scaler and make sure if fixes the problem and if it does b) is it worth the cost? Once you've answered those questions and still want to spend the money then by all means do so but I would say once you see a HD source on a HD display you might not feel it's so justified spending the £1000+. I'm not saying you won't , I'm just saying don't talk yourself into needing a scaler.
     
  30. Mora

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    Yep, sensible advice Andy.

    Regarding getting one on loan, and seeing what difference it makes.

    Although, from what i've read, improvement on a non-HD source should be noticeable.
     

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